The 6 Signs of Raiding Burnout

We’re just a few weeks into a new expansion, so it feels a little strange to talk about burnout. However, Blizzard made a critical miscalculation when they worked on Wrath. They lavished most of their time and energy on quest and 5-person dungeon content–which is essentially single-view for many players. I know I certainly haven’t brought my alts through Northrend yet. However, they spent very little of their design energy on new raids. Naxxramas, which I never saw pre-Wrath, feels dated to me–it was already old the day I stepped in there. It’s something that was very cool for its time, and is fun even now, but just looks like Classic WoW. It’s like Eastern Plaguelands, part 2. For example, take a boss like Grobbulus. He looks like a butt with a face on it, or a face with a butt on it…or just a butt, with a gas mask. How can I help but be a little disappointed, especially when Blizzard is capable of creating a boss as beautiful as Malygos?

The fact that the new Naxx is tuned to be rather easy isn’t the biggest factor in how I feel about it. After all, I loved Karazhan–it was the unique mechanics and the enchanted-castle look of that place that kept me going back for more, not the difficulty level. The only two new raid instances, Obsidian Sanctum and the Eye of Eternity, are one-boss wonders. They’re cool and challenging, but there’s just not enough new bosses there to get the blood pumping.

I, for one, am very disappointed that Ulduar hasn’t hit yet. At the end of BC, I was on top of the world–Illidan and Archimonde fell for my guild right before the patch. Pre-Wrath, I got a little peek at Sunwell up to Felmyst. I had started to love raiding, and I wanted bigger challenges. . . like an entirely new instance full of beautiful, sad giants and lovely starscapes. I hope that’s Ulduar. If it had been me, I would have held Wrath entirely until at least one new full-length raid dungeon was ready.

Are you suffering from early burnout, dear reader? If one of the following six signs applies to you, you may want to see your nearest priest, who will probably prescribe a healthy diet of alt leveling and shameless achievement-chasing.

The 6 Signs of Early Burnout

1. The first time you ever saw one of the Naxxramas bosses, you said to yourself: “Not this guy again.” That, for me, was Heigan, who looks suspiciously like a lot of the trash mobs in Northrend. Hey! I think I killed that guy in Dragonblight. And Zul’Drak.

2. When your fellow raiders drop a train set, you wish that you could teleport them to Stranglethorn arena and kill them all. Choo choo? I hate you. Note to self: learn to PvP.

3. You’re tempted to send the Four Horseman a little note telling them how to better coordinate themselves for easier kills on overconfident adventurers. Note to the 4H: go for the healers, especially the druids. Wait no, scratch that . . .

4. When a boss dies, you run to get another beer–or in my case, Bailey’s–without bothering to see what he dropped. Purples, schmurples.

5. You and your friends have each incurred a repair bill of approximately 1589 gold this week because you’ve been trying for the Heroic dungeon achievements. After all, achievements are the real game, and all the leet players ride red proto drakes.

6. Tuesday is the high point of your week–not because it’s the start of the raid week, but because that’s the day your egg from the Oracles always hatches. I just got my baby Cobra–how did you do?

30 thoughts on “The 6 Signs of Raiding Burnout”

  1. Erm, actually, no. It’s alright for you guys who were up there before WotLK hit, who have lots of time, who have “been there, done that, bought and traded the T-Shirt”, but actually I haven’t.

    My guild has cleared Spider Wing on Normal and Heroic and the same for OS. We’re still gearing up, we’re finding Naxx hard. I’m just getting back into the swing of raiding after levelling, gearing in heroics and Christmas holidays. Having never seen Naxx before, it’s all new and exciting for us. The only proto-drake I will ever see will hatch from an Oracles egg (my first will hatch on Sunday) or from the special event achievements (which will be another year because I missed the stupid beer tasting thing). I also have 4 zones still to quest in yet.

    Apparently I have the gear for more adventurous things, but given my play times (I have kids) and the guild I’m in, I don’t care if Blizzard bring out Ulduar or not – there’s no way I will see it for a good 6 months after it arrives anyway.

    I think you might be preaching to the few rather than the masses (remember Ghostcrawler saying how few people had actually got to level 80), but was an interesting read anyway.

    Sephrenias last blog post..New Year – peace at last

  2. My egg hatches on Sunday. The cobra hatched last Sunday.

    I’d agree with Veneretio that it sounds more like boredom. I’ve passed to others on the last three upgrades for me and I’m not epic’d out. Probably more because I can heal just fine with what I have and couldn’t care less about the loot although it’ll probably bite me when Ulduar hits.

    kyrileans last blog post..How Do You Motivate Members?

  3. U guys are a bit out of my league anyway. I’m still not geared for the harder HC instances and my guild tried… but failed miserably on Naxx ๐Ÿ™‚ No problem, we will get there no worries. But it’s still a challenge, so It’s all good ! ๐Ÿ˜€

    So we’re not done yet. But I guess you guys are uuuhm… I hate that word, but pro’s. So I understand u are getting bored with it. But i’m not and my guild is not either. So we’re not worried.

    Have you tried other games? Maybe you’re just wow-tired. I have that every other 6 months ๐Ÿ™‚

    oh, and Matt… drinking is not the answer lol ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. We are a hard core raiding guild on a high pop server (kilrogg #1 horde side; #2 server wide) and we USED to raid 5 days a week while we were working on Sunwell. Then we got Sunwell down to 1 day a week and we just didn’t know what to do with ourselves. When everything got nerfed just before expansion, it was like YAWN for everything until achievements came out.

    When achievements came out we scheduled raids into AQ40 AQ20 BWL, OLD Naxx, etc. just to get the achievement points (even though we did them all before, lol). We even took out 2 of the 4 city bosses before the expansion. Killing a level 80 elite king takes a while when your level 70, lol. And people changing us into Scourge while we were tanking the king was alot of fun as well…..NOT!!

    Fast forward to today, we clear Naxx and Malygos on Tuesday, we do OS 3D and the Wintergrasp dude on Wednesday. Then we pug 10 man Naxxs for our alts and do Arena, PVP, achievements, or just go AFK alot, lol.

    I agree with your post, it not as much burnout as it is boredom. And the encounters in UP I think are the type of original stuff I would like to see in Ulduar. I can’t wait.

    Good article. =)

  5. I definitely feel the burn(out). I rushed to 80 on my priest (2nd healer to 80) I was in Naxx on a pug that weekend, and I cleared naxx-10 the week after that.

    My prior experience raiding? Up to AQ40 in vanilla, then a hiatus about a month into BC. I came back to 2.4.3 and cleared up to illidan before the patch. Not hardcore, but probably more than casual.

    I have now cleared all wrath content on my priest up to Malygos and I really just… couldn’t be bothered to raid. I still have a sub i200 hat, but I’m not sure what’s creating the apathy to raiding atm. I think that a small break could be in order, and I’m spending my wow time leveling up a death knight. I’m taking that one slowly, leveling up BS and mining at the same time. I think that Wotlk can really punish people with adhd. There’s way too much to do.

  6. My disappointment is mostly about how front-ended Wrath content was. Leveling was wonderful–remember the NPC Freya in Sholazar basin?

    Now that’s what I want to fight. Things that are pretty, things that are well-designed, things that have interesting lore implications. The abandoned avatars of forgotten gods? Bring em on. I hope Ulduar has things like Freya in it.

    The whole Naxx thing feels dated to me–and that applies on the first visit as well as the farm clears. Sure, they’re Scourge, but nothing in the dungeon fits into the Arthas storyline, at least not in any way that’s obvious to me. And the looks–that’s pretty darn important. One of the main reasons I play is to enjoy the art. No one else thinks that Naxx looks a little…gray?

    Otherwise, I raid to enjoy new mechanics. It’s not really about how much content I clear. Sometimes things just don’t feel new, even when it’s the first time I see them. Something like Thaddius, with his positive and negative charges, was probably awesome for its time, but it feels dated now, because his tricks got reused in Heroic Mech, which was something that a lot of people went through multiple times. So even though I didn’t see the original Naxx, the fun had already been spoiled before it started.

    Kel’Thuzad? He looks disappointingly like Araj the Summoner and Rage Winterchill. In fact, exactly.

    The one change I might have made, as a developer, to Naxx would have been to do all-new boss models with more Wrath-style designs. Wouldn’t you like to fight something that looks as cool as the new Sylvanas? I think that redone character model should set the standard for what they do with the art.

    It has always been my feeling that Naxx is our raid instance in Wrath because it saved development time. I can’t help being disappointed that the content that I repeat most is essentially stuck at a design-level 60. Wouldn’t it have been nicer if they, say, expanded on the Utgarde Keep/Pinnacle and made that the raid dungeon?

  7. Thank goodness I have so many things and ways to keep myself busy. I would’ve been done a long time ago.

    Drinking totally solves everything.

    Even though there may not be much to do raiding wise in the game, there’s always other stuff to do (like writing).

  8. I intentionally took my time leveling up because of the lack of raid content. I never did Naxx in vanilla but there’s very few new things in there. As others have said, I feel like I’ve seen it all before. Malygos and OS are fun and interesting but too short.

    Maybe my problem is that I don’t care about achievements. If it gives me something, I might look into it but I’m not going to go out of my way for useless achievement points and a title.

    I’m still having fun due to my alt, a druid tank. He hit 80 last week and it’s been fun and a bit nerve-racking figuring out how to tank. One thing I quickly found out was that tanks have to know the instance and the bosses pretty well. As a healer, my job was pretty much the same on every fight and I didn’t pay too much attention to what the tanks and dps were doing.

  9. The first time I had burnout from wow was back on my hunter along time ago. We had been farming BWL for probably 6 months. I was in full Dragonstalkers and was chosen as the hunter to remain in full Dragonstalkers since the tier set bonus was seriously OP. During that time we had started farming AQ40 and Naxx had opened up. We raiding around 5 hours a night 5 days a week and I had recieved zero upgrades for about 3 months. I took a break from wow for about a month and came back a month before TBC came out.

    The second time was again on my hunter. I had transfered to Ner’zhul and got hungry for high end raiding again. I apped to numerous top 50 raiding guilds and recieved an invite to one. It started off well clearing all the of Hyjal and up to Illdari council the first week of raiding. We had server firsts and top 30 US kills on BT bosses. The guild leader though decided to raid with sub standard players and they also decidied to run the loot council into the ground. In the space of 3 weeks we went from smoothly killing everything to wiping for 7 HOURS on Najentus. I quit wow again for a time but eventually came back to my pally and made him a tank

  10. We have not even really started raiding as a guild. But I am finding myself more and more on alts. Plus side I did get to go back and make a Death Knight. The quest like was as cool as they said it would be. Now I just need to figure out how to play her.

    hydras last blog post..Tale of Winter Vale in Orgrimmar

  11. My guild clears Naxx 25 every week and has since the 3rd week of WotLK so I can see where one would get a bit bored with it (as well as Archivon and OS).

    I’m probably not 100% there yet so I think I can last another months raiding time at least doing these same encounter over and over a bit more yet.

    Maybe it’s just me but the one thing that bothers me and something I never have been into is all of the “non raiding” or “non questing” things they put in the game. The new Achievement system is one good example I can think of. While I do not mind it, I personally see little point to it and won’t waste my precious time online seeking out to complete as many as I can. I have more than enough to do to grind rep and farm to supply my raiding consumables and repairs etc.

    I would have rather seen all of the development time and man hours used towards having Ulduar ready and in the game now. Additionally the lag in Naxx has been absolutely horrible the past couple weeks, it might have been nice for them to realize that EVERY guild on the planet will be in this place after a months time and its going to impact performance dramatically. More time should have been spent to avoid this situation.

    /end rant.

    Nice post though, I think any progression guild is pretty much bored of the current content or very close. It’s sad when the most challenging aspect of Naxx is fighting continuous lag.

  12. I see Syd’s point. At this point we do every 25 man on Tuesday, unless we are going for Immortal (which is a terrible, terrible achievement btw). So I play DS games. Raid 4 25 raids on one day, spend the rest of the week with The World Ends With You (great battle system…).

    But I think Blizz made the right choice. Most players will spend most (if not all) of their time questing, in 5 mans, or progressing in 10 mans. They still have tons to do. If we hadn’t leveled to 80 in under a week or two, and played just an hour or two a day, we would still have tons ahead of us. And we would be part of the majority.

    That is the price we pay for being at the top (of raiding). Only a 1000 guilds have done Sarth3D on 25 mans… Blizz can’t afford to cater to us. So I am happy for the wonderful quests, and the beautiful 5 mans.

    Plus, do you remember how broken the raids were in TBC…

  13. I never reached the TBC raids before the first round of nerfs, but I do remember that TK was in the game from the beginning and SSC not too much later.

    However, TBC had Karazhan. Lovely, wonderful Karazhan that I liked pretty well for the whole year that I ran it. Sure, I got tired of it, but things that are new-feeling and well-designed bear repetition more easily.

  14. Sydera –

    Here is a good example of Naxx looking old.

    The model for Kelthuzad. This SAME boss graphic is used in Naxx OLD and NEW, Mount Hyjial, and even the OLD OLD OLD so VERY OLD Scholomance.

    Blizzard – we are tired of that old graphic used for lich type caster bosses!!!!!!

  15. During BC, I was in a hardcore guild. Now on WotLK, after a /gdisband, I joined a friends guild, but they are more like casual =( I love the highend, so we are still working in Naxx 25 and never tried Malygos;

    Maybe I’ll try to find a new group, more hardcore than mine, cause I’ll be really sad if Ulduar patch comes without killing Kelthuzad 25.

    But yes, I felt like ‘I have been here before!’ … Its stranger that after a long road leveling 70-80, the first raid is Naxx… I did it on classic, and many times during TBC….

  16. I agree with alot of the commentors here, its not so much burnout as it is boredom. But I wouldn’t say I’m unhappy that Ulduar hasnt been released yet. A lot of us may be downing all the raids consistently every week but there are many people out there that are still fighting their way through each quarter and continuing progression. Being able to get all the raids done in one/two days is great. I have time for alts, gold farming, pvp or (drum roll) real life stuff.

    Now, I’m going to ask a question that I’ve been wondering about that might be a little harsh. I might hurt peoples feelings, but its mostly because I’m curious, not because I’m a jerk. Well not completely, because I’m still a jerk sometimes.

    – I hear a lot of people throwing it around that “casual” players can’t clear Naxx, or at least still having lots of problems. What exactly makes it so that a casual can’t clear Naxx? My guild clears Naxx in 3 hours so I know its not a time restraint. And we cleared it on our first attempt, so I know it wasn’t that the gear wasnt available (“hardcores” were clearing it in 70 gear with less than a full 25). We don’t min/max.. We don’t always bring the most geared players, we are always bringing alts or friends to help them gear. It seems to me like the only thing that would be holding back a successful Naxx run would be that the players are underperforming considerably or they just do not understand the encounter. I know it’s going to come off as snooty, but its just because I want to understand what causes the failure.

  17. this:

    “2. When your fellow raiders drop a train set, you wish that you could teleport them to Stranglethorn arena and kill them all. Choo choo? I hate you. Note to self: learn to PvP.”

    hearing this during raid downtime makes me foam at the mouth and type unbecoming things in raid chat.

  18. I still haven’t done Malygos, since my guild does that particular raid at a time that is inconvenient for me, but I have cleared the rest of the content. After clearing Karazhan every week for about a year, I honestly think that I can put up with Naxx for a bit longer.

    Really, the only thing on the list that applies to me is #2.

    I hate those stupid trains… >:-(

    Bacclors last blog post..Construct Quarter – Thaddius (25)

  19. What has saved me was leveling in instances. I still have a TON of plot quests to do. There are even a few 5 mans I haven’t set foot into.

    We still have drakes to do, but the end of the line being so near scares me to death.

    Also, I get up for drinks during loot. We are getting a lot of Apex Crystals for the gbank. You?

    Aertimuss last blog post..Heroic 1 Drake and Heroic Malygos Down!

  20. Our raid is having similar feelings.. we only officially raid 25 mans one day a week with an optional follow up the next day. We cleared Naxx 25 the first time we went in there. Still we have heroic Maly and Sarth3D to work on so we’re not totally bored yet.

    @ Cringer: I think one of the things that makes a big difference is if you have a group of people who are experienced in end game raiding and know their class well. There will always be players who don’t quite get it, or don’t do the research, or don’t min-max etc. There are many different play styles and skill levels and I think all of the end game raiders types sometimes forget that – myself included!

    Jezraels last blog post..Pew pew….. Zzzzzzz…

  21. lol, this is disturbingly true. The only ones that don’t apply to me are 1 and 3, because (1) I didn’t play pre-BC, so the fights are mostly new for me, and (3) let’s just say not everyone in my guild is geared and/or competent yet. >.>

    My guild hasn’t cleared all the 25-man content yet nor EoE10 and I’ve only personally downed Malygos once, but to me it still feels like I’m stuck in a horrible deadlock. Lag is horrific on my server Blackhand during peak raiding hours (which is also, unfortunately, when my guild raids) and is preventing us from downing certain bosses that we would’ve otherwise had dead over a month ago. Until Blizz fixes the server, the queues, and how the data for certain encounters like 4H and Thaddius are handled, we’re probably not going to get anywhere unless we change our raid schedule to early mornings (no.) regardless of how awesome we as players are.

    I can’t seem to find a stable group to run EoE10 weekly with. Me and a Hunter friend of mine are taking turns running with a group from another guild right now, but it leaves me feeling very empty, knowing that it doesn’t count towards my own guild’s progression and that we’re only allowed in the group because the other guild is on good terms with one of our DKs, who is desired for pulling sparks. The whole ‘Huntard’ and underappreciation thing is still a big mental obstacle for me on WoW. Our own guild’s MT is suffering from burnout. Our weekly 10-man attempts on Malygos have grown increasingly ineffective (and shorter) largely due to the fact that almost nobody expects a kill, and our MT is calling it after just a few attempts. It’s the wrong mentality, and people are not going to learn that way.

    I still love raiding — the feeling of power and contribution to a group of people and seeing things die (but not the raid.) I’ve held up very well in the face of expansionitis and burnout up til now but what’s most demoralizing to me is seeing others give up. >.> but what can I do? Of all the guilds and players therein on Blackhand, I feel that I’m in the guild that best suits me already.

    A couple of my closest WoW friends and I are contemplating starting up a new guild in a few weeks. Things are looking good. We’re not the only ones disgruntled by the current lack of motivation in our current guild, and we already have almost enough people who say they’ll join the new guild to resume raiding as soon as the new guild goes live.

    On the bright side, one of my friends levelled 2 priests to 70 back in BC. He didn’t want to constantly respec so he had one priest as always Holy, and one as Shadow. He’s decided that healing is his one love, and is making a Holy Paladin his main though.. so I’m getting his former SPriest to level and raid with. My abhorrence of repetitive tasks (ie going through the same quests while levelling up) is the main reason why I’ve only levelled one Horde character to 80 and one Alliance character to her mid-40s. I look forward to getting my new priest to 80 and trying my hand at different specs and playstyles.. ๐Ÿ˜€


Leave a Comment