I know I'm not the only one. We've spent too much time playing, too much time trying to get all the achievements on every toon we feel is important to us. With a holiday rolling to a close tonight (Hallow's End) many of us are tired of seeing pumpkins, candy, and daily quests as much as we are in real life. One can't help but groan when thinking about logging on to do...anything.
I finally managed to get the courage to sit down and peek back at the game after about a week. With getting a new job, a physics exam coming up, and having my exciting Halloween plans crushed (my friend's vehicle broke down), I didn't feel like doing the same repetitive things over and over (Headless Horseman). I figured with one horse on one toon, that was enough. All three of my toons have their squashlings and helms. My little pally is level 43 now, so she's been making progress.
So, to ward off the slightly depressing slump from "Warcraft Overload" I ignored Blizzcon, bowed out of my weekly raids, gave 1K gold to a friend and put 5K in my guild bank. I still have plenty. I let two up and coming healers in our guild take the spotlight over in the raider raid. I went to bed at 8 PM with knowledge that the raid was doing well and that they weren't desperately dependent on me. I'm a great healer, but being one of the best in your small guild comes with a cost: you are always in demand. It can get tiring knowing that if you need a Wednesday night off, you might be gimping the run for the night.
I did consider this week that maybe raiding isn't my thing anymore, maybe I am just in the mood to be a casual player who doesn't raid. Raiding does take a good three hours once a week, which is three hours I could be sleeping or doing something else. But, over the weekend I found I had a LOT of time where I would sit down and say "What can I do? I did all my cleaning, but I don't really want to play WoW..." But, here I am, Sunday evening, finally having been tickled by the WoW feather. Playing feels fun. Poking the candy buckets feels fun. Chatting with my guildies and cross country friends feels FUN.
Tip # 1 to Beat the Pre-Expansion Blues: Log Off.
Take a few days, a week, or even more to just not play. Pretend WoW doesn't exist. What would you occupy your time with? Would you watch TV? Read? Go jogging? Would you go to the shooting range, go shopping, go out with friends, go out to dinner, or maybe even cook a big dinner? WoW is a tricky hobby. It can seem like you only spend "a little bit of time" on it, but to get things accomplished, sometimes you spend five hours a night on the weekends. Would you spend five hours in the garage doing woodworking or painting?
I, personally, went jogging, organized my baskets of stuff, and did a little job hunting for after my current (new and shiny) job ends. I spent an hour or two sitting around with iced tea brainstorming all the fun fantastic ways I am going to blow my spare money. I settled on a new Blackberry Bold 9650 at the end of November and 4 new cutesy polo shirts from American Eagle IF I get the job at Home Depot. Oh, and two new pairs of jeans. I'm also buying a new pair of Nike Running shoes and a pair of tan sandals from Abercrombie and Fitch. Those are about the essentials that I will need going into my new job after mid-December. This one should be my last non-professional job before I graduate with my B.A. in Geology/Minor in English.
I also made three pitchers of iced tea and drank every one (with the help of my parents). I wrote two more letters to my brother and intend to write a third one tonight (he's in boot camp).
Tip # 2 to Beat the Pre-Expansion Blues: Clean Out Your Bank Toon.
If you're a packrat like me, then cleaning out your bank will give you a break from the usual routine of logging on, raiding, farming, etc. Sit down and decide what items are important to you and what you really don't need. I'm betting there's a lot of stuff you could get rid of to generate some goldflow and to give yourself a clean slate to work with.
I've recently finished cleaning out my bank. I only kept some essentials (eternal air, water, fire, etc) and some elementals. I also kept a few things like a Sulfuron Ingot, some ore, leather, herbs, and cloth. The money I made was pretty nice (about 1-2K gold).
Tip # 3 to Beat the Pre-Expansion Blues: Redo Your UI.
However, this one sometimes is only a temporary fix. It should be used in conjunction with Tip # 1. Visually rearranging your UI is similar to rearranging your living room or bedroom--it reinvigorates your view and stimulates your brain into thinking it is somewhere new. You can also switch up your mounts, add some non-combat companion pets to the sidebar, and maybe make some macros for your special abilities. I am about to slam dunk, no holds barred, wipe mine bare ass naked clean.
Tip # 4 to Beat the Pre-Expansion Blues: Roll a New Character For Fun.
This character is supposed to distract you from your tricked out, epic geared, amazing 80s. Roll on a new server where you have no contacts, no friends, no bags, no money, and it's just you against the world. Your goal is to defocus, immerse yourself in your character, and try to imagine what they would think, embarking out on their own into the world. You could also tie this in with a story-based blog, where you recount your characters beginnings, past history, and their journey into the world of Azeroth. I'm doing this. Nope, I'm not telling you where I'm going. That's the beauty of it.
Tip # 5 to Beat the Pre-Expansion Blues: Disable Real ID.
I did. I did it because I didn't want even my family or closest friends bugging me when I wanted absolute peace and quiet. I moved over to MSN Messenger where everything seems to be working out nicely. I missed being anonymous. I have kept some of my closest friends I've made through WoW but for the most part, I am happily back to being known as my character. Real ID is nice, but it doesn't allow for an 'invisible' mode. Sometimes I don't want anyone to know I'm on a different server farting around on an alt that was once unknown to everyone but me. I think this notion of "being available, ALL the time" on Real ID, no matter where we are in the game (or in Starcraft) has led to a lot of people becoming burned out from the social aspect of WoW. Unfortunately, that's a big part of the game and without it, the game becomes a bit boring (unless that is your cup of tea). But, an overload of social activity is no good either.
Therefore, to pull yourself out of the Pre-Expansion Blues Slump, go ahead and try a combination of any of the tips I suggested above. My recommendation would be to first do # 1, then when you come back from your short vacation from WoW, try to focus on what you missed the most and do any of tips # 2-5.
I hope these will help you all remember what you love about the game!