Guide to Gaming in Limited Times




[u]Guide to Gaming in Limited Times[u]

The Introduction

My own recent experiences – dealing with a hectic job, spending time with family and keeping the house form being condemned as a hazardous laundry area – had me thinking lately about ways to enjoy COH without having to plunk down 3 or 4 hours at a stretch. Those lazy Sunday afternoons when there’s nothing to get in the way of the next level or three, or when your SG is on, and it’s time to trek through a TF, are great – but what do you do when you’ve got an hour while your Significant Other watches Desperate Housewives* ?

(* or American Chopper. Pick one.)

Here’s some thoughts:

1. Set a goal for your session

It’s good to have the feeling, when you’re looking at the log-out screen, that you managed to build your character in some way. This can be obvious: you hit 12 and bought DOs, or finally got your 18, 26, 32, etc power. Or maybe you got to another level of slots, or finally reached Stamina. But as the game goes along, and when you’re faced with a time crunch, find things to motivate yourself.

Some ideas might be: get your next costume slot, or aura access; decide on a badge you want to work on (or just get via exploration); clear that lingering mission; start a story arc; lead a good steam-rolling radio-missions group; try an alternative tactic with your powers and see if it helps; and so on.

If you’re short on time, you get more out of it if you can think: “Gee, I didn’t get to 43 today, but I did make a cool costume, and I did make some cash at the AH.”

(Of course, see 5 and 6, below.)

2. Have something to work towards, longer-term

This idea follows naturally from the above – maybe what you see as the accomplishment of each quick session is a small step toward something big. This could be the working at something insane, like the Indestructible Badge, or figuring that earning a bubble of XP per sit-down is your step-by-step way to get to The Next Cool Power.

Maybe it’s something as simple as “earn cash to get the recipe to make Rain of Arrows even better.”

3. Plan what you want to do, beforehand

Why waste gaming time figuring out who your’e going to play, or what you might do? If you have an hour to be online and save the world, can you really let that time go to waste? If you know ahead of time what your “plan” is for the night, you’re good to go that much faster.

Plus, like yours truly, you likely have a workday (or school day?). It’s a nice diversion in those long meetings to figure out which story arc you’re hitting next, or to decide on whether you want to find a PUG with your blaster, or run a lowbie-mission or three with those SG mates who rolled new alts.

4. Stick to a character

Spreading small amounts of time over a bunch of alts can leave you feeling like your’e treading water. Sure, the playing is always fun – but it’s nice to see your characters gain in power, experience and badges. As you get higher, a lot of more interesting and newer content is available as well – if only because you’ve already seen the Hollows eighteen-million times, so anything else has to be more engaging.

Following from 1 and 2, staying with one character or even two lets you see real progress, and can counteract the annoyance of not having a full day to spend 5 hours a piece on each of your 30 alts. (Yes, the math is wrong. But it feels that way!)

5. Avoid WW and the Black Market

This may sound like heresy, but deciding not to hit the Auction House can make a big impact on your enjoyment when time is short. I find that the consignment house system is a great addition to the game – it’s a good money sink as you rise in levels, a nice source of funding for low alts, and there’s good customization options for your characters. If you know that you’re going to just drop things there to be stored, that’s one thing. But it’s far too easy to get sucked in, whether it’s researching how to price your weird, rare recipe or salvage, or checking to see if you can get that one invention you were looking for. Getting the most out of the AH takes time – consider how you’ll feel if you just spent half your playtime and only have a “well, I didn’t buy anything” to show for it.

Think about setting aside a busy night, or a specific gaming session some time in the week, to game the AH, post your stuff for sale and do the longer, more complex tasks.

6. Be realistic about tweaking your costumes

This is really a subset of 1 and 3, but I had a recent night where I logged on thinking that I’d just dash off a quick Tech-themed costume for one of my characters to use in the Rikti War Zone. Fast forward to an hour later…. And I’m still not satisfied.

If you’re reading this and scratching your head over how anyone can spend an hour on the costume editor – move along, move along. For you, O other readers, and for me: when you’re going to do a new costume, set aside some time and don’t plan on much else.


I hope this interesting; if not, pass on by – if you have your own tips, share!



It is critical that you pay attention at this time.

Gaming in Limited Times
Guide to Plant/Ice Doms



I always just end up running door mish. Trying to find PuGs is an exercise in frustration, especially with all the standing around while "lfm" or people going AFK. You know what, if you take 10 minutes to get to the friggin mission, I *am* starting without you. Deal with it. Arg. I had a group tell me to stop whining about them being slow the other day, so I quit. I just don't need the headache. Plus in COH the other challenge to doing story arcs is so much time is lost in travel -- at least in COV they tried a little harder to keep arc mish in the same or nearby zones.

"Sometimes you have to roll the Hard Six." -- Adama
Teabagging Ms. Liberty -



Excellent guide! One question though, and I am sorry if I seem like a noob, what is a PUG?



ty, yes, most of the time that is very frustrating



Except for the odd rare recipe, you can often garner more influence/infamy by having set prices to dump various things quickly and then going out to gather more lewt than you can by standing there agonizing over getting every last penny.

Gerbils are for wimps. Real men use badgers.