Why are you still playing?

I enjoy Warlords of Draenor. There I said it. It may be a somewhat uncommon and unpopular opinion at this moment, but it’s how I feel. In a climate of much angst and chagrin in the community, enjoying my World of Warcraft experience sometimes feels like a very lonely island to plant my flag on. This baffles me, in that so many people seem to be trudging through a game that they aren’t fully enjoying. While I understand that the years of time that people have invested in WoW may make them feel obligated to some degree to continue playing, the complaining seems almost nonstop.

I hopped into a twitch chat of a podcast I truly enjoy but rarely get the chance to enjoy live this past Wednesday. This was the day before the expansion was to be announced at Gamescom in Germany. I was able to listen to less than 10 minutes of this show, because they immediately started complaining the yet to be released expansion. To be spitting vitriol and disdain before even the announcement of an expansion much less any details of said expansion, or even better an actual opportunity to play it, seems so very unnecessary to me.
I’ve said this several times on my show, and maybe it just goes to illustrate yet another way that I don’t fit in among the larger community, but if you’re not enjoying a game, why are you still plying it? While I understand being critical of a game, and making suggestions, offering ideas, disagreeing with certain choices made by developers. The level of complaining tied with Warlords of Draenor has far eclipsed that however. Week after week I’m turning on WoW podcasts only to hear “Well I didn’t play any WoW this week” or, “Ugh just those stupid garrison chores and my blasted shipyard”. First of all, while missing playtime every now again because of the IRL boss is totally acceptable, I’d like to pose that if you’re on a World of Warcraft Podcast and not playing the game for consecutive weeks consistently, maybe you need to look at the content of your show. Honestly would you tune into a news report where the anchor started off the show with “Well I’m not really sure what’s going on ‘right now’ but I remember last week and it was pretty bad”. Also in the same vein, if you have nothing positive to say about the game at any point, take a step back and consider if you truly want to continue playing it.
The “obligation” factor, of having played a game for a long time, invested countless hundreds or thousands of hours, is a real thing. Much like a long term relationship that we just can’t seem to break out of not because we still feel that spark or are truly happy, but because we are comfortable, or it’s just easier to stick around than to forge our own way, a long term relationship with a game can be a hard thing to break. The good thing about a game as opposed to a relationship with another person is that you can take a break, go see other games, try something no, and then come back with no hard feelings.
I would strongly encourage you, if you’re not full enjoying Warlords of Draenor, if you find that Tanaan is a bore, if you think shipyards are the most convoluted game design mechanic ever designed, if you think that this raid tier isn’t inspired enough, GO PLAY SOMEWHERE ELSE. I’m not suggesting that you must love the game but if you find yourself complaining more than enjoying then it might be time to step away for a short while. WoW will be here when you get back. If you have nothing but negativity to spout when you come to raid, maybe it’s time to take a break.
TL;DR If you’re not enjoying something, anything really, that you really used to, there’s a couple things you have to asked yourself.
1. Has this thing changed so much that I’ll never enjoy it again?
2. Have I changed so much that I just don’t enjoy this anymore?
3. Do I want to stop playing?
Take a look at these questions, if you’ve answered “yes” to any of these, then take a moment and examine why you’re logging in. Take a moment and consider if you should be logging in.
At the end of the day player that are logging in out of obligation do little to nothing to further, foster, or grow the community, and maybe just maybe the game would be better without those that log in simply to complain.
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