Thursday, December 11, 2008


Keste and I were talking the other day about how sometimes, just sometimes, we really miss the /anon command. It’s an option in almost every MMO we’ve tried in the past for anonymous play. In fact, I’m having trouble recalling a game without it.

What /anon did was act like you weren’t online on friends and who listings. That’s it. Your guild wouldn’t see you as online, your friends wouldn’t know you were online and anyone searching in a /who for mages wouldn’t find Desdarii listed.

That is as far as it would go though. If someone just decided to send me a whisper, I would still get it. If someone saw me in town they could still interact with me fully. Desdarii wouldn’t be invisible. I would just opt out of being listed. Give the illusion I wasn’t around. You could still see and interact in guild chat and other channels, which would naturally blow your /anon cover.

Why in heaven’s name would anyone not want to tell people they’re online?

I can think of several reasons.

Limited time. You are just able to sneak in enough time to do some quests or check your mail and put stuff on the auction house. You could actually sneak on, do what you need to and log off before anyone starts asking for your time or assistance with something. Is it a big deal to just tell them you’re busy? Well no but some people get miffed when you tell them no even if you have a valid reason. This just lets you slip online, do your thing and slip away unnoticed.

A You Day. You spend all week helping others with dungeons they need and quests they ask for and just want a day to do whatever it is you want without interruption. There are still a ton of quests and rep chains I haven’t even started spread throughout the world. Perhaps it’s just a bit of time to do a little pvp. Whatever you plan on without interruptions from others.

Personal Tasks. You need 30 minutes to an hour to just do your dailies. You don’t want to be tempted away from this task by promises of dungeons or cupcakes. Other personal tasks like working on a tradeskill would also fall in this category. Going anon would let you sort of block that time off for yourself.

In a mood. I’m finding more and more as my pregnancy progresses that some nights people just peeve me off faster than others. I still have stuff I want to get done that night so avoiding the game altogether is not in the plans. Turning on /anon might help me from saying something I regret to others until I feel better.

All we really have for an option right now is Do Not Disturb (/dnd) which many other games have as well as the /anon option. It’s just not the same. It doesn’t prevent people from messaging you. Sure they get a message letting them know you are busy but it can be ignored and the whispers could keep rolling in. In fact, I've tried using /dnd on a particularly moody day with a message that warned "Preggers is hostile tonight" but it didn't prevent anyone from continuing to talk to me. I finally removed the dnd message since it obviously wasn't affective. Anonymous play allows you to prevent some whispers to begin with because folks don’t know you’re online!

It’s not something I would use all the time. For the most part I’m ok being found by the masses. Probably the most common reason I would use it for is blocking off daily time. I’m not very good with repetitive tasks and as a result can be easily lured away for any reason. It would also be useful to force me time to search for ore for jewelcrafting. I do dislike scrounging for ore. For now I can try to just keep using /dnd and hope I can stay strong enough to finish my tasks before flying off.

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