And I’m Back is a mini-series column dealing with the return to Azeroth after being away for so long. The series chronicles personal reactions to changes to discoveries and making the needed adjustments to the new Azeroth.
I’m going to blow your mind right now. Right this very second. This single fact may turn your world upside down, inside out and topwise. I really like video games. I take them quite seriously, in consumption, play and competition. It’s actually not just video games that bring out such passion. I was raised to try my darndest in everything I do because “it’s better to try and fail than to have never tried at all.” I think both of my grandfather’s used that same saying.
There was no mistaking that I was a hardcore player during my initial love of World of Warcraft. I was part of that small group of players downing all end-game content. Often as server firsts on Magtheridon-US. We even progressed to the Four Horsemen back in the original Naxxramas.
/me pats himself on the back
Hit the jump for more of the greatest article to ever appear on LoreHound.com*!
After I left only to return, I told myself I couldn’t be that way anymore. Priorities had changed, my girlfriend had quit the game and I was about to wrap up school. I couldn’t min-max everything. I couldn’t farm Tyr’s Hand for hours (you didn’t have to anymore, thank god). I wouldn’t reputation farm at the cost of making dinner or learning in class (ditto). I’d turn down raid nights to raid Philadelphia instead. AH stalking would be put on indefinite hold. I stuck to my guns. I maintained these personal requirements for years. Until I walked away a second time in fact.
What allowed me to do this? I min-maxed my time. First, logging into WoW was only done with a specific purpose. A concrete goal that was reachable, or at least I could progress during whatever time I set aside. Second, and this was the major breakthrough, via research I became incredibly efficient.
Duties were carefully planned. XP or rep per hour factored into decisions. Days to badge-based gear was deduced and run against an RoI. Was it worth farming for X days or was it more likely I’d earn it with a raid drop? Did I need that 1% DPS increase at the cost of 8 hours or should I just purchase extra pots and use them when it wasn’t required? And so on. I never gimped myself and continuously kept two characters at the top of their respective categories.
I remembered doing all of that stuff. It took a lot of time to put in that research. It was carefully planned and a day-to-day or weekly routine. But there was one aspect I completely forgot I ever did. Stupidly, the last aspect of play I looked to make more efficient too, general gameplay. I’m, of course, speaking of macros. I had dozens of macros across my characters. Some just selecting a random pet, which was way more difficult than you might imagine, others to pop trinkets given a certain circumstance, dropping target on Vanish or to warn players that they’ve been hit with Tricks of the Trade. I wrote or concocted a handful of them, polled other players for some (thanks, Kikko!) and crowdsourced the rest. It took far less work than you’d expect, but shaved seconds off routine activities, increased raid DPS or, in the case of my Egbert script, were simply hilarious.
The point of all of this is that I didn’t realize how hardcore I was being when I purposely wasn’t trying to be hardcore. The irony does not escape me. I guess it really is just part of my character.
*The greatest article to mention grandfathers.