The somewhat recent release of Burning Crusade Classic has thrown all kinds of new flavors into the mix of feelings I am feeling towards World of Warcraft at the moment, some good, some bad.
For the good part, it has oddly really reminded me why I like the game and why I kind of still want to keep playing it, despite all of its flaws. Being somewhat more casual in classic than I am in retail, has meant that there is a greater feeling of freedom to doing things since the only real motivation is what I personally want to achieve and not what is required for some external reason, and also a lot less pressure to actually do things I might not want to do but feel in one way or another required to do the things I do want to do. Classic still has a lot of flaws, especially when it comes to things like consumables, but the fact that I am playing it in a way that doesn't necessitate those things to the same degree as retail makes it much easier for me to ignore those flaws if I want to.
Further, having the goals be that much more personal and also usually concrete things makes working towards them a lot more engaging, since it's a lot easier to feel the progress as it comes along.
For the bad part, it feels like the biggest ill that has come from it isn't even necessarily something bad in and of itself, but it feels like I am questioning a lot more why I am continuing to play retail at this point. It at this point feels like the game might be giving me more stress than it is bringing in joy and that seems like a obviously lopsided equation for what it is supposed to be, and while I would very much like to experience the new raid once more and progress it, I am simultaneously dreading all of the things that might be required to be done around that progress, not the progress itself
These aren't exactly new thoughts, but merely things that having a point of comparison has once again brought to the fore, and I unforunately can't really see any easy answers. There are reasons I've continued playing retail for as long as I have, and those are my guildies, and it feels very wrong to leave them high and dry so shortly before progress so quitting at the very least at this time is not an option, but it feels like continuing as is might be taking an unkown toll on me. At the same time, I fear that not continuing might be the even worse option, since it would provide me with an opportunity to retreat more completely into myself since there would be a certain lack of routine keeping me together, and while that routine can at times feeling frustrating in its limiting of what I have the freedom to do, it also helps ground me and keeps me doing the things I enjoy.
Another thing I fear, is that it feels like playing might have become a too big part of my identity, or at least how I self-identify, and changing who one is is a scary thing indeed.