I mainly blame the dungeon finder. Yes, it is an amazing feature of the game and I could not get enough of it when it first came out. Unfortunately, I overindulged, and now I cannot stomach those same old heroics anymore. “Daily random anyone?” a guildmate says, and I get an overwhelmingly weary feeling. I can’t even be arsed to collect my 2 frost emblems per day any more.
I am not enjoying raiding anymore either. There are a lot of reasons behind this one and I won’t bother to go into details here. This is easily the most depressing development in my WoW career and I’ve been tempted to unsub and disappear because of the circumstances surrounding it. I always loved raiding — it was my favorite part of the game. Now, I’m always hoping my husband will want to do something else on raid nights, so we’ll have an excuse not to go. The team I’m currently raiding with is pretty fun, so I do enjoy myself when I go, but I have a suspicion I wouldn’t miss it if I quit.
I’m still working on achievements, but somewhat half-heartedly. I’ve had the top achievement totals in the guild for a while now (thanks to one of our achievement hounds taking a long hiatus and someone with an uncatchable score quitting the guild, hehe), but there are a couple of people nipping at my heels now. I confess I look forward to them overtaking me so that I don’t have to worry about staying on top any more. I’ve always made it a point not to be too competitive about achievements, but I expect a lot of smack talk when I fall to the #2 position.
I don’t know that there is one. I do still care a lot about many of the people in the guild. I’m proud of the community that we have. I want to stick around, so I’m going to try.
One thing that’s helped is getting back into pvp a bit. The random battleground finder might be a great thing if the guild were to reinstitute “drunken pvp night,” too. I’d love to see that happen.
I have also rolled a sekrit shaman for when I do not feel like dealing with specific people in the guild. It’s totally felt like a vacation and not just for the lack of interpersonal garbage. There’s no pressure to gear up, run heroics, nothing like that… it’s just me running around with a big stick and smacking peons. I miss that carefree phase of the game.
And Then There Was Balance
This is all part of the natural order of things, I realize. All these symptoms point firmly to burnout, down to every detail on Nick Yee’s chart. I’m finally there.
I suppose one could say that a bit of the depression I’m feeling is remorse for time ill-spent, slack-jawed at my computer screen while my husband and cats try to get my attention. I’m sure that’s part of it, though I’m sure if I hadn’t been playing WoW, I’d have been sitting slack-jawed elsewhere, not using my time any more wisely. I’m not, by nature, an extraordinarily productive person.
Unless Cataclysm hits by beginning of summer (fat chance), I can’t see how I’ll last much longer than that unless something miraculous happens or I make some major changes in how I play. There is just not that much left to do and if it’s not fun, why do it?
The good part of burnout is that I do feel like some balance has been restored in my life. I don’t feel the compulsion to log into WoW every spare moment. I have still play several hours per week, but I have gone back to playing other games on the side. (I had a long Civ IV session yesterday — it was so awesome!) My husband and I have started watching movies again, plus a couple of tv series on DVD. I have finally gotten around to cleaning out our office closet and have some other similar projects on the horizon. So, it’s not all bad. This is more similar to what “normal” people, even normal MMO players do, I suspect.