Monday, July 4, 2011

Positive Platitudes for RL Vacationing

Here in the States, it is that time of year, when we love to get away from it all. Take some time and enjoy the summer season to visit far off places. Our kids are out of school and away from learning. So, what better excuse than to take some time away from the gaming keyboard and mouse, to visit the beach or the House of Mickey Mouse.

Outside of the positive health benefits of getting a little sun, there are (IMHO) a number of positive benefits to take a week off from the game.

A Time to Rest
The purpose of vacationing, is to get you away from your work and let you forget for short time. Let your brain recharge from the work-induced coma and wake up. While enjoying your time off, you recharge, ready to face the long fall and winter seasons back behind the keyboard, tucked into a cubicle with no windows and that rattling vent over your head.

While leveling up an alt from 0 to 85, personally, I like to take advantage of every +XP bonus available. The one bonus that Blizzard has had since early on is "Rested Bonus". Implemented as a means to limit game play, it also adds as a wonderfully nice +% XP gain for every honorable, monster killed. Running chained dungeons is a quick way to burn through your rested bonus gained over a single night. Let that one night stack to a long weekend or even a full week, and you could have a full level worth of Rested bonus to burn through.

Wrong Kind of Crowd
 PUGs are inevitable in this game. Leveling up a toon via the LFG tool, you can easily hit the same group of people night after night. That may or may not be a good thing. Take a few days off and that group of people will level on passed you. Leaving you with a completely new group of players to complain about. That DK tank who doesn't seem to be able to hold aggro? Gone! The hunter who seemed to 'fall asleep' at the entrance portal after clicking 'accept' into the dungeon. Gone!


Bad Options Don't Make Good Job Security
I work in the computer industry. Been doing this job, in one form or another, going on 15 years. One thing I've learned is you never want to be the only person in the office who knows how to do something. If you leave on vacation, and they don't know how to get your job done, they'll either never do your job or they'll call you on vacation and tell you to do it while you're out ("Make sure you bring your cell.."). Definitely no growth from this type of security.

This goes for raiding. If a raid group feels that they don't have anyone else to fill your shoes, they'll just sideline and never progress; other guildies who are willing, may never get asked to participate. The guild will never progress, and many players may eventually quit, looking for more reliable raiding options. Don't make yourself too secure, be flexible and make sure your guild knows. You could even suggest a substitute DPS while on vacation?

Putting Your 'Family' First
As a dad of 2, I know that my wife and kids must come first. Their time off from school is short, and we must take these moments, enjoy them. The game will still be here when you return. I've been playing this game since my son was born (5 years now). He's gone from a 1 month premie to kindergartener in that time. All along, I've been actively playing my ''casual" style. If I were to close my eyes just a second, he'd grow up much too fast. All your guildies, if they are also parents, should understand, otherwise, they too are going to burn out.

You Deserve it.
Overall, take time off. Don't feel obligated to pick a vacation spot just because it has a good Internet connection. Don't succumb to your raid leaders request to purchase more RAM for your laptop, just so you can run your raiding addons. Don't turn down that invite to hang out with your family during the fireworks display, simply because it overlaps the guilds hundredth attempt on that X of Y raid boss.

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