I wrote a post back on October 1st, 2008 which outlined how I was spending my play time in World of Warcraft after having been at the level cap (then 70) for several months. Here’s a snippet from the post:
…there is a part of me that’s not finding a whole lot of things to do in game. There are the dailies to do, but those to me are the very definition of a grind. Battlegrounds don’t really appeal to me, nor do the arenas given how badly I get slaughtered by the super twinks. That leaves running through instances, which I love doing, but generally don’t have the time for on a daily basis.
So what does someone in my situation do? If I were any sort of rational thinker I’d quit playing MMOs altogether of course, but that’s just crazy talk.
Fast forward to the present day where I’ve been at the level cap (now 80) for a couple of months now, and I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve become a slave to the grind. I’ve settled into a disturbing routine lately. I wake up every weekday at 5:00am (my dog’s bladder is a crazy accurate alarm clock), have breakfast, and read the paper for a few minutes. At 5:30 I’m in the shower, getting ready for work, making sure to be done by 6:00 so that my wife can start her morning routine. I start work at 7:00 and it’s a half hour drive for me, so that gives me from 6 to 6:30 to do whatever I want. Naturally, I log in to the game. Once in, I meet up with a couple friends and we run the Argent Tournament dailies together which take roughly ten minutes to do. The rest of my time is spent finishing off the dailies that can’t be done as a group. If I work things just right, I can get all the Argent Tournament dailies done before I have to leave.
I do this every morning. Sometimes, for one reason or another, I find myself running late and have to speed things up in order to make my 6:00 log in time. There have been times where I’ve been genuinely worried that I’d be unable to do the dailies, but I’ve managed to do the Argent Tournament dailies every single day for about a month now. The same few quests. Every. Single. Day.
Writing that makes me want to slap myself upside the head.
In addition to my daily routine, I’ve levelled my blacksmithing to 446/450, and even run through a few instances when time has permitted. I’ve also started doing the Arenas again, even though I’m as terrible at it as I ever was.
What does this all add up to though? I’ve certainly kept myself busy in the game, but it’s starting to feel like a series of make-work projects as opposed to having fun. It would appear as though I’m entering the inevitable level cap funk and I’m looking for other things to do with my time. The difference between now and my level 70 funk is that there isn’t a new expansion two months on the horizon.
I’m not going to be silly and predict I won’t be playing WoW in two months, but for now, I can see myself putting my main character back into hibernation for a little while, only to emerge for the occasional instance run. I’ve been meaning to go back to my mage alt (currently level 34) who I haven’t seen since Lich King came out, so I suppose this Is the perfect time to do so.
Now, who among you is willing to bet that this is all a load of crap and I’ll be right back doing the daily grind within a week?