Ever read or heard:
- I jump on for 15 minutes a day and do my Auction House business
- I jump on for 1/2 an hour and do all my dailies
- I jump on for 20 minutes for a quick WSG
- I jump on for 1/2 and hour and knock out a quick VH, CoT, VoA etc
Do you believe others when they say they do?
WoW is a game that caters for both casuals and hardcore, but generally that definition reflects how many nights/days per week one raids, or plays at least.
For some of us the moniker of casual also refers to the size of the blocks of playable time. For instance, I am more likely to have 2 or 3 blocks of 1/2 hour per week than 1 block of 1.5 hours. This can make things difficult in WoW, because as much as people like to tell you they can beat the game 1/2 hour at a time, I just don’t seem to find the same magic.
What I find in reality is there are only a few games where one can truly play in short sharp blocks, and even then time can get away.
For instance my wife is a hardcore solitaire player. Pretty much the only game she plays is solitaire, good old stock standard Windows solitaire.
Solitaire is a game you can knock over in 5 minutes. Extremely casual. Waiting for the kettle to boil, don’t watch it, play a quick hand.
However my experience is that she will be just one more minute, just one more hand, just one more hour… and this IS a game you can easily walk away from.
My Time Cap
My wife also likes to watch a little bit of TV, although she will deny that, stating she only watches it to spend time with me. Thing is I am not a fan of the cooking and gardening shows, and Desperate Housewives leaves me feeling a tad less masculine by the final credits – especially if I enjoy the episode.
Occasionally when she is watching her shows I sneak off for a quick WoW session. Just 1/2 hour or an hour. She will call out 5 minutes before the show ends so I can log off and shut down, then call out from bed to tell me I am 1/2 hour over time, then nothing… Till I look at the clock and it’s now 12.30 am or worse, she calls me out in the morning.
Now this isn’t a post about time management. I have access to a plethora of alarms, including in game alarms.
This is a post about WoW as a time sink, or more to the point an angry hungry all devouring demon from the plane of existence that thrives on lost moments…
Where the time goes
So let’s look at the lost moments and what they really add up to:
Getting Started and Packing Up
Starting PC and logging on 5-10 minutes (likewise turning it off can chew a surprising amount of time if turning it off involves doing some data uploads, or emailing screenshots etc).
I appreciate most of you probably don’t consider this to be play time… to be honest neither do I… but for my wife, when she hears “1 hour”, she hears 1 hour from the time you leave my side to the time you return with the PC shut down. Not, you have 1 hour of play time, not including start up/shutdown, updating addons, checking emails, scanning auction house…
AH – Using Auctioneer on Aman’Thul Alliance side, it takes 20-30 minutes to do a full scan + another 15-20 minutes to process the data. Admittedly there are usually 550-600odd pages to scan. On top of this there is the posting… which hopefully is batch posting, cause you don’t want to sit there all night.
30 seconds – 5 minutes Depends what’s there, how many full mailboxes there are, how many items bug out. etc
30 seconds + travel time. This is assuming I am not intending to hunt anything down and withdraw it…
Steady On Gnome, that’s a bit rich!
That’s a bit extreme, my AH business runs itself, even while I’m sleeping.. it never takes me more than 5 minutes a week.
I stumbled across KiwiRed’s blog post So How Long Do Glyphs Take? and it really rang a bell. Even cutting your product down to single range doesn’t necessarily mean a 5 minute AH scan and the job is done.
So, 94 minutes later, that’s how it’s done. That’s 61 minutes where I have to pay attention to the computer, and 33 minutes (while batch-posting goes on) where I can do other activities
Two in 1/2 hour best case, especially if travel or fishing are involved.
When I have time to burn… Instant entry and 20 min fight. When I don’t – 10 min wait and 40 fight.
Quick instances and raids
10+ minutes to form party, enter instance, buff and start. 20 minutes for needless wipes. 30 minutes for the instance. 3 minutes to recover from Dalaran lag when porting back in, 2 minutes to hand in quests, 5 minutes to swim through the lag and repair, restock etc ready for next time.
Compensating for lost time
Now I know the time is going to go.. please don’t pst me for a Port, or god forbid say hello to me… you just added another 10 minutes to my session.
I try to compensate by carefully planning out before each gaming session everything I
- need to do
- want to do, and
- could do
I try to get through this list… yes I do include the dailies I want to do, whether I want to scan the AH etc. If I hit a daily quest giver, and it’s one I want to do, but have no time, I grab it, record it and schedule it into a future gaming session.
Am I alone?
I know that back when I had time to read through the Auctioneer forums, people would frequently question the Goblin inhabitant’s claims of ezymode gold farming on 15 minutes a day.
I’m just wondering, do you manage to achieve herculean amounts of activities in Gnome sized blocks of time?
Gnomer and Out!
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