Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hardcore Casual: Lassirra Said It Best!

Lassirra over at the The Hunters Mark over the last few days has had two very great perspective post that mirrors much of my own thinking: Casual By Circumstance and More Casual/Hardcore Musings. I can only say She Said it Best in both her two posts even if its a bit personal in nature because I guess that's how one feels at times, Hardcore at heart but Casual by Circumstance for many reasons some not always on our own accord. That strikes at something that has been on my mind or affected my play all through the game and even in the endgame of things in all seriousness.

"How many people do you know, in your immediate circle of friends alone, that are forced into a more casual style of play than they would prefer simply due to the circumstances they find themselves in? (You might even be such a person yourself.) The reasons could be any number of things"
The Hunters Mark (Lassirra)

I'm going to try and not repeat much of what Lassirra already said in her two posts but will only speak for it from my own perspective. I've already attributed to this before to some degree. I don't want to be Hardcore, I already am Hardcore in how I play WoW! I can't really change the fact that it is my play style, but overtime I myself have being forced into a casual playstyle some not of my own choosing and some eventually to it as well due to my guild enviroment. I've always been all about serious business getting things done. Yet for all that effort and for all that time where I envisioned myself to be is nowhere close to where things are presently. Due to time, new content being imminent on the horizon and other goals I've made the decision to eventually settle in a casual mode. Does it mean I'm happy where I am, No. I'm just content at the moment.

Much of WoW I've learned the game on my own, leveled in a unconventional spec despite what everyone else said, Tanked when it wasn't popular. I learned to play my class in a very soloistic playstyle figuring out the game and learning how to play. Yes I played it hardcore, even if it was totally solo. I too spent a lot of time researching endlessly for information on my class at a low level to ever improve my play. It was how I found many the older WoW class blogs. I studied allot of the information and applied it to my playstyle. I looked over many gear list they had or recommended and when I got to 70 I did exactly what they had recommended for gear list with some variation of my own as things changed along the way.

I've never complained how hard it was to get gear or that I had to run SV eighteen times to get my cape or that It took almost 30 times to run Botanica to get my shoulders. I just did it! I never cried because I wasn't in a guild to help me do quests or run Instances or do stuff for me. It never bothered me! As a matter of fact I shunned joining guilds for the first half of the time I was at 70. Why did I need a guild when I was good at running PuGs? Were they always good? No! But I did it anyway! It was my own hardcore playstyle why I did all that with pure dedication and grit and never complained. Every Instance made me better being down in the trenches learning how to tank when I was real green as a Tank. The more I did the better I got and the more friends I made the better I got. Still no guild. People offered, but I refused to join any guild. Hell I was doing just fine without one gearing my self up. I took great pride in acquiring all my own gear from greens to Epics. Did it bother me that I did not have a guild to chat with, No. I don't chat much in the the one I'm in today either.

Back then lots of people run Instances. Much Instances did I run over and over as well as research the gear pieces I picked up to see what was better, which instance I needed to run or where else I could pick up alternative gear for my Tanking needed or from quests. From Blogs of others that played my class I learned many other things about my class, gear and perspective, hell I was writing one myself all at the same time. But if you ask me how much time did I spend daily doing research it was more than 60% of my time involve in research of lots of things vs actually playing the game. How many people actually spend that much time doing that very casually? Many I know, but I'm still not sure. I still spend that much time doing research and looking over boss strats or figuring out strategy or reading my class forums not at WoW but at Maintankadin or Tankspot or elsewhere. Needless to say the reading countless blogs in my community of my class and and others for perspective in playing the game we all play.

Allot of people play WoW casually some with more time than others and don't care to put in that much time. Many do it in guilds where a lot of the stronger members carry the load of guilds doing the research for gear and strats. Some reading over countless websites, first hand blogs figuring out the boss strats for everyone else casual attitude in raiding or instancing. I've done that to various degree. But that does suck the life out of those that does that.

I've been in just three guilds on my server as I'm also not much for hopping guilds. Yet at some point I may or do decide to leave when its time to move on. I do have some sense of loyalty to a high degree and thus guild hopping have never been much in my nature. I enjoy being able to be apart of something and help it to become better than it aspire to be. However joining guilds have never been much in my nature either. Finding a like minded members or guild is not the easiest thing to find. But I've been in just three real casual guilds. One was casual social and just not my idea of a guild to go anywhere I wanted to go so I left. Another was a casual guild that did seen to be going places but just was not the right place for me with too many tanks already there so I left quickly. I actually hate guild hopping, it sucks! My current guild I was there when it was formed, and though I've left and returned I was there at the beginning. I remember PuGing with my guild GM down in the trenches called PuGs.

Yet my server is a very small server and young. I've had opportunities to move on to other guilds, I've had many guild Invites because I've PuGed with many form the top guilds. Yet many those guilds unfortunately have now fallen apart, no longer raid or left server. Few remain and are still progressing. But do I really want to join a mature guild and having to make friends with people that I may not care to like just to be fully accepted into a guild or their way of doing things? Not really!

I remember how difficult a choice it was to join just one guild. So many are just social hubs or full with unskilled players or members just there to be casual playing WoW. I'm not really there to be casual. Yet you never quite find the right guild ever at first its seems. Too many variables that goes into what you want in a acceptable guild and desire vs what you actually find when you get there in its members that determine how log you stay or not. I can say for sure I've not found a guild that is the one I feel I can progress with for sure to where I wish to go. Yet I'm in a guild that's casual and very casual in how things are done.

I'm actually a hardcore playing Tank in a very casual guild. That is a odd couple! I'm not in my guild for my guildies! I'm not there because I like to chat or socialize. I'm not there because I'm bored and need friends to greet whenever I'm there. I was there before many of them arrived. I guess I respect my GM enough as a good friend and several of the officers as good players that I'm still there to help the guild in whatever way I can while I'm content in being there.

My guild does have some very good players but its casual in nature and attitude and how it does things. I have no notion that I can change much being there or do I really try to. I can influence things but Its always a uphill battle to change things one against many. I guess I would rather be in a Hardcore guild with like minded members. One from the ground up or one with very good players with a more focused attitude towards being skilled, raiding and progressing and being more serious about it as well as being efficient as much as possible. That kind of play is most appealing to me but such players are hard to find. Yet its most elusive to find, because in my opinion they are much more casual guilds that hardcore guilds. Thus many players that have a hardcore tendencies can be trapped in very casual guilds and remain quite unhappy where they are.

I remember starting my own guild as a project which I later turned back to a private guild in the end at this point and time. I remember how much effort I put into it learning how to run a guild, endlessly reading the WoW Guild Relations Forums, as well as GM related Blogs. It was quite difficult to recruit very solid players and when it happened it was very slow going. People don't tend to stick around when many people are not in a guild and when its growing slow. Even when I emphasise I was looking to only recruit quality players it was a headache dealing with recruitment. members would just quit if you did help them at their ever beck and call or run them through a Instance, which I have a personal issue with doing so. People just quit when you weren't around and gave the lame ass excuse they left to go join their friends guild. Whatever! Eventually I got tired of it and realize this wasn't the time to be growing a guild when I wanted to do other things and was too much a drag and headache. But quality players are hard to find and undedicated and unskilled players are everywhere wanting a free ride.

I've done almost everything I can do to personally progress withing the environment that I play the game. Currently at the endgame 11 months and pushing, I had expectations of seeing many the unique instances SSC, TK and possibly BT and facing the challenges with a great team of players that were dedicated and serious of getting the job done. But such is not the case. Finding team of players has being elusive and time consuming and sometime quite frankly a headache. Yes I could have hopped and hopped guilds to maybe find my way to such a guild. I know people in every top guild on my server by virtue of reputation on the Instance grind. But Its not fun joining guilds that end up being the wrong guild and having to leave or the time wasted. Its not fun spending money transferring servers to get no where better than where you really were before. Its not fun having to pretend to like people in a guild just so you can fit in.

Quite frankly I don't like much of it! So even the hardcore player that I am. Its like pushing against a wall at times. So yeah I'm casual by circumstance. Yes I can always more on to find another guild or other servers, but quite frankly all that is time consuming and not always certain of finding what your looking for with broken promises. I've personally watched friends I know I help gear Tanking Instances with them being in my 5 man and Heroic Instances gear from Blues to Epics join guilds. Later to see them in other guilds, then another and another all the way to a guild progressing in BT. One my Warlock friend from PuGing I remember when she got her first Badge of Justice not long ago, who today raid in BT switching guilds along the way but I guess such things are much easy for a DPSer vs a Tanking class. But yes I've seem many those members make it to the BT. Many that by mutual cooperation we help each other get geared up to various degree running countless PuGs. Every few weeks some those same members were in a different guild. I'm not about that! Never wanted to take that route, but sometimes its what is required to get where you want to go. But such is not the path I wished to take.

With the expansion looming, I've decide you know, it doesn't matter all this much at this point. Time is short. So though I'm not happy not going to see much the endgame, I'm content for now. But At least I know in the next expansion it will all be even and from now till them I can make my choices to where I wish to be or which way I desire to see that content.

I've never started the game with the attitude to be hardcore. When I started I knew nothing of the game. Along the way the gaps filled in learning the game. What became evident was that what I though was a normal way of playing the game with focus and dedication and a desire to excel wasn't normal. Attempting to become as good as I could be in the environment I played the game was in itself hardcore and others played it in a more casual nature or wanted the game to be much easier than it already is. At some point one does get frustrated with the process of everything with guildies, guild, unskilled players and non progression, with the game itself. Its frustrating at times.

When your not where you want to be its a good idea it seems to move on to somewhere else. The worst feeling is not being happy and just being content where you are. I guess I'm hardcore casual and at the moment being content, but casual by nature of my guild environment. Who knows maybe I'm just buying time! But I'll be honest. I would rather a hardcore guild of skilled and dedicated players who at least think and try to progress in the raid environment. Not raiding everyday but a few days a week where progression is possible among learning encounters. I would rather be in such a guild where people came prepared to raid. Showup with their gear full repaired, they came with full consumables and necessary reagents. Members that at least read up or studies to some degree the encounters that the group was about to face vs just showing up blindly and hoping the boss falls over and somehow they get the loot they desired. People that wanted to play for the challenge but the gear was the reward for the effort that they put into getting there. Is that too much to ask for to find a group of people like that in a guild? Yet its elusive to find guild members like that.

In the end for the moment I'm just content with being Hardcore Casual. I still enjoy the game for what it is, a game. I don't tank much except for guild raids, otherwise I'm just leveling my Hunter thats at 67 and so far its fun to some degree. In WotLK that may all change, at least I will get my 3rd 70 which will indeed be a Death Knight tank along with my Paladin for sure but for now its just calm waters before the storm. having three 70's is more than enough for my nature with ability to remain focus on one or two characters only. Such is the life and times of one hardcore casual tank but in the end Lassirra said it all best though!

1 comment:

Darraxus said...

Wow, that is alot of writing lol. From what it sounds like you need a raiding guild. Raiding guilds usually have skilled players or they would not be a raiding guild. Most raids require that you bring everything (consumables etc) that you will need to be at your best. Sounds like you should look into a raiding guild and give them a try.