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Struggles

January 19, 2010
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To preface the rest of the post, I’d like to apologize for lack of posting here, especially my lack of participation with a shared topic about the treatment of women in Warcraft and Syrana’s topic gift.  They’ve been in the back of my mind and I do feel guilty for not posting about them after all this time, but I haven’t felt the muse for it.  A crappy un-felt post is worse than no post at all, I think.  But still – Ophelie and Syrana – I apologize.

I’ve thought a lot about my issues blogging and as has been the case in the past, I’m having issues writing because I don’t have a character that I’m playing regularly.  I’ve started many hunters and various alts over the last couple weeks and I’ve played them in an extremely off and on fashion that is not my wont and I’ve not liked it.  One thing that it has shown me is that I am a healer.  I’ve tried to decide if it’s a good thing (I’m meant to heal!  At my core I am a healer!) or a bad thing (I am “only” a healer – why can’t I be comfortable only DPSing?  Why can’t I embrace the chaos of tanking?) and I haven’t found an answer, but I’m really hoping that the former is what it is.  I’ve learned that I enjoy being needed and helping – seeing those health bars rise up and stay near full makes me happy.  Standing at the back isn’t cowardly, it’s healthful!

My happiness at that triumphant realization was short-lived, though.  My entire healing career, I’ve been a priest.  I tried out pally healing from 58-62… the limited supply of spells was quite alarming at first, but made healing “simpler” in a way.  I didn’t quite have time to get used to all the spells that were avilable to me though, but I wasn’t quite comfortable as I had been as a priest.  I even rolled a baby shaman to try out shaman healing for a while – she’s sitting only at 28 right now, but healing from 15 onward in the dungeon finder was very fun.  I think I enjoy shaman healing more than paladin healing – based only on my limited observations in those isolated (albeit unrelated) level brackets.

I did not, however, roll a druid to try out the healing.  I’ve been close – quite close – but I couldn’t quite reconcile myself to having a(nother) Tauren that may go unplayed and… well, you know my thoughts on Night Elves, right?

So, my thought was to go back to a priest!  But… I felt like I would be betraying Anea.  I hadn’t picked her back up right away after I came to my Healing Revelation because I wanted to try out other classes, but after I figured out that perhaps I missed Prayer of Mending enough to go back to priesting I still hesitated.  For the same reason that I couldn’t transfer my rogue off her server to play her – that’s what is keeping Anea from being played: because she was leveled as a paired set with Lus’ paladin.  Even knowing that Lus is highly unlikely to ever play again – even if he’s said that I could have all this gold and mats from his characters.  (Which I haven’t taken – it feels so wrong.)  I feel as if she’s unplayable because she would be “abandoning” Lus, even though (in essence) he has abandoned her.  I even got so crazy as to think about rolling another priest entirely on Feathermoon (for teh RPz!) which appeals to me greatly, but it feels rather stupid to level another class to be the same spec as one I already have at max level.

I’m quite close to picking Anea back up anyway – I think I would buy a recustomization for her though.  Perhaps that would help with the “separation anxiety” if she seemed a little different than the Anea I’m familiar with.  But I don’t know.

Even as I was going through my huge screenshots folder finding something to throw up at the top to look entertaining, they all brought back memories of playing with Lus.  I worry that the game may not be enjoyable if he’s not playing – which I tell myself is silly, since I played on my own before I met him and it was very fun!  But maybe he was more important to my gaming life than I thought.  After I’ve played with him, can I play without him?

(After I consider that last question quite seriously, I know that several of you will tell me to lighten up – it’s just a game and he isn’t taking his quitting nearly as seriously as I am.  Probably “get a life” factors in there somewhere.)

To make things into even more of a confusion is the thought that perhaps I ought to quit the game – or at least take a big break from it.  I was quite loathe to write that here (that seems like bad advertisement for a gaming blogger, even of my casual bent) but I’ve already not been playing hardly at all.  If I’m stressed about what to play, it isn’t fun – and why play when you’re not having fun?

So, those are my struggles, dear readers (those of you that made it so far).  I don’t know whether to keep Anea, since she is undoubtedly me – she is the one this site is named after, I use the name as my WoW alias, I still consider myself a priest and healer above all else… but I don’t know if I can have my Anea with a clear conscience.  I haven’t felt “right” with any other race or class combos.

I don’t know.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2010 12:02 PM

    I was abandoned by most of the people I played with last year. I felt awful, trying to keep the guild running, trying to pretend that their absence didn’t /hurt/ – even though there was no malice in their leaving. It wasn’t until I left the guild and secured a place for the friends I did have in the game that I started enjoying it again. I had to grieve, and change, and enjoy the company of new people, to get past it. I’m still friends with those who left. They quit WoW to do other things that made them happy, which is really the most important thing. It sounds like Lus did the same thing, so good for him! But it sucks to be left behind, trying to do those things you enjoyed with him only to be reminded of his absence. I had to change a lot of my playing to finally get over my guild breakup. (Wow, does that sound emo!). But it’s true! I threw myself into endgame PvE and pugged like crazy to do something different. Once I accepted that they weren’t coming back, I was able to enjoy myself again. Their decision to be happy didn’t mean I couldn’t be happy, too. I suspect Lus is rooting for you to find those things in the game that make you happy, too. Maybe it’s a server transfer to Feathermoon for RP (something I’ve considered in the past, myself.). Maybe it’s a new alt. But letting go of the old ways is definitely the first step. This post comes at a strange time in my own struggles in WoW. Like you, I have a character who is not just my identity in-game, but my identity on the net. She’s me, but she’s also NOT me, in so many ways. And I don’t enjoy playing her the way I used to. I don’t have the same joy I used to when logging on to her. I log in, see if I’m needed for a raid, maybe run a heroic, and then go do something else on an alt. You’re not alone in your struggle.It’s therefore funny that the advice I was going to give to you is the advice I should give to myself, too. If you’re not having fun doing what you’re doing, do something different. Try a different part of the game. Try a different server, with a new look and new focus. Or take a break from the game and try something else entirely. Change is good.

  2. Kaelynn permalink
    January 19, 2010 2:08 PM

    This isn’t an easy situation, and I wish the best of luck to you. I play WOW with my fiance, and he is certainly more reluctant to play than I am. I worry sometimes what might happen if he decides to quit – could I really play without him? I have a lot of friends and guildmates, but I think that if he stopped playing then I would too, as part of what makes the game special is that it’s something we do together. Now obviously your situation is different, as you played before Lus did. I hope you can find fun in the game again. I do think that change is necessary, so that you can step away from the game as it was, and find a new direction.

  3. CunningB permalink
    January 19, 2010 2:51 PM

    Sounds like your suffering pretty bad from burnout, people tend to think that it’s only caused by playing too much but you can burn out if your just doing the same ol’ same ol’ without and real change or goals.For me when it strikes I know it’s time to shelve the game for a while, pick something else up for a few week – a month and just forget (as much as you can) about WoW. Then come back if/when you feel refreshed, pick-up something new or transfer a character and just set yourself a goal with it. ^^

  4. Anea permalink
    January 19, 2010 11:42 PM

    @Cynwise: Thanks for the huge comment! I’m glad that you shared – misery loves company and it’s always nice to know you’re not alone when you go through tough times. Especially with something like this, since it’s so game specialized, I can’t really talk to anyone outside the WoW community about it – they’d have no idea how to relate. Hopefully we’ll both take your advice :)@Kaelynn: Thanks!@CunningB: The odd thing about the whole thing is that, while I can admit that probably a break is best, I still log into the game out of habit – which breaks the whole "abstinence" part of taking a break, right? I tell myself, "Well, maybe today it will be fun!" or "I’ll log on to chat with someone" but that does me no good. Taking a real break would help though – I’ve overdue on my knitting!

  5. Anea permalink
    January 19, 2010 11:42 PM

    @Cynwise: Thanks for the huge comment! I’m glad that you shared – misery loves company and it’s always nice to know you’re not alone when you go through tough times. Especially with something like this, since it’s so game specialized, I can’t really talk to anyone outside the WoW community about it – they’d have no idea how to relate. Hopefully we’ll both take your advice :)@Kaelynn: Thanks!@CunningB: The odd thing about the whole thing is that, while I can admit that probably a break is best, I still log into the game out of habit – which breaks the whole "abstinence" part of taking a break, right? I tell myself, "Well, maybe today it will be fun!" or "I’ll log on to chat with someone" but that does me no good. Taking a real break would help though – I’ve overdue on my knitting!

  6. Whimzee permalink
    January 20, 2010 9:19 AM

    WoW, I could have written that post almost exactly a year ago, except my situation, while similar in many ways, the details are slightly different. I’ve been playing for almost 4 years and about a month after I started playing, I met a couple (living together, but not married) that was in my rl friend’s guild and we had a great time so I joined their guild. For the next few months, I found myself playing with them a lot and chatting and whatnot and really enjoyed their company. At some point, I’m not sure when, the girl in the couple left our guild and joined another and started hanging out with her new friends, but I kept playing with the guy and we spent a lot of time chatting about our lives. She seemed to be drifting away from him and to make a long story short, we kind of became an online couple to the point that when new people joined the guild or hung out with us, they thought we were together in the real world and were shocked to find out we lived in different states. When we started playing, I was mainly playing a hunter, but our guild needed healers, so I rolled a priest, who is now my main and very much a part of me and my online identity. It worked well because he was a warrior and I was his priest. We started a new guild (longer story) and raided through BC together and everyone knew I was his healer and he was my tank. There was just this amazing synergy to our playing styles. Some of this "relationship" bled over into the real world although he remained with his gf, who was having her own "relationship" in her more leet guild (another long story).Anyway, last year, right before WotLK came out, after over 2.5 years of playing exclusively together, he decided to end it. His real life was falling apart (work, finances, relationship, etc) and he wasn’t handling it well so he pushed me away and we "broke up", which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through (and I’m no spring chicken). The worse part was, he told me he was starting to have feelings for different woman (not his gf). I was already uncomfortable about things because of her, but to throw another woman on top of this was too much. I told him I could understand if he was recommitting to his gf, but not to involve another woman, that was just stupid on so many levels. The situation was ugly enough as it was. (Yes, I know that makes him sound like a dirtbag, but his head was really messed up at the time).For quite a while (and several therapy sessions) I didn’t know which way to go. My guildmates were like family to me so I felt I couldn’t leave them but he didn’t leave either, so things were very awkward for quite a while, although he was playing less & less. I ended up leveling my shaman to 80 before my priest because I just couldn’t play her, and I cried the whole time. I didn’t want to play but I couldn’t not play because at least if I was playing there was something to occupy my mind. If I wasn’t playing, I was staring into a black hole because I couldn’t concentrate on anything else.I thought about server transfers, deleting her, switching guilds, starting toons on a different server, stopping playing altogether, none of which appealed to me. I felt like I couldn’t change her appearance because I deliberately made her to look like an angel when I created her, and I couldn’t see her any other way, although I did change her hairstyle for a while but ended up changing it back. He did change his appearance drastically, though, which helped somewhat, because he just wasn’t the same person to me any more.He ended up working things out with the gf and they’ve been playing together more and more like we used to and sometimes I’m asked to heal for their groups and it’s bearable, if I try to remember what it was like in those early days when we all played together. It’s been tough, and at first I hated it, but a few months after the whole thing blew up, I suddenly didn’t care any more. I wanted to play my priest. I didn’t care who I healed as long as I was healing someone. I wanted to raid. I loved it so much, I finished leveling my druid and started healing on her too so that I could have two healers that raided. I kind of went a little manic after being depressed for so long and excellerated my playing to the point where I was barely sleeping because I wanted the high I got off of raid healing, although I was still managing to be a productive citizen irl and going to work and all. I had offers to join raiding guilds (our guild is very casual, so I mostly pug with my friends more hardcore guilds when they would need a healer), but I could never bring myself to leave the friends I had made in my guild. I was at one point, going to move the druid to a raiding guild, but decided not to, and actually, I haven’t really played her much lately. In fact, I’ve pretty much been playing the priest exclusively the last 2 or 3 months because I’ve been working on Loremaster, which has been somewhat cathartic, going back over those places that have so many memories. I couldn’t have done it a year ago, but now I think it’s helping me to move forward. I still have my good days and my bad days. And on those bad days, which are less and less, I’ll either go read a book, go out to the movies, or if I really need to play (yes, I’m an addict & I need my WoW fix), I’ll go play on another realm where I have toons that are not related to any memories. Ok, this ended up being really long. Sorry about that.My only advice is to not do anything drastic. Wait a bit and your feelings might change. If you don’t have the ties to your realm or guild, then switching that may be the way to go. Personally, if I hadn’t had the good friends that I have in my guild, I don’t know what would have happened. They really had my back and looked after me and I think that’s what helped me through it most of all. I know it’s cliche, but time and distance do help.Go ahead & change your appearance if you think that might help…you can always change it back. Take a break if you can. Play other toons. Remember that it’s a game and it’s supposed to be fun and if you’re not having fun, then you shouldn’t do it, although when you’re depressed, nothing is fun…so if you think you would enjoy something more, then go do that instead, but if you can’t, try different things. Believe it or not, fishing was one of the things that helped me…and I HATE fishing more than anything else in the game (except PvP). But I would do the fishing daily with different people in my guild and joke around about how much I hated fishing, and that made it fun for a while. Now it’s back to being a chore, but for a while it was something I could do that had absolutely no memories tied to him and I was able to make good memories with different people.Ok, I’ve rambled on way longer than I should have. They say that things come to you when you need them and I think getting pointed to your blog post today may have been what I needed. I hope I didn’t bore you too much and that you were able to get something out of it.

  7. Whimzee permalink
    January 20, 2010 9:19 AM

    WoW, I could have written that post almost exactly a year ago, except my situation, while similar in many ways, the details are slightly different. I’ve been playing for almost 4 years and about a month after I started playing, I met a couple (living together, but not married) that was in my rl friend’s guild and we had a great time so I joined their guild. For the next few months, I found myself playing with them a lot and chatting and whatnot and really enjoyed their company. At some point, I’m not sure when, the girl in the couple left our guild and joined another and started hanging out with her new friends, but I kept playing with the guy and we spent a lot of time chatting about our lives. She seemed to be drifting away from him and to make a long story short, we kind of became an online couple to the point that when new people joined the guild or hung out with us, they thought we were together in the real world and were shocked to find out we lived in different states. When we started playing, I was mainly playing a hunter, but our guild needed healers, so I rolled a priest, who is now my main and very much a part of me and my online identity. It worked well because he was a warrior and I was his priest. We started a new guild (longer story) and raided through BC together and everyone knew I was his healer and he was my tank. There was just this amazing synergy to our playing styles. Some of this "relationship" bled over into the real world although he remained with his gf, who was having her own "relationship" in her more leet guild (another long story).Anyway, last year, right before WotLK came out, after over 2.5 years of playing exclusively together, he decided to end it. His real life was falling apart (work, finances, relationship, etc) and he wasn’t handling it well so he pushed me away and we "broke up", which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through (and I’m no spring chicken). The worse part was, he told me he was starting to have feelings for different woman (not his gf). I was already uncomfortable about things because of her, but to throw another woman on top of this was too much. I told him I could understand if he was recommitting to his gf, but not to involve another woman, that was just stupid on so many levels. The situation was ugly enough as it was. (Yes, I know that makes him sound like a dirtbag, but his head was really messed up at the time).For quite a while (and several therapy sessions) I didn’t know which way to go. My guildmates were like family to me so I felt I couldn’t leave them but he didn’t leave either, so things were very awkward for quite a while, although he was playing less & less. I ended up leveling my shaman to 80 before my priest because I just couldn’t play her, and I cried the whole time. I didn’t want to play but I couldn’t not play because at least if I was playing there was something to occupy my mind. If I wasn’t playing, I was staring into a black hole because I couldn’t concentrate on anything else.I thought about server transfers, deleting her, switching guilds, starting toons on a different server, stopping playing altogether, none of which appealed to me. I felt like I couldn’t change her appearance because I deliberately made her to look like an angel when I created her, and I couldn’t see her any other way, although I did change her hairstyle for a while but ended up changing it back. He did change his appearance drastically, though, which helped somewhat, because he just wasn’t the same person to me any more.He ended up working things out with the gf and they’ve been playing together more and more like we used to and sometimes I’m asked to heal for their groups and it’s bearable, if I try to remember what it was like in those early days when we all played together. It’s been tough, and at first I hated it, but a few months after the whole thing blew up, I suddenly didn’t care any more. I wanted to play my priest. I didn’t care who I healed as long as I was healing someone. I wanted to raid. I loved it so much, I finished leveling my druid and started healing on her too so that I could have two healers that raided. I kind of went a little manic after being depressed for so long and excellerated my playing to the point where I was barely sleeping because I wanted the high I got off of raid healing, although I was still managing to be a productive citizen irl and going to work and all. I had offers to join raiding guilds (our guild is very casual, so I mostly pug with my friends more hardcore guilds when they would need a healer), but I could never bring myself to leave the friends I had made in my guild. I was at one point, going to move the druid to a raiding guild, but decided not to, and actually, I haven’t really played her much lately. In fact, I’ve pretty much been playing the priest exclusively the last 2 or 3 months because I’ve been working on Loremaster, which has been somewhat cathartic, going back over those places that have so many memories. I couldn’t have done it a year ago, but now I think it’s helping me to move forward. I still have my good days and my bad days. And on those bad days, which are less and less, I’ll either go read a book, go out to the movies, or if I really need to play (yes, I’m an addict & I need my WoW fix), I’ll go play on another realm where I have toons that are not related to any memories. Ok, this ended up being really long. Sorry about that.My only advice is to not do anything drastic. Wait a bit and your feelings might change. If you don’t have the ties to your realm or guild, then switching that may be the way to go. Personally, if I hadn’t had the good friends that I have in my guild, I don’t know what would have happened. They really had my back and looked after me and I think that’s what helped me through it most of all. I know it’s cliche, but time and distance do help.Go ahead & change your appearance if you think that might help…you can always change it back. Take a break if you can. Play other toons. Remember that it’s a game and it’s supposed to be fun and if you’re not having fun, then you shouldn’t do it, although when you’re depressed, nothing is fun…so if you think you would enjoy something more, then go do that instead, but if you can’t, try different things. Believe it or not, fishing was one of the things that helped me…and I HATE fishing more than anything else in the game (except PvP). But I would do the fishing daily with different people in my guild and joke around about how much I hated fishing, and that made it fun for a while. Now it’s back to being a chore, but for a while it was something I could do that had absolutely no memories tied to him and I was able to make good memories with different people.Ok, I’ve rambled on way longer than I should have. They say that things come to you when you need them and I think getting pointed to your blog post today may have been what I needed. I hope I didn’t bore you too much and that you were able to get something out of it.

  8. January 20, 2010 12:54 PM

    First of all, "After I consider that last question quite seriously, I know that several of you will tell me to lighten up – it’s just a game and he isn’t taking his quitting nearly as seriously as I am. Probably "get a life" factors in there somewhere." Nope :)When you consider that we play this game for the people more than anything (most of us at least), the fact that you enjoyed playing with one person so much that when they quit, it became much less enjoyable is perfectly understandable. Personally, I tried to reroll on another server back in the summer last year. I had to go back to my original server in the end because I missed playing with Dan too much. I like pissing around in instances with him, levelling when a new expansion hits, and so on. I couldn’t feel as comfortable on my new server, despite making some awesome friends there, as I wanted to. And on playing a priest, try making a new priest on the server you want to play. Pick a new race, or the same race. Different name or the same/similar name. Just the fact that you levelled again would make it a new character, to me at least. Try levelling it, and if you find you’d rather play the level 80 Anea, then you have your answer :D

  9. Anea permalink
    January 21, 2010 3:59 AM

    @Whimzee: That was a big story! But you’re right, I can see that you and I are coming from pretty similar places. I’m glad that you could find things in game to have a base to rebuild your experience on your terms. Hopefully, we’ll have helped each other, knowing we’re not alone :) /hug@Jaedia: Unfortunately, Anea’s name is taken on the realm I wanted to try :( But! I did take inspiration from another source and I have a name I’d try… I just don’t know what race to use. Until that happens, I probably won’t play. When I know the race and am happy with it, that’s when I can start playing again :)

  10. Anea permalink
    January 21, 2010 3:59 AM

    @Whimzee: That was a big story! But you’re right, I can see that you and I are coming from pretty similar places. I’m glad that you could find things in game to have a base to rebuild your experience on your terms. Hopefully, we’ll have helped each other, knowing we’re not alone :) /hug@Jaedia: Unfortunately, Anea’s name is taken on the realm I wanted to try :( But! I did take inspiration from another source and I have a name I’d try… I just don’t know what race to use. Until that happens, I probably won’t play. When I know the race and am happy with it, that’s when I can start playing again :)

  11. Tam permalink
    January 21, 2010 11:15 AM

    I think accusations of "taking Wow too seriously" with a side-order of ‘get a life’ are generally extremely spurious – I mean, since WoW is a hobby, you have to, well, take it seriously in order to get the most pleasure out of it. I mean, if you were choosing a book to read or a film to watch you’d take the choosing seriously wouldn’t you – even if the outcome was fun.Also, WoW is undoubtedly a social game (despite the people who swing by my blog occasionally to insist it isn’t) – the game is infinitely better with peopel around, friends and guildies, and so on. When my friends stopped playing, I was pretty devestated – I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find ways to have fun in Azeroth without them, but, hey, M’Pocket Tank and I stuck at it and we’re good now :)I abandoned my first character – feeling guilty about it – but eventually came back. There is no abandonment in Azeroth, merely temporary postponment :)In short, the game peaks and troughs – but the world is vast and there are always new things to try. Don’t push yourself to be do something, or be something, you feel you ought to be doing, or being. Nothing is a waste of time if sets you back on the path to enjoyment.*hugs*

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