Thought of the Day: When reaching your goals is all about the journey

The perennial casual vs hardcore debate rumbles on, and I thought this was a really interesting thread on the topic on tankspot. It is particularly interesting in WoW at the moment, because people are deciding what their goals will be (raiding and guildwise) in the next expansion.

And I just wanted to pick out one quote:

I think the reason Hardcore people really get progression(and so much faster) is because when you put 25 people in a raid who want to be the best at X class, instead of 25 people who want to get X gear(or X boss). you’ll get much further.

There does come a point where it’s all about recruitment. But there’s also a point where a lot of people would say, “who cares about being best at X class as long as you’re good enough”. Clearly not a hardcore attitude, or is it? Spending Z extra hours to nail that last 0.5% of performance when it isn’t necessary is not a very efficient use of time.

I think there’s two different types of goal setting.

  • I want to do/get X as fast as possible.
  • I want to do/ get X as efficiently (i.e. as little excess work) as possible.

Optimising efficiency hasn’t really been popular gameplay in western games, it’s a little alien to designers.

But if your goal in Wrath is to kill the Lich King, there’s no special benefit to being in a hardcore guild if a more relaxed setup could also do the job. Each week we’re seeing more raids take down Arthas for the first time. It’s a really big moment for any group that had been raiding together for most of the expansion, however casual.

And the particular  challenges facing casual raid guild leaders who need to pull together players with varying goals, commitment, and availability and keep things running for months on end are not well understood or rewarded in game.

To all of them, and everyone who raids with them, congratulations! You rock.

6 thoughts on “Thought of the Day: When reaching your goals is all about the journey

  1. My own raidguild is one of those that aspires to be efficient rather than just fast. the guild’s average age is a little higher than usual, with a lot of people between 25-35 that cannot and do not really wish to raid ‘hardcore’ but still want to clear all content at decent speed.
    we managed to get this group of like-minded players together over a long period of time and they’re still a close knit bunch today – recruitment wasn’t always easy for us but we got a very faithful playerbase in return with very low fluctuations in our roster.
    We ended up solidly established within the server’s top 3 before raiding slowed down after the LK, with all the guild above or below us having more raiddays and longer raidtimes than us. I always felt that our more efficient raiding deserved some higher reward, but obviously server standings will never take that into account. but at least personally I can say that I regard this type of raiding as more ‘hardcore’ than those that do it with more / a lot of raid hours.

  2. I suppose this is a side-track, but your guild division seems to explain a lot of problems that guilds can have. They go for fast when they don’t have the ‘skill’ for fast and would be better off with efficient. I’m using ‘skill’ as a stand-in for twitch, gear, coordination, effort, etc.

    • I think that’s very true. There’s a lot of stress and misery from people wanting to be one thing when the majority of their raid wants another. Most people don’t actually want ultimate no-holds-barred progression where they’re willing to ditch all other concerns as long as it leads to more progress. But even so, many of them are willing to put up with guilds they don’t particularly like because the progression is good.

      And skill can mean a lot of things, but fast progression usually includes willingness to be restrictive with recruiting, to replace players who aren’t good enough, to have raid leaders who are good at keeping the progression rate up, and basically to run a ship where progression is the main concern. Ultimately this could include switching to a more progression focussed server to have an easier time recruiting those types of players in future.

      As soon as you say, “we’ll keep the players we have and go as far as we can with this group”, it’s already become a more efficiency focussed effort. And one where measuring comparative progress is harder.

      And even then, not everyone wants to progress as much as theoretically possible. Some people (probably quite a lot) don’t really care about hard modes, they just want to see all the bosses and anything else is just there to kill time until the next content patch.

  3. I took a skim through this, some people have pretty good ideas, others seem way off.

    Casual does not mean, “suck at it”. It means it isn’t a priority in their life.

    Casual people do look these things up from time to time, can be part of a progressive raiding guild, can have success and know their class (or several others). It’s just not their main priority.

    Hardcore players tend to be hard core about the game and their /played tends to show that.

    There is nothing different between a hardcore player and a casual player other than time set aside to play a game. Now there is a big difference between a player that sucks and one that doesn’t – but that’s not casual vs. hardcore. I’ve actually seen some hardcore players with awesome gear that totally sucked.

    In the past I’ve been hardcore, hitting up all the latest raiding content in games like EQ 1 where you had to be competitive or the raid mobs weren’t there (no instance just for you). Now I’m casual, but I still kick ass in WoW and can do all the stuff the hardcore types do.

    I just don’t log in to do it as often.

  4. I don’t care about what hardcore/casual means. I just want people I raid with to take it seriously.

    While you’re raiding, give it all you’ve got. How much time you decide to commit to raiding is your own decision. I don’t believe in forcing people to play or punishing them for their decisions on how to allocate their time. But if you decide to raid, do that. Don’t waste my time in a raid painting your nails or watching TV or getting drunk. You don’t have to be the best at your class. Just don’t slack while the rest of us are trying our best to kill the boss.

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