Monday, September 8, 2008

Time Management with multiple MMORPG's

Depending on how you choose to keep count, I've arguably got three MMORPG's going right now:
- Retail WoW (which I'm actually paying for),
- The Wrath Beta (which I'm not paying for), and
- The Warhammer Beta (which I'm sort of paying for, to the extent that the promised open beta and head start access factored into my decision to pre-order rather than wait for launch and watch the dust settle).

The irony is that I've spent the evening watching the Sarah Connor Chronicles, doing some housework, and now reading the blogroll and writing up a post instead of playing any of the above.

I'd guesstimate that I'm scraping together maybe 10 hours of combined gaming time per week since I started my new (real world) job. In some ways, that's actually a fair chunk of time; billed at minimum wage, that is more than the box price for a new game. In comparison to the time commitment for high end raiding in WoW, that's not much at all.

So many choices, so little time
I find this all interesting because I'm noticing that my current time constraints are definitely influencing my decisions in terms of how I spend my time in-game. For example:

- I'm probably not going to fire up the Warhammer beta for the little time that remains in the evening after I post this, even though it's the newest toy that I have the most questions about. As I posted yesterday, there's a server wipe coming in a week, and the four hours I spent on it over the weekend represent nearly half of the time I spent on games this week.

- The cooking and fishing daily quests I'm doing on my retail WoW account might seem like the least interesting choice of the three, but that's the only thing I'm working on right now that will still be around in December.

- I will finish up Cheerydeth's level journey, simply because it will be cool to be able to say I had a level 80 beta Death Knight. That said, I'm leaving the heavy testing of the Storm Peaks and Icecrown to people with more spare time, and will put off trying it for myself until the zones aren't so buggy that they're bringing down the whole server. I wouldn't trade my WotlK beta experiences for anything, but I'm not sure if I would have opted to invest the time in leveling a beta character if the opportunity to do so hadn't come at a time when I was waiting for a new job to start anyway.

- Speaking of past decisions, I'm not sure what I'd think about taking on a project like my uncrushable solo Paladin in the future. For one thing, I don't know if I'll even have the time to get good old Greenhammer to level 70. My mage remains my favorite character, and the warrior has content in front of him that I've never seen before, along with Titan's Grip to cut through all the mobs that much faster. Would I want to use a low DPS Pally for a third (fourth counting the beta) trip through Northrend? Even if I did, would I really want to sink 100% of my gaming time into grinding out the level 80 equivalent of badges (it took the Pally approximately an hour a day for nearly two months)?

- What about other alts? I'm not sure I'd want to play a retail Death Knight, but leveling any other alt in WoW represents a fair chunk of time leveling through old, uninteresting content pre-Outland. (Part of the solution here may be to wait; I think it's likely that Blizzard WILL allow level 55ish alts of non-Death Knight classes at some point in the next year.)

- Meanwhile, let's say I wind up sticking with Warhammer. It appears that any single character will miss out on a lot of the game's content, but spreading out your gaming time between multiple characters could seriously slow your main's reknown ranking.

I'm not sure that this is really a "Player vs Developer" question. Perhaps it's more "Player vs Self". Either way, I'll be curious to come back in a few months and see what choices exactly I've wound up making.

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