My Compulsion is Infrastructure

Sev­en weeks after we start­ed our Horde side project (lev­el­ing being friend­ly to fre­quent paus­es and sud­den stops), my wife hap­pened to walk by my com­put­er while I had my char­ac­ter select screen up.

“What are all those Horde char­ac­ters?!” she said.

“Oh! Well, here’s my auc­tion house alt, and my grind­ing alt, and–”

“I thought this Horde thing was a side project?”

Blink blink. “It is.”

“Are we giv­ing up our Alliance toons?”

“No! But we’ll need sup­port for our horde mains, too.”

“Our L32 mains?”

“We’re going to need gold for epic mounts and–”

She did­n’t actu­al­ly say any­thing to inter­rupt me, but her look cut me off. It’s the “you’re miss­ing the point” look.

“Um… yeah,” I said.

She’s right, of course. With­out even real­iz­ing it, I had begun dupli­cat­ing the entire infra­struc­ture that I have in place to sup­port our Alliance mains. Craft­ing alts, auc­tion house alts, and so on. That blink blink above is my brain sud­den­ly becom­ing aware of a pat­tern I had­n’t seen before.

I mean, these horde char­ac­ters are going to be left behind when the expan­sion comes out, maybe even soon­er than that. And even though I know that these char­ac­ters are going to be left behind, and per­haps nev­er touched again… I’ve learned so much about this game, how to make some parts much eas­i­er by expend­ing a lit­tle effort in non-obvi­ous ways, that I can’t help doing so. I have to apply that knowl­edge. I need the infra­struc­ture in place.

And so I log onto my horde auc­tion house alt while I’m bleary eyed in the ear­ly morn­ing, and duti­ful­ly peck at the AH to build a reserve of gold for epic ground mounts.

Just in case these char­ac­ters ever get to that point.

After explain­ing it in this way, my wife under­stood per­fect­ly. After all, her rogue was a max lev­el Jew­el­crafter on day one of the pro­fes­sion’s release. That was fun for both of us, from research­ing and plan­ning through painful grind­ing of mats right up to the hour of glo­ri­ous imple­men­ta­tion. When the gates of Out­land opened, every­one rushed Hell­fire Penin­su­la. We rushed Exo­dar, because that’s where the eas­i­est Jew­el­craft­ing train­er is. We stood next to a cou­ple of oth­er peo­ple who did the same thing. The fel­low crafters all smiled at each oth­er, shar­ing an under­stand­ing of the moment with­out speak­ing. Their friends or guild or fam­i­ly or even just them­selves would not want for a Jew­el­crafter, not one day. Their infra­struc­ture, what they felt they need­ed to be suc­cess­ful in the game, would be in place.

Like­wise, my priest will be a max lev­el Scribe (Inscrip­tion) on day one of that pro­fes­sion’s release.

In the past, I’ve scoffed at peo­ple who race to max char­ac­ter lev­el, bypass­ing what I con­sid­er to be the beau­ti­ful lev­el­ing process. In truth, I’m just like these people–I don’t share that com­pul­sion, but I have a cou­ple of my own: the gold one, the craft­ing one.

Do you have a game compulsion?

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6 thoughts on “My Compulsion is Infrastructure”

  1. Oh I envy you who have the com­pul­sion about infra struc­ture. It seems so wise and so prac­ti­cal. And I envy you for hav­ing an oth­er half who not only accepts your play­ing, but also is a player.

    When it comes to com­pul­sions I think mine is raid­ing. If my real life allowed me to I’d raid 4–5 nights a week, trust me. Run­ning instances is also fun, espe­cial­ly when you haven’t done them 100 times, which is the case with the ones in TBC (at least it feels like it is).

    My game play is built around giv­ing sup­port to my raid­ing main, to give her the mats and con­sum­ables she needs to raid.

    1. @Larísa — We used to share your raid­ing com­pul­sion. As you say, I would nev­er have both­ered to have craft­ing alts or bank alts if I did­n’t have raid­ing mains to sup­port. The fun­ny thing is that even though I’ve just about com­plete­ly stopped raid­ing, the infra­struc­ture com­pul­sion continues.

  2. I raise my hand and nod.

    But then, the oth­er parts of the game are more acces­si­ble to me (ie. not raid­ing), so if I can build up the bank alt, mail­box alts, and craft­ing skills etc, then I will, because that is eas­i­er than spend­ing 3 hours in LFG… and more like­ly to pro­duce results

    1. @Gnomeaggedon — I nev­er thought of it that way, but I sus­pect you’re right. My guild jokes that going into LFG is like brav­ing the ele­ments, except instead of desert heat or arc­tic cold, you’ve got loller­copters and ninjas.

      Hope­ful­ly, instances in Wrath aren’t as tough to group for or as long to run, and their design changes make healing/tanking less sac­ri­fi­cial. That’s their stat­ed design goal (one hour or less runs), and it’ll be awe­some if they can pull off.

  3. @GoW — From what I’ve seen of the instances so far (I’ve seen 5 dif­fer­ent ones) that is the case in all of them. All took around 45–60 min­utes to com­plete, one took about 1/2 hour. Grant­ed, we were all in BT+ gear, but that’s still pret­ty impressive.

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