First for the purpose of this post we need to describe what I mean in this case for casual and hard core. Hard core means grinding until you get what you need, like working your butt off to get all the resist gear needed back in vanilla or things like that. Hard core, for this means time spent. Casual means things you can choose to do or not to do but they usually take a little bit of time so they are not a big time sink. Think fishing daily, cooking daily, 15 minute dungeons.
Now to my question.
Is too casual actually hard core?
When there are a few casual things you can do the pass the time then even doing them all does not amount to a huge amount of time spent. Knock out a dungeon or two, maybe the LFR, your cooking and fishing dailies each day and maybe the jewelcrafting daily if you happen to be a JC as well and you could spend as much as 5 hours in game. 5 hours, while it might sound like a lot, is actually pretty casual if done over the course of the week.
When mists comes out they are adding a whole slew of casual activities and quality of life bonuses like the LFR roll buff that requires you to do some casual things to get it. These are all good things right?
But for someone that is a serious but casual player, the type that will do all their dailies every day because it takes no time at all however they feel as if they need to do them, when does the addition of casual activities that they feel they will need to do turn that casual player into a hard core player?
The ultimate casual player might log on now and do the cooking and fishing dailies, maybe run a dungeon or two here and there and occasionally try to get the LFR in, if they can.
If they add other profession based dailies that ultimate casual player that does their profession dailies will feel compelled to do them as well, being they will only take 5 minutes anyway.
Add up 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there and suddenly you are spending a lot more time on that character daily and even more so when you add it up to a weekly or monthly basis.
Lets say you want to test the waters in all the new things like pet battles and farming and challenge modes and scenarios, just to start, and suddenly you have added nearly double the amount of time you where spending on the character into the game.
Casual players do not mean bad player or undedicated players, it just means someone that does not spend a great deal of time on the game. Just adding these little casual activities, even if each on their own takes less then 15 minutes, perfect casual time, you are adding stuff to the casual players day.
Even the most casual of casual players might consider themselves compelled to complete these tasks because of the perceived casual nature of them. Each one on its own takes less then 15 minutes in many cases right? That means casual and that means it is for them to do.
Lets move it past the most casual of casual players to the somewhat casual player. Someone that does not play a great deal and does not stress it or go way out of their way for things but is somewhat serious. They surely will feel compelled to complete all these tasks. They would figure they are quick, they are easy, so I should do them if I am serious.
Add the new LFR loot rules and you throw another casual friendly thing to the game that actually will eat more time up. Many people are like myself and outside of their main character(s) they rarely bothered with the LFR. You have to deal with 24 people, sometimes half of them mentally challenged, and deal with bad people winning rolls, and deal with the chance that nothing might drop at all that you could even roll on nevertheless win. It just means, if and when you have the time, you just did not do it.
With the changes there will always be something dropping for you. So no longer will my hunter run 12 weeks in a row not seeing the polearm or bow drop from deathwing. Being we roll as a whole group and then something you can use is assigned to you that means every time I am there I can get the polearm or bow. Now I do not need to hope for it and hope to win, I just have to hope to win because I am basically rolling against myself. Sort of.
This would mean that casual but serious players might feel more compelled to bring secondary characters through there because there is less stress of the type that you did the whole thing for no reason because nothing even dropped you could roll on. No longer will you bitch it was only mage tier pieces the whole run while you are on your shaman. Now every boss that drops tier also drops shaman, if you can win the roll.
Now that will make the casual serious player more likely to want to run the LFR on more then one character. But wait, there is more. They are adding objectives to the game that when you complete them will get a buff that will allow you additional rolls in the LFR. So you might have 2 rolls meaning 2 chances to win in the LFR.
If you are a casual serious player you want to try what you can, that is easy and casual, to gear up as best as you are able. If doing 25 dailies will give you a buff that allows you a second roll on loot you will feel obliged to do them to increase your chances of gearing up.
Dailies on their own are casual. The LFR on its own is casual. Add 25 dailies at 5 minutes each to the LFR and you took your casual events and just pushed yourself to the edge of hardcore haven't you?
Lets say you are also the type that wants to do a little of everything. Add some farm time in, even if it is only 15 minutes, some pet battle time in even if it is just another 10 minutes, a few dungeons, a challenge mode or two and a scenario here and there and your casual two hour play night just turned into a much less then casual 6 hour play night and that is 6 hours without actually playing the end game of the game. If you actually want to raid too add another 2 to 4 hours on top of your new 6 hour night that used to be a 2 hour night.
God forbid you are a PvPer as well. As any good PvE player will make sure you cap out on valor each week any good PvPer will make sure you cap out on conquest each week. Even casual players do that. However, now you can do PvP quests in the open world and once you do them they will continually increase the amount of conquest points you can cap that week.
So instead of getting on and capping your conquest and moving on to something else you will come on, cap out, quest to raise cap, cap out again, quest to raise cap, cap out again, etc. Here is to hoping that there is a new cap to raising the cap which I am sure there will be otherwise you will be spending every tuesday for the rest of your wow playing life PvPing until your eyes bleed. I don't know about you, but that sounds a little hard core to me.
All these little additions are going to be a great thing for the game but when does it turn casual into hardcore? At what time investment does that happen if we are using only time to judge those terms.
If you decided to partake in even a small amount of all the new things you can see your play time doubled. If you choose to try and do them all you might see your play time tripled or even quadrupled.
Everything in and of itself is indeed casual. All the parts are less then 30 minute each (except for the LFR) but the more parts there are the more parts you might feel compelled to complete. I know I will feel compelled to complete them. I know many people will feel compelled to complete them. They will look at it as, but it only takes 15 minutes and forget that 15 minutes here and there adds up really fast for the casual player and even faster for the casual serious player.
God forbid you are a hardcore player already that feels they have to do everything as soon as possible in every aspect of the game because the way it is looking now I hope you can afford retirement because WoW is going to be your new full time job. Even more so if you have 5 or 6 characters you want to cap everything on each week. Something even the most casual of casual players could do now in limited time.
I know personally I will never enter the looking for raid without the buff that allows me the extra chance to win loot from the boss. No one knows the number of dailies you will need for the buff yet but if it is a large number, which I can see it being, it will change how I play.
No longer will it be log on to my priest and run the LFR just for fun. Now it will be log on to my priest, knock out X amount of dailies, then hope I have enough time left to finish a LFR run.
My casual alt that I like to try and keep somewhat geared will now become another full time character because I am what I call a serious casual player and if I am going to do something I might as well do it to the best of my ability which means I will feel I have to get the extra roll buff.
All these little additions are great. All these little additions are casual. All these little additions can help the game. All these little additions will start to really add up.
So that means that if you try to do the casual stuff, all of it, you will end up being hard core. At least in a time investment sense.
The more casual activities they add the more those activities will add up for the people that try to do them all.
Is too casual actually hard core?