What is the real cost of playing WoW

Monday evening, I sat down at my computer for a normal evening of playing World of Warcraft, except tonight was different.  I had a bright red message on my screen, that there was a Trojan detected on my computer and I needed to restart for my virus program to fix.  This ended up being a very long process and resulted in having a lot of time to think about how much does this hobby “really” cost.

In the end it took me well over 5 hours of time to fix, and required me to completely reinstall Windows wiping my entire system.  This is not a new PC, I have had it for going on 5 years now, so in the grand scheme of things, I may be due for a new one.

So what is the cost.  $15 a month?  That is always a number we toss out as it being worth $15 a month for playing vs. other activities, even going to a movie.  The cost of 1 new DVD, or perhaps renting 3 movies a month.  But is that really the cost.  Like I mentioned I had plenty of time to think while sitting there waiting for programs to run in order to fix my computer.

I think we all acknowledge the $15 sub fee.  But what else is there.  Well we have the cost of the game, we have the cost of our computer, internet access, whether or not we pay for sites such as Ask Mr Robot, or if we are a Paetron for fan sites like Blizzard Watch.  There are many extra’s we do not consider in our claims of $15 a month.  I did a break down over a 5 year period since most would be looking at either a new PC or a major upgrade every 5 years, or less.

Since WoW is extremely good at making their game playable on older PC’s I will use a figure of $1000 so $200 a year over 5 years.  And I don’t want to get into semantics on well you use it for other things.  This is strictly for playing WoW.

PC :  $17

Subscription:  $15

Cost of 2 1/2 expansions over 5 years $4

I debated using my own internet access cost, but will assign a $10 a month number.  I am sure it could be greater.

So easily it has grown to over $45 a month.

So when I was sitting there wondering if I was going to be able to get my computer back up and running, looking at these numbers, I started to wonder, and I getting $45 a month worth of value from this game, and I was surprised at my own thoughts that no, I really am not.  Now it is no fault of the games, there is a great deal of things I could be doing, that really have no interest to me, I could be devoting more time to playing every day, and even at $1.50 a day, less than I pay for a cup of coffee, it still could be deemed an exceptional value.  But it was definitely a tipping point for me.  If I was unable to get my computer back up and running, I would have been relegated to using an older computer we have that is unable to play WoW without upgrading quite a bit, but is more than capable of playing a lot of dusty older games barely touched over the years.

For now my computer is back up and running, clean as it was the day I purchased it.  SO I am still here, filling your heads with my non sense ideas and Mere Peon ideals on how the game is for me.

Some things of note that I did find out.

You can while in Safe Mode copy files from your computer to a Flash Drive.

Reinstalling WoW from scratch is painful, and do not believe with the 30 gig download when it says playable, that it is.  Unless you consider 10 minute load screens, having no buildings, or NPC’s to interact with, playable.

You will never remember all the add on’s programs you have installed.

And you will end up spending many hours running updates to your computer, for windows, virus programs, redoing all of your favorite web sites, remembering all of your log in passwords, and on and on.

This is the first time in at least 15 years I have had to deal with the aftermath of a computer virus, and I hope I never have to deal with it again.



Going to add some additional thoughts because of some additional tweets.

This is based on my personal use.
My computer at home is used 95% of the time just for WoW.

I have not included the fact that my wife also plays, or that she has a custom Gaming rig.

I have not included the actual cost of our high speed Fios internet, used a low figure of about $10 since there are so many variables, DSL, free Wifi, Dial up, etc.

I have not included that we also pay $125 a year for the guilds vent service.

And the $1000 figure is for purchasing a low-mid range PC for gaming, those that can build from scratch obviously can do better, also those that choose to purchase more powerful computers would pay more.


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