The Two Types of WoW Burnout

WoW Burnout

There are two types of burnout that World of Warcraft players fall into.  WoW burnout is when you get tired of an aspect of the game and lose the willingness to play.  It happens to all of us at some point in time.

The first type of WoW burnout is what I call Aspect Burnout, where you get tired of one aspect of Warcraft after excessive repetition.  This happens when a player focuses too much on one aspect of the game, such as raiding, PvP’ing, or leveling.  They do this one thing over and over, and do not focus on any other part of the game. 

The most common form of aspect burnout is raiding, and you will see players left and right quitting WoW, or taking temporary breaks from the game because raiding has pretty much sucked the life right out of them.

World of Warcraft is a wonderful game, in that it is incredibly rich in depth and content.  Focusing on one aspect of the game is okay, but it’s important to remember there are many other facets to WoW that can help stem aspect burnout.

The second type of WoW burnout is on a larger scale, and that’s what I refer to as Game Burnout.  This is when a player gets completely fed up with WoW in general.  This can happen for many reasons, but most frequently it happens when a player tries to bulldoze through aspect burnout, or suffers from multiple aspect burnouts.

Again, let’s take raiding as an example.  If a person starts getting weary of raiding, but they push through it to the point of dislike, that is aspect burnout.  If they halt raiding, or severely limit it at this point, they can possible recover and not progress to a worse state.  If they push through the aspect burnout, and continue playing, whether it be addiction, or their guild’s need for their role in raiding, then it can evolve into complete WoW burnout, which often causes a complete shutdown of WoW. 

Keeping Burnout at Bay

Recently, with patch 3.3 coming out, I have been on a LFD tool tear, going non-stop in 5-man PUGs.  I have accumulated over 330 Emblems of Triumph in about a week and a half.  Yesterday, I began to feel the twinge of aspect burnout.  The LFD tool is helping me get caught back up in gear, since I missed a good chunk of raiding in 3.2.

I have been through both aspect and game burnout, and can recognize each when they start creeping up on me.  First and foremost, never let Game Burnout hit you.  That is rule number one.  You need to learn to recognize aspect burnout.  In my case, I started noticing a slight decrease in desire to PUG, where as I had been gung ho about it just last week.  This tells me to back off the 5-mans.

I still need my 2 Emblems of Frost a day, so I will continue to do one 5-man every other day or so to keep the emblems coming in.  But other than that, I need to focus my attention elsewhere.  By doing this, I am avoiding a form of WoW burnout, and can keep playing at my leisure.

I decided to shift my temporary focus on leveling my Mage (shockingly), and to making some more gold in the AH.  I will say that I have cut my play time in half during this recent stretch, so that is exactly what I need to be doing. 

When you are facing an aspect burnout, take a step back from whatever it is that you are growing weary of.  World of Warcraft is just a game, but addiction is a disease.  It is entirely possible to play WoW and not be addicted, but many people often fall victim to WoW addiction.  Most burnout instances can often be associated with WoW addiction, and it is important to take a step back from the game when you find yourself in such a position.

Your two options are either to find another aspect of the game to focus on, or to take a step back and strictly limit your playtime.  Either way works, so long as you remember your other priorities in life (which WoW should not be one of).

IMPORTANT:Any form of WoW burnout is your mind and body telling you to back off the game.  WoW should not be a priority in life.  Rather, it should be a leisurely, fun social or solo activity.  If you find yourself getting burned on aspects of the game, take some time off, or just minimally get on the game to recover.

Online gaming has the potential to create stress and friction in a person’s personal life and relationships, so awareness of excessive gaming and burnout is crucial.  If you find yourself burned, do the right thing and take a step back.  Your toons will be right there waiting for you just as you left them, so there is no rush!

Learn to control your playtime, and learn to recognize when you are pushing your limits.  Doing so can help avoid burnout, and allow WoW to be the fun entertainment it is meant to be.


  1. Sion says:

    I think another thing to add here is that you should not let your guild control the time you’re on. I have seen this happen before where people dont want to let down their guild and end up playing against their will. I truly believe that if your in a good guild with good people they will understand your position and welcome you back with open arms.

  2. Khor says:

    This is true, too. Some guilds that are completely progression oriented tend to prioritize game over real life. Unless you are pure hardcore, I’d stay out of this type of guild, because a flexible guild will always provide the best WoW environment possible.

    Of course, it all depends on how oyu play the game, so to each their own I guess 🙂

  3. Unidas says:

    Yep, I’m there. Burnout, that is. Have not touched the game in 2+ months after playing 2-1/2 years, 7 days a week for several hours(6+) a day. I burned on daily quests(yuck), leveling, (have 5 level 80’s) playing for crappy loot drops, guild chat and being suddenly summoned into a group that I have no interest in. Guilds are great for getting your gear up to par, but damn they can be overbearing and drama centers.

    I used to get up early on weekends to play it but no more. Hopefully when Cataclysm comes out my interest will be back.

    In the mean time I am playing COD MW2 and having a blast.

Speak Your Mind