Breakfast Topic: The curious phenomenon of "reverse burnout"

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We all hear the stories about people who played World of Warcraft too much and as a result had to stop playing to make the game fun again. I've fallen victim to that myself back in the days of Trial of the Crusader. But lately, I've encountered something that at first makes little sense. The best thing I can call it is "reverse burnout," and it's not from playing too much -- it's from not playing at all.

I admit to being a raider at heart. I love making my gear a shiny shade of purple so that I can join nine or 24 other people as we down the big, bad monsters of WoW together. It was my reason for getting to level 70, and it kept me hooked all throughout Wrath of the Lich King. But since the launch of Cataclysm, my raiding days have just ... stopped. Each guild I've joined on the promise of being able to raid either hasn't raided at all, or they've gone raiding without me. And without raiding, it feels like my motivation to play is gone.

I've gotten all the gear I could get from heroic dungeons and reputation vendors (except bracers, which will never, ever drop), daily quests feel like a chore, and the friends that I have online are off in their own raiding guild that I'm on a waiting list to try out for (they're full on hunters). Pickup raids have proven to be too unreliable in terms of both time and talent as well. It's like one part of such a huge game was the glue that held everything else together for me.

So what do you do when one of your favorite parts of the game becomes off-limits? How do you deal with being bored with WoW -- when you're not even really playing at all?

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.