Blizzard has made it simple for the casual player to obtain not just gear but access to content. While I do believe that most high level raids still require above average knowledge of the game and the fight mechanics; in the next couple of months I think everyone that has the goal of at least killing the Lich King should be able to do so. That was not true in previous iterations of the game.
Last week was the first time that I healed the new boss in VoA in 10, but also tanked it on both 10 and 25. I had not been able to do that with Ony when she got her upgrade to 80. I did go in the first week and tried for a couple before she actually went down. It was not until this week that I actually got the Mord Dots Achievement. It felt good to be able to see and conquer new content the week it was released. ICC has been a little slower to progress, but the guild is making progress and we have 3 players going to a 25 every week and they are advancing, and one of our healers in another 25 that is even further. It is only a matter of time until our 10 gets going and we can have the accomplishment down for our guild.
When I started playing in BC one of that things that really bothered me about the game once I started to understand it was that you truly don’t get to see all the game unless you raid. There are tons of content and story lines in the game that you can explore through quests, but he culmination of most of them comes in the form of a dungeon encounter. That cool special mount you want? yeap, you have to go to a dungeon or a raid.
I have heard over and over how even in BC the game was watered down from the days of 40 man raids and I don’t disagree. I don’t find that fair that a game would not give you access to the cool things that were built unless you have above average skill. I think Blizzard is doing a great job of making the game accessible and easy to pick up and level. I even sound like an old timer when I tell my wife that it was not that simple to get a mount and your time walking around in the past was not counted in days but months.
It still does not take away from the game for me in any level. There are plenty of achievements and hard modes that are badges of honor. That and having a guild that has grown at a very slow pace but with players that want to hang out and do stuff together. We have an easier time putting a 10 man on the spot now than a couple of months ago and have completed things that at first seem unsurmountable for a casual guild. Sure, some of it is the access to easier gear and being able to level a lot quicker now, but it still does not take away from having a bunch of people always willing to help one another achieve their individual goals.
I am super excited that I have been able to run dungeons with real life friends, and I know that is only thanks to being part of a great casual guild. I look forward to taking down ICC, and it might not be a world or server first, but at least I will be with a bunch of people that has made every night we play a source of endless jokes and entertainment.