We can all agree World of Warcraft is in a bit of a lull now. Patch 4.3 was very popular, but by now, the new patch smell is long gone. Everyone’s run End Time a zillion times and cleared Dragon Soul at least once, even if only in the Raid Finder. Odds are you’re running out of transmog gear to collect. With nothing new to be excited about, the game begins to stagnate.
Even a hardcore fanboy like me begins to feel burnt out. Truth be known, if I hadn’t signed up for the annual pass, I might have cancelled my subscription to take a few months off. Not that I regret getting the pass — the rewards make it more than worth any extra expense. But at this point, I’m just going through the motions. And I wager a lot of other people are, too.
I don’t blame Blizzard for this. It’s just part of the natural life cycle of an MMO. Although a filler patch would have been nice…
For some, the feeling of burnout may cause them to do new and strange things within the game they wouldn’t normally do. This is certainly the case with me; I always know I’m really burnt out when one or both of two things happen:
The first is that I go back to playing my death knight. I love the lore and style of DKs, but try as I might, I can’t for the life of me bring myself to enjoy the class mechanics. Frost spec is mildly amusing, but it ultimately just feels like a simplified, less squishy combat rogue. I probably would have deleted my DK by now if not for the memories tied up in him. Well, that and the cow dance.
So when I start playing my death knight, you know I’m struggling pretty hard to find something to do. I haven’t done this during the current burnout period (yet), but then there’s my other character of last resort.
I don’t like overlap among my characters. I’ve tried to spread them out among as many races, classes, factions, and genders as possible (a plan that wasn’t entirely successful considering I’m now playing mostly female Blood Elves and humans, but I digress), but I have doubled up one class, rogue, simply because I think Blood Elf females have the best stealth animation of all time. (OF ALL TIME!)
Still, I can’t bring myself to get excited about re-leveling a class I already have, even when leveling in a different spec (subtlety), so she has become another character who I only play when I feel really burnt out on the endgame. To give you an idea, I started playing her in the latter half of Wrath, and she just hit level twenty the other day.
Yes, I’m playing her. That’s how I knew I had become truly burnt out on WoW.
Moving on to greener pastures:
The other option when feeling burnt out on WoW is to switch to playing other games. When I first started gaming again after my years of hiatus, I didn’t have many options in this regard, but now I can waffle between achievement hunting in Starcraft II, leveling Lucas in Dungeon Siege III (horribly underrated game, by the way), or shooting hamstermen in Aion.
At times in the past, I’ve even been known to dig out Warcraft III for some nostalgia, and I also wasted a week playing a cheap copy of Fable: The Lost Chapters a few months back.
In a little over a month, Diablo III will provide a new alternative. I’m banking on it not sucking and planning to play it for at least several weeks, maybe even until Mists of DrunkenPandaLand’s release.
Which brings me to my final point.
You can go home again:
In the end, though, this burnout phase is but a fleeting thing. If you’re as invested into a game as most World of Warcraft players are, you’re not going to permanently abandon it over a couple of dull months. Especially not if you’ve spent three quarters of your life obsessing over the Warcraft franchise like I have.
I may now shudder at the thought of PUGing Hour of Twilight again, but a little time off in other games will rekindle my WoW love as surely as the sun rises each day, and I look forward to Mists of Pandaria as much as anyone.
What about you? Are you feeling burnt out on WoW (or whatever your game of choice may be), and if so, how are you coping? Are you trying something new in an old game, or are you moving onto a different game in search of fresh thrills?