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Dare to Surpass Casual

Last week, Lassirra of The Hunter’s Mark posted a powerful tirade on finding herself a casual player by circumstance.

When I first read her remarks, I sympathized with many of her frustrations. I don’t want to beat a dead horse by ranting my woes with finding raid opportunities again, but I do want to say a few things. This weekend, I took some time off from playing and considered why I want to continue playing this game. University starts for me again in a month and a half, and it being senior year, I’m bound to be very busy with preparations for graduation.

I’m approaching on a year of playing World of Warcraft, and I’m not sure how long I will be playing this game. This was my first MMO, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I admit that I had my doubts at continuing into Wrath, which would have meant that this blog would effectively discontinue once it is released. But when I looked at the content of the new expansion again, I found a renewed interest in what brought me to play in the first place. I enjoy looking at screenshots and reading people’s adventures and dreaming that I would someday be able to see it. Screenshots of Wrath alpha is tugging at me to give it a chance to rekindle that inner curiosity.

But before I go off on a tangent from my topic, I want to introduce my concept of a hybrid casual/hardcore player. The casual player enjoys the daily routine of the game as long as they are able to experience it with friends and having fun. The hardcore player has an objective of playing the game and seeks support in being able to achieve those objectives. But what about those who go beyond casual but are not quite ready for hardcore? We are the ones who are willing to work for our positions and help others but know when enough is enough. We are a level beyond the casual but can’t quite fit in with the hardcore, like the nice guy/girl stereotype in society.

Lassirra and those who responded to her tirade can point out that we are often found held back by others. The problem is, we don’t like getting out of our comfort zone. That’s human nature. As a result, I sit on the LFG looking to PUG raids and Heroics too often. I watch as everyone else in my guild but me get picked for 25-man raids. It felt as if I was being overlooked even when I’ve worked hard at being good in what I do. But I found that I have to make a name for myself; I can’t just sit there and let opportunities handed to me on a silver platter. If we don’t get out of our comfort zone, we never get to experience what is out there. It’s hard to do, but the key is doing it step-by-step.

I have found two guilds I can raid with, provided that they have holes to fill in their 25-man groups. I gathered up the courage to contact people I’ve met through my own journeys and not by introductions through a mutual acquaintance. So far, the results have been quite positive. I will be a bench raider, not quite hardcore but definitely beyond casual. As a tip to those who are looking for new homes but just aren’t comfortable enough to leave the people they are currently with: look around you. Guilds rise and fall, and they especially rise. These two groups I have come into contact with have been around for a month on average, and they are great people. They are more than willing to get people that will help them get started.

I’m thankful for the advice from the Blog Azeroth community. I can’t thank Jezrael enough for first getting my gears rolling on this issue since her comments on progression laziness. It’s been a struggle trying to figure out what’s holding me back, but it was worth the trouble. Matticus has told me that I have to know first what I’m looking for to be happy with a guild. Aurdon was also supportive of my frustrations and desire to move on. Then after reading Lassirra’s post over and over again, I decided it was time for me to make a decision.

A setback is never a failure until you give up on trying to fix it. It’s the same way that frustrations are not signs of burnout until you refuse to find a way to remedy them.

I hope you all had a nice July 4 weekend if you were able to enjoy the holiday. Catching up with blog reading is always hard to do…

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6 responses

  1. I suppose I am largely casual by choice, yes, there are things that are holding me back (work schedule, real life, etc.), but on the other hand, there are also a lot of in-game things that I could work around and yet I have chosen not to; because these days, I find that leveling new characters is more interesting to me than raiding is. Oh don’t get me wrong, I love raids and heroics, but to me, it’s not worth the effort to adjust a bit to get to those raids and heroics, whereas for a lot of other people, it WOULD be worth the effort.

    7 July 2008 at 11:26

  2. Nail on the head brotha. Casual/Hardcore hybrid. That’s how I would describe my raid spec. I wanna raid and see content (not for the loot, loot is temporary), but if all I have time for is raiding on my main, I’m going to get burnt out.

    There is a balance in there, I’ve found it. Glad to see things are working out in your favor as well.

    7 July 2008 at 12:20

  3. Yep, it’s about being casual by choice, knowing what you want, and grabbing the opportunities if and when they arise.

    I usually know long before my fridy a night run what I am going to do, but if an opportunity arises, then I grab it.

    7 July 2008 at 19:47

  4. Time is what is really the issue at the core for most people.

    For me, I’ve shelved my 70 hunter and 70 pally, and gave about about 30k gold to a friend in game because I maxxed out without anything really to do until the expansion.

    Why?.. time.

    My WOW time comes in spurts. I do freelance web design in addition to a day job, so a dedicated schedule to raiding is out of the question. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be around on a certain day. However, if I have time, I might spend 4 or 5 hours solid at WOW. So raiding is really out, at least the way most do it now.

    PVP has changed now too. With the changes for S4, I can’t really gear up any further. I’m kinda stuck without really going after an arena rating.

    So what to do?.. perhaps quit. Perhaps alts. I’ve started a shammy, and have gotten to 29, but am finding some of the same frustrations that I have with my pally. Not sure I want to melee anymore.

    So I guess I’ll try a horde hunter. See the content from a different side.

    I’d call myself a hardcore casual. I’m willing to put in time, but it has to be on my schedule. I can’t goof around spending an hour waiting for a raid to form up, or waste 2 hours in LFG.

    And with the gear reset coming (even though it won’t be as big as the BC one) I can’t see going through all that pain for gear that will be replaced quickly when leveling.

    /sigh… (ok, end of rant)…

    7 July 2008 at 19:48

  5. Great post Loronar! I’m glad that you have started looking to make connections to get into raiding groups so you can experience the aspects of the game that you would like to. It’s so true that to enjoy the game you need to know what you want and then work on getting it. And really truly it is possible to be a raider without being hardcore. I talked about it in my post ‘raiding casually is not a myth’. I like to think of the Drunken Badger crew as ‘relaxed’ – we’re not hardcore, we’re not even casual by some people’s standards – but we are a successful raiding guild.

    8 July 2008 at 08:10

  6. Pingback: Progression, when is slow too slow?

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