"Lol, you're all in the same guild," she says (like that's particularly unusual). "You all re-rolls or noobs?" So far so good, save that we're on a roleplay server.
"Reroll? Noob?" Says one of my associates.
"(ooc) We're alts," said another friend.
"Oh, you're roleplayers ..." replied the warlock with some disdain (cue some bickering about Draenai, Paladins and Warlocks before she wandered off with ther 'friend'.)
Now, on its own I might've shrugged that off, but to my mind there's a growing trend in WOW toward elitism and this 'lock came across as condascending because people were roleplaying (on an RP server no less) and that we were somehow inferior (the truth being that our mains were all level 70 kara/heroic-equipped, easily her peers). In the wider WoW world there's been a number of forum posts from people demanding privelages for their 'elite' characters: "I must be allowed to AFK in battlegrounds because I'm a pro duelist", "I should be allowed to create new characters at lvl 70 as I've already levelled x of them", "Only hardcore people should be allowed to get item X", "Only people who have done SSC/BT/MH should be able to play/test new content", "You casuals are ruining the game by getting the attunements for Raid X removed"
Now, I'm a firm believer in TANSAAFL - there's no such thing as a free lunch - and that you have to work a things to progress. That might be attunement quests, gathering mats/money, collecting gear and so on. I'm well equipped given the capability of the guild and am attuned/have keys for many instances. Does this make me better than a new low-level guildee in greys and greens? Not in the slightest - it makes me *capable* of more, not entitled to more. By the same measure, I'll give the people who do the bigger raid instances respect for their achievement and gear but that doesn't make them "better" (save in their ability to marmalize me in PvP :p), just more accomplished.
However, the "I'm elite so treat me better than everyone else" attitude that some people have is something I really dislike; having earned gear and demonstrated some measure of skill, they want *extra* privellages? Okay ...
For example, one one hand I don't think it makes a blind bit of difference if there's open access to Serpentshrine Cavern or The Eye; Small guilds/pugs are still not going to be able to do them - it's down to the skill and gear of the participants and removing the "gatekeeper" quests just demonstrates that; the accomplishments of those raiding those instances remains. Arguments can me made in favor of the "gatekeeper" quests though: One of my guildees made a comment last week, that the Karazhan attunement quest was divisive, splitting the guild into "them and us." I both agree and disagree with this; yes it does divide the guild into those capable of doing it and those not. On the other hand, the attunement isn't that hard nowadays and if you're struggling to do it you'll certainly struggle in Kara and in many regards its a "check" on the character's ability to survive. It's interesting to note that Zul Aman doesn't have an attunement and on our one visit so far we were brutalized. Had there been an attunement quest that made sure we were up to the task would we have done better?
I think Blizzard are in a tough position - they need to cater to the "hardcore" raiders who are wanting more top-end content (hence the addition of the Black Temple et al) but as this is only a small proportion of the WOW-playing population there needs to be stuff for the masses - daily quests etc help to a degree but additions like Zul Aman and the upcoming Sunwell 5-man are needed to give the smaller guilds/more casual players something to aim for and achieve.