Originally posted on reddit in reply to the following:

Have you quit in the past/for good? Why? If you returned, why did you return?

I’ve taken a break after every expansion release. After BC I stopped playing during the grind to 70 on my first toon. I had been raiding for about 3 months already and I just got sick of my main. The old world still sucked at that point and I didn’t feel like leveling another toon, so I lost interest in the game. I don’t remember exactly how long that break was, but I know I didn’t come back till after 2.1 came out.

For Wrath my BC guild dove straight into the content and we made good progress. We were clearing Naxx, but not flawlessly, thanks to numerous weak links in our 25 man group. When Ulduar landed we made decent progress on 10 man, but again the 25 just kept running into issues and rarely even got to the watchers. Week after week of always doing the same first bosses got very boring, and once again I left to play other games.

I came back when 3.2 came out and we started working on ToC, but I started playing less and less from that point on, as I was now working a fulltime 9-5 job with a 2 hour daily commute. Two months before 3.3 came out I married my girlfriend of 4 years. Being married and working full time ate into my schedule a lot, and I simply couldn’t do the late night raiding as much as I used to. This made it harder to get into raids, since I often could only come for one or two nights a week. I stopped playing again for another 3 months, returning when the 4.0.1 patch came back so I could take advantage of the end-of-expansion heavy hitting to finally see all the content I missed out on before.

When Cata came out I left my old guild and joined a new one founded by a friend. Things were running great at first and we were enjoying the 5 man content, but pressure from work left me getting off later and later, and by the time I signed on no-one in the guild would still be on. The difficulty of the new content made it much more difficult to find other players skilled enough to pull it off, so even on weekends we weren’t able to get raids together. I stopped playing simply because:

  1. I had nothing to do and no one around to do it with, and you can only level new characters so far.
  2. It became too difficult to dedicate an entire evening to playing the game without interruption.
  3. The new player attitudes that were starting to appear in LFD made pugging into an infuriating experience that often wasn’t worth the time.
  4. I gradually shifted into other games, namely Minecraft and Team Fortess 2.

It’s probably been 4 months since I last signed into my WoW account, and I have been thinking lately I should get in there and disable auto-renew before my next 6 month period comes up.

I don’t blame Blizzard at all, as I don’t think any single action they’ve taken has made the game less fun. There is no way they could have foreseen the player behaviors that would appear as a result of the Random LFD tool. The tool is an ingenious addition to the game and does make the content more accessible, the flaws are in the human element. The other factors are the result of changes in my own life and my own priorities.

I know I will some day play the game again… I’m still regularly reading mmo-champion and keeping up on the latest updates, but my life hasn’t changed, and my time will only become more segmented when my wife and I start having kids. I’ve accepted that I probably wont log into the game again until the next expansion, when new leveling content appears.