Looking at the numbers for Heroic, they're actually pretty large.
Some guilds are still progressing through either Terrace or HoF normal and haven't moved onto Heroic modes yet (that's what my old guild and a friend of mine's is too).
Those are some big numbers. Of course not as large as normal mode, but still substantial.
No less than 3 weeks from now, probably over a month. They tend to notify us when the PvP season is coming to an end.
5.2 is going to release in april imo.
So, 5K guilds (raiding in H HoF/ToES), giving a 100% bonus for bench, second raid teams, etc., is 100K players.
That's just a couple percent of the NA/EU/KR/BZ player population. It's also close to the rounding error on the active account numbers they hand out every quarter.
In fact, I think the long history of the game catering to raiders, and the fact so many players who do not directly participate in it still love/play the game, is a testament to the fact that it should remain the center of the game, and that there may also be a X factor there that keeps people intrigued even if they do not directly access it. It created the ambiance.
Also, those same non-raiders do in fact go and play in old content, collect mounts and have fun, when it is easier and not current. With the addition of transmog gear, that has only grown. Also, I think they just enjoy being part of the community that is involved with that active story line, and the fact that some people, somewhere, are in fact killing the big bad guy, even if it is not them, is important to the feeling of the game. Also, I think Blizzard has made huge strides to add content beyond raids, compared to other expansions, while also keeping their story line and hardcore players entertained with raid content, so more non-raid content seems a bit wasted actually. I jsut do not think those people use it.
But, you are asking to undo a decade of game development, philosophy, and community to fundamentally change WoW into something that it isn't.
There comes a time when every gamer must take a deep breath, sell/uninstall a game that he will never enjoy, and seek out greener pastures that can better suit your gaming needs.
The ptr is live 4 weeks now, raid testing is almost 3 weeks, i cant seen another 4-6 weeks of raid testing, maybe 4 weeks left, unless something happens
so i will say the 20th or 27th of feb
mid march may be pushing it, but u never know, so ye i say 3-4 weeks
Never trust a computer you cant throw out of a window