In fact whenever I came a crossed the opposing faction in the open world, we were most likely on our flying-mounts just waving by with no interactions what so ever. Even Southshore and Tauren Mill were ghost towns. Prior to Cataclysm Tauren Mill and Southshore were hots-pots for pvp action if you were on a pvp server. Horde and Alliance members would go back and forth fighting constantly.
However, when I queued up the first time looking for dungeon, I realized why the community was dead. Aside from flying mounts (which had a huge negative impact on open world interaction), I realized that the looking for dungeon system literally fragmented the server's community. When I joined a group for the first time as a tank, I didn't have time to greet myself to anyone in the group, before I could finishing saying "Hey everyone", the group ran off to pull the first group of mobs.
Before we even finished the first pull I remember the mage pulling in the next pull, then the next pull after that and so on. It felt as if everyone was in a rush and since I was just coming back I was quickly rushing to gather myself and all the aggro. It wasn't until then that I realized that this game was much easier than before. We didn't have to use CC or mark which mobs to kill first, it's just pull after pull after pull and before you know it the run was over.
Now as a tank I did get queue pops nearly instantly in the looking for dungeon system, but even before the LFD system I was getting invites nearly all the time. I even had a huge friends list of active players asking me if I wanted to join them on a run. However, when I got on one of my damage dealing classes the wait was long usually thirty through forty-five minutes, sometimes more.
I always thought the purpose of LFD was to shorten the time players had to wait for groups, but I realize that this isn't true. it is true that the effort it takes to find a group is much easier. It is easier to simply click on two buttons and have a system automatically queue for groups and teleport you instantly into the instance, rather than to type a message out in chat or use the old school looking for group interface, and at the very least fly to the dungeon or summoning stone.
But time and time again I hear players not wanting to play in new MMORPGs unless they add in a LFD interface because they claim they do not have the time to wait for groups, which is ironic given that MMOs require you to have time to play and it's also ironic that the LFD system doesn't reduce the time that much, if at all. If you're a tank getting groups will still be fast with or without the looking for dungeon system and if you're a damage dealer expect to wait a great length of time.
The reasons for the wait has to do more with math than some quality of life improvement. If there are only so few tanks and healers out there but are many damage dealers, math says, on average the damage dealer is going to wait longer than the tanks and healers.
So in essence what the players gained from the looking for dungeons system was a simple automation process that allowed them to looking for dungeon without them have to do or say anything, in fact many tend to go afk while waiting. But the price for this automation? Simple, the community. A shattered, broken, and damage community. Where players never say a word to each other, ninja-steal loot, leave party the moment someone says "one sec", and even go as far as to refuse to group with other players to complete a popular open world quest.
The picture we have here is where everyone becomes anti-social and monotonous just to grind their way through for the purpose of getting purple gear. Yes, forget all the other aspects that were brought to us in MMORPGs prior to looking for dungeons such as the community. RPG no longer stands for 'role-playing game', today it has a different meaning one I like to call 'recognizing purple gear.' Because let's be honest the bottom is getting decked out in purples.