A friend of mine, Dagr, linked his Heroic: The Twilight Zone achievement to me as soon as I logged on. He’s a much more hardcore player than I am these days, and I will admit a twinge of jealousy when I talked to him. However, it got me thinking about why I’m NOT in a hardcore raiding guild, and why I run with the miscreants that I do. A casual guild, but one that possesses a great number of skilled players, is an oddity in the WoW community. So I began to think a bit about why I’m not more hardcore than I am, with the exception of my employment with the U.S. military.

BigRedKitty is a heavyweight in the hunter community. The intricacies of trapping, kiting, and general hunter tactics would be lost on many people were it not for his hunter-guide movies and help. Let’s face it… the man is a behemoth.

Which made it all the more surprising to read his latest blog post and hear that he’s hangin’ it up. At the end of that post, he mentions that he hopes it may cause others to look at their lives and determine if they’re running down the same path as him. His caution is one that none of us should take lightly… for every WoW-player who can manage a family life and the game, there’s one who has let this game consume him and ruin relationships.

Every last one of us has had instances where we’ve let the game take a little too high a priority in life. How many of us called in sick for the release of Wrath? How many of us have ever stayed up far later than we should to finish a raid, only to snooze the alarm the next morning? Every danged one of us, that’s who.

It becomes a problem when the people you love in life suffer as a result. My wife, bless her, doesn’t mess with me on raid nights. It’s my responsibility to make sure, then, that “raid night” isn’t every night.

In addition to making sure we don’t play 40 hours a week, it’s important to educate those around us as well. The flip side of the coin is that many people just don’t understand why we play so much, and think it’s somehow “healthier” to spend all evening in front of the TV, or spend a ton of time and money on a hobby like classic cars. We need to remind them that, contrary to “static” hobbies such as TV, we’re exercising teamwork, cooperation, and interaction. We take part in a vibrant, complex economy, and have to use strategy to defeat difficult encounters. And, unlike rebuilding classic cars, it’s inexpensive.

If our loved ones understand WoW as a hobby and not as a game, and we make sure to play in moderation, we can avoid joining the ranks of those who have given up the game completely to save relationships.

One Response to “Priorities”

  1. Kanti says:

    I have had friends make comments in the past about the amount of time I spend playing WoW. I always try to balance my personal time and WoW time accordingly. Unfortunately they don’t always understand that sometimes I don’t feel like going out to a club to stand around bored for 4 hours. Thankfully I have a partner that also plays WoW and he gets sad if I don’t play enough WoW with him. It’s a strange thing how it’s strengthened our relationship because we have to cooperate in game to get anywhere.

    Still If I ever thought that WoW was damaging my life or relationships I too would have to make that difficult decision to walk away.

    I really like how you pointed out that way is more than just a game. It’s true that it is more complex than some give it credit for and others do not understand why we put so much time and effort into it.

    I also understand about being jealous. one of my WoW friends has more cool stuff and achievements than I will ever have, but then WoW is all he does. At least I am not alone in being a little jealous of those that can play WoW 24/7.