Playing with people who have more/less time to game

In any MMO, there will be some people who play more, and some who play less. Unless you either always solo or always play in a fixed group who log in at the same times every week, you will hang out with both people who have more time to play and people who have less.

At the moment, I notice this because I’m playing more than one MMO (WoW and LOTRO). In one, I’m the ultra casual. In the other, I’m not. And in both cases, I play with people who spend both more and less hours in the game than I do.

Can it cause friction? For sure. People who play more hours will almost always have more stuff, more alts, more trade skills, more time to raid, more practice at the game skills, more friends/contacts in the game. After all, most ‘choices’ offered in MMOs vanish if you have enough time to do everything. (Which class should I pick? I’ll just level one of everything. etc.)

People who play less may be more casual, less skilled, have less gold. And that takes some adjustment. It can be frustrating for the lower hour players (why do I always have to be worse at everything? Isn’t there any one thing I can do that player X won’t pull out 17 alts who do it better?) as well as the more intensive players (how can Y not understand this simple thing?)

And of course, people often change their playing schedules. For example, at the start of Wrath a lot of WoW players featured it heavily on their gaming schedule. There was a lot to do – levelling, rep grinds, gearing up, organising raid groups. And as people get more bored or have completed more of the game, they tend to play less. They still have all the stuff and all the skills which they accumulated during the initial glut, but will spend less time right now. This type of play isn’t the same as a more casual player, even though they might be putting in the same hours.

Do you play with people who spend a lot more or less time in game than you? What issues have you found? And how do you deal with them?

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9 thoughts on “Playing with people who have more/less time to game

  1. There is a massive attitude differences between the raiders who work and those who don’t / still live at home – an extra half hour at content is 1/2 hour less sleep to those who need to watch their time. I find also as someone who works full time that the time others waste gets more annoying because time is
    more precious. waiting round for peole who literally have had all day free to get organized- read a strat- but freely admitt to be lazy pee’s me off

  2. I’m having a blast leveling as a duo with my wife. Great fun with all the knowledge gained previously. Leveling with the new LFD tool is brillient for Duo’s as the old leveling chasm no longer applies and duoing meant halving the xp. Plus gives added hilarity at bad pugs, new friends met and nostalga for all those old dungeons I havent run in ages.

    Building alts to run alongside ‘time-poor’ friends is the way to go to avoid a lot of the hassle. Or several of them perhaps? See you on the Shrub side.

  3. I work from home so my play time in MMOs is basically limited to how much I can stomach playing a game in a 24 hour period. My SO plays house-girlfriend, so she too can play limitlessly. This causes issues when we want to play MMOs with other people because we both have so much time we can dedicate to the game, while our friends have to go work their 9-5s or graveyard shifts and get left behind.

    It’s really tough for me to just “rein it in” in an MMO since I’m on the more hardcore side of things, so I’m usually a higher level and by the time they catch up, I’ve found a guild to raid with lol.

  4. I see two issues in our guild from dealing with people who have *lots* of time to play:

    One is I believe semi-retired and has *tons* of 80′s. He’s a great guy, we love to have him, but, where he used to be very effective on his main, he’s slipped quite a bit. In his case I think it’s a ‘dilution’ effect, where he’s got so much in his head from so many different toons that he isn’t as sharp on his main as he could be.

    The second guy I think may be unemployed. Chances are if I logged on in the middle of the day, he’d be on. After a sluggish start with us he became a real go-getter. He would tank/dps for us in 10 mans, and then pug pretty much every 25 that was available (we’ve only recently started doing 25′s after a long hiatus). He’s got two toons that don’t need anything from 10′s, so he doesn’t sign up for guild runs (and on at least two occasions he signed up for guild 10′s, and was either late or a no-show because he was in a 25). Now he’s got a third toon to 80 and is busy running that through everything. His free time has allowed him to outstrip pretty much everyone else in the guild.

  5. This is something I have to deal with because of the unique situation my job creates. When I go to work, I’m gone for several days at a time, so even when I’m “into” any given MMO, I’m forced to be casual time-wise. Add to that general burnout or taking breaks and touring other MMO’s or other game genre’s. And in my case, I took the majority of 2009 as an MMO Burnout Break, partially by choice, then the latter part of the year due to a broken PC.

    LOTRO being my main MMO “home” I can guess there’s some disappointment on the kinship’s behalf when I up and disappear on a break. When I was last super-active (SoA game and early MoM) I was pretty much *the* Loremaster in the kinship. There were a few others leveling up as alts, but only the kin leader and myself had them as mains but we also knew our stuff. So when I left, they lost that and had to recruit outside the kin, which I encourage anyway. I’m not them, so I can’t comment much more than that other than it’s probably like a job or whatever — people come and go but life moves on.

    From my perspective, now that I’m trying to return, it’s like I’m still in a kinship but who are these people again? The names I remember from a year ago or more, I’m trying to regain a feeling for who they are while trying to get to know all the people who’ve joined while I was on break. Any clique’s I may have been a part of back then have reformed in my absence, which leaves me solo during this time. So for me, it’s just as lonely trying to return (possibly more so) than if I wasn’t in a kinship at all. That camaraderie or the whole “family/friends” dynamic has been lost. For now. But it’s a weird feeling…

  6. my friends tend to always be hardcore, while i’m more in the middle; and it sucks; the first day you’re the same lvl, the next they’re one, then two, then 10 lvls higher than you. And then they get bored b/c they have no one to play with and then they quit and you haven’t even hit max lvl yet!

    I’ve tried to have characters in which you only play with that person, but people generally get bored with that method; but thats the only way to really guarantee that you’re on the same page

  7. This is one of the reasons I keep arguing for level-less games. For being “social” games, these MMO things throw an awful lot of barriers in the way of friends who just want to play together.

  8. It’s very very tough. Even though I played quite a lot during my EQ2 times, it was never enough and all of my guildmates always had more time than me. Because I’m a little competitive, it was frustrating at times.

    However, I think once you hit the level cap then the time factors diminish because suddenly there isn’t a race to get to the top of the ladder any more.

    One thing I do love about EQ2 is the mentoring ability. I’ve always wondered why WoW never implemented it?

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