Any gear disputes are not logical. It was and it is that you can beat a content with previous tier. 329 ilvl - you are suposed to complete heroics and even some achievements. 346 - you are free to raid at least 6\\12. 350 - 12\\12 for sure. World First guils, who get heroic modes on 2nd week, can be the proof. Like 359 crafts\\boe can allow a 325 ilvl player to beat hc dungeons, and a 346 ilvl player to feel free to raid, new craftable\\boe\\rep epics will push most undergeared players forth. You dont have to beat 4.0 content(unless you are going for Dragonwrath). As it was stated - it will cause underproduction. People who have alts not geared should be able to access content. If there was a different time in WoW except for Vanilla, please correct me. Why do you think Blizz added those two ridiculous troll dungeons? For placeholding? Yes. To ease gameplay? Yes. To help peole gear for 4.0? Yes, although as I said, 346 ilvl is more than enough. If you can well farm normal heroics for 346 pieces, spending time farming trolls for a few ilvls up is a waste, unless you want to be purple. The true purpose of troll dungeons is to rise minimal solo ilvl(previously 346) to 353, and to make every player have epics without raiding. Kind of...Endboss heroic epics in WotLK. Or even better - ToC5, ICC5. Players with 353-359-365 ilvls should and will be enough to do same 3\\7 bosses. If you have full 359 set, it makes you completely ready for 7\\7 if you are hardcore enough. Please, do not say that undergeared tanks will die, or that 372 is a must. FL normal ilvl is 378, 6 ilvls more than yours. Is that supposed to be a challenge? It's like boosting 325s with 359s to beat 346s. I pity hardcore guilds with full 372ilvls. They will get nothing out of FL normal(unless they are ready to repimp every single epic for more stats(most definetly they are)). Worldfirst\\hardcore guilds will step into heroic modes on 1-4th weeks of the release. It is only 391 ilvl that they are looking for as an upgrade or progression. But again, hasnt whole WotLK been like this? 200>226, 219>239,219>258,232>277?
Raiding this tier is a bit more difficult than in Wrath. It's a mix of skill and gear--I've brought alts in blues to raid (in a situation that involved 12/13 HM raiders familiar with the encounters), but I've also seen pugs in full epics wipe to the new troll instances much more frequently. If you can stand out of the fire, you'll do better in lesser gear, but there is still a threshhold and there's mini-enrage timers built into encounters (timing Maloriak green phases/p2 correctly, pushing Sinestra into p2 before the second wrack, needing to kill Atramedes before gongs run out) so even if you execute perfectly in blues, you'll lose on the end-bosses and hardmodes. It's more unforgiving than Wrath was. There's always been some sort of 'tank gear check' boss placed early on in a raid--(Brutallus, Marrowgar, Beasts) and Firelands will most likely have one too. It's entirely possible that the encounter will be retuned to be easier but right now on PTR, it appears you need the gear, and the other guilds referenced on this thread (Method etc) are also geared to the teeth plus are a lot more skilled than your average player.I agree that ZA/ZG is to help non-raiders catch up. It's no secret and that's been part of the plan since badge vendors in BC offered higher ilvl rewards as time went on. But they do offer new stat combos as I covered in my 4.1 guide. Stuff like the ilvl 353 mail helm is infinitely better than the mail 359 helm from Asc Council. The 379 Shard of Woe is going to hold up amazingly well with higher ilvl stuff due to how it is itemized for healers. I'm sure some normal FL gear will be trash, others will be a significant upgrade even though it's just 6 ilvls. To top server progression guilds, gear upgrades aren't their main concern anyway, but if you are really in just full 359, you probably haven't conquered a lot of hardmodes, and as such, would struggle more with the coordination in firelands which is intended to be a step up in difficulty.I'll wait to pass judgement on what sort of gear is needed when we can test the rest of the encounters :)
I don't really like the argument using world first guilds as an example of past tier being viable--it's obvious they could do it in any gear, they're extremely skilled players. I was writing my strategies with the general population in mind. For example, someone else cited Method's two healing as proof it was easy; we two healed it at times, but most guilds will three heal at first. Most people will find the damage significant since it hits harder than existing instances (with the exception of heroic modes). So on and so forth.And if ZA/ZG are 5-mans, most of the general population is having extreme issues with them even in guild runs unless they're "hardcore guilds." So no, I don't see those players running in with their current set up and killing this boss easily.
You maybe have misunderstood. I did not mean that FL will be easy, no. It's normal mode just wont be as rewarding for 372 ilvlers as for fresh 353-365s.