WoW Slows Down
By September 2011, WoW was down more than a million subscribers from its peak during WOLK. The Cataclysm expansion was not keeping players attention and they were growing bored with the same old content year after year and with the terrible choices Blizzard was making. We cover those choices in our book "The Syndicate: Beyond The Legend" but among them was making the 10 and 25 man raid lockout the same which limited how many people players could adventure with each week. That weakened the social fabric of the game and was one of the reasons for the drop-off but certainly not the only one.
The Syndicate had been involved with WoW since the early testing stages. Blizzard added over 200 of us into the very early stages to provide feedback on the game. So while the overall community was burning out fast, The Syndicate was even more bored with the repetitive content. Hope still remained that Blizzard would turn things around but around the time of SyndCon 2011, The Syndicate saw a drop-off of about 40% of its active members in WoW. Those members went on to help test SWTOR... to help work on several secret projects with other major developers... to write strategy guides... and to do some alpha testing & consulting for upcoming games. They definitely didn't remain idle for long but WoW no longer held the draw that it once did. Around 200 Syndicate members did remain active in WoW, at least casually but things like Progression Raiding and large scale organized PvP were retired as interest in them was not high like it once was.