Friday, October 10, 2008

How to be a Hardcore Casual

Well, first of all, what IS a Hardcore Casual?

A Hardcore Casual is someone who really enjoys the game. Who knows the ins and outs of every mechanic. Who can play their class blindfolded... successfully. Who could, if they applied themselves, become a top-tier player in the game.

And why would someone not accomplish these goals?

The answer is simple: time.

Not everybody puts WoW before everything else in their life. We have jobs, families and other interests. Personally, I play for a few hours Friday night, a good chunk of Saturday afternoon and evening, then an hour or two some nights throughout the week. Playing with this schedule for the better part of the past three years, I'm pretty proud of what I've accomplished.

Here's a list of things to do in order to be a successful casual player:

1: Plan
Plan ahead for what you want to accomplish on a character. Keep a mental list of your goals. Better yet, write them down. Keep a notepad file handy on your desktop. Start a blog. No matter what you do, always be working towards something. Let's take a look at my Warlock, Samodean, starting at the launch of Burning Crusade.
Step 1: Level to 70
Step 2: Buy a flying mount
Step 3: Complete all Outland quests
Step 4a: Level Tailoring to 375
Step 4b: Complete the Frozen Shadoweave set
Step 5: Reach Exalted with Scryers

2: Know your limits
Once those 5 steps were complete, I considered my Warlock "done." Sure, there was plenty more he could do, but I was happy with where he was. I did a little PVP for fun, but never really dedicated myself to it. Due to time constraints, raiding was out of the picture, but I would keep the character available for the odd Guild instance run. I try to avoid PuGs, so constanly farming instances for Oblivion wasn't a smart goal, although I would have liked to at least get that 2-piece bonus. Heroic keys required Revered status at the time, so those weren't even an interest. At this point, I decided it would be a better use of my time to focus on another character.

3: Focus
Don't keep jumping around from one character to another. Sure, play an alt here and there for fun or to break up the monotony, but try to kep the bulk of your playing time dedicated to one or two characters. For example, I play on 2 separate computers. My weekday computer is a bit of a POS. With a lame video card and low-tier DSL, I try to keep things simple. Most notably, I don't run any addons. So, without the aid of Necrosis or Totemus, I try not to play my Warlock or Shaman during the week. On the other hand, weekends are on the primary system with cable internet, and I have no limits to what I can do. So, weekdays are currently Hunter time and weekends are Shaman-focused.

4: Take a breather
Focusing on one character is all well and good, but don't burn yourself out. Set aside some time to play a low-level alt, play some Battlegrounds, have some fun with your Guild, or just go pick some flowers. Whatever works for you.

All in all, keep in mind: This is just a game. The primary goal should be to have fun. If banging your head against your desk for hours every night trying to clear a new raid instance is your idea of fun, that's all well and good. Personally, that's not my thing. And there's the thing I love most about WoW compared to other MMOs I've played. A casual player can log on for an hour or two and get something done. No, maybe they can't be the best of the best on their server, but they can be proud of what they've done. They can have fun with their game.

1 comments:

Kudrania said...

This is a great post! So many people classify "hardcore" and "casual" separately.
I try hard to stay focused, but with the inception of achievements, it seems I have so much to do I don't know where to start. When in doubt, I fish. :)

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