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How do people juggle work/school/raiding

PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 21:21
by vampz
Honestly you guys are insane.
This is cancerous :(

Re: How do people juggle work/school/raiding

PostPosted: 08 May 2017, 02:40
by Shardstorm
Well I quit WoW from first year until after final year uni, then got settled in my full time job before I picked it back up again. And honestly, my professional life has probably stalled slightly at least partially because of the time sink that is WoW. Time I should spend looking at the next step in my career is subsumed by WoW chores or raiding. But I'm looking to go totally casual with ToS release, so that answers that...

Re: How do people juggle work/school/raiding

PostPosted: 08 May 2017, 22:26
by vampz
Shardstorm wrote:Well I quit WoW from first year until after final year uni, then got settled in my full time job before I picked it back up again. And honestly, my professional life has probably stalled slightly at least partially because of the time sink that is WoW. Time I should spend looking at the next step in my career is subsumed by WoW chores or raiding. But I'm looking to go totally casual with ToS release, so that answers that...

Yeah I had the same thing happen to me, however now I'm back in school making a game about a cat with a motherboard in its brain. Things change, I cleared heroic Nighthold and just said fuck it. Game is a chore right now sadly, hopefully they fix it next expac. If you stop playing you are pretty punished.

Re: How do people juggle work/school/raiding

PostPosted: 29 May 2017, 12:48
by Kilee
Haven't posted in a while, but I love these types of topics. My work/game/life balance is the main reason I can no longer play the game. The game is pretty old, so now I have a lot of data and experience that I can look back on over my past life.

I was lucky to be old enough to be mostly finished with college by the time that wow came out. I graduated in fall '05, and the game came out sometime between thanksgiving-christmas in '04. I bought the game for myself as an early "christmas present" back in '04, just a few weeks after it had come out. I had a few friends who were going crazy over it and were begging me to play it. However, before that I had seen a few really good personal friends fail out of college while playing UO and then later EverQuest. I tried and stopped both of those games because mainly they were bad and punishing games, so the allure of online social experience didn't over-ride my threshold for not putting up with bad game play features.

Honestly, if I had been a bit younger, I probably would have never finished college. I played wow a lot those last few semesters, but at the time I viewed the game mostly as just a single player experience, occasionally running into real people whenever I went to town. I wasn't in a guild at the time, and I did not understand the concept of an "end game" where you farmed for gear and challenged difficult content. I thought reaching level cap was the end goal of the game, and so I was not in a hurry to get there. I was lucky that this was my mindset during that time, as the people who had been addicted to EverQuest viewed wow in a very different light. They were charging to level cap as quickly as they could so that they could do end game raid content.

Anyway... by the time I graduated and started real work, I became hopelessly addicted to wow. I had just joined a guild, and we had just started raiding. If I knew then what I know now, I might have uninstalled the game back then...

I took a job in a new state and commenced the long realization that the adult working life is very lonely, and a terribly long and boring slog of repetition. Working 365 days a year, with occasional vacations, for the next 25 years until you get too old to do it anymore. College was by far a much more enjoyable life... I recoiled into the gaming world because it offered a distraction from the reality that my life had become.

Fast forward 8 years of this... I look back and realize now that I mostly stagnated in my career because of playing wow. Although I enjoyed the game and the experiences, and that's a sort of comfort. I didn't realize at the time of graduating that I didn't really know anything and that college hadn't actually prepared me for the "real world". Also, learning doesn't stop when you leave college... if anything it ramps up and becomes even more difficult because now the onus is on you to teach yourself and learn things. It's possible that my profession (computer programming) has something to do with my experiences and perception.

Now, at mid life, I find that playing wow for 8-9 years basically stunted my professional and also social growth. People my age are so far along their own little life star chart that I'll never be able to catch up to them, so I find that wow has been something like a "dampener" for every other aspect of my life.

I think that some people are just better in general at balancing things. And some other people just don't care. Some people get lucky and manage to turn wow and gaming into some sort of career - looking at the people lucky enough to become streamers, content creators, etc... but these are few and very far between.

I know a LOT about gaming, building and maintaining PCs, etc... I can also write a pretty mean gaming guide on just about any game if I set my mind to it, but I find that in most aspects of life these skills do not translate into marketable items. Unless someone is also a gamer, these things are not impressive, and in some cases may even seem deplorable.

Gaming and participating in gaming forums has drastically increased my perception on computer-related concepts. I have a crazy attention to detail. And my writing and reading comprehension seem far above most people I meet. These soft skills have in some small way translated into my job as a computer programmer. It seems that I have an aptitude for creating web user interfaces, as well as writing documentation. In general I only have to hear someone describe what they want, and I can put myself in their shoes and imagine what they need, and I can fill in the gaps from there. It's helped me somewhat in my job to deliver more "competent" software.

However, in general this seems to be more about base personality than the gaming itself. I've always been unusually empathic and had a strong attention to detail, so I'm not even sure if I can attribute that to wow... I think perhaps it just makes me feel better to try to find something positive about so many years spent with it.

My experience as a raid leader and officer in guilds have taught me a lot about managing people, and also about human nature, as well as how large groups of people behave when put into groups and teams. I've learned a little bit about human resources management, dealing with applications, etc.. all of these have given me greater understanding of how companies and teams function. But I am not a manager, nor do I work in HR. In real life jobs I am more something like the 4th rank healer who just shows up for raids every night. I'm aware of what the "officers" in my company are doing, and being able to draw correlations from wow to real life gives me a deeper perspective on the decisions being made and how the company is dealing with people. I do find it interesting that pretty much every aspect of running a guild is transferable to running a company.

Sorry, I'm rambling, but anyway, I realized at the end of WoD that there's not a lot more that I can learn from WoW. The game is no longer fascinating to me, and I've done just about everything I could have possibly done in the game. I've been a high level officer and co-guild leader. I've been a raid leader, class leader. I've written guides for my class on gaming forums, and been a moderator. I even dabbled in creating YouTube content. The game itself is no longer a mystery to me, and unlike in the early years, most of the interesting methods of contributing to the community are now glutted with content creators. There's no gaps left to fill, so contributing in that format is just adding to the pile now.

The game itself no longer feels exciting and fresh to me. Instead, as I play it, I immediately start building a laundry list of chores and grinds to do. I approach the game in an almost machine-like trance. Marching as quickly as I can towards iLevel cap, gear cap, etc. etc... I have difficulty enjoying the game or raids anymore because I mastered, to the best of my human ability, everything there is to master. So playing has become an exercise in boredom and a test of my patience. I don't understand why everyone else isn't as good as me by this point, unless they are new to the game. I feel like everybody in my guild should just automatically be playing their class to their class and gear potential, so when they don't I just go into auto pilot.... It's tedious pulling a boss 400 times, having learned the 'trick" to it on the 30th pull or so, but some people seem like they still can't get it... as I get older my ability to put up with this wait just eventually died. So the game has gotten more and more frustrating.

Along with the above, I've also started to realize my limitations as a player. The way that I play wow, and the set of skills that I chose to develop, became a limiter on how good I can become at the game at the higher levels. I've realized that to change my play style at this age would mean setting myself back several years to re-achieve what I've got now.. I don't feel like doing that, and adding to this the priest class (and the game in general) seem to be moving further and further towards that play style, and away from the style that I prefer. (Think more twitch APM-style gaming, and less pre-planning and reliance on macros and experience.) This limits how far I can go in the game, and results in a situation where if I keep moving up in quality of guilds, at some point I'm the person who is slowing everyone down. Basically, I've hit my limit as a player, and I can't seem to push past it, and that also frustrates me. I know my strengths and weaknesses, and I even understand what it might take to fix some of those, but the process of doing that has become more expensive than the potential rewards for doing so, and I am not sure that I could find a group that would have the patience to let me go through that process... yet I do not have the patience to build these soft skills with a group of people who are worse than me, because in a lesser environment the reward is not worth the effort it would take to change myself.

Raiding at such a high level presents it's own set of problems, as the dedication required of me to do that means that I sacrifice almost every other aspect of my life. The high-level raider lifestyle feels almost like slavery to me at this point in my life. My entire life basically revolves around making the raid schedules and making sure that I am physically fit and alert during those times. Other aspects of my life start to suffer as a result - job, family, health. That last one - health - seems like it's become a big problem as I get older.

All of this results in a feeling of unsatisfaction when playing the game. I enjoy the graphics, the story, the game play. All of these things are great, but I can't stop myself from pushing further into the more complex elements of the game. It is like a biological imperative. Yet as soon as I start down that road, I am able to see the consequences of doing that. I don't know how to just be "average" anymore and just play the game casually. Doing so for any length of time feels a bit unfulfilling.

It might be an unsavory analogy, but it's kind of like... diabetes. Someone hands you a cake, and it would be so good to just sit down and eat the whole cake, or even better just eat the icing. But now, you have to just eat the cake and throw the icing away, because if you go any further, it'll hurt you. So you have to have the force of will to be able to just eat a little bit of cake and throw the rest away uneaten. Playing WoW kind of feels like that these days. Many people, presented with the option, would just remove cake from their life entirely... that's sort of what I've had to do with WoW. I can't find a way to play it without wanting to eat all the icing too... but it's destructive to pretty much every other aspect of my life when I do.... so in the end it's better to just stop playing altogether.

Well anyway.... everyone's experience is different.

Re: How do people juggle work/school/raiding

PostPosted: 07 Jul 2017, 13:24
by Arlee
When I was in college I barely slept but I was able to balance school/work/and wow pretty well. Things got much easier my last year when I received enough grants to pay for all of tuition and my room on campus so I could cut back from working an on campus job and an off campus job... the off campus job had me working from 10pm Friday to 6am Saturday and then the same thing Saturday night into Sunday. Sunday was my day to rest and get back to be able to be at school by 7am to practice before my first class at 8am... I mentioned I didn't sleep much right? Also in those years I literally never went to a single party. It mostly wasn't a huge deal because I've never been fond of parties I generally prefer to hang out in small groups. I had plenty of friends but yea no parties. But like I said things got easier my last year because I could drop the weekend job and omg I can't even tell you how amazed I was that first weekend off. I had no idea what to do with myself, pretty sure I watched football and played wow that entire weekend ;)

It got much harder to balance life and wow after I graduated. Mostly because I wasn't content to just have one job. I also volunteered for a moderation "job", job in quotes because I'm not paid but it has all the other trappings of a job, and then also had to decide to do freelance work as well. Plus then there's all the life things as well.

I had to make a compromise and for me that was no more hardcore raiding. It took awhile for me to reach that conclusion and I'm really happy I did. I have a guild full of people I genuinely like and enjoy talking to and we have fun raiding normal and heroic level raids. I don't always have to be on the cutting edge of preparedness and I have time to play other games, even other MMOs. And I still have time for real life as well.

Also playing other MMOs has let me enjoy WoW a lot more than I would if I had kept only playing it. Not because how bad they are compared to it or any other nonsense. It's because it let me focus on the things I really enjoy about WoW and I'm less bothered by the things I don't enjoy, because I don't feel the need to do most of those things. I play as much or little as I want and if I want something else I have other games to turn too. I love WoW for what it is instead of being angry about what it isn't or what I wish it would be. I'm much happier that way :)

Oh also, like Kilee mentioned being aware of what you can and can't do and being ok with it is also super important. For example I can raid casually and I'm fine. Every now and again I miss pushing content, but that's fleeting. What I have no possibility to be chill with is PvP. I just can't be casual about it for some reason and it takes over everything else. Because of this I don't PvP.

Anywho those are my thoughts on the subject :)

Also @Kilee /hugs :D