Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why "the Casual"?

Not the author
Like any small community, there are cliques. In high school, you had the jocks, the nerds, the popular and the completely unpopular. Depending on how your parents dressed you in the morning and your genetic predisposition to sports, often placed you in your high school clique. Now while, I never (who would) consider myself a total outcast, I didn't exactly fit into the jock crowd. Maybe I should have listened to the track coach and tried out for the x-country track team....

Throughout life, my moto has been c'est la vie (yes it's a cheesy 80's reference). I take most as things come. No bumper sticker commitments. No standing on fad commitments. It's served me through college, work and now into my game play. What has this to do with my topic?

OK, what does "Casual" mean to me??

First off, casual means family first. I do not want aspects of my game play to impact my wife or children. Yes, they know I play Warcraft. They have seen me killing beasts, doing the dailies and even the regular holiday event. I have not let this take time away from them. When they are awake, I can get up from the keyboard at any moment and wander off. Since I am on a Central coast server and live in Pacific TZ, has this impacted raiding?? Heck ya. I typically can't raid with the standard server groups. I can only raid with late night groups. Forutunately, my guild is made up of a good portion of PST residents and they've been making an effort to include myself and others in my situation (guild perks!!). In fact, I have or do work with my healer, tank and dps (see about page). This makes raiding at 11PM server easier..

Casual means efficiency. Between work and family, I have little time to raid, much less grind. I don't want to spend hours, upon hours trying to get that specific trinket from the 3rd boss in ICC, or that neck from HoR just because it's the absolute best in slot, or the ... you get the point. I want easy to use, correct websites to provide me upgrade options. Not ones like WowArmory that list ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING as an upgrade, or maxDPS which doesn't allow you to remove HIT (or any spirit) if you're already at max (sorry, but healy gear is NOT an upgrade for a lock, no matter how you reforge it). I need to be able to control the filters, the gear has to be specific to my current toon and my play style. I love spreadsheets, I can review the math. I love pawn and LootRank for the same reasons. I can play, I can tweak, I can find.

Casual means lack of commitment. Oh yeah, you heard me. I'll commit to the raid invite, if it fits. I'll commit to meeting friends and guildies for the random dungeon marathon. I am even planning on taking a little time off next month. What I won't commit to is giving stuff away. I've heard of friends are making 0 gold, because their giving away ALL of their gem transmutes. Sure, he also has 6 max level toons, but having 0 income because you're generously giving away a transmute?? Silly. I'll give away the random proc, but not the CD. Maybe not being on enough, they find someone else!!  :)

Casual means variety. Sure, you may say it's because I am missing raiding. I say it's cause there's more to life than raiding. I PUG raids, I PVP, I quest, I do the dailies and I make gold. By not raiding 6-10 hours a week, I can put 20 minutes into playing the auction house, while sitting in the DPS dungeon queue. Finish that, then run a few PVP sessions until horde wins or frustration does. If I am still not at max level, finish a quest chain before bed (BTW, did I mention it's now 2am PST).

Casual means late nights. Yes, 12am to 1am are fairly regular nights for me. My wife has to leave for work by 630am. That means, on average, max 4 hours of sleep each night I play and very strong espresso in the morning. Definitely makes for some very long, and interesting meetings at the office. My blog is accessible from the office, so most the time I compose or at least start an entry there. Before you ask, no I don't play at the office.

Casual means sacrifice. I will never have BIS gear. I will likely never get "The Kingslayer" title, no matter how cool it would be. I will never see ALL of the raid bosses (AFAIK, there are only 6 in Ulduar). Until the 'recent' changes in Wrath, I would have never seen level appropriate tier gear. Which I do absolutely LOVE the fact that Blizzard implemented; non-raiders are able to see a (virtually) full set of i264 level gear and all it cost me was a tractor trailer load of emblems (and a short-lived, failed arena team). At ~20 emblems a week... go figure.

Casual means I play on my own terms. I play when I want to, do what I want and try not to be green with envy about the cool i277 gear dropping off LK. (Thanks, Blizzard for fixing that in Cataclysm) By playing casual, I've never had burn-out issues (for long). From my perspective, the game is an outlet, not a source.

1 comment:

  1. I'm right there with ya Elk. Love the game, wish I had time to raid like a monster. Family comes first! Between work, soccer, baseball, Cub Scouts (I'm a Den leader), birthday parties, wife, house work, etc... I play when I can. I raid when I can. When I'm there, I'm 100%.

    It's really nice to be a casual and then show up to a raid and be top dps as a lock. ;)

    ReplyDelete

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