I'm pretty religious about doing my dailies - at least three of them. Cooking, Fishing, Daily Heroic. Those three are all I need to keep me moving along, and mostly I do them just because we need fish feasts - and I have five sets of Triumph gear to buy.
While I usually do this trinity first thing in the morning, I wound up waiting until after our raid for the H Daily - and got to run it with my guild. All I can say is, it's a great dose of PUG Be Gone.
Don't get me wrong, pugging the H Daily is often fun - and I've met some interesting players doing it. I enjoy the challenge of healing a tank with 22k HP through H OK, or doing more DPS than the 3 DPSers combined in H HoL.
This was not the case in last night's H Nexus run. 12:23 - that's how long the entire run took, from buff to hearth. Trash died before I could get five stacks of SoV out. Bosses literally handed over thier loot. I think it took 24 seconds to kill the tree shaper guy. It was just....wrong. I actually felt dirty, like I was somehow abusing the instance. I suppose this is what happens when 245 gear meets 180/200 content.
And it's going to get worse.
With Blizzard setting Triumph badges as the default badge drop, we're going to be continuously farming Naxx and Heroics for the new badge drops. Epic Gems, resist patterns, etc - all will probably be bought with Trimph badges. Not to mention that I am going to need all that Furious gear to stay one level behind in PvP gear.
It definately occured to me that this is a double edged sword. When 10 minute Heroic zergs are possible - who would want anything short of a horribly overgeared group? The question has been all over the blogsphere lately about how the game has changed for the worse as the base level for expected gear has risen to the T8+ level for simple Heroics or Naxx 10.
When we were starting Heroics a year ago 1.5k was awesome DPS. I remember when someone broke 3k on Patchwerk. Last night we had three DPS over 6k, and our retadin broke 11k AP at one point. I was tanking Naxx-10 with 25k HP - now I sleep through it with 45k. Is this really necessary?
I'm excited that the new badges will give everyone a chance to gear up to the current level. It gives me a larger pool to draw from for PuG 25m runs, and it means maybe my alts will have some halfway decent gear going into Cataclysm.
Here's the kicker though - BIS IC gear won't be required to level from 80 to 85. Much like when the T6 geared folks hit Northrend, we'll have an easier time of things and probably be able to muscle through content quickly - but our freshly dinged 80s will still be able to walk the shattered lands and do quite well for themselves.
Bad players will still be bad - regardless of thier gear, we just can't look at gear and make an instant decision about a player any more. In Vanilla if you saw someone in T3 you knew they were amazing - or at least were in an amazing guild and had lots of DKP.
And that's the thing folks miss.
Sure - anyone can be carried through heroic content for an achievment/title/mount. We've done it often enough on Yogg+1 and the rest of Ulduar. Last night we blew through ToC 10 with a DK that was doing 100 DPS more than the tank, and less on some fights. We took 4 PUGs through H ToC 10 and still finished with 30+ attempts.
Some of them got gear that if you looked at them you'd say "wow, they must be good", when in reality they might have spent all night looking at the floor. What most oldtimers forget is that was still very possible in Vanilla. While Naxx and AQ-40 took 35 or so good players, with a raid of 40 it was much easier to hide poor performance. Now it's slightly harder to hide, but its easier for the other 9/24 to muscle you through.
I love the new content difficulty. I love that there are insanely difficult achievments we can work towards, and at the same time we're still seeing the end game in a close knit guild. No longer am I required to hook up with 39/24 other players just to see the final battles. Sure, my epics might not be as powerful - but I'm having fun, and I feel like I'm getting my money's worth.
And that's what it's really about.