05/07/2013

A Day in the Life Revisited

Back in September last year I wrote a post called "A Day in the Life", in which I talked a bit about how I actually spend my time in game. It's interesting to look back on that now, because things have certainly changed a lot. Back then, I was still in my old guild, but it was already mostly dead. I didn't get to run any operations. I also seemed to play under a sort of "priority" system, where there were things that I definitely wanted to get done every day and others that I didn't consider as important and would skip sometimes.

Nowadays I'm a lot more reliant on my guild to provide me with entertainment and as such my play time ebbs and flows with the pulse of guild life. Since I have irregular work patterns, the times when I can get online vary.

If I find myself coming online in the morning or early afternoon, the guild is usually very quiet. If anyone's online, it's generally just someone quietly grinding away on another alt or something. Personally I will use this time to rotate through my own alts, check their mails, send the companions out on missions and do some trading or crafting. I might also engage in a little bit of solo play: a random warzone, (rarely) a flashpoint via the group finder or I might do a couple of quests. On the whole I tend to spend only very little time playing like this though, as I know that more engaging things await if I can be there in the evenings.

Late afternoon is usually the time when guildies slowly start to trickle online, including my pet tank. Depending on how much time each of us has, we'll spend some time questing together or doing flashpoints. Basically, I do the same things I mentioned above, but with company so that they are much more fun.

In the evening, if there is an operation or other guild event going on, we will both join for that most times. Depending on what exactly it is, these tend to run for two to three hours on average.

Once operations come to an end, activity in the guild sees a sharp drop-off, as people who have to get up early for work have to call it a night, and others might simply consider themselves "done for the day" with no interest in doing anything outside of ops. However, most nights there are also two or three brave souls left who like to stay up late and enjoy PvP. If I'm in the mood I will join them for a few games, as the daily victories seem to come that much quicker when accompanied by friendly banter.

I guess some people would find this kind of relatively structured play off-putting, but personally I have to say that it's pretty nice to have a set pattern that you can slip right into, no matter what time of day you get online.

3 comments:

  1. Hmm, that's something I'll have to think about.

    I do know that if there's something major I'm focusing on, I'll work on that in that particular game to a high degree. But a lot of my game time fluctuates, and so I will vary my game time based on what I can get done in the time allotted.

    For example, an STO mission can take anywhere from 10 minutes to over an hour depending on what happens, so I have to pretty much block out about an hour at least if I'm going to play that. I'll do the same thing for a TOR Flashpoint: it'll probably take between 30 mins and an hour, so I have to block out specific time for that. A WoW battleground, on the flip side, takes about 1/2 hour at most, so if I want to run group content and get done fairly quickly, a BG it is.

    Questing, however, is pretty variable. I can handle questing in increments as little as 15 minutes at a time, so then it becomes strictly a matter of which game attracts me more at the time. Since I've pretty much finished the major WoW questlines --I'm not going to get sucked into "Daily Hell" that Mists turned into-- there's less incentive for me to go questing in Azeroth. This is where TOR shines the most; I can keep up with questing for a long time to come given all of the various toons/class stories out there.

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    1. Funnily enough I feel almost the opposite about TOR quests. With all the dialogue and running around, it always feels very time-intensive to me, so I rarely bother unless I've got a good chunk of time available.

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    2. Well, it feels more intensive because of the cutscenes. Most other MMOs (Age of Conan is the other exception) you can click and accept, then figure out what 10 rats you have to kill. TOR and AoC force you to interact with an NPC to pick up a quest, and while it is more time-intensive (a minute or two versus 5 seconds), it is also more immersive.

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