Friday, March 21, 2008

World of Warcrack

WoW is an addicting game. There's almost always one more thing that you can or want to do before you log off. There's almost always an alt you can level, or another quest you can complete. Or one more thing to sell in the trade channel. Maybe it's just one more turn-in for a repeatable quest to get to the next level of reputation. Whatever it is, it usually finds a way to take some more time away from sleep, significant others, etc.

I'm sure there's nicknames for other MMO's as well, but World of Warcrack seems to fit right along with the original Evercrack. It's hard to quit. You always want more. And at 15 bucks a month, it's not cheap. (Okay, okay... that is kinda cheap compared to what I think actual drugs would cost.)

Even if you can waltz in and kill the current end boss with your raiding guild, there's always something more to do. And even then, they keep adding patches, and content, and expansions to keep you coming back for more. It's been said that the only way to truly beat WoW is to simply cancel your account. Turn it off. Uninstall WoW from your computer.

To me, however, it's not all about "beating the game". It's about the journey. It's about the entertainment. It's about reading quests. It's about conquering bosses and impossible feats as well. And to do that, I have to spend time playing the game. At a minimum, I'm probably at 22 hours per week. Generally 3 hours per night, 7 nights per week, and then a bit more on the weekends. I'm sure my average is higher, but just throwing out some numbers here.

But, as anyone that's read my recent posts knows, I also have a family. I have a job. And I don't generally play when the kids are awake. (Have you ever tried have a 22-month-old help you to do an instance? Doesn't work so well.) So, I maintain some balance when it comes to my addiction.

I have a really good friend, that can't seem to control this habit. I've suggested having his wife set limits on the Parental Controls, but then I can imagine the resentment if he can't log on at a certain time (say she's out of town or something). Not only does he go for the "just one more" school of thought, he's also very competitive, and so he always wants to be the very best he possibly can be in his class/role. So, he sometimes plays a bit more than he probably should. He's recently "beaten WoW" for the third time. The first two times, he deleted all of his toons so that he wouldn't be tempted to come back. The last time he came back, he reacquired his account from his nephew who had leveled a toon to cap. He (my friend) simply had to gear him up, and he did a great job doing it... again, being one of the best in his class/role. At any rate, he realized he was playing way too much, and he's uninstalled Wow. (At least he didn't delete his toons this time.)

But going back to me, like I said, I generally only play when the kids are asleep or otherwise occupied. I generally require very little sleep, so I also play when everyone else in the house is sleeping. And I try to be sensitive to my wife's needs if there is a time when I need to be offline when she's still awake. But if I didn't have a wife and kids, I can only cringe at how many hours I would probably spend playing Wow.

So, the point of this post is two-fold: A) About how many hours do you play per week. B) What do you do to curb your addiction, so you aren't playing 24-7?


Pablo said...

I play 13 hours a week, and that may be too high of an estimate. Like you I have to curb my addiction to remain married. I confine my playing times to specifically scheduled nights (leveling a friends alt on Thursday, Kara run on Saturday) or when everyone else is asleep. Right now I'm weighing the decision to start grinding either Aldor or Netherwing rep and once that decision is made I may be playing more often late at night.

Galoheart said...

Enough for it to seem like a full time job. Raiding has being extending my play tolime recently and I have being up in arms about that with the wasted time. It could be less if I was wasnt wasting some that time in raids waiting around twidling my thumb.

DadGuy said...

I quit. I'm happy to have ~25+ hours a week back to do other things.

The funny thing is, it's like watching TV. Some people are diehard about watching their shows and such. Yet once they stop watching for about 6 months they can hardly remember what it was that they found so compelling about it.

At the end of the day it's all fake. Fake highs of accomplishment for doing... pretty much nothing.

That's part of why I quit. I wasn't living in the real world anymore, and while I really enjoyed some aspects of WoW, but at the end of the day, I was living in a world that nobody else around me lived in. Oh, that was kind of a lie also. (yeah, you could get all philosophical, but it is kind of a lie... heh.)

So yeah, while WoW is quite fun and quite addictive, in the end it's just not worth the time that needs investing in it. At least for me.

Yeah, I know, that wasn't quite what you were asking. Just saying. =)

gnicodemus said...

That is pretty helpful, actually, dadguy. I think I'm more like 'Leiandra's friend' who struggles with getting 'too into it' than a 'more balanced player'. I have plenty of friends that play Wow only part of the year and the months when their accounts are active they just pvp a few hours a week or whatever, but most ppl I know have a tough time not letting it intrude more than a 'typical' hobby. I'm still 'enjoying the journey' but I played so much while my wife was out of town I cancelled my account one night . . . then re-signed up the next morning lol.

gnicodemus said...

On the other hand, I have to add, I can get 'too into' my real life too (and since you know me, dadguy, imagine some of my frustrations with my idealistic political ventures -- whether or not you agree with 'em) and sometimes it's nice to have a 'fake' hobby where it doesn't really matter if I fail or succeed -- kind of like unwinding into a good book. I think that's part of the draw for me. Too much escapism is certainly bad, but none can be pretty bad too -- at least for me. :)

Keith said...

I mostly confine my play time to evenings when people are going to sleep. My wife wants me to sit and watch tv with her so I try to do that, but at some point TV is pointless to me. I'm 40 years old and have seen all the plots. (except for Lost of course)

The one thing that ticks me off is those darn kids in the game who have the nerve to say in chat that their "bored". Bored? your playing this and your BORED!?!? Why are you on if this is so boring?

One level 41 one day challenged my level 12 druid to a duel. I of coursed refused, but he begged me to take it up stating he was "BORED". Seeing as it is a PVP server I told him there were plenty of horde his size that would gladly make his life more interesting and to go seek them out.

Leiandra said...

I think most people "waste" their time on something. It's generally TV or Movies or Books or maybe drinking. /shrug. There's a few people I know that are incredibly motivated and spend every waking hour being productive. I wish that were me. It's not. I get productive in spurts, but mostly just want to relax at night, and be "productive" playing Wow.

Kind of like Keith, I haven't really been into TV for years (even pre-Wow). (Oh, and I watch Lost on the DVD's. :)) So, this is my unwinding, I suppose. And my escape (as Gnic wrote). But yeah... I know I take it too far sometimes, but most of the time it's when everyone's asleep.

Earcaraxe said...

Me and the wife have been playing WoW since its conception. Before my daughter was born it was easy to spend hours infront if the game without a care in the world. Now, when my daughter tugs on my shirt and asks for a hug or to play a game with her it makes it a no contest decision to sign off and give her the attention she deserves as a growing child. The guild I joined has many adults with similar situations. Everyone is very understanding about "kid aggro" Being a raid leader I try to accomidate a more adult schedule like evenings when the day has wound down and we can all sit down and accomplish 2-3 hours of raiding. I think finding an understanding guild with similar family or life values is key to curbing the wow addiction. If everyone in your guild is hardcore 24/7 player, it only rubs off on other players to be the same. Find or create a guild thats right for you. After all without other ppl this game wouldnt be fun anyway.