Tue 9 Sep, 2008
I hate the term hard core. Its kind of hard to define really. Hard core is kind of like saying drinking to excess. What is too much and what is just right for various people. Now I don’t want you to think that I’m advocating drinking. I drink about one night a month if I’m lucky. Its not a personal, “I hate drinking” thing, its just not something I do that often for whatever reason.
Blog Azeroth had an interesting shared topic and I thought I’d chime in. Its something kind of near and dear to my heart. As you can see, I’ve deemed myself the “Casual” Raid Leader. I should give you some background on my play habits though. I consider myself a casual player for a lot of reasons, but for me, I play probably 6-7 days a week for anywhere from 2-5 hours a night. I can already see some of you going, “Oh my god he plays a lot!!!” ”There’s no way he’s a casual.” I’d have to agree.. that’s where I insert the term “Hobbyist”, but from a raiding perspective I will only dedicated two days a week at most to raiding so from that perspective I’m very casual as a raid leader.
However lets look at it this way. I have a wife and three kids. I plan my play time around nothing. I never assume I’ll be able to dedicate 4 hours to anything except for a few days a week. Two nights a week I plan raiding nights. I won’t dedicate more than that so I can avoid doing things like, missing my kids sports events, missing my kids school events, missing well… my kids lives. The same applies to stuff I do with my wife. Any night has to be ready to change plans if need be.
In my opinion (which it is my opinion…) casual players are people who log in and play to play. Some days they want instances. Some days its arenas, but honestly it isn’t about some very driven goal that must be constantly worked on. Some days/weeks its dedicated toward getting that epic flyer. Some days/weeks its dedication toward getting that epic crafting pattern’s mats. It doesn’t mean you won’t have goals, but it does mean that you know your time is more limited and you don’t feel consumed by a goal.
Casual players tend to have a very different approach to the game. You either want to make the most of the time you have online (meaning you are time constrained) or you want to keep it very low key. And you recognize that your progress compared with people who dedicate more to a goal will always lag. You’ll get there, but it will take you more time.
Hobbyists are ones that a person I met actually introduced me to the idea. A hobbyist basically has made the transition from a casual approach to one of treating it as more of a hobby. The game is a hobby to them so they tend to treat it as such. It can be set aside as need be, but generally they like to play more than not. It doesn’t mean they aren’t fervently dedicated to some aspect of the game, but the game is a hobby not life. They do it most days they can.
Where I think Hobbyists and casuals differ is that the hobbyist tends to take a deeper dive on the content. They tend to try to follow all the quests lines. They tend to dabble in most of what the game has to offer and they tend to try almost anything. Casual’s tend to be limited on their time or some other aspect.
Hard Core – Highly Dedicated
I don’t want you to think that everyone who’s hard core is highly dedicated, but that’s roughly how I equate them. Hard Core is I think a term that’s gotten bad press in many respects. I used to use the term losely, but now I consider it a very inappropriate term in most cases. People get these bad images in their brains of people who are like Nihilum or other hard core raiding guilds who take entire weeks off work and spend 18 hours a day raiding. There are plenty of hard core raiding guilds who only raid 4 days a week.
I guess from my perspective the differentiating factor for hard core people deals with their dedication to a specific goal. Hard Core people have a tendency to have a single area of focus that consumes large portions of time in the game. Hard core raiders tend to either spend large portions of time raiding or in functions supporting their raiding. They farm mats, they work on gear all dedicated to raiding. Hard Core PVP people spend time in practice and training and working on their PVP. The game revolves around that one or two types of activities. Hard Core people tend to put that aspect of the game though over their personal lives. They will plan personal activities around their in game activities and are willing to cancel personal activities in favor of an in game activity.
So what are you??? Casual, Hard Core, or a Hobbyist? Or do you completely disagree with what I’ve stated here???