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Posts with tag hardcore-casual

The useful distinction between casual and hardcore

The useful distinction between casual and hardcore
Earlier this week, WoW Insider's Matthew Rossi argued that there is no point in distinguishing between hardcore and casual players, and that doing so actually detracts from the game. I, however, don't agree and will be presenting a counterpoint in this article. So, if you haven't read Rossi's side yet, be sure to check it out first.

Now before I explain why I think the distinction between hardcore and casual is useful, I think it's necessary that we all be on the same page as far as what hardcore and casual actually are. I found Rossi's argument against the usage of these words particularly flawed because he was working around an assumed and rigid definition of what a hardcore player and a casual player are. Toward the end of his article he pointed out that the casual/hardcore metric doesn't work when you consider the various ways in which some players are engaging with the game. Not every player raids, he explained, but that doesn't mean they can't be hardcore.

Now, I agree with that for the most part, but I disagree with his understanding of hardcore and casual. You see, hardcore and casual are not and have never been part of any metric. It's actually impossible for them to have ever been since the definition of casual and hardcore is subjective. Ask any two people what kind of behavior distinguishes a casual player from a hardcore player and the answer will be different in some way ... And if the definition of something varies from person to person, it can't logically be used as a standard of measurement.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Defining Playstyles: Beyond casual vs. hardcore

In a recent Totem Talk post, I made a loot list for enhancement shamans that have access to ICC but are not progression raiders, because they are either alts or they are -- drum roll, please -- casual. That's right: I used the c-word without context. Casual. There, I said it again without context. Excuse me while I duck from the rotten vegetables being thrown in my direction.

The use of that c-word in relation to an Icecrown Citadel loot list sparked a very interesting comment thread. Most comments were well thought-out, added value and furthered the discussion. Some were, to borrow Adam Savage's favorite term, vitriolic, because of my heinous misuse of the term "casual." I said it again without context. I'm just casually throwing around "casuals" here.

Given the reaction that post received, I started doing some research into what exactly "casual" and "hardcore" actually mean. What I found was not surprising at all: They mean completely different things to absolutely everyone. The MMO population of players, across all games, is estimated at over 61 million people. There are as many variations on play time and playstyle as there are players in the game. Do you really think we can divide this many people simply into two groups of just casuals and hardcores?

I think it's time we move beyond the polarizing definitions of casual and hardcore and come up with some definitions of our own.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WoW Rookie: When Rookie Lane crosses Raider Boulevard

New around here? See all our collected tips, tricks and how-to's for new players in the WoW Rookie Guide.

Today's WoW Rookie blows the whistle in a bit of traffic directing at the buzzing intersection of Raider Boulevard and Rookie Lane. This isn't a casuals-versus-raiders debate -- far from it. What we have today is more of a guide on how to peacefully co-exist with players who enjoy the game in a very different way than you do. While we've written on this topic before, reader Peter sent in a request that made us consider that it might be time to revisit the issue.
Hi! I just wanted to say I love the "WoW Rookie" column, and I've been playing since release! For someone who's kinda nervous about jumping into the LFG tool, your Grouping 101 article made it less nerve-raking for me to do so.

I don't know if you could even publish this, but I would LOVE to see an article on how new players can deal with elitists and being insulted in game about their gear and skill level. With all the new influx of players Cataclysm is expected to bring, it would be very helpful (for people like me too) to see how others deal with the various negative people in the game.

Thanks again for a great website and service!

--Peter

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

[1.Local]: Shoved into the deep end


Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Yeah, we know you've already got Algalon on farm -- WoW.com readers are just uber that way. But for the rare handful of you still playing at a somewhat less stratospheric progression point ... How about those patches? Is the flow of new content keeping pace with your playstyle and interest?

"The pace of new content is fine – ooh, shiny :)," wrote Julie. "What worries me is the rate at which old content becomes obsolete (which is way too fast). For example, I'm glad Ulduar and Emalon are out. I hate the fact you can't do Archavon without doing Emalon. I also hate the fact that there's no reason to go into Naxx (Pro-Drake, badges, etc.) or heroic five-mans, for that matter. Basically I'm ok with the new content coming out; not ok with being forced to move to the new content the moment it does, however. There should be some balanced incentives to keep doing older content."

Is your guild working patiently through the existing content at its own rate, or has the addition of new content shoved you out into the deep end before you were ready?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, [1.Local]

Forum post of the day: Serious business decisions

WoW has changed considerably over the years, often for the better and sometimes for the worse. Better and worse are, of course, a matter of perspective. Slovotsky of Turalyon is getting fed up with people complaining about the easing of raids. He's confident that Blizzard made the choice to lower the difficulty on raids because more of the player base can now have a chance to experience them. He disagrees that casual players have ruined the game. Familiarity may also lead to boredom. Some of the guilds that have progressed through Naxx have already done so either in the Pre-BC era or on the PTR.

As some pointed out, Blizzard is a for-profit business. The company's job is to sell a product, not to rule with a heavy hand or coddle the incompetent. The switch to an inclusive raiding environment was most likely a marketing decision. Caydence of Draka drove this point home, to rebut the argument that players will quit WoW because it's easier. It is simply a better business decision for Blizzard to alienate the "hardcore" players who make up a small minority. She suggested that the subscriber base has grown with each ease in difficulty.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

[1.Local]: No one plays WoW because of clams

Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

My city of ruins
We suspect that reader Vektorix may have a bright future as a developer. Confronted with the state of Quel'danas today, he offers an idea that meets with resounding approval from other readers: "I really think that after all the work that was put in to taking and holding the Isle, killing Kael'thas and banishing Kil'jaeden, Blizzard should declare the war won and Quel'danas should become WoW's first resort. Beautiful golden sun, pleasant environment, no mobs -- it'd be the perfect sanctuary for weary adventurers. Who would hang out in Dalaran or Shattrath when there's a beach!!?"

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Filed under: Features, [1.Local]

[1. Local]: He broke out the mad baby pic

Reader comments – ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week. Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts – unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

The great Hunter nerf of 2008
We knew this week was off to a rousing start when our mailbox began filling up with "ZOMG!!11! Hunter nerf!!1!" e-mails. Just how big a nerf it was began to sink in when Adam Holisky capped his post on the topic with the image of a face that has launched a thousand QQs. "Oh boy, you guys broke out the mad baby pic!" exclaimed InsaneAssault. "This is serious business. Haven't seen that guy since the honor carryover article."

Even those who weren't familiar with Mad Baby realized the gravity of his presence. "Where is the mad baby picture from originally? Does anyone know what happened to that kid?" wondered Frijona. Who nerfed that poor Mad Baby? Readers suggested a few theories – but we'll leave it to you to dig those theories out of the comments for yourself.

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Filed under: Hunter, Features, Death Knight, [1.Local]

Hardcore Casual finds himself "stuck in easy mode"

Hardcore Casual has a post up about how easy he says World of Warcraft really is -- just by learning your class, getting the right gear, and theorycrafting a bit, you can roll right through, and get to the point where even yellow or sometimes even red monsters don't give you trouble.

There is one viewpoint here (and it's not one that I necessarily espouse) that HC is just falling into the old "hardcore/casual" trap that Penny Arcade put so well this week -- he thinks that he's casual, when actually, if you're running higher-level-than-you're-meant-to five man instances with your friends (and theorycrafting a bit), you're actually what Blizzard would consider a hardcore player, and thus of course the game is easy for you. But while I think there's a little bit of that going on here, I don't think we need to go that far: the fact is that WoW is an easy game. That's how it's garnered such a big audience. And anyone who has ever beaten Diablo is going to find that yes, if you read a guide or two, run the right instances at the right times, and put some thought into your specs, you'll have an easy time.

So what HC asks for is the difficulty to scale -- instead of just Normal and Heroic, have three or four modes that players can choose to set their own experience. A few games have done this already, and indeed, Blizzard may decide that that's called for in future instances (though it seems unlikely that they'll do this on older content, considering how they've abandoned it so far). But for now, WoW is an easy game, and that's the way Blizzard wants it. After all, you don't get a 10 million subscriber base by beating players up.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Leveling

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