Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag Time-management

Growing Up in WoW: One-third of a lifetime shared with Azeroth

A few months ago, I received an email from the kind of player who sets off all sorts of bells and whistles for a feature writer like me -- a WoW fan who's integrated the game into a balanced, engaged, lively lifestyle. If you've ever found yourself shaking your fist and snarling at teenaged players as a group -- Get off my lawn! -- then you've probably never met a young player who's got his stuff together quite so well as Zukkai of Area 52 (US).

I'm 18, I'm a raid leader for one of the 10man teams in our guild, and I've been playing since I was 12. In December, I can claim that I've played WoW for a third of my life. Along the way I've been in school full time, and will be attending university in the fall. When I first started playing, my parents regulated my play time. Once I started controlling my play time, I had to learn about my own time management and how to balance WoW with RL priorities. I've also learned how to deal with the social stigmas of playing WoW through high school, including how to explain to your friends that you might not be able to go somewhere because you have to raid.

I've managed to grow up right along side the game, and I think playing it for so long has taught me a couple of valuable lessons along the way. I've had stretches where I'd be playing 4-5 hours a day and I've had stretches where I've toyed with quitting, but I've kept going for 6 years. I've never had massive amounts of time to play, but I've managed to put together my Insane title and collect a large sum of pets and mounts, as well as raid at the heroic level.

Fixated on gaming? Hiding away from life? Not in the least. Our conversation with Zukkai reveals a player for whom World of Warcraft is just another pastime -- albeit one that's filled a full one-third of his lifetime. Moving in and out of WoW with the rest of life's rhythms is as natural as breathing, as Zukkai demonstrates in this look at life for one of the many players today who are growing up in Azeroth.

Read more →

Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: Are you starved for WoW time?

Breakfast Topic Are you starved for WoW time
Spoken like a proper gamer, today's Breakfast Topic is less a question of "Are you starved for WoW time?" but rather "How much more WoW time do you need?" Let's face it, whether or not you take your recommended daily dose of dailies every day without fail, there's always more to do in Azeroth. WoW has arrived at that ripe, juicy stage that tempts even the most dedicated players with one more bite.

But despite the availability of a playstyle to suit almost every player's schedule, most players seem to end up wistfully pining for at least a little more play time. Do you? Do you feel that you have enough time to get into everything you'd like to try, enjoy, and accomplish in WoW? What would you do if you had more time to play? If you feel short on time, is that shortage a short-term situation, or is it simply the shape of your life right now?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Drama Mamas guide to going AFK

Guide to going AFK during groups and raids
Life happens; we all get that. But should your life be happening to the 24 other people in your raid group? We (and your 24 raidmates) think not. After all, if you're here to play World of Warcraft, why do you keep going AFK?

The need for and the etiquette of going away from the keyboard (AFK) was stronger in WoW's earlier days. During classic WoW, 5-manning places like Blackrock Depths was an all-night affair. Players were more forgiving of a quick dash to the bathroom, and groups doing longer content tended to schedule natural breaks along the way. Today's WoW is a much more terse affair. Scenarios, group instances, and raids are likely to be over long before your bladder is. It's not so difficult to simply plan ahead or wait for a group to come to a natural conclusion.

Yet people don't always do that. Like That Guy who's always texting and checking his Twitter feed instead of looking you in the eye during a conversation, That Guy in game is likely to wander AFK just when you need him the most. Tuning out the people you're with, online or off, simply is not socially acceptable behavior. (You've heard what they're calling those tuned-out types who'll be wearing Google Glass, right? It's not a complimentary term.)

The best way to handle going AFK is to avoid it in the first place. For the rest of those moments when something comes while you're grouping that's beyond your control, let's look at the best ways of managing the interruption and getting you back into the game.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Drama Mamas: Time to stop tanking?

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Our email address is having technical difficulties. If you would like to send us a letter to be answered in our column, please email to for now. On to this week's letter.
Your recent article on Time Management has me considering if I need to change roles in the game.

I'm the main tank for my small 10 man guild. We raid two nights a week. We are currently working on Horridon one night, and going back to HoF/ToES the 2nd night to help some members get better gear. If I don't play, 9 other people don't get to have fun. I also feel a certain responsibility to my guild to have the best gear I can get which means putting in a ton of time into WoW on our non-Raid nights.

The thing is I love playing WoW. I love my guild. I love tanking. It's a blast and a great way to shake off the stresses of my day.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

The video gamer's guide to time management

Aside from the lingering social stigma that tells us that hours immersed in an interactive game world are somehow less acceptable than hours connected to an intravenous TV drip, most of us have come to accept that video gaming has achieved full-fledged hobby status among its aficionados. Like most hobbies, it's a hungry one. Even in console games that spin a story to an inevitable conclusion, replay and achievements and hard modes and alternative endings beckon. With a subscription MMO game like World of Warcraft, the entertainment is designed never to end.

Unfortunately, your supply of time to play is not equally boundless.

Those hopeless, choked nights when you fear there is no possible way to hack your way into the thicket of tasks waiting to tear you to shreds come dawn are no reason to cut off your game subscription entirely. We'll show you why, and we'll follow up with tips and resources that help you keep all the plates spinning at once -- including some well-deserved game time.

Read more →

Filed under: Drama Mamas

The Drama Mamas guide to teen video gaming and World of Warcraft

Photo credit: mzacha via stock.xchng
Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Lisa and I love it when parents parent and teens try to reason with them rather than just mindlessly rebel.
To the Drama Mamas,

I am a teen male who plays WoW and has for about a year and a half. I enjoy playing and have a joined a good guild with several good irl friends and enjoy the game immensely, however my parents don't seem to have the same perspective.

My parents limit the time I can spend on the game to about one hour every day which is not something I am particularly fond of.

I may not be the Mr. Outdoors my father hoped for, but I get good grades and am not involved in any of the bad things that occur in school or in my age group.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Officers' Quarters: The importance of finding 'me time'

murozond's hourglass
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available from No Starch Press.

Something most nonofficers don't realize is the amount of time that officers spend dealing with guild business when we're otherwise off the clock. Nights with no official events can seem like a great time to log in and enjoy a relaxing solo play session. You plan to work on an alt, level a profession, or earn some achievements.

Then a member whispers you about a loot issue, someone else needs a few alts invited, a third member wants to talk strategy for the next raid, and so on. Suddenly your night is gone and you haven't managed to finish anything you actually set out to do -- especially relax. This week, one guild leader wants to know how to carve out some time for herself.
Hi Scott,

I assumed leadership of our social/casual guild early in the winter, and with the help of two senior officers have resurrected that which was once essentially dead. We have enjoyed the process of breathing life into our little community, and welcomed new guildies with open arms. As the weeks passed interactions between the members increased, guild chat started being used, dungeon runs and retro-raids started happening again, and each week more players entered the fold.

Then with the addition of the spouse and friends of one of our guildmates, we embarked on a raiding career. We are now 5/8 DS 10N, and run regularly two or three nights a week. As is so often the case, we now have more DPS that are interested in raiding than spots available, so we have stepped up recruiting to find enough raid-ready people so that we can start a second raid group.

I sometimes find this process exciting and rewarding, but more and more I am feeling overwhelmed. In addition to raiding and leading the guild, I am also an extremely serious alto-holic. I love questing. I have all the professions covered (some more than once), and on top of seeking out and collecting all the professional recipes, I also collect mounts and pets.

I don't mind putting my responsibilities to the guild and the raid team before my own playtime, but I am finding it harder and harder, with the growth of the guild, to carve out any time for myself.

Read more →

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: How do you make time for WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

There is such a wide variety of WoW players. Everyone from college students to 70-year-old gaming grandmothers play. Some people play for an hour or two every few days. Other people play for hours every night.

No matter what your play schedule is, you more often than not have to find time to play, and that can be hard. School, work, family, friends, other commitments ... All those things and more make a huge impact in finding time to play WoW without interruption. Making time to play can feel like planning a rocket launch sometimes. If you're a full-time college student, you spend a good portion of your day in class, you have to study almost daily, and when exams roll around, you live in your books. Someone with a full-time job and a family might as well feel like planning a rocket launch. There are so many things to do in one night that you can't even begin to list them all.

I knew a nurse who was working full time in the trauma room of the ER, going to school full time and had three kids. She was not only in one of the best raiding guilds on the server but also managed to do arena and go just over a 1,900 rating. I asked her how she made time for everything. Her answer? She took her laptop to work when she knew there would be a slow night and could do arenas. She would rotate on her nights off with the kids. Her husband was also a raider, so they would take turns getting the kids to bed for the night. Luckily, they were both gamers, so it was easier to find time to play.

How do you make time to play WoW? Are you limited to a few hours every night, or do you plan for a weekend of WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Do you play other games besides WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

2011 looks to be a great year for gamers. The return of Duke Nukem. Portal 2. BioWare's trifecta of Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3 and The Old Republic. A new Final Fantasy. A new Legend of Zelda (and a remake of the greatest game ever made, Ocarina of Time -- flame on, but you know it's true). The return of Kid Icarus. The already-released Dead Space 2. There is no shortage of great stuff to play. And all the while, sitting smugly on my desktop and the desktop of 12 million others worldwide, is that little golden "W."

When the Steam holiday sales rolled around, I found myself drowning in a sea of backlogged games. The past five years that I've played WoW, I have seen very little of games outside of it. So when I should get sucked into Mass Effect, I realized there was a massive (no pun intended) collection of great games out there I had missed! I must play them all. The challenge then was playing these other games and still playing WoW -- a balancing act I have yet to master.

With the smorgasbord of excellence awaiting gamers in 2011, how will you find yourself sneaking time outside of Azeroth? Will you succumb to the deluge of games and break away from Azeroth entirely for a time, or will you find ways to incorporate WoW and other games into your gaming schedule?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Learn something new every day

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to

I learned a pretty important life lesson from playing WoW. Now, I am well aware that this statement makes me sound like a loon, like someone claiming his whole life underwent a reversal after reading The Secret and now everything is so much better and wonderful. I'm not saying WoW did that for me. But it has taught me something about time management and design goals, by way of dailies.

Specifically, dailies have shown me that if you devote a certain predetermined amount of time each day to the completion of carefully detailed and prioritized tasks, you will reap benefits and rewards over a finite and moderate time period, with better benefits and rewards over a longer time period. People who are good at time management and at prioritizing, and who do not have a tendency to procrastinate, are probably thinking, "Duh." But some of us poor slobs out there do have problems managing time and imagining the benefits that can come from consistently devoting time to specific activities, especially when those benefits won't materialize for a long time.

Personally, this really hit home for me the past few months as I was planning my wedding. I wanted to do most of the stuff myself, because there was no way I could afford someone to do things for me. I wanted to make my own centerpieces, guest favors, cake topper, wall decorations, thank-you cards, invitations, paper picture frames for souvenirs, bridesmaid's hair pieces and so on. I read enough wedding blogs to scare myself into thinking that making everything was going to result in a time management nightmare. So early on, I set out to prioritize and schedule my daily tasks -- just like planning out Sons of Hodir rep, accumulating Champion's Seals to collect all the pets or running through quest chains on the way to Loremaster. I allocated one to two hours every night in order to complete a set amount of work and determined the best way to space out all the tasks over the following months. I got everything I wanted to get done with two weeks to spare. Days before the wedding, I was stressing out because I had nothing to stress out over.

Some will find it silly that it took WoW dailies to get me to organize myself, but it really is just a very good time management model. What have you learned from playing this game? Leadership skills, perhaps? Diplomacy? How to be a politician, or a socializer, or a mediator? Or (dare I ask), an instigator?

Have you ever wanted to write for Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to The next byline you see here may be yours!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

WoW, Casually: Playing WoW with your teen

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Last year, I talked about playing with preschoolers and reading-age children. Several months later, I'd like to continue the series by tackling the topic of teens. I'm now tempted to talk in tantalizing alliteration, but I really can't keep it up. Anyway...

Teens provide a completely different challenge than the young children we've discussed before. Teens are already extremely competent readers, experience Trade Chat-like talk in school on a regular basis and have the coordination skills required to fully play the game. So they don't need the coddling and constant supervision, but that doesn't mean that the benefits of parents playing with teens aren't just as valuable.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

Breakfast topic: Time is the fire

Somehow I missed the memo that Blizzard was changing the minimap to include an upfront clock, alarm, and stopwatch. It's a pretty neat idea. My favorite part is that you can switch the clock to read local time. This adds to time management tools located in the account setting to limit play time.

As I've mentioned before, I live in Las Vegas. It's a strange place, with time dimensions similar to World of Warcraft. You have to look pretty hard to find a clock or a window in one of the casinos and the floors are like mazes that are designed to disorient you. Why? They want you to stay there and spend your money. As far as I know, WoW has always had a clock, but until yesterday, you had to hover your mouse over it to see the time. You can always look around the room. I don't know how many times I've checked the time and wondered where the time went. I found it nice tonight to have it right in front of me.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

Guide to the new Time Management features

Are you the kind of player who loses track of time and ends up missing appointments or losing sleep because of it? Then we have good news for you. Among the UI changes included in Patch 2.4.3 are some Time Management features:
  • Constant Time Display: You no longer have to pass your mouse over the sun or moon icon on your minimap to see the time. The server time is now automatically displayed at the bottom of the minimap.
  • Alarm: An alarm can now be set, complete with a custom message.
  • Computer Time Display: You now have the option of showing your local computer time rather than the server time on your minimap.
  • Stopwatch: Accessed either in the new clock interface or by a keyboard command, there is now an in-game stopwatch for your timing needs.
The details on how to use these features are after the jump.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Guides

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening