Of energy and introverts

I am not what most people would call a social person. In fact, my Meyers-Briggs tests (I have had three or four over the course of my career) show me to be a solid INTP. I am not going to go into what all of that is supposed to mean here, you can check it out on this web site if you are interested. What is relevant to this post is my “I” rating, which is for Introvert. Every time I take the MBT I max out on introvert. As they always explain to you after the test when they are going over it with you, introverted does not mean shy, nor does it mean you avoid social contact — in fact, there are lots of famous and/or powerful people in public life who are very introverted. Many introverts seek social contact, very few fit the stereotypes of “people-hating recluse” or “painfully shy” or “socially inept geek living in his parents’ basement.”

Being an introvert just means that most of your energy is generated internally, whereas being extroverted means most of your energy is generated externally. An extrovert feels energized by being around others, an introvert feels drained from such contact. One consequence of being introverted is that you need a lot of time by yourself, to recharge and re-center.

This is one of the primary reasons I initially got hooked on WoW — at the end of a long exhausting day spent dealing with people, it gives me a focus point for recharging my batteries. It is far more interesting than, say, computer card games or puzzles, certainly more entertaining and mentally engaging than television, and it has the added benefit of looking like I am “busy”, thus staving off all but the most urgent household interruptions for a couple of hours.

It also has a semblance of social interaction, but in a way that you can control. That is, if you want to join a guild and engage in group activities, you can, but if you don’t want to then you can just crank up your tunes and play the game solo. You can chat in guild or not, pay attention to trade chat or not, whatever you feel like for the night.

This is a great thing for an introvert, this feeling of control over social interaction — engage others on your own terms, for as long as you have the energy to do it, then withdraw without social penalty when it becomes too tiring.

I don’t really have a point to all of this, I guess, except to say that if I had to come up with one reason that I love this game, it would be just what I have described.

Over the past week I have spent a lot of time weighing the pros and cons of unsubbing. In the course of doing so, I have been trying to figure out why leaving — or staying, for that matter — is turning out to be such a hard decision. It is, after all, just a game. But it is a game I have allowed to become an important part of my sanity-preserving mechanism. This is not to say I cannot replace it with another game — or other activity — just that I know that WoW works for me, and there is this fear that another game might not do as well.

I didn’t log on at all this past weekend. For one thing, had a lot going on IRL. For another, I still feel like I am sort of flailing around in the game, at a loss for what to do. Garrisons seem pointless since soon we will be upgrading them again if we want to see the new content. Missions exist only for the gold, and the whole follower concept will be pretty much dead in 6.2. The legendary ring seems like it will not really be all that epic in its final implementation, so I am uninterested in pursuing it on any of my alts. I have literally thousands of profession mats for all my professions. My guild has stopped raiding until 6.2, and I hate pugs, so I am not playing my hunters much. I had thought I might start running Firelands and a couple old raids for the one or two mounts I used to want, but of course I am not interested in doing so if they can’t ever fly except in legacy areas.

I have a couple days off this week, so I will probably spend more time logged on. But I will mainly be searching for something to call fun again, and trying to determine if this game is still viable as an introvert’s ideal recharging mechanism.

ADDENDUM, completely unrelated:

Thinking that Blizz should rename the class of mounts formerly called “flying” mounts. My suggestion would be “waddling” mounts. So we would have the ones that look graceful and natural galloping/driving along on the ground, and the ones that waddle like a duck — or your Uncle Fred who has the weight problem — when moving around. I can see it now in the Blizz store:

NEW: Gigantic Awesome Fire Dragon That Looks Like All Your Other Dragons Except It’s A Different Color!!  Blizz is proud to announce our newest, biggest, baddest fire-breathing waddling mount, only $25. You will be the envy of your guild when they see you on this massive mount, blocking access to every NPC and mailbox you encounter, waddling majestically along the highways and byways of Draenor. Supplies are limited, so hurry and plunk down your hard-earned cash for this beauty.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

3 Responses to Of energy and introverts

  1. Introverts tend to be very prepared which is why they often are excellent public speakers. You are so right to shrug off the stereotypes; there is beauty in our personalities.
    You sum up the situation many of us feel yet I continue to play quite a bit — perhaps it is because I am raiding, I’m not sure. Still, I think there is satisfaction to be found within the game; depending on your cup of tea, I like to make goals and/or solve the problem (lets say, way too many stockpiled mats).
    Finally, I’d love a little more time in the game to try things that I’ve never done. PvP and Arenas are exciting and a rush, but I’d have to invest in a skill ramp up to be even a little successful. Starting a new life on another realm and meeting different players; perhaps join a leveling guild. I’d like to try RP, just a little bit.
    Sorry if I’m going on too long, but you’ve inspired me. I’ve also thought about becoming a personality on my realm — vocal in trade chat and steering in a positive direction for me and the community.
    Excellent posting!

    • Fiannor says:

      Yes, it’s too bad that the entry cost for some of the things you mention is just too steep to pay, like the PvP skill/gear ramp up, the comparatively high cost of starting fresh on a new server, etc. By “cost” I count money, limitations in what you can mail from your alts, time required to level from scratch, time required to do the guild shuffle until you find one that is a good fit, etc. Over the past month or so, I have rolled several new characters on different realms, but I usually end up getting them to about level 20 then deleting them.

      My server is technically an RP realm, but there is almost no RP that goes on (except the Pornshire kind, unfortunately). Like you, I wouldn’t mind dipping a toe into RP.

      Still searching, though …

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