Monday, February 25, 2008

Avoiding time sinks

I continue to enjoy my latest and greatest alt.

I'm having the fun you'd expect to have in a game. Something I hadn't even realized had been missing. I haven't pinpointed the difference for sure, but I think it's because I'm grouping again.

I had quit 25-man raiding and to my surprise, the 10-mans wanted to gear up the 25-man raiders, so by leaving one group I lost access to the other as well. I fell back on playing alts, but alts that soloed so well I soloed/duo'ed most of the time.

Now I'm playing a hybrid class, but I didn't want to heal (did enough of that on my priest). So this time around I'm tanking - "the" pve grouping role. I'm not great at it. But I've only not completed one instance I've tried so far (went back with a different group and cleared it). My alt is not in my guild so I pug everything and so far things haven't really been that bad. Not 70 yet, things may change at end game with heroics, etc. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

In the spirit of this new found enjoyment, I've decided to try and make a concentrated effort at avoiding the time sinks in the game.

1) Play a needed class. I haven't spent much time grouping as dps, but healers and tanks seem to spend less time in LFG.

2) Focus on one role. As a hybrid I could spend lots of time gearing up for all the roles I could fill. But I ended up playing double time on my priest gearing her up for shadow AND holy. I'm not going to do that again.

3) Do not raid. I'm not going to raid with this character if I can help it. Maybe one day I'll do Karazhan. But I really don't want to get into a scheduled situation where I can't log off when I want to.

4) Do not pick up a crafting profession. I've hit 375 with my gathering professions. If I want to farm I can, but I don't have to try and spend hours getting mats for one skill up, or to purchase a recipe, or to get a recipe drop. I spent hours in an attempt to farm all BoE recipes, I think I only had one left to get.

5) Get loot through crafting, reputation and pvp. Instead of running an instance ad naseum for a lucky drop, find alternatives through other avenues. I'll never have the best of the best without raiding or arenas anyway.

6) PvP marginally. I've spent countless hours on battlegrounds not necessarily enjoying myself trying to earn honor. AFKing screws things up, but I can definitely understand why people do it. When during a bg I find I'm thinking AFKers have the right idea - log off immediately.

7) Grind reputations that only give rewards I can't easily get anywhere else. Do I really need exalted with Sporregar? The bat *is* cute, but helm and shoulder enchants are better.

8) Give up on fun frivolities - this is a hard one, but probably will give me the most bang for the giving-up buck. Spending hours farming ogres for a Talbuk no longer makes sense if I'm trying to spend more time in RL.

Did I miss any other time sinks?

Perhaps its not really a time sink if you have fun doing it. Yet it is so easy to get lost in this game and wonder where all your time went. It sounds like I'm cutting a lot out of the game, but I'll still spend numerous hours playing even without all of this.


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"I don't *need* to play. I can quit anytime I want!"

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