A watched pot does boil. Trust me, I know. Flies are more attracted to vinegar than honey. These are myths and stories mothers tell children to get them to behave. In WoW, we have our own. Here are a few:
Skill is > Gear. Put a player who’s been playing WoW for a year against someone playing hardcore for four. The more experienced player wins. Give the first guy a much better weapon, and the story changes. Gear makes a significant change in your characters damage potential, and you’re right to care about it for that reason. I can out dps someone with better gear, but only on some fights. We want to think otherwise, but that dude’s Lich King heroic staff is helping him a ton.
Bloodlust/Heroism is huge for a raid’s dps. While the co-ordination of cooldowns is a big deal, and a heroism does help, bloodlust just isn’t that big a buff. Any shaman who’s soloed to level can tell you that. A ten player or a 25 player group can accomplish challenging goals without this buff, and the WoW world’s emphasis on it is something I’ve covered in a previous post.
Raiding has gotten so much easier since Vanilla WoW it’s ruining the game. Raiding has become more accessible, and we no longer have 1% of the player base seeing Naxx 40. That said, Lich King Heroic is the most technically challenging encounter Blizzard has ever designed. The second hardest? Yogg+0. Blizzard as a company is constantly improving raid and encounter design, and the access for more players is little more than a means to justify their investment. Yes, the gear from ICC 25 is a lot more common than the Naxx 40 gear was. That’s okay, and the challenging achievements out there still prove you have a bigger epeen. Nostalgia is only that. Little know fact, the ghostwalk to Molten Core was uphill and in the snow!
PvP/PvE takes no skill compared to raiding/arenas; real players PvE/PvP. Arena play, especially at the top level, requires an insane amount of situational awareness. Raids require the effort, dedication, logistical co-ordination, and heads-up-play of as many as 25 people. Both environments, at the top level, are worthy of significant accolade. Anyone can clear the lower spire; anyone can win a random BG.
Addons like healbot and macros for dps rotations are a crutch. This comment is as misguided and asinine as saying a hammer is a crutch for putting nails in a wall. Addons, macros, scripts, UIs—all of them are potential tools to make the game work for you. Try anything once (unless it’s banned). Don’t knock it until you try it. The best players in the world don’t go out of their way to make the game harder to play, so why should you? If these addons or tools are making your play worse in some respect or limiting your options, that’s a real criticism.