I have been pretty good about keeping myself away from MMORPGs since last year. I started playing Final Fantasy Online back in 2004, and for the next (almost) 5 years I went through the supposed 9 rings of gamer hell. It starts off casual, you just play for a few hours a day. Eventually you peak at obsessive gaming, playing every day, waking up at ridiculous hours to make specific events or hunts. After the obsessive stage, comes the burn out. I burned out last year. I stopped playing the game on a regular basis for nearly a year and got to free up all those hours to play other things, to study more, go out with friends more, all the good stuff.
This was the first warning sign: I didn’t cancel my account. I’ve been paying the monthly fee for a game I haven’t been playing for months. I keep thinking, yeah I’ll cancel it at the end of this month, and it’ll be over. But then the month goes by and I don’t update the client and actually cancel the account. This month, I finally went and installed the client (and the game) to my new PC. I did it mostly out of curiosity – I built the PC in January and I wanted to see how the graphics looked (opposed to on my laptop where I’d been playing FFXI all these years). Oh man, the game looks so beautiful! I’m still going to cancel at the end of this month, but for right now, I’m feeling that pull, that gravity that MMOs seem to have to suck people right in.
So, everyone cross your fingers that I hit that cancel button in 2 weeks!