Haha, don't worry. I don't intend to quit WoW. But the other day I read a short post over at Planet Raid about what you could do in case you got bored with WoW and wanted to try something else. It got me thinking - what could make me want to quit play WoW, and how difficult would it be?
I've known plenty of people over the years, both irl and in game, who for various reasons have decided to quit WoW alltogether or just take a break. Sometimes people take breaks that last forever (ie they quit although that wasn't the initial plan) or they quit only to come back a couple of months later (a friend of mine has done this like 4 times, it's like smoking or something). But I've never actually taken a break or wanted to quit WoW. I have been "not playing" WoW for longer periods of time, but I wouldn't call it breaks. Once was when I was out of internet for two months, so that wasn't much of a choice there. And I mostly take a month or so WoW break during summer holidays, because I'll just not be home or close to a computer often enough to warrant paying the monthly fee. That is probably the closest I have ever been to a break. My friends who have quit playing WoW have all either had too much work, too much school or got a baby. I suppose what could get me to take a longer break or even quit alltogether would be one of those reasons as well. At the moment I don't study, and I don't work much... and no baby either so I have plenty of time. Some of that I spend on WoW, some I spend on other stuff (atm Settlers, FFIII, FFVIII and some really interesting books, I am also pondering writing my own book).
So how much do I need WoW? What do I use it for and what would I miss if I stopped playing? A big part of WoW for me is the social aspect. I live far away from family and most of my friends, so WoW has become a great way for me to hang with them on a regular basis, and not just the rare visits during holidays. Unfortunately my mom and dad don't play WoW ^^ But being able to hang with people I'd otherwise rarely see is definitely a huge factor in this for me. Could we hang someplace else? Of course! We could play other mmos together or you know, hang on Facebook all day long. The good thing about WoW is that everyone likes it and there is something to do while talking (unlike facebook, I refuse to play the fb games). I have actually tried to get some of my friends to try new mmos with me, and I sometimes I even get them over for a couple of weeks but they always seem to work their way back to WoW. I suppose hanging with me isn't their only incentive for being in WoW, just as being with my friends isn't the only reason I play WoW.
WoW has also proven a great way for me and Love to do fun stuff together. Yes we're totally the nerdy couple, but we met through WoW so it only makes sense, right? We do go to the cinemas, read books together, take walks, go to restaurants and all those things that everyone else does. But inbetween that we can also do stuff together through WoW. There is truly nothing more romantic than leveling two chars together, honestly. Being poor students as we are this has given us a great chance to do romantic stuff together without having to "get away" by travelling or buy eachother expensive gifts irl. We can do all that in game, and it works just as well for us. It's not like we don't want to travel and buy eachother expensive gifts, but when our economy says no, it is great to have an option.
And then there is the game itself. I wouldn't have played the game for so long if I thought it was dreadfully boring and the only thing that kept me in it where the people. That I love the game itself is a final boost that makes me spend so much time with it. It allows me to have something to do when bored and no one is online or everyone is working or at school, at least for a short time. Because I know that if no one I knew irl played WoW anylonger, I probably wouldn't either. Would you? So it is a fine balance, and one that no other mmo has been able to achieve yet. I think that is really the trouble for new mmos. They might be just as good as WoW, but if they can't get the community, they won't get the players anyway. It's cruel, and sad in my opinion. I usually try to give all new mmos that have some sort of free trial at least a shot, because I want to know what the game is all about. But in the end I return to WoW because that is where I know people. A good example is now just before Cata. I was quite bored with WoW and thought that would be the perfect opportunity to go try out another game I had always wanted to give an honest shot - Warhammer Online. Problem was I had just joined a new guild who wanted to raid, and so I felt obliged to help out. Don't get me wrong, I've never done anything in WoW so far unless I wanted to. But I know that if I hadn't had that guild I would've spent all my time in WAR (I did end up spending some time there anyway) for the last couple of weeks before Cata. So that was the people rather than the game keeping me, and that is usually the case eventhough I really like the game.
And then we have this blog. It is about WoW so what would I write about if I stopped playing WoW? I think it would be difficult for me to write as much about something else that I do about WoW. The reason I can go on and on about WoW is because of all the abovementioned reasons. It is a game and a community and the interaction between these two huge establishments allows for alot of thinking and musing. I'd probably write more about all the things I do outside of WoW, them things that occasionally sneak into this blog anyway.
I think if I quit WoW I'd only replace it with something similar. I love gaming so why would I give it up alltogether unless I had a really good reason? I suppose I could have to cut down, I am raiding 4 times a week right now and I wouldn't have a problem with doing less of that if I had to. It's a matter of filling your time with what you enjoy. Some people watch tv, some people collect stamps, I play WoW. If I couldn't play WoW I'd spend my free time doing something else. I'd miss being able to hang with my friends mostly I think. And leveling my alts :/ And all the crazy people you get to meet when doing pugs. Yeah I'd miss alot of things. But I managed well before WoW existed and I'd manage well without it again. That being said, I won't quit WoW just yet ;)