Archive for September, 2012


MoP Launch Events – Great for the Devs, not for the USA

Blizzard announced their launch day events for the upcoming Mists of Pandaria release on September 25th.

I’ve never been to an official launch event, so I looked to see if there are any within driving distance of me (Florida, USA).

Here’s the list of launch events:


  • Irvine, California.  FEATURING:  Members of the WoW development team.


  • Cologne, Germany.  FEATURING Russell Brower  –  Director of Audio, Jason Hutchins  –  Game Producer, Gary Platner  –  Lead Environment Artist, Tina Wang  –  3D Artist, Kelli Hoover  –  Associate 3D Artist
  • Stockholm, Sweden.  FEATURING Chris Robinson  –  Art Director, Thomas Pieracci  –  Producer
  • Paris, France.  FEATURING Greg Street  –  Lead Systems Designer, Carlos Guerrero  –  Senior Game Producer, Jonathan Dumont  –  Lead Level Designer
  • Milan, Italy.  FEATURING Tom Chilton  –  Game Director, Terrie Denman  –  Senior Artist
  • Madrid, Spain.  FEATURING Cory Stockton  –  Lead Content Designer, Candace Thomas  –  Game Designer
  • London, UK.  FEATURING Scott Mercer  –  Senior Game Designer, Darren Williams  –  Senior Software Engineer
  • Moscow, Russia.  FEATURING John Lagrave  –  Lead Game Producer, Paul Kubit  –  Game Designer


  • Taipei, Taiwan.  FEATURING Sarah Verrall  –  Senior Level Designer, Tom Thompson  –  Lead Software Engineer

South America

  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Santiago, Chile.  FEATURING John Hight  –  Lead Game Producer, Marcio Martins  –  Senior Software Engineer
  • Sao Paolo, Brazil.  FEATURING John Hight  –  Lead Game Producer, Marcio Martins  –  Senior Software Engineer


What strikes me as odd about this list?

Lets look in terms of area.  The continental USA (not including Alaska and Hawaii) has a total area of just over 8,000,000 square kilometers.  In that area there are approximately 2-3 million WoW players.

Europe has a total area of just over 10,000,000 square kilometers and holds a similar number of WoW subscribers.

The numbers are fairly comparable as far as size and player base.  So why are there six events in Europe and only one in the USA?  Why does Europe have all of the big-name players in WoW development, while the Irvine event gets unnamed members of the development team?

Clearly the answer is that this is a perk for the Blizzard devs.  Ghostcrawler gets a company-paid trip to Paris out of this.  Tom Chilton gets to visit Italy.  etc…  I don’t begrudge them this perk.  They do work hard and they deserve a reward.

However, as a USA WoW player I feel left out.  Blizzard events are always held in Irvine, which is 2,495 miles away from me.    Considering that the east coast of the US has more than twice the population of the west coast, it would seem reasonable for Blizzard to come out to my side of the country once every couple of years.

But they don’t.  /sigh





I had a somewhat shocking realization this week.

I looked at my total time /played.

I’ve always known about what the total was for each character, but I never took the time to add them all up and find out the sum of the time I have spent online in WoW.  Well, now I know.  It is 340 days.

That’s almost a year of my life spent sitting in front of the computer.  Holy cow.

Further analysis: I started playing WoW during spring break of 2006, so somewhere around March 10th or so of that year.  It has been about 2371 days since I began.  According to /played, I have spent 340 days online during that time.  That is 14.3% of my life.  Translated further, that equates to an average of 24 hours per week or about 3.4 hours per day.

That is a very sobering statistic.

I don’t consider it time wasted.  As further context, I watch essentially zero television.  I know a lot of people who spend more time in front of the TV than I do in front of WoW.  In addition, I am a teacher and I get a lot of free time over the summer when I can rack up a lot of playtime, so I don’t actually play three hours every day.

Also, before anyone gets all judgmental, this is not time taken away from my kids and family (well, mostly).  I put my kids to bed at 8:30 and then I have about 3.5 hours before I go to sleep myself.  That’s my prime gaming time.

Still, the idea that I spend that much time in game is a little shocking.  Does it make me want to stop playing?  No, but I think I can try to use this epiphany to establish a little more balance in my life.  As the GM of a large guild, there was once a time when I felt guilty if I took a day off from the game.  I used to think that any day I wasn’t online would be the day that drama happened.  I have realized that this is not the case, and that the guild will continue to roll along even if I take time off.  I don’t play every night any more.  I often take weekends off.  I am certain that my time spent in game over the past year is not nearly what it used to be in previous years.

I do think I’m going to uninstall the add on that gave me my total time /played, though.  Maybe I’m better off not knowing.



Dinaer - 100 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Derence - 92 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 91 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 100 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 100 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
September 2012
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