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The 10 phases that every player goes through

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World of Warcraft players go through several phases, from joy to frustration. Which one are you in right now?

World of Warcraft has become more than just a game for many players. Over the course of 20 years, the MMORPG has become an integral part of life and many players are inseparably connected to the world of Azeroth. But in more than a decade, each of us has probably had a time when WoW just wasn’t as fun as we used to – the looming lack of content in Shadowlands is forcing many players to take a break.

But everyone of us knows them and has probably experienced them: the 10 phases in the life of a WoW player.

Info: The article originally dates back to 2020, but we have updated it to reflect The War Within in 2024.

You can see the trailer for the next WoW expansion here:

WoW: The War Within – All major features of the new expansion

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Phase 1: The perfect world

“There is so much to do and always something to experience. Time flies and I can’t keep up with all the content!”

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Probably the happiest time for every WoW player. There is a lot of different content to experience and there is something new to try out on every corner of Azeroth. Whether it’s dungeons, PvP battles, pet battles, chasing achievements or just cozy campfire RP at Stormwind Lake.

Everything can be exciting because a lot is new and unknown. This phase occurs for newcomers to the game, but also for veterans who return after a long time and have to find their way around again.

Phase 2: Specialization

“Finally raiding and exploring mythical dungeons. I want to improve and constantly achieve new records with the guild!”

WoW PvP Arena Battle
Specialization in WoW – some become PvE fans, others like PvP.

Sooner or later, everyone specializes a little in World of Warcraft. Some focus on PvP, others prefer PvE or small side activities. Some like to collect pets, others love increasing their achievement points. Some also play the “auction house game” and simply rake in as much gold as possible. Why? Because they can.

Other activities lose value and those who were previously enthusiastic about many things now focus all their attention on one goal: the best equipment, the best PvP rating or the largest pet collection.

5 types of players we simply hate in PvP of MMORPGs like WoW

Phase 3: Beginning of frustration

“Another belt in the box…can’t there be something in there that I still need?”

Again, not the desired loot. Frustration sets in.

Slowly but surely you become an expert in the area you have chosen. Improvements are now difficult to obtain through dungeons and raids. Most pets have been caught. The peak of what is possible seems to have been reached in PvP. Although you could improve a little more in all areas, that would take a lot of time and effort. And the content is starting to get a little too much to handle – after all, you have been doing nothing else for months.

Frustration sets in and you long for something new. At the same time, however, you don’t want to give up what you’ve achieved. After all, you’ve already invested so many hours in this task!

Phase 4: Sense of duty

“Yeah, come on. Let’s just quickly beat the final boss so we can get this over with.”

Gaming out of a sense of duty – after all, you are a close-knit group.

Fun has long since taken a back seat. Nowadays, most activities are only done out of a sense of duty or habit. After all, you don’t want to let the guild down and what would they do without you? Besides, every Friday evening in WoW has been a group activity and people are creatures of habit.

Aside from these mandatory appointments, you are still online in World of Warcraft, but you are not doing anything really productive. You are standing around in Orgrimmar and Stormwind, following the server troll’s discussion in the trade chat and are somehow a little dissatisfied with everything – but not so dissatisfied that you would stop playing.

Phase 5: Maximum irritability

“How does Blizzard always come up with such rubbish ideas? It’s obvious that the developers don’t play their own game. Even I could do better than that.”

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Your fellow players are wondering what is annoying you – the answer is easy: everything.

Not only are you clearly annoyed by the game, but your fellow players are also slowly getting annoyed by you – even if you don’t notice it. The current game design is rubbish and “always the same”. The changes announced for the future are also rubbish and you can’t even understand what kind of idiots are actually at work here.

You let your fellow players know that you are in a bad mood, and their enjoyment of the group activities gradually decreases. Little by little, everyone loses the fun and so you end up canceling your subscription.

Why do MMORPGs like WoW turn us into unfriendly idiots?

Phase 6: Demonizing the game

“Why are you still playing this game? Ever since the developers made (any change), everything has been crap! WoW used to be challenging, now it’s just for casuals!”

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Everything is terrible! Everything is crap!

You finally see clearly. You were addicted to World of Warcraft. You were stupid. You simply didn’t know what a really good game should look like and you spent all your time playing the worst garbage ever programmed.

Don’t all the other stupid sheep see that Blizzard just wants to take money out of their pockets? Don’t they realize that new content is only intended to keep the undemanding gamers trapped in the spiral for as long as possible?

Obviously they don’t see it, because they’re not as enlightened as you are. But you know how to fix it. You keep saying on news sites, in the subreddit, and on the official forum that you haven’t played WoW for a long time, because that’s what everyone wants to know. Maybe, you hope, all these players will wake up.

After all, you just discovered (any game) and it’s the gaming revelation of the century! If you repeat it often and persistently enough, the WoW idiots will surely appreciate your game too.

Phase 7: Crystal ball of disappointment

“Oh lol, now they’re ruining the character for good. If (former Blizzard employee) saw what they did to his character, he’d turn in his grave.”

Blizzard is ruining it! You’re sure of it.

Blizzard has announced a new expansion for World of Warcraft. It’s amazing that this rubbish game, which I’m sure no one plays anymore, is getting another add-on.

Well, it will probably be the same old crap as always. New dungeons, new continents. They can forget about the old graphics and the outdated combat system.

Above all: What kind of stupid story is that in the trailer? Why is (character X) suddenly completely different? Why has (character Y) become so weak? Blizzard is once again messing up its own lore, but you’ve been used to that for a long time.

The developers even brazenly claim that this time they want to implement feedback and improve some aspects of the game. Luckily, you already know the blabla. Since (developer A) left, everything has gone downhill!

Phase 8: Dissatisfaction with the lack of insight

“You’ve always been a Blizzard fanboy anyway. You would still defend WoW even if the developers wanted a euro for every login.”

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The others are just having fun while you complain. How stupid are they all?!

One of your friends joined the beta and is raving about how great the new areas are. But he’s one of those incorrigible sheep who’s stuck with WoW their whole life and never gets away from it. What a fool.

Sure, what he says sounds kind of cool – but he’s probably looking at it through rose-tinted glasses.

You continue to give free rein to your skepticism. You continue to comment diligently on announcements, interviews with developers, and speculations from players. After all, the others have to stop having fun. Don’t they still see that the add-on will just be rubbish again and will push WoW in a different direction?

Phase 9: The sweet temptation

“You still play WoW? Aren’t you getting too old for it? I’ve grown out of it. The graphics are giving me eye cancer.”

They just don’t want to hear…

The expansion has been released. All your friends are gaming again, hanging out on Discord and experiencing their first adventures in the new world. You haven’t managed to convert them to (any game). If you’re honest, you’re not even playing it properly anymore, because the momentum has somehow gone out of it.

Insidious as Blizzard is, they have given you a 3-day trial access so you can get a taste of the new expansion.

Well, what harm can it do? Then you can at least see for yourself first hand that World of Warcraft is basically dead and that this expansion is the final nail in the coffin that will probably bury the game for good.

Phase 10: The cycle

“Damned.”

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You couldn’t resist and renewed your WoW subscription. Go back to Phase 1.


Well, what phase are you in right now?

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