Something I thought I'd share with ya'll here at MMORPG.com
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.