Content of the article: "Attrition is really kicking in. New players are virtually non-existent, and guilds are bleeding players. I can’t imagine 5 more months of this until Naxx."
This week, for the first time since it launched, my guild didn't do BWL. We're not hardcore or anything. It took us 3 resets to clear BWL when it came out. But we just don't have the players anymore.
I thought the content drought between Phase 4 and Phase 5 would be the worst time for losing players, but Phase 5 if anything has been worse. When Phase 4 hit people were pretty keen to get into ZG, since there were a lot of nice upgrades in there, plus enchants and cool mounts. Phase 5 though has been a major letdown. There's certainly upgrades in AQ, both 20 and 40, for just about everyone (sorry Hunters), but they're few and far between, and the vast majority of the loot is just…bad. When I first looked at the loot tables I thought it was really cool that there was so much off-spec stuff in there. Now, I understand why this wasn't done in Naxx. Core raiders aren't interested in picking up off-spec gear. Nor should they be. My Shaman main looks at AQ40 and thinks "Well, there's the mace from C'thun and that healing trinket. That's…about it".
So players are bleeding away. They're bored, and the mechanics of AQ40 are punishing enough to destroy their desire to raid. Players will happily deal with punishing but rewarding gameplay, but when the gameplay is punishing and not rewarding….why do it? Sure AQ40 is fairly straightforward up to Huhuran, but the trash after her is just plain frustrating and as for Twin Emps, I can honestly say I could live a long and happy life never doing that fight ever again. It's just so long, boring and frustrating. Nef can be a long fight too, but at least it has phases and different mechanics. Twin Emps is just doing the same thing over and over and over again for 10 minutes.
Our guild is trying to recruit replacements. Trouble is, everyone is trying to recruit replacements. And they just don't exist. I do run around in low level zones a bit, because it's relaxing and Swiftthistle can fetch a decent price. I've also levelled 4 classes to 60, so I have a fair bit of experience seeing what the levelling scene looks like. And these days, you see two types of players levelling. There's bots, and alts. That's pretty much it. Everyone's trying to dip into the same dwindling pool.
If Naxx is around four to five months away, as some people think, I can't even begin to imagine the impact that would have on raiding teams. I don't know if the answer is to push it forwards. But I do know that things aren't getting better, and I can't see how they could avoid becoming worse.
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