The Offseason

Is being a sports fan similar to playing World of Warcraft? No. But having seasonal duration hobbies is!

My wife and I love watching pro football. Every Sunday, we watch two or three games. Then the Monday night game. Oh, and the Thursday or Saturday games, if there are any. Of course, then there's the week's preview on Sunday morning, wrapup and highlights on Sunday evening, keeping up with the injuries/news/trades during the week, managing the fantasy football team…

So maybe on some people's scale, we're somewhat hardcore about it.

We simply don't see our non-football-fan friends much during football season. Football season lasts from September through January, and I see the same people frequently in those months as we get together to cheer for our team. (Go Pats!) Then February comes around and we all go to a Superbowl party, which is both the culmination of football season and also where we bump into any person who hasn't been coming to the weekly gatherings (since the Superbowl is a gala, all-inclusive event).

"Hey, it's been forever since I've seen you! We should get together soon."

"You bet!"

From mid-February on, we make up for that time spent with our hobby by catching up with non-football friends. It's natural, and those friends smile and understand us. Geeks will be geeks.

This isn't too different than what is happening with World of Warcraft right now.

There have been many articles around about how raiding guilds are struggling or falling apart, membership is down, everyone is recruiting and desperate, blah blah gloom and doom.

Each heavy play cycle is tied to new content of some sort, whether its the game being introduced, major content patch, or an expansion. Online presence gradually declines between when the previous cycle ends and when the next one begins. The last content patch was the end of TBC, and so three weeks after that patch came out and everyone got their fill of its content, the WoW offseason began. For each person this means different things, but basically the raiding engine is going to feel like it's lacking fuel.

Don't struggle against it; this is natural. Healthy people are going to find balance at some point, like my wife and I do when we catch up with non-football friends in February. The WoW offseason is when it's going to happen. Instead of plotting on how you're going to avoid the inevitable, revise your expectations of what kind of guild dynamics you're going to see, and go forward from there. They'll be back for Wrath, and if they're friends, you'll be laughing over /g again before you know it.

As an addendum, it probably wouldn't kill anyone to catch up on things that they might have crowded out somewhat in the throes of hobbyist zeal. For me, it was work. For one of my friends, it was tennis. And from the tone, content, and general frustration I've seen in last two months of trade chat, many players seem to lack successful physical relations with someone of their chosen sexual preference. Get back on that, people!

More Words!