Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Time To Play?

When did the World of Warcraft become a game that must be strictly scheduled with a time frame that must be met at all costs?

I've heard the stories about the people who apparently have no lives and can play the game seemingly 24/7, have all of the best epics and are the first to reach all of the goals within the game. The people who cannot or will not achieve these things are very bitter over the people who can or will.

"They only have that or achieved that because they have no life."

"I don't have time to dance with this group, I'm out of here."

"We have 30 minutes to clear this instance or I'm out."

"One bad pull and I'm jumping ship so you won't waste my time."

"I can't be bothered to help you become better, I don't have the time."

I don't know about you, but I hate being rushed. When I play World of Warcraft, I want to take my time. I want to enjoy the experience. Sometimes I might get caught up in the game and rush through some things, but that's because I can get excited and want to see the ending and get paid. But most of the time, I jump in the game and just want to relax. I'm not a fan of instance runs that take over an hour, but if there is any chance to finish a run, I will stick it out the best I can, though sometimes, I really do have to drop from a group. And you know what? Sometimes I may have to drop from a group just as it gets started, or only a few minutes in. That's called life. Not this stupid idea that I have to schedule this game around my real life needs and expect other players to fall in line with those needs.

See, I believe that sometimes I have a reason to only play for a few minutes while other times I believe I have a reason to play several hours. And sometimes my family gets all of my attention while other times they don't get enough. Some people might call that poor time management and I just don't care. Time management is for your job, or doctor appointments, or bank transactions. If you have to micro manage your entire life then I don't think that you are really experiencing it. The same goes for playing World of Warcraft.

There are people who feel the need to take their laptops with them on trips just so they can try to accomplish time-sensitive achievements. They have to lock themselves away from their family for a set period of time just to play the game. My family does not always need my attention so sometimes I have several hours free to play World of Warcraft or do something else. But they are in the same room with me, watching T.V. or playing on the floor, or reading. If my wife says "Let's go somewhere." I turn off the game and we go. If one of my kids say "Dad, I need help." I may ask them to wait a few mintutes then I give them my full attention. That is what real life is all about. Not this strange need to have a stop watch ticking away around your neck.

If you have time to play, then play. Maybe you get to finish all that you would like, and maybe you don't. I can't count the number of times when my game period has become a glorified chat room because a friend was chatting with me and I got caught up in the discussion and accomplished absolutely nothing for my character. And I don't even care.

Play the game or don't, but don't expect me to care when we wipe on the first boss and you start complaining about how the run is taking too long.

Oh, and remember this little phrase that you've regurgitated over and over?

"You can't have fun because the other 24 people in the raid might be inconvienenced."

Choke on it.

Once you've made your game time a scheduled appointment, you've sucked all the fun out of it already. Sure, it can be annoying when the hunter misdirects to a mage, but if you any sense of humour at all, then you've just been paid in spades for your precious time with a fun story to tell.

Before you sit down to play World of Warcraft, take off the stupid suit and the wrist watch.


Tesh said...

Thing is, the subscription model explicitly charges according to time. Whether it's conscious or not, people feel an urge to play because they feel a need to "make the most of their money". The Guild Wars model, on the other hand, is very amenable to doing things on your own schedule.

hound said...

It really is a foreign concept to me and I honestly did not see it in the game at all until near the release of Lich King.

For me, World of Warcraft is almost everything I've ever wanted in a fantasy game (could use some tweaks though) and at $15 a month I feel I'm getting a fantastic bargain.

Also, I really, really hate feeling rushed.