Last week, my guild did something that we very rarely do: we went into a fight blind, without knowing the strategy ahead of time.
It wasn't really a major fight, or a planned event. We were going through Ulduar, and we got to Auriaya, someone suggested that we do the Achievement [Crazy Cat Lady]. We shrugged and went to try it, not expecting that it would be very hard.
We started with 2 tanks, each tanking 2 adds. And then we started wiping. After a few wipes, we realized that our add tanks were constantly dying at around the same time. Looking up the death meter on Recount showed that they died from a Bleed debuff that was ticking for 20k. At this point, we realized that the Bleed was a stacking debuff. So we tried using 4 tanks, each having one add. This worked a little better, but the tanks still died to the bleed, just a little later in the fight.
So we switched to tank swapping. Two tanks took 2 adds each. At 7 stacks, a clean tank taunted the adds. This strategy seemed more successful, and on the next try the tanks opted to see if they could survive up to 10 stacks, to minimize swaps. However, this made it harder to heal, as both old and new tanks were taking heavy damage. We went down to 4 stacks, and swapped as often as possible. That attempt was very clean and led to a nice kill.
I had a lot of fun that fight. I greatly enjoy working on strats and tweaking them until you get something right. This is the one aspect of Royalty guilds that I really envy. They get to go in blind and form their own strategies for most content.
The immediate question is why not seek out a guild that tries to play blind? My guild explicitly looks up strategies and videos before the raid. This seems opposite to what I like.
The trade-off though is time. If we went in blind, we'd probably be a lot further back than we are now, progression-wise. That [Crazy Cat Lady] attempt was a great deal of fun, but we spent over two hours on that fight. If we had looked it up ahead of time, we would have one- or two-shot it.
Second, you can't guarantee that no one will "cheat". If you have a raid group of 25 people--especially people who are enthusiastic about WoW--odds are someone will follow discussions about bosses. They'll surf forums, or read EJ, or watch videos. Then what do you if the "cheater" contributes to the strategy discussion? Ignoring what she says, just because of the source, seems counter-productive.
Third, it's already hard enough to find a decent Aristocracy-level guild that matches my schedule and general inclinations. Adding the "doesn't look up strategies" requirement might eliminate all possible guilds. Especially as such a guild is likely to lose better players to further advanced guilds. Very few people are willing to deliberately wipe when they could avoid failure by looking up the answers online.
Finally, we still haven't beaten all the content, even knowing the strategies ahead of time. Formulating our own strategy from scratch seems like a luxury when we still need to work on our execution.
Still, fights like this [Crazy Cat Lady] and Al'ar back in TBC, where I got to strategize rather than just follow a recipe, remain treasured moments.