A pause. A break. A rest. A lull. Anyone one of these synonyms will also suffice for what I have given myself, but also what has been given to me. A bunch of elements, both in the gaming world, and outside of the gaming world have amassed and it has allowed me to not only take a time out from game related activities, but also issue myself one from the calamities elsewhere. The main issue for these timeouts revolves solely around my job, in which I work in a high stress environment directly with my superiors to help improve the quality of life for people.
Timeout #1 – WoW and Raiding
My schedule varies weekly depending on the people I see and when they are scheduled to come in for visitation. Lately, my schedule has been taking away my Tuesday evenings, which means my ability to make raids has fallen off for the week. Over the past few weeks, Apotheosis has been able to successfully finish off the remaining achievements and earn the Glory of the Dragon Soul Raider achievement, along with the shiny drakes that comes with it. In order to do some of these achievements however, we had to do some of the bosses on normal, making the encounter almost trivial for the level of play our raiders bring to the table. After running achievements for two weeks, we’ve gone back into heroic modes once again. With my schedule in conflict with our raid times of recent weeks and at the rate we clear the instance, I have been in for only a single heroic boss kill now for one entire month (and 5 weeks come next raid lockout reset). I have been a participant in the normal clears for everyone to get their meta drake, but have heroic Deathwing die once since before Apotheosis knocked out the remaining achievements for the guild.
And you know what? >>>I am okay with this.<<<
I do not mind being out and missing raids if my work interferes and it is beyond my control. This is a time out involuntarily given to me and I am making the best of it by performing the best I can at my job. I also put a long term spin on how this helps my long term career in WoW. By having this time out per se, it is allowing me to get rid of some of the burnout I am experiencing from the 7th month in Dragon Soul now. This will help greatly down the line when Mists of Pandaria is about to be released and my interest will be piqued by something new from the game, as compared to playing this game for x amount of months straight, and then continuing on without shedding any residual effects of burnout one may have due to lack of new content, loot, pvp, etc. This is not to say I have lost interest in the game, but with everything going on outside of it, my time is, nay needs, to be spent better elsewhere.
This has also affected my ability to also make our guild’s scheduled Rated Battleground Nights. Many months ago, I was almost a lock to show up on our Wednesday evenings and be ready to rollout for some hot 10 on 10 action. But lately, I have been showing up to them around 1030-11pm for the last hour in the three hours they run. While I certainly don’t mind sitting out to allow people to get their spiky pony and title, of which I was able to obtain those, it is nice after raiding and long days at work to come home and indiscriminately dispense justice upon your opponents. Heck, I have even caught myself letting go a few snide comments outside the Darkmoon Arena. That being said our team is doing very well and just recently got a bunch of our players the Knight-Captain title as we work towards Knight-Champion. I did however, manage to have time to participate in the Arena Pass this year with a rogue and druid as the composition with myself, and we finished at 1640, a solid rating for the assembly and using gear from the pvp tier 2 seasons ago, which will also earn the Vanquisher title.
I have also acknowledged my own social aloofness, as I have not been as responsive and active with people in game and in social media. Another cause of not wanting to displace stress in areas it is not warranted.
Timeout #2 – Diablo 3
In the time I do have when work, at the job and on the home front is taken care of, I have been spending a lot of time here. Admittedly, this is the biggest timeout I have given myself. Its like the people who waited overseas for 16 years for Starcraft 2 to come out, and then it finally came and euphoria swept over the entire player base. That’s the kind of rush I got when Diablo 3 was released, as I had spent a considerable time playing its predecessor before the release of WoW. Not only do I enjoy it being different from WoW, but finally being able to down that Vortex/Reflecting/Jailer/Shielding elite pack after getting rolled by it, is a VERY satisfying experience.
Timeout #3 – Real Life
This is of course the most intrepid facet. Between the job and leisure, there are the intricacies of what happens at the job and in correlation to how much leisure time I and we (as in you the reader) get. Recently workload has been pushing 50+ hours a week, sometimes heading north of 60 in rare situations for some people. This leads to a combination of stress and a reduced amount of time to cope with that stress. It also requires you and the team of people you work with to step up to the plate, especially when you oust your department manager for general douchebaggery. Its kind of like being in a guild, and not having enough healers to efficiently heal a boss or instance encounter, but having enough people to raid. For the betterment of the group, some people will be asked to step outside and above their designated roles to ensure that the team succeeds. This is where I feel I am figuratively at, just in a setting outside the game.
See also: Role Adaptation
And this is where I call my third timeout. Reality may hit you in the face when you least expect it, and how you react to it can greatly dictate future occurrences. Where I can’t reach harmony, between my work and my escape from reality, I need to reach a happy medium. While I certainly am able to get time to escape in my games, I find other ways to cope with stress and just relax. With the weather heating up in North America, Ive been able to get back to doing my personal hobby of photography as a way to de-stress, relax, and enjoy what I can out of my days. Where I can metaphorically show you both the calm and storm (of shots I have taken) in relation to this post.
Nothing of course will beat a good nap if one can find time for it in their schedule. The best thing I can say is that I am glad we are not restricted to only 3 or 7 timeouts that we can take for ourselves, like in football, basketball or other professional sports. And it this point in time, i am really glad I am in a timeout. How do you all feel about shortened raid weeks? Will not having to allocate that time every week help keep your interest high going into Mists of Pandaria? What do you do as a way to de-stress?