Last night I got a group of guildies to commit to vdsa. The long version is we lost a DPs to sleep at stage 4 and replaced them. Lost another at stage 8 final boss. Got to the final boss and spent an hour or so slowly learning mechanics and improving. The final attempt wiped about 20%. My fault as the healer. All were players who actually enjoyed struggling through Maelstrom. Only one of them has shown interest in trying again another day because we have to start over from the beginning.
Short version is the biggest turn off for vdsa I see in my guilds isn't the difficulty. It's the reset. It's pretty fun, mechanically diverse, and challenging content that people don't want to do because progress doesn't save.
-my two cents