Donnerstag, 7. Januar 2010

WoW and the 2000s

Over the holidays, RockPaperShotgun (RPS) - my favorite source for everything related to PC gaming - directed me towards the Eurogamer's Lifetime Top 10 article. Make sure you read that and check those ten games to what you've been playing during the first decade of the 21st century. It's a very good read especially since they had several editors give their five cents about each game.

The reason for my post however is a different one. One of the games is, you guessed it, World of Warcraft. One of the editors to recognize the uniqueness and the impact on the industry was Oli Welsh, who noted, "I have played my main character for over 795 hours. I have spent - get this - 1.7 per cent of the last decade playing WOW."

My initial, sinister thought was 'Nerd!'. Almost every WoW player likes to pretend everyone but him has a problem with keeping their WoW time in check. But then two days back I talked to a friend about the article and this little number game got back on my mind. So to have a nice cuckle, I logged into my freshly reactivated WoW account (1 month in) and took a look at my total time played using RestFU. A little more than 400 days. Now this doesn't mean that I set foot into Azeroth 400 days ago, but that I have spent the equivalent of 400 days playing World of Warcraft. So since I am a fan of numbers I worked out some pretty weird facts about my... I guess it's only fair to call it "addiction".
  • The 400 days do not account for one deleted level 60 character (got hacked in classic WoW), several druids played to the mid-twenties and my beta characters for the US (level 20), Korean (Level 48) and European (two Level 30) classic beta. Let's just add another 20 days played, which I know aren't nearly enough.
  • Unlike Oli Welsh with his 800 hours I have spent 10080 hours playing WoW.
  • If I worked for just 5 Euros/hour for all that time, I would have earned 50400 Euros. That's the cost of a new Audi A6, a C-class Mercedes or a BMW type 5.
  • When being real about it, working laws would have only allowed me to work about half of that time (try finding a job you can work 16 hours a day for several weeks). That's still 25200 Euros, or a station waggon like a Ford Mondeo.
  • Considering the time I have spent 11,5% of the last decade playing WoW. That's two hours and fortyfive minutes per day, every day.
  • Since it has only been around for five and a half years (betas included), I spent nearly 21% of this period with one of my various characters. That's the equivalent of five hours per day.
  • Going even furter and taking into account the six hours of sleep I am trying to catch daily (though I've come closer to seven during 2009), WoW consumed 15,3% of my waking hours over the last decade and 27,9% over the last five and a half years respectively.
  • If we combine the 25200 Euros and the five and a half years, we are talking 4582 Euros per year. That's 382 Euros per month not earned. So instead of paying 13 Euros per months one might say I have been losing close to 400 Euros per months since WoW was released.
I think these numbers speak for themselves and from the people I've come to know these last five years, I am convinced that I am no isolated case. The good people at Eurogamer at totally right when stating that WoW can't be viewed as a traditional game that will be subject to competition anytime soon. Even the hundreds of hours I put into Quake 3 Arena, Starcraft, Warcraft 3 pale in comparison to WoW.

So, what do your numbers look like? When adding all that up, does it make you feel like quitting?

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