Sunday, 19 September 2010

Subjective time and WOW

A while ago I heard a report on the radio about a study into the human perception of time. The crux of the research was that every human essentially manipulates their personal perception of time through their lives.
If you think about it you can probably recall times when this has happened those moments of danger when time slows to a crawl and seconds stretch into minutes or when you were young and the summer holidays seemed to last for years rather than weeks.
One of the depressing things the research bough up was as you get older your perception of the passing of time speeds up dramatically. As I approach my 40th year this is definitely noticeable, weekends seem gone in a blink of an eye and the weeks seem to fly by with not enough time to fit everything in which always seemed so easy in my 20s.
This got me to thinking that WOW is a real demonstration of this phenomena in action. I have seen my perception of time slow in game and speed up over and over again.

For time seeming to crawl one of my most vivid memories of this was not surprisingly in a raid in fact in my first raid experience in Kara. I joined my old guild almost as they were starting Kara and after a bit of rejigging ended up as one of the healers and for some reason a raid leader.
We made good progress through Kara despite the fact our healing team was 2 holy pallys and a priest.

Then we hit Shade of Aran and oh my god what a block he was we must have wiped on him for weeks despite all the tactics with banishment of elementals and people not moving during the fire phase it was a nightmare. In fact it was a real moral sapper for the whole team especially as there was no raid ID extension in those days so if you didn't do it in the two raid days we had we had to start all over again!
Then finally one night after multiple wipes just as raid time was almost up it all came together and he was going down the % ticked down 3,2,1 then time seemed to stop 1%, 1%, 1% die you undead bastard die! A healer goes down then a DPS, mana looking low no no no not on 1% then time restarts and he crumples victory! A cheers rings out over vent and time restarts it ambling path again at a sensible rate.

For time dragging I guess at the moment is a good time in WOW to say time is extending horribly for me. I have achieved what I want in Wrath, Arthas lies dead and his citidel in ruins, Cataclysm is looming with new patches heralding a new dawn but its still looking like two months to go which I think is going to seem like an age.

For others time at the moment time in WOW may seem to be racing by, will the next patch with its changes for the classes not gel with current raid mechanics denying them that final kill, will they get their tiger from ZG before it goes the way of the Dodo?

What about you? Can you recall those times in WOW when time seemed to stretch on forever and the tick between seconds seemed like eternity or and afternoon passed in a blink of an eye playing with friends. Welcome to the Blizzards time machine but your not at the controls!


1 comment:

TheGrumpyElf said...

Interesting article. I enjoyed the read.

A short bit ago I wrote a little something on perception of time in the game but in a different way. How when I am healing time seems to fly by yet when I am tanking a 3 minute fight seems like it takes 2 hours.

For me, to answer your question, you already said it. I am running ZG hoping for the mount and I am still trying to kill the king.

Those are my two pressing things as I know once the changes come, in about 8 days for talents, no one will be running ICC any more and I will never get that done while it was end game and the mount will be removed and I will never see that at all.

Right now time seems to be flying for me so fast that I can not even get 1/2 of the things I want to get done, done.