WoWing on the Go

Last night I was complaining to my guildies that I’m having trouble with blog posts these days. Now that finals are over, that I’ve flown to the other side of the country and that I’ve moved into my new home for the summer, I do have the time to sit and write blog posts. And I have been doing just that. Unfortunately, said blog posts always end up being:

1) About my trip; and/or
2) Very emo.

Thing is, so much has happened in such short time, I’ve ended up in this gorgeous location surrounded by mountains, ocean and oversized trees, I’ve met dozens of fantastic people and I’m planning two weeks of backpacking around British Columbia. I want to talk about it, dammit! As for the emo side, I dunno, I’m quite happy and bubbly these days. Traveling has got to be my favorite hobby and this trip has been one of the best I’ve done so far. I guess spending so much time with myself walking around, in transportation, in new and fancy coffee shops just sends brings out my pensive side. Pensive side. That’s it. Pensive, not emo. But still, if I say or write anything that might be interpreted as whining, I have this feeling my guildies will have me on mute and /ignore by the next time I log in.

Wait, guildies?

Well, yeah. Even when I’m living out of my backpack, WoW still gets the better of me. I’m obviously not raiding much, I made the raid last night, but that was the first time this week. Mostly I’ve been too busy with transportation and apartment hunting and, just like any trip, there’s that reasonable “I can play WoW whenever I want but I only get to be in this city/town/village/ditch next to the highway once.” Still, it’s entirely possible to do a few quests and brag to your guildies while relaxing after a crazy day of shopping/walking/eating overpriced but so delicious food/wine tours/white water rafting/rock climbing/whatever it is you do on your trips.

And because I need a topic that I actually feeling like writing about, I’m going to talk about gaming on the road.

Getting a decent laptop

If you don’t want your nomadic ways to get in the way of your playing, a gaming laptop is a must. I actually don’t really understand why anyone would want a desktop at the best of times. Gaming laptops these days perform really well, are super convenient and are affordable. Yes, affordable.

Snobs will tell you that you need to spend at least 5000$ on Alienware products to be able to handle the WoW loading screen, but that’s not true. I spent about one fourth of that on a Toshiba that excellently handles not only the WoW loading screen, but also 25 man raids, with tons of addons and my settings cranked up to maximum. Even my old 4 year old Gateway handled WoW decently as long as I kept my settings low.

Even if you don’t know anything about computers, buying a gaming laptop is still easy. Here’s how I do it:

1- Go to Staples and say “I want a gaming laptop so I can play WoW. I also destroy everything I touch so it has to be Bossy Pally-proof”

2- Go to Future Shop and say “I want a gaming laptop so I can play WoW. I also destroy everything I touch so it has to be Bossy Pally-proof”

3- Go to Cosco and say “I want a gaming laptop so I can play WoW. I also destroy everything I touch so it has to be Bossy Pally-proof”

4- Go to small sketchy computer shop and say “I want a gaming laptop so I can play WoW. I also destroy everything I touch so it has to be Bossy Pally-proof”

5- By then I have a good sample of what’s available, I’ve received different advice from several different sales people, enough to draw conclusions and make a decision.

6- Go to store carrying chosen model and make purchase.

The less wordy version is this: be clear about what you want, and want you want is something with a good graphics card and that can withstand abuse (good wireless is indispensable as well, but I’ve yet to see a good gaming laptop with crappy wireless) and get a few opinions so you don’t get taken advantage of or find yourself at the mercy of a computer n00b trying to make a living.

Transporting your gaming laptop

Traveling with a computer case, especially on planes, is a royal pain. It’s heavy, it’s hard to carry and you can’t fit much else in it. I readily admit that the only times I use my computer case is when I need to meet carry on requirements. Otherwise, I just put my laptop in my regular backpack.

If you’re worried about your computer, you can get laptop backpacks with extra padding. But really, a normal backpack is fine as long as you keep your bag with you at all times, don’t drop/throw it and don’t expose it to inhumane temperatures. When traveling by plane, make sure you make your laptop easily accessible. You’ll be asked to take it out when going through security.

If you’re bringing your laptop on your month-long hike in the Amazon rain-forest, you’ll probably want a bag with extra waterproof properties. However, as much as I believe you can WoW just about anywhere, I would advise against WoWing while on a month-long hike in the Amazon rain-forest.

In my experience, your fancy shmancy gaming mouse and impressive headset are most likely to be what gets destroyed during transit, not your laptop. The wires seem to have self destruction properties. Coil them gently and secure them with a tie wrap. If you’re not planning to game in airports, put your mouse in your suitcase with your clothes. Headsets can be placed at the very top of a backpack. They’re great to have around for long flights, far more comfortable than silly little earbuds.

If you have a physical authenticator (as you can see from that picture, I do), keep it in a small pocket on one of your bags, or on a keychain. ALWAYS put it back to the same spot. Nothing is more annoying than thinking you lost your authenticator on the streets of a distant city.

Finding Free Internet

Most hotels and youth hostels have wi-fi. Trains sometimes do. Coffee shops typically have free wireless. I’ve seen bars with it too (why, I cannot say) If you want to spend money, you can probably find gaming cafés around where you can use their computers to play WoW, but I dunno, it just feels…dirty.

When you’re using public networks, play it safe, make sure you have an authenticator. (I have no idea if people would be watching public networks for WoW information, but still, you should have an authenticator anyway.)

Interesting tidbit about hotel internet, it seems like the more expensive the hotel, the more inconvenient the internet.

General rule, if the internet is slow or shaky, playing WoW is not only annoying, but rude. Don’t hog the bandwidth if there isn’t enough to play the game properly.

On Playing in Public

It’s ok to play in public, as long as you’re not hogging bandwidth. Talking on vent in public is iffy. I know it’s a sad world where it’s socially acceptable to yell obscenities into your cell phone while in public while talking on vent is not.

I’ve done entire raids in hotel lobbies before and haven’t even been victim of a double look.

Just remember to enjoy your trip too

Let us forget about last year’s Noblegarden event. The event where I was in Toronto on a school trip and spend my evenings in my hotel room, camping eggs while my classmates were out partying. Let us forget that.

Do play WoW at times to unwind and keep in touch with your friends. Don’t ruin your trip by camping eggs.

Now you’ll have to excuse me, it’s almost time to make my way to the Greyhound station.

Explore posts in the same categories: Beyond WoW

Tags: , , ,

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

20 Comments on “WoWing on the Go”

  1. Pheadra Says:

    Great post! I always play on a laptop (yay, costco!) and it handled WoW pretty well. I can run all my crazy addons without it spazzing out.

    Have fun on your trip! You should post a photo gallery when you get back, so the rest of us can bask in the glory of you’re awesome trip, and be totally jealouos.

    Oh, and, camping eggs is a great way to ruin ANYTHING, not just a vacation. Highly unrecommended.

    • Ophelie Says:

      I have a few pictures up on Facebook already… I should do a “best of so far” post ^_^

      • Will Says:

        One of these days, Ophelie, I’ll find you on Facebook. There will be no place in which you can hide from me! [Shakes fist]

        (Of course, I’ll look like a fool if it turns out you’re on Facebook as “Ophelie”, given that I haven’t even tried looking for you yet… >.>)

        I hope you have a very enjoyable little vacation. And make sure you do the bulk of your drinking AFTER you do the bike riding through the mountains. 😉

        • Ophelie Says:

          I have the same picture on Facebook that I have on Twitter, but that’s the extend of it. I have my parents on Facebook so there’s no hints to the blog on it. You might find me if we have some mutual friends :).

          I’m traveling alone so I’m not drinking much, no worries 😉

  2. Ryan G Says:

    Have a great trip. Try not to hang out in ditches by the highway. That just sounds weird.

    Additionally, if you ever want to write something that’s not wow-centric, feel free to guest post on my blog.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Oh I don’t hang out in ditches by the highway (much) but I put it in there so those who do would feel included. Don’t want to make anyone feel left out!

      I might take you up on that offer! I haven’t the presence of mind to write much, but I probably will want to write about all my reflections soon.

  3. Jamie Says:

    At home, I’ve played mostly on my laptop rather than my desktop just because of the freedom of sitting anywhere inside or outside the house. When visiting family I take the MacBook and play WoW during “de-stress” times. When visiting my sweetie, I avoid WoW only because her hotel bandwidth barely let’s her play much less the two of us. On my next visit I’ll only have my iPad with me for web and mail and it’s games as I’m trying to travel more lightly. 🙂

    It probably helps that I haven’t played Kaiti or Kaitidin since Nov 29 though I have taken Caiti (Druid) up to 72 with a few days of play each month.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Oh wow, you haven’t played your 80s in a long long time!

      How are you and Maddi doing these days? I see she’s away for work again?

  4. Jen Says:

    Laptops yay! I have a laptop and a desktop, and I play equally on both. I got the gaming laptop because I wanted to play at my boyfriend’s place, and now that I bought a new desktop too, I let him use it when he’s here.

    – laptops get HOT. I need to get the fan cleaned but meh, lazy. They get hot and laggy, you will NEED a cooler pad.
    – laptops get broken. (Hint: never put your laptop bag on top of your troller, then drag the troller. [Ok, FF is saying troller is not a word, I mean one of those bags on wheels.] My case still has a hole in it. I bought an extra padded laptop sleeve… a day too late.)
    – gaming laptops are heavy fuckers. Don’t take one with you backpacking, unless you’re used to carrying a lot of stuff. I missed my laptop when I went to visit my guildies last month, but it would’ve killed me.

    Also, I bow before you for raiding in a hotel lobby. Maybe taking my laptop to Turkey this summer won’t be a bad idea 😀

    • Ophelie Says:

      Oh yes, the cooler pad! I love mine! I completely forgot to talk about that. I didn’t bring it backpacking with me since I don’t use my laptop for extend periods of time and cooling pads take up a lot of room, but when I’m playing at home, the cooler is a must have.

      If you travel a lot with a laptop, it’s helpful to invest is a really resistant one. I actually just carry mine in my small, carry on backpack and it does fine, I’m just careful to not drop or throw my bag around.

      Old gaming laptops are heavy (my old one was a killer!), but recent ones are much lighter! I carry mine around everywhere with no problems. When backpacking, I keep it in my smaller bag (the one I wear in front) as opposed to my large clothing/food backpack and it’s actually helpful in keeping me in balance.

      • Gameldar Says:

        I have a nice and light cooler pad – it’s certainly not as effective as some of the you-beaut powered ones but it does some of the job – and it’s not much thicker than a place mat.

        As part of the bed playing brigade – also be wary of having the vents covered by the quilt!

        • Ophelie Says:

          Yes! It’s tricky to keep a laptop from overheating in bed. My cooling pad servers as a little table, though, which keeps the computer a few centimeters above my legs. It helps a lot.

          • Jen Says:

            My laptop is at that stage in life when it’s just so full of dusts it overheats simply when I start WoW up, so no cooler pag=no go. I used to have a nice small one, but it died, so now I’m using my boyfriend’s slightly bigger and heavier one… which I end up putting on the bed, so it can’t evacuate air properly, so the laptop gets hot, so it runs at sucky FPS…

            The lesson here: clean your laptop frequently unless you like 2fps and people going ‘GET OUT OF THE FIRE OMG’.

    • Sougent Says:

      I haven’t used a normal desktop in years, I just use a laptop with a regular keyboard and mouse. WoW runs fine and it’s not even a “gaming” laptop, just a regular Sony Vaio.

      For cooling, I just prop the laptop up on 4 blocks of wood to let the air circulate, simple yet effective.

      A can of air works fine to blow out the fan, though care should be taken to not spin the fan super fast with the air. Best done outside, unless one likes dust.

  5. Bleu Says:

    I’m actually taking WoW on the road this summer, I have a road trip planned across the U.S. and aside from seeing the country am also gonna visit some folks I’ve met over my healing career =).
    Any suggestions for hotel/motel chains that you’ve noticed have better WiFi then others?

    • Ophelie Says:

      Awesome! I find meeting up with guildies to be the highlights of my trips, even when meetups weren’t my primary intention. It’s soo nice to put a human being to a voice and there’s the added bonus of having a local show you around a new place.

      As for hotels/motels, I usually stay in either hostels (when travelling alone) or slightly upscale hotels (when I’m travelling on a school trip/to a convention, aka when I don’t have a choice). Hostels usually have free, decent wifi, but unless you’re really lucky, the connection isn’t good enough for raiding. It’s either constant disconnects or lagcity. Larger hotels in big cities often charge for wireless access (wifi at the Sharaton in Toronto was ridiculously priced) but the connection is usually really good, good enough to raid. I’ve never stayed in a motel or a Holidays Inn/Days Inn type hotel before so I don’t know firsthand what the internet is like, but whenever I’ve had guildies try to raid from those hotels, they get disconnected a lot.

  6. Gameldar Says:

    Yay for laptop gaming – most useful (for me) for being able to play in bed while my better half sleeps! That is quality time isn’t it?

    And yay for affordable gaming laptop – from the photo it looks like I use exactly the same machine as you do!

    My pro tip for laptop gaming – buy the extended warranty (3 years for Toshiba) – they are guaranteed to die within a month of the warranty running out – but 3 years is better than 1 (I’m onto my third laptop now and that warranty + 1 month has been consistent so far). If the manufacturer doesn’t provide a warranty for more than a year (for example Dell Inspirons) it’s a pretty good indication that is won’t survive for long!

    • Ophelie Says:

      Ooooh good point! Very, very good point! I always buy extended warranties on my laptops (and I end up using them!) but I completely forgot to mention that! It’s also often worth getting warranties on headsets. I’ve gotten many free headsets that way.

      I totally play in bed too! Well, in reality I don’t have much of a choice since I don’t own a desk.

  7. KimboSlice Says:

    Smoke alot of that good BC bud 😛

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: