Hard or soft?
There seems to be a few schools of thought when it comes to WoW players. You've got your die hard raiders that are all about getting top of the line gear with the best possible group compositions and raid spots all figured out.
At the other end of the spectrum you've got the casuals. The people who are doing 5 man dungeons for badge gear and pvp'ing for gladiator gear. They'll occasionally do a raid if they can find a decent PUG (pick up group).
This game seems to support both options, but leans towards the first. In a game that's driven by gear, the top gear always wins out.
When molten core came out and the very first raid dungeon was introduced into the game, our small guild ended up having to merge to attempt to tackle the 40 man content. I still remember the very first pull in the dungeons. The very first pull of the dungeon and my tier 1 bracers dropped randomly and I actually won them! From then on I was hooked. We steadily made progress into the core into that lava ridden cave and eventually got burned... out.
Yep, I ended up retiring from raiding right when we were just starting to conquer An'Quiraj.
The requirements of being adequately prepared for the raids were expensive and required a decent amount of time spend just farming every week for materials I would need.
Brand new 10 man content! Oh man was I excited for this expansion, flying mounts, content that didn't require 40 people, and man the gear was such a huge upgrade from the old world stuff (even though my collection of level 60 raid gear lasted me a while).
Once I realized, however, that you still had to do larger raids to get all of your tier set I was not too happy. Our small guild of friends didn't grow much beyond what was required to just do Kara and we ended up topping out there. I spend most of my time in BC doing PVP and getting completely frustrated with being a healer.
Again, new 10 man content with a harder 25 man version released. Awesome! Once again the guild reforms with most of our players from BC. We progress through all of the 10 man content including Naxxramas, Obsidian Sanctum, Vaults, and Eye of Eternity.
Next thing you know, the guild is looking at merging with another guild to successfuly complete 25 man content.
You can't stop running the 10 man content for people to gear up to compete in the 25 man content. Again, this led to major burnout as I was the main tank and had been tanking EVERYTHING since level 70.
Moral of the story? Find a group that you will be happy with. In the end, I came to the realization that I didn't care about getting the 25 man gear and accomplishing the 10 content can actually be harder than the 25 man. And I still got to see the content and didn't feel I was being left out of anything.
With the constant lure of shiny new gear, can a guild sustain themselves at 10 man content alone?