One phenomenon that plays out every expansion thus far is the “burn out factor” if I can so use that particular terminology. Within the last few months, several longstanding guildies have mentioned within guild chat how they are “bored” of the game. From my perspective as the GM, when one types that much dreaded word in guild chat, I instinctively cringe. The reason being is that a single person can very much sway the mood or sentiment within guild chat, especially if that particular individual is a well established member of the guild. The old adage, one bruised apple can spoil the cart is well grounded indeed! To be fair, a healthy guild is one where it’s members can express whatever it is they are feeling, yet the possibility of one remarking within guild chat for all to see the general ennui setting in can be quite damaging to the guilds overall moral. It goes without saying that it can be a downer for someone who just joined the guild and is all wide eyed, bushy tailed and excited to be within the guild. The newly infamous “grumpy cat” is one of the best exemplifications of how much a real downer it can be when one types unceremoniously the dubious and much dreaded, “I’m bored…” statement. My knee jerk reaction is to quickly respond by saying to go read a book, or just take some time off and recharge.
I fully understand where the sentiment comes from, especially for playing WoW for so long, so it is not something that I myself have not dealt with per se. I think that is one of the primary aspects that Blizzard is continually contending with, which is just how to keep and retain the player bases and prevent the “burnout”. Players means money. It doesn’t take a goblin to figure out that simple and fundamental equation. I find it pretty amazing that Blizzard has created and maintained the game to the degree of popularity that is has in terms of its sheer longevity. It certainly is a fascinating topic of discussion (study) to examine how much the game has changed over the years. I can easily recall within the “Vanilla” days, there were no daily quests, PvP battlegrounds, Arenas, Pet Battles, Farming, or even Transmogging of gear.
One simple facet of how I have managed to keep the game fresh is by way of being an avid pet and mount collector. Many might not recall when there was no pet or mount storage per se, where by players had to physically carry their pets and mounts within their backpacks. Praise the Earthmother that such a feature was implemented into the game that reduced the need to carry around our beloved critters and beasts. If by some twist of fate a “Blue” is reading this post, I would ever so humbly ask that such a storage feature could be put in place for tabards as well. I have around eighteen tabards that I dare not destroy, since the tabard vendor does not offer them as a buyback option. I would faint if I were to gain eighteen bag slots! You ever seen a Tauren faint? it is not a pretty sight let me tell you! Oh, lest I forget, I would also like to put forward some sort of storage feature that would allow for armor sets and weapons to be stashed and organized. That would be the bom-diggity if ever such a feature were to be implemented!
Back on topic, if one finds themselves burned out or board with the game, my advice is to just simply take a break and unplug for a while. Recharge and come back fresh. One of the terrific aspects about WoW is that it will be there when you return. Sure, there may be some changes to adjust to, but overall the way in which the developers have retained the core characteristics of gameplay, so that it is quite easy to come back after a long break and pick up where one last left off.
For me, I very much enjoy and appreciate the fluidity of WoW. Some months back, I was quite heavily engaged within PvP. I happened to come across a superb add on called oQueue, which allows for much better organization and communication while engaging in PvP. (Just a side note, if you have not tried oQueue, I can not recommend it highly enough. It has not only brought back the fun of PvPing, but I would even venture to say that it has allowed me to get to know a whole host of new players that I would never had met and have interacted with otherwise, so there very much is a cool community of both Horde and Alliance players around it. Plus, as an aside, I have been able to get to know the project creator and can mention the fact that he is one of the good guys.) Pet Battles when fully implemented then held sway over me and I was all about the totality of pet collecting, while also engaging within the pet skirmishes that went along with it. Whoever thought to add the original Warcraft 2 music into the actual pet battling encounter rocks! Watch out for the Pandaren Earth Spirit Tamer, who we ever so affectionately call “Slappy Cow”. He totally cheats!
With the most recent changes to how Conquest gear can be obtained, I am right back within the PvP fray! So in reflecting as to how I have pretty much continually been able to enjoy my game time within WoW, I reckon that is has to do with establishing my own personal goal that I want to accomplish within the game. Not that I would ever label myself as some sort of Type A personality, who is hyper ambition and has a full on driven personality. If anything, I am more akin to the Pandarians, whose “slow down, have a dumpling” life approach and philosophy best exemplifies my natural disposition. For me, slow and steady very much does win the “race”. Case in point, why just a couple of days ago, I finally managed to acquire the ever elusive Grand Black War Mammoth after an extensive time farming for him!
So my own “Kernhoofian” advice when the burnout happens is don’t stress and don’t go announcing it all over guild chat. Let your close in game friends know, as well as your GM. Then just simply step back and take a break. Go enjoy a book. In fact, might I recommend one of my all time favorites, A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs! Even if you are not burned out and need a break, go read that book anyways! You won’t be disappointed at all! I will even go so far as to say how much you will fall in love with the story and characters within!
Ok, time to log in and War Stomp some Alliance!
For the Horde!!!!
(Just an little accompaniment…I posted on the General WoW forum this write up and it has spurred some very cool discussion!)