Casuals do most of the living and dying in this game, is it too much to have them live and die in a couple of decent epics?

Whilst I was marveling at the warlock ner … changes as proposed on the World of Warcraft Public Test Realm, aka Patch 2.4 “We Hate You All, but not you rogues because you have so little in this life it would be cruel to take anything away”, I found this nerd rage thread on the WoW PTR forums: To Casuals on a Silver Platter.

I love that thread because there’s a handful of hardcores dueling dozens of casuals — and isn’t that what the Hardcore vs Casual argument is really about? A numbers game, ultimately a profit equation, and in that system Casuals > Hardcore. You live, you learn.

So, hardcore player Altyera of the Dalaran realm, self-described as “… better at this game than you. Much, much, much better”, wrote:

Powerful rewards for people incapable of playing this game seriously? Fine.

Give me something for playing this game well. Give me something for investing three and a half years playing my chosen class to the fullest. Give me something for organizing twenty-five people every week into a well-oiled machine capable of flawlessly tackling complex encounters. Give my members something special for beating the game.

Give me a title for killing every boss in the game. Make my name sparkle and the ground glow at my feet.

Give me a 310% mount for killing Illidan. It’s no less an accomplishment than Gladiator.

Give me an entire array of legendary weapons dropping from Illidan, Archimonde and Kil’jaeden. What casual could complain that they’re not well-earned?

Give me and the top 500 guilds a private forum to converse directly with the developers.

Give me early access to private test realms, expedited character copies and a direct line to the developers while I’m testing content.

You’re giving an awful lot to casual players in this patch. Give me back as much as I put into this game. Great, fun stuff for casuals is awesome, and it’s one reason WoW is so popular. Give the top 1% some incentive to continue investing the time and effort necessary to stay at the top of this game.

Gear that is 3% better than a casual player’s and a couple fancy titles for doing things that no longer matter are far, far less than we deserve.

This is what I love about the Hardcore vs Casual debate as the Hardcores frequently argue: it’s not enough that Casuals get less, or later, than the Hardcores, they have to get much less, preferably much later.

Here’s some more:

Reply #60

The people who consider themselves casuals ruin the game for the people that play it with the purpose of trying to accomplish something they consider great. They spoil the rewards earned by people who put the time, effort, and thought into raiding.

HAHAHA. You casuals are RUINING the game for the people who accomplish GREAT things. Oh fercrissakes.

Reply #13

I have seen people with families and careers get to illidan and farm BT….nobody has an excuses anymore except lack of trying and just plain giving up or being a paraplegic, down-syndrome monkey. Why should they be entitled to free stuff for not trying when the people that actually try get exactly the same things? Its beyond silly…

Parapalegics don’t deserve epics either, I guess. Nice attitude, asshole.

Reply #26

Oh wait, I forgot that most casuals are god-awful at this game.

Pssst, so are most hardcores.

Reply #37

You just can’t talk to them Alty, they refuse, can’t, and never will understand anything about risk/reward in the game, or life.

He’s probably one of those gamers who are CEO of their own start-ups pulling down six figures while married to the super-model wife and raising six children. Even on my own WoW server, we have a lot of those. I assume they’re passing out WoW boxes with subscriptions to Fortune and The Wall Street Journal.

Reply #139

Raiders and hard-core pvper’s make-up the core and soul of this game. Kill that and kill the game. All you are doing is catering to make sh1t so damn easy my unborn child could clear every instance in the game within a week. I’m wondering when they will be giving away epics upon creating an account.

Hyperbole can be an effective argument tool. This would not be a good example of such.

Every EverQuest and Ultima Online player remembers a day when there was no choice like we have in WoW now. I didn’t play UO, but I did play EQ and there was no casual play — everything required a guild, and an able guild at that. (Ok, there was roleplaying and cyber, but we’re talking about gear and character advancement here, stud.) That wasn’t good.

Sure it was great killing Nagafen with 60 people, or getting your class epic (thanks to your guild, and possibly the entire server), but it would have been nice to have another option to get stuff. The stuff didn’t have to be the best, just better than the stuff we had. Choice would have been nice.

Today’s raiders do deserve better rewards, yes — they put in more time and deal with headaches that a solo player will never know — but we should not argue for a big gear gap. Never, never, never should we argue for a big gear gap.

One reason: recruitment.

There are two pools for raiding guilds to recruit from (yes, hardcore ones also): other guilds and new(er)-to-raiding players. If you’re a bottom-line type person, think of this as Good Gear and Shit Gear. If you’re delusional, you might think of it as Skilled Players vs Clueless Noobs.

If you’re pulling most of your new guildmates from other guilds, you’re recruiting guild hoppers, loot whiners, the “I have to log after that last wipe for real life stuff but really I’m tired of wiping and will rejoin you when this is on farm” opportunists, plus a few valuable guildmates along the way.

If you’re refreshing your ranks with new(er)-to-raiding characters, you may similarly be plagued. Players slow to learn, prone to log mid-raid, incapable of moving out of dangerous floor bombs, ignorant of class abilities and/or strengths and weaknesses, also guild hoppers and loot whiners, plus … a few valuable guildmates along the way … BUT your guild has to gear and attune them as well.

YAY!!! Back-gearing and back-attuning is fun!!

I assume all the hardcore guilds have the same goal: forward. Probably all guilds, hard and soft, have that same objective, in fact. Back-anything is not forward, by definition, and is to be avoided or mitigated at all costs.

For the TLDR crowd: Many hardcores overestimate their skill, contributions and the value of their game accomplishments.

Many casuals overestimate how interesting their real lives are.

Raid zones should have better rewards than solo content, otherwise why raid?

The gap between raid gear and solo/small group/small raid gear should not be so large as to require a long time commitment to get newer raiders ready for current guild targets.

Rogues should never be nerfed because we have so little in this world (of warcraft).

30 thoughts on “Casuals do most of the living and dying in this game, is it too much to have them live and die in a couple of decent epics?

  1. Couldn’t agree more here Foton,

    for me raiding has become some sort of russian roulette. With enough luck I may or may not find a good guild who will let me move forward. I find there so much luck involved in being at the right place at the right time in raiding it’s depressive.

    In fact russian roulette is better, only one bullet in six instead of 5 in 6 like end game raiding.

  2. 🙂 the passionate statements spewed during that oft-repeated debate never get old. Poor rogues 🙁 I’m loving my new Enhancement shaman, though. Doing burst damage again is fun.

  3. Wow, the chatter from the hardcore crowd is starting to sound more and more like religious zealotry. A sense of superiority, elitism, insistence that all others should get out and are not worthy human beings…I wonder how any developer can hear this line of argument and not immediately start nerfing hardcore content. These guys need to be taken down a peg.

    I know that there are more expensive and more meaningless things to do with your life, but assuming you are so much better than normal people because you throw all your time and energy into a game…somebody please give their mothers’ cancer or something. These guys need a reality check…and hard.

  4. Realistically, I think it boils down to exactly what you said:

    Hardcore: “I deserve to be awed and admired for completing content.”

    Casual: “I deserve to get good gear because I pay money too.”

    A false sense of entitlement abounds from both parties.

    I will wholeheartedly admit it is a little disheartening to see weapons of Hyjal grade available for running Ramparts 50 times, but the same comparison can be drawn towards the gradual reduction in requirements to get better and better PvP gear.

  5. As a casual gamer, I see rants and comments from the hardcore players as insulting. They get to play the great content, while once I’ve played through to Kara, thats it. No more new stuff for casuals.

    Yes, the guys in Eye, BT, and all the other true-end-game areas get frustrated by the free epic for pvp; but really are we taking anything away from their game experience? they get the same gear, faster, more practice, and better stuff later.

    [begin rant]

    And nurfing affects both casual and hardcore, so they’ll still have skills that reflect their godlike penis.
    I’m sure almost every warlock out there hates the current nerf comming.

    So the hardcore gamers want something that makes them feel special? Try a social life, its very satifying and if you grind the right rep, you may not have to pay for friendship.

    Nah, give them titles. Mr-Epeen would be a good one.

  6. WoW has this wonderful thing called the badges system, which works quite nicely in keeping the gap small. Even if raid after raid or instance after instance the bosses fail to drop that coveted item you so desperately need, you will still be able to purchase a nice replacement with the badges 🙂

    What i don’t get in general in this whole hardcore/casual discussion is this: doesn’t everybody play for him or herself? isn’t that the primary objective: to have fun? so what do you care about anybody else’s gear? even if the pvp gear puts certain players on par with your t5 items, does that ruin your fun directly? (well obviously it does wreck it for some) if you are really that skilled in raiding, then no one will be able to replace you in your guild, am i right?
    it’s like being mad because the season worker down the street drives a car that is nearly as nice as yours…

  7. Being a rogue is verging on painful, I cringe before reading patch notes. Back-attuning is the most painful process ever. I think every raider in MH/BT that protests the lifting of the attunements is really doing so at the memory of going back to SSC/TK those last couple of times when you really wanted to be running away from volcanoes or killing constructs. Personally, yay. It means I never have to run SSC again. EVER.

  8. i think what blizzard is doing is so very smart and i can’t understand why ppl get so wrapped up in their own experience of heirarchy that they don’t look at the big picture.

    the game is played by an array of people ranging from “hardcore” to “casual”. their goals and interests are different, and yet, they all pay to play the game.
    the game would lose prestige if the hardcore gamers were not challenged, but it would lose money if the casuals weren’t able to make headway too.

    so how do you keep everyone satisfied in their experience?
    it seems like the answer begins with releasing a huge amount of content. only the most dedicated of the hardcoriest hardcore will make any significant dent right away. they will enjoy RL celebrity status across all servers.
    the rest of the population – including new players who enter the game – play catch up and sift themselves into an array of dedication and skill.

    the next stage occurs when the most hardcore have beaten the game and those a few steps behind are banging their heads against certain checkpoints. answer: nerf the more advanced checkpoints (in the form of attunements, bosses, etc) and let the second tier hardcore through.

    these quasi-nerfs trickle down further and further, with the occasional new content bone or pvp goal thrown in to keep those at the very end of the game happy, until even the most casual player can experience as much of the game’s content as they want to.

    in short, it’s like blizzard starts the game out on super hard mode and successively dumbs it down until it’s on easy mode. then they come out with a major expansion (ie: BC) and wipe the slate clean. everyone is at zero and the game begins again.

    as for the argument that those who reached the goals first deserve something, i agree to an extent. i think they deserve things like titles. maybe a tabard or two. other than that, the hardcore have already reaped the reward they set out to obtain: they did it first.

  9. Thanks for the chuckle of the day. As a member of a guild that clears both Black Temple and Hyjal in 3 days, I say that the “hardcore raider” quoted in the original post deserves nothing.

  10. I really never understood the idiocy that there is between casuals and hardcore players.

    Until a couple of months ago I was raiding Hyjal and Black Temple, in a ‘hardcore’ guild (eventually I got bored and quit WoW until further notice).

    Though we usually see more arrogant-ass comments from hardcore raiders, I was also in an amusing situation where a frustrated now semi-casual player (he used to raid BWL, AQ40, etc. pre TBC and now was raiding the first half of TK and SSC when we were already in BT and Hyjal) decided to be a smart-ass toward me just because he felt like it.

    He was playing with people in my old guild (casuals/socials), with whom I still got along with, and on vent. I was on a Karazhan run with them, on my main (so each death would cost me a lot of gold, and there was nothing I wanted from there – I went for the fun and to help out), the guy decides to try to annoy me by mockingly asking questions on vent like ‘so, has your guild finally beat *insert #1 Guild in the server*?’. I managed to be diplomatic enough to say something like ‘I don’t have a clue, I’m not sure what those guys have killed. Don’t really care, tbh.’ in a bored tone of voice (and to be honest I really didn’t care if we weren’t the best guild in the server anymore – I was seeing the content anyway). And that shut him up. He actually thought that I’d be pissed at no longer being in the #1 guild in the server.

    This same guy decided to repeatedly call ‘you fucker’ and be a arrogant ass to a friend of mine who’d been in the same guild (and left to the one I was in when I did) and was helping out someone else in the group (an old guildie). He also epix0red out, and going into normal Shattered Halls to help out, regardless of silly repair costs.

    Anyway, a way to keep both worlds happy would be for Blizzard to implement a decent crafting system. Discovering recipes of epic stuff while crafting dozens of items and casuals would have the time to farm for the materials to make nice epix (read: not the crappy stuff they can now make) for themselves and to sell to others (why should some of the best craftables be BoP?).

    Also, a system that awarded shiny auras and name titles to people who beat certain raid bosses would keep the elitist raiders relatively happy as they were getting something only raiders did.

    Of course there would still be winning from both sides, but that’s part of the nature of most MMO players.

  11. Fact is that it took 1/10th the time to get a pvp sword of the same caliber than it took for the same sword (of equal power) in PVE, it has slightly different stats but it’s basically the same.

    That is not risk vs reward, it’s not time vs reward. If I can spend just 5 hours in arena’s to get my sword vs the 6 days a week for 6 weeks to gain one piece of almost identical equipment which one do you think I’m going for? So either they need to change how I gain epics from boss mobs or how the pvp arena system works.

    I actually count that as casual, I can do crap in a pvp arena team and drag in the ph@t l00t without doing really a damn thing all week, but then again they gain the same amount of money from it … I pay no matter what. That’s what it comes down to I suppose.

  12. I don’t tend to see anything inherently better or worse in one way of playing vs. another. Casual, hardcore, it’s about what matters to you, not some sort of god-dictated universal hierarchy. The only argument I tend to get tempted to make is that since both types of players exist in abundance, a game with as many players as WoW had better find a way to cater to both. My desire to spend time working and hanging out with my husband and our friends rather than raiding is my choice, not inherently better or worse than a hardcore’s choice to spend his time online rather than socializing.

    But Altyera? Now THAT person makes me want to say something ill-considered about harcores who have no lives and think that makes them somehow special. ‘Cause, wow. Just, wow. What a messed-up assessment of what’s important and how much he should be graced with in return for his ‘accomplishments.’

  13. I was a hardcore raider back in t’old days, now I’m a casual plyer. My reduced WoW time has helped me realise that there is more to life than purple pixels and if people want to do heroics or PvP for their shinies, then why the hell not? Admittedly I never took the elitist stance when I did raid every night because at the end of the day WoW is ONLY A GAME and it’s up to the individual how they choose to spend their £8.99 a month. The people who are never out of raid instances and mock those of us who don’t have the super purple stuff deserve a kick up the arse.

    /rant 🙂

  14. just a want to talk about the title fo, the whole draw of epics is ultimatly reduced if everyone has them, thats what i liked about vannila wow, those blues you got in dire maul or strat actualy ment something, getting to rank 10 and picking up a blue pvp set was a genuine accomplishment, places like bwl or ranking to high warlord were a far off fantasy, getting top gear may have been hard, but the progression was made in a way that pretty much everyone else was in the same boat, casuals and semi-core gamers alike could compete on a even level, and the people who did actualy managed to get that gear had fun because they could totaly own face instead of everyone running around with free epics

  15. We brought this up in our last podcast after Syncaine (of Hardcore Casual) tried to understand the “vocal casual player.”

    The fact of the matter is, the casual gamers are the majority. Always will be. Developers are going to need to be savvy in order to keep both parties interested enough in their game to continue playing.

  16. entitled to free stuff for not trying

    Where is that in the patch notes? I missed it I thought it was 100-150 badges per piece, which means running Kara and heroics ad nauseum. Or if I raid with my guild (in SSC now) we’ll get maybe 1-2 extra pieces each by the time we enter BT, which should lower the difficulty a few percent.

    I am glad to find out I was wrong and get it all without trying! woohoo!

  17. I agree with Celerie above. Before BC the raiders got all the phat loot and everyone else was pretty much left out.

    In BC Blizzard seems to be taking the middle ground approach. They know approximately when the next expansion is coming out and they are pacing it accordingly. Roll out new badge rewards, make arena gear available for honor, etc.

    In my opinion, what they are aiming for is:

    (raiding gear/casual gear = 1) when the expansion hits

    Raiders got the gear first and were able to loiter around the mailbox in Org stroking themselves, and everyone else ends up not feeling like second class citizens.

    Everyone, less QQ, more pew pew.

  18. This is a pretty ridiculous thing to be arguing about, if you ask me. I pretty much agree with what you said Foton, mostly because I’m in that sort of predicament myself.

    I used to be a hardcore raider (pre-TBC). I wasn’t in a guild that had gone as far as Naxx, but we were working through AQ-40 when the expansion came out. Then I sort of had to stop playing for a while.

    Now that I’m back, I have no guild. My old guild kicked me because of my inactive account (which is fair enough, I’m not upset about that). However, it’s so late in the game now, that finding a hardcore raiding guild that I can squeeze into and start raiding is slim to none. I’ve been guilded and un-guilded here and there, but there’s never any opportunity to raid, largely because people aren’t willing to take the time to help me get the necessary gear to prepare. With the PvP system for gear, it’s not such a big deal. I can take on that responsibility myself, and be ready if one of my friends says something like “Hey, we need another for TK, you in?”

    I understand why hardcores might be upset that people who don’t spend so much time are able to get equally good/slightly better/slightly worse gear than they are, but who is it hurting, really? At the very least, if you’re in a dire situation where you absolutely need someone, and no one in the guild is available, you can have some confidence that your friends list isn’t full of people who are absolutely unable to keep pace simply because they don’t have the gear to do so.

  19. I wonder how much “less” effort casuals/non-raiders put into gearing up with badge/honor/arena gear as it is. I’ll bet not much less.

    If we’re talking about the other BS that raiders have and casuals may not … administration, loot drama, raid drama, wipes, arguments, back-attuning, back-gearing … clearly raiders have a lot more on their plates. But if the rewards aren’t proportionately better to reflect all the BS you got past — umm, why do it?

    Of course, some people love raiding for raiding’s sake.

  20. Before release, something was said to the effect of: “Raiders wouldn’t get a better sword, it just might shoot lightning or something”. That might go a long way.

    I’m on the hardcore side of game-time. I honestly don’t care if everyone has the same stats from their gear. I do mind that there isn’t much to distinguish myself. A rank 14 player looked entirely different from someone who raided exclusively. By the time casuals got a significant share of higher-end gear, armor was being re-skinned heavily.

    Unrelated to that, there’s something else that might help explain the nerd rage hardcores express. The agitation experienced by raiders who have “earned” an epic reward, only to never see the item they want drop. Assured loot through badges is much less aggravating than going months without having the item you want drop. Tying this in to the original post, there’s a thread on that person’s guild website entitled: “[17] Weeks Without a Tempest of Chaos!”, (a sword I’m sure many warlocks would like).

  21. “Of course, some people love raiding for raiding’s sake”

    Rare and getting rarer. And easier as a member than as an officer imo.

  22. What makes raiding difficult is the people management. That’s what they should be rewarded for.

    I think it’s much easier to coordinate/placate 2-10 people in heroics/arena teams/PvP than the 35-50 you need for a successful raiding guild.

  23. While I agree that effort should equal reward, and there has to be a reason why significant chunks of your life is dedicated to progression: to being better – but I think some of the complaining by casuals is that when they play they are then competing against hardcores that are because of efforts equiped out better, be it Herorics, or BG’s or on a PVP Sever,

    and If they introduced purpose equipable Items Eg a Weapon you can only weild in a high end instance hardcores wouldnt want to progress there as much if they can’t use the reward – Another way to address this inequality and what Blizzard seem to be trying is the idea of a ‘prerolled Character’ with the new Arena tornements – apparently you have equal gear, and the test really is the person behind the toon, and not what you have equiped.

  24. Wow is, and has always been about time spent, not skill. If you want to play something more skill based, roll a max level character in Guild Wars right after you set up your account.

  25. I think the contriversy about hardcore vs casual is getting sidelined with the pvp vs pve drama. Because you don’t have just two sides, you have 4 – it’s a quadrant thing now, right? You have casual pvpers and hardcore pvp, and casual raiders, and all the other instances of combos out there. WoW originally had one focus – make the game playable for everyone. Then as it grew, at the top end, you had to raid for good stuff (Ony/BWL/AQ/etc stuff was head and shoulders above anythign you could get non-raiding, and that’s fine – you could play the game with what you got otherwise, it was just easier with your raid gear.

    Today, however, I can pvp my way to epicness, at a level that skews the RVR scale against raiders. Couple that with a lot of the class changes to the PVE game (and thus raiding) driven by PvP changes, and you get another level of anger from the hardcore raiders.

    From my perspective, the game’s promise to be everything to everyone has become unmanagable, and they need to make a decision to make it more of a PvP game (which is where it is going) and lessen the PvE focus or stop tuning around PvP and enhance the PvE game. You cannot have both at the same time, successfully, for long.

  26. Thank you this was one wonderfull story to enjoy on a cold Friday afternoon!

    And what was this??
    “Rogues should never be nerfed because we have so little in this world (of warcraft).”
    Please!!! I got sapped and sapped and sappped*n by rogues in towers in AV, I am fully pissed and will kill any rogue 20 levels lower than me on sight!

  27. Great post. I don’t miss hardcore gaming in Everquest. I can manage to run a couple 25 man raids each week and actually have a social life outside of the game now. I know that means I won’t be first to have the finest gear and I accept that.

    All that being said, Blizzard is careful to release the casually obtained yet comparable gear quite a while after the hardcore folks have had a shot at it. Still, if I were the one who spent all that time and effort early on to obtain the goods, I wouldn’t be too happy… I guess I can just see both sides of it have raided hardcore in another game and now probably somewhere in the middle in WoW.

  28. My favorite response to all of the hardcores is quite simple.

    If you are the top 1% of the game, the best of the best, then you have pushed yourself UP OUT OF IMPORTANCE.

    If the top 1% of players bitch and moan the loudest and quit, do you think Blizzard cares about a 1% drop in monthly revenue? Thats all you are to them. Do you think Blizzard cares about the 99% of their revenue from casuals?

    Welcome to economics 101. you priced yourselves out of the market!

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