Pugging in PvP and PvE, dailies, gear lockouts, legendary quests, old content, more dailies, finding a raid static/guild, making some gold, even more dailies, oh-god-Ashran dailies, raiding Blackrock Foundry several times over in a single hour, <insert more here>: These are but a few things that we WoW players get into and destroy ourselves with. Everyday, we go through the motions, the daily grind, and then, at some point, we ask ourselves, “Why am I doing this!?” Hey, congrats! You have a serious case of WoW burnout or, at the very least, the awful symptoms.
Oh, but I’m sure, most likely anyways, that you don’t want that. Most of us World of Warcraft players know how addictive this godless game can be, and despite knowing that, we want to stay addicted. No judging here; whatever it is you do in real life, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that this is our hobby, our love, our crack addiction, and our virtual bacon (who doesn’t love bacon?), and we want to keep stuffing our faces with it on our glorious free time. But getting sick of it is always a real thing.
In many cases, players just wind up quitting for a few months or years but eventually come back, but when they do, they realize that they’ve missed out on a whole slew of content that they could have had if only they didn’t quit, and it is especially cringe-worthy for the versatile player who aims for greatness in both PvP and PvE, causing a more immediate burnout right after resuming, making things far worse than it had previously been. Below, we have a few guidelines to follow to be able to avoid burning out badly and crashing in a sea of molten gear.
1. Take a Break
Don’t ever force yourself to continue playing when the urge and excitement has left you. Despite your love for playing WoW, nothing good ever comes out of feeding yourself what could be a steaming pile of content. Ironically, WoW’s wealth of content is its downfall, especially to the overachieving player that simply has to do everything. But this can overload pretty much anyone. Sometimes, the answer is so simple that it can be silly.
Just take a break; stop playing for a couple of weeks or even a month. Nope, nothing fancy but just a good ol’ fashioned break. Even if this is just a game, WoW can still impart a lot of stress like bad loot rolls, awful statics and pugging, or just a bad gameday overall. When all this piles up, just put down the mouse and keyboard and go do other things. Don’t ever forget that World of Warcraft isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and any time-limited achievement you’re after, like the AoTC titles, aren’t going to disappear tomorrow as they’ll be here for quite a while.
2. Pace Yourself – Moderation
Monotony is a big culprit in cases of burnout, where even a new expansion like Warlords of Draenor cannot make amends to, but can sometimes only worsen the condition. Within the game, don’t forget that there’s a lot of other things to do not limited to grinding rep, mounts, and other stupid things we’ve come to want and/or need. Like it was said earlier, being on top of our game is an important thing for most MMO gamers, and trying to achieve everything current, all at the same time at least, leads to horrific outcomes of burnout and game hatred.
This entry is different from the first one because, while taking a break entails completely ceasing to play WoW for a short period of time, pacing yourself simply means to do less things in the game. Try going after the Arena Master achievement for now, and get current with the Aotc titles later on in a week or two when you have some patience to spare. Don’t worry about your silly little weekly loot lockouts; the gear isn’t going anywhere and you’ll get them eventually. Reputations? Argent tournament now, Kurenai later. A wise man once told me, “it’s easier to catch chickens one at a time than frantically going after them at the same time with a cleaver and a –OH CRAP MY BRACERS DROPPED,” or something like that. It was on vent and we were raiding. Sorry.
The point is, simply schedule your activities rather than going after all of them at the same time at the drop of the daily reset. Focus on what you want first and then deal with the others when you are done. Haven’t you ever noticed that the players who solely focus on one aspect of the game, such as the PvE raider purist and the PvP doucebag, are the ones with the most staying power? Why? Well, if the raider has done all his lockouts for the week, he’s just done; he logs out and comes back on next week to raid with his guild or static. The PvP player? Well, he plays to mash faces in and when he’s had his fill, he too logs off for the time being and comes back to mash in more faces when he feels like it, kinda like how you would treat a fighting game or a moba. These people have direction and they know what they want to do. Simply achieving the same kind of focus will do wonders to soothe that bad burnout.
3. Make New Friends
A lot of times, WoW has nothing to do with your burnout, but the main reason is a lack of friends and/or guild. Despite the trend of soloing in recent years and the attractive idea of being a powerful, self-sufficient player, one can only go so far going at it alone. Sure, you’re an obscenely strong Rogue that can methodically take out 10 people by yourself or an extremely proficient Death Knight that can solo everything in Pandaria, but it sure is going to be lonely up there on your pedestal. The achievements in a game aren’t worth a damn if you have no one to share the success with.
The march of a solo player leads to, in the long run, rampant cynicism, severe elitism, and increased sensitivity to pretty much anything that could hurt his/her feelings. Eventually, these all stack on top of each other so much that one is eventually led to the gamer’s existentialist quandry: “What is all this for?” The experience then becomes a meaningless activity of pugging heroics, carrying arena pugs, and misguided attempts at making people like you by being a douche on trade. When all is said and done, you’ve quit from the game before you know it.
It is a burden to bear alone, and the stress at becoming a great player can be alleviated simply by having someone to talk to on a regular basis within your game. Even just a single person can make all the difference as it helps you cope with the stress our gaming can incur, as well as sharing the love of playing with other people. If you’re a solo player experiencing symptoms of burnout, this may be one of the biggest reasons as to why. Try being a bit more friendly to people you pug with because you just may find that gaming soulmate you’ve never had.
4. Play Something Else
If all else fails, try getting another game. It’s just for the meantime, don’t worry; it’s not as if your migrating, but simply taking a different vacation spot. Choosing whatever it is you want to play is rather simple and it a matter of personal taste, but if you’re aiming for another MMO, don’t choose another that is too similar to WoW like SWTOR or Rift. But rather, pick a game far, far away from what WoW is gameplay-wise. Go for an action game like TERA, Vindictus and Archlord 2, or maybe even a moba like League of Legends or, something different, Hello Kitty Online. Really, at that point, it doesn’t matter. Any game that is different when compared to WoW in essence is enough to wash the filth off and start anew.
The only flaw with this is that you really may end up migrating, at least for a little while. The refreshing difference in gameplay will wash over you like, uh, pizza, eating slice after slice of mozarella goodness. Sometimes, it’s a rather large pizza that would take time to consume, making you stay in your recovery game longer than intended. But if you really love playing WoW, you’ll see the stark differences, not in gameplay, but how other games are handled. You may find that it isn’t suited to your tastes and that the way the games are tailored are a farcry from how WoW is treated. If anything, you’ll most likely end up missing the MMO juggernaut for all its flaws and perfections, needing only one other game you’re not accustomed with to remind you of that.
“Hey, I sure do miss flexible raiding,” or “I can’t believe I complained about rep grinding now that I’ve encountered this,” are but a few things that come to mind when reflecting on the cause of your burnout. But, there also is the chance where you could just drop WoW entirely in favor of the game that was set to rehabilitate you in the first place, but that isn’t so bad either.Related: Column, Real Life, World of Warcraft, WoW Wednesday