WoW and Halloween Candy

| Wednesday, July 1, 2009
This isn't about mask achievements.

I have a few friends who play together. They're very casual, playing infrequently and having no plans to raid, ever. And yet they seem to have a ton of fun.

At the end of semester I became a little more like them. I played less. A lot less. I had final papers to write and a few exams to not study for. I simply did not have the time. WoW is my primary source of entertainment, so you'd expect that I would be really down.

Quite the opposite: I had more fun when playing and in general I was happier. This was despite the massive stress.

So what does this have to do with Halloween candy? Think of how a little kid eats it: gone within a couple days (let's pretend he got sick too soon to eat it all that night) and then he's deprived, also very sick and possibly diabetic and down several layers of tooth enamel. He's a hardcore player. He's Ensidia with KT down within a week or two and wondering why there's so little content. I'm the kid who ate it in two weeks: significantly slower, but still not exactly healthy. My friend is eating a piece or two a day and he'll eat the last the day before Halloween.

This got me thinking of diminishing returns on happiness derived from WoW. Early on playing more means proportionately more fun. Eventually though, you run into diminishing returns. The extra time turns into less adventure with friends and more farming for 25-man raids out of whom you may only care much about a handful. The extra time is grinds and farming and all the aspects of the time which we refer to with a very accurate term: time sink.

Imagine what WoW, and our enjoyment of it, would be like if we all played half as much. There would be no need to add time sinks because a couple raids could fill a week. Imagine how much slower content would be cleared. And then imagine that the devs might be able to make content at the rate we clear it.

Bah, wishful thinking. Someone is out there is saying: "Give me that bag of candy, you wuss, let's see if I can get purple vomit."


LarĂ­sa said...

Oh yeah... I've touched upon this a couple of times as well... How we resemble to dogs being presented a delicious meal, swallowing it instantly without feeling the taste of it, then stupidly wondering where all the yummy steak went...

Actually I think the ones that are worst off in this matter aren't guys like Ensidia. They devour content and then they don't play much at all until next release. No, the ones that suffer from boredom are a different kind, playing a lot all the time. Sometimes being really happy about it, when there's new content, sometimes being prety bored and with pain in their stomach from too much of candy....

Klepsacovic said...

You're probably right about the second group: they eat all their candy and with nothing left they're eating wrappers with bits of chocolate on them.

Hana said...

Though I like WoW a lot, and I play a lot, I'm very careful to take time away from the game. It probably sounds lame on paper, but I really appreciate the one guaranteed night off I have off from WoW, when I go hang out with a bunch of RL people and play D&D.

I'm not saying I only take one night off a week from WoW, it sometimes works out to 2-3 nights off, but the D&D night is enforced because it's a social engagement. :) And I'm extremely happy that is it because it makes sure that I'm not online. If it wasn't there I might play, I might not, but this makes sure I don't, and makes the time that I am on that much more enjoyable.

When I'm online I'm never one of those people who say they're bored. If I'm bored I'm going to do something else.

Anonymous said...

I only get o playu one night a week (normally) and I get frustrated that I don't get to see more... but that said, on those occasions where I do get some free time, there is no limit to the content yet to explore...

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