Having time to play wow is a luxury, and recently its been taxed significantly.
Life, relationships, and work are all consuming more energy at the moment, and while I don’t begrudge it specifically, I’d like to find a way to play effectively for short periods of time.
Which raises the question – What tasks or activities remain viable when you are casual? How best to play with time, to get more playtime?
Know your pattern
You need to know how long you have, what the likelihood of distraction is. Ask what else might go wrong or interrupt you. For some folks that’s kids, others partners, others family, etc. Understanding the times when your hobbie time will be free makes all the further decisions plausible.
Also you might think about what the time spent in wow means compared to other activities. Many players take the USA Summer as a holiday from serious games, and thats a valid choice too. It does not always have to be how you spend the time in-game. For us Australian players its the dead of Winter now, and I like being indoors and toasty in front of the PC.
I try to evaluate how my time might be changing on an ongoing basis too, so that I keep my hobbies as hobbies, and everything else sound. For me that means: Weeknights 30 mins to 45 mins between interruptions, with an interruption lasting from a few minutes to 1 hour. Any given night I’m 80% likely to be online, except for 3 nights when there is no chance.
I divide weekends up into 6 time blocks, each 3-5 hours long: sat am, sat pm, sat night, sun am, sun pm, sun night. My peak times are Sunday AM and PM, where I can sometimes spend 5+ hours playing. /woot
(Can you tell that I’m a project manager yet?)
Slow Leveling and Questing
The first thing I can do in those gaps is do a few quests. It might be one quest, or trying for a few. Getting a group is often not viable, but I’d advise to stay in the LFG channel just in case something comes up. You can launch a request for group every now and then, and see if others are hunting around too. For casuals the LFG channel is mostly Heroic spam, but there are odd opportunities now and then.
This might also include Rep grinding, but I think repeatedly killing the same thing, or doing the same task mindlessly for a night is a great way to burn-out. I’d rather do something with some flavour.
If you’re also an Alt-a-holic or yet to ding level 70 then this is an easy choice. Play the stuff that is accessible easily, and see direct rewards.
Maim, kill, destroy, and heal if you can. This has some rewards that are not impossible to get, and if you consider it a quick dip in the game; that might do it. If you play a gank-age class/spec this will appeal more. And I suppose if you’re not, then you’re a gluten for punishment anyway, may as well let somebody grow their e-peen at your expense.
For the level 70s the dailies are a good cash earner, and extra cash is handy. The capacity to buy your way through stuff you can’t get via PvE is actually viable for most classes. Tailors in particular have some great gear for Warlocks, Priests and Mages. I’m told the Blacksmith patterns are very nice too.
Most also grant rep, and the rep rewards from the Isle are fantastic.
If you have a few online mates booking in runs in advance can really help. In my case a booked run is still a maybe, as I never know what distractions will present during the night.
Find like minded people
Get into groups, friends lists, and maybeeven guilds who are also in the same situation as you. On Nagrand there is a guild called “Have KIds will AFK”, which makes a stack of sense to me. These guys are declaring in advance that they’re looking for interruption tollerant playing (my assumption). Another set of guys called Cazhuals ae taking the piss out of casuals, and pretty sure they’d hate a casual attendance. Find players who can help each other.
……..What did I miss?