13 12 2006

I’ve decided to write a post exclusively about World of Warcraft in honor of my main finally reaching 60. I won’t go into a lot of detail but I’ll try to at least make sense of the last sentence. Also, the images in this post can be viewed in their full glory by clicking on ’em.

Actually, if you read my previous post which was the essay about YouTube, I talked a bit about WoW and I think I summed it up pretty well. The premise is that you make a character that is of a certain “class” (each class has different abilities, and therefore a different role in groups and a different playstyle) and then you play with that character for as long as you want. “Playing” consists of exploring a pretty huge digital world and going on adventures, fighting monsters, collecting loot and game-money, and battling other players on the opposing faction. Every character enters the world at Level 1 and then garners enough experience to reach Level 2, and so on. The current “level cap” is 60, meaning that is the highest level characters can achieve right now and can only continue to get stronger by acquiring better gear.

“Getting a character to 60” can take anywhere between a few weeks and a few years, depending on how often you play and how efficient you are. For me, I’ve had the game since just after its release, which was in late 2004. But because of how addictive it is I’ve had to take breaks for up to 6 months at a time, and I’ve also played with more characters than I could ever recall because I sometimes get bored of the same guy. However, my “main” (character), a tauren druid named Bothar has finally made the last level jump and joined the ranks of all my friends who play. (I started before all of them though.) So I got to thinking, just how much time have I spent playing? One interesting feature the game has that you can ask it how much time you’ve spent logged in on a character. It gives you the exact count of the days, hours, minutes and seconds you have spent “logged in” with that character since its creation. So I decided to investigate the playtimes of some of the characters I’ve spent the most time playing on and see if I can tally up one grand playtime. Here are the numbers:

Bothar – 60 Tauren Druid – 22 days
Exodus – 35 Night Elf Druid – 8 days, 20 hours
Renfrew – 44 Dwarf Rogue – 13 days, 4 hours
Ripclod – 42 Orc Warrior – 5 days
Piter – 21 Human Priest – 1 day, 15 hours
Flaumag – 17 Orc Shaman – 21 hours
Thykk/Thyksson – 3 days
Many, many other characters – approx. 3 days

Note: Thykk/Thyksson” is my friend’s character who I played sometimes when my own account wasn’t active. There are actually two of him because the original was tragically deleted in a nasty twist of fate, and so my friend remade him and took him to 60 again. So those last two values are just conservative estimates, but I think they’re pretty close.

So, crunch those numbers and you get… (I just did this quickly in my head by the way, but…)
56 days, approximately. Or 1344 hours, spent in-game. Wow. Below is a shot of Bothar’s final “ding”. (A term used to describe the act of leveling up because of the sound that plays.)

It may sound like a lot. And it is. But I know of people, that is, there are people I’ve met in-game who claim to have over 200 days logged on a single character.
Is it excessive? Probably. But I try not to judge other people for their decisions. Maybe they’re not as fortunate as I am, with as many opportunities laid out for them as I have. Maybe their real lives are very unfulfilling. And that’s an interesting concept: fulfillment. It’s a pretty widely accepted truth that everyone’s deepest desire, what we want more than anything else is just to be happy, to be fulfilled. I’m not saying that playing a computer game can ever replace real-life, face-to-face social interraction. It can’t. Yet, I can’t accept the opinion that time spent having fun while playing game is time 100% wasted. Just because we don’t know what kind of effect so much time spent in a digital world will have on a growing person doesn’t mean it will all be for nothing, does it? I don’t care what people say. You’ve obviously gotta have friends, and you’ve gotta go out and accomplish things and learn and grow in the “real” world. Still, a few of the fondest memories I have involving my closest friends in the last couple of years take place in WoW, and I don’t regret that at all.

An old picture of Peter, me, and Paul standing on a pile of bones in Razorfen.



3 responses

15 12 2006
Spunk Maestro

actually the total is 57 days and 12 hours or 1380 hours in total.

just in case you want the real deal from a calculus expert.

– Pete

15 12 2006
Spunk Maestro

wow that picture of Snood, Ren, and ‘nax really does bring back good memories. That was definetly time well spent. Life is about balance though, as well as trying everything you can. Just because playing WoW is fun doesn’t mean there is nothing else fun to do. (or no other fun games to be played)

– Pete

15 12 2006

…spunk gunk? =p

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