My working life and other such trivial things have been getting into my way, and keeping me from spending all my time in World of Warcraft, like any proper MMORPG addict should do. I have realised that you actually do need some hours of sleep too (at least if you are closing on to your fortieth birthday, like I do). But the design of WoW is not ideal for such concerns. Many quests are structured to be achieved by teamwork, and social collaboration and joint adventuring with your friends is that little thing which makes all the difference between mindless grinding or endless running through of FedEx quests. But what to do, when you are falling behind in experience, due to spending less time in that achievement-rewarding environment? At some point it becomes apparent that you are so much lower in levels that it is not worth hanging in the same adventuring party any more.
We have been investigating “socially adaptable game design” within IPerG with Interactive Institute, Nokia and other partners, and the ability to stop and return to game as needed, without social punishment is one important criteria to consider.
And now I just have to run; I am severely behind in all those 20 quests that my quest log can hold…
Edit: Actually my Saturday night was spoilt by Blogger.com. I tried three hours to post these notes, reloading the screen, and only getting message “Error. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are unable to process your request at this time. Our engineers have been notified of this problem and will work to resolve it.” Or the even more common variant: “Not Found. Error 404.” And I had only reserved three hours to use for online access, total, so there was my adventuring time, gone. Apparently they are upgrading their network access in Blogger.com this Saturday; it is just unfortunate that you get no such explanation when you are trying to use the service. – I have just got so tired of Blogger, there has been too many of this kind of incidents lately. But the move into Movable Type or similar system would in practice mean that I’d also have to do the transfer into a Linux server (because of PHP, Perl, MySQL, and similar basic services, that I can currently do without, running all from this Windows XP Pro machine). Surely, that could be done, but I just do not have the time; already, the hours used for debugging technology and these unreliable network services are just taking way too much time. (Update: It is now 4 am – the case closed.)