Time in MMOs

One of the strangest phenomenons I’ve ever witnessed is how time is viewed by gamers.  While you’re playing, 5 minutes is *forever*, especially if you’re waiting for something. 30-second respawn timer? Too long if you aren’t the one who killed the mob in the first place, and far too short if you have any reason to hang around after the mob is dead.

This has bled over into instances, too. Nobody wants to run a 5-man instance that takes more than 45 minutes. The irony of that is that people will spend hours running several instances, but if it was all one instance, they’d never touch it! Raids are okay at a couple of hours while you’re learning it, but I suspect there’s about a one to one and a half hour limit on those now, too.

While given a little more time than minutes and hours, guilds cannot work on anything for any length of time, either. Planning a new loot system? You better not breathe a word of it to your guild until you’re within a week of implementation, or people start clamoring for an announcement. Recruiting to raid? You better be able to recruit enough bodies within two weeks, or people are probably going to get impatient and leave for another guild. Gamers seem to have a threshold of about a week before they expect results on any project they’ve heard guild leadership is working on.

That, in my opionion, is insane. This is a hobby at best for most people, why on earth would you want to feel hurried to put together something as important to your success as your raid team or loot system (and as much as people hate to admit it, loot systems are critical to drama-free raiding.) 

But why does it happen at all? Why are we so impatient, and what are we impatient for?

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Posted on July 12, 2011, in Guild. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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