Yes, compared to RL, wow *is* my downtime. But I'm speaking about a different kind of downtime - the downtime that is between pulls, corpse runs, etc. As I've commented about commenting this is my least favorite group behavior.
Recently I've had a chance to play more than usual. One evening I had a ton of fun, the next evening, not so much. And the one thing I can point to as being the difference was downtime. There's really no resolution, because things were out of our control. The first night everyone was on, we had even more people than we had room for. We buffed, we killed, we buffed, we wiped, we ran back, we killed, wash, rinse, repeat, good night, cya next time.
The next raid session, half the people didn't show up like they said they would. We had to find replacements, we had to figure out who was going to do what. We wiped several times before trying something easier. Since the something easier was old content, people swapped out to alts. We waited awhile longer to see if the no-shows would show. ZzzzzZzzzzz.
The night eventually turned out to be successful given what we had, but I didn't really have that great of a time. Because waiting around is torture. A top 100 (top 20?) guild, Fusion, realizes this and devotes time to speed runs. Well I think for them its more about testing their limits, but I'm sure its also about keeping everyone engaged.
I've been thinking alot about Greedy Goblin's coined (no pun intended) "worse than grind" phrase. (I typed up something about it but didn't post it, maybe later.). It describes when the majority of a guild knows the fights, knows what they need to do individually, but the failures of a few cause just enough problems that they never progress. Or they progress really slowly (usually just enough to keep them satisfied with being in the middle of a "worse than grind".
I think this can apply, in a way, to people who suffer from delays. There are players who have signed up and show up on time, make sure to have everything repaired, stocked on reagents/food, head to the instance early to help summon or show up right on time, are fast on their corpse runs, eat up or bandage, when necessary afk makes them quick. Those who don't take care to try to do all of these things, cause everyone else to suffer "worse than grind" or maybe it is better describe as "worse than wait".
But all of this is the nature of the MMORPG beast. You group, you find yourself bobbing in the waves caused by the group.
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