Another One Bites the Dust - Quitting World of Warcraft

A long-time WoW player tells her story... from beginning to end.

Every quarter Blizzard publishes their current subscriber numbers, and every quarter (with the exception of just after new expansions) it seems that number is shrinking. Last week, I added myself to that statistic.

First let me start by explaining what kind of player I was.

 

I'd been playing the game since midway through the Burning Crusade expansion. For those not well versed in the game, The Burning Crusade was released in January of 2007 and was followed by Wrath of the Lich King in November 2008. This puts me as starting the game somewhere around spring of 2008, although the actual date eludes me. I had played other games in the past but it'd be an exaggeration to call me a gamer at that point. World of Warcraft, however, changed my life.

 

I played a priest, a class I chose because I thought it would be nice to be able to heal people, to help them. At that point, I had no concept of organized game play. I was envisioning running past other nameless players and casting a heal on them in their time of need. It seemed to suit my personality; I like to help. Clueless about all game mechanics and completely non-fluent in gaming jargon, I ran around Elwynn Forest casting heals about and smiting tiny creatures. Eventually, when I ventured into Westfall, a higher level area (but still very early in the game), I was asked to heal a dungeon, a place called “The Deadmines.” I agreed and off we went.

 

It was somewhat of a disaster, truth be told, but it was the first baby step in my evolution as a healer. I went on to learn what I was doing and learn it well. In fact, I abandoned all other activities in the game. I ONLY healed dungeons. My purpose was to keep my party alive, at all costs. I joined a few lackluster guilds but eventually I realized I wanted to try my hand at this thing called 'raiding,' which was supposedly like dungeons on steroids with way more players and difficulty.

 

That was the beginning for me.

 

It was a door that opened to a community into which I lost myself. I healed my heart out for my guild and when I felt I couldn't go any further with them I joined a top raiding guild on my server. Tier after tier we tackled every boss Blizzard threw at us and eventually, when given the opportunity, we tackled them on hard mode and then heroic mode. In the process we formed our own community. A solid group of really fun, educated, adults. We became more than just game buddies, we became friends.

 

When in need, the guild called on me to help out as an officer; a position that eventually led to me becoming Guild Manager, a job I kept until I canceled my subscription, just a few days ago. I call being the Guild Manager a job because that's what it is. I ran an organization that required us to find quality players with good attitudes that were willing to put in 20-25 hours a week of work for zero pay. For those that have never participated in endgame raiding, that number might seem unrealistic, but we raided 3-5 nights a week for 3.5 hours a night. Add in the superfluous tasks that go along with raiding, like dailies, farming, and encounter research and you've reached second-job status. It was a lot of work for the players and even more work for the officers, but we did it for the love the of challenge and the friendships that we had forged along the way.

 

But running a raiding guild is stressful.

 

It's easy to get behind in the rankings and when you do it's hard to catch back up and that makes recruiting even more difficult. In a game that is hemorrhaging long-time players, keeping a group of twenty five (and then eventually just ten) knowledgeable and skilled players on the roster became harder and harder. Adding the unfortunate fact that I was one of just a handful of healers and the chief cheerleader for the guild meant I never got to take a break.

 

I guess the long and short of it is that I got burnt out. It happens. Suddenly the game I had spent all my time and energy on for so many years stopped feeling fun. I moonlighted playing other, newer, games only to come back and realize how outdated my game felt. Eventually I realized that I had had enough. With a heavy heart I informed my guild of my plans and I transferred guild leadership to a trusted officer. Luckily for me, a good portion of the people I love to play with have also branched out to other games so I'll be able to continue on with them. Those who wanted to continue to raid moved, as a group, to another server and guild. I certainly wish them the very best.

 

And so life goes on. I've started playing other MMOs, far more casually of course; I've started writing more about my experiences in games, and I'm even revisiting some games I may have missed while so intently focused on just one. We've even got a real-life guild meet up planned despite not all being in the same guild... or game anymore.

 

One more thing... thanks Blizzard for creating this world for us, for me. I'll always be a fan.

Contributor

Isyldra is a gamer, a mom, a Browncoat, and a lover of all things caffeinated. Bacon.

Published Aug. 12th 2013
  • Erik _1996
    Great Isyldra, thanks for sharing your story.

    My passion for videogames started when my mom gave me as gift my first thing to run a game, its name was Commodore 64. It was the 1985. It was great!

    Then it was the time of playing arcade videogames at bars and game rooms, remember?

    I really loved Black Dragon, have you ever played it? Well, if you are old enough like me (35 years old), you should!
    It was like a WoW at a very beginning, think about it. You need to farm gold to buy armor and weapons and you go through higher levels (the big different part is that Black Dragon has an end!).

    I played at many other arcade games during 80’-90’, and I owned console like Nintendo, Sega Master System, and the recent Play Station.

    It was with Play Station that I started playing Warcraft. I really loved it, since the beginning. Then arrived Warcraft 2 and after Warcraft 3, so it was the time to switch my gaming platform to a personal computer. I got my first one with a 56k modem connection at 18 years old, in 1996. And it was in 2002 then Warcraft 3 came out.

    In November 2004 arrived World of Warcraft, so I had to make a big update to my computer (the first big money spent for WoW) and in January 2005 I was playing in this fantastic online world.
    I have choosen Alliance at first. Sylvanas EU server.

    I remember leveling up a Human Paladin with all grey items until level 22, when I discovered Stormwind. A simple mob killed me in front of the city, it was my first death and I thought : now I am dead, do I need to purchase again the game? Really funny, yeah.

    So I arrived in the city and I discovered the auction house and all the other people playing.
    Paladin at that time was a bit boring, so I changed to Horde.
    I created a tauren druid, named “Toogood” (when I had chance I have spent 15k gold to purchase the Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth – great for the 2 vendors on it, so you could farm per hours without filling your bags).

    Day by day the game was even more attractive and I arrived at level 60. Then I stopped playing. I was without guild. I remember to have nothing funny to do at maximum level. I could not do the big raids and dungeons. Then arrived the first expansion, so I purchased it : The Burning Crusade. I created another character, an orc shaman, named “Toobad” (I have the Deathcharger’s Reins with him –Baron Rivendare Mount – I remember farming daily to get it!).

    Again, repeat everything.
    Level up until 70, both characters and farm items, join quests, etc.
    Then I stopped again playing. This time I quitted for good!
    A friend of mine joined WoW and convinced me to play back again, purchasing the next expansion : Wrath of the Lich King.
    I created another alt, for more fun. It was an orc rogue twink, level 29. A pretty powerful one.

    Again, repeat everything.
    Level up characters until 80, farm items, join quests, etc.
    Then I stopped again playing. It was January 2010.
    I saw the next expansions, Cataclysm and the last one of September 2012, Mists of Pandaria.
    Of course I wanted to play, to try the new content but it just didn’t seem worth it, there were more important things in Real Life. Bigger priorities. And to tell you the truth, I was even quite bored with the game at that point. So I never joined back WoW again.

    I am clean now.
    I have also written an eBook, with the goal of helping people to quit World of Warcraft.
    If I achieve to help just one player to quit his WoW addiction, then I have reached a great mission.

    I try to do my best, always. And I know I do it well. I simply find out that playing World of Warcraft could not bring me anything positive in real life. WoW really drained my energy, during the time I played. All my free time. And this game did not helped me reaching my goals.

    I do not want to see myself within 10 years from now, turn watching to my life and see everything I accomplished is a bunch of useless achievements points in WoW or a high gear score with Alt fake characters. I want to be successful in Real Life.

    I want to follow my passions in my free time. And you can do it just without World of Warcraft. So stop playing right now. You won’t regret it!

    You may want to check my eBook here :
    http://www.howtoquitwow.com/how-to-quit-world-of-warcraft-ebook/

    or the blog here:

    http://www.howtoquitwow.com/

    All the best !
  • Critley Lynn King
    Contributor
    I'm actually new to playing WoW and I'm currently loving it. I'm kinda going through an MMO phase right now. Im playing them on the PC and my mobile devices. I certainly hope Wow sticks around for awhile and I think with its die hard fans it will.
  • Capt. Eliza Creststeel
    Contributor
    The good side is that you got tired of the game before it got tired or shutdown.
  • Ecobahn
    Contributor
    Very interesting to read....makes me feel glad I didn't take up WoW as a permanent subscriber to be honest! Don't get me wrong, the few times I did play WoW I was in love with it! But it was never meant to be....and now I have guild wars 2 so :P Yeah.
  • Isyldra
    Contributor
    The competitive structure Blizzard has created for WoW (with help from 3rd party sites like wowprogress.com) is what kept me playing the game for as long as I did. It was nice to be able to quantify your progress in relation to other guilds/players. Currently I'm playing Tera (and GW2 a lil' bit). The challenge is sufficient (for now) :)
  • Ecobahn
    Contributor
    Haha Blizzard might have died a little to know you quit and (if even a little bit) play GW2 now. Well, I don't know about the relationship now, but I remember a few years ago that Guild Wars was the major contender against WoW, so it must cut them a little. Props should still go to WoW though. Whatever their flaws in the gaming world now, they did keep up a massive subscriber base and was the number 1 MMO for years, and could arguably still be if we look just at its number of players. It's had a good run, but I think it's time is running out. As Eliza Steele below me says: at least you can remember all the good times you had with the game, without the memory being marred by seeing it fade out.
  • Amy White
    Former Editor in Chief
    Very touching Isyldra, thanks for sharing your WoW story.

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