Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Raiders and casuals

There has been a growing divide splitting the WoW community for the past two years between hardcore raiders and casual players.

Casual players enjoy leveling, have many alts and occasionally run instances, while hardcore raiders focus on a single main that is usually epic'ed out and raid several nights a week.

More recently, Blizzard started making epic gear more available to casual players via various game mechanics: heroics, PvP rewards, the Arena and Badge rewards. While generally acclaimed, the recent introduction of Zul'Aman is adding to this trend by creating an instance that drops items that are near T6 quality. Unsurprisingly, this has a few hardcore raiders worried (or sometimes, downright angry) that Blizzard is cheapening their hard work by making items available to everyone.

An example of this attitude can be found in this post (unsurprisingly from the Elitist Jerks forum), although this poster is definitely on the mild side of people holding such arguments.

To me, people with this opinion are simply missing the point of raiding.

To me, raiding is about...

  • The thrill of discovering new content.
  • Getting your ass kicked nine times and win the tenth time.
  • The excitement of a first encounter.
  • The adrenaline rush of a first kill.
  • New graphics, new areas, new musics and new visual effects.
  • Awesome voice acting and hilarious or creepy one-liners.
  • Marveling at Blizzard's imagination.
  • Creative boss mechanics and reinventing the art of battle.
  • Feeling a chemistry with 24 other people you've never even met.
Casual players will never experience these points to the level that hardcore raiders do, so there is very little point in being angry at Blizzard for trying to keep the game appealing to everyone.

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