The Way We Play…WoW or Anything Else

21:40


Last year, around September 2014, I discovered my first true iPhone gaming addiction, Clash of Clans.  To me, at the time, this was a fairly novel and enjoyable concept.  I could adopt mobile gaming with a “fire and forget” mentality.  (For those of you who have no idea who I am, I am a US Air Force pilot and a pretty typical geek who enjoys WoW and other games.)  “Fire and forget” is how I would describe a radar guided missile…our air superiority fighters can lock on to a target, let a missile of the rails, and then go focus on some other aspect of the air war, because that missile becomes autonomous, and the pilot does not have to steer it towards the intended target. 
Clash of Clans was perfect for me at the time.  I was going through the Air Force’s “Instructor School” for the C130J, which is one of the most challenging courses I’ve completed to date.  I was in academic classes and advanced simulator training for about 8-12 hours almost every day for a month, and I was studying on my free hours.  So, as you can imagine, it was really convenient to be able to log in to a game, do a couple of quick things that would then complete on their own, then put my phone down. 
Now, this isn’t a Clash of Clans post…this is a WoW post!  How does my exposure to Clash impact my WoW play?  With Warlords of Draenor, the garrison feature suddenly opened up a few possibilities that never existed before.  It was always possible to log in for a limited time to play the AH or farm herbs/ore, but this was generally not regarded as enough time to get anything substantial done.  Today, you can log into a max level garrison and accomplish quite a bit of profitable activities in about 6 minutes.  Daily profession cooldowns, gathering your mine and herb garden, and recovering and sending your followers on missions.  If you have time, open those salvage crates, and figure out which pieces of gear are AH-worthy.  Got a few more minutes, log into an alt, and rinse and repeat.
Most of you know this already, but it is fundamentally changing the way I interact with WoW.  And it’s setting an expectation for future games.  Why?  Because of this little one:


  
With a young kid comes a huge shift in the way you spend your time.  This is a world changer, so I have to be extremely efficient when I do get a few precious moments for a personal hobby.  My family, my career, and my relationships take precedence over my personal hobbies, as they should.  As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a huge portion of the WoW-playing population has had significant life changes since its release over ten years ago.  I finished my education at the Air Force Academy, completed Pilot Training, met my wife, dated her for two years, got married, deployed to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once, started and finished a masters degree in Theology, and had a kid.  ALL SINCE WOW RELEASED!  How insane is that?  (I’d be interested to know what has happened in others’ lives since WoW release.)  Even crazier, I played WoW through Vanilla and every single expansion, with some unavoidable breaks in the action.

All this is to say that the WoW developers have done me a great favor.  Remember that picture of the cute sleeping baby up there?  That photo means I have about 10 minutes to log in, do a couple quick things, and log off before I’m needed.  This new play style in WoW is making some serious waves.  A lot of more dedicated players who have a lot of time to give to the game are very critical of this aspect, but it is so clutch for someone like me who is limited, not in money, but in time.  I certainly miss raiding, but that is just not going to happen for me in the next year, at least on a consistent basis.  That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy my favorite game, though!  I have 4 (almost 5!) level 100 characters, split between two accounts.  I am proud to say that I got the AH on my “ultimate garrison alt,” so I can invite friends into a garrison with a bank, AH, salvage yard, and enchanter’s hut.  I did this in 10 minute blocks over the course of months.  And, most importantly, I had fun. 

@superwaddle on Twitter


Let me know what you think.  Email or Twitter!  And check out more blog posts on priestandpilot.blogspot.com where I’ll be talking about garrison optimization, military-gaming cross talk and lessons learned, tons more, and coming soon…what I think about the Apple Watch (still in the mail).

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