Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Guide to playing WoW with Children

Does anybody else have children? Okay, here's your guide to playing while you have a child or infant on your lap.

First of all, you need to master the art of playing one handed. You would be amazed what you can do with only the mouse, nothing else. All moving, spells, etc can be done with the mouse. Now, mind you, its pretty much impossible to do more than one thing at the same time. (macros help). You'll just have to get use to this. However, if you get yourself in the right direction and press the Num Lock key then you'll keep going thus freeing your one (and only) hand to do many other things (but beware, you might run into a tree, wall, or a big enemy town, or run off a cliff).

Sometimes it becomes mandatory to use both hands (like when you have to hold shift down and click something). This can become pretty tricky. It's possible with a sleeping infant, you can lean in and hold down a lower key (like Ctrl, Alt, Shift, etc) and the press the the mouse button. I find that if I do this when they are awake this give them the perfect opportunity to attack the keyboard and droll everywhere, and cause your character to go into hysterics.

If someone whispers to you and you want to reply, I'm afraid you'll just have to stop everything and type one handed. One handed typing isn't so bad, oh sure it takes your typing speed from 60-70 words per minute down to 2-3 wpm. But you have an excuse, "sry, got baby boy, I slow" Oh and grammar goes out the window because who cares about grammar when you can only get out 3 words anyway. Its just better to get a microphone and some software like Ventrillo, TeamSpeak, or whatever your guild likes (not the in game voice chat, no one uses that). Make sure its voice attivated or you defeat the purpose.

And if anything else happens while you are typing in reply to someone, don't have many options, you can either press enter mid thought and use your mouse (which will confuse people, but with your poor grammar they already think there is something seriously wrong with you) or you can, well, you could /lie down and die. If its a mob that's interrupting my conversation then its not a big deal. If its a undead rogue, then usually lay down and die is the more likely option (not that it was an option).

Which brings me to my next point. PvP sucks one-handed. Unless you are some kind of amazing PvP god, its not likely to happen when you have a baby on your lap. Don't try, you'll get pissed off and start swearing and then later feel really bad because you swore like a sailor with your baby on your lap, hoping that they aren't adding all of your colorful words to their blossoming vocabulary. And you'll likely embarass yourself with your voice attivated ventrillo program, your guild will be shocked and dismayed.

Raids, don't really work either, but we've done them before. Don't tell our guild.

Also, if someone asks why you won't stop jumping, don't bother explaining that your toddler thinks its really neat to make your avatar move. Just make something up, like its the new thing in IronForge, or you've taken it upon yourself to add the new dance that Blizz keeps talking about or some junk. Most likely you won't have time to type it one-handed anyway.

You should also expect to have random windows pop up (like your talents, or the character screen, etc), this is normal. Don't panic.

And last, but not least, be prepared for the occasional disconnect. My daughter can manage to turn off the computer with like 2 buttons. Kids are amazing.

Probably what you should do is focus your attention on your child while they are awake and play WoW when they are asleep and accept the fact that parenting is causing you to be a casual player. Remeber you are in company. For those who don't have children, bask in your bliss, but remember, your day will come.


Arrens said...

Haha! God, he looks just like my son. I was holding him the other day and he hit something on the keyboard that flipped the entire screen upside down. I had to go to a previously saved restart point on my harddrive just to reverse it. Wouldn't have traded the moment for anything in the world.

Anonymous said...

"You should also expect to have random windows pop up (like your talents, or the character screen, etc), this is normal. Don't panic."

I love that part. I really ought to try to bask in my no-baby-wowness and appreciate it more. But I guess you never really appreciate what you've got until it's gone, right?

You should write a followup article featuring your daughter!

Bob said...

@Arrens Its amazing how quickly kids can break your computer when they have access to your keyboard.

@Holy I should have a follow up with my daughters, mostly just to show of my other kids at least.

Softi said...

Hehe aww what an awesome post - and such a cute lil kid! :)

I have taken to not even bothering what i'm doing if I'm online during the day - the fact is my kidlets WILL interrupt, and so they should, right? One day, when we're old and grey, and the kids dont want us anymore, then we can play wow all day long. Only they probably won't have it anymore by then huh? /sigh

Thanks for the cheer up - been in bed with a migraine most of the day and this definitely lightened my day. :)

Bob said...

@softi yeah, when I play wow and the kids are climbing all over me then I feel like I'm not being a very good day (and I usually get killed easily), so its much better to just log off and pay attention to your kids, but I think we've all attempted to play with kids on our laps at one time or another.

Anonymous said...

My son loved my enhancement shaman in ghost wolf form and the Feral Spirits he could summon.

"wolf wolf"

ok. ok. *assumes ghost wolf form*

"more wolf wolf"

ok. ok. *summons feral spirits*


*feral spirits expire*

*tantrum results*

*restart at top*


Bob said...

@bobturkey I suspect my kids would like that too if I ever actually played my shaman, he's been level 30 something for such a long time. Mostly my kids like to make my toon jump and like to hit random buttons to make windows pop up, needless to say, I don't play often when my kids are awake.