On Time

 

We’ve been thinking about time lately thanks to Dinshaw, and so I thought this blog post would be oriented that way. For one thing, time has flowed differently as I returned from Virginia; I suddenly found myself shifting from an atmosphere where I had little to do but think of my next LoTRO blog post to one where I had 6 children and 3500 miles to transgress (is that the right word?). Suddenly, I haven’t had the time to play LoTRO like I did, let alone blog about it. However, I can talk about the way time passes a bit in the game.

It is difficult to say what makes time in LOTRO pass most quickly. On the one hand, exciting quests seem to fly by, while the grinds tend to make the game feel slow. However, it is pretty common to look at the clock after grinding midge flies and realize you’ve been doing it for three hours. So, it seems like one of the mechanics of the game is to manipulate time in certain ways. I wonder what the purpose of trying to keep a player playing longer than he intended might be.

One motivation is definitely financial. For every grind, you have the option to “accelerate this task” by paying real money in the LOTRO store. This seems to be an attempt to monetize time, which is an area that Dinshaw didn’t much care for. Interestingly enough, players themselves don’t seem to mind this, rather being happy to speed up a game that they are ostensibly playing for fun. Strange.

 

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