A truth hit home for me within the past couple weeks about how I play WoW. I'm a solo player, plain and simple. I thought changing guilds to one that was more active would change that. It hasn't. Sure, I'll run the occasional random with guildmates, but I'm content to just farm mats for my pally, and of late, go back and do quests I skipped. I basically turned off the whole gearing up mindset. Instead, my philosophy to play how I want to play, which makes me ponder the future of my pally, but I'll get into that later.
My reasons for playing solo vary. One is my mood. Some days I log in, and just want to be left to my own devices, not paying attention to guild chat, etc. Another is past group experiences. While I don't get the "huntard" label from other players anymore, or other criticisms, the insults I received from other players in the past has left a bad taste in my mouth regarding players in the community. The next is I find there's plenty to do at level cap without having to group. Leveling an alt, completing old quests for Loremaster, reputation rep grinds... Solo WoW playing does not have to end at 80.
On the flip side, the only way to progress your character is to run five man instances and raids. Instances are interesting and fun the first couple times you run them, but in order to get badges to upgrade gear, you have to run them over, and over, and over again. After awhile it gets boring, and the incentive of badges isn't enough (for me at least), to run them daily. I may run an instance or two a week, sometimes less depending on my mood. I know a typical five man instance is quick. Outside of waiting 15 minutes in que, an instance normally doesn't take any longer than 20-30 min, but it's still not enough to get me to take that time out of whatever I was doing to run one.
Last week I did have my first taste of raiding, finally doing the weekly raid. My friend who plays started a PUG group, and while I admit it I found it fun, it's not something I want to do consistently. No doubt I'd probably suffer burn out if I did.
Currently, I've been leveling my pally. Spent the past week leveling up his engineering and jewelcrafting, especially the JC, because he's at the point now where he can get armor he can socket gems to. The pally is currently level 63. When I first started playing it, I ran a decent amount of instances. The last one I ran was Sunken Temple at lv. 47. I'm enjoying the soloing experience as a retribution pally, but at 63, Northrend isn't too far away in the horizon, but I'll worry about that when I get to that point. The prospect of running the same instances I've ran with my hunter a bunch of times already is NOT appealing.
Unfortunately, I had put myself into the mindset that I needed to keep up with the Joneses. Had put myself in a competitive mindset. Those are not good mindsets to have in a video game. I've learned if someone who had a 1k lower gear score than I two weeks ago and now has a much higher GS, to let it go. I don't know the details of how much they play, etc. It got to the point where WoW just wasn't fun for me, so I had to be honest with myself and accept how I play the game. Once I came to that realization, I embraced more fully the honest truth that I'm indeed a lone wolf in the world of Azeroth.