But two-night raiding may be building a steamhead as the playerbase matures along with the game. "A couple years ago, you did a feature on a two-night guild when they killed heroic Lich King," wrote reader Oatz of Full Spectrum on Alleria (US). "Well, when Cataclysm started, that inspired me to create my own two-night guild (seven hours per week). I am now proud to say that our two-night guild has just killed heroic Madness, making us not just the #1 two-night guild but also #24 on 10-man and #62 overall in the United States."
Impressive, yes -- but what caught my eye about this email was Oatz's almost off-handed conclusion about the stability of his guild's roster. "It's interesting how raid groups are evolving over the years as the playerbase gets older," he mused. "Our guild is full of professionals in their 20s and 30s, many with spouses and kids, and none of us can raid more than two nights. I'm a practicing lawyer myself, but I started WoW back when I was a lowly college student."
"I remember back in vanilla, even, when there were no server transfers," he continued. "Raiding guilds were always competing for recruits based on progression. It seems now that as the raider playerbase has increased and gotten older, for the majority, it's more based on schedules and other niches."
WoW on demand vs. WoW as a time-gobbling behemoth -- is this where the serious WoW hobbyist stands in 2012?