Burnout. It happens to everyone. Sometimes it sneaks up on you and whacks you with a cartoon-sized mallet. More often, the slide from contentment to disinterest is rather gradual. There are ways to combat it: Scaling back your play time and/or guild/team responsibilities, gearing up and swapping to another character, taking a night (or a few nights) off… but what do you do when you realize that it’s time to call it quits? If your answer is ‘disappear without a word to anyone’ I have a few choice words for you.
I get burnout, I really do. I’m not immune to it myself, either, and I try to take nights off when I feel like I need them. When my raiders come to me and say ‘Seri.. I need a break’ my first words are usually ‘Ok, how long do you need?’ no matter how much it may hurt the raid team to be down a(nother) member for a couple of days/weeks. I like to think I’m a pretty reasonable person, and I like happy well-adjusted raiders. Unfortunately, sometimes people ask for a week off and simply don’t return… or, worse, just stop signing up for raids without a word to me (or anyone) about why. I’ve seen this behavior from extremely dependable/reliable raiders that I’ve known for ages, and I just don’t understand what is so difficult about contacting someone to tell them you’re not coming back.
I don’t know about your guild, but I think it’s fair to say that most guilds have some means of communicating outside the game. Whether that means forums, Twitter or a good old fashioned phone tree… unless you’re shipwrecked on a deserted island, in jail, or hospitalized, you should be able to get in touch with someone. Even if they’re not an officer, they can relay a message for you. Account expired and can’t/won’t renew? Leave a forum message, send an e-mail, tweet, or poke someone on the IM client of your choice. Computer dead? Use a friend’s. Have no friends? Call someone. Don’t have anyone’s phone number? Use an internet cafe. Broke? Find a local hotspot and start asking folks politely if you can borrow their laptop to send a quick message. (Offer to let them watch so they can see you’re not doing anything malicious.) Heck, these days most people are carrying around a cell phone that can connect to the internet. There are ways of getting a message through!
There are so many ways to get a message to your guild that there are really only two reasons I can think of for not doing it: Apathy and cowardice. If you are so apathetic about the game and your guild that you can log off and never look back without giving it a second thought… wow, you really do need to quit the game. If you’re afraid of telling your GM for some reason, take a few minutes to think about why. Are you worried they’ll be mad? That they’ll beg you to stay? Do you just feel so guilty for ‘abandoning’ the guild that you just can’t face it? Get over it. The world (of warcraft) won’t end because you are leaving. If your guild is strong, they’ll make it without you. If they’re not, well, then there are greater problems that you staying would probably not fix.
Now, I’m sure someone out there is going to say ‘What’s the big deal? It’s just a game… I don’t owe anyone an explanation.’ To that, I say: Good riddance, you self-centered narcissistic cockweasel. This sort of attitude is fine for a casual player… the sort of person that joins a guild for socialization, shared resources & occasional heroics. When it comes to raid guilds… you’re occupying a spot on the raid roster. There are people depending on your ass being in your chair on raid nights, and the time that your guild officers waste waiting & wondering if you’re coming back is time they could have spent recruiting for someone to fill your slot.
I know that there are occasions when it is just impossible to get a message out, but it seems in my experience that in most cases people could have easily gotten a message to the officers but they just—for whatever reason—didn’t. So, in closing, I’ll simply implore you all to not follow their example. If you decide to quit the game, tell someone. Don’t leave us twisting in the wind.
Related post: The Ethical /gquit
P.S. <Axiom> is recruiting DPS! Visit our recruitment page for more info and instructions for applying.