I’ve been through a lot of game and expansion launches in the past 15 years and have been refining my plan to maximize my time playing the new game.
The last big game launch that I was a part of was a few years ago. The time that the servers went up would be 3am. Both my husband and I were going to be playing so we made a plan. This was pre-kids so our intensity level was quite a bit higher as we were planning on playing about 20+ hours the first day. Our plan was to go to bed a few hours early and wake up about 45 minutes prior to the game going live, get a big breakfast with coffee and hop on voice chat with our guild. There were about 30 people on our voice chat that early morning and excitement buzzed. Of course this extended gaming session had ended with my PC having problems and me having to swap to playing on a laptop with poor reaction times. My brain also had some poor reaction times near the end of my 23 hours played and I wound up dying so much right as I was nearing the finish line (level cap). I may have cried this day, sources say that I did but I don’t remember it like that. This was definitely the most intensely I have ever played a game launch.
I’m coming to the launch of BFA (Battle for Azeroth) just as excited as I was all those years ago. However, this time I’m older and (hopefully) wiser. I also have a child to consider when making my gaming launch plans and we want to make sure we do this game release in a healthy way. The game will launch at 5pm CST which is 6pm our time. We plan to take about 20 minutes each taking turns between 6pm and 8pm. We will go through our normal evening routine of dinner, playing with my daughter and then get her to bed around 8pm. Once she is in bed we will start leveling together and play until about midnight our time, so about 4 hours total. This will be our gaming schedule for the rest of the work week. On the weekend we will trade off playing games and playing with my toddler and will have periodic breaks where we will leave the house for an hour or so to get some sunshine. I know this seems like a huge difference from what we did before, and it is! But this plan is in line with this phase of life that we are in.
Things to do before a new game launch:
- Meals: Prep food for the week. This means having easy go to meals that do not require a lot of time to get on the table. Using paper plates this week so washing dishes can be avoided at all costs.
- Housekeeping: having the house clean helps keep the guilt away when I playing for an extended period of time.
- Sleep: gotta get some! I know its hard to sleep the night before something so exciting but try to get to bed early. If I are waking up in the middle of the night for a 3am launch try to get at least 6 hours of sleep and wake up with enough time to brew the coffee, take a shower and get dressed. Since this launch will be in the evening and I’ll be working that day I’ll get as well rested as I can.
- Communicate your intentions: This is assuming that you typically have contact with the outside world. If you plan to hole up in your room for a week and not leave except for bathroom and food, you may want to let those in your life know. Of course use your best judgement. I started telling my family how I play during these launches because it was the easier way to go about things since they are not the judgmental type. If they know what I’m up to they won’t worry about me if I suddenly stop communicating and don’t want to go outside. I NEED MY GAMES MOM!
I’ve made a list of things to do in game to prep for the WoW launch of BFA. Some of these things will translate to other expansion launches and some won’t.
Things to do in game:
- Quest log: empty old quests that I do not want to complete. This expansion I have complete a bunch of quests and once I’m able to start leveling, I go turn them all in for a small boost in the first level.
- Bag/Bank: I cleared out any old pieces of gear that I no longer need and have a mostly empty bag so that I will need to make less stops to sell junk or bank items.
- Consumables: Stock up on food, flasks, potions, banners, goblin glider kits and anything else that will help me move and kill things faster.
- Update UI: Now is a great time to tinker with any elements of my UI that I would like to improve.
- Recommended Addons
- Handy Notes + Handy Notes: Legion Treasures – If you haven’t picked up many of your treasures in Legion it is well worth your while to collect them for level 110 to 111.
- Azeroth Auto Pilot or Zygors guide both will assist you with what to do next and will take alot of the decision making out of how to go about leveling.
- LookingForGroup – this streamlines the looking for group interface and makes it a little bit quicker to party for group quests.
- Recommended Addons
Things to remember while binging on your favorite video game.
- Water > Caffeine: You may plan on staying up later than normal, in that case make sure you use caffeine sparingly and to drink lots of water along with your coffee or energy drink
- Snacks: You will want healthy snacks that don’t get your hands messy. My go-to is going to be cut up fruit in containers that I can eat with a fork and trail mix that I will eat with a spoon. I know this sounds weird but trust me, you do not want salt and stickiness all over your keyboard and mouse.
- Breaks: Every couple of hours I plan to get up from my desk and get my heart rate up. I’ll be running down and running up my stairs when I need something from the kitchen just to get a burst of exercise.
- GLHF (Good Luck Have Fun): Keep in mind that we are playing games for our personal enjoyment. Listen to your gut and make sure to stop if needed.
This launch is going to be a great one! I can’t wait to see all of the new areas and start doing the new dungeons. I’ll be doing this with my guild, some of them will out pace me in levels and I’ll hopefully beat some to 120 as well. What are some things that you do to prepare for a new game launch?