The earlier source of the crappy players was Hunter class. The reason was pretty obviuos: hunter was -and as far as I know still is- probably the easiest class to level, being able to tank and dps at the same time with the proper pet and generally the most soloable class in the game. At least when compared to the beginning classes anyway. Of course, Paladins were the flavour of the month earlier, but honestly speaking, they seldom caused any problems in PUGs by stealing aggro from the tank. Instead, they caused more trouble in the healing ranks and loot, as Blizzard so generously added +INT and +Spellpower PLATE in the game.
In the previous posts discussion it was mentioned time and again that it's not the class that sucks, but the players playing them. And I wholly, totally agree. As the end game instances are designed more in the lines of "bring the player, not the class" ideals, the player part should come more important in the grouping, too. But as the levelling has been made faster, smoother and even more soloable, the game is actually removing the only tutorial it has: the current levelling game in WoW is single player content, where you should be learning to play the class and play in group. By speeding up the levelling so that the beginning toon overlevels the instances and improtant content, Blizzard has removed the tutorial to the grouping.
Which leads to the interesting dilemma with the raid content: it has to be dumbed down so that the average Joe has even the chance to experience it. And at the same time the earlier raid content is trivialised and generally forgotten as content, instead of making at least part of it mandatory -or prerequisite- to the new end game content.
This wasn't what I started to write. Content part follows.
In pen and paper RPG's there is a proper name for the current WoW min-maxing players: Rule Player. That means the players that know the rulebooks better than the GM running the show, knows the strengths and weaknesses of all monsters and encounters in the game way before they are entered into the scene and know the best possible gear and only look for it. Tobold actually mentioned that the main interest for majority of p&p RPG players is "the game being more about minmaxing your character through his adventures, to make him stronger". That is the way of the Rule Player, not the roleplayer as such. Roleplayer goes by the flow of the story and things happening to the character, naturally trying to strenghten her/his character on the way.
WoW has steered the MMORPG into the swamp of different playstyles, and is actually encouraging the Ruleplaying part of the game time and again. As a matter of fact, I just watched my son play yesterday and saw this in it's brutality.
My son and his friend played earlier on a private server. Fun server that is, giving them lv70 on the first or second kill, giving Illidan farming rights with purchased gear. Well, they had fun in there, as they could play together. When 3.0 hit the game, the realmlist.wtf was removed (yes, I know that the private servers are working again) and they had a problem.
It was removed when my son's friend got half a year's subscription as Christmas present. So he rolled on the same server as my son. My son has played a hunter for sometime now, on a couple of servers and he's really testing the possibilities of the class. I would even say that he is a good hunter, not because he's MY son, but because he gets invites to instance groups he has been running before. We discuss the roles of the classes from time to time and I help him with the best of my abilities to find the information he's looking for.
But his friend is the extreme case of rule playing. He also rolled a hunter. He knows jack about hunters except that his cousing told that it's the best class. He seeks for the information about the 'best talent build' and goes with it. But he never learned to play that build. He seeks the information about the best possible gear at the level range they are and -quite obviously- steals them in the PUG's they run. He's the classic -oops- kind of ninja: "Sorry, it was a mistake... but I'm wearing it already".
Guess which has the better gear?
Guess who gets more instance time?
Guess who gets compliments and who gets the shouts?
And I bet you can guess which one of them will be prepared for raiding when they hit the end game.
The funny part of this is that my son feels sorry for his friend, who thinks he knows it all but hasn't experienced any of it. He's trying to keep his friends feet on the ground, but his friend just has his head full of his own expertise that he cannot see the truth.
Sadly, I see more hunters and deathknights like my son's friend than the likes of my son. And that really is scary when thinking about the population massing to the high end of the levelling.
Soon there will be no way to have challenging instances with the lots of these attitude jerks.