Apr 4th 2012 7:06PM @laelgon
Kids tend to take it personally when they're excluded from guilds (and even take it upon themselves to ignore age requirements--because what do those dull adults know, huh?). I respect them a lot more when they can respect other people's wishes. I have no problem playing with kids in general, but not every single one of you is a paragon of maturity--even the ones who honestly believe that they are--and it's up to the creator of an individual guild whether or not they want teens and kids in their guild.
A lot of the time it's not even about the kids and their maturity level, but about the content and theme of the guild, which is something I had a very hard time explaining to younger people when I was an officer of an 18+ linkshell in FFXI. It was mostly made up of people 21+ and had a very raunchy, drag club/bar-like atmosphere. The kids thought I was just being mean for excluding them because they were convinced they were mature enough to "handle it," and we had at least one person who faked their age, but all of them proved they were immature kids by not being able to take into account anyone's comfort level but their own. I don't care how well you can play adult; I don't want to find out that I've been discussing certain things in front of a child without my knowledge. And half the point of making a guild adults-only is to avoid the need to keep things strictly "family-friendly."
In short, kids often think they know best, and it leads them to blithely disregard the wishes of other people. I know, because I was a kid once, and while I sure as hell thought I was very responsible and mature, looking back I know some of the things I did were stupid, thoughtless, and inconsiderate of others' feelings.
Apr 4th 2012 5:53PM @Xo1o
Color me tempted but until we get giant glasses it just ain't happening.
Apr 4th 2012 10:14AM @Zertoss
He owns that suit. The others just look awkward as hell.
Apr 4th 2012 10:13AM Sazh is the only one who doesn't look like he's begging the viewer to grace him with the sweet, sweet release of death.
Apr 4th 2012 7:24AM @Valius
"[...]I got to the top by nerding the game hard for about a year, I regret throwing that time away immensely."
Which is interesting, because this is where a lot of the demand for more accessibility and less time investment comes from. It's not just people wanting instant gratification, as some here are arguing, but also people who are older, or who have discovered just how valuable their time is. I do think time investment should be rewarded at least somewhat in games if possible, but preferably in ways that don't impact progression.
Apr 3rd 2012 8:14PM @(Unverified)
You say earlier that if we nixed casual we'd have to replace the term with "garbage player," but that's exactly what you mean when you say it, so why not call it what it is? The problem with using the term casual interchangeably is that there's really no word for people who love a game, don't mind complexity, prefer huge feature lists and choices, and like a challenge, but don't have the time or inclination to play the game at a competitive level.
Garbage players are what you're referring to. And a lot of those people raid, and consider themselves hardcore. They basically want a co-op game where they can log in, kill a big monster, and log out, and consider anything else to be a waste of time by the development team. So in order to keep them happy, developers make the mistake of trying to focus on endgame content to the exclusion of nearly everything else, and that means having to make piddling concessions to the fact that not everyone enjoys that playstyle. So things end up in some bizarre middle ground, where the endgame players resent having their stuff "watered down for casuals," and the people who don't like to raid resent the fact that the only option open to them for character progression or high-end content is stuff they don't even really want to do.
Catering to the lowest common denominator happens even with a focus on raiding. It's the fault of lazy game developers who decide things are much easier when they can just shuffle everyone to max level and hope that they can make the same extremely limited set of gameplay options appeal to everyone once they're there.
Apr 3rd 2012 7:56PM @Valius
How is only logging on to do one thing not a casual level of play? It sure isn't hardcore.
Apr 3rd 2012 7:51PM @jimr9999us
That's...kind of a weird thing to take away from what I said. I really don't care what other people think of my playstyle, but I DO care about how the casual vs. hardcore debate affects the MMO community as a whole and find it really irritating that it's become near impossible to discuss features and gameplay styles without somebody feeling the need to draw a line in the sand and claim that X, Y, or Z is "too casual." Instead of judging games and their individual features on their own merit, we need to establish whether or not it adds to someone's Internet Badass score to play or participate in it, which is ridiculous.
Apr 3rd 2012 6:44PM @MMOaddict
Look, while I'm not a fan of TOR or anything, doing this kind of thing is just good marketing. RIFT does stuff like this and it's worked out really well for them. Hell, I'd venture to say that if more games in the past had done this kind of thing, they'd have better subscription numbers that might have -prevented- the need to go F2P.
Apr 3rd 2012 6:41PM Excellent article, Eliot. I think the number of people who are coming in here to argue the pejorative meaning of "casual" as the only correct definition underscores your point nicely. I'd like to get rid of the damned term just to kill a convenient bogeyman. "Casuals" as a broad group are not ruining games; shallow game development is a problem.
By far my biggest problem with the popular definition of "casual" as someone who can't or doesn't want to participate heavily in endgame or high-end PvP is that it devalues every other style of play. By that definition, in a game like ArcheAge, someone who spends all of their time establishing and running a player settlement is casual. In FFXI, it makes someone who has done every mission, leveled every job, maxed every craft, and gotten Maat's Cap a casual. In Guild Wars, a person who has 50/50 HoM points and maxed the Kind of A Big Deal title track might be considered a casual if they don't PvP heavily or spend a lot of time farming hard mode endgame areas.
How is a person who only logs in to raid or do their dungeon daily and only cares about one aspect of a game not a casual player? Because it doesn't sound as cool and dedicated as "hardcore"?