It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I announce that we are officially ceasing to support regular organised raiding for the rest of Warlords of Draenor. Some of you may have seen this coming, but allow me to outline the reasons for this decision.
1) State of the game
I won't beat around the bush, the lack of content was extremely important in this decision, not only that which is currently available to us, but also the confirmation that there will be no further content until the release of the Legion expansion.
Hellfire Citadel is not a terrible raid. The bosses are interesting enough. However one good raid does not an MMO make. People need a reason to log in to their characters other than to come along and beat on the same punchbags over and over. This has never been a strong point, but in my opinion the non-raid content is the weakest it has ever been at the end of an expansion.
I will admit, some of that is simply due to the fact that it's the same old formula again, and there's not much left for picking through the older expansions for someone like me. Yet the numbers do not lie, which we'll get to next.
2) Number of Raiders
It's no secret, we have been slowly bleeding members across the expansion, and we have not been able to fill the gaps. You can argue that we have not been recruiting enough/in the right way/at all, but I'm simply stating the facts.
We've been scraping together raids for months of the back of returning members and a dedicated few, and extended to former guild members and even LFG pugging to simply get in the door. This was never a solution, it was band-aid after band-aid patching up the ever widening crack, and it's clear that it won't solve anything.
3) My Personal Enjoyment of the Game
Now, it may seem to be a selfish point to raise, but there is a point to it. I have cancelled my subscription. As it was a 6-month recurring, I'm still subbed 'til mid April, but as things stand there will not be a reason for me to renew until the release of legion.
The attentive would have spotted some of my grievances in the previous points, but the real reason for the cancelled sub is that raiding, for me, has changed. We are no longer consistently working our way through the content, due to the lack of sign-ups or whatever. Thus, any sense of continued progression, the main driver to log in week after week, is gone.
In the past, a "bad" raid was the exception, not the norm. In recent weeks, there has only been 1-2 "good" raids where I felt the old enjoyment in it all. I came to the realisation when I saw a thread on MMO-Champion one weekend. "Would you never touch WoW again if you were given $100k?". Ask me 3 years ago, I would probably have said no. My reaction now was "Er, YEAH". In that moment, it became clear the magic is gone.
So to get to the point of the personal side of this. With a lack of raiders, and a lack of content, my departure would ultimately end Sworn raiding. I doubt I need to explain why, so I won't. Now, I'm not saying I'll never come back, I'm sure that I will play for some months with Legion's release, however I do not believe it will be in a raiding capacity.
So what does it mean for Sworn?
In the time from now to Legion, there will not be regular organised raids. I use the word regular, because I'm sure that in a couple of weeks/months people may want to kill some bosses again for an evening. Easy enough to put up using the calendar, or people can organise their own events such as challenge modes, timewalking farm etc.
The guild structure itself will remain unscathed for the short term. Everyone is still welcome in a social capacity, and I'd hope that the guild chat banter can continue to amuse and entertain as it always has.
As I hinted at above, I cannot guarantee that we would return to organised raiding for Legion. If people want to leave to greener pastures for regular raiding, know that the doors are always open to come and say hi.
A TL;DR summary:
- Official Regular Raids are over
- Raiding in Legion cannot be guaranteed at this time
- I am burnt out on WoW
To finish on a sombre note, I decided to adapt the final verses of Iron Maiden's Empire of the Clouds to reflect my feelings on this decision. (I'd listen to the song alongside for the full effect).
"We're down Lads" came the cry, bow plunging from the sky,
3000 voices silent, as the ship began to die;
The flares to guide our path, ignited at the last,
The Empire of the Sworn, just ashes of our past,
Just ashes at the last...
Here lie our dreams, as we stand with the Sun,
In the guild that we built and the raids that did run,
From the core to the Sha's, now look what we've done,
Oh the raiders may die, but the dreams live on...
Dreams live on...
Dreams live on... on....
Now a shadow of the guild, our time has come to pass,
the veterans of the Sworn, may rest at last;
And though it may be over, pray please do not mourn,
Each and every soul,
Who came to raid with Sworn...
My deepest thanks and apologies to all our members, new and old, returned or departed. We made a wonderful thing last for such a long time, and while it pains me a lot to have written this post, I know I can always look back on the memories we shared.
-For Sworn Management
Those who have been with us for a while know that traditionally the management/council of Sworn is made of 5 members, and with the departure of Yadard at the end of Mists of Pandaria we have a hole in our hearts (and in the management team).
Heart holes aside, with our growth as a guild in Warlords so far, it is immediately apparent that we need to increase the size of our management structure to be able to keep the ship sailing smoothly through the upcoming progress in Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry.
I am pleased to announce that we have approached Gorshaku, formally know as a variety of other names starting with Gor in times past, to step up to the 5th seat on the council. He has accepted, and I hope everyone helps support the transition by treating him as you would any other member of management
For those unfamiliar with Gor, he previously held the rank of Captain while we were a 25 man guild in the days before Mists of Pandaria, a role assigned for his keen eyes on the raid and dedication to helping everyone improve on progression, as well as putting in the effort to help with supplying vital crafting materials to individuals and the group as a whole.
The management team will remain at 5 members for now, however with Mythic raiding on the horizon we are looking at the potential of expanding the council further to better co-ordinate ourselves with the increased roster. We won't be selecting people for the team who do the most damage, or the most healing, or who deposit the most gold into our pocke- er, I mean the guild bank; rather we'll be keeping eyes out for those who show the commitment to help others in the guild when they can, who are willing to help bring up the members who are behind in these early stages and display the community attitude we hold dear in Sworn.
Note that there will be a period of time for us to adjust to flex raiding in general, as well as heroic progress to clear through before such things may occur, so don't fret too much about it for now!
So finally, please extend your congratulations and support to Gor in his new role!
-For Sworn Management
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