Guest post: Bio break, Murf-style

Syp is AFK on vacation this week and put out a call for substitute writers! Today’s guest post is brought to you by Murf of Murf Versus. Check out his blog for more great word-stuff!

As ardent MMO enthusiasts, I imagine we all have our fair share of bio break related stories. When Syp asked for guest posts, I very tongue-in-cheek said only if I get to talk about bio breaks. He called my bluff and here I am.

Going to the bathroom is rarely an adventure. Going to the bathroom while having an online adventure often can be. I remember my younger days, the days of EverQuest and Ultima Online, when I was carefree and able to stay up all night long. My father hated that I did that. He’d get on to me anytime he caught me, and he often did. I would be finishing up my epic adventures around five in the morning when he would first be getting up. He always thought I was wasting my summer days while I slept in until near dinner time.

I will not gross you out with details, but it is amazing how creative the young can be when avoiding the ire of their parents.

Flash forward a few years to the height of The Burning Crusade, and my days of holding in for epic loot were in even fuller swing. Instead of avoiding judgement by my father, I was avoiding judgement by my peers. And by epic loot, I meant it, as this was the era in which I was one of those hardcore, server-first, elitist raider types.

I doubt every dedicated raiding group is blessed with one, but my guild had a tank that everyone loved. He was our guild leader and raid leader as well. On the rare nights when he was not present, we went from a guild doing server firsts to a guild ranked server last. He was our glue and a real charming bastard to boot. We had the healers and the damage dealers to back him up, but without him, we were completely lost.

It turned out the scheduling was rough on him. We were only doing three nights a week, but he was there for raids early and stayed on past our cutoff. He also had a full-time job and he regularly logged in on off nights to help farm for the guild bank. I imagine he also spent a lot of time reading or researching raid strategies as well.

Table setting done, our story takes place one raiding eve during a particularly busy period for our guild. We had taken over as the server’s top guild only recently and we were pushing hard to finish Kael’Thas first in Tempest Keep. We had even added a few extra progression nights to keep up our pace.

We were having an off night. Instead of breezing through the bosses of Tempest Keep, we were wiping on Void Reaver, the raid’s second boss. As you can imagine, there was a lot of cursing and arguing about people taking too many balls to the face. It was a frustrating evening as they sometimes are, but there was a noticeable lag with our fateful leader. Rather than his chipper, optimistic self, he sounded tired and worn down. He was still both chipper and optimistic, just less so than usual.

After a particularly gruesome wipe, he declared bio break in officer chat. He also mentioned changing his laundry. It turns out, with all the extra raiding, his regular chores were lagging behind too. The other officers all call a break since we cannot proceed without our leader.

Five minutes pass and he doesn’t come back, then fifteen and he still hasn’t returned. Worry starts to set in. Several officers were personal friends of his, so they start calling him. We play a game where we all yell into our mics on Vent hoping to get his attention. A defeated night suddenly turns somber when no one receives any answer.

Utterly confused and wrought with worry, we’re forced to call the night early. We weren’t making any progress and no one had the heart to keep trying.

The next day in the early evening, almost twenty four hours later, our raid leader’s bio break ends. Some of us were running some random heroics when he suddenly popped into Vent and logged into game. We were overwhelmed with relief that he was okay.

He apologized profusely. He felt so bad that things had ended because of him and that the entire guild was left hanging.

Turns out, after taking a bio and starting his laundry, his dirty clothes looked so comfortable that he laid down for a moment. That moment turned into a night and then a day and then more of the following night.

We never let him hear the end of it. To this day, when someone says they are taking a bio break, I worry they will go to asleep doing their laundry instead. No one is around who gets that thought, but it still makes me smile.

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