I was reading this post from Naissa
and it made me think about why this phenomenon might have come about. I started tanking heroics with 19k health unbuffed and have not had health above 30k unbuffed for any length of time (I sacrificed some EH for avoidance and dps when I upgraded the Tempered Titansteel helm for the T8 helm). By the rationale reported in the comments to the post I shouldn't be tanking Ulduar at all now. This is clearly nonsense.
I came up against this sort of half-witted elitism when I ran heroic VH recently on my healadin alt. He's decked out in blues and the odd purple, but the group leader told me that I was lucky to be allowed to join the group since I was undergeared for heroics. I wonder by that logic how one is ever to get geared for heroics since heroics drop rewards at a lower level than the gear requirement for entry. Should I be running Naxx to gear up for heroics, I wondered?
This sort of rubbish is perhaps due to the fact that raiding is now "for the masses" for the first time, in a way it never was in previous incarnations of Warcraft. In vanilla Warcraft you thanked your lucky stars if you ever got to raid, let alone see AQ40 or BWL. The majority of players never got the chance to kill Ragnaros, or Onyxia.
In TBC, with smaller raids, the disparity was maintained. It was possible to PUG Karazhan (as Nymeria documented in that hilarious music video), but that was about it. SSC and TK had some very challenging encounters and you just did not PUG A'lar or Hydross.
In those days, a raider was someone to be respected, or perhaps envied. It was clear from looking at someone's gear whether they were a great player (or at least in a great guild) or not.
Now everyone who is interested in PvE gets to raid, and yet sadly many players seem to have retained the old attitude of raider superiority. It's slightly ridiculous seeing some guy from a guild you've never heard of, using the "Jenkins" title, and wearing a suit of Naxx10 epics getting snippy with you because you are playing an alt and not your main. Get over yourself. You are not "leet" because you've cleared a heavily nerfed kindergarten raid that millions of people around the world clear faster and better than you do every night of your life.
Ooh - I managed to summon some genuine anger there. Yay me.
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