While I support making the mechanics more intense so that they can't just be laughed through (HM/NiM EC, HM TfB do a good job of this, imo), the removal of enrage timers is *really* not something that should happen. Enrage timers exist to require a minimum level of DPS. Without them, you could bring in *any* DPS (or none at all, honestly) and still finish the content.
I have to wonder what tier of ops content you do if you think that the mechanics aren't important and that only DPS/HPS matter. Sure, it's that way on SM because that's entry content where the devs have explicitly stated they want everyone to be able to see (re: it has to be feasibly puggable). On HM/NiM, most of those mechanics that can just be laughed at have to actually be dealt with properly.
Atm, we've got TFB HM on farm and we've done T&Z NiM, so im doing fairly high level stuff.
In terms of boss fights where the mechanics are *significant*, by which i mean both hard to figure out and hard to execute, there are very few. I would say just EC Kephess, TFB Operator and TFB Kephess. The rest, the mechanics are fairly straight forwards.
Dear. Jeebus. No. One of the *worst* things about classic Vanilla WoW was having to have a different set of gear for *every single raid*. For MC and BWL, you *had* to have fire resist gear. For AQ40 and parts of Naxx, you *had* to have nature resist gear. For the other parts of Naxx, you *had* to have frost resist gear. It was bad for healers and DPS, but it was *especially* bad for tanks, who often had to devote half or more of their bag slots *specifically* to all of the different gear they needed for different fights.
Horizontal gearing should be about multiple optimal methods of stat allocation. It should *not* be about having to carry around 3 full sets of gear because certain fights demand it.
Think we're basically talking about the same thing. The ultimate goal of horizontal scaling is to offer the player as much choice as possible with the way they build their character. At the moment for pve endgame, there is basically 1, maybe 2 specs that are "optimal" and 1 setup for gear for each spec. Everything else is demonstrably worse. That is boring, but that is the way the classes, and more specifically the endgame is designed.
Horizontal gear scaling, combined with more mechanic-heavy fights should aim to open up the game to more choices for building your character. I dont want to force people to carry multiple sets of gear, hell, I already carry just over 3 full sets of gear on my shadow! But I do want people to have options. I want people to be able to optimise for different raids / bosses if they choose.
I guess I was just spoiled in LOTRO. That had horizontal gear scaling with multiple different options, plus the rare unique drops. For most people, 90% of the time you'd wear your "BiS" gear for maximum DPS/Healing/Mitigation, however for progression raiding we'd always tweak our gear to make it easiest to get through. For example, the shadow boss in Ost Dunhoth was a real ***** to heal through and in my guild one of our healers was quite weak. So, for that boss only we'd all put on our shadow mitigation gear, pop shadow mit buffs and whilst our DPS was lower, it shifted the pressure from the healer who couldn't keep up, to the DPS so that we could clear the boss. Basically, we had options beyond just "play better".
There are already rare loot drops in most of the content that encourages people to keep doing it: pets, mounts, companion skins, and unique shells. I *really* don't want to see all of the screwery that would occur with rare drops that were actually tied to specific pieces of statted equipment: you would see *everything* become master loot to prevent randoms from stealing the potential rare drop from guildies (or the ops leader if the ops leader needs/wants it). There are already sufficient rare loot incentives to run content; such rare drops don't need to be made even more competitive by making them required for optimization.
We don't have anything to incentivise doing old content beyond the GF daily. Sure, there are mounts etc, but thats all fluff, its not useful!
Rare drops wouldn't be required, they'd just be nice to have. They'd be an incentive to farm all content, not just focus on a small bit of the endgame. You can have rare drops without them being required or even BiS.