Quiting WoW

v3.2

So you’ve been playing WoW for a while.  You’re probably into raiding, but not necessarily.  Something happened last week.  You don’t know what triggered it (or perhaps you do), but you realised you’re just not into WoW that much anymore.  What do you do?


I’ve seen this plenty of times.  It’s most obvious with the higher profile guild roles like guild leader, raid leader, officers and to a lesser extent your core raiders.  The player isn’t online as much anymore.  They probably just turn up to raid and then log off.

Perhaps they take a break from Wow for a few weeks.  I’m not talking about the players who go AFK due to holidays/work/school/etc.  I mean the ones that actually say stuff like, “i’m taking a break from WoW for a while’ or just say nothing.

No one hears from them.  No one knows what happened or if they are coming back or anything.  Some players become concerned about the missing players absence. Guild organisers are left wondering if/how they should be managing the situation.  Should they be recruiting to replace the person who stopped logging on two weeks ago.  Or perhaps just demote them to a social rank for the time being and hope they come back.

What no one, except the player, realises is that your regular raider has quit wow.  Perhaps they are bored and have found another game.  Perhaps they have real life stuff which precludes all WoW playtime.  There is always a reason, but no one knows it.

Don’t be that player!

Guilds all have a social atmosphere of some description.  Most players who participate in this guild community have established relationships with other players.  If you are leaving the community by quitting WoW don’t terminate those relationships abruptly and just leave the other halves of them dangling, wonder what is going on.

There are a few very basic things you can do to make quitting WoW easier for all.

1)  Decide what you are going to do.  Perhaps you need to stand down from being raid leader (or insert other position of responsibility) and become a social guild member for a while.

Don’t go through the motions.  WoW is a game.  It is supposed to be fun.  If you are not having fun do not play. If you don’t want to raid for a while or even play WoW anymore, make that decision.  Don’t just turn up to raids, week after week, because you think is expected of you.

2) Once you have made your decision tell someone.  At the very least whisper someone.  Ideally use the in-game mail to send an email to you guild leader or raid leader.  That way if they are busy or AFK they aren’t going to miss it.  Posting on your guild forums is another option.

3) Do it!  Do what you said you were going to do.  Do not make excuses about leaving the guild and then turn up a week later in another guild.  This gives you a bad reputation and annoys people.  If you want to change guilds follow this process – make the decision, tell someone and then do it.

Here are a couple of examples.  I’m not naming names and if you know who i’m talking about don’t take this as anything other than an example of what i’ve outlined above.

Two core raiders (a husband and wife team) suddenly stop logging on.  Both are good raiders and valued members of the raid team.  No one knows what is going on.  The pair get demoted to social status and are almost kicked from the guild after a couple of months of not logging on.  Guild leadership starts recruiting to permanently replace them.

Suddenly they reappear to announce they’ve had a child.  Great news and much rejoicing!  They may not care, but unfortunately it will take them a fair while to get back onto the A Team, as they are now considered unreliable (not because they had a child, but because they didn’t communicate with anyone).

All they needed to do was to log and send an in-game mail to one of the guild leadership team saying that they’ve had/are having a baby and won’t be around for a few months at least.  Problem solved.  They probably still get demoted to social status, but now the guild looks forward to them returning and hearing about their new arrival.

A second example is a little more complex.  A guild leader and his partner, who is an officer, want to take a break from WoW for a while.  They may or may not actually intend to quit, but they at least need a break.  They have communicated this with the other officers in the guild, but the unwashed masses are starting to wonder what is going on.  Why isn’t their guild leader online anymore?

A guild with an AFK guild leader is in a vulnerable position.  Players start to lose confidence in the direction of the guild.  If you are planning on taking a significant break from WoW pass the guild leadership to one of the established officers.  Communicate with the guild.  Let them know you are taking a couple of months away from the game and you’re not sure if you will be back.   The more stable guilds will absorb this information and move on.  Fear of the unknown, i.e. what is happening with the leadership of the guild can be quite bad for raider morale.

Hmm, this is starting to look a bit like i’m having a ranty, so i’ll finish up.

If you’re quitting WoW make the decision, communicate it to someone in your guild and then do it.  Don’t disappear mysteriously and without warning or turn up to your WoW job and be unhappy about it.  As I said above,

WoW is a game.  It is supposed to be fun.  If you are not having fun do not play.

Game on!

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23 Responses to Quiting WoW

  1. Hugo says:

    Multiple times I’ve been the guy that you describe in your post.
    But I can’t agree with your solution.

    It’s just a game, and it’s supposed to be fun. It’s not something that you should plan in advance or even feel the need to decide what you want to do with it. Don’t worry about the guild and the social community. Seriously, don’t worry. They will have forgotten you within a couple months.

    Sometimes you want to play all day, other days you don’t. And sometimes you get really bored of a patch and it’s boring 30 min raid instance. So what? It happens. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Don’t feel bad as if you somehow let the guild down. Don’t feel like you’re married to the game and the only good way to put less energy into it, is by divorcing it. Just relax. It’s just a game, it’s supposed to be fun. Play when you want, don’t play when you don’t feel like it.

  2. Azzi says:

    After a major patch or expansion, people binge play through it, and then burn out, we’re seeing a lot of folks falling away, but they’ll be back for patch 3.3, or definitely the next expansion next year.

  3. Eristhan says:

    People treat WoW like a separate dimension. Like the time we spend in game does not take up real hours of the day, like the people you interact with are just NPCs like Thrall.

    The thing is, saying “WoW is just a game” is a cop-out to the social responsibilities of treating humans as humans and having respect for others that play.

  4. Christine says:

    “WoW is a game. It is supposed to be fun. If you are not having fun do not play.”

    generally speaking for me having fun? “sure!” its a game after all (but depends on how many years you have been playing the game patch after patch, will surely feel bored at some point, you logged on check mail, or auction, dailies then logged off, (but the quote now a days is over used already i mean no offense to you bob), but like Hugo was saying, its just really depends on the person playing unless he doesn’t have any other things to do other that just playing all day.. but still question him/her if he does having fun? after playing it for many hours? which for me its not healthy at all and i dont think thats fun anymore instead giving me headache lolx.

    I play WoW yes! I raid Yes! but having fun? sometimes i think twice. but this doesn’t mean i have no right to play the game.

    like i said “it just depends on the player of what he feels and how he/she really mean about having fun or just playing the game” it is not a job, nor its not an obligation to do either.

  5. Dahk says:

    I couldn’t agree more Bob. Dealing with people like Hugo is a major headache for guild officers. I think people like Hugo make a distinction that because it is an “on-line” game their participation is not missed. Carry it over to a real life game, like a soft ball league or bowling league. Would you desert those people without so much as a whisper.

    Also – Most guilds have a website. That is the easiest way to notify anyone who needs to know about your absence.

  6. Hugo says:

    I’m a guild officer myself, and yes it can be a bit frustrating to have to deal with people who don’t sign up for a whole year in advance. But I deal with it. Easily. I either kick the player or just don’t take them on the raid. No big deal there.

    And sometimes *the horror* I have to recruit a new guy. But then again, class leaders really don’t have much to do to begin with, so spamming the guilds advert is not that big a problem for me. Sure then I meet some new guy who applies, and have to teach him and get him accustomed to the guild. And this might take me some time. But hey that’s what I signed up for when I was asked to be the CL.

    Actually if you really want to make an elephant out of a mouse, you could now say how wonderfull this is because I get to meet new people from all over Europe (or US as the case may be) and this is all so wonderfull because this is a game where participation and fellowship is so important. And what can make me feel warmer or more whole inside than meeting new people from many different cultures and becoming such close friends with them! *sarcasm off*

    I mean I do appreciate the social community of my guild, which is why I invest time as a guild officer into keeping it a little organised and fun to be in, but let’s not blow that aspect of the game out of proportion please.

    People just play this game, because it’s fun. Some people enjoy hanging around guildchat like it’s msn. And some people play it “seriously” because they like the challenge of the hard-modes. That’s all cool.
    But don’t try to pressure people into going all or nothing (make up their mind). Don’t put social pressure on them. I actually feel that most of the wow-addiction problems kids have come from exactly this kind of peer pressure, making them think they are irreplaceable and they should never “desert” their friends/guildmates.

    If people go from 100% to 80% attendance, I could go ask them why they are slacking. I could tell them to make up their mind. I could point out what a tight social community we are and that he needs to make up his mind about his attendance/slacking problem. “It’s ok if you want to quit you know. Just make up your mind”. With that kind of pressure most people will “choose” to get back on the 100% attendance, also because quitting is not an option.

    Seriously let your players just play how they want to play, and how much they want to play. Even if it’s sometimes not for a couple of days or weeks, and then they come back. That’s all their responsibility.
    Sometimes when they come back they will notice that they have gone into friend-status or just tier1, and they will have to prove themselves again to be invited to hardmodes/progress. That’s my responsibility as a guild officer.

    And yes, sure, it is nice to have some communication (I always try to communicate with them when they lose their raidspot or rank in the guild), but it is just a game… it’s supposed to be fun.

    Oh and yes I do think there is a difference between a wow guild and a team for a softball league and a bowling league. Just as in most cases there will always be a distinction between a real life friend and a friend you only ever meet online. Both can be very valuable and in my life I have appreciated both kinds of friendship, but really I do think a distinction can be made.

  7. Eristhan says:

    I disagree. It’s your values, and I ain’t knocking them. It’s a valid argument. But my argument is valid too.

    I meet these people in real life. I get to know them. If they disappear off the face of the planet without any warning, I worry. I think something terrible in real life happened to them, and the truth is, I don’t forget them in a few months. It’s been 2 and a half years and I still sometimes worry where they are in life.

  8. Windsoar says:

    It’s a game, there’s no requirement that says you must notify people if you aren’t playing much (or at all) anymore — however, if you have any interest in continuing your relationship with a guild, because, “hey, I just need a couple of weeks of non-WoW time” then you should notify your guild that this is the plan.

    I think the reason this post is good advice is many times, people assume they can disappear off the face of Azeroth and no one will notice because it’s just a game — but it’s also a MMO, which means you most likely interact with people on a daily or weekly basis, and your absence IS noticed.

    Feel free to just drop off the face of the planet when it comes time for your WoW break, but also expect to have to work for your raiding slot back or finding a new guild when you come back — neither of which is a fun prospect.

  9. BobTurkey says:

    @Hugo – Sorry this was aimed more at players in regluar raiding guilds. Yes many of the players will have forgotten you within months, but this just not justify a ‘screw them first’ mentality when leaving a guild.

    Oh I see from you following post you agree with me. I think. What is you point of view Hugo? I’m confused now.

    @Eristhan – Wow is just a game. I don’t suggest that this should be used as an excuse to ignore social responsibilities within it though.

    @Windsoar – Yes that is what I ment.

    I’m not advocating mandatory 100% raiding attendance or anything like that. Or that if you’re not raiding then you’re worthless. I’m just saying communicate with you fellow players.

  10. Eristhan says:

    Oh, I know. ;)

    I just disdain those who use it as an *excuse* to treat others like crap.

    Also, the game’s different for everyone. Players such as Hugo appreciate the actual game. Players like myself enjoy the social aspects more. It’s not about “blowing it out of proportion” but rather where your values lie.

  11. Holymosez says:

    I will admit I was one of those players described! I jumped ship to another guild because of lack of focus, preparation, and just plain got tired of people wasting the time of the 15-20 who cared. Well, I left in the wrong style! I just one day put up a realm transfer and now I am happy in another guild. However I still feel guilty about just bailing on my old guild and wish I could go back and do things differently.

    Please do yourself a favor and communicate!

  12. nuclayer says:

    It drives me crazy when people use the “It is a game” argument to justify letting your other teammates suffer for your change in priorities.

    Yes, it is just a game; but so is bowling, or any other team sport you were to join. Just because WoW is a virtual environment, many people feel that it is of less value.

    I recently told a buddy of mine that I raided 3 nights a week in WoW and he said something like “You play a video game 3 nights a week, are you serious?” I then said to him ” Didn’t you just drive your family upstate last weekend for a softball tournament?” I am not sure I see the difference.

    You wouldn’t just up and quit a bowling league without letting someone know and you shouldn’t do it with WoW either. It’s because of these type of actions that guild leaders stop becoming friendly and start acting like managers.

  13. garnosh says:

    Twice I have been the person described in the article. I had built relationships with these people. I had raided for two plus years in both cases at a near 100% clip. I knew many of the people I played with in real life. Both times I communicated with those that I was leaving behind and both times I was crapped on upon leaving / slowing down.

    Given the above if I ever decide to step away from wow again (I currently play casually in a social guild) I will just up and leave. No need to tell them where I will go or why a change is needed.

    Your guild does not own you. You are a free agent. If you don’t want to play don’t play. You may be replaced but you knew that when you took that step. I say avoid the drama and poop flinging and just leave.

  14. Hugo says:

    My point is that this game has addictive qualities, not least of which is the whole social aspect of the guild. I have had times when I went after people who were slacking or leaving without any notice. With the same kind of “make up your mind, and then communicate it to me clearly” mentality that is shown in the original post.
    But I’ve found it’s more fair to each players playing habbits to feel like they can leave whenever they like in any manner they want. Usually people aren’t even that sure how they want to play the next week or even the next month. I felt there is the danger that this whole “don’t desert the guild” thing can have wrong influences on how people play this game.

    I think guilds in general have way too little respect for people’s own freedom in choosing how much they want to play. And I feel the original post isn’t helping either. I know it’s not meant like that, and in a perfect world no pressure will be felt by players, but I do feel the original post contains some danger of peer pressure. That’s my point.

  15. Hugo says:

    Oh and I forgot to mention that I think many times the anti-social way that some people leave a guild, is exactly because they feel the social pressure and are unable to deal with it in a normal way.

  16. [...] won’t mysteriously disappear though.  When I eventually stop i’ll let you know   There is some interesting points-of-view on that post if you read the [...]

  17. Aberron says:

    Hmm, social pressure in WoW does mean a lot of people who disappear are already at boiling point and would be best advised to keep their mouth shut. Of course then they calm down, but may be embarrassed about it and feel uncomfortable popping back up just to say ‘afk for a bit’.

    For the past two months or so I have been fucntionally AFK, from RL issues. For weeks I was always in theory one day from coming back so never said anything. In the end I posted about it but I can accept folk never getting round to it.

    Like all social dynamics it’s a complex issue where everyone has different (and valid) values.

    Just ‘Play Nice and Show Some Class’ I guess.

  18. Nizara says:

    Really, guys, the bottom line of all this is communication. In any human social interaction, be it your job, your relationship, your sports league, or WoW you really should let people know what’s going on.

    Feel free to play how you want and when you want. Feel free to sign up for as many or as few raids as you like. Feel free to change your schedule however you want, but realize that this is a team game.

    You are not alone. There are people who do count on you whether they should or not or even whether you want them to or not and you, as a player, should take that into consideration.

    Telling your raid leader ‘Yeah, I’m just not feeling it these days so I might not be around as much as I have been.” Helps the planning and running of a guild so much and it’s such a small thing to do.

    Just because it’s an online activity and a video game doesn’t excuse you from common courtesy.

  19. Kyle says:

    WoW is a roll playing game. That means you have a part in something that’s bigger than you. To maintain the spirit of the game and as a courtesy to others, if you can no longer fulfill your roll, communication would be appreciated by most. If that doesn’t concern you in the least, perhaps roll playing games are not for you.

  20. Hinenuitepo says:

    To chip in a bit late, I’d just say I agree with the majority that simple communication is key.
    If you’re in a social guild, it’s really no big deal either way.

    But if you’re in a raid guild – valid points about playing for fun and all – your behavior affects more than just yourself. If a guildy doesn’t show up for a raid, there’s a decent chance that the planned bosskill – affecting 24 other people – doesn’t happen.

    If Hugo, or someone else did that more than a few times in my guild(s), you simply will have to go somewhere else to play. That kind of selfish behavior is ‘fine’ but when it affects others, well, I don’t have to let your lack of communication and reliability ruin the fun for everyone else.

  21. Hugo says:

    I guess I’m repeating myself in this thread, but I feel pretty strongly about this issue. :)

    Selfish is in the eye of the beholder, so to speak. I could argue that much of the social pressure is very selfish, only caring about filling raids or their own social community and too little about those people that are in the process of deciding for themselves just how much they want to invest in this game and the social community of the guild.

    Obviously those choices are very hard for many people. How do you properly decide on what you want and how do you properly withdraw from a game and a group of people that has been the most important thing in your life for sometimes two, three or four years? Is there even a proper way of doing it? Is there even an easy way? Will communication really solve this issue?

    I’ve been an officer in a guild long enough to know that knowing how to properly do that is really actually quite rare. I’ve seen the most friendly and socially capable people mess up their quitting process, by creating drama, conflicts or by just disappearing without a word.

    The guild can sometimes become this ugly selfish beast that only cares about itself and it’s greater goal (progress). Even the nicest and most properly planned goodbyes can sometimes be met by negativity and disappointment by the social construct of the guild. “Deserters” sometimes will be deserters even if they do it by proper communication. Somebody wrestling to get free of the social pressure of the community will seldom be appreciated.

    That’s basically my point: If you’re wrestling with the questions I mention here about if you want to quit or just play less or maybe find some other way spend your time, but feel the pressure of the guild on this process and are afraid of disappointing those that have been your closest friends for years… Don’t take it TOO serious. It’s just a game.
    They might hate you if you just disappear or if you start your quitting process by slacking and just playing as much as you feel like playing. But don’t worry, guilds deal with it. Easily I might add. Nobody is irreplaceable. And they will forget you quickly enough.
    Play the game for fun. And make some friends. Still… it’s just a game.

  22. Steen says:

    I was not there, but our guild had a core raider go afk half way through a raid. He said in vent “be right back, there was a crash outside I’m going to check it out” that was six months ago and he has never came back online.

    He is probably still laughing at us wondering where he went… or maybe something happened? If I quit the game that is how I am going to go!

  23. Steen says:

    I think quitting depends on the guild you are in to be honest. I joined a very good guild that was massive, their recruitment was like a revolving door and when I showed up for raid there would always be people waiting on standby… it was very impersonal but it worked for them. When I left I just transfered away, I knew they had the people to replace me and I never considered anyone there a friend, so I understand what some of these people are saying.

    On the other hand, I have been raiding with the same group now for over a year. I consider them all to be friends and I would never leave without letting them know, and probably ask to leave an alt in guild so I could still drop by and say hi.

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