Even though I’ve not been playing WoW for 2 or 3 months now, I still associate myself as a WoW player sort of. My twitter on avatar is still my old Pandaren warrior, with the background image being my druid dancing with a ridiculously long title over his head. I still occasionally follow along with MMO-Champ and Wowhead and read along with the new patch notes pretty regularly. I *definitely* follow any news of the new expansion coming. I still follow all the WoW devs on twitter and such. I think a lot of that has to do with how much of my time over the last 8 years has been wrapped up in the game. I know, full well, that I am not a WoW player. I occasionally get the urge to go log into my character, but then I remember i’m not subbed and it’s more of a “Shrug and move on” and less of a “Oh. Damn, that sucks” feeling, so I know that my time in WoW is still done (at least for now).
I think a lot of my biggest issue with WoW lately is that it had basically become repetitive. Log on, do garrison missions, go to sleep, wake up, log in, do garrison missions, eat something, log on for raid, occasionally go do mount farming, etc etc. It was a formulaic part of my day without being something I had a real desire to do. It was just something I did, like going to work or going to sleep. And that, to me, is one of the most telling things I can say about WoW right now. Of course, I can’t speak for how this latest patch might change that, as I quit before it was released. I didn’t feel any draw to play it, I just played it because I played it. Not having flying has been a HUGE drawback, but that argument has been done to death so I won’t get into it here.
My point is, the game had stopped being fun for. It stopped being interesting to me. Leveling at the start of Warlords was seriously such a great experience, and I loved every minute of it. But once I hit level 100, without dailies to help supplement my dungeoning (to gear up for raids), I was left with a massive gaping sense of “Well now what?” and I think that’s pretty much what all of my time in WoW had been since hitting 100 on my first toon. I kept saying to myself “OK i’ve done this thing that takes 5 minutes, now what?” And eventually, invariably, I would log off. Preparing for raiding really only takes so long, and there’s only so much work to do in between raids, so I pretty much stopped being able to answer “Now what?” with anything besides things I had no desire to do. Grinding rep is one thing, but grinding rep exclusively by killing shit and turning in tokens is not something I have the concentration to do all the time. There’s no variety there.
By and large, that’s the crux of the issue for me. I know that in a game where you have the same overarching goals from patch to patch and expansion to expansion (get gear, go kill the big bad), variety is kind of a premium. In the smaller in-betweens, however, is where that variety needs to be found. Different paths to getting gear (preferrably with all of them being actually active, and not “Send minions off for 12 hours and he’ll come back with gear.”), different paths to rep gaining, and mounts, and so on.