Larisa, over at pink pigtail inn, observed that a flood of epics doesn't make up for lack of content.
You know what would make up for lack of content? More content.
Specifically, more content targeted at people who *haven't* already cleared Ulduar.
Blizzard's new raiding policy was based on the observation that only four percent of the player base ever saw the Sunwell. They realised that 80% of their effort was going into content that only 4% of their player base got to see.
Their response to this was to nerf the bejeezus out of endgame raiding so that a larger proportion of the player base could see the content on which they were spending eighty percent of their development time.
I wonder if it ever occurred to them to do the opposite. To devote the eighty percent of their development time that was previously devoted to raid content to providing content for the ninety-six percent of the player base who weren't raiding.
Let me put it this way. Suppose you ran a restaurant. Suppose you had a particular dish that required eighty percent of your resources to make. Suppose that making this dish was so expensive that only four percent of your customers could afford it. So you start to skimp on some of the ingredients, you're still devoting eighty percent of your time to making this one dish, but now you're producing a cut-price, watered down version of it. And sure, you're selling it to more people, but you had to take a couple of other things off the menu, and people are only buying it because it's there. So you aren't actually making any more money, and your customers aren't any more satisfied, particularly not the four percent who bought the special dish when it was expensive. All you've succeeded in doing is reaching the essentially arbitrary goal of getting more people to eat the only thing you're interested in making.
And that's the real problem. Only four percent of players saw Sunwell, but that four percent included pretty much everybody who works for Blizzard. It's almost like the rest of us exist only to validate Blizzard's desire to produce these big dungeons where plot happens. They don't want us to enjoy playing the game, they want us to look at their big giant bosses in their big giant fortresses and watch their damned cutscenes.
If Blizzard really cared about catering to the 96% of their player base who aren't in hardcore raiding guilds, they would stop focusing all of their damned attention on raiding. There's fourteen bosses in Ulduar. Since the average Northrend dungeon contains fewer than five bosses, the development time that went into it could have given us three whole dungeons. They could have stuck a couple of new quests into all the starting zones in the old world, or put some damned content in Azshara or done something - anything - for those of us who don't want to go down a hole with twenty-five other guys three nights a week.