I'm sure it's the same for many servers. On Tichondrius at least, around half the guilds that made any progress into SWP stopped raiding at some point. One of the odder things about it was that recruitment from guilds that stopped raiding was relatively light. It wasn't just burnout from a few members that killed the group, but it seemed to be burnout for the entire guild or raid. Our guild did have a brief time where it felt close to being over. We managed to get through by picking up a few people from another guild that had just died a week earlier, then getting over the hump of the boss we were working on.
Now, I can't say if that was true for other servers. But from the cross-server applications we did receive, it did appear that very few people felt motivated enough to apply to another guild to keep going through SWP. And recruitment in general was difficult even with cross-server applications and a high-profile server name.
So what was it that was killing guilds and morale so heavily, on so many server, with SWP? The obvious culprits probably share some blame (raid stacking, the long wait and farm before it came out, and the usual summer dropoff) and that might be all of it. But what would be needed to avoid that in the future as well? If your guild died in SWP, what would you say the key reasons were?* And if your guild got through the instance with no real problems, what were the reasons for that?
I'm mainly trying to avoid the mistakes of SWP in the future with WotLK. I enjoy high-end raiding, but I also want to make sure it's enjoyable for the guild and myself. And at certain points during the SWP clear, it simply wasn't fun.
* Please try to avoid bringing up random drama to keep the thread useful. Morale or recruitment would be good examples, Soandso was a bad player would not.
Within the past 3 weeks, 2 guilds on our server have completed SWP. We also have been recruiting many people from other servers who have dropped from their guilds that decided to stop raiding.
It's all in the attitude. I feel that a lot of people really do raid for loot and when they see an expansion imminent they ask why they're fighting for that loot since it's going to be replaced so soon. Some people enjoy the game as a game and play it to play it, not for shiny pixels.
I'm sure Lich King being very close had a lot to do with your guild's burnout. Why work so hard for gear upgrades when you will get better gear in the expansion, which arrives shortly. I realize this is circular logic, for instance: What constitutes "shortly" in regards to time when that will vary from person to person. I currently have a hard time logging in now, I would rather just wait for Lich King.
When would you say those guilds stopped raiding ? "Some point" isn't very definitive.
My own guild barely got started in SWP, but what killed raiding for us wasn't SWP. The imminent patch killed most of the interest, much like the lull before TBC.
Every single post I've read on Sunwell was full of either two things
1) They're the hardest encounters ever
2) They're exceptionally well designed and fun
I'm quite sure that wiping on Kil'Jaeden for a month or two gets old pretty damn fast. But, in all honesty, for my own guild, most of the fights were just pretty straight forward. There were two challenging fights in all of TBC - Vashj and Kael'thas. Even Illidan was a pushover compared to those (case in point, we killed him on the first serious nights of attempts, second pull, 24man).
I'd wager that, much like the old cockblocks in BWL, people are simply not used to any serious challenge and TBC hasn't exactly been training people to expect anything other than bosses dying on the first or second night of attempts.
Ignorance can be solved with a book. Stupidity requires a shotgun and a shovel.
For mine, it was morale. We had come to the raid game somewhat late and never did experience the 6+ months of BT/Hyjal farm fest. We stepped into SW without facing a major boss roadblock. It's not like we killed a new boss every week, but at the same time we never spent more than 1 week's worth of raid time on a boss. Kalecgos was the toughest challenge that my guild had ever faced and I think the guildies simply weren't used to seeing us have a hard time with something. (A ton of our players never raided in pre BC, if they did, it wasn't past MC). So in the end instead of working for it, a lot of them just gave up and either stopped trying or stopped showing up. I think a part of the problem was that the progression from SSC/TK > BT/Hyjal wasn't steep enough. I think the initial bosses in BT/Hyjal were TOO easy and the expectation that SW would be more of the same (at least for some guilds) came crashing down.
I'm sure Lich King being very close had a lot to do with your guild's burnout
Our guild's biggest problem was during the Felmyst -> Twins period, where we just had very few Resto Shaman available. We did manage to get all the way through the instance after getting over that hump.
Originally Posted by Duilliath
When would you say those guilds stopped raiding ? "Some point" isn't very definitive.
Speaking for Alliance on Tichondrius, an SWP guild died just about once a month from May onwards. It wasn't a big drama-filled affair, just the guild would stop raiding.
For us, Sunwell represented the single best period of recruitment ever. We had more quality apps on a daily basis than any other time. It was quite pleasant and the zone treated us well. Maybe because we were slightly ahead of the curve and were picking up the raiders from these failing guilds.
I think each guild had its own blend of struggles but below is a list of some of the broader problems:
1) The start of school
2) Relative difficulty vs. reward - Sunwell is brutal by design, which is both awesome and a problem when there are now many ways to get amazing gear (pvp, badge, no keys for BT/Hyjal). A number of people didn't want the stress of it.
3) Raid comp swings - 10 Healers/3 tanks for Kal, 6 healers/2 tanks for Brut, 25 priests for Fel (joke), 11 healers/3 tanks for Twins, 6 healers/4 tanks for M'uru. It's either a lot of sitting or respeccing for people.
4) Expense - Haste & Destruction Pots are required in mass quantities. The price of herbs on servers with multiple SWP raid guilds also rose with demand. Additionally, ilvl150 gear is not gear to repair ~ 5g a wipe. With dailies its not hard to get money, but its still money not spent on alts.
5) Wrath - As soon as it was announced a number of people lost interest in current stuff.
6) Raid Comp (or the shaman employment patch) - SWP favors shaman unfortunately. Shaman is one of the least played classes producing hardship for a lot of guilds. This is particularly true alliance side where the totemic way is much less traveled.
WotLK is probably another large contributing factor, I know we lost all the people who gained beta keys. The other external factor I've noticed, myself contributing to this, is the release of Warhammer, around 80% of my current WAR guild came from progressing SWP guilds.
My server has 10 guilds with registered kills, 9 of them are still progressing, only 1 guild has completely stopped raiding, and that was a few months ago. I'd predict that the 3.01 patch nerfs will shine some light on some of these progressing guilds, I know I was contemplating an earlier return back to WoW to finish off the content with the pending changes.
Outside of the typical summer vacation and impending expansion release the main problem for me in SWP as a raid leader was just constant 100% focus. In previous instances (even Naxx) once you had done some of the earlier fights a few times you had margin of error where small screw ups didn't cause instant wipes / near wipes. Especially as you got geared up in the instance, you had time to relax and socialize / fool around during the earlier parts of the instance. Sunwell is not at all like this. Every fight (even after months of farming) has a razor thin margin of failure vs success. There just isn't enough laid back relaxing fun time in raids. For a lot of people who come home from work / school and log on to raid this easily leads to burnout in my view. The upgrades are too marginal especially in the earlier parts of the instance such that even repeated farming of the first three bosses doesn't really result in significant decrease in difficulty when farming these fights in the future.
As far as raiding servers go, Earthen Ring has rather slim pickings, even fewer horde side. (No K'J kills so far on either side)
Sunwell raiding for us has been a blessing and a curse. We found Hyjal and Black Temple to be rather disappointing as far as being a challenge for raiding after the struggle Vashj and Kael were (talk about guild killers). Right now doing Sunwell content is by far the most compelling reason for raiders to log in. The fights offer a good challenge and solid rewards. Black Temple is the filler raid with a possible cherry at the end if Illidan drops anything valuable, but every other boss to that point is a waste of time.
This isn't to say that Sunwell has always been greeted with raids overfull on people, but recruitment is a bit thin on ER at times, especially this late in the TBC life span. Our biggest issues are the hard number requirements to pass certain bosses. We're currently on Felmyst and if we don't have 3 or more priests it's pretty pointless to go. Same thing happened with Brute and rarely having more than one warlock.
I think one of the biggest advantages we gained during the TBC lifespan and will be improved upon in the raiding game come WotLK is the value of alt characters. The addition of high level badge loot and token based drops made it possible for a Healer alt of a DPSer to quickly reach 4+ pieces of t6 and fill in the rest with iLvL141 items.
There has been a huge influx of new alts in my guild with the recently added Recruit A Friend service, that only added to the alts people naturally leveled in the two years of TBC. The addition of 10m raid content to follow along with 25m content, have a pool of alts to fill in with will only be more viable.
I raid on a DPSer so I don't know a great deal about the healing arts, but I do know that all of our healers greatly enjoy the opportunities to bring a DPS alt or come as a DPS spec on farm bosses, along with our tanks. It happens to a lesser extent for DPS that bring their healer alts.
Looking at the big picture, it really comes down the goals your guild has set. We left WoW vanilla as the ~12th rank guild on the server (~5th horde side) and we're not sitting ~5th server (2nd horde side). We didn't finish AQ40 and only killed one boss in Naxx. The general concensous of the guild right now is that killing Brute before the 3.0 patch (w/o glaives) is what everyone was hoping for. It's likely we'll get a boss or two more post 3.02 but that's just icing.
Planning towards WotLK, we still don't plan on fighting for the #1 spot on the server (with <12h raid time) but a reasonable goal is to finish all the content that is provided before blizzard releases the third expansion "World of Warcraft: Moar Pew Pew"
I've heard this excuse and it is retarded. Sunwell gear will last well into 25man Naxx. Its not like people are going to be replacing their Sunwell stuff within a month of the expansion release.
Couldn't disagree more. You'll be replacing every single Sunwell epic with either heroic epics or the first epics you find in either Naxx-10 or 25. Have you even looked at the stats? Sunwell gear will last you to 80 and into your first heroics/Naxx-10 and that's about the right design.
Regarding the first post: Sunwell was the first truly hard raid zone of TBC, sadly enough. Hyjal/BT had no fights anywhere near the level of Sunwell. The closest thing to Sunwell was Kael'Thas. When people and guilds run into difficult challenges, it's not surprising that the average internet gamer gives up, given their makeup.
For us (we are 5/6) the thing that killed the most is lack of recruitment. We have a very small raiding pool, no more than 28 or 29 people altogether so if we get a night where a couple people can't be there (like 5 people live in Houston so we didn't do any progression for about a week when that hurricane hit) we are screwed. The other thing is, M'uru is right next to KJ. It's one very hard fight after another. After spending a month and half working on a boss to have to spend a similar amount of time on the next one, it's hard for some people that don't really want to see him dead. We have pretty much concluded all raiding pre 3.0 simply because there are enough people not caring about killing KJ to fuck us. I think actively recruiting and looking for more quality players would have helped. Our server is fairly desolate though (we are the only alliance guild in SW, one other has killed Illidan and there is one horde guild that has killed Kalecgos and no other one thats has even downed Illidan.
"Oh he's a sad little man? He's thrown a kettle over a pub, what have you done?"