There’s a lot of stigma over the word “Casual” here in the WoW universe (wowiverse?).
Pssst – it’s not a dirty word!
Casual has several different connotations that can spring up. It could be:
- Someone who logs on once a week
- Someone who plays fairly regularly, but only does dailies/pvp/questing
- Someone who never raids, but runs 5 mans
- Someone who never raids 25 mans, but runs 10 mans
- Someone who raids no more than twice a week
- Someone who raids regularly, but doesn’t fully consumable/buff/min-max their character
- Someone who raids regularly, but hasn’t gotten their slacker self into Sunwell Plateau yet
Do you see what I’m getting at? The definition of casual can change drastically depending on where in their WoW career the person considering the question is.
I think Zupa at Automagica! had it right on the Blog Azeroth forums. There are casual players, casual raiders, hardcore players, and hardcore raiders. It’s a continuum, and it’s not fair to label someone as exclusively one or the other.
I raid three times a week, for 3-4 hours a night, in Mount Hyjal and Black Temple. That’s 100% attendance of my guild’s regular raids. I’ll run a Kara or ZA on the weekend. Several of the high end guilds on my server may well consider me “casual.” And yet, for every raid, I come prepared:
- I’m on time
- I have my flasks/oil/food ready (okay, so I slack on the initial trash!)
- I’ve read the boss strat, watched the video, and gone to shadowpriest.com for tips and tricks specific to me
- I have my Shadow Resist gear ready, PvP trinket set to swap in, and plenty of Sacred Candles for buffing
- I already know what loot could potentially drop, so I don’t waste time making snap decisions
So, am I casual, b/c I don’t raid six days a week, or am I hardcore, because of my preparation?
I’m in the middle.
I don’t think “hardcore” vs “casual” is determined by progression – it’s determined by attitude. Not every raider who has killed M’uru or Kil’jaeden is hardcore. And not every person who only steps foot into Kara is casual. It’s all about your mindset. As Blizz caters more and more to solo and smaller group play, “casual” is going to become less of a dirty word.