How to waste your time properly
It’s inevitable for WoW players to start packing up their WoW Classic bags or Retail bags and quitting the game. They might come back later, or not ever. Yet, some players keep on playing all throughout the years. What makes them stay and how do they take the grind? Maybe by observing these players, we find out how to avoid burnout and keep on enjoying the game.
Maybe the Real Treasure was the Friends We Made Along the Way
For veterans of longstanding games, they’ve made lifelong friends with their guild members. Sure, some of them might’ve come and gone already, but the shared experiences, laughs, and raids will stay in their memory.
Getting to know people and hanging out, doing activities with them can be a great way to enjoy the game. Having someone to joke around or shoot the breeze can dispel the tedium of repetitive tasks. Plus, there could be fun events and things that become in-jokes with the group.
Playing with friends is one of the surefire ways to increase the enjoyment of the game. While it’s not a foolproof method of avoiding burnout, it’s a very good method to do so. Real life can get in the way of gaming and it sucks. The good thing is that you can always make new friends. It’ll be awkward at first, but friends were strangers at first, right?
Chilling vs Grinding
While daily tasks, farming WoW Classic gold, Retail gold, or whatever the currency of the game is, and grinding are important tasks, that’s not all the game is for. Sometimes you need chill time. Roleplaying is one good method to do so. Even if you don’t like the idea, there’s always finding a good view to look at.
Sometimes, players get the idea to hold dancing parties, concerts (if the game supports instruments), and other fun stuff. It may be within a guild, or free for all players to participate.
One example of having fun outside of grinding and farming is in Genshin Impact. There’s an interesting idea floating around that Albedo mains are a wholesome bunch. To prove that, streamers join up with them, and what they do is adorable. One asked to watch the sunset (they ended up watching a sunrise) and the other just played a song. They didn’t ask for help to do domains or bosses, just asked ‘do you want to watch the sunset?’ or ‘can I play a song?’.
In other MMOs, there could be someone playing an instrument in the square, and others just watch. If the game supports emotes, they can cheer and applaud. They’re not grinding, leveling, or anything, but you know they’re enjoying what they’re doing.
Nostalgia is Powerful
There’s just something about reminiscing about old times that keeps players attached. Evidence for this is the success of WoW Classic. Though it isn’t the exact feeling of playing the game at launch, it’s close enough that players remembered all the feelings they had of the game.
It helped that it’s such a different experience from Retail. The current version of the game is so focused on grinding for rewards it’s almost no fun at all. Players rush and rush and nobody takes it slow anymore. Sure, the rewards are tempting but life was never a race. Once you get the rewards, what will you do? These players end up quitting until the next patch and new content gets released.
So What Keeps Players in the Game?
Fun is subjective. Some players prefer PvP, other PvE, others swear off combat altogether. How do developers unite these players so they stay playing the game?
Rewards and tasks are a good start, but they shouldn’t be the focus of the game. Give players some time and stuff to play around with. Some things players enjoy the most are the random ideas they get when playing around. Some players figured out Jean can pick up Klee with her E skill, and players had fun with that in Genshin Impact. It was patched at a later update and it’s not possible anymore, though.
Messing around with the Photo Mode (if the game supports it) can also be fun to mess around with. It’s not even limited to single-player games now. You’ll find it uncommon to see a recent game that doesn’t have this kind of feature.
So, to change the burnout culture, perhaps changing how players play the game is the better direction to tackle.