Despite enjoying roleplaying (we met at a Dungeons and Dragons game), Jon and I don't really do much with it in WoW. Sure, each of our characters has a somewhat well thought out back story, and I at least like to collect fun outfits as I level, but we play on Normal and PvP servers, and what little roleplaying we can't resist doing tends to be mocked unmercifully.
At one point last year we had decided to try out an RP-PvP server and really get into the whole roleplaying thing. We came up with our characters and their stories before hand--a Blood Elf of some sort, and an Undead Rogue--and were really looking forward to RPing them. I ran my Belf over to the Undead starting area, we had a little dramatic reunion (in /p, because I was feeling shy and not at all convinced there was roleplaying even on RP servers), and set out to kill some Scarlet Crusaders.
About that time, an Undead Mage decided she had a problem with me--she started following me around, tapping any mobs I so much as looked sideways at, and telling me in /say and /whisper that my kind weren't welcome here. This was before Sylvanas got her new model, so telling her "Why don't you go say that to your Banshee Queen?" only confused her, and she continued to follow us around, harassing me, for about an hour.
We haven't logged back on to those characters since.
With all that in mind, it's understandable that when I ran into a newcomer to the game, who still believed with all his heart that it was a role-playing game and played accordingly, I was quite surprised (though pleasantly). I'd just rolled up a human mage to play around with, and there he was, a level seven dwarf paladin complaining aloud about human architecture and how was he supposed to find anything in a building that consisted mostly of lots and lots of stairs. We killed some Defias together, headed south to Goldshire and the farms, and traveled as far as the Eastvale Logging Camp. He was in character most of the time, and I found myself trying to do the same--I don't know if I succeeded, but I did use "LOL" a lot less than I usually do, and once I accidentally misspelled "it's" as "tis".
We're both up to around level 18 now (with the heirloom shoulders "from a wealthy relative" I caught up easily), and Jon's joined us, as have a couple of other friends who rolled new alts at around the same time. We're getting ready to do our first Deadmines run, and he's so excited--he's not new to roleplaying games, but he is new to WoW, and watching him discover everything for the first time is a blast. I'm a little worried, though, how he'll take it the first time he runs into someone who tells him "lolRP, u fail nub" or something similar.
Does anyone else still believe WoW is for roleplaying? :)