My wife and I like WoW a lot. We've played it together for more than two years now, and have been endgame raiders for most of that time. Sometimes as many as three nights a week! There have been ups and downs, but we're both excited about Wrath.
As new parents, we've learned what the hardest part is about instances and raids: no pause button.
Our daughter is six months old. What I've learned about infants + WoW:
- Infants don't care about sharing you with a raid full of your friends.
- Infants don't care about voice chat, especially when sleeping.
- Infants don't get excited about your zomgepics, and they don't get disappointed when you don't get the drop. (Actually, that's not so bad.)
- Infants don't care if you're in combat or not.
- Infants really don't care about progression boss fights, where uninterrupted concentration is required or else the raid will wipe.
When an infant senses that you're asking for patience… they flip out. It's an emotional thing. Babies don't understand: "I love you very much but I'm doing something else right now, so if you can just keep yourself busy for another five minutes, and then I'll give you the binkie back while the raid buffs?" And when my daughter doesn't understand things of this nature, like the grownup, complicated, give-and-take social stuff?
The leaves on nearby trees shake from her cries.
Bad Parenting 101? Well, yes. At least the raiding while having first baby experiment didn't last long.
Now, before you leave a sternly-worded comment, take heart that I now know that the answer is easy: stop raiding for a while. And you know what? It was easy, once we saw that. Like so much in life, none of this stuff is obvious. I've never been a father before. Heck, I haven't spent time around kids since I was in that age group. In unrelated news, I'm starting to understand where all my parental scars came from.
Also, a quick caveat: this is a shared hobby of ours. Yes, one of us could babysit while the other played, but that's not how we came to love the game. We tried raiding separately and it's not as much fun. WoW is something we enjoy doing together. We do plenty of things apart, but playing WoW isn't one of them.
We gave our best towards balancing the overwhelming everythingness of being new parents while keeping up any semblance of a raid schedule. Ultimately, we decided to start our offseason. We haven't raided in two months, and have no plans to do so until at least Wrath. Our approach to Wrath is going to be slightly different than waiting in line at the shop at 11:30 the night before the midnight opening. It's going to be a big experiment with plenty of trial and error.
In the meantime? We log on now and then, and our friends playfully ask us: "Hey, want to join us in ZA this week?" I gently deflect them, but really I'm thinking: sign up for raids? Insanity! How can I know days in advance what next Thursday night is going to be like in my home? Will there be crying? Kicking? Screaming? But never mind my wife, what about my daughter? (Try the veal!)
I always counseled my guild members to keep their life right over any game or guild concerns. Right now my wife and I feel like we're barely above water, as I hear that most parents feel at first. Raiding had to take a back seat. It feels weird to take that advice, even though it's my own.
Any other WoW-players/parents out there? How did this go for you?
- The Offseason
- If, If, Wait, Wait
- Times Change
- Everything is Always Moving
- Raiding does not mean Skilled