This is entirely false. I play mostly alone during all Vanilla (I played SP before, and it was refused in 90% of PvE content), you can level a character alone, and even the PvP could be done alone. (When after 2 hours, you saw in the /2 the same groupe seeking for a last dps for Stratholme, and their answer was "yeeeessss but i prefer mage/rogue sorry", you were forced to PvP)
I had rank 10 in Vanilla by playing 2 weeks like a nolife in WSG.
The only good thing was the realm community, but you could clearly play without being forced to group with someone else.
My first MMO was Ryzom, and in this one, you were forced to play as a group, just to get your xp bar. And it was tank/heal/dps mandatory.
And about the post, i will never understand the impact of those "personalities" on YOUR feelings and appreciation of a game. I'm watching some streams sometimes, and even if i like watching them, they will never change my personnal opinion on how i appreciate the game. (Arenas, speaking with friends, transmog and pet collections)
When i will not have fun, i will just stop it, and not make a crying post about how the "game is shit and how people who still continue playing and having fun are dumb and mumumumu".
I could make a parallel with religion, but it will be questionable.
Healer mana should be the gating mechanic, not dampening, Blizzard is just fucking retarded.
High damage and equally high but costly healing should be the norm, voila, 3-4 minute games unless you let the healers drink ( which was the case in every single good arena season barring MoP/WoD ). Also, get rid of drinks being super powerful, drink should take 20 seconds, first 4 seconds of drinking shouldn't net you mana in arena, following 6 seconds should return you half ( or maybe even 1/4th ) of the mana it currently returns, while the remaining 10 seconds should return shitloads of mana at exponential rate ( reward for team peeling for his healer drinks, and not dying to enemy damage while recieving no heals ).
Games should reach past 4 minute mark only if the players themselves decided to ( both teams pussying out, afraid of a loss, scared to go on the offense because of obvious reasons, healers being able to do whatever they want ). This concept of... healers having infinite mana and being able to keep everyone alive with their infinite resource until dampening is just... Only a shitty developer could think up of such a shitty concept.
I don't think PvE gear should overshadow pvp gear. I think they should add more diversity to pvp gear, like being able to buy pvp gear that sacrifices defense, and in return gives higher offense. To me it's a lot more fun when people run around in different gear.
Resilience was a great concept, flat reduction to damage taken, and the pieces with resilience had in turn lower damage than PvE pieces. I had most gear combinations back in S8, I had a 800 resi set, 900 resi set, 1050 resi set, 1150 resi set and a 1300 resi set that I cycled through depending what I knew I was facing.
People don't want PvE gear because 1) they're dumb 2) they're dumb 3) they believe one or two pieces from pve without a set bonus make THAT much of a difference.
For example, Shadowpriest gearing for S16 - if they didn't nerf PvE gear from Mythic BRF, I'd have a necklace with haste mastery instead of crit haste or w/e, compared to people that don't PvE. Is that REALLY that gamebreaking ? I think not. Legendary weapons, trinkets and SET BONUSES were what ruined arena, not solo PvE gear pieces.
At the moment I honestly can barely tell the difference between a 2.4k rated RMD and a 2.9k rated RMD. I can be farming a 2.9k rated RMD 7-0, and then 1 hour later lose to 2.4k rated RMDs while not feeling any noticable difference in what I'm doing. Everything is unpeelable and instant.
Finesse is out of the game currently. Everyone is using the exact same strategy, the exact same gear setup, the exact same talents. The difference between a 2k, 2.4k and a 2.9k Godcomp for example is how good they coordinate their CC, a 2k one will have the mage sheep the healer and druid will completely randomly cyclone a DPS, a 2.4k one will have the mage sheep a healer and druid will initiate a cyclone on a DPS, while a 2.9k instantly gets both CCs up at the same global, creating more effective situation. All about the 1-2 sec difference timing. All three of those teams do damage the same way, EXACTLY the same way. They heal ( for the most part ) the same way. The only major difference is what I said about CC, and how long they save/blow defensive cooldowns.
Differences between people are subtle, but still there. I'm in no way defending this though, because before, I KNEW if someone was good. If after sitting in a queue for 20 minutes I got a shit lowrated team, I could tell if it was a gladiator boost. I remember facing a boost done by hydra, the playstyle of his team and the precision was instantly recognizable compared to other priests, you could literally tell who is who based on how they play, didn't need the name tags - now everyone plays the same. Not because everyone is on the same skill level, but because the game pidgeonholes people into playing the same.
edit: I depise long games, and the playstyle of going for long games.
Word. I much preferred the game when one mistake meant death - not a sloppy one that occurred in Cata/MoP/WoD, where you make a swap, get someone to 30% then have to work for a kill and extend CC as much as possible on the healer ( unless you're a elemental shaman, yolo 1shots ) - the proper one where you straight up died in 4-5 globals through heals, because you fucked up insanely much and got punished insanely hard for it.