It’s a question that I rarely hear fully answered, “how much World of Warcraft have you played, total?” Some may glance at their /played, but that doesn’t tell the whole picture. Many of us have been playing since Vanilla, and it’s understandable to fear the summation of real-life hours that you have spent logged into Azeroth. In preparation for my interview on the Twisted Nether Blogcast last week, I decided to pop the hood and look deep into how many days I’ve spent killing dragons, getting ganked, and dancing on mailboxes.
I may not have as many toons as some of you out there, but my main realm (Earthen Ring – US) has 11 characters at level 81 or higher that I at least periodically log into (although MoP is so damn alt-unfriendly!) Back in my first few years of WoW, I played on a PVP server, so I had to log into each one of those toons as well to gather their /played time. All information was entered into a spreadsheet, down to the minute played. For this exercise, I did not include the three or four toons I have spread on two other servers that are level 5 or below, as their /played time is insignificant. Additionally, I did not add up time played from my dual-boxing toons on 3 other accounts, as they were played simultaneously with some of my current toons on Earthen Ring. If anyone out there multiboxes, don’t consider each toon individually, of course. We’re talking real world human playing time, and not the ones with the porn stashes.
The next step was to establish how long I’ve played this game. Checking my account history, I created my first WoW account on October 25, 2006. Through today (March 11, 2013), that is a span of 2,328 days. With those numbers, my play time since I started, can be broken down as follows:
- My total /played time is 154 days, 10 hours, 28 minutes (3,706 hours)
- That equates to almost 93 weeks, almost 2 full years of full time work (40 hrs/week)
- 6.63% of my life has been spent playing WoW
- I have averaged 11.14 hours per week
- If Wow were a job, I would have grossed $25,18.76, all on 2006 CA State minimum wage ($6.75/hr)
- I probably could have built Noah’s Ark, written a work of art, earned a second masters degree, and learned 3 new languages if I hadn’t played all of that World of Warcraft
Okay, maybe only 2 languages.
The other common statement that we’ve heard is that WoW is a cheap form of entertainment. Yes, $15 per month is quite inexpensive for the enjoyment most of us get out of this game, but I wanted to see EXACTLY how much it was costing me.
Looking into my account history, I summed up what I have spent on this game in the last 6 and a half years. I’ve had a 3 month recurring subscription charge for most of that time, dual boxed with recruit-a-friend three times, bought multiple copies of the game and expansions, subscribed to the mobile auction house and have purchased just one pet. The grand total? $1,647.97.
Ok, that’s not a drop in the bucket, but considering that it’s over 6 1/2 years, it’s not that bad. However, I can say I have not spent close to that on any other video game franchise in my life.
Now the math was simple. How much does World of Warcraft cost per hour?
For me, 44 cents.
I’d say that’s a cheap form of entertainment.
Now, I just hope my wife doesn’t find out how much of my life has been spent in game rather than with her, although my /played time with her and our kids is “forever.”