This is the hard part, isn't it?
Right after the end boss is dead, right before a new keep-'em-busy raid is released, trying to motivate and encourage people to come for raid progression into hard modes. Tonight is the first night of our steps into Hard Modes so we'll see how it goes.
My expectations are modest so we'll see what we can accomplish, but tonight will also be a test of our perseverance and tenacity. Can we continue to run face first into walls on fights that we've cleared with our eyes closed on heroic and succeed or will someone just whine for us to "switch to normal mode already."
Thankfully, Blizzard has added the Vanquisher mounts as motivation to keep doing hard modes, not to mention the fact that some of the 10-man heroic loot is BIS outside of 25-man Hard Modes. But really, loot is a weak excuse right now.
We're expecting some sort of loot reset at the start of Cata so who knows how quickly we'll be dropping out 264/277 level gear? Will we be seeing so much stamina and strenght on gear that no longer has to pay points out of its budget to the old stats, that the old gear just evaporates? Or will they upgrade our ICC gear to be so awesome that we can walk into Cata Heroics with it?
I'm hoping to be successful tonight and use that momentum to push my guys to get to 9/12 in a couple of weeks. If we can get there without too much nonsense, then I think we can knuckle down and focus on Putricide and Sindragosa on heroic and once we get through that nonsense, I'll just have to push push push the raid towards H:LK.
Hopefully the progression will keep up and we'll see raid attendance regularly fill up until the eve of 4.0. I don't want to stop raiding - for one, I'm enjoying the game a lot at this level, and am looking forward to old bosses with new twists, but also, if we loose focus I think we'll spend a lot of time getting it back in Cata. I know we'll miss a month of raiding as people level and gear up so I don't want to add any more to that missed time than absolutely necessary.
But all of that is months away.
Wish us luck tonight as we face down Heroic Marrowar. :-)