So for the third time I decided to level a level 80, my first (Prot Paladin) hit 80 in around 3 days from launch letting me do heroics and gain achievements with the people that honestly didn't care that you were in blues, because if you were in that crowd you were simply good enough to do it. My second character (Death Knight - Blood Tank / Unholy DPS) had a relatively easy time, being a tank I had options to form groups, and due to the lack of a second tier of raiding it was easy to get into a group because it was simply acceptable for a new level 80 to not have an achievement.
My third character(Warlock) is having a much harder time, I do more dps than I ever did as a tank (2.4k ish give or take, enough for even Emalon 25 though lacking for Ulduar). Instead now both of my non-main characters are now having issues because the standard for gear for T7 instances is T8 gear and achievements.
I have been looking forward to the badge alterations, and awaiting the announcement of it since the days of 3.xx. Simply this is a requirement because the expectations of people rise as the tier level rises, for those of us without a raiding multicharacter guild the loss of relative gear quality makes it harder to get the gear to make up the relative gear gap.
I want to really look at this, it makes such little sense that people change so much as a new tier becomes available yet I have seen this so many times so far. From the heroics which I did in bad blues and some junk gear (because I knew I would replace it in those heroics) which now require epics, to the first tier instances which required reasonable blues that now require the epics from the tier above it because people refuse to take the risk that a blue geared character won't fail shocking, even though they can show it on their other 19 characters.