I’m taking a break from dungeon running in World of Warcraft, something that I’ve been doing a lot of in both Classic and now Retail these long months of isolation. The tempation to game more has been there, on and off, since March now.
Just in time for the launch of Shadowlands, though as no surprise to me at all, I’m suffering a lot with back and shoulder pain at the moment. It’s the payback for being so inactive and immobile for whole days – the same desk being my eight-hour workstation as my evening gaming/free-time home.
It’s crept up on me, going from the odd twinge or feeling I need to walk about more, to real pain that is disrupting my sleep at night. I’ve been making a more conscious effort to do standing meetings, or sit on the sofa to do writing of ideas – anything to have a break from the desk. I also go for walks most mornings and many lunchtimes as well, so lack of exercise isn’t really the problem. It’s the long hours in front of the screen, an inescapable part of my desk-bound IT job plus my choice of hobby.
The proverbial straw that broke the camels back was the frantic pace of the new dungeons in Shadowlands. For a still levelling character, playing as healer or tank I find them far too frantic and movement-heavy for what I can currently cope with. If there’s one thing that will set my shoulder aflame it’s a few hours of frantic mouse movements or hotbar mashing. I feel now how I felt years ago when trying to “up my game” to be a raider, these dungeons give me the impression of raiding but with only 5 players (so even more pressure on the solitary tank and healer). I just find such content to be physically exhausting. Perhaps the dungeons will be retuned somewhat in future patches, but I doubt beyond some nerfs to boss fights much will actually change – mechanically and in terms of how the content is designed to force so much movement, it’s just how the modern game is designed.
At least the upcoming Christmas holidays beckon a break from this routine, we’ll be with family (I still hope) and will not have so much time for gaming anyway. That could really do me the world of good, the excuse to not spend 8+ hours a day in front of a screen for a week will be a real treat!