The Daily Grind: How long are you willing to wait in an MMO?

The hardest part.

Tom Petty said it best in song format: “The waiting is the hardest part.” And let’s be clear about something, this question is not about grinds. It’s not about long projects. It’s about waiting. It’s about sitting at the door of a dungeon and waiting for your last party member to arrive, or running through low-level zones to get to where you need to go, waiting for boats, waiting for something to recharge, just… normal… waiting.

Now, a certain amount of waiting is just part of MMOs. No game is delivering constant stuff in your face in every second; even WildStar had moments of downtime. But some games are heavier on the waiting than others, and in some games the waiting can stretch on for the better part of an hour if you’re unlucky. So how long are you willing to just wait in an MMO? Just sitting, doing nothing, but just… waiting?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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I am easily amused. Time spent waiting is time spent using my imagination, browsing stats/achievements, enjoying the scenery, harassing others, talking to myself, whatever. I’d rather spend time waiting, chatting with others, than on a wild goose chase an day, personally.


I tank as a main beyond comming to find I love it but it was 30+ minute dpa queues that killed my fun when I don’t have 4 hour sessions to play and also when I play non peak hours. I don’t mind waiting like back in the day trying to form an organic group outside a dungeon but I am sorry dungeon queues piss me off. The biggest issue I have with them is I should be able todo any instanced content while waiting if it is solo for my party queue I should not have to forgo so much content that is now not accessible if I a queue.

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Richard de Leon III

I hate waiting for a group, either with a long queue or applying in a standard group finder. Which is prolly why i advocate solo paths to gearing and progression.


I distinguish between downtime and waiting.

Whilst on the surface, they are the same (periods of doing nothing), they serve very different purposes. I NEED downtime, but I dislike waiting.

Downtime is essential to give my brain a break after concentrating hard. If I do a boss fight, or some PvP, or whatever the content is, it takes energy to focus and get in the zone. Downtime serves a useful purpose in giving me a break so I don’t burnout. At minimum, i would guess I need 5 minutes downtime per hour on average, but the more intense the content, the more downtime needed.

Waiting serves no purpose. Its just doing nothing, its not relaxing, or inherantly social. Its just a state of anxious anticipation for whatever you are waiting for. I’m not particularly patient, so I don’t like waiting. I’ll go do something else instead.


u want to read that book? great! but first u have to scroll 1337 blanket pages…


I been an avid JRPG gamer for years patience then it did not help playing eve online for years where skill training takes days and month and years. So I can wait for as long as needed and now being with out job (Looking for one but it´s hard when several 1000s have lost theirs thanks to pandemic) I got plenty of time.

Oleg Chebeneev

SC tought me patience


Honestly, not very long. I don’t have as much free time to game now as I did when I was younger, so I don’t have much patience with spending that limited time staring at the screen waiting for something to happen.

I have more tolerance of it if I’m waiting for something that legitimately takes time (like waiting for group members) versus for an arbitrary amount of time because the game has gated something off.

In general, though, I just want to jump in the game and go for whatever time I have rather than waiting around.


Pure waiting? As in, not only I have to wait, but I can’t do anything else in-game because the game prevents me (like using WoW’s taxis)?It will have me AFK while I do something outside the game (often playing a different game on my second monitor or a portable console) within 10 seconds. I have absolutely no tolerance for pure waiting in-game, at all.

What’s more, I keep track of how much time those dumb systems made me waste, and if the wasted time becomes too much I leave the game. I have absolutely no respect for developers that refuse to respect my time.

It can be worse, though. Some game systems, like WoW’s boats and zeps, might not prevent you from doing something else, but getting distracted can make you miss whatever you were waiting for and, thus, waste all the waiting you did. For the most part I refuse to engage in such systems, and if forced to there’s a good chance I will simply stop playing.

This is different from things simply taking a long time, BTW; while I have a huge issue with, say, taking a Gryphon in WoW that will need 5 minutes to take me to my destination, I find manually walking for 5 minutes to get to my destination far less annoying because at least I’m doing something. Similarly, if something is going to take a long time, but I can keep doing other things while I wait, I have little to no issue with the “wait”.

(Incidentally, I actually like the travel time in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks because, while you are basically waiting for the vehicle you are in to get to its destination, those games added an on-rails shooter element to the travel. In both those games Nintendo turned what would otherwise be a boring wait into an interesting mini-game.)

TL,DR: My issue isn’t with how long things take, but with being prevented from doing anything else in the meantime — or worse, being forced to pay attention while I wait. Any system like that can go die in a fire.

IronSalamander8 .

Generally very little as I’m so impatient that I’ve actually yelled at the microwave for taking too long to pop corn.

I did play EQ for years though, so waiting was a big chunk of my time there. I’d often work on making arrows or something (I was an SK main so just used them to pull sometimes), while waiting. It’s been easier in last dozen years or so though as I run something like Minecraft in the background so I can just mess about there while waiting in an MMO, so the waiting is more palatable.