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BadSpock's Logical Conclusions.

My random thoughts about MMORPGs. A bit of critique, suggestion, debate, and insanity. Enjoy.

Author: BadSpock

The casual hardcore gamer

Posted by BadSpock Tuesday January 22 2008 at 9:29AM
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Something I thought I'd share with ya'll here at MMORPG.com

This is from Loading... a blog over at TenTonHammer.com by John "Boomjak" Hoskin.

All credit goes to Mr. Boomjak of course, but I thought it spoke such truth I needed to share it on MMORPG.com in case ya'll missed today's Loading...

Enjoy, I'll highlight the key parts:

"So there I was, reading through the 50 or so websites that I peruse on a daily basis in my neverending attempt to know what is going on, when I noticed that even some of the people who should understand the casual versus hardcore "issue" really don’t get it. The bottom line is that casual doesn’t mean ‘easy’ and hardcore doesn’t mean ‘difficult’. How did many players get stuck on this notion?

You need look no further than World of Warcraft to see that a game most MMOG players define as casual friendly has a deep hardcore foundation. It simply flows well from one gameplay type to another. The vocal group out there who claims that WoW is for ‘noobs’ probably hasn’t played it or they tried it and left because they weren’t as adept as most of the other players.

WoW is successful because it has a long learning curve with a gradual grade. Players are led from one puzzle to the next in such an intuitive way that the game just feels right. This is great design folks. This isn’t casual. Many of you are hardcore and you don’t even know it. Blizzard simply changed the way that developers move new players from being isolated ports in the storm to being part of a larger entity that is taking on more difficult content. That fact that most players didn’t even notice is a testament to how good the design really is.

Unlike most MMOGs that came before it, WoW was a game first and a world second. Did anyone really think that forcing a player to run up to every NPC in the world to see if they had a quest was fun? It’s like asking every person who walks by you if they can spare some change. We call those people beggers in real life. In EverQuest and even EverQuest 2 everyone was a quest begger, panhandling for quests like some handyman moocher. "I’ll take anything you got. You need Eel Eyes? I’ll get ‘em. You want me to smack 20 rats. No problem. Deliver this package to a guy in some other zone. I’m on it!"

Blizzard took the annoyances of real life out of their game and made it fun. Isn’t that what games are supposed to be?

Casual or hardcore? Can you define the difference? Has anyone delivered as much as Blizzard?"

So, so, so true people.

Yes, WoW is 'easy' at the early levels. It's suppose to be. You have to play for a while to find the real challenges. I agree fully that most of those who call WoW a "noob" game never got too far. They probably logged on, expected a tedius, poorly designed grind-fest so they could claim themselves "hardcore" and got bored because the game wasn't overly frustrating.

I've been around since old-school (pre-Trammel) UO. Pre-CU/NGE Star Wars Galaxies... I've dabbled in EVE, EQ, EQ2, LOTRO, TR, and just about everything else.

WoW is as successful as it is for a reason people. Yeah you might be burned out, yeah you may have "been there done that" and moved past WoW. But don't even try to say it's a bad game.

Why has no MMO before WoW been so successful? Why has no MMO since WoW been so successful? Pretty easy answers if you take your "hardcore" shades off and look at the game objectively.

So I define the WoW player, the "standard" WoW player (as I've seen them) who are at max level and still plays at least 10-15 hours a week as being the "casual hardcore."

We're hardcore about our game, we play daily or almost every day, we PvP and raid and farm... but we're casual players none the less. We don't like tedius, overly frustrating and complicated systems. We don't see these things as a sign of difficulty, we see them as a poorly designed systems. Make the challenge, the difficulty come from the content, not from the system.

I have enough challenge and tedium, frustration and complications in my real life. I want to play a game that is most importantly fun, but also easy to get into, forgiving, and laid-back.

A game that achieves these things, but also provides a challenge when I seek one is a well designed and well made game.

Kalafax writes:

 /agree

Tue Jan 22 2008 9:35AM Report
Hexxeity writes:

Well said.

So many people around here use so much jargon without really knowing what they mean themselves.

Phrases I am sick to death of reading:

  • Casual vs. hardcore
  • Class-based, level-based, skill-based
  • Solo-friendly vs. group-oriented (as if they are mutually exclusive)
  • Ganking
  • Grind
  • Instancing (as if it's an all-or-nothing concept)
  • Balance, without qualifiers to say what portion of the game you mean

Mainly, I just wish people would use less shorthand.  Say exactly what they mean.  This would:

  1. Force people to think about what they mean before posting
  2. Eliminate a lot of pointless semantic arguments
Tue Jan 22 2008 11:44AM Report
BadSpock writes:

It's simply that these are the topics everyone at least knows of and has an opinion on, and we all obviously love stating our opinions !

It's hard to make informative, original, bias free posts on the net.

Tue Jan 22 2008 1:48PM Report
Hexxeity writes:

I know, but you are one of the few good examples, even when you do fall back on these tired old subjects.

It's not that the subjects themselves are bad -- the problem is that people use the same words to talk (and argue) about more personal definitions, and it all ends up going stupid.

Or worse, people think a subject seems simple or that they understand it, when really they've had little experience with it and given it hardly any thought.

Tue Jan 22 2008 1:52PM Report
BadSpock writes:

What you say is indeed true.

I try to see both sides and make my postings as un-biased and intelligent as possible.. but like all others I'm only human.

Difference is, I'm trying to censor myself, many here don't take the time to do so.

But you are correct, many make arguments for/against something without knowing what they are arguing...

The biggest thing is that people never see the big picture.

All systems in a MMO are inter-related. Change the functionality and symantecs of one and you will have to change all of them.

Tue Jan 22 2008 1:59PM Report
VidEoGAM3R writes:

I really enjoyed the content of this article. 

Contrary to what many think... I have never seen "childish" or "immature" behavior from WoW players than I would see in any other MMO.  For the most part I am usually the youngest or one of the youngest members of my guild and I am 17.  Everyone seems to be perfessional and understands what is expected of them .  Guilds generally have strong rules of ethics/behavior... besides noone wants to waste their time, so they do/act what/how is neccessary.

 

But to get back on topic, people being bias is nothing new to the world.. especially not the internet.  I have played about 25-30 MMOs in my time so I have alot to compare with regards to different aspects of the games. 

No matter how good/bad someone may perceive a game.. there will always be people who see the opposite.  It is a matter of personal taste that others need to be tolerant of.

Wed Jan 23 2008 2:59AM Report
grimfall writes:

I still think that they're overestimating the complexity of WoW.  If someone plays a character to 20 then takes the same class of character on a lvl 70 raid, odds are they're going to do just fine.  I'm playing it now, and besides a few extra skills, I can't think of anything that I've 'learned' between the levels 20 and 53.

Wed Jan 23 2008 4:24AM Report
soulwynd writes:

"Blizzard took the annoyances of real life out of their game and made it fun."

W.T.F.? WoW is like a paid second job, 'tard who wrote that didn't play it long enough.

Wed Jan 23 2008 9:22AM Report
BadSpock writes:

I dunno grimfall.. the way WoW is designed is that it leads you into the more advanced content. From simple solo quests, to group quests, to 5-person dungeons, to 10-person raids, to 25-person raids..

Each step teaches you more about your "role" and how to react to different situations.

If you were to go from level 20 (all solo up to 20 pretty much) straight into 25 person end-game raiding, you'd either get your a** handed to you or get booted from the raid.

People who are leveling up their first character now (at least on my server) are a rare thing to find. Most are alts. Most will do all the solo quests and have high level buddies power-level them through the instances.

By doing this, you don't "learn" your group role, you probably already know your new classes role from seeing them in action on your main toon.

In order to get the true WoW experience and appreciate the expertly designed learning curve, you have to start your character on a fresh server. I can definetely understand how new comers to WoW may find the game boring or too simplistic, they are missing out on the MMO experience!

The game, like all MMOs, is designed to be played with others. It's hard to achieve that as a new or low level toon on the older servers.

Thu Jan 24 2008 9:21AM Report
BadSpock writes:

soulwynd -

it's only a second job if you make it one.

Now, I know... in order to "keep up" with gear curve in both PvE and PvP end-game you have to play a lot... grind instances, raids, reputation, honor etc. etc. I know, I've done it.

It's what the game is designed for at end-game. It's my biggest beef with the game, but what else do you do?

For me, the answer is meaningful PvP. WoW does not have this. I doubt WoW will ever have this. PvP is just another way to get epic gear in WoW.

Hence, I'm so pumped and waiting for WAR. Meaningful, heroic, perpetual PvP? Sign me up.

Thu Jan 24 2008 9:26AM Report

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