Don't know if anybody's still reading this, but: A year and a half since I last posted, but I'm finally back. My WoW burnout had three main causes:
1) Pressure. My Pally guild wanted me to level fast to join them in raids, my friends from back in SWG days wanted me to play my hunter so I could play with them, another friend wanted me to level on his server, and I'd set myself a goal of playing one of every healer for this blog. Whatever I wanted to do, I felt I was letting someone down.
2) Health. My mouse arm had been getting worse and worse since the launch of TBC. Around the time I stopped posting, I could only play WoW 2 to 3 times a week, in short spurts. If I even thought of raiding, I was down for a week or more recovering. Add in that I sometimes wanted to do other things (like trying to become a published author, though admittedly I'm still working on that), with the limited time my shoulder was in good shape, and my time was limited even more. Trying to combine this kind of time limitation with the pressure above, it just made things worse. My father's stroke added even more stress, and further limited my time. (He's fine now, by the way.)
3) Difficulty. When Cata launched, dungeons were hard, especially as a healer. I admit, I was very much intimidated. Worse, even soloing 80+ (at least as a Paladin) was hard. I frequently found myself going back to my lowbie alts, just for a more relaxing experience. Going back to issues 1 and 2, this left me no time to level the characters my friends wanted me to level, and one at least kept complaining. (I found out later he wasn't being serious, he was just playing up his Horde leanings by complaining about me being Alliance, but as pressured as I felt at the time I took it seriously.)
So, how am I going to keep things from happening again?
1) I've decided not to let anybody pressure me. I'll take the game at my own pace and do what I like with it. Cross-server groups help with this, too, but I'll be telling my friends that I plan to play the game in my own time and in my own way, and if they want to play with me they can make characters themselves to do so.
2) I finally managed to explain to my doctor what my symptoms were, and he gave me a muscle relaxant. It's a miracle drug. I still have days where I need to rest my arm, but it's not anything before. Yesterday, I played over 6 dungeon runs, plus did some daily questing (Darkmoon, Cooking, Fishing, and JC), and PVP. Playing that much in one day before would have crippled me for a week or two. I'm taking today off, but my arm is still not even very sore, more like it would be after a very short session without the muscle relaxants.
Also, on the days when my shoulder is bad still, I've discovered a piece of software (thanks to Ablegamers) which allows me to use voice commands. It's called VAC. This allows me to play some casual questing only using the mouse to loot and accept quests. So if I really feel like playing, I can.
3) Without issues 1 or 2, difficulty is less of an issue. It becomes a challenge again rather than another layer of stress. Also without issues 1 or 2, if I decide to level an alt instead, I don't feel a problem with that. For example, last night, one of the dungeons I did I tried out tanking on a level 60 DK I haven't played since early Wrath. (And I actually enjoyed it. I need a lot of practice, but having a tank alt might be a nice change of pace sometimes.)
I won't say I won't stop posting again, but I will say I'll try not to.