Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How much time did you waste?

Every now and then I hand in a quest, look at the rewards and with a certain amount of teeth-gnashing decide to replace my pretty little purple epic with one of the northrend blues or even greens.

Other times I sit on a flight looking at my reputation tab and wonder to myself if it was really worth it grinding tons of rep items just to get to that magical level of reputation that you needed to pick up this item/enchant or whatnot that has now long since been forgotten.

In short, sometimes I wonder if I didn't just plainly waste a glorious amount of time on doing things that are completely meaningless and more importantly simply weren't fun to do.

I started playing around this time last year, I knew wrath was coming and I have always known that any expansion would bring a new level of gear and other features that would completely supplant the ones from the expansion before it.

As a result I always strived to doing things for 'fun' rather than an arbitrary gear upgrade or reputation increase.

I didn't run Kara more than a handful of times, in fact I stopped quite literally the second I didn't think it was fun anymore (conveniently I fell out of grace with my guild at that time). But still, I spent hours if not days in various battlegrounds grinding up the honor and marks to get myself an upgrade.
Time I could've easily spent on well... fun stuff.

So just out of curiosity I started scribbling down a few figures in order to get a rough estimate of how much time I 'wasted' in wow... and by wasted I mean time I spent logged in doing things I didn't enjoy.

Here's what I came up with:

* I enjoyed 90% of all my instance runs.
Mostly due to the fact that I only ran instances for fun, never for loot or for reputation (yes I don't have a lot of major TBC reputations as a result).

*I enjoyed 15% of my reputation/item grinds.
Collecting various signets, armaments, marks, motes and tomes never seemed to fill me with glee, the dailies weren't horrible but could hardly be considered a blistering experience of fun. Most of my reputation/item collections were involuntary and motivated generally by gear upgrades.

* I enjoyed 65% of all BG's I ran.
I ran a lot of AV's mostly because I like the grandness of having 2 large groups of players going head to head. Controversely I quite literally hated all my WSGs that I was purely doing to get the necessary marks for upgrades. The rest was about an even split between absolutely loving it and stonefaced mark grinding.

* I enjoyed 80% of the time spent levelling alts
I like levelling... I am good at it. It gives me that zen feeling of being in utter control and having a complete overview. Levelling from 0-30 is a complete and utter pain in the rear end though and the more you do it the less fun it seems to get (try not to mention the word barrens around me)

* At level 80 for any of my characters I will retain approximately 10% of all the items I collected during the last expansion
The irony of it all is that the only items that will have survived the trip are novel trinkets, things with funny animations and various rewards from ingame festivals and events. None of the gear that contributes to my playstyle looks like it'll survive.

Then I sat around for a while, twirling the paper I had scribbled the numbers on around between my fingers.

So? What does this mean then?

I decided to scribble some more stuff down to make some sense of the figures:

I spent 60% of my time levelling alts, 15% in BGs, another 10% grinding reputation, 5% doing instances and 10% I completely wasted by throwing myself off of various landscaping features under the 'let no soulstone go to waste' policy, I might've chatted a bit too and whatnot.

So out of every 100 hours I played, 60 hours were spent levelling, 15 in bg's, 10 grinding rep/items, 5 in instances and 10 were completely shot to hell doing things to entertain myself.

... enough numbers to do something with... so I concluded the following:

out of every 100 hours I enjoyed ((60/100)*80) + ((15/100)*65) + ((10/100)*15) + ((5/100)*90) + 10 (because I always enjoy time doing completely useless crud) = 73,75 hours or approximately 74%

Other than telling you where I spend most of my time (not in instances obviously) this means I didn't really enjoy 26% of my playtime.

In retrospect I think 26% is a pretty significant chunk of time to not be enjoying yourself in a game you pay good money for to play.
And as it turns out by looking at my obscure scribblings that 26% of time was pretty much the time I invested in trying to get some decent gear upgrades (which are going to be utterly meaningless at lvl 80).

This is a sobering figure no doubt, but it once again reinforces my resolve to avoid things that I don't enjoy like reputation grinds and the unfortunate effort that is 'gear hunting'.
After all, as a solo player I have the unique luxury to ignore the high-end, end-game items that may or may not be needed for end-game raiding. And while it is easy to get swept away by the need/greed for the latest and greatest in gear upgrades sometimes we should stop and ask ourselves: 'When is enough?'

So there we have it... I wasted about 26% of my playtime on things that weren't exactly fun...

And you? how much time did you waste?


LarĂ­sa said...

To me "fun" or "not fun" isn't black and white. And some of the "less fun" things, such as farming for consumables, crafted gear, primals, reputation or honor points for some pvp gear, is absolutely necessary if you want to do endgame 25 man raiding, which is what's absolutely most fun in the game to me.

So if I choose not to do those things I won't be able to do the most fun stuff. Everything will be average fun sort of. Am I better off then really?

But what's fun and not fun.. to me it has a lot to do with the company. I remember spending hours grinding primal mana in Netherstorm, having fun, since I did it in company with two guildies - we helped each other.

I've never been a big fan of solo questing and levelling. But when I get company - it rocks. It all depends on the circumstances.

wtfspaghetti said...

"And you? how much time did you waste?"

Well, I consider the majority of the time I play WoW I waste. I could be doing something productive like...

Cleaning my house, getting more organized, career development activies, exercising...ect

...but none of that stuff is as much fun as wow!

I am the same as you when it comes to:

"At level 80 for any of my characters I will retain approximately 10% of all the items I collected during the last expansion"

"I enjoyed 15% of my reputation/item grinds."

But with everything else, I enjoy the game completely. I am one of those weird people that ran Kara every week with one of my characters for upgrades lol...

I have taken 2 extended breaks from wow. One break was about 6-7 months and the other one was about 2 months. This happens because wow turns into a chore more then fun. So when I get to feel like wow is becoming more of a waste of time or not fun...I usually break from it for awhile.

When I am actually playing the game and having fun. I would rate my time wasted pretty low...about 5-10%

good read

Captain The First said...

@Larisa: Of course you're right. Fun isn't a black and white thing and it's hard to capture 'fun' in terms of numbers. But every now and then I like to look back on my gaming and determine what points are 'weak' points in terms of fun. After all, I can easily trade in a couple of sessions farming/grinding for a session or two playing the AH (more fun? maybe, maybe not, but a more efficient way to get what I want without having to do what I don't want).
So in essence by looking back and being honest with yourself you get the option of moving some of the less fun stuff into a more fun category or at the very least get to see what the less fun parts are and get to think about how to improve that part.

I've played games till I burnt out on them only to return later. In the end I decided to look at the factors that bothered me in a game and tried to eliminate them.
I for one don't consider wow wasted time in general. I have a busy life and gaming has always been a much needed way to relax from the rigors of daily activities.

In the end I suppose the question shouldn't have been how much time did you waste... but what parts of the game don't you enjoy as much and what are you going to do about it?

But that's not a catchy title :P

Esdras said...

Its a strange one really becasue sometimes ive needed to do things not fun to get to the fun stuff.

Like dailies are not fun but needed to get the gold for my epic mount.

Leveling through 50 - 58 on any char is not fun but needed for outland.