A big component of leaving my group was scheduling. Too late at night after spending too much time solo playing (dailies, etc) throughout the week didn't help. The lack of satisfying progress was also a factor, but not to the same extent. The people were enjoyable and cooperative, however real life tended to get in the way a fair bit & nights were canceled somewhat regularly with little to no notice. All that being said, I realize the answer sounds simple - "find a new group" - and I would agree at face value, but not even a perfect group could solve my final problem: raiding just isn't worth my time gear-wise.
After acquiring my 4 piece via raid finder alone last week (I've had good luck in raid finder, really good honestly), I wound up redoing my gear and was left with exactly 2 pieces of gear I had earned in "regular" raiding left being used on my toon (boots & cloak), with a number of regular raid level items left in the bank in favor of lfr pieces.
Why is this even conceivable? Why aren't regular raid level items significantly stronger than lfr items? I don't remember choosing a lfr item at any point during ds when a regular item for the same slot was available, unless it completed a 2 or 4 piece set bonus - regardless of itemization. Maybe there was a time, but I have no recollection of that happening previously.
As it stands, I feel like I can pretty much play wow solo and come up with a very decent raid ready toon by afking half the time in lfr and never having to speak with anyone. Is this ok? Is this what we want?
I propose the following changes that I think would go some distance in promoting cooperative play and encouraging folks (and I digress, maybe I just mean "gear motivated folks" here) to participate in regular and/or heroic raiding:
1) Increase the gap between regular raid and lfr pieces. There should be little to no decision making to be done when you obtain a regular item level piece for a slot you have a raid finder piece in. It should be a no brainer to use the regular item (unless of course it breaks up a set bonus).
2) Instate nerfs for regular raids at known intervals. All Star teams have a predetermined amount of time to work on release content to get their kills before the nerfs come in. I would suggest 4 week intervals to start with 10 percent nerfs taking place after that, and another 10 percent 4 weeks later, etc. People could make arguments for any interval, longer or shorter, but I'm using this as a concept timeline to get the discussion started. The point to the nerfs is in hopes of stimulating progress instead of having groups get stagnant & sick of running the same bosses over and over week after week. Raid finder already makes me tired of seeing the same encounters over and over again - progression in normal modes NEEDS to happen for average groups to stay interested.
3) Instate a graduated achievement system so the All Star teams can show off their un-nerfed kill achs with pride. Much like the challenge mode dungeons offer gold, silver and bronze for beating timers, this could work the same way - gold for participating in an un-buffed kill, etc, etc.
4) No nerfs to heroics unless they're not working as anticipated. Let the collection of gear & improved knowledge of fights be deciding factors as it's meant to be. If someone wants a heroic kill they either need to earn it or pay for it. Not everyone needs to clear heroic content as we were in ds.
Anyhow, these are the thoughts of a tired gear ho. I'll be excited to see what anyone thinks. Best wishes in game & out.