Tobold's Blog
Friday, June 13, 2008
WoWnui or general burnout?

Normally when I travel I get MMO withdrawel, yearning for my current virtual world to play on. That is why I have WoW installed on my laptop. But on this trip I didn't play WoW at all. And I wasn't missing it either. Nor did I miss Age of Conan or any of the betas I'm in. Over the past weeks I only occasionally logged into WoW and did things like Shadowcloth or alchemy transmutes, but no real playing. I have WoWnui, or WoW burnout, and don't really feel compelled to play it any more, until something changes. I didn't cancel my account because in two weeks I'm going to the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Paris. (On my request for a press pass, Blizzard generously sent me a free ticket, which I don't need, because I already paid for one. I thinkt they misunderstood what I wanted.)

But the problem is that when I play other MMORPGs, I don't get much more excited either. Yes, other games have other classes, other spells and abilities, other content. But the basic gameplay of quest NPCs sending you out to kill 10 foozles and you earning xp to level up towards some level cap and repetitive end-game (PvE or PvP) remains pretty much the same. So while I'm still looking forward to games like WAR, it isn't with the same fervor as I was looking forward to WoW 4 years ago.

So how about you? If you are burned out from WoW, do you consider other MMORPGs as the solution to your problem? Or do these games all play like Progressquest to you? Are you still excited about MMORPGs in general, even if you are suffering from WoWnui?
<---Burntout in general. AOC is fun, but as you pointed out, many of the quests are kill 10 foozles just like any other MMO. I miss the feeling that WOW produced the first 100 times I logged in. The "I can't wait for the load screen to finish!" feeling.

Something seriously has to change for me to experience that feeling again, and to be honest, I'm not sure what that change is. My first few raids gave me the same rush feeling, but player drama quickly stomped that out. Going through 5 maintanks in 5 months is downright demoralizing.

As much as I want to fall in love all over again with AOC, I'm afraid the next rush I get will be when WOTLK is released. I can't justify spending 500+ dollars upgrading my system to play a game that offers more of the same.

But.. Maybe MMO burnout isn't such a bad thing. I'm enjoying games that I bought but neglected like Assassins Creed, Grand Theft Auto IV, and good ol Wii bowling. Now if Nintendo would just make an online version with league play :)

i pvp and rotate between my lvl 70 hunter/druid/mage and soon to be priest. it only takes an hour or so out of my day, the game is never the same since the players are unpredictable and its sooo much more rewarding than pve. your actually anticipating instead of mindlessly pressing buttons.

i cant be a burnout happening anytime soon.
I can't really say it is burnout, as that would be a negative. Sure, I'm usually pissed off about something when I quit WoW, but more often than not I'm not burnedout.

I just get bored of a good game. I know full well that at some point I will return to WoW... even with WAR looming in the distance.
Just take a break, you'll be better off. I was feeling like you are about 6 months ago and I dropped WoW for about 2-3 months. I started to get the itch for it again, so I came back and started leveling an old toon. I'm once again hooked and having fun.

There is no reason we should feel like we need to play these games all year long.

But please don't take a break from blogging. :)

I can't get excited about any MMO now, either. GTA IV, on the other hand, is very fun and deep...
Already took my break...(LOTRO made me drop MMO's like a hot griddle)
When I came back, I played EQ2 which was different enough from WoW to easily ween me off that gameplay...

Then AoC presented even better differences...even though some things are the same..
Even with the bad design decisions, I at least am satisfied over the fact that "Killing 10x Foozles" looks better in AoC than WoW or EQ2...

My suggestion? Take a break from WoW period...
About 2 months...and do not play anything of that nature...go play a single player some mvies, TV, and read some books..

Then when you come something that is NOT WoW..
You may NEVER go back to WoW.
Solution: go cold turkey until WAR goes live. No WoW, no LOTRO, no AoC, no betas, no nothing, period.

A clean break for 6th months. Otherwise you risk permanent burnout.
I agree with anonymous.

Sometimes a break is what's needed.

Took a "break" though I was data collecting in beta before AoC launched and now find myself very excited to be playing AoC for real, and this fall WAR.

Breaks from all types of games are good. It's like when you play... say a sports game for months on end then get burnt out because it's all you played. But come next season maybe your interest picks up again.

Same with genres or bands in music, types of readin materials, etc.

Variety is the spice of life.
Perhaps it's more like Diku burnout. After years of playing MUDs and online games, I'm certainly burned out, although I am strongly compelled to try Age of Conan based upon all the great reports of fun gameplay from friends. I am still going to wait a bit to see how it shakes out.

I've noticed the tendency for players to frontload the gameplay in MMOGs and really hit the catass mode hard when a game releases followed by weeks of burnout and then either long-term pacing or quitting.

With a game that has a certain number of hours of playtime available, the playing hard until you win attitude might work, but because of the protracted "leveling" involved in MMOGs, I think that approach tends to hurt more than help in the long run. But that's just my opinion. I'm not saying people should play different, just noting the behavioral impact of playstyle vs. game type.
I had to quit for 8 months to get any of it back. I've been playing with my wife leveling a new toon. But I'm finding the broken community at lower levels is sucking the fun out of the game. Blizzard has broken grouping, and convinced people that the only real game is end game and that is making the game even more 2 dimensional than it was to begin with. MMO's only have that magic when you have other happy excited players to help generate the fun. When they are all burned out overgrinded PVP or raiding rejects whove lost thier fun and rerolled all the burn out victims start dragging everyone else into the quicksand with them.
I don't personally have burnout at this point, but I do see it all around me. I'm a casual player, only putting in less than 10 hours per week. So even though I've played since the closed beta, I'm still not bored. Sure, I went through a period before BC, but that only lasted about a month.

I have seen a lot of it around me, though, and even blogged about it myself.
I've been experiencing WoW burn out for months. I have four level 70's and almost a fifth. I hoped AoC would get me out of that funk, but no luck. AoC isn't a bad game, it just isn't a whole bunch of fun. I spent $700 on computer upgrades. I went from AoC 10fps to about 30fps. The game runs good, but not nearly as smooth as a contact 60fps WoW, or guildwars, or hl2. The graphics programming in AoC really bites, and thats why such high end hardware is needed.

Now back to AoC not being fun, part is that I'm burned out of same old, same old. Part is that the minor differences are TOO minor. After level 20 I'd prefer auto attack to the AoC system. I'd much rather watch tv while I grind rather than watch shields and grind. Lastly I play a PoM and AoC really f**ked up the healer class. As far as I can tell all three healer types are the same. A couple hot's and a big heal on a 1 minute cooldown. While PvP is easy mode as a healer, PvE is retarded. I'd much rather be a whack a mole healer than not feel like I slam the tank with a heal because I already used my main heal.
After trying out a bunch of games and MMO betas over the last year since I quit WoW, I finally decided to sell all my PCs, my 30" monitor and replace them with a nice Mac laptop and a kick-ass wooden rowing machine. Current gaming is limited to my PSP.

I'm also half-way toward normal weight and starting to date girls again, but that's another story. ;)
perhaps what you are missing is a good story then? In oblivion i was compelled to enjoy and take my time on quests both because there was no rush to a level cap, and because the quests themselves were quite good (discovering and joining a secret order of vampire-slayers.... how cool is that?)IMO, today's slew of MMO's have too many necessary quests (to keep you busy and keep that progress bar rollin') but not enough meaningful quests. Is there any reason why, if we stick to the current quest formula, devs can't produce the majority of quests to resemble the "epic" quests in LOTRO? Or better yet, why can't modern MMO's take a page from KOTOR? Sure faction rep is there, but it really has no affect on my character. Being able to magically buy a few new items or take on a few more quests to endlessly grind is NOT a good reputation system. If i align myself with a sithlord i don't expect to appear as the handsome jedi i began as. Sorry for this long-winded post, but i think that MMORPG's need to cater more to the RP without forcing players to join a RP server and use their imagination.
I've gone through cycles of urnout with most computer games, WoW included. mostly these burnouts are for the reasons described, I'm doing the same darn thing over and over and it just doesn't have the same impact.

The progression requirements in WoW really hurt burnout wise, since the leveling requirements mean I can't just try out something new without sacrificing leveling speed, or explore a new character type/area without playing through a lot of levels first. Guild wars has similar problems with the missions and locations of skill trainers.
I can say with absolute certainty that if WAR doesn't satisfy my MMORPG craving, no other game will and I'll wistfully withdraw my attention to the genre as a whole.

As I get older, my priorities have shifted and even with WAR, I feel as if I'm making sacrifices on other things to give it the attention I have been so far. Once it launches, I'll be able to play 15 hours per week at the maximum without wanting to spend more time with the family, friends, and my various other hobbies, including several different competitive sports.
I've taken a couple 4-6 week breaks from WoW, usually with no mmorpg being played. When I have come back to WoW, it's more enjoyable than when I left. A game should be fun, not feel like a commitment.
The really big problem with leaving an MMO after you hit burnout is you come back so far behind all your friends in game that you never really get to group with them the way you did before. You perpetually get banished to the 2nd or 3rd string or have to go find a new group of players to play with. I think that causes more of the angst and burnout than anything else. People don't want to leave and fall behind and get left behind. So they play until they absolutely hate every minute of the game and then leave.
Oh great, another link for mmorpgs are history (c)
Yep same here ;). And judging from what I am reading on other blogs, we're not the only ones.

I do still enjoy Eve a lot. Probably because it's much more a sandbox, and it doesnt peg you down into some sort of class system.
<< WoW Burnout

But I have a good excuse I played a tank since beta, and just had enough.

Currently I am playing AoC, but though there are some things I like about it, it doesn't have the polish WoW has. The problem is have I played WoW so long am I ruined for all other MMO's. I did play Dark Ages of Camelot before WoW, and I was burnt out on that as well, played a healing class here.

In WAR maybe I'll play a dps class so as not to get burnt out.
I'm still enjoying Sunwell. My guild has 2 out of 6 bosses down, so we have 2-3 more months of content left to us. As long as I have new content to raid, I'm fine. Running the same stuff over and over with nothing new on the horizon won't work however. If we "finish the game" I'm sure my 25 hours a week playtime will shrink down to 7 or 8, as I'll just log in for PvP when I feel like it.
After 3 years playing Alliance I've rolled Horde and am having a great time. Oh, I had a couple of toons on the Horde side, but none that got very far. Now I have a 62 Troll Rogue, a Tauren Druid in his 30s, and a 26 BElf Mage doing his best to hit Exalted with Undercity before he dings 40.

I've got new starting zones and the flip-side of familiar zones to explore, and for the epic storyline that anonymous (13/6/08 18:38) alluded to, the Ghostlands is amazing. The Rep 'grind' with Tranquillien is hardly a grind at all, and the series of quests that culminates with you visiting Lady Sylvanas in Undercity and Thrall in Orgrimmar to 'officially' join the Horde is very well done (IMO).

Of course as I said, I have a quest to hit Exalted with UC with my BElf Mage before he dings 40, so in this respect leveling to 70 as fast as I can is not my goal. I will best reach my goal by exploring every corner of every zone in an attempt to do every quest I can find, whether green, gray, or otherwise. As one of Bartle's 'Explorers' I couldn't be happier :)
I too am a little burned out. I think that is also not a bad thing. I am getting more reading done, and my eyes have turned back to more creative things like drawing, something I haven't done in a very long time.

Games are funny things. When I think about playing Warcraft for years straight, that really suprises me. I mean, almost every day for several years, I came home from work and logged in to play WoW. You don't really do that with much of anything else. Most books and book series end, TV goes into re-runs for long spells, single player games are played in heavy doses but also get put away for long periods of time too.

WoW was my first MMOG, and I still find myself occassionally breaking out of the enchantment and thinking what a silly thing it is to have focused so much time and effort into one very singular entertainment item. I don't regret playing the game and enjoying it as much as I do, but I am never surprised when that dose of "I am just tired of playing this" hits me. It is natural, and I think a sign of a healthy person to feel that.

Enjoy the break. The fever will hit again soon enough. If we were always on a permenant high, well, it would just not be natural or healthy.
Yes, mmo-burnout. I'm tired of playing a copy of a copy of a copy...

Everybody is going after the same formula over and over again to get a piece of the's shallow...and it's summer ;-).
Maybe it's the genre, as well.

How long could that last?

I know, also, that it was the sheer amount of time played (like the previous poster, I would log on once I returned home from work, immediately, on weekends when I woke up, heck, even after sex and accelerated pillow talk), and it is weird when the desire stops.

WoW was my first MMORPG, and so I have not gone through this before. And after years, all that desire to play just ceases, or recedes.

Maybe it is a recess, but I have already gone through the quitting-and-coming-back-less-and-less cycle.

It seems I am not alone. Maybe there is some support group we could all join? I like the idea of the guy with the rowboat machine. :)

I must admit that I am looking forward to Champions Online, but that is a long way away.

I've got WoW-nnui, too.

And while I enjoy reading about what's going on, I don't really miss the game(s) or the drama and non-fun parts of the experience.
I played WOW for 2 years and loved it but gave up after I got sick of the guild politics.

I tried a whole bunch of other MMOs and didn't find anything that interested me until I started Eve. That game has really sucked me in with its depth and open sandbox style. No questing here and there, it's all about doing whatever you want to do.

I still love PVP but I'm really enjoying the industrial/scientific side of Eve, it's very interesting.

Give Eve another go Tobold and don't do any asteroid mining, that's sure to kill your spirit. :)

On a side note, I installed WOW last week using a 14 day trial. I got a warrior up to level 10, spent my first talent point and then logged off and uninstalled the game. It really doesn't interest me one bit anymore...two years is more than enough.

Here's hoping WAR Online can live up to its hype.
No gaming burnout here. I think this is because i dont take gaming seriously at all. It is something to pass spare time with, like so many other activities, all competing for my leisure time. When taken in such moderation the chance of burnout decreases dramatically i guess. If i had to watch movies on dvd (which i love and do alot) 8 hours a day, 7 days a week i would become bored too and catogorize the activity under 'work' and demand a hefty sum of money for my time spent.
I'm not really playing any MMO's atm (expect GW if you think that's an MMO though I don't really play it anymore).At the moment I'm mostly just playing TF2, FIFA 08 and I just bought Titan Quest.
I solved MMO burnout by limiting my time playing AoC to roughly an hour or two a day and mixing in more group content for pve/pvp. For the rest of my gaming needs, Ive started playing through some of my psp games (working on castlevania X, just unlocked SotN and original Rondos blood) and playing the new MGS4 that just came out. I can see my PC gaming eventually dwindling to nothing until they actually give a reason to use Directx 10 and getting a gaming rig that cost under $1000 might be worth the upgrade.

It is summer time and because there is soo much more to do besides grind some foozles ona MMO I can definately get my gaming in smaller bursts from console gaming and be satisfied. I want my hobby to remain a hobby and not feel like a job.

A good refreshing game to play is Devil May Cry. It show how much more detail and care is put into the gameplay, rather than a plain cut/dry go here, kill this, rinse/repeat lvl. On DmC for example you get a rating based on how well you explored and how much you discovered and how succesfully you accomplished the lvl with a A-F rating system. The replayability factor is great because it is a challenge to improve on how you are beating the game.

It definatly helps a player appreciate the game more when they can attribute beating the game to something besides their time spent, such as their efforts and problem solving skills.

Gametap and Steam cured my MMO burnout. I'm currently playing the WAR beta with great enthusiasm, but I went through a period of months over the winter where I couldn't be bothered to really dedicate large amounts of time to an MMO. Checking out Steam and Gametap for games I had missed while I was playing WoW, Eve, SWG, DAoC, and EQ, got me over my burnout. I'm refreshed and revitalized, and totally digging WAR.
I have gotten this with a few games, usually after player for ~1 year. I have no idea how people can play WoW for so long.. ugh. But I suppose it depends on what you like. All I can say at this point is that I am hopeful that Darkfall Online, released Jan 22 2009 will end most of the drudgery with MMOs, the lvl grind to end-game play. The features in this game look intriguing. An MMO that is also a FPS and a RTS that forms politics and economies like in Eve, but in a much different setting. I know I'll be there.
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