Blog Azeroth Shared Topic for last week was about dealing with pre-expansion burnout. I know this response is a little late, but better late than never, eh?
My guild is small and casual. Many of the 10-man core team have children, so we don't start raiding until 8pm server time so that bedtime can be properly taken care of. A few others in the team live in New Zealand, so we don't tend to raid past 10pm because that's midnight for the Kiwis. We raid ICC on Wednesdays and Mondays.
That's four hours of progression raiding a week. Time is against us, for sure.
For this reason, I don't feel bad that we haven't got to the Lich King yet. Each progressive raise in the Warsong buff has helped us get a little further in our allotted time limits, but even at 20% we are only 8/12. I haven't even seen the BQL or Sindy fights yet.
It's been a little frustrating for me coming from a larger guild on the EU server I was on, where we did progression raiding 3 nights a week, sometimes more. I considered looking for another guild, but I really like the laid-back culture of this group. I always have fun raiding with them, even if we don't get as far each night as I'd like.
Our main problem is that we're losing people, and we didn't have many to start with. Because we only get the first 6 or so bosses done each week, that's a LOT of the same content over and over again. People are starting to take breaks, to lose interest. If we can get everyone together and on time we do well, but if core people are missing we have to bring in other lesser geared and inexperienced guildies, or call the whole raid off.
For the last couple of weeks, the officers have decided to take a different approach - a progression break. The raids this week have been for people who don't normally raid with the core team, to help gear them up a bit so we can bring them in for our progression runs if we need people. The rest of the spots have been a chance for the core raiders to bring their alts along.
I healed on Leesah for one of the nights but the other times I took Aefa in for a look-see. Apart from the rep-ring I don't think I picked up any gear at all, but it was fun for a bit of a change. We had some people there who hadn't seen many of the fights, as well as tanks who needed to learn the tricks, so it was still a bit of a learning curve. The first week we downed up to Festergut and Rotface and were all very proud of ourselves. This last week we had slightly lower dps overall, and while we got Saurfang down, we struggled with the two farting nasties and just went and cleared the rest of the trash instead.
This week coming, we are back to a progression week. It will be interesting to see how it goes. If we have a really good night with our top dps there we can get 7 bosses down in one 2-hour session - we've done that before.
The raiders that aren't on WoW-breaks agree that we'd all really like to get Arthas down before Cataclysm, and I don't doubt that we have the ability, with practise, but the stars are going to have to line up for us to get that far. If it's the 30% buff that allows us to get there in a faster time so we can have a crack at it, so be it.
How about your guild? Have you downed Arthas? Are you losing raiders to burnout?