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WoWAug 28, 2016 6:00 pm CT

Tips for your Legion marathon

The Blizzard Watch team is planning to hold a laid back Legion marathon stream for the expansion’s launch … assuming the servers are functional. We’ve had a number of readers ask for tips and tricks for a gaming marathon and we’re happy to oblige. Our first tip? Don’t do it. People have died during gaming marathons. Sitting in one place for too long significantly increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis, which can kill you. Sleep deprivation leads to increased blood pressure, lower cognitive ability, and a vast array of other issues — which can kill you.

But, like us, you’re probably going to marathon Legion anyway. Keeping in mind we’re not doctors, we’re here to provide some tips to make your Legion marathon marginally less fatal.


Don’t neglect sleep entirely

Obviously, the thrill of the Expansion Marathon is staying up all night playing games. It hearkens back to childhood sleepovers where no one slept at all, or all-nighters playing games on summer  vacation. We’re all older now, though. I’d be surprised if we had more than a handful of readers under the age of 16 — right around when all-nighters progressively become less viable. Unless we hear otherwise from Blizzard in the next day or two, the expansion will become playable at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time Tuesday morning in North America. You probably have some time to rest before then. I’m located in the Central timezone. Knowing I’ll be marathoning, if I go to bed around 6 p.m. and wake up at 2 a.m., I’ve slept for 8 hours. If I go to bed at 8 p.m. instead, that’s 6 hours, which is still pretty good. That already gives me a good, long time to play while fully rested.

If you find yourself falling asleep at your desk, then go to bed. Legion will still be here when you get back. Don’t put yourself at risk just for another level, or another dungeon, or another quest. If nothing else, take a nap. A nap even as short as 10 – 30 minutes is known to be refreshing and beneficial, though obviously you shouldn’t go multiple days on nothing but 10 minute naps.


Get up and move

As mentioned at the start of this post, sitting on one position for long periods of time can be dangerous. Health experts often recommend at least 5-10 minutes of movement per hour. Working desk jobs, it can be hard to find that time on an hourly basis. While gaming, it’s easy to forget. We highly recommend not forgetting. If every hour seems unreasonable, go no longer than two hours without movement. To remind yourself to get up, take your potty break, take a walk around the block, whatever — don’t forget the tools you have within reach. Your phone has an alarm function. You can set a timer via a Google search simply by typing “timer” and setting a value as pictured above. You can even set an alarm within WoW itself by clicking the clock beneath your minimap in the default UI.

Make the most of that 10 minutes. Even if you spend it cleaning up the cans and wrappers around your desk, that’s great. Alternatively, take a stroll around the block, or take a well-needed shower. Whatever you do, do it while standing or walking. Even though I’ll be streaming our Legion marathon, I still plan to take breaks — and plan to force my co-streamers to do it, too.


Go easy on the caffeine

Most of us are going to indulge in caffeine to stay awake, whether it be coffee or energy drinks. I know it. You know it. Let’s accept it. However, you should not chain Red Bulls back-to-back. If you’re drinking a full can of your favorite energy drink more often than every few hours, you’re walking straight into the danger zone — and even every few hours is far, far beyond how much caffeine you should drink in a day. Drinking them nonstop for 24+ hour marathon is bad news, though. Don’t do it.

Find other beverages. Keep a pitcher of cold water around. Cold water, in the short term, can actually be extremely effective at waking you up if you find yourself fading away. And if you’re in a situation where you think you absolutely cannot stay awake any longer without pouring a Monster down your gullet, consider just sleeping instead.

As with all things, caffeinate in moderation. And if you are drinking these drinks at all, consider low carb/low cal versions or sugar free versions. Every little bit helps, right?


Use the bathroom

Don’t pee in a bottle, you animals.


Eat a decent meal

We’re all going to have our snacks for our marathon. We know this. But you shouldn’t skip out on meals or replace dinner with potato chips. You still have time before the expansion goes live. Use that time to prepare. If you have a slow cooker or a crock pot, go look up a recipe you think you’ll like and you can set it and forget it until you want it. Personally, I’m spending today making a pork roast in my slow cooker, the leftovers of which I’ll turn into a pork stew on Monday. That stew will last me a few days — meaning I can have my marathon and subsequent day of recovery and still have a hearty dinner each day without cutting into my playtime. With meat, potatoes, carrots, and barley, the leftovers will be robust enough to be a good meal for as long as it lasts.

When it comes to your snacks, try to balance the healthy with the unhealthy. You want your favorite chips, because you’re having a good time — and that’s fine. It’s fine unless you have three party-sized bags of them on your desk, which sounds ridiculous, but come on. We’ve all gone seriously overboard on the salty treats before. Take a note from our own Liz Harper:

Along with those salty pretzels in the back is a mix of nuts, fruits, and veggies. If salty snacks is what you’re after, consider nuts instead of more chips or crisps. You could even do air-popped popcorn or search your grocery store for baked chips rather than fried chips. And if you really want to make Illidan proud and be prepared, take another cue from Liz:

With a little forethought, you can make healthier snacks just as delicious and convenient as reaching into a bag of cheese puffs. And look at that wrap! Doesn’t that look delicious? Do that.


Don’t ignore your loved ones

Maybe the special people in your life understand your excitement for Legion. Maybe they don’t. Maybe they’re marathoning with you! In any case, treat them right. Legion doesn’t love you, but you have people in your life who do. If someone close to you needs a little affection, or a little help, don’t brush them off for a game. Hug your parents. Kiss your partner. Walk your dog. Play with the cat. Sing to the goldfish. Don’t risk damaging your relationships for a few days of gaming.

If you’re excited for Legion and truly want to celebrate with a marathon, go ahead — but be smart and be safe. Prepare. Listen to your body and respect those you love. Sleep well, eat well, shower, and enjoy your gaming.

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