Let me preface this link to Gevlon's Greedy Goblin blog with this: I in no way endorse Gevlon's real life political views. I think he often has good points about in-game things, and at least offers an interesting perspective to read. But I think he is WAY off-base trying to apply his philosophies from wow to real life. Just ignore most of this post about welfare. Just take away this part, from one of his commentors, Gnomegeddon:
"Gnomegaddon found the real reason (/bow). As you know Blizzard will implement a welfare system, where you can get Naxx25-Ulduar25 gear for no effort, just by grinding 5 mans. Since WoW is a virtual world, Blizzard don't have to tax us to give welfare to the M&S. They can produce gear out of nothing at all. So the change have no effect on us, raiding people.
However it is devastating on beginner and handicapped (poor) people. Gnomegaddon is WoW-handicapped due to his playing schedule. He will be much less geared than the facerolling moron, who spend his infinite free time (unaffected by working or learning) on grinding 5-mans. If Gnomegaddon logs in, sees a "LFM 1 mage to Ulduar 10", he'll have practically 0 chance to get accepted against a completely useless facerolling M&S, due to much worse gear.
If some new player reaches level cap, he will be completely uncompetitive against the ilvl226 M&S. Normally, his ilvl200 blue/crafted epic would be enough to get into starter raids. I'm damn sure that you can clear the siege area with a full 200 group if they know what to do. It's proven that you can clear all T7 content in ilvl 160.
Due to the welfare system he has no other option than join the welfare leech class, stay out of raiding for months to grind enough badges just to apply."
To summarize: this change completely screws over anyone with limited playtime. It increases the gap between hardcore and casual. All it does is bring "M&S" with lots of free time to the same level as the best raiders.
And this is my problem with things that reward only time spent, no matter how easy or monotonous the task done in that time. They aren't interesting to skill-oriented players, because they are easy. They aren't useful to people with little time to play, because those people don't have the time to grind out that reward. They are only advantageous to those with lots of free time to waste on a boring grind.
The holidays are disaster for casuals, even though it seems otherwise. Because when you only get a few hours a week to log into wow, you shouldn't be spending that time clicking eggs and flying all over the planet looking for elders or bonfires. You should be getting a chance to play the actual game. But when it's nearly impossible to get a title or mount or vanity pet from the regular game unless you are an uber-hardcore raider, casual players are given a giant carrot that draws them strongly toward a tedious, purposely time-wasting activity.
This is horrible design, Blizz! Don't make the rewards people really want (don't even pretend that people aren't motivated by titles and mounts and vanity pets and only care about loot, just look at the Argent Tournament) only available through the hardest core raiding or the most time wasted on tedious scavenger-hunt activities. Make it something you can get in the actual game through time spent well.
An idea off the top of my head: introduce a new set of achievements for heroics. Purposely make them have absolutely nothing to do with gear, but only on skill and brains. Break them into subsets that give pets and mounts, and give a title or two for completing big chunks of them. Hell, have completing each one give a bag with Emblems of Triumph and a BoE epic! Make it repeatable through a new daily quest that requires you complete the challenging achievement again for the same reward. Reward smarts and skill and effort, instead of purely time spent.