I understand and respect gaming masochism. But, I think that changing mechanics to be more reasonable and less punishing is an improvement, not a detriment, to games in general. Many of us Original Gamers pine for the days of D&D-based yore when games were seemingly intended to break us down into sobbing masses created by an uncaring necromancer of pain and suffering, or at least didn't try to avoid it. Overcoming all of the obstacles (I CHOOSE NOT TO SHOOT HER WITH THE SILVER ARROW... NOOOOO) was a big part of what gaming (I HAVE 1 LIFE!?), and especially PC gaming (HOW DO I LOAD MOUSE DRIVERS?), were about. But, I feel we're lucky to now be in an age where those ideals (intended or not) are giving way to actual fun, actual challenge, and not fabricating it through high-reach requirements (I NEED A FAIRY MONK WITH A MAGIC LOCKPICK?).
What we've always been trying to do, what WoW has always been about (and to which much of its success is due) is to make an accessible MMO. Anyone that looks back at the game at launch and wishes it was as challenging now as it was then is not aware of the painstaking effort put into making this game accessible as compared to its predecessors. Since release we've refined that intent, eventually evolving the very few masochistic designs WoW actually ever started with, but ideally still offering those same prestige goals that give that feeling of achieving something great if you're able to pull it off. We've made a lot of progress toward striking that balance and continuing to evolve the game, but it's not something we're ever likely to perfect, and we'll be constantly working to hit that elusive goal. Hopefully it's to the benefit of everyone playing and enjoying the game, and they'll continue to enjoy the journey that a living, breathing, persistent universe will take us on.
Ok man, this is the 1st time I'm gonna address a blue and here it goes - I disagree with you entirely. While some people go about saying "wow is too easy" "wow is for casuals now" they are not entirely in the wrong. Now wow feels like any sporting event at a pre school. Everyone gets a trophy and there no longer is any sense of acompishment. I remember feeling superior to my fellow people on US - Uldum because I was the 1st player fully decked out in 359 gear, one of ten individuals on the server with the "Defender of a Shattered World" title, until you nerfed the content and any jagoff was killing heroic halfus and Chimeron without having to put in the 9000 wipes we had to do.
My gripe is such - Wow was challenging, Heroic dungeons were supposed to be hard. They WERE hard, but they were Doable. I almost smiled from ear to ear when Ghostcrawler came out and made a gigantic blog post about how heroic modes were supposed to be hard. They were supposed to put you in the raiding mind set, basicly wow's tutorial mode for raiding content. Then you go and nerf everything to the ground (mind you, you buffed a few fights but you just buffed em in a way so that they would feel like the fights you nerfed) but my fellow wow players will agree, it was a nerf, through and through.
We were still happy with the raiding content, at least that still provided a challenge, right? Wrong! you nerfed that to the ground as well, Omnutron's shield no longer procs from pet and dot damage? half the challenge in that fight aside from running away from adds was watching your dot timers and the boss timer and macro your pet's main attack to your main attack so it swapped! Atremedes Searing flame no longer gives you sound? CMON! Now if you only did that to the normal modes, i would understand but heroic modes too! hard modes are supposed to be for us raiders with the mindset that hard modes are supposed to be hard. its supposed to be our trophy, not the slightly shiner trophy that looks like everyone elses.