Something that people misunderstand about this game is that to accomplish a lot of goals there are both controlled and random factors. You can get lucky and gear up a toon in a week (my Bear was unreal when it came to drops of his healing set, but in week 4 of trying to get him tanking gear he is still barely able to do normal raid encounters.)
The part that can be controlled, your rotation, your rep gear, your reforging, enchanting and gemming means a lot. It means the difference between 60K and 100K DPS. Same gear in the hands of someone with a perfect rotation and maximized stats and there is that huge gap.
Our guild has never and will never be hardcore, however the game did shift some of what used to be heroic content to now normal level content. Normals are now LFR in many respects.
Right now we are thinking of progressing through ToT and this does not mean that you have to do it or will be pushed to do it in any way. If you want to play at current level, yes there are simple requirements as to what the math has to be. However, if you are not interested or feel that you should be at that level we are going to continue to run the previous raid and progress through that as well.
I remember in ICC when the whole “gearscore” now “iLvL” started to come up, and it was true, unless you had a certain level of gear AoE effects from the Putricide wing would pretty much one shot you. Nothing to do with your capability at all, the boss abilities just would eat your health up. A lot of people did not progress to EoE and it was partly because there was a boss ability that unless you had 18K health you would simply just die in that Whirlwind, and if you were lucky to have druid healer it could save you but not guarantee it.
ToT is similar to this weird gear gating that happens at time. Horridon, the second boss requires not only a lot of DPS, but tons of gear for tanking and healing… dispels, and disease and just a mess. If a group was doing heroics the last tiers, it feels like a cakewalk, but if people simply did not finish the last tier they will be kind of behind.
I write this so that nobody feels pressure to raid at that level, we will do ToT and complete it with everyone that wants to, that is the goal… but be patient, let me take a group through it first and continue to work as a guild to gear up and get the numbers needed to the level it will work. If you don’t get to a ToT group when we are doing new bosses, don’t feel left out, or team A vs team B, simply realize that we are all in the same team and downing bosses to keep moving means that we will all get there. Just ask the guys that killed the LK with me… we took 6 different groups through that fight when it was out, I hope we can do the same thing in ToT. Just have patience and think of this as a team effort.