Tobold's Blog
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Happy anniversary, WoW Europe

Two years ago today World of Warcraft Europe launched. Although I had already played the US beta and was playing on a US regular server, I switched to the European servers to play with people in the same timezone. I also wrote my very first WoW journal entry two years ago. February 2005 my blog was celebrating its 10,000th visitor, today I'm at 458,000, and writing about World of Warcraft is an obvious source of traffic.

Since then I played a lot of World of Warcraft. But how much exactly? One of the features of WoW (and many other MMOs) is that it logs that information for every character, and with a /played command you can find out how many hours you played each of them. So I logged onto all of 11 characters: The three I got to level 60+, the alts where I tried different classes into level 30 to 40, even the bank alts that are doing most of my auctioning stuff, and I noted how long I had played each of them. Then I added all up and got a result of 122 days of /played time, just short of 3,000 hours, in two years of World of Warcraft. My warrior, which was my first character to level 60, has 48 days played, while my current main, the undead priest has 36.

That is about 30 hours per week, which sounds about right for me. There are people that have more than 122 days played on a single character, and others who played a lot less than me. With the average American watching 28 hours of TV per week, and me very little, I don't think that 30 hours per week is unhealthy or a sign of addiction. It just is another form of entertainment that I prefer over TV. 30 hours per week is the disposable time I have between job and family, without neglecting either. How I choose to spend that time is my choice.

So, how much World of Warcraft did you play in the last two years? How many days /played on your main character?
I've a 40hrs/week job, I never say no to friends when is time to go out for a cinema, pizza, party or whatever.

I do rarely watch TV as I get nervous as soon as there's an advertisement spot. (too many also on sky that is a pay tv)

So in the end, playing from day 1 in europe i've about 100 days of play. (excluding lvl 3-4 alts created just to test or to show wow to friends)

In my case is about 3 hours average a day. Some could point that wow isn't social as TV. I think that wow is way more social as you interact (or can at least) with others while with TV you just sit and watch.

But one thing is real... if you watch TV, you can do it with someone next to you and join the same experience. While the same isn't true with warcraft (not that funny after a little to see your honey to play and do nothing else).

Just play wow togheter in family. Doing that you'll all have nice time and you won't need to find a group :)
Just another comment.....
Many make strange faces when I say that I need to pay 13 euros a month to play. They say that is too much, that is an incredible sum of money for just a game.

Then I ask them if they had subscribed with a pay tv or they go watch football and how much they pay :)
When I played WOW I was averaging 3.5 to 4 hours per day. I play Guild Wars now and I am hitting the same average 3.5 to 4 hours per day. We are of a similar age Tobold and I guess that at this stage in life that is about a realistic maximum that can be put into a game and still juggle work and family commitments. As you point out many people spend that amount of time watching telly.One thing that number doesn't cover though is the time spent browsing game related websites, forums wikis and blogs (lol). This is actually more of a problem for me than gaming time because I can spend hours browsing these sites and if I amn't careful my work suffers. The other difficulty I have is with grouping - I find it extremely difficult to block out a period of 2 or 3 hours to play with a group. Inevitably some real life crisis will intervene. I guess that is a major reason I am happier in Guild Wars with its short 1 hour missions.
I've been playing since the start and have 1 lvl69 with /played time 33days and a lvl60 hunter with /played time 17 days. Thats a total of 50 days which is about 2 hours per day (with alts).

I almost never play when my wife is in the building, cause she really hates this game (and my cpu for that matter). If I do I make sure she is busy doing other things.

Im actually a bit shocked... 2 hours EVERY day. And I felt I didny actually play that much.
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