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Drama Mamas: When a friend keeps you from leaving WoW

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Friendship is important, but is it so important that the effort to sustain it be one-sided?
Hi Drama Mamas,

I've been playing WoW for several years now, and while I enjoy it and am excited for MoP, I'm a little burnt out and want to take a break. However, there's an issue keeping me from taking the break that I want to, which is my friend.

My friend Tom is a mutual friend of my friend Kyle, who I've known since high school who has already quit more or less (he's very busy and logs on a couple times a month, if that). Tom is a nice guy, and I enjoy talking with him and occasionally running stuff with him...but he only wants to play WoW. He doesn't want to play anything else, and he doesn't want to even talk about anything else.
Kyle and I complain to each other all the time because Tom never wants to talk about anything but WoW, which is the primary reason Kyle hasn't quit completely. In fact, both Kyle and I are playing WoW right now mostly just to maintain our friendship with Tom. We're not sure if he's "addicted" per se, as WoW doesn't ruin his career or family life, both of which he always has and continues to do very well in (he's a great father especially)...but his free time is pretty much nothing but WoW and he always gets grumpy when we want him to play other games. Tom has said he doesn't care if we quit, but since he only ever wants to talk about WoW, we feel like we kind of have to play just to have something to talk about.

Meanwhile, on my end of things, I'd like to just ignore the desire to play WoW just to talk to Tom...however I don't really have any other major social outlet on a day to day basis. I've been disabled since grade school and work as a freelance writer from home. While I do spend a lot of time hanging out with Kyle and have other friends that I can occasionally go out with and hang out with, the majority of my days are spent at home alone (I live in a studio).

I don't mind this so much, since I've always been more introverted and introspective and enjoy having my own space, and I'm not depressed about my life or anything like that. I sometimes volunteer, but I find that my disability prevents me from contributing more often than I'd like to. Mostly, when I have free time and my RL friends aren't available (which is quite often), I just want to do some light socialization, and talking with Tom on WoW is the only thing that fits the bill.

I've toyed with the idea of joining a casual, friendly team/clan on League of Legends or Starcraft 2 (both games I'm very into), but I don't want to cut off my friendship with Tom and find myself often logging into WoW just to see if he's on so I can talk with him (his schedule is very unpredictable, and again most of his free time is spent on WoW).

Is this Tom's problem, or mine, or both? Should I just try to take a break until MoP and deal with this issue then? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Chained to Azeroth

Drama Mama RobinDrama Mama Robin: Chained, if the only thing keeping you in Azeroth right now is the social aspect of the game, you can easily substitute in-game chat with many other options.
  • Real ID Since you are friends in the physical world and if you already trust Tim with your info, Real ID is the perfect option if you choose to play StarCraft 2 or Diablo III. The in-game chatting takes place in the normal chatbox (though that can be customized) and will be convenient for both of you.
  • Raptr I'm sure there are other chat programs designed to work in-game as well, but Raptr is one I use. You can set it up to work in many games, though it works better in some games than others. You can also use it outside of the game as just a regular chat program.
  • Instant Messaging There are so many chat programs out there that can notify you of new messages without interrupting your game.
  • Voice chat Skype, Mumble and Ventrilo are all programs you can use with headsets to communicate by voice while doing anything. This of course won't work if you are already using it to coordinate with others in game.
Using one of these options, you will be able to get your light socialization fix while still playing the game you want to play. And since you seem to be an extremely nice guy, you could keep on talking only WoW with Tom. Or you could try swinging the topic to something you are interested in every once in a while. It's up to you.

Drama Mama LisaDrama Mama Lisa: So tell me again why you want to keep talking to someone who won't talk about anything else except a game you're tired of and who admittedly isn't interested in changing that? That's fun how?

It sounds like you're interested in coming back to WoW for Mists of Pandaria. That's going to be rolling up on us any time now. So yes, cut yourself some slack and take a break from WoW. While I realize that you rely on your online activities for a certain amount of social contact, that shouldn't mean playing things you have no interest in simply to talk with people who aren't interested in anything but that one thing. Take yourself off the hook!

In the meantime, explore new horizons and fresh online faces. You may discover new friendships with people who are as eager to chat with you as you are to chat with them -- a two-way street, which is exactly what you don't have with Tom right now. Maybe you'll reconnect with Tom on the other side of the Mists; maybe not. Maybe he'll be able to hold up a conversation via one of the other chat options Robin suggests; maybe not.

Either way, the longer you spend chasing Tom, the less time you spend finding other friends who can keep up with the broader, more vibrant online life you'd like to lead. Give yourself a chance to enjoy that world!

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at robin@wowinsider.com. Read Robin's section of this post on how to get your letter answered and please remember that we cannot answer privately.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

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