As a kid I used to love going to amusement parks for all the rides and to maybe get some cotton candy. But as an adult I cringe when someone recommends going to an amusement park because I have grown to hate waiting… especially in lines. As much as I hate waiting in real life I am surprised at how much waiting I endure when I am playing a video game.
Traveling to and from different locations in a game can generate a lot of waiting time. The one example I can remember from World of Warcraft is the Deeprun tram that runs from Ironforge to Stormwind. Not only is there a wait for the tram to arrive at the station, but add the travel time for the trip to the destination. I suppose both the tram and the boats, that traveled from to each of the world’s continents, operated rather frequently so the wait times were not unbearable, but using a flight path could take a while depending on the where your character had to go. Some games like Fallout do not have any vehicles for travel so it was a game important to find locations on the map for quick-travel later in the game.
Queuing systems can also cause a lot of wait time. For example, now that it is not the latest and greatest FPS, finding an online game in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is almost impossible. Of course that is due to the lack of popularity of the game, but even MMOs with servers busting at the seams can experience long queue times as well. Trying to join a world-versus-world map at peak hours in Guild Wars 2 can take quite a while.
Crafting and gathering systems are notorious for increasing the wait time to create items. Some games do this better than others, but waiting seems to be core mechanic of crafting. First of all finding and gathering all the materials needed can take a long time especially when some materials are found in specific dungeons. After all the materials are gathered there is the wait time watching the crafting progression bar.
These are just a couple of examples of waiting in a video game. What have you had to wait for in your favorite game?