After agonizing internally for months, I went public with my decision to quit playing WoW almost two weeks ago. Guilt was the only thing that tied me to the world of Azeroth; although by the end of my run I was a piss-poor example of a Death Knight, I was still part of a raiding guild. I had a fiancé who still wanted to play the game. So, I forced myself to play. That… was a well-intended mistake.
I capped Valor for the first few weeks of my former guild’s raider initiative program, as was expected of me. I did dailies each day, working double-time to catch up after the healing process from a laparoscopy had me bedridden. The combination of complete ALL the dailies and chaining dungeons day in, day out was mind-numbingly boring. I did the occasional LFR to ~spice things up~, but anyone who has stepped foot in one can attest that LFR is a cesspool; I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve reported for being hatemongers. Each day after I finished the daily grind, my desire to do the “fun” stuff, like pet collecting or PvP lessened until it hit zero. Jake would ask if I wanted to do an Onyxian Drake run, I’d reply, “Nah.” Mount collecting used to be my thing and I had especially wanted the pretty purple dragon who eluded capture week after week.
By the time Throne of Thunder hit, what little momentum I had going fell flat on its face. I was completely burnt out. My listlessness toward WoW spilled into my “personal” gaming life as well, I no longer felt like playing anything because it was too much effort. Since when did one of my favourite hobbies become a soul-sucking chore?
At that point, not even the thought of raiding sustained me. For the last few weeks of my subscription, I logged in the one day a week I was scheduled to raid and idly hit my 3 (Frost Strike), 4 (Obliterate), and 5 (Howling Blast) keys while checking my phone. DoT uptime? If I felt like bothering. Soul Reaper at 35%? Pfft. I no longer cared about my raid performance, I was too busy counting down the seconds to “freedom.” I was once a social butterfly who joked, teased, and emoted her way through the three hours spent raiding. That girl ended up replaced by a robot who hardly acknowledged /raid, despite my former love for guild camaraderie. So after almost eight years of playing World of Warcraft, I made the decision to let go. Stealing that raid spot wasn’t fair to whoever was riding the bench for me, just like living a virtual lie wasn’t fair to myself.
Walking away felt bittersweet, like finally losing touch with an old friend who had grown up alongside you. I started playing WoW as a high school sophomore! It was my first MMO and the game that I always found myself running back to, even after flirting with several other MMOs. But, we’ve both changed and nostalgia only titillates for so long.