My wife and I have decided to cancel World of Warcraft, and head for a new virtual world.
You might think we have grown bored, or are tired of the grind, or find the endgame unsatisfying, but in the end you’d be wrong about our reasons. So why are we leaving Azeroth?
The conundrum is that we like the game TOO much…
As you may know, we have been fairly serious about the MMO raid game, and have been a part of some top end guilds. We are also parents and working-class professionals and though this has been trying at times, it has always been a delicate balance that we have found the ability to maintain.
However, the pace of the game and the need for complete commitment to it in order to maintain the level of in-game success that we strive for, has started to strain on us outside of the game. At some point, enjoyment of the game, its mechanics and the people that you are playing with, can no longer sustain you through sleep deprivation, and a complete loss of freedom to pursue other activities outside of the game world. Raiding takes on a life of its own, and 3 nights a week becomes 5 nights… 5 nights becomes 5 nights plus a few hours of farming…
So we decided to call it quits. Other less drastic option are available of course, but we have ‘been there, done that’ with everything short of the current top tier raid content, and we did not have a desire to explore a more casual experience in that game specifically. Ironically, we both agreed that the casual pace of LoTRO appealed to our present desire to continue to MMO game, but to avoid the power-gaming urge for a few months or more.
Is the need to power-game in Warcraft a design flaw? Pursuing the advancement path and level of play that we did, was definitely a choice, but at what point is the necessity to push faster and father and more, in order to stay competitive in endgame raiding, cease to be a choice, and more a forced path of a flawed design model?
Is it even possible to design an endgame that doesn’t require more and more time and commitment in order to stay interesting and fun?