Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The night is my very own

A few years ago I read a book written by a woman, who didn't only run a farm, but also had at least eight kids. Her days were filled with cooking (making four fresh bread every morning), cleaning and caring for the cattle. After midnight, when everybody else was to bed, it all went quiet. That's when her other life started, reading, writing books, doing things just by herself. "The night is my very own" was the title of the book.

I came to think of it, reading the breakfast topic of wowinsider the other day, where they asked about playing times - when is actually the best time to play?

Honestly I don't have much of a choice when it comes to playing. Or at least I'm not the only one to decide about it, since I've got a family. The agreement so far is that two nights a week I'm free to raid, starting at a decent time, about 7.30 pm. Three nights a week I start to play after spending the evening with the others, driving kids to activities, watching TV etc, meaning I'll start about 10 pm. Two nights a week are playing free nights and I won't even touch the PC. In the weekends I play a few hours daytime as well, between doing weekend shopping, cleaning, laundry etc - in short, when it doesn't intrude on any other kind of activity.

All in all, most of my playing time is pretty late - I often find myself playing around midnight or even one or two hours after it. And the question is: if I was able to chose freely, would I make it differently?

Actually I don't think I really would. I admit there are evident advantages in playing in the early night (more players online makes it easier to find groups, enchanters and get the things you need on AH. You're probably more alert and it's easier to get the night sleep you need etc etc) - but it's still not as good as the late hours.

You see, something happens to Azeroth around midnight. Take Stormwind as an example, the town that I love so much, but from time to time have to flee from, because of all the whispers I get as a level 70 mage. Suddenly all those beggars, spammers, kids yelling for boost and lunatics in general seem to crawl back to the sewers they came from and even the main square turns into an enjoyable place, yet not completely empty. And if I go to Sunwell Island I can move around easily everywhere, even at the badge gear vendor, without getting the crowd related lag. When I go flower picking I actually find nodes in a decent pace, I won't have to waste hours on boring cruising. I can have a trip at Elemental Plateau and concentrate killing the mobs, rather than to keep an eye on the other players around, trying not to be cheated on my target.

If you want company you can easily find decent groups at those late hours. The risk that you find yourself teaming up with a 13 year old kid that suddenly has to go and have dinner or go do his homework because his dad's angry, will decrease for every hour that passes - after midnight you'll be more likely to be grouping with grownups.

If you're rather in the mood for contemplation there's no better time for it than after midnight. Just take your fishing rod, light a fire at the faraway shore of Hinterlands, watch the starry sky and pat the turtles passing buy as you slowly level your fishing.

Of course it isn't quite the same every night. During the weekends people are more likely to stay up late - and some of them combine the playing with a few drinks. Instance runs after midnight a Friday night can be a bit risky in that aspect. Even if the alcoholic percentage isn't too bad to begin with, you don't really know how it will be when you're coming to the end boss. Has that one glass of wine that you're buddy tells you about turned into several? You won't know until it's too late. But as long as you haven't got too high expectations about top performances, the Friday nights are great, maybe even the best playing time in the whole week.

I just can't possibly find anything more relaxing after a job week, a better way to start the weekend, than to slip into Azeroth, where I sort of transform into this other me, just like a Doctor Jekyll or a vampire, taking off the disguise I've been wearing. Boosted with a drink (spell damage elixir of course!) and a bite of grilled meat (basilisk ftw), I head out for the adventure of the night with a smile on my face.

The kids are asleep, the telephone won't call, it's all quiet around me and I enjoy the sweet taste of freedom. Time has come to live my other life. The night is my very own.


Dechion said...

it's Like you are reading my mind with this one. Especaily about fridays. I have recently started looking forward to pugging kara at about 10pm on friday nights.

I never really thought about haveing a few drinks though.... I'll try that this week. Drunken healing FTW =)

Larísa said...

How wonderful to get a respons to an old posting like this one... Well more old posts will appear as I move them over.

Anyway I hope I haven't seduced you into a dangerous path now, introducing the concept of drinking... :) I admit I may have a glass of wine myself playing late a friday night, but I'd think twice before doing it going to a raid. Raiding I usually mana up best on orange juice and bananas.

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