I'm in a relatively new D&D campaign where the momentum and pace of the game has been lacking, for me personally. My guess is "talk to the DM/group about it" may be all I can do, but figured I'd check and ask for an outside perspective anyway (and would love any advice on how to bring this up with them).
I'm also not sure if this is something I even should start a conversation about, because I might be the only one in the group having this problem.
We've played 7-8 sessions of this campaign so far. We're all good friends and/or family, and everyone but me has played long-form campaigns together before. I only recently moved close enough to play with them regularly, but I did drop in for a few sessions in this DM's last campaign and loved the group then.
Most of why the new game hasn't been fun for me is about not having a lot of direction or anything motivating the party, leading to very uneventful sessions that are boring and frustrating for me. It doesn't help that the DM's style so far has been extremely hands-off and we get very little to work with when it comes to moving the story anywhere, and it's been mostly on the players to dig for things to do and reasons to do them. We sometimes go multiple sessions without really accomplishing anything or progressing the story at all- sometimes it's several hours in a row stuck in a loop of "go shopping/walking the town, enter shop/museum/npc's house/etc, maybe get some lore that we already knew most of and that doesn't really apply to us yet, repeat". When the DM does drop hooks or hints about things we could pursue, they tend to feel very random and have nothing to do with what we're doing at the moment, and many of them are clear on the other side of the world or way above our level. The result being we've got a to-do list of minor quest hooks a mile long but still sit down every session with no idea where to go or what to do, and end up stalling and doing essentially nothing.
This wasn't set up as an open sandbox type campaign either- if it was, we'd probably be handling it better. But, beginning of session 1 the party was brought together and given a very specific mission and to-do-list for how to save the world. Then we were told pretty quickly that we're too low level to do much about that yet. So it's one major plot hanging over our heads that we can't do anything about, and an infinite supply of random minor side hooks that we mostly just get stuck in choice paralysis over. It's kind of stressful, honestly.
On top of that, the party isn't ever really on task. It might be because of the points above, or it might just be how they are; I'm genuinely not sure.
In game that could mean people interrupting, changing the subject, or trying to do several unrelated things at once, so much that we don't get anything done (I'm not excluding myself from that, but am trying to get better about it). It could also mean the conversation is nowhere near the game at all- which also gets frustrating for me, but that's another can of worms. Anyway, judging by the vibes at the table and the amount of time people spend on phones or with attention not on the game, I might not be the only one bored during sessions where we don't accomplish much, but I won't pretend to know for sure what anyone else is feeling. I'm the only one that's said anything so far.
I'm not sure what to do as a player to help make this game more fun.
I don't want to nag or interrupt by constantly trying to steer the party towards a goal or back on track. Hence the problem player tag- I feel like I might be becoming one, there's been a few times now that I've done a bad job hiding my frustration while trying to ask everyone if we could pick a task and stick to it for a minute, and I'm sure it came across as rude. On the DM side, bothering them about changing all of these things feels like way too many complaints to be fair or kind, and would feel a little pointless anyway if I'm the only one who's feeling this way.
I'd love to go back in time and bring up doing a session zero (I'm sure you can tell there are several places where I must have missed the memo on what the expectations for game tone, behavior at the table, etc are). But, it feels too late now and since everyone else has played together before, it would really just be for me as the newcomer to the group. That's something that's making this more awkward and frustrating.
This would be easier if the game was all boring all the time- as much as I love these people I could definitely make an excuse to just quit. But there have been moments where it's been great! The few times that the party has had some motivation and an immediate goal to work towards, the entire table lights up, comes back to life, and kicks ass. In combat especially this suddenly becomes a fantastic group who work really well together. We've had some stellar roleplaying moments too, and everyone made great characters that I'm definitely invested in learning more about. That said, we've only had 3 combats so far in ~8 sessions, and the ratio of time spent on interesting character related roleplay versus time spend on another conversation that doesn't go anywhere with another random one-off shopkeep is very low.
TL;DR: New campaign has been boring and frustrating for me because we have little motivation, less focus, and the story doesn't progress at all during many of our glacial-pace sessions. Can I do anything to change this as a player, and should I even be trying if it seems like I'm the only one genuinely bothered by it? If talking to the DM or even asking for a late session zero is the best/only option- I'd also love any advice on how to do that tactfully and without it coming across as a refusal to adapt to the style of a group that I'm the newcomer to, if that makes sense.
I'm considering just quitting, but it seems like a shame when I love the people in the group and the game clearly has the potential to be way more fun than it is right now.