Here is an interesting post on a blog called Soul Kerfuffle. It was written by a former officer for a top World of Warcraft raiding guild. The post describes why he stopped playing.
I just left WoW permanently. I was a leader in one of the largest and most respected guilds in the world, a well-equipped and well-versed mage, and considered myself to have many close friends in my guild. Why did I leave? Simple: Blizzard has created an alternate universe where we don’t have to be ourselves when we don’t want to be. From my vantage point as a guild decision maker, I’ve seen it destroy more families and friendships and take a huge toll on individuals than any drug on the market today, and that means a lot coming from an ex-club DJ.
I feel this guy’s pain. Since I have not worked since mid-May, the only reason I don’t play WoW all the time is basically sheer will-power. And you know what? I manage. I do well. I play, I have fun, but I don’t overdo it.
Except about two months ago we started doing 40 man raids, and that was new and exciting, and suddenly I started playing more often. Suddenly I was involved in the guild again (I am an officer), raiding about three nights a week, grinding for consumables or reputation in between. Between playing, chatting (in-game and on IRC) and the forums, I was spending a lot of time on that game.
So I recently reduced my playing again, went out, met friends. It’s not as extreme as the case described above, but I recognise it. And I have to think of a friend from the guild, a very nice guy, who suddenly stopped playing completely. Rumour had it he had stopped because he was playing too much. And somewhere in the back of my mind, I always knew he had more level 60 characters than me, and his /played time (a year ago, just on his first character) was several times mine. So, even though I miss him, I’m kinda glad he hasn’t come back. It makes me wonder about some of my other friends on-line. Since a significant part of the fun of playing World of Warcraft comes from the camaraderie, are we creating each other’s drug?