Greetings fellow casuals and welcome to your first lesson in the wonders of casualhood. It's a strange game we play, you see. Some feel that we're “doing it wrong” or “wasting our time” or that we should “go back to WoW.” To these people, we flip the bird. Seriously, they can screw off.
You see, you and I have a secret, an equation if you will, that they can only guess at. It goes something like this: real life + family + money = important. Let me break that down, we don't live with mom and dad. Heck, most of us probably are moms and dads (except me, I don't have the hips for it) and that means we're stuck at work before we can get online. Or maybe we're married and the other half gets pissed when we yell obscenities at our incompetent group mates. That's live. C'est la vie or some crap.
But we still want to play video games! I mean, what do you think we are, grown ups? To hell with that. We grew up in the video game age and will die with a paddle in our hands. As my dear grandmammy would say: fiddlesticks'll fry.
So, now that you've got your bindle stick packed, slung, and ready to roll, let's go over a few of the most important facts of life every casual must eventually face.
You're going to fall behind
It's true. There's about no chance of you ever being on top again. You're raid ladder is now the corporate ladder and Onyxia is now something you read about when you should be working. As your guildmates level up and start raiding and PvP'ing, you're probably still going to be grinding through Thousand Needles and mining copper. My suggestion? Learn how to fly solo and only turn on vent when you want inspiration. They'll tell you all about what you're missing, rest assured.
Grouping is for sissies
Yeah, you heard me. Here's the guy who just wrote an article about how he likes grouping telling you not to group. Well, I have a confession. Sometimes I like to wear high heels too but it's still not socially acceptable. You're a casual and grouping is for people a little more hardcore than you. Those guildies are just going to out level you anyways.
I should probably make myself clear here. I'm not telling you not to group. I'm telling you not to plan on grouping. That clever one liner about your guildies out leveling you? It's probably going to be true unless you find someone equally as casual to play with. In which case... L2P noob.
It's best not to fight it
That's right. Take it in stride because if you don't, well, you're a lost cause. If you're casual, it's because either you want to be or you need to be. There's no in between. If you want to be, then you're probably already self-actualized, in which case, why the hell aren't you writing this article? If you need to be, it's because be happyyou have priorities that are more important than gaming. Too bad. Real life kicked in and this is the hand you're dealt. Move on, grind boars, and smile. In the words of Bobby McFerrin, don't worry, be happy.
It's not all bad...
I don't want to send you away thinking your MMO career has gone carebear. It hasn't. Even though you're no longer “hardcore” you still have some “core” left in you. Your games are going to last way longer for you than they ever have before. Seriously. That 1,500 hours you dropped into your first three toons? That's like 5 years for you now. Think of it this way, playing MMOs can now be in your 10 year plan and if that's not some kind of “core” I don't know what is. You're hardcore with an outlook...
And that's it for our first lesson. There are your three key things to know before you continue on in Chris' School of CasualCraft. And yes, we're calling it CasualCraft because if Crimecraft can do it, so can I.
Congratulations recruit, you'll never have to worry about burn out again. We've moved you from the Mustang to the Oldsmobile of MMO gaming, from the passing lane to the carpool lane, so sit back and enjoy the ride. Ahh.... that sweet, sweet, leg room.