Monday, July 20, 2009

Conquering WoW Burnout

Emo priest is emo.

Ever logged onto your character and felt like you had nothing to do, nor any desire to find anything to do?

"Wanna run heroics?" Naw...

"Wanna level our lowbies?" Naw...

"Anyone up for AT dailies?" Naw...

"Let's run Sunwell for the achievement for the last time before they close teh zone FOREVAH!"


We've all experienced it at some point. We log on and don't really feel like doing much of anything, and we either log right off, chat for a few minutes, or AFK for food and get caught up in a far more interesting episode of Seinfeld.

There are several different kinds of burnout:

  • "IRL": You're just too busy with real life to think about WoW. By the time you have the free minutes to log on, you find yourself feeling unattached to the game. Chatting with everyone is fun, but you've been out of it for a bit and just aren't interested anymore.
  • Repetition: You're farming a raid zone, and runs are essentially little more than gearing the last few people up. Everyone knows the fights, the thing goes off without a hitch, blah. Raids just aren't fun anymore. Ease leads to boredom.
  • Change: The game keeps changing and you don't like the direction it's going. You try the new changes for a while, but don't take as much joy in it as you did before Patch XX.
  • Completionist: You've been working overtime to finish a certain achievement such as *cough* Insane in the Membrane *cough* and you either tackle a huge portion of it, or if you're going overtime, finish it, and you need a break from the screen. Or, you've levelled multiple characters and feel like you've seen and done it all, even with new content patches coming out.
  • Gankee: You don't enjoy the game because you can't stay alive long enough to random, bored 80s to get anything done. You're camped so often and for such long periods of time that it's not even worth logging on anymore.
  • Straggler: You started after everyone else, and no matter how much time and effort you put into catching up, you start to think you'll never be allowed to join the big kids because they're putting in just as much work to progress even farther. No one will run heroics with you because no one needs anything from them anymore.

That's not to say these are the only kinds, but they are definitely some of the most common. I've experienced most of them myself! So what are some ways you can combat them if you're not ready to quit the game just yet?

The most obvious way is just to take a break. Sometimes that's all it takes.

Another thing that sometimes works is trying out another MMO. I tried out World of Kung Fu and Mabinogi for a while when I was sick of WoW. While Mabinogi kept me content with the shearing of sheep (omigod, was it fun!), it wasn't what I was looking for, and WoKF made me want to shoot myself in the face. I missed the interface and graphics and knowledge I had of WoW, and came back to it again.

Levelling an alt sometimes helps! If you've levelled a warlock and a mage and you don't really feel like levelling a different DPS, then try a different role. If you play healer, roll tank. If you play tank, roll healer or DPS. Sometimes the switch from healer to DPS isn't enough because you have to DPS while questing anyway, or already have an alternate DPS spec. But the short version is, try something totally different from anything you've tried before. Switch from caster to melee or vice versa.

"But Fuyu," you cry! "If I see those stupid starter zones one more time I'll seriously lose my mind!"

So try a Death Knight! Death Knights come geared from the initial get-go, and are not only high enough to make the remaining grind short, but also equipped with all the flight paths, etc, already.

Another neat thing to try, even if you can't on your original server, is to roll a new character on the opposing faction. I originally played Horde, although I'm Alliance now, but it was really cool to see the storylines for both factions.

If you're sick of PVE you could always try doing some hardcore PVP for a while.

Or, if you have so much gold and so many badges that you literally have NOTHING else to do, try experimenting with a nontraditional spec, such as a priest who plays with smite. See if you can prove the yuppie min-maxers wrong! The challenge may never be a successful one, but I assure you it's a lot of fun.

Of course sometimes you're just plain bored of the whole damned game and it's time to say goodbye. It's always hard to say goodbye to a guild that has become your family, but we won't be playing World of Warcraft forever, and you have to know when to call it quits. Maybe someday you'll come back. Maybe you won't. But I bet you made some awesome friends along the way.

But for most of us, burnout is only temporary and we're back in the swing of things in a few days or weeks. So hopefully some of these suggestions will help those of you feeling kinda "meh" lately come up with a way to keep the game exciting for you long enough to get over your slump. Or maybe it made you realize that it really is time to quit.

But here's hoping that, whatever your case may be, you enjoyed the time you played, and one day we'll see you in Azeroth again.


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