By Diana Poulsen
There’s nothing that annoys me more than when I can’t play my MMO. I love World of Warcraft and why should anything get in the way of playing it? I’m worse than a smoker jonesing for their next cigarette break, and twice as antsy. Doesn’t Blizz know that I have dailies to do, discoveries to make, and minor inscription research to partake in? Tuesdays are the typical server-down days and I can handle that. Tuesdays are my day to get work done without thinking about WoW. However, it’s when the server is down for extended maintenance that I need to find things to do with my newly acquired time. I’m sure all you MMO players know what I am talking about what do you do when you can’t play? First of all, breathe; it’s going to be okay, the real world doesn’t have to be boring. Here are my suggestions on how to fill your time when your MMO is down.
Watch television. Honestly, I really don’t watch much TV anymore. Which often leads me to watch any channel that has 24 hour news coverage. Avoid G4tech TV or any other gaming show, it will remind you of the MMO you are currently not playing.
Do your real life dailies. Shop for groceries, pick up that something from the convenience store, tidy up or clean out the fridge (it really could use it). Think of the change you’ll find while cleaning up as your quest reward. Killing random animals on the street will not result yield accessories or rupies, though. Just a heads up.
Play other videogames. You probably should finish one of those Final Fantasy-type games that you haven’t bothered with in months, or any other game you ditched when your started playing your precious MMO.
Read a book. Chances are, you can find one about the MMO you play. Even read something entirely unrelated to gaming. Some books are even about real life. But really why would you want to read anything that doesn’t a) help you get better at playing, or b) give you a profound and detailed understanding of the mythology of your MMO?
Go out with a friend. If you are lucky, one of your Real Life friends plays the same MMO as you, and together you can reminisce about all the raiding and questing you aren’t currently partaking in. If you are unlucky, and your real life friends don’t play an MMO, then you might have to talk about one of your other hobbies, whatever that may be. If you think your friend would be interested in your MMO, attempt to get them interested in playing by introducing them to the free trial.
Check out special events at your local arena or fairground. I’ve filled server down time with Gem and Mineral shows and library book sales. It takes the edge off and you get to see this outside world people keep telling you about. It’s satisfying to see real copper ore when you’ve virtually mined it.
Visit your local museums or art galleries. Some of these institutions will let you in for free (or a donation) and there’s nothing better than a free event. Also, art galleries do have occasional Thursday and weekend opening receptions with free food. In every respect, you win: you get to see something interesting and possibly get a free snack. Besides, you might see some cool armour or weapons similar to the ones your character uses. Overall, you’ll feel enriched.
If you have a significant other, spend time with them. Chances are you’ve neglected them and they need some form of intimacy, sexual or otherwise. This time spent with them will make them happier and complain less about the time you spent with your MMO. Tell them to bank up on these hours now, because they will be lean in the coming weeks and years. Hopefully, they’ll stop referring to themselves as an MMO widow(er) at gatherings for a short period of time.
Play another MMO. Both MMOs couldn’t be down at the same time, so this way you’ll have an option to fill your time. However, this may result in never seeing the outside world, or loss of real life friends. Also avoid getting your MMOs mixed up. You don’t want to be talking about how awesome it is being a barbarian when you’re actually a dark elf — talk about embarrassing.
Go Outside. Many of these other suggestions involved going outside, but can you remember the last time looked the real world sky? It has no bit-mapping issues and the frame rate on the sky is always steady. It’s time for that much needed walk or visit to the park. You’ll be working towards your achievement of “real world explorer” and moving away from “real life shut in.”
Troll your guild forum. Chances are, your other members are just as bored as you are, and now you have someone to send messages to and create weird forum topics with. You’d be surprised at how many pictures of dogs in costumes exist, and it will fill your time in a humorous manner.
Get on vent. You’d be surprised at how many of your fellow guildees retreat to Ventrilo (an internet phone programme) when the server is down. You can all complain about the server together and talk about all those weird posts your started in the forums.
Eventually, the crisis will end and you will get back on your MMO without having any sort of breakdown, causing your friends or significant other to stage an intervention. If a breakdown resulting in an intervention occurs, maybe you really were spending too much time with your MMO. In that case, take this list of things to do and use it to re-engage with the real world.