The Seismic Affects of 5.3 on WoW.
So, you are an experienced guild leader and have a long standing guild that you've run for a while. Then something happens, the game you have been part of for so long... changes. The change adversely affects how your guild enjoys that MMO. And most of all, it changes your enjoyment of that MMO. This probably occurs more often then most realize.
This happened for me in World of Warcraft. Five years running a WoW guild, watching my guild go through member turn-over, new expansions, member betrayals, and then a rebirth. My guild ashesofthephoenix was reborn on Bleeding Hollow into a PvP/PvE guild. We were a small 10 man core that grew into a nearly 600 member force in short time. We became really focused on rated battlegrounds and I watched as our teams grew stronger, as my members became better PvPers. World PvP was our fun hobby on the side. There was a massive horde guild named Iron Wolf Clan that often was a thorn on many an alliance guild. But they also inspired a lot of world PvP fun at random times.
Then a few weeks ago, Blizzard released 5.3, a patch that hit PvP servers with a huge seismic shift. The repercussions are still being felt today. In essence, WoW Had become 2 sides, raiders and rated BG fans. On PvP servers, world PvP was dominated by large rated BG guilds. And if you were a raider who had no interest in PvP, you would be smashed by a PvPer. But despite many guild leaders like myself, who enjoy both sides of the game, we could not convince raiders to get into PvP or PvPers to get into raiding. So Blizzard decided they needed to fix this issue and threw a grenade into the whole mix which has altered the standard gear progression for PvP dramatically.
The standard gear progression went like this.. You did random BG's to get honor gear to be able to start doing arenas, usually in 2's, to get tyrannical gear. Then you either focused on arenas or rated B'Gs to get your rating to 2200. With 2200 rating, one would be able to acquire elite gear. This was standard in 5.2. With 5.3, there is no longer a further gear progression beyond tyrannical gear. Once you are full tyrannically geared, you can no longer increase the damage, healing output, or your ability to survive via better PvP gear. So instead of inspiring existing players to keep PvPing, the existing fully tyrannically geared players have no reason to continue playing.
Last week, I saw the full effects of this, as my own guild saw queue times for rated BG's skyrocket and interest for rated BG's go down because of less attendance from existing players. Working on alts can only go so far because once those alts are fully geared, again, there's no point to continue.
It will be interesting to see how this affects the subs for WoW, come July. Because In my estimation, the reaction of many die-hard PvPers is not going to be good. If PvPers disappear from PvP servers, WoW is going to be in huge trouble. WoW has always been known as an MMO amusement park. When you remove one of the favorite rides and don't replace it with something new and enticing, why would fun-seekers return?