So, the Druid community has had a few things to say about casual and hardcore players lately.
Jacemora, Druid of the Moon had a few things to say about being tired of casuals taking potshots from hardcore players every time there is a content nerf.
In eloquent response, Keeva of Tree Bark Jacket defended the hardcore player’s right to not be stereotyped as elitist asshats, and mixed in quite a few reasons why hardcore players do have cause to be upset lately.
Even our beloved Bellwether of 4Haelz had a few things to say about the topic, in her own insightful way.
Hmmm… was the week lacking in drama? I hadn’t noticed.
Well, there’s always room for more drama!
No, that’s unfair of me. Whenever someone involves themself and their identity heavily into a subject, emotions run high if they feel themselves or others in similar situations are insulted, slighted or belittled.
I have to admit that I stopped thinking in terms of casual or hardcore, except as generic placeholders familiar with other people, a long, long time ago.
I have the opportunity to play with quite a few people from different walks of life in my guild. Some of them would call themselves casual PvE content players, and others came from what they describe as hardcore PvE raiding environments, have the gear and accomplishments to prove it (Hi Algie!) and joined to get away from it, if only for a while.
I’m sorry if this offends some people, but I have to tell you what I have learned in my time in the game;
What content someone has cleared, and the number of people with them when they did it, has nothing whatsoever to do with the potential or actual skill of the player.
I’m sorry, but it’s true.
I will say that players that are consistently a large part of their guilds’ raid progression will obviously tend to be well skilled at playing their class, because those that are poorly skilled will be removed by the raid leader.
But those players are by no means the only skilled players in the game.
I personally don’t care in any way what content anyone claims to have cleared, when they claim to have done it, or what Achievements or gear they may sport.
The single biggest difference between a raiding player and a casual player is the time (and desire) available per week to play.
I said I do use the terms. When I describe someone in terms of casual or hardcore, I actually use the terms for two different categories; time they themselves personally spend per week playing, and the level of content that a guild is focused on completing.
If I say that such-and-so is a hardcore player, there is no assumption of skill implicit whatsoever in this label, not on my part. I’m merely acknowledging that the person has a massive amount (in my world) of personal time to devote to playing the game on a scheduled, weekly basis.
For your average college student that lives in a dorm and doesn’t have a part time (or full time) job, I bet what I consider massive amounts of time is barely the lifespan of a mayfly.
I know people I consider to be hardcore players whose guilds aren’t even raiding. They raid with other guilds as part of their teams, and stay in their own social guilds for the comradeship. They want to raid, really raid, and put lots of hours into it. They want to see progression, and work together with other people that have a lot of time to devote to the same pursuits.
But they like hanging with friends in a social guild the rest of the time.
Some of these people are, indeed, highly skilled.
I do know one hardcore raider that I feel has very poor skills, in every way… but he is currently a welcome member of a raiding team because he is extremely reliable in terms of being on time, being prepared with mats and repairs, and he plays a healer with very good gear.
Not very good skills, just very good gear.
I have played in raiding guilds before, and I have played and still play with the people in my casual, social guild.
I’ve seen a lot of those ‘casual’ players pull off skillful moves that are amazing. Simply amazing. And yes, I’ve been in pugs for 10 man, 25 man and 5 man content, and been with ‘hardcore’ raiders in extremely good gear from progressed raid content, and I thought they played their class like shit.
Please, I know what someone will say. They’ll say that the hardcore player was probably slumming and wasn’t bothering to give their attention to the raid. They were coasting and spending more time chatting with guildies or whatever. Maybe watching a movie. If they were actually trying their skillz would be da bomb.
Hey, if someone commits to any raid and doesn’t actually try to do well, to the point of being an asshat that wipes people without a care, I don’t care what he CAN do, he’s an asshat.
Even when I did a Karazhan pug at the same time as I did a podcast with the Twisted Nether, I was flighty on the air because I really was prioritizing my time on doing my best in the game first, for the pug, and being chatty second. I made jokes about the run, but I was doing my damndest to bring the pain to those mobs.
Look, if you consider yourself hardcore OR casual, I ask you to do this.
Drop the idea that your skill is better than someone else’s just because you can spend more time playing than they can.
Jacemora makes the case that he only truly respects the skills of PvP players, because they are testing themselves in the only venue where it’s apples to apples… in battle against the best other people can bring.
That’s a fair case to make, if you are looking to prove someone has skill.
I will happily agree that there are a TON of highly skilled players out there.
That’s MY problem with the thing, I see far more skilled players than most people seem willing to accept. And the people that denigrate other player’s do seem to be hardcore progression raiders more often than not.
If you have the free time in your life to be able to devote four or five hours of your life every day to playing the game, and you do so… that’s your business. I would certainly hope that you’ve used that time wisely, to master the intricacies of your class.
Maybe it’s not that much, maybe it’s four to five hours just 3 nights a week, that happen to correspond to your guilds’ raid times.
But pelase, make no mistake, having a lot of free time does not confer upon you mad skills.
Effort, practise, knowledge, self-analysis and self-improvement efforts, study, inventiveness and improvisation all help to develop your skills.
People with more playtime just have more time to do this. They aren’y the ONLY ones with the time to do it.
If you think that only those people that play enough hours to raid consistently are skilled at your class, that’s your problem, not mine.
I see mad skills in the hands of both types… and BELIEVE ME, I see the results of complete idiocy in both types.
Good lord, yes.
Look, I know ‘hardcore’ raiders that take pride in raiding stone drunk, or simply stoned, and have for years. And yes, they also made progression, and did Black Temple and Sunwell and original Naxx and AQ40.
It’s not who you raided with that impresses me. It’s not what content you’ve seen. It’s not what gear you have, or what Achievements you’ve got under your belt.
My prejudice is in thinking that the people who think that stuff is really impressive, are the same folks who figure that if they get the fire engine red Lamborghini with the custom rims, they’ll get admiring looks down the boulevard as a slick hot race car driver as they tool through the mall parking lot. Err, I mean sit on their ZA bear mounts outside the IF auction house.
That stuff doesn’t blow air up my skirt, my friends.
I do not give anyone any respect on the basis of things that only people with a lot of free time could accomplish.
It doesn’t work that way in my twisted little world, my friends. Maybe amongst raiders, the desire to stand out from those who cannot raid is important… but if your ego is wrapped up in your status in a video game, there are other issues at play here.
No, my respect is given to players that show skill, that show understanding of playing their class, and above all else show that they are considerate, mature people both in the game world and in the real world.
Take pleasure in the game itself. Compete however you’d like. Strive agasint other players, or pit yourself against PvE content.
But don’t mistake having a lot of free time to play with being BETTER than those that do not.
If you are skilled in playing your character, you understand your class and how you can work with other players together as an efficient team, that’s excellent. But you’re not the only ones that can do this.
Have I said it enough times? Have I used the debate tactic of repetition enough?
I bet I did.
I think perhaps one of the reasons this stereotype silliness lingers on, is that raiding progression is the easiest way to obtain rarer gear or Achievements, and the scarcity of a thing is sometimes equated with it’s difficulty in obtaining.
For these things, yes you need skill… but yo also need lots of free time, and lots of friends that have the same desire and free time as you.
It doesn’t JUST boil down to skill.
There are far fewer opportunities to shine for the 5 man instance crowd, but they ARE out there. It is what it is.
Like the Culling of Stratholme drake mount. That’s a very cool thing in game to show you brought some to the party, right?
But how have many folks cleared that content? Why, they went and raided until they get a lot of iLevel 213 drops across five people, and then they blew through it.
How many people tilted their lances against the Culling of Stratholme drake Achievement when in a group of all quest rewards greens and blues?
I’m sure a few did… and that’s some damn good skills there. If you did, kudos to you, you earned a hell of a solid accomplishment.
Hey, what is the most reviled heroic?
The last boss requires skill and understanding only… gear iLevels have no affect on the final boss.
Some people HAVE worked their butts off to learn the fight, master the drakes, and dominate the Oculus. And not all of them are in raiding guilds, know what I mean?
Bellwether is one of those people. Yes, she is a raider these days, but doing the Oculus in all it’s various hard modes… THAT is a demonstration of skill to me.
I wish people that did that got drake mounts or pretty shiny unicorns. They bloody well earned them through skill.
At least, they did until Blizzard changes things in 3.2 so that iLevel DOES affect your drakes in the Oculus. /sigh
I have to admit, knowing that the Oculus is going to be nerfed does have me wishing I had the spare time to go in there and master it first. Blizzard had set the difficulty bar, people have put their minds and efforts to mastering it, and I’d like to do so myself if they’re going to take that challenge away soon. I didn’t care to do it until they decided they would nerf it soon, lol.
You see, I do sympathize with anyone that pits themselves against a challenge and masters it, only to have the bar lowered for others later on.
Hammering on it one last time… I just totally disagree with the idea that the free time you have to play with your raiding guild is an indication of your potential skill in playing your class.
Heh… I bet a lot of my readers feel that I lack the Bear tanking skills because I’m not progressing in Ulduar, though.
But that is a topic for another day. Time to get back to work.