Thursday, September 16, 2010

Grumpy Ramblings on Hardcore vs. Casual

I was reading a post over on MMO-Champion about what people consider hardcore and casual.  Not really a "vs" thing but how you would define them.  Most people really just seem to be completely retarded when it comes to the subject and it usually has to so with the type of player they are.  A casual player thinks all hardcore players are elitist assholes and a hardcore player thinks all casuals are bad that is why they are causal.

I am going to pick apart some posts and give my grumpy response, because lets face it, I like being grumpy.  No names will be quoted, just comments.
The terms 'casual' and 'hardcore' are nothing but definitions of a mindset and say nothing about skill and knowledge.
Now here is a person that got it right.  That is exactly what it is.  I call myself casual and by most definitions I fit that but I can easily rock people wearing ICC 25 hard mode gear.  You know, the type of people most love to call hardcore.  It is more a mindset then anything else.  For me I call myself casual because if I get into a hard mode run I'll do it but if I don't I don't care.  A hardcore mind set person feels that they "have to" get that hard mode gear.
Casual World of Warcraft Player: 1. Any of a type of person or individual who plays World of Warcraft because he or she wants to and not because he or she needs to or is compelled to play or log in. 2. A person who logs into World of Warcraft without a purpose in mind before doing so and then proceeds to play only for a duration of time that real life permits within reasonable limits.
3. A person who allows normal living behavior to take priority over game play; priorities include family, friends, work, food, sleep and otherwise normal social behavior.
Wrong, wrong and oh, by the way, wrong.
1) So you are saying that a hardcore player logging in did not "want to"?  Maybe that is how they have fun or how they relax and because of that they "want to" log in so they can have fun and relax.  Hardcore players are not "compelled" by some unknown force to do it, they do it because that is what they "want to" do.
2) Who decides what "reasonable limits" are?  If someone has 3 hours free time per night and spends that 3 hours online raiding does that make them causal because for them it was "reasonable"? Whereas the next guy only has 1 hour free time so he looks at the previous person as hardcore?  Each persons free time is different.  I work the same hours every day 5 days a week. My free time is the same every day after I do everything that needs to be done.  So because I play the same time every night (and am capable of raiding because of that) it makes me hardcore?  No, it just means that I have nothing to do between 8PM and 11PM every night.  I "choose" to play warcraft.  If I where to "choose" to watch TV every night for those 3 hours would you call me a hardcore TV watcher?  It is a matter of perception.  You might think my 3 hours are not "reasonable" but for me they are because if I was not playing wow I would be doing some other mindless thing to waste time like watching TV, getting drunk at the bar, bullshitting on the phone, etc.
3) So you are saying that casual players can't let the game take over their lives?  Only hardcore players are like that?  Let me break something to you that might be a surprise but there are many hardcore players that have very full lives with work, family, friends and other hobbies besides WoW and there are many casual players that have no lives outside of the game.  Note: I do not like using the "no life" comment however because if this is how someone cares to spend their free time then that "is" their life but it was used to get my point across. 

Quite honestly those three are three of things (among some others) that bad players usually use as excuses for being bad.  Bad players equate time to skill.  Time and skill are not connected at base.  Sure, people that have skill and time might be better then people that have skill but not as much time.  Bad players will be bad players even if they play 24 hours a day.  Time helps you get gear, time helps you get gold, time does not help you get skill.  Anyone that says, "you are only better because you have more time then I do" is an idiot.  That person is better because they are better.  Plain and simple.

If someone is a bad singer you can give them singing lessons for a year and they might get a little better but they will still be a bad singer.  You can either sing or you can not sing, if you have skill at it to start you can get better but if you do not have the skill to sing you will never be a singer.  You can only get "so much" better at something you can't do but you can never get great at it if you do not have it in you.  So no matter how much time you give a bad wow player they will remain a bad wow player.
Hardcore - raids 4-5 nights a week, does all hardmodes, has a lot of achievements - the game is their life. ie No girlfriend, more friends online than offline, no real consistent responsibilities.
Wow, who pissed in this jerks cheerios.  Apparently someone called him bad or something because he really seems to be pissed off at harcore players.  Hardmode does not mean hardcore.  Achievements do not mean hardcore. Many online friends does not mean hardcore. No girlfriend does not mean hardcore. No responsibilities does not mean hard core.

I have under geared alts that I bring on the weekly just to get badges.  That is the only time I ever log on to those characters unless I need to use one of their skills.  I do not even do daily dungeons with them.  Most of them have hardmode achievements by accident. Hardmode does not mean hardcore.  A character that logs in once a week and only runs for 30 minutes at most is not and will never be considered a hardcore character.  Get real.  Most people get hard modes for fun because even "casual" players are so over geared now it is funny.

I am an achievement whore.  If anything, while I do not consider myself a hardcore player I do make an effort to get achievements.  I might go about that with a hardcore mentality but I am doing it because I like doing it.  I have fun doing it.  I do not do it because I am hardcore.  If anything my reason for doing it would fit more into the casual description most people use.  I do it because I want to do it because it is how I have fun.  Achievements do not mean hardcore.

There are people that watch all the games from their football team, does that mean they are hardcore or a fan?  There are people that go to church every sunday does that mean they are hardcore or religious?  Just because football or religion is your life does not make you hardcore.  Freaking out and killing someone because they like another team or follow another religion... now that is hardcore.  Hardcore in a sick, twisted and extreme way, but you get the point. Just because something is your life does not make you hardcore.

How do sex/relationships equate to being hardcore or casual?  So you are saying some hardcore raider that just got finished having fun with their wife/husband before they go to raid hard modes is no longer hardcore because they had sex?  They are the same exact player with or without the sex.  Having sex has no bearing on your game play... well, unless you play better when you are happy.

Casual or hardcore you will end up making friends online.  It happens, even if you are a grumpy elf like me that generally hates people.  Given the option I could easily go through my day in game and never speak a word to anyone even if I were raiding and be quite happy.  The fact that I made a few friends over the time I played changes the status of my game play?  What about my friends that bought me into the game?  You know, the real life ones from the bar that told me to join them and play?  Because they now count as online friends that makes me hardcore right?  Wait a second, they must have not been hardcore because I was their friend and I did not play.  So let me get this straight.  They were casual because I was their friend that did not play but as soon as I started playing they are now hardcore because I am now a wow friend instead of a bar friend?  Hmm, I changed their status when I started playing.  Did you inform them of that?  I think that they should know.

Have you ever visited the websites of some of the top guilds out there.  Some of them have rather open forums.  You can see people talking about their lives, their pets, their kids, their jobs.  A job is a consistent responsibility isn't it?  Well, I guess some of the top raiders in the game are not hardcore.  Can you please take the time and go tell them that they are casuals and they suck because all casuals suck too right?  Thanks, I am sure they will really appreciate you letting them know.
I'd say casual would mean that you don't necessarily care about min/maxing, and you don't necessarily care about progression raiding/getting top PvP ranking. Again, it's more of a mindset than anything.
 I like the mindset thing, fits the previous smart statement on mindset.  Everything else is full of crap.  Min/Maxing to such an extent that you change your skills when the best skills change might surely make you hardcore I'll give you that but having the best enchants and the best gems does not make you hardcore it makes you a decent player.  Remember, there is a HUGE difference between the hardcore/casual debate and the good player/bad player debate.  Hardcore players can be bad and many are, casual players can be good and many are.  The enchants and gems part should never be part of the hardcore/casual debate they are part of the good player/bad player debate.  Good players use the good gems and enchants while bad players use the bad gems and enchants.  Understand?  It has nothing to do with hardcore or casual.

The whole caring about progression is full of crap too.  I care about progression.  I want to beat ICC while it is still current content and haven't yet because I do not really go out of my way to try and get it done.  If I did go out of my way I would have had it done months ago.  By your definition I am hardcore because progression matters to me but I am casual because I have not progressed yet.  Maybe that is where the term hardcore casual comes in?

Also on that topic I am sure I could introduce you to 100s, make that 1000s if not 10s of thousands of people just on my server alone that care about downing ICC but they are just so bad that they will never get anyone to take them there.  They are horrible players that do not know specs, gems, enchants, rotations, fights, or anything else but they actively care about progression.  So you are saying all of these amazingly BAD players are all hardcore because they care about progression?
Casual = 10 hours a week or less?

Hardcore = anything above 10 hours?
Just figured I would add this one to go over something I said earlier.  Time has nothing to do with anything.  Thank you, nothing more to see here, please move along.
Hardcore = good players
Casuals = bad players
I think we just found a casual that wants to play like they are hardcore.  There are many good casual players and there are many bad hardcore players.  And this is where I will go to sum things up and explain it for the masses that are too stupid to understand the difference.

For that we must go back to the start where words of wisdom, normally not seen on any wow (or any internet) forum where written.
The terms 'casual' and 'hardcore' are nothing but definitions of a mindset and say nothing about skill and knowledge.
 Hardcore:  (the mindset)
- A hardcore gamer is someone that will make any and all efforts to be the best they can be withing the time that they are able to play.  They will spend as much time as they can to complete a task they set forth for themselves and will usually be focused on getting this task done before moving on to the next task.
And Dispelling the Misconceptions:
- A hardcore gamer CAN have other interests besides the game. They CAN have a girlfriend. They CAN have a job.  They CAN have kids.  They CAN have offline friends.  They CAN be like people that have never played a game in their life and CAN be like it is normally assumed only casual players are like.
- A hardcore gamer CAN be a bad player.
- A hardcore gamer CAN only play a few hours a week.

Casual: (the mindset)
- A casual gamer can range from someone that plays rarely just for fun to someone that plays often and sets goals for themselves.  They will work toward these goal whenever they can but unlike the hardcore gamer they can be easily distracted to do other things that seem fun to them and go back to their goal later.
And Dispelling the Misconceptions:
- A casual gamer CAN make the game their whole life. They CAN be single.  They CAN have no kids.  They CAN have only online friends.  They CAN be all the things that are normally reserved as assumptions of what a hardcore gamer is.
- A casual gamer CAN be a good player.
- A casual gamer CAN play many hours every day.

I just wonder why every time the casual vs hardcore discussion comes up it always reverts down to people insulting each other.  "You have no life, so you are hardcore", "you suck at playing, so you are casual" and things like that when ability to play or activity of life outside of wow have absolutely nothing to do with if someone is hardcore of casual.

The mindset on how you approach the game makes you one or the other and in some cases you can be both.  I always say I am casual because I am.  I get distracted easily.

Oh look, something shiny.  I have to go check it out now.

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