Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Life vs. WoW

Where do you draw that line? To what extent are they allowed to merge? At what point does one start to overshadow the other? What decisions do you have to make when that happens?

About 3 years ago, when I started to really, really get into WoW and began to spend an increasing amount of time logged in and playing I told myself that I was never going to become that gamer. You know...the one whose life started to play second fiddle to the game. I promised myself that if I ever saw myself pushing aside my real life for more game time, I was going to have to adjust.

Since then I've done a fair job of that. A couple times I started to see myself letting WoW consume time I should probably spend doing other things, but I never fell completely off the wagon. I was always able to adjust.

All well and good, right?

But what happens when your game time isn't just yours? What happens when you fill a big role in a guild (say, Raid Leader and Main Tank, just for totally hypothetical example *cough*)? Does that shift those lines any? Does it make a difference in your decisions?

I've been playing hockey recreationally since the fall of '04. The whole time I've played in a single league. And while teams shuffle from season to season, I've pretty much played with the same core group of guys, including one of my best friends.

While it only takes up one night a week, that's still one night a week I know I can't really be playing WoW.

The last couple years, I've been growing steadily more and more dissatisfied with my league.

For starters, I moved to be closer to work once I got hired into my company as a FTE instead of just a contractor. The move meant hockey is now a 40-minute drive, instead of a 10-minute drive.

Secondly, the league management has gone further and further downhill every year. From changing the schedule on the night of games to changing rules mid-season (and even mid-playoffs) to combining two different level leagues into one (creating situations where some teams are far outmatched by others), it's just become infuriating. And the only time they appear to give a damn about you as a player is when you're so much as a day late paying your fees.

So why am I still playing?

Familiarity, for one. Friendships, for two. And because, despite all the frustrations, once I was out on the ice I still had more fun playing than not.

But above all that, because if I switched to the league I've been considering switching to, my primary game nights would move from Mondays to Fridays. Since I'm in a Friday/Saturday raiding guild, as the RL and MT, this would cause some obvious issues.

Yes, the biggest single reason I've stayed with something that caused a certain amount of undue stress is because to change it, I'd have scheduling conflicts with WoW.

That said, this past season has been a nightmare. It's gotten to the point where I don't look forward to game night anymore. I'm not having fun. And that's a problem that I can't continue to ignore. It's where I decided I had to draw the line.

About a week and a half ago I informed the other officers of my guild that I'm going to be pulling the trigger on this change. Initially just for the summer season, but if I end up enjoying the new league it'll become a much more permanent change. Tonight we're going to be having a guild meeting, much of which is going to be centered around this topic.

With the continued un-success of our 25-man runs (either getting them together or accomplishing anything when we do) and now losing a MT and RL for one of the two nights, we're pretty much throwing in the towel on 25s. This is a big shift for us as a guild, as it's the first time we're truly abandoning the idea instead of merely putting it on hold. While it might be fair to say that it's been a long time coming and probably something we should have done a while ago, there's still a voice in the back of my head telling me that I caused this upheaval. I'm responsible for the shift because I put my life ahead of that of the rest of my guild.

Although that's fair, too, isn't it?


  1. I would think it is as long as you speak honestly to your group. Sometimes a break is critical for you as a player/raider/raid leader. Real life is in fact more important, though some out there might disagree. Enjoy your break man. Come back when its fun again!

  2. When I said it wasn't fun anymore, I meant hockey, not WoW.

    I'm still going to be playing...both WoW and hockey. Right now our optimistic plan is to try to run two 10-man teams on differing nights of the week. I'll still be leading/tanking for the team that doesn't go on Fridays.

    It's just a big shift for my guild, as our organization plan has always been (at least for the 3+ years I've been with the guild) to do official guild runs on Fridays and Saturdays, and people were free to put together their own runs on other nights of the week if desired.

    This is pretty much the end of our "official guild raid night."

  3. RL>WoW

    Unless it involves gear for moi : ) JK San. It should not even be an issue in all honesty as anything in game is just that....a game and can be worked around. May just be a fresh start or an opportunity to mix things up and generate some new energy.

  4. For what its worth, we were talking about making this change well before you announced the hockey night switch. All this does is force us to stop dragging our feet. Its probably a good thing, really.