I refer to myself as a serious casual raider. Many people will read into what that means as different things. I often see people quoting a line that is probably as old as RPGs go. Anyone that plays more then me is hardcore and anyone that plays less then me is casual.
That might make sense and be true in many cases but a complete elitist that says that would classify me as a casual and I am most assuredly not. A casual does not play every day. So that is not me. I think I fit that one quote perfectly, as I am sure other would say the same of themselves but there is a difference. I can back it up when I say that fits me perfect where as they are just trying to justify their status when they say it.
So lets look at the three main types I am referring to. Hardcore, Serious and Casual. There will be mixes of the three of course, like I call myself serious casual and someone can be hardcore casual even if you might not realize it.
There are also different type of hardcore/serious/casual. This is the list for the raiders.
Hardcore: It is a desire to be the absolute best. This means top enchants, top gems, and best professions for the bonuses as well as possibly working on training dummies for hours on end. Hardcore means you are willing to raid 24/7 if need be to make sure you get the job done. You will take off from work if you are getting close to that kill. You will tell your girlfriend or boyfriend that tonight is no good, you have to get this done. Hardcore will sacrifice other things in an effort to say they are the best.
Serious: You want to be good at what you do. You will use the best gems and enchants just like a hardcore player, but will step down one step to save some gold if you know that you might be getting an upgrade tomorrow. For a hardcore player one day without the best gems and enchants could kill them but for a serious play one day, or even three, is okay. A serious player might not have the best professions for getting the bonus stats because they want what they want and are not willing to switch for only 20 DPS more. If they are doing 10K and downing the boss, they are happy, they will not go crazy trying to make it 10,020.
Casual: Doesn't play every day and even when he does he doesn't do much with his time on. It takes him forever to level, forever to gear up and forever before then can see any end raid content. They might not even have maxed professions. They surely will not have the right gems, gear or spec for their character because it is not worth the extra money or time to get everything. They will always be glad that they are doing good enough but never really worry about doing better. They have no pressure playing being they have no real goals in the game other then wasting some time and having some fun.
I would say most people fit the serious category, at least most people I have met would. I fit the serious mold like a glove. It is a perfect fit. I do try my best but I will not drop herbalism just to get a tiny DPS boost. I always top gem and enchant everything, unless it is an alt, then I will never use top gems or enchants on any item under level 232. So that quote does it me well, anyone that plays more is hardcore and anyone that plays less in casual.
I am serious/casual because I only have one main that is top geared for end game raiding. My other characters are there for support professions and for fun. Even the 80s do not get much play time. When I am on them I am on them, no rush to get them better. So the serious/casual works for me.
I would love a taste of the hardcore end of the game but I am not going to respec for every fight or change my professions just for a tiny boost in my output. That would lock me out of most top end game guilds. If it were not for those things I might even call myself hardcore/casual.
Most of these classes that people fit into can switch at the drop of a hat. Many casual players could be hardcore, but they do not have the free time. Lots of hardcore players would lose that status the moment they found a job or girlfriend/boyfriend that took up more of their time. Any serious player can take time off or step up their game to move into one of the other two.
Remember, in the end, the main difference between Hardcore, Serious and Casual is time, how much of it you have free and willing to spend on a game will drop you neatly into one of those categories.