Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

David (Chapter 4)

Posted by Randolph Carter on May 6, 2009

MMO community connection:

Timesink

Chapter 4: Preferences

At your peak, how much time per week would you say you spent gaming?

I’d guess 30-40 hours per week. Thinking about that now just blows my mind.

How about now?

Maybe 10 hours.

When during the week are your regular play times?

Nowadays I wait until my daughter is in bed and asleep which is usually between 8:30 and 9:00. I’ll get an hour or two of gaming done after that if nothing else is going on.

Generally speaking, are you more of a social creature in MMOs (grouping to quest, joining guilds, etc.) or something of a lone wolf?

I’m definitely a lone wolf. I’ll play now and then with friends, but only if we can schedule it ahead of time. My window of free time has narrowed significantly over the past couple of years so it’s much easier to just log in and do my own thing instead of waiting around to find a group.

Have you made any lasting friendships through your MMO experience? Please explain.

No, I’ve gone into each game with the friends I’ve already had.

Before logging into a game, do you already have a course of action planned out in your head, or do you just sort of do whatever you feel like once in game?

I typically have a plan in mind when logging in, but it’s not so rigid that I won’t ditch it if something else comes up.

When playing MMOs do you tend to just play one at a time or do you take more of the smorgasbord approach?

I barely have the time for one. I’ve tried two at once (EQII and WoW, WoW and Vanguard) but I just couldn’t do it. I would find myself more interested in one over the other and play it more to the point where it just wasn’t worth the cost of keeping the other around.

Do you tend to supplement your MMO gaming with other PC, console or tabletop games?

I try. I’ve got an Xbox 360 which I play off and on. I tried tabletop games (Warhammer 40k) but got too burned out painting my darn army to bother playing the game (there’s a billion dollars I’ll never get back; that stuff’s expensive).

I jump into other PC games now and then but like so many others have said before; whenever I play something else it always feels like it’s causing me to “fall behind” in my MMO. It’s absolutely ridiculous, but the stacks of games I’ve bought and never played confirm that it’s real.

Are you something of an altoholic?

No. I had a couple of alts back in my peak MMO days, and one of them eventually caught up to my main in levels, but I’m mostly a one character guy. Typically I’ll start an alt just to get a feel for a different class, or to see some zones I wouldn’t have seen with my main, but they’re usually forgotten about eventually.

Do you find yourself multitasking while gaming (perhaps watching TV, talking on the phone, out of game instant messaging, playing another game, or even listening to a podcast)?

I’ll sometimes have the TV on in the background (typically a hockey game), or I’ll check out a web page or two on the side.

Do you find yourself having much MMO discussion off-line, perhaps with friends or family?

Constantly with friends; it’s all we talk about.

Have you ever felt that you game too much? If so, how did you cope with that?

I definitely have felt that I game too much, usually as a result of a certain look my wife gives me. My heavy duty playing days are in the past however, and my play time is much more reasonable now. My family always comes first and I have quite a few other obligations and hobbies that keep my gaming in check.

Since you started playing MMOs, have you ever taken a break from the genre? If so, please explain.

Yes I have. Towards the end of my EverQuest II days I was completely burned out and took a few months off from MMOs. I played a bunch of other single player games, even finishing a few of them, and loved it. Eventually I started to feel the itch for MMOs again and ultimately ended up in World of Warcraft.

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