Heroics, love them or hate them they are without doubt the big topic of the moment. There is very little middle ground and it is the cause of lots of emotional outbursts in the SKF /g channel.
What I have noticed though is that the 2 camps are adamant that their view is correct and their belief is based on one thing. My take on this magic factor is unlike most theories I have seen paraded around the WoW blogosphere it is not dependant on the skill of the player, the class they play or indeed how hardcore or casual they are.
Likewise, the age, sex, nationality, political views or their sexual persuasion matter not. The big factor is when they started to play WoW.
Having thought about this, read a lot of posts and heard the SKF /g chat I think that people that started playing after the 2.3: The Gods of Zul’Aman patch seem to think that the heroics are too hard and that Uncle Ghostcrawler is an elitist jerk for his recent comments stating that people finding the heroics too hard or time consuming should go run normals instead (source).
Those that have been playing since early TBC or earlier just accept that the dungeons aren’t actually hard if you play the game it was originally intended, that is work as a team, use all the tools in your arsenal, like crowd control, damage avoidance, obey kill orders and use focus fire to nuke down a single target to help the tank/healer get through the rough part of a fight when they have the health and mana to take a pounding and get heals out so the group can conquer all. Whereas those that started after seem to enjoy a different game style of zerging content, aoeing heroics down in 15 mins and gettin welfare epics for logging on.
However, I think that the new style is more about playing WoW as a guild game rather than a solo endeavour. and part of the way to get people to do so is to put the heroism back into heroic dungeons.Being in a guild gives a player access to a wealth of knowledge and this combined with the enforced teamwork actually makes WoW an even more social game. This is reinforced by Ghostcrawler’s statement as he says
“we think the game is more fun overall when you play with friends, which is why we put so much effort into encouraging players to join guilds for Cataclysm. Running a hard dungeon with friends tends to be a much better experience.”
So there we have it, we are supposed to be running in guild groups. Being with guildies gives you some prior knowledge on what to expect. It also comes with 2 big pluses. The first is access to voice chat so you can help educate each other on what is happening mid fight and if things go wrong quickly talk it over and correct the mistakes made. The other is accountability, in a pug you owe the other guy(s) nothing and that means if a few wipes happen someone will usually get kicked or leave, guildies won’t do that.
However the sad reality is that most guilds lack tanks to allow all guild members access to guild runs all the time. The reason for this is that most players don’t want to play a challenging role that is considered by many to be less glamorous than that of a damage dealer and the game doesn’t require many tanks at end game. Sure people can off-spec tank and I’ve known many players that can tank as well as or better than a main spec tank but generally speaking anyone playing their off-spec isn’t as good a player when doing so and that applies as much to tanks/healers doing DPS as it does DPS tanking and healing.
With many people now having no use for Justice Points it means they only want to run 1 heroic a day for their 70 valor points and already this is pushing more players into the LFD tool hoping for a good tank and/or healer. Personally, I have always chosen the option of losing the 70 valor points, but with progress now happening in raids, having those extra 490 valor points a week can make a huge difference.
I just don’t know if I am prepared to sacrifice 2-3 hours of my day to get them because of tanks that can’t hold aggro, running away from their heals, using cool-downs unnecessarily and then only giving a 50% chance of completing the dungeons.