This is an understatement on how much I agree with this. I'm on Server 9 also. I've seen guilds have around 40-45 players minimum. And now, once you look at those guilds now, they have like around 28+ players.
It's clearly due to the constant promotions. Theirs only so much you can do, as the average player, to stay competitive. So, the only alternative you have is to quit, or spend enough.
A lot of good player's are forced to quit due to these circumstances.