I have fond memories of TBC heroics before they were nerfed. Hard content that was meant to separate the good players from the bad was extremely satisfying to beat. Doing the timed event in Shattered Halls heroic back then was one of the most exhilarating and rewarding 5-man content ever.
TBC were the best dungeons period IMO. Classic is right behind. Then wrath came along and took the good social aspects away from the game and now i cant stand the boring monotonous heroics in the game. They really need to make the mobs smash you in the face. CC should be required most pulls or the mobs wipe you. LFG should be removed from the game.
Trying NOT to be a BC fanboy here but BC had the best heroics. They were diffucult but very rewarding. I liked the amount of rep gained from doing specific dungeons for specific factions. It just made sense to earn Cenarion Rep for doing the Coilfang dungeons.
My favorite of those groups was Steamvaults. I ran that at least 200 times as a druid tank and it was so much fun.
TBC 5 man heroics were the best, followed by Vanilla.
Then, I'd say, WotLK. But I didn't really like most of WotLK's 5man's. With the exception of Halls of Reflection.
Didn't say that they weren't challenging, I just don't find the difficulty the 'right' kind of difficulty. That's my opinion.
It was a different kind of skill but not one I found that interesting. Your challenge in these heroics wasn't the bosses (who had very few abilities) that you had to deal with, nor did the environment itself pose a problem at all. The difficulty was front loaded exclusively on the trash, which would be fine if the trash did something other than "HIT REALLY HARD". You either took your time with pugs carefully assigning who dealt with what, or had a pre assigned notion of who is doing what in a pre-made. It wasn't particularly difficult for me to run a pug as it was tedious.
Okay a pack with 5 elites. Two are caster humanoids, one is melee and the other two are beasts. Okay on three we will hibernate one beast and polymorph one caster. Hunter you kite that melee add to the place we just cleared and feign death, I'll pick up the beast and the caster and we will just burn the caster! It wasn't difficult, and like I said it felt artificial. The difficulty was in the setup and just timing the pull correctly.
This was literally the case with pretty much every heroic. Depends on class composition and what type of mob you were facing, but it was generally true. You would zerg one caster typically because casters did little melee damage and all of their casts could be dealt with. Meanwhile melee mobs hit like absolute trucks.
I'm not a huge fan of trash difficulty nor it being tedious, I got enough of that clearing to C'thun. Nothing was hard about the trash, it just took forever.
Cataclysm trash wasn't nearly as dangerous but there were a few mobs you just had to deal with because they had dangerous abilities. The emphasis in cataclysm heroics was actually on the bosses themselves. From the very first boss to the last boss in BRC, they were all fairly interesting with abilities you mostly had to deal with. Well, except the dog who was basically CC as much as you can and then burn the dog.
gotta say tbc 5mans, going into heroic shattered halls with the mentality that i just entered a raid was awesome to me.....
Didn't read every post, and maybe it's been already pointed out, but you should have separated pre-2.1 and post 2.1 TBC heroic dungeons. They were a whole different business.
Everything before the introduction of LFD. Was enjoyable to pick up our daily heroic quest and get a group together on our own. Easy too because the quest was the same for everyone, so everyone was running that dungeon. LFD got us started down the road to LFR which was aimed to please casuals, who still complain that gear isn't mailed to them on a daily basis just for logging in.
I could care less about difficulty/design of 5mans. It was infinitely more rewarding to put together a group, travel to the dungeon, summon people, and get things done nice and smoothly because you chose who you were running with.
id lay money on it the "tbc nostalgia people" hated doing occulus because it was "hard"
wrath heroics were the best for me I cant stand slow 1-2 hour long dungeons it just burns me out even faster and at the end of wrath seeing how much you could pull and how fast you could clear it those were the best......the starting of cata dungeons pissed me off to no end cause no one ever knew what CC was it was still the wrath HUR DUR ME DK ME GOTS PRECENSE CHARG dead cause ima downer
I love the degredation of the new wow community....thinking casual is a bad term I think half the people who say "casuals the down fall" are prolly really really terrible and prolly only do unrated BGs as a blood DK
most of the people who used that word I out progressed them on a 3 day 730-11 raid schedual......casual by my standards then again I wasn't a terribad neither
Burning Crusade hCs and Cata HCs for me. TBC Magisters terrace was a tad difficult if I remember properly and all the rest were too faceroll. MOP hcs are a fucking joke.
I didn't play during TBC, but WotLK heroics were far too easy and mind-numbing. Early Cataclysm heroics were pretty interesting, which was one of the few redeeming qualities of the expansion as a whole. I enjoyed them.
Vanilla dungeons at level pre-BC, best era. Some of the gear was amazing, a fair amount of it was crap, but it was rewarding just to even clear the dungeon. Getting all those recipes and patterns, some reagents etc. There was a reason to run them even after you geared up. Now there is not in today's.
I have very fond memories of the TBC dungeons and heroics, Mechanar, Shattered Halls, Shadow Labs. My favorite i think was Botanica, very random bosses. Though doing Mech runs for that bloody tanking sword (i'm a healer) with a friend became very tiresome!
WOLK were epic, great designs, but, too easy. I guess doing them in 20 minutes was great, but not very fulfilling and became very grindy. The ICC ones were good though. Cata, i liked them to begin with, then they were dumbed down and then i left the game for the rest of cata. MOP are ok i guess, a bit the same as WOLK, but less of them.
So, after all that, TBC i think was my favorite 5 mans.
I had the most fun with 5 mans in TBC, so that's what I'll vote for.
Honestly I found 5 mans more fun as part of the leveling experience when mixed in with questing, aka during classic and BC, when you couldn't spam run dungeons to level. Made a lot of friends via pugging 5 mans during those times.
Early BC heroics, hands down. I remember the search for an amazing tank for the nightmarish Heroic (and even normal) Shadow Labs and when you were almost guaranteed 1 death/pull in the Tempest Keep heroics (Mechanar especially). Oh, and don't even think about completing Black Morass. Good times. Although I am open to the possibility that the rose tint on my glasses could be obscuring my vision, I just don't think anything has come close since.
The biggest thing lost with the new dungeons is that there's really no danger.
You aren't going pack to pack, and stopping to figure out things. You're just dragging the first pack to the second, and killing them together. I think what sunk the Cataclysm stuff were some of the bosses having mechanics that required more coordination than people were used to. If you changed a few Cataclysm bosses to not be so unforgiving, I bet they would of been more popular.
Stuff like Grim Batol, Deadmines, Blackrock Caverns, they all had these 1-2 bosses that you just knew people were going to screw up on. Trash was difficult, but if you just hunkered down, you would get through it.
They would do well to make all the dungeons into 95 normals, and then have an option for heroic. Make them tough, require coordination, but drop some loot on par with the first LFR.