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Playing in the holiday ghost town

Matthew Rossi

I'm not someone who celebrates many holidays. As we head into the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years axis of festivity, I'm fairly unmoved. I know people who really like the holidays, who go to great lengths to take part in the festivities, but I'm not one of those people and that means that I end up finding myself standing around deserted capital cities wondering where all the people went. Why are my dungeon queues twice as long? Why do I have a queue when I signed up to tank? How can there be a seven minute queue for scenarios?

Now, since I have terrible insomnia I often play at times when there's not a lot of people on, but the holidays create days where WoW feels like a mall that just doesn't know it's closed. I have an easier time finding people to do stuff with at 3 AM on a normal day than I do at 5 PM around Christmas. Raiding tends to shut down, and even the people who are on are often just chatting from their phones while getting ready to devour some hapless turkey. Last year, I spent the holidays running laps around the Twilight Highlands randomly helping people do the Crucible of Carnage in-between laps, when there was anyone online to help.

Strangely enough, despite the somewhat eerie feeling of an Orgrimmar or Stormwind where nobody knows your name, I do find myself attracted to the quiet. When I do get into a dungeon or Raid Finder group, the people tend to be somewhat friendlier. This could purely be perception, but it seems like the shared respite from an otherwise solitary period brings groups together. Then again I could just be deluding myself.

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