It’s almost as if everywhere you turn you run into WoW players that either on the verge of burning out or have burnt out and moved on. I’m battling with my own “burnout” but we all know that that is an annual occurrence for me. I’ll be back, we all know that, but I have to admit that this time my “break” from WoW this time around feels different. I can’t quite put my finger on it yet, but there’s definitely something that has me looking at my commitment to WoW differently than before.
Wait. No! You can’t leave the game!
Whoa. Whoa. Hold on there. You might be thinking that I was insinuating the possibilities of putting my WoW days behind me and someday I certainly will, but that day isn’t even on the horizon yet. So fret not, I will be back in-game … soon … at least until Diablo III comes out ^^;
Phew. Wait, you’d leave WoW for Diablo III?
Yes, and no. Long before my MMO days I was insatiably addicted to Diablo II, so once III drops I will assuredly be taking a couple of months off from WoW to focus on slaying Diablo over and over and over and … (you get the idea) … again. Words cannot express how much I love the Diablo universe, and collecting lots and lots of loot. I yearn to return to Sanctuary and see what repercussions there have been after Tyrael damaged the Worldstone.
But, let’s get back to talking about WoW. There’ll be plenty of time to talk about Diablo later.
As I was saying before straying on a tangent (as I tend to do), there seems to be a massive amount of WoW burnout around the net. Maybe it’s the fact that for many of us, we’ve been playing this game for a really, really long time and are looking for something new. It could also be the fact that there was a massive amount of time between the release of Icecrown Citadel and Cataclysm that has tainted some player’s reverence (and patience) for the game.
While I enjoyed being able to gear my rogue to the teeth with awesome gear by the end of Wrath I can only help but feel like I’ve beaten WoW. As many of you already know, I’m a casual player (much more so now with a newborn) that doesn’t have the time to raid. So in a way, I feel like I’ve hit that pinnacle with WoW and am now on the downward slope of my WoW-career … at least with my main and at least until the next firesale before we return to Outlands and bring the fight to the Burning Legion ( … or go to the Emerald Dream … meh)
Man you sure do like to use italics … a lot!
I do! But let’s stay on topic, shall we?
So why is this burnout seemingly worse now than it was before Cata dropped? We’re only 4 months into Cataclysm and it’s already stale? Surely that couldn’t be, right? Could the Rift-factor really be the cause? Or could it be that the next raid tier is now 2 patches out?
That’s a lot of questions! Do you have the answers?
No, I definitely do not … but I do have a theory.
I think between the worst gap in content releases since vanilla and drastic change of design mentality with end-game progression we’re experiencing the burnout lag from the end of WotLK. We were all so ravenous for the new shiny content of Cataclysm that we (well some of us at least) burned through that content very, very quickly. It took absolutely no time to get from 80-85 and offers little variation in the process. Even the 1-60 experience is effortless now (possibly too fast?) and is quickly burned through as well. Add in the fact that this content preceded Cata by a month and it’s actually quite easy to already be burned out.
But, but, but there’s still tons of content for budding altoholics!
Sure there is, but I’m having a hard time finding the motivation to play lots of alts right now. I could blame the design decision to FORCE players to hop through the Dark Portal at 60, but I honestly think it has more to do with the 80-85 content than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the 80-85 content (save Uldum and its many, many broken cut-scenes) but there’s a lack of variety in your progression to 85 … “Oooooh, do I go to Hyjal or Vashj’ir?!”
Then there’s the whole issue of the dangling carrot on a stick simply not being worth it right now. I hate to admit it, but a large reason I play WoW is for the loot and when it’s frustrating to keep said loot, my motivation to put forth the effort dwindles, especially now that I’m far behind the curve of gear to run heroics. While I’m sure I could easily “catch up” and run heroics to my heart’s content I’m still finding it hard to stomach the increased time commitment to run a heroic.
Oh, you’re one of THOSE players eh? Fan of the 15 minute heroic?
Honestly, yes I did prefer the 15 minute heroic blitz at the end of Wrath. It’s not like I don’t appreciate a good challenge as exhibited by my profound love for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, but to me WoW is not something I play to be challenged and/or frustrated with. I’m not a fan of bashing my head in repeatedly because of other people’s mistakes or refusal to L2P. No, I play WoW to kick back, unwind and enjoy the game with friends. If I want to be challenged in WoW I’ll jump into PVP or attempt to solo stuff that usually requires a group to accomplish. (Sidenote: I cannot wait until I can try soloing Kael’thas for the Ashes of A’lar)
Again, I’m not a raider. Never have been, never will be.
Okay, fair enough. At least 4.1 will bring some “wellfare epics” into play.
Admittedly the new tier of heroics has me excited to obtain purples and make the existing heroics easier to run, but do we need to call them welfare epics? ZG and ZA are being tuned a notch up from the existing heroics so it isn’t like everyone will be able faceroll their way into having epics, at least not until 4.2 when t11 gear starts becoming the norm.
… And is there anything wrong with that?
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a larger portion of the player-base having decent gear, it makes pugging a lot more tolerable (and sometimes quite enjoyable!). You could argue that the pug-factor is a non-factor if you stick to running with guildies and friends, but there will always be times where doing so doesn’t line up with the time you have available. My situation is a perfect example of that, so often pugging is my best option to chasing the carrot.
I know I’ll be back, there’s no doubting that. It’s just an interesting coincidence that my annual break lined up with some personal burnout that I’m feeling. Once we get some new content and quality of life changes in 4.1 I’ll more than likely be 100% back into WoW. I should be finished with Castlevania by then anyways and I won’t be as concerned about WoW dominating my Raptr account anymore.
So that’s my story, what’s yours?