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Breakfast Topic: How much of your played time is really played?


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If you have been around WoW for a while, you probably have gotten the urge to type in the dreaded /played command. For any who still don't know, that command will show you the amount of time you have played on that particular character. For a player like me who has been around since launch, that number can be significant. But it did get me to thinking, how much of that time was actually spent playing?

Scenario: It is a Tuesday night (last Tuesday, as a matter of fact). My guild is off for the night, since we don't raid on Tuesdays. After a nice dinner and a bit of quality time with the wife, I make my way down to the man-cave to log in and see what's doing. I recently leveled jewelcrafting, so I am collecting the daily tokens for the cuts my main will need. That is reason enough to bring me online on non-raid nights. While I am there, I pick up the fishing and cooking daily. Since both are in Dalaran (love me some Disarmed! and Cheese for Glowergold), I grab them as well.

A few conversations with guildies, three daily quests, one Flame Leviathan weekly run and a few TV sitcoms later, I look up and see it is bed time. I have been logged in for somewhere between two to three hours, and all I have really accomplished are a couple of dailies. My biggest victory of the night was convincing a guild mate that Treme, while not as good as The Wire, is still worth catching if she has On Demand. Hardly what even the most casual player would consider dedicated playtime. Still, it all goes against the total.

The inverse is true as well. There are many nights when I log in and I am moving from one in-game task to another with no break. I have plenty of lost weekends racked up over the past five years when I packed a ton of play into my /played. But I do have a fair bit of time where I am not really getting much done beyond a bit of socializing. In this lull time when summer and the end of an expansion add up to less focused play by many, I still find myself logging in to grab a daily or chat up some friends.

As far as I know, there is no way to distinguish between the two. There is no %active like you see on many combat log parsing systems to help identify time /played versus time /slacked off. If I had to guess, I would bet that somewhere between 30-40% of my /played total was really not played at all, but simply time spent in game accomplishing nothing game-related. With no real way to tell, best guesses will have to do.

So, how about you? If you had to guess, how much of your /played is really played?

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