Post by SquireKel
Is end game raiding still possible as a semi casual player?
Yes, and even more so than when you last played. There's a new feature called LFR (looking for raid) that anyone with the item level requirements can join, and you will be able to run a lower difficulty version of 25-man Dragon Soul. Gear up by running regular dungeons and acquiring items through drops as well as by turning in Justice Points until you can run heroic dungeons - then do the same thing to gear up by obtaining them via drops or from turning in Valor Points. Once you can run Hour of Twilight dungeons, do so - and take any upgrades you can get from the drops or by trading in Valor Points. You'll be able to queue for LFR in no time.
Are BGs still easy to get into fairly quickly or will I need to spend significant time getting gear?
Getting into BGs hasn't changed - sometimes it's a fast queue, sometimes not-so-much. Once you're in the BG, you'll find it's a lot harder to stay alive if you don't have PvP gear. If you take advantage of Call to Arms weekends and run the battle in Tol Barad (like Wintergrasp, but for 85s), you can gear up quickly.
Any significant nerfs to Mage class?
Depending on your spec and whether you'd like to play PvE or PvP (which are not mutually exclusive, of course), you may be interested in looking at the following guides published on the site:Arcane: Fire: Frost:
Also take a look at www.icy-veins.com
for other class guides - they have some good guides for the end-game instances as well!