Trash respawn timers were tight. If you were lucky, you could get to the first boss before the trash started to respawn on you, and if you wiped on the first boss, you got to enjoy the experience of clearing all that trash all over again. Bosses were incredibly difficult, as well -- healing was an absolute nightmare. These days, in comparison, heroics are ridiculously easy. No, I am not kidding you. They are a breeze compared to the early days of The Burning Crusade. You don't have to work to get into them other than obtaining the appropriate gear, and once you're inside, the bosses aren't that much of a struggle.
So that leads to the question we were pondering in work chat -- are heroics these days really heroic? Sure, the items you get from the dungeons are better than your normal dungeon gear, but the difficulty of the dungeons isn't really ramped up anywhere near the extreme that we saw in The Burning Crusade. To me, heroic mode still equates to that antiquated BC model, where heroic meant hard mode, and hard mode meant You will want to stab yourself in the eye with a fork three pulls into the place.
There is something to be said about the sheer relief and sense of accomplishment you got when you cleared one of those old dungeons; you really felt like you'd done something great and played to the best of your ability. In Mists, we're looking at an endgame that doesn't even have normal mode dungeons -- at level 90, you simply leap into heroics. My question is whether or not the term "heroic" even has meaning at this point. We've gone from hard mode and a rep grind, to a slightly less severe rep grind, to not needing a key at all, to heroics you can simply AoE through without having to think too terribly hard about any given thing.
Should heroics still be called heroics? Or are they simply regular dungeons that give better loot, now? What do you think?