In Wrath, heroics were easy mode. I could walk into one and just lay waste to everything around me. Then came the day that I walked into my first raid. I assumed I was in for the same thing that I had been doing all along. I could not have been more wrong. Wrath heroics in no way, shape, or form prepared players for what they would face in raids. I was excited to see that this changed with Cata.
An interesting point, but I propose a counter argument.
Be it 10-man or 25-man when you're raiding you're typically going to be running with a core group of members each time you step into the instance. Sure one or two people might be swapped out due to whatever reason from time to time, but the core members return whenever scheduled to run.
When you run with a group of players like this you form group cohesion. You get to know how each player tackles their role, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and discover what each player is capable of.
The raid group that I have been a part of ever since the launch of Wrath is like this. The same people keep showing up two nights a week to get together and tackle the latest raid boss. Occasionally someone can't make it or has to step out for a few months at a time, but the core group is still there. At some points we can even finish each others sentences since we know each other that well.
To expect this type of coordination and cohesion from a LFD group is ridiculous and is not something that will ever happen. The point of LFD is to group up random players, whom you most likely have never come across in the game before. Dungeons are dungeons while raids are raids and is it important that this distinction between the two remain the same.
Something can - and will - go wrong, in which case the blame game starts flying around landing the tank with a swift votekick out of the group.Edit:
I feel the need to elaborate more.
I'll be the first to agree that Wrath heroics were far too easy, and it's nice to see the shift in difficulty with the Cataclysm dungeons. I'm not arguing that the instances are too difficult, far from it - I'm arguing the fact that instances aren't fun.
The fact of the matter is more tanks would equate to a shorter queue time. As an individual attempting to get into tanking it's apparent why there is a lack of tanks, or rather people willing to queue as a tank.
Standing up and taking the role of a tank means accepting responsibility. You are expected to be the leader of the group. This means knowing fight mechanics and which trash mobs should be CCed with what CC. With fight mechanics little information is available in game appart from running the instance so now you are expected to use outside resources (which aren't always accurate) and invest your time researching the fights there. None of this information is as helpful as actually getting some seat time in the fight.
As for CCs, for this not only do you have to know your own class, but you must know each other class as well to have an understanding on which CCs are appropriate, what mobs to use them on, and when to use them. I have yet to see a DPS player outside of guild take the initiative and mark their own CCs when coming up to the next group of trash. Doing so would result in a quicker instance and you most likely know your own class better than I do (I hope).
Accepting the role of responsibility however also means that when something goes wrong, your fault or otherwise, and the blame game starts the finger will be most often pointed at you. In today's WoW this typically means that you're about to be lipped off with someone raging at you through their keyboard with all their might telling you to "Tank harder! L2P nub" which will be quickly followed by a swift votekick with the reason being "failadin" or whatever class specific insult they can think of.
The respect for players within the game is nonexistent at best. With the anonymity that comes from playing cross-realm comes the ability for individuals to say whatever snide comments they feel are too important not to share with the rest of the world with little or no repercussion. The main reason I avoid the LFD havoc-zone is for the simple fact of I'm not going to spend an hour (minimum) of my time leading you through an instance only to be abused more than someone going through airport security when something goes awry. On the flip side I could drop group, insta-queue for another attempt, and get stuck in a heroic for another hour or however long it takes to get through to the end.
The line between blaming Blizzard for the situation and blaming the community is a hairline. No matter how I look at it both are equally responsible. An addition to the game that would be nice to see is provide the community some method of being able to hold each other accountable for our actions. The ability to votekick is nice, but all that means is the person will be back in the mix of things as soon as their cooldown is up, being as big of an asshat as they deem appropriate with the next tank they're running with.
The community is not capable of taking care of this on it's own, otherwise it would have been dealt with long ago. This isn't Call of Duty or Halo where trash talk is acceptable, this is World of Warcraft where courtesy and respect are paramount in order to achieve victory. Some sort of a mandatory feedback system, that is easy to view in game (similar to inspecting another player) so that other players can quickly access it. A negative rating would be viewed as a badge of shame, which would require a change in attitude of the player in order to correct. A positive review would offer benefits in the form of extra JP or VP upon dungeon completion. The more you use LFD the more reviews you have, the more reviews the less of an impact abusive or negative feedback will have on your overall rating.
TL;DR: Playing the role of a tank requires large amounts of time and effort to get a hang of. When our efforts are met with rudeness and disrespect it's no wonder why there's a shortage of those willing to take that role. Blizzard needs to take a stand and no longer tolerate this behavior in game.