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Editorial > WoWJan 15, 2020 10:00 am CT

How to cope when it feels like WoW has too much to do

There is a lot to do in World of Warcraft. There are World Quests, Warfronts, Island Expeditions, Arenas, Rated Battlegrounds, various levels and difficulties of dungeons including Mythic +, four difficulty levels of raiding, and more. Frankly, even with that list, I’m glossing over a lot. After a while it can get overwhelming, and each person is different in terms of how they deal with that feeling of being overwhelmed. In my case, I tend to go run old content or play alts, because leveling a new character feels a lot less stressful to me than feeling undecided about what content I should be pursuing.

This is also exacerbated by the social aspect of the game. WoW, as an MMO, requires you to play with other players to do a lot of the content. In the end, it can be a lot to keep in the air, and so, whether you’re a new player just trying to understand what you have gotten yourself into or an old timer like me still feeling the strain, I have a few thoughts on how to deal with it. How do you keep from being overloaded by a game this old, this big, and this complex in terms of what it has to offer?

You don’t have to do everything

For starters, I don’t do pet battles. At all. They’re one of my absolutely favorite things in World of Warcraft entirely because I never, ever feel forced to do them. I think the entire design and realization of pet battles was as close to perfect as an independent system in an MMO has ever been. In fact, if I were forced to pick a system that was flawlessly realized I might well chose pet battles entirely because I have never done them. This is as close to optional as a system gets. But the fact is, almost everything is optional. You don’t have to raid — all that gear is going to get replaced as soon as we start leveling again, and it’ll be easy enough to farm for the transmog an expansion or two down the road.  Same with dungeons, PVP, Warfronts, anything.

For example, I do not enjoy (and haven’t really participated in) Island Expeditions, and that’s fine by me. I get enough to do with what I do find enjoyable, and meanwhile, lots of other players could not care less about Warfronts. And that’s fine. If you’re feeling frazzled considering all of your options in World of Warcraft, then stop and ask yourself what you find the least enjoyable and stop doing it.

Make a list of what you do in your typical World of Warcraft week and think about each activity. Go ahead and Marie Kondo that list. If an activity isn’t fun for you, don’t do it. Remember, you’re already feeling stretched thin by all the stuff you’re telling yourself you have to do. But you don’t have to do any of it. This is a game, and you don’t have to treat it like a second job if you’re not enjoying that. If you are? Great. Keep doing it. But if it’s not fun, stop doing it.

Day-to-day vs weeks or months

Also, one problem I see a lot and hear about even more is people burning out on a particular activity because they’ve repeated it too many times. If you’re doing World Quests until you’re sick of them? You don’t have to do them every day, and you don’t have to do all of them every day. It’s fine to just do a few, maybe one Emissary, and let the rest wait. You’ve got time, and furthermore, not getting all of them done in a week is fine.

It’s okay to miss Mythic + if you’re not feeling it.

It’s okay not to run a Rated Battleground this time.

There’s a lot of pressure in a game which involves other people to be there, whether or not you feel like you want to this time, and it breeds resentment. I’m not saying to constantly blow people off. If you make a commitment to someone, whether in-game or not, you should try to meet it. But if you can’t do it, don’t push yourself and end up making yourself and everyone else miserable as a result. Sometimes “I really can’t” is all that needs to be said. Especially keep this in mind when it’s things like LFR or Heroic Dungeons where you’re solo queuing and nobody but you knows or cares if you do them.

New content will still be here

Now that patch 8.3 has dropped, you’re probably going to feel compelled to do everything. But you don’t have to. Horrific Visions will still be here in a week or two. If you don’t want to do Assaults as soon as they come out, you have three days to do the minor and a whole week to do the major — plenty of time. Break this stuff up into easily completed parts and work on the ones that interest you the most that day. Give yourself permission to complete less than you could theoretically do if you came up with the exactly optimal way to do it.

Honestly, a lot of this is generated on the personal level. You get to feeling overwhelmed because you want to achieve something as soon as possible for fear of falling behind, and that’s understandable in a game like WoW. But remember, it’s all going to reset sooner or later, and it’ll be less about the gear you ground or the achievements and more about the stories you tell and the memories you made. So focus on what makes the best ones.

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