Monday, June 11, 2012

Field Report - Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?

It is as if WoW wants me to stop play. It keeps throwing bricks in my face saying "get lost already, I've been looking at your ugly face long enough now. Isn't time for you to move on? You know, get a life and stuff?". I don't know where things went wrong, what made it change. For six years Wow has demanded my constant attention, whispering promises to me about all the fun we are going to have together, looking at me in disappointment whenever I hinted on doing something else for a while. And I didn't mind, I would gladly spend hours on time, every day, with WoW. For six years we had so much fun together, and I thought it would never end. Although I suppose in the back of my head I always knew something like this had to happen. The first crack surfaced already two years ago and things slowly went downhill from there. But even then I still had fun, amidst all the issues and problems I suddenly found myself in, I would nothing rather than to continue playing. Then the day finally came when I realized I hadn't logged on for several days, without any good reason. I wasn't on holiday, my internet connection was fine and my computer was working like it should. What had gone wrong?

I always found it impossible to say if lack of interest comes from within or outside. Is the fact that I play WoW less now because I've changed or because WoW has changed? Probably a bit of both, I can't say any of us is without blame. But I'd like to think I really tried, even when things were getting tough I put in the effort to make it better. It does feel like things fell through my fingers and there really wasn't anything I could've done differently. Even the way things are now, I don't regret any of my choices. But there is no denying that ever since I first decided to leave from my first raiding guild, that day in late summer two years ago, I have not really found a new stable raiding guild. I was in that first raiding guild for three years and during the two years since then I have been in three different guilds. I've never swapped guilds arbitrarily, in each and every event it has been because the raiding was virtually, or completely, lacking. Anyone who has followed my blog will know this line of history already and in a way it is beside the point, because I am sure that regardless I would've ended up in the situation I am in now.

And maybe that is exactly it. Because you see, I am not ready to quit yet. I still enjoy Wow just about as much as I ever have. I love the raiding, I love the random pugging and the leveling of yet another alt. I could see myself doing that for another couple of years with ease, and I am really looking forward to Mists of Pandaria. My problem is that everyone else has left. Like a chain reaction, once one piece of the domino chain fell, everyone else seemed to drop off with it, and suddenly I see myself logging on with absolutely no one online on my friends list, unless they are playing Diablo 3. The guild is completely empty, on hiatus until MoP officially but I silently find it difficult to believe that it would be able to find its way back without a massive effort from the guild managements side, a management I have seen or heard from in months. The last time I properly raided must've been in April sometime, when we had some ill-fated tries on Spine of Deathwing heroic. Bad setups and bad sign ups lead to continued drop offs, which only frustrated the people who were still giving a shit even more and the spiral continued downward. Most of you reading this have been in a similar situation at least once before if you've ever been into raiding. They didn't leave because I swapped guilds, I swapped guilds because they left so it leaves me wondering if this was inevitable.

I've always played WoW mostly for the social part. I have played a lot with random people, and love it - it is the only reason I still play WoW at the moment - but there is no denying that without any friends playing Wow anymore the big majority of the enjoyment has gone out of it. I log on once every other day, do an instance on an alt and log off again. The hours on end I used to play have been diminished to a handful of hours per week, at best. And maybe this is the best way it could end? Except I don't want it to. I would love it if I could get back into proper raiding again. But how? Unless my guild actually does get its act together for MoP, and that means waiting a couple of months anyway, I need to do the guild swapping again and frankly I find it difficult to find the energy. I want to hope, to believe, that the next time will be the last time, but there are just no guarantees and seeing yet another guild fall apart around you just drains so much. Trying to keep people cheerful and hopeful, while everyone already knows that it won't last and everyone dread the day someone will be the first to utter the words of quitting, the first in a long row.

And unfortunately, the problem isn't just on the WoW side of things. With my new job schedule, I don't really have the time to put in several days a week into raiding anymore. Two nights a week is probably going to be my maximum and even then I could never guarantee being able to show up. There are guilds out there accepting even terms like that, but I am wondering if I could ever get into the kind of raiding I am interested in with such a guild. How could I demand more of my guild than I am able to put back in? I could never do that, and that is a major issue to work around. With that blocking any real possibilities for me to get into "proper" raiding, and with basically all of my friends gone from the game anyway, I find it difficult to see how I could back into it without an extreme stroke of luck (which I am known to have).

With things being the way they are,
I will probably never be able to find the energy and motivation to go guild hunting again. I am pretty certain I would never spend any amounts of money into server transferring and race changing again, which is further severely limiting my choices. Fortunately, I am on what still is a highly populated and nice server, and I could possibly find a good raiding guild there that agrees even to my lousy terms of cooperation. Actually, at this point I am not asking for much. Just some friendly faces and stability. In the meantime I have Diablo 3, but you will still see me logging on to WoW every now and then to do the odd random pug. And who knows what the future holds? I've found that things usually work out for the best, tui tui tui, peppar peppar and knock on wood.

But I am curious, how is WoW faring for the rest of you out there?


  1. I can imagine how frustrating it must be to have things fall apart around you again and again. Finding a new guild is always a lot of work, and I find it somehow stressful to have to get into the habits of a new guild and make new friends/guild mates.

    I've been lucky in the sense that I've been with the same guild for more than 4 years by now. We're fairly casual, so we never get all the heroic content done (we've finished at 5/8 HC in DS). At this point we're still clearing DS every week, and every now and then we'll schedule a rep run or transmog run one other day a week.

    For the most part though we're taking it easy until the next expansion since a lot of people are enjoying D3. Due to that I admittedly don't see a lot of people online in the guild at the moment outside of raid times. But I'm okay with that as long as we're still keeping in touch, and I know they will be back in force come MoP :)

  2. I'm playing a lot less than I used to. I barely play at all during the week and just do as many battlegrounds as I can tolerate at the weekends.

  3. I think most people are in that lull right now between "no new content" and "next expansion." I'd just take a bit of a break from WoW right now, rather than force yourself to play and end up getting burned out and quitting, and missing all the new content in Mists! Or, it's a wonderful time for alts, if you had any in mind that you haven't had time for.

    As for guilds, it might take some hunting, but there are definitely guilds out there who have very casual time commitments yet maintain high progression/performance standards. Might be a good time to start checking around!

  4. When it comes to WoW, the most important thing in my opinion is having a guild in which everyone really enjoys spending time with each other. My guild has now cleared 8/8 Heroic DS, and a lot of us are having our fling with Diablo, but every day I hop in vent, and people are on, chatting with each other and wanting to do things. It is that sense of community in my guild that really keeps me playing.

    So, my advice to you would be to find people that you enjoy playing with. They may not be top tier raiders, or they could be, but if you see those people online, encourage them to hop in vent and just hang out. To me, that's what keeps WoW fun. Not the content, but the people that you share it with.