(O)ne of the best things you can do to enjoy WoW is to stop playing it! WoW is designed to get you to sub each month and keep you playing repetitively, reinforcing the habit. As such like many MMOs it employs various techniques to keep you in; large MMOs are not always working in your interests. Take a month off and see what else is happening in your life.
I think that’s good advice. Things have been stressful outside of WoW, and when a patch hits all bets are off if WoW is actually going to be fun to play or not. Even though I try to remain neutral on CBM, I remain pretty damn pissed about how the endgame PvP gear transition works, so having to face it with the new patch just ratchets up my stress levels. Then there are class changes and unannounced changes and bugs and miscommunciations and …
Transmogging was actually a breath of fresh air amidst all of that. I had a lot of fun last week playing around with it, both on alts and on my main, in the intended and unintended ways. So I was pretty disappoined when it was taken away, but then having it happen at the same time I needed to decide if I was going to leap back into gearing up Cynwise for PvP or not.
It brought the fun to a screeching halt.
And it caused me to think of that WoW Mogul article and go, you know what, maybe I need a break. This game shouldn’t stress me out, it should be fun. I should be able to pick it up for a while and put it down for a while. Why put in liesure hours on something that’s going to just stress you out, when you’re already maxxed out on stress from other parts of your life?
So I did three things.
First, I’m taking a WoW break for a little bit. I need a few days off, just to go take care of holiday things and family things but also to just decompress. I’m burned out at work and it’s showing. It’s showing in every aspect of my life, not gonna lie. A few days off will hopefully help me clear my head.
Second, I am going to try doing some different things in WoW when I come back. I talked to some friends and we’re going to level some stuck alts through Northrend, then hit the Cataclysm dungeon circuit. I have only done 1 dungeon this entire expac – one.
To say I haven’t seen very much of Cata PvE is an understatement.
So I’m going to say, let me do something different, let me do it with friends, and I’ll see if I enjoy it. I expect I’m going to level Ashwalker up to 85 and warrior tank heroics, just for a change of pace. I like tanking! Let’s see how it goes!
If it doesn’t work out, I’ll try something different – maybe a DK? Maybe even Ms. Cynwise? – but if it’s not fun, I’ll stop.
Third, I’m going to try disrupting some of those techniques MMOs use to keep you playing even when you don’t have any concrete goals. (Just like walking backwards through a supermarket! Don’t go to the right!) I cancelled my subscription today, not because I’m quitting, but rather so I have to actively choose to sub during any given month. It also places constraints on the things I want to accomplish in game – instead of “I have all the time in the world,” now it’s “I have until mid-February, I can’t do everything, so I have to say NO to a lot of things and YES to a few.” Once I get to the end of a time card, I can reevaluate if I’m having fun.
Having done it, I feel like there’s a great weight off my shoulders. There’s a plan. There are limits. There’s no endless horizion of the same old thing night after night. There’s something new to try, and a clear goal and focus. I don’t feel chained to WoW for the first time in months.
I’m looking forward to the break, but I’m also looking forward to coming back.
I think that’s a good sign.