That was the question asked me by a guildie when I fired up Quintalan for about 20 minutes early last evening. It was about the only time I had to spare in between the end of the work day and having to take two of my kids to a skating party, but I figured I'd knock out a few quests in Uldum before I spent a couple of hours at a 1970s era roller rink.
I kind of shrugged at the question. "I've been on," I replied. "Mostly in the mornings and the early afternoon."
"Okay. I haven't been able to get on in the mornings lately, except for Saturday."
I'd noticed that the regular morning crowd for both Tom and Neve/Q has been thinning a bit lately, but until my guildie alluded to it I hadn't noticed the decline in my evening playing. With three kids (and their activities) and a wife who works in the evenings part of the time, I've cut back on my WoW playing. When I do play, it's much easier to run a quick BG or knock out some quests/crafting rather than queue for an instance.
At times like this, I miss the quick Wrath instances like A-N or Forge of Souls, the BC quickie Hellfire Ramparts, and Vanilla's Scarlet Monastery Graveyard. Got 15-20 minutes? No problem! You don't have to be in a losing fight in Warsong Gulch; you can go bash some Scourge or Fel Orcs instead!
But really, the design for Cata instances took away the ability to get a dungeon quickie. Given that Blizz wants to make the instances --especially the heroics-- hard, the concept of a quick and dirty instance clashes with design intent. And I'm fine with that. It's my schedule that has changed, and I shouldn't expect the game to change for me.
This is where things kind of intersect with a persistent theme the past month or two out in the WoW blogosphere, how a certain subset of WoW players have gotten disaffected with the game. We're not talking about the people who like WoW but tried and fell in love with Rift (or LOTRO or another game), but the people who burned out on WoW or who threw up their hands in disgust over the game.
Even if my own WoW time has been cut, I still find things to do. If I'm the only person in my guild on in the morning, I make a point of chit chatting while holding down a tower in Alterac Valley. (And I'm not even talking about roleplaying, but just regular in-game talk.) What I don't get is when people focus in on one aspect of the game so completely that they miss the rest of the game world. I've said it before and I'll say it again: an MMO is what you make of it. Yes, there is design intent at play, but you can choose to buck the system and do your own thing. Nobody pulled out the book of WoW Scriptures and read "Yea, and upon the Seventh Day the Toon assembled with many brethren, and thus they entered the Great Raid. And the Two Headed Ogre with many pokey eyes was slain."