What is it About Level 73?
My two main characters in EverQuest II had reached level 73 before I completely burned out on the game and cancelled my subscription. Even before the release of the latest expansion at the time, Rise of Kunark, my interest in the game was waning, but the expansion rejuvenated my gaming spirits somewhat and I jumped right in. Unfortunately, I found every single quest I did in RoK to be a terribly boring grind, and soon after I was forcing myself to play even though I didn’t want to. I tried switching mains from my Berserker to my Mystic to see if that would be the breath of fresh air I needed. Instead, it just meant I was doing the same boring quests all over again, just with a different character. The grind didn’t magically disappear, and the writing was on the wall. My senses finally kicked in and told me it was stupid to continue playing if I wasn’t having fun so, after three and a half years, I quit the game.
I’m now almost through level 73 in World of Warcraft, and that same feeling that hit me in EQII is slowly beginning to creep in to WoW. Unlike EQII however, my waning interest is not caused by the game itself; I’m still enjoying my experience in WoW. The difference this time is that I’m finding fun elsewhere.
At present, there are two games that I’m enjoying more than WoW: Left 4 Dead, and Gears of War, with a strong emphasis on Left 4 Dead. It’s been very refreshing taking little breaks from the MMO mindset, and where in the past I may have forced myself to keep going (“I’ve got to get to level 80!!!”), I’m now too appreciative of my small amount of free time to spend it doing something I’m not enjoying. It all comes down to balancing priorities. You’d think that it’d be a fairly obvious concept, but it’s all too easy to get too wrapped up in these alternate lives. I still think I’m a ways away from quitting WoW, but my play time will be drastically reduced. I suspect once I’m done with it though, I’ll be done with MMOs altogether for the foreseeable future.
As a casual player, it’s been interesting watching how things have transpired since the expansions release, and it’s amazing to see just how many people continue to play the game even though they’re not having fun. In my next post, I’ll take a closer look at some of the burnout that I’ve witnessed first hand, but until then, go out and have some fun, wherever it is you find it.