I've recently seen some people posting about soloing 80 content at 85 such as heroic dungeons and raids. Someone will always come up and say something about how DKs and Paladins can already solo many of the 80 heroic dungeons which is true but people seem to keep forgetting about Hunters. I don't know about the other Hunters out there but I've been soloing 80 heroics since before ICC came out. Give the Hunters some love. When it comes to soloing we rock in any thing that does not require healing as well.
Soloing at 85 will not be a great deal easier then it is now. Sure, we will have some higher stats and definitely some higher life totals but we will not be doing considerably more damage, at least on the entry phases of Cataclysm end game. From what I have seen people are only doing end game DPS on the beta roughly equivalent to what we can currently achieve in ICC with the buff.
Where exactly does that leave us? We will be doing slightly more DPS then we are now. It will be like carrying that 30% buff with you everywhere you go. Now think of what we are capable of doing at the moment and add 30% more damage to it. Is that really enough to make classes that can not currently solo things be able to solo them?
I think not. I will use myself as an example being I know what I have done and how I did it. Factoring in carrying around the 30% buff and much higher life totals that 85 will bring us I will think of what I have been able to solo and what I have not been able to solo.
I've soloed Nexus, DTK, Gundrak, UK, CoS, and VH. I am sure I can solo more but I have not really tried to. I did all of those before ICC even came out, before I ever even stepped foot into ToC, Ulduar was my top gear when I did those.
I am doing roughly three times the damage now that I was back when I first soloed them. So does that mean that I can solo them easier? Somewhat. Faster? Absolutely. Doing more damage makes things die faster which makes following mechanics and managing pulls a lot easier being you down things faster. It gives you a much larger margin for error.
With more life and damage I think I can easily get though some of the other ones, heck, I might even be able to do them now. I just have not tried. AN, AN:OK and HoS all seem like I should be able to do them if I tried. Whereas the mechanics of Oculus would seem to make it impossible to solo the end boss.
Doing more damage will make it easier to do the ones I have already done for those that do not have the patience I do when it comes to soloing. I pull so slowly and as few packs as humanly possible. The more damage you can do to them, the less the need for such highly controlled pulls. So while you might see more people soloing the content it does not mean that it was 85 that made them capable of soloing it. They probably could have before but they just never tried or they just did not have the skill needed to do so.
There are very few bosses in 80 heroics that having more DPS will help power through them solo. Bronjahm in FoS is one of those bosses. As it is now it is nearly impossible to ignore his Corrupt Soul and while soloing it there is no doubt that he will be getting the soul which heals him. This is one of those cases were more DPS make a boss easier. If you can do enough DPS then him absorbing the Soul will just prolong the fight and not make it impossible.
DPS will help in some cases but mechanics rule when it comes to soloing. No matter what your life total is. No matter what your healing capabilities are. No what how much DPS you can pump out. Some fights will just always be impossible to solo.
The difference between 80 and 85 is so minimal at the moment from all the evidence we have seen that it would lead me to believe that no one is going to be steam rolling through 80 heroics the way I can currently steamroll through 70 heroics. I personally think that is a good thing.
When it comes to soloing there are three types of encounter you will run into.
Can Be Overpowered: This is something that you will just straight out beat.
Can't Be Soloed: This is something that absolutely requires more then one person.
Needs Time and Extreme Effort: Like the Rogue that soloed Patchwork.
At the moment I think that with option 3, time and effort, anything that can be soloed at 85 can currently be soloed at 80 with ICC gear. I doubt more things will open up to be soloable that aren't already so.
The little extra that 85 offers over 80 will mean that some other players that are not as dedicated or skilled as the Rogue that soloed Patch was might be able to do it as well but they will still need time and effort, they will not be able to turn it into option 1 and just overpower it. That is not going to happen between 80 and 85.
For minor things like Bronjham it might move into option 1 from option 3 but that is it. There are only a few fights on the cusp like that. Most of the things that can't be done now will still not be able to be done later. For option 2 you can take a look at the first boss in BWL. We seriously out gear that raid now and you can still not solo that boss because as I stated before, mechanics rule.
Personally I love trying to solo old content that is challenging and I really do hate that some fights become impossible for only one person to do. I think the ultimate challenge in the game is to do something that was not meant to be done without cheating of course. I take pride in the few 80 heroics I have soloed. Does it amount to anything? Nope. But being able to say you soloed an 80 heroic at 80 means a hell of a lot more then saying you soloed it at 85. So head out there and test your skill and see how many heroics you can solo. I might just have to try the ones I have not finished yet to see if I can. Now that sounds like fun.
Why wait until 85 to start soloing 80 heroics? Just do it now.