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Jose Gonzalez
Jose Gonzalez

Posted on • Updated on

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish World of Warcraft

About 5 minutes ago, I finally uninstalled World of Warcraft.

10 minutes ago I said goodbye to my guild I stumbled on my last crazy adventure of leveling up a Orc Warrior to the current level cap (lv 110).

Right now, I'm writing this article with a bittersweet taste in my mouth.

Sweet because I'm finally done playing World of Warcraft as posted in my 7 day challenge series.

Bitter because I found a bunch of nice people in a virtual world that I didn't want to leave. Much like you guys are here at Dev.to.

But my decision has been made and there is no turning back.

Let's take a brief look at what has happened.

Last time

[Narrator voice]
...on Dragon Ball Z!!

Nah, I won't recap the entire journey.

If you need a quick refresh, please check out the kick off article. The last day entry was a turn around point.

Short Adventure Summary

First of all, it was insane!

I was playing 3-4hrs on weekdays and 8hrs+ on weekdays. It was aggressively stupid.

Why? - I can hear you ask.

Because I was focus (read: obsessed) with reaching level cap as soon as possible.

First week. ๐Ÿ™‚
I was enjoying myself in the game. I wasn't obsessing to reach level cap. I had a plan what areas to level up and what dungeons to do.

The second week. ๐Ÿ˜“
This is where I started to push harder than I should. I was getting tired both physically and mentally.

But I think I reached level 60 by this point. It was getting crazy.

If it hadn't been for that guild I mentioned earlier, I definitely would've called it quits then.

Third week ๐Ÿ˜จ
This was the turning point. There was little enjoyment here and got to obsess pretty bad. It felt like the good ol' days of my obsession. I was really tired, annoyed and anxious...I was a wreck.

This is where the guild came in and helped me power level. I didn't ask but they were help other guild members. I went in for the ride. This is when I built rapport with some of the guild members.

They helped me reach level 98. Good enough to play content from the Legion expansion.

But things weren't going well...

Fourth week ๐Ÿคง๐Ÿ˜ต
I crashed. My body finally gave out. I exhausted myself beyond belief. In other words, I burnout.

Burnout from a game? - You may be thinking.

Yes, but also burnout from my work place.

It is said that an addiction is an escape mechanism. And I was escaping work related issues.

"You have been burning the candle from both ends.", said my doctor when I went to see her, "you must rest!".

And I did.

My body forced me to. I had to take sick days off from work. I reached a point of no return.

Fifth week. ๐Ÿค•
Eventually, I'd catch up on some rest and reach level cap: lv. 110 without really trying. To be honest, I didn't even noticed when I reached lv. 110 with my Orc Warrior.

Stepping Away

I wish I could tell you I stopped playing right there and then. But I didn't.

The habit (read: addiction) was too strong. I ended up making another character with much less obsession but still dedicating too much time to the game.

This is when I made my decision to really quit the game.

First Step of Many!

I decided this a little over two weeks ago from the time of writing this article.

I have not played WoW for almost a week and half. I'm doing great.

With the exception of logging in today to say goodbye to my guild, I have not played at all.

Anyone dealing with an addiction knows how critical the first days are.

I'm not out the woods yet. I have a long way to go.

One day at the time

What's next?

Continue to get plenty of rest. ๐Ÿ˜ด

Here are some immediate improvements:

๐Ÿ”ฅ My eyes don't burn
๐Ÿ˜ I'm not as cranky as I used to be.
๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚๏ธ I have a clear mind and present in the moment.
โšก Next week, I'll be giving another lightning talk at my local user group!
๐Ÿ’– I have more content coming down for you!

I will have more challenges, more crazy adventures and wild stories to share.

All in all to help you be a better developer and more importantly a better person.

Thank you for reading and till next time!

What would your journey say? ๐Ÿ˜Š

Top comments (12)

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ulianovish profile image
Ulianovish • Edited on

I was a WOW player too, it's really hurt to take the decision that leave this lovely game, for me in sign of promise that I comeback only like a developer, i put this in mi arm

thepracticaldev.s3.amazonaws.com/i...

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josegonz321 profile image
Jose Gonzalez

Sweet tat!

My missus has been trying to get a Horde tattoo for years. She likes yours very much.

It is a very lovely game. I wish I could play it in moderation. It hurts each time I go thru the cycles over the years.

May your blade never dull!

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whoisryosuke profile image
Ryosuke

It's a shame you couldn't find the correct work/life/game balance. It's difficult as an adult, especially with a career like ours. Good luck with your abstinence!

Have you tried something like Hearthstone? It's a bit more approachable, and easier to break off a match during some downtime, way less commitment than a full MMO.

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josegonz321 profile image
Jose Gonzalez

Hi Ryosuke! Yep, balance is hard. It's harder when one gets overly obsessive about a specific area.

I know of people who do great with work/life/game balance. The problem I always have is when I get stubborn and super obsess with the game. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly triggers. (This isn't the first time I go thru this).

I have not tried Hearthstone. Maybe I should! It gives me a good excuse to get me my own iPad...err I mean I will use it to also read tech blogs lol

Thanks for reading and awesome suggestion!

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gabrielcoelho profile image
Gabriel Coelho Soares

I'm a World of Warcraft Player. I know exactly how you feel, because I'm an addictive person too and - even if @wwehis said that her brother became a Game Developer by his passion with the game - I spend so many time playing, that I should take this time to learn.

I've gotta say that your article/post opened my eyes and really showed me that the time has to be spend well. Otherwise I'll stuck in my career and never learn something new.

I'll still be playing WoW (Already payed for Battle for Azeroth) but spending less hours in front of Silithus or Orgrimmar.

at last, I have to say - #ForTheHorde and #ForAzeroth !

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josegonz321 profile image
Jose Gonzalez • Edited on

That's awesome to hear, Gabriel.

To be honest, WoW gave me a lot of great memories but I also use it as an escape mechanism. It's not different than using: alcohol, food, sex, and yes, work!]

What this article describes in 1 month, I did it from 2004-2008ish. It severely stunted my career.

It got so bad that this particular addiction (partially) sent me to a 12-step program.

Feel free to PM via DevConnect or DM via Twitter @josegonz321 ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading.

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cjbrooks12 profile image
Casey Brooks

I used to be a WoW player a while back, during high school, and quit shortly after Frozen Throne came out. For probably 2-3 years I was playing upwards of 10-20 hours a week, and just kinda fizzled out from it after a while. I slowly started filling my time with other hobbies and college prep, and at some point realized I just wasn't playing enough for it to be worth it.

But in the middle of my WoW lifespan (middle/end of Burning Crusade), it was a huge addiction for me, and you couldn't have gotten me to quit without physically restraining me. I certainly commend you for quitting cold-turkey, I definitely do not have that kind of self-restraint!

What really helped me break the addiction was to find another way to be just as expressive and socially-connected that could "wean" me away from it, which was making Fractal Art and getting connected to the artist community at DeviantArt. You can't just leave one habit without replacing it with another, so make sure to find a healthy replacement for the time previously consumed by WoW!

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josegonz321 profile image
Jose Gonzalez

Thanks Casey (@OrchidSSG) for your awesome reply.

Eventually fizzled during Cata. My second kid was born and I definitely had no energy to keep playing, even at a casual pace.

BC was my apex. I, too, had severe issues trying to quit. Cold turkey didn't work for me. This part of my life hurt my career the most. I had a fallout with my missus. It was a very dark time in my life.

Replacing WoW is like replacing any other addiction. The 12-step program describes this as the 'void inside you'. And let me tell you, it's freaking real. I'm glad you found a way out via DeviantArt.

To be honest, I struggled a lot until I started to help other fellow developers by blogging and having an overall online presence. So, thank YOU for helping me find a healthy replacement.

Thanks for reading and good luck on your travels :)

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josegonz321 profile image
Jose Gonzalez

Yes, they are awesome in moderation (like anything else). I was wasting too much time without any goal and decided to step away.

The worst part was that I wasn't having fun.

Thanks for reading!

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itsrainingmani profile image
Manikandan Sundararajan

Hey man,
Just wanted to say that the links in your article don't work as they have '/edit' at the end.

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josegonz321 profile image
Jose Gonzalez

Good catch!

Fixed. ++++ PR my blog post :)

๐ŸŒš Life is too short to browse without dark mode