I’m pretty sure our guild back in 2005/6 wiped more than 400 times in AQ40. Had BC not been announced, I know damn well we would have wiped a lot more in Nax40. We wiped on Onyxia, we wiped in MC, we wiped in BWL. And the more attempts it took for us to finally get a fight right, the more rewarding it felt to finally get him/her/it. And it also kept us subscribed and logging in. It kept our guild going, it made me some internet friends I still talk to today, and most importantly, it was a lot of fun.
And yes, at one point, between managing the guild, running raids, carrying ‘bads’, and main-tanking, it got a little much. But in all honesty, that was my fault. I let things get out of control, and that was on me. Blaming the game is about as credible as blaming alcohol for being addictive; somehow plenty of people can handle it (which is different than, say, heroin, which has a pretty definitive rate of “who can handle it”).
If you argue that it would be better to only wipe 50 (pick a number) times per boss before making progress, you need to offer up a solution to the problem of content burn. If I’m wiping 350-ish times less per boss, but playing the same amount, are you going to magically increase content creation by that same amount? No? Well now we have a real problem.
And if wiping 400 times truly was a major issue, the players would communicate that to you; they would stop playing and quit the game. The reverse happened when raiding (and the rest of the game, by comparison) was ‘hard’ in the early days, and that’s the exactly what happened when raiding (and the rest of the game) got easy in WotLK/Cata. Even if you feel like you would rather wipe 50 instead of 400, ask yourself what happens after you clear that 50-wipes instance? Or what happens to your guild? If the answer is something close to “we go inactive”, is that really a positive result? I’m pretty sure I play MMOs to play them, and the more stable the community, the better my experience tends to be.
On a higher level, doing the same thing over and over is pretty normal. You don’t mix up the chess pieces after 50 games, do you? You don’t ask the casino to switch up the Hold-em Poker rules after 50 hands, right? And with around 1000 games of LoL under my belt, I’m not looking for Summoner’s Rift to get revamped.
If the ‘content’ is solid, and if the design is good enough to stay interesting after X times, the actual number of ‘attempts’ shouldn’t matter. If anything, you SHOULD be looking forward to finding that encounter that is going to cause 400+ wipes and keep you coming back. That’s solid content.