I'll leave you guys with a question. How many people posting in this thread that the Black Temple is too easy have killed a boss in Black Temple?
I believe this is the issue. Our guild hasn't killed a boss in Black Temple, we've only gotten the "chess events" of tier 5 down: Lurker and Void.
One of the reasons for this is that we have a "faux hardcore" guild who maintains a casual playstyle. We're sitting at around 60% attendance on average and shuffling players around. Occasionally not able to make attempts because certain people we've specifically geared up or who are specced one way or another don't show. This adds up to spreading out gear. We have our core 15 that are at 100%, and the other 10 are in the revolving door.
The nostalgia you're referring to is trying to diminish what EQ accomplished: keeping lower tier guilds *interested in progression* while the ubers finished contents months before. Part of this capital I immersion was the fact that the content was competitive. As a guild moved forward *ON YOUR SERVER* you felt the progression loosen for yourself as other options became available. Never mind that borg awareness of what some guild in scandinavia has done, locality was a bigger deal. Hey! Guild_X made it into time, we'll be getting to hit elementals with more frequency!
And hey, sometimes you actually could beat them to a target regardless and that was accomplishment in and of itself and kept the game interesting on a nightly basis.
Right now, the only accomplishment our guild has come remotely close to achieving is that we beat Romulo and Juliet when the big guilds on our server would groan about it being the hardest of the events. Wow.
So, what happens in our guild is we see some guild has beaten the expansion and all that is in front of us is "time spent." We have minimal interaction with guilds on our server except randomly spotting one of them near a bank with a texture we've not seen.
This is further complicated by the fact that there's very little difference between our progress and a guild that barely has beaten Gruul / Mag since the nerfs. We were close to getting it down, but again, do you think it helps your "tweeners" (not casual, not diaper-wearing hardcore) to think that if they'd only farm 2x as much constantly, they'd be farther? That if everyone had the expensive flasks and had run heroics ad nauseum we'd have gotten it done?
That's our main issue: people who for all intensive purposes believe they are hardcore, except they don't play all night 'til late, all day on weekends and definitely aren't going to waste their time with the consumables and such to be successful.
So you make the claim that folks are free to enjoy the game "at their pace" but your pacecar here is a ferrari, on some other server (or heck, maybe on ours! who knows!) in some faraway place, and we're driving our kids to kindergarten in our Golfs.
You do not address the fact that in a 40 man raid you could have 25 core people and 15 mouth-breathers and be successful. All we're seeing here is that the number has been chopped down to 25, requiring 25 non-mouth-breathers.
So yes, Black Temple is too easy. It has completely deflated the competitive spirit in the game for my guild. It leaks into PVP via people in PVE BT+ gear wrecking those in PVP gear,
and it ends with us basically feeling like we have to put in more effort than we can right now (our hours a night aren't good enough to progress any farther than someone who doesn't put in the time at all).
The real question here is how is this different than EQ, when guilds crushed others yet you didn't get loads of "Vex Thal / Time / ToV is simply too easy" posts, feedback and whining.
I really think it comes down to the competitive nature of the content, and how there was the mini-game of locally beating other guilds to non-instanced targets. This made it so it didn't matter that Uber Guild cleared Uber Dungeon: you were worried about securing the target that was relevant to you. When the game is on rails and you're basically in parallel races with other guilds, it is pretty easy to feel that you've lost and there's "no point" when you see what separated winning and losing.
People simply don't end up thrilled when the answer is we lost because we can't get around that 10 man non-100% attendance revolving door, suffer wipes and gear up slower because of it.
So, perhaps if there was more than nearly-zero interaction between same-faction guilds on our own server (oh, how exciting it is to go against an alliance guild in an arena match. reminds us they're there!) we wouldn't grovel about guilds burning through content that we'll be at in the next wave of nerfs / months and months from now.
We're enjoying the game for what it offers raid and content wise... but we also look at our pace and do not enjoy that. Unfortunately the only way to fix that is 1) nerf it more, which ends up getting more harder-core guilds done faster and makes our situation bleaker, or 2) keep up the agonizing process of trying to find 100% raiders that put up with the 50% raiders and the shuffling, until there are no more 50% raiders. Problem there is those people generally tend to head upwards, float towards those guilds that again have that "hardcore pace."
So really, we can only go at our own pace or convert to the pace that is actually rewarding: the hardcore raiding pace. You have to realize the downer it is to beat some content when it is nerfed to cater to slower paces, or the pointlessness that some people have towards wow raiding because they cannot be even remotely competitive in general, with zero semblance of competition localized on a server.
Maybe our attitude might be different if we were in the running to be the "most advanced" guild on our server. People would get their fix of some sort of accomplishment? That's probably why every realm's forum on blizzard boards has a "guild progress thread."
It just gets to a point where when half your guild is watching a youtube video to learn a boss and play catchup on progress, they don't really need to do it themselves so much...
Boss enraging? You brought too much healing but can't afford to lose any healers or else "raid dying."
"Farm more gear".
That's basicly what it comes down to. As previously posted, if you can't achieve the right DPS then your DPS is lacking the gear or the skill and the same goes for the healers. The previous statements I believe hold true for almost all the encounters. This side of the topic was discussed earlier in the thread.