4,606 Hours 46 Minutes Of Played Time In The Span Of 6 Years

Say on average, a movie lasts around two hours.  I could have watched more than 2,000 movies over six years, in addition to the many I have already watched.  Or say if I spend eight to twelve hours reading a page-turner, I could have read around 450 extra books.  Instead, I have poured my 4,606 hours into a massively online game (11 million subscribers), paid around US$1,000 over a period of six years, got lost into the void of fantasy, and then back to the real world, with some good memories to cheer about, some broken memories to cry onto.

In less than 24 hours, something cataclysmic will happen to the world that has devoured a fair bit of my time, a little bit of Cynthia’s time (relatively speaking).  The old world will be destroyed.  A new dawn is upon us.  This online game may have well been inspired by the recent movies featured with the theme of Armageddon, I do not know.  Global warming, perhaps.  Looking at the trailer, I am excited; Cynthia is excited; my buddy Mark is also excited.  My enthusiasm hits them like the rising ocean that hits the shore in this video I share, the raging sea that destroys cities (the image above is taken at Menethil Harbor a week ago, which is now flooded as cataclysm draws close).

A heavy heart, indeed I have one.  My intimate knowledge, my fond memory of the so-called old world, will all be gone shortly.  Looking back, so much has changed over the years – the social dynamic, the game mechanic, the countless improvements, and the relentless expansion of game contents – what is left in the old world may well be a form, an empty shell that is screaming for a renewal.  To that extend, I prefer the game expansion to be named “Cataclysm” instead of “World of Warcraft 2.0”.

Of the ten characters I have, the one I play the most  is the one that I have clocked in 1,515 played hours.  In the World of Warcraft, It is never too late to do something in that infinite long list of to-do’s.  So tonight, to commemorate the eve of cataclysm, I have weaved a flying carpet for my most senior character (see image below).  What is taking me so long?  Never get round to, I guess.  Too many other better things to do, for sure.

12 thoughts on “4,606 Hours 46 Minutes Of Played Time In The Span Of 6 Years”

  1. You have 10 characters? Wow, that’s too many to manage in my perspective. 😀 I have no idea what is WoW though I have heard of this game. Thanks for sharing and I hope you like the new world although it seems like a sad and dark one. Do you get to maintain all your characters in the new world?

    This seems like a drastic change for me, consider the world you used to know no longer exist. I am on online game player myself and I used to clock in 5 hours a day and I have built nice home, met true friends have fond as well as bitter sweet memories too. I hate to think that the world I knew has became something else. I curse even on the new viewer itself. 😀 Well, guess you will be busy exploring for time being. Enjoy and have fun!

    1. J – It is indeed hard to manage 10 characters with different roles, “professions”, and game progress. Quite a nightmare really. But I often only focus on one at a time. Still, it seems to take forever to reach somewhere. Hence 6 years. And by the way, unlike Second Life (I think), most people’s favorite past time in WoW is to progress alternative characters. To have a different experience from a different perspective (in terms of roles and professions and etc.)

      Fortunately, we get to keep all our characters after the upcoming cataclysm. On top of that, we have a tiny group of people who will be focused on playing werewolves (a new class after cataclysm) just to experience the journey all over again, instead of picking from where all our old characters have left off 🙂

      Cataclysm is dramatic, but as dramatic as you may have imagined it to be. Unlike SL, players in WoW don’t build anything. So, the change in landscape depends entirely on the developers to push out new contents. This time, they have decided to revamp the entire old world. I think “geographically” speaking, we can still make out where is where. But I would expect some of the cities are in ruin, new ones are built. In another word, war still goes on … ha ha ha.

      1. I suppose SL is different because it encourages more creativity and most residents like the idea of no “level” and “game over” here. People just kinna “advance” as they learned something new, meet new friends, cut old ties, build new objects, etc in this world everyday. I actually think you will like SL because there are many beautiful sims that you could explore, take pictures and apply some of your drawing / photoshoping skills to those pictures too. Seb is one of the best photographer in SL, check him out when you have time – http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebcaen/collections/72157602214529011/

        1. J – You are right. SL does seem to encourage and reward people who are creative. I have seen the photos. They are beautiful.

          In WoW, leveling is one thing. But most players still continue playing their characters after they hit the level cap. For many of us, this is when the game really begins. No more leveling. More advancement in different aspiration. Some enjoy running a social guild organizing outings and foster a little community whereby players help out each other on “professions” and questing and etc. Some enjoy teaming with others and specialize in one of the three roles available for dungeon encounters. I don’t think WoW players actually “create” anything as per say. But we do “craft” items as per the design of the game.

          For the creative ones, some enjoy creating fan artworks outside the game and these are featured by Blizzard, the game creator. Another most amazing illustration is for those who have good linguistic skill and enjoy role playing. In some designated servers, players are encouraged to play *into* the roles. Some even have to learn to speak a different “language”. Like Orcish for the orcs. And they have contributed some of the most amazing stories – chained up by a team of players who may or may not know each other – and have the stories shared publicly in the forum.

          1. Wow, the fan arts are really beautiful! Something I appreciate. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. So you like the new world so far?

            There are role play in SL too but I never participated in one. They are also those that pretended to be family and couples adopt babies. Also, heard there are dedicated war zone for those that like to play combat. I don’t like role play although I think my AV or character in SL is already role playing. 😀

            Over the years, SL has improved significantly. There are groups that run free classes for residents on building, creating and scripting thesedays. Building is no longer such a pain now.

            Thanks for sharing WoW through your eyes. It is an eye opener for me. 🙂

            1. J – I think if I ever play SL, I would love to role play. In my virtual world, I would be a handsome young dude who has tons of girl issues because there are just too many to juggle with …

              … OK, back to reality. It would be really cool if to combine SL with WoW. The means to create your own virtual space in a fantasy setting. Back in the days when I was a student, we used to “mud” a lot. There were no fancy images. All in text. And players were able to “create” their own homes and dungeons and cities for other players to visit. And there is a fantasy aspect to it too.

              It is good that you are open to other ideas 🙂 Not many people who are not playing WoW can see the beauty inside. Thumbs up!

  2. In SL you can just buy the most handsome skin and adjust your shape and voila! your AV will be as good looking as a supermodel. 😀 I believe there are sims that look like a fantasy world in SL too but it doesn’t have the gaming features like WoW. Just residents building the content as a theme for their sim and opening it up for others to visit.

    Never hurt to be receptive because it doesn’t mean things that I never tried or never seen are not as good. 🙂 Maybe because in my profession, I talk and meet with people with various profiles and all walks of life so I wouldn’t be suitable and successful in this role if I can appreciate the differences.

    1. J – Onto the topic of SL, how active and how large the player base is today, do you know? I am curious. Because SL used to make headlines couple of years ago. Brick-and-mortar companies used to set up virtual shops in SL.

      It is good that you talk to people from all walks of life in real life. I often wonder what it would be like. In real life, I only talk to a very limited group of people with very similar profile. In virtual life though, like WoW, I used to run a guild with people ranging from a frozen packed meat mover, someone who moves away the snow from the path (what is it call?!), musician, soldier, university professor, divorces who only get to meet their children in WoW and inside my guild. The youngest was 12 years old. The eldest was over 60 years old. Some are disabled. Looking back, it was the social aspect of the game that got me addicted. Now, I am not running such a guild anymore. And I seem to be able to play a lot more moderately.

      1. That’s a good question. They used to have this information on the logon page but have since taken it off few weeks ago. The last I saw it was about 1.6 mil of residents that have logon for the last 12 months and there are constantly about 40K residents that are online, while I am inworld. Winter always has more players because most of the players are from NA and Europe and Japanese is the biggest community in SL from Asia. Apart from the Bricks and Mortals shops, there are real life corporate companies that are or were in there too. Company such as IBM, HP, Accenture, universities, libraries, publishers and book stores too. I remember Lacoste used to run designing contest in SL and CSI used to have an episode on SL and they created a crime sim inviting players to participate and solved some interesting crimes together, of course like a game.

        There are alot of quality creators in SL that are doing very well. Some have been invited to join the Linden research team to improve SL content together.

        It is an addiction and motivation the same time.

        It is time consuming running a sim especially you want to make sure your residents and visitors in your sim has a pleasant experience. I have dream of owning a sim one day but only if I have quality content to share. That seems very far fetch and may not even happened because of time and my skills in photoshop and scripting, although we can find a lot of them for free thesedays…..then I guess if they are free, everyone would have access and I want my sim to be unique. 🙂

        Btw, the person you talked to is probably a snow plower driver and I always what they do in other season when there is no snow. 😀

        1. J – Again, thanks for the insight! SL looks like quite a challenging game to play, for those who wish to excel. But then again, I think online games mostly are. These games usually have some very hard to achieve targets that inspire most but only reward a handful. I remember when Cynthia and I first worked day in day out so that we can ride a huge red dragon in WoW. We felt so great. Like a dream came true. Months later, or maybe a year later? Almost everyone we saw ride a dragon of some sort. And then WoW has to come up with a new set of hard to achieve but yet attainable targets (they have tons of very hard to achieve targets) while commoditizing the older contents.

          I think a snow plower driver works in a construction site (which is closed if snowing I suppose) driving those bulldozers and machineries?

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