A playing revelation

We’ve all heard about casual vs hardcore playstyles but I, like many I’d imagine, think that’s too simplistic. I’ve always said that I’m a casual player but I’ve recently had a bit of a revelation about that, which has prompted this post. It’s a bit of a personal post I suppose but I think it does have relevance enough to others, if only to make them think about their own playing preferences.

A lesson once learnt and forgotten
Towards the end of last year after Firelands had been out for a while I nearly had the opportunity to join my friend’s raid team. One of their healers had gquit unexpectedly and I filled in on a couple of raids and was then invited to join them on a permanent basis. I was honoured as I looked up to my friends quite a lot, still do if I’m honest. They introduced me to the game and seemed to be amazingly good at it and to think that I could join them, like an equal, well my answer was always going to be yes. However, the healer that gquit came back as suddenly as he’d left. As he was a real life friend of the raid leader I shouldn’t have been surprised when he was taken back without a word about his sudden departure. Nobody told me about this of course until my friend took pity on me and clued me in as to why I was no longer being invited to raids.

As you can imagine I was quite hurt by this at the time. However, I realised quite quickly that it would never have worked out. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not that good or if it’s an attitude thing rather than a skill thing, probably a bit of both. Basically they weren’t that hardcore but they were too hardcore for me. I realised then that I was a casual player and that while I might like to think I could cut it at a high level I have neither the skill nor the drive to do so.

Which brings us to the present
I deliberated whether to write this post. I try very hard not to get into specifics and you’ll notice that I’ve not named names. However, anyone that knows me will know what I’m talking about, but as I’m not saying anything bad about anyone I decided it was ok. When I joined the guild and raid group I’m currently in, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that I’ve never been so happy in game. I’d finally found a place that I could call home where people included me and seemed to like me. I wasn’t tolerated because I was a friend of a member, I was in on my own merit and it was brilliant. At the beginning everything was great, I suppose it could have been the honeymoon period, or that things were different back then, like before a mixture of both would be my guess. I joined in January, and over the last few months, the raid team has changed quite a lot, and I suppose with the changing roster it was inevitable that wasn’t all that changed.

There is a schism in the raid group right now, at least it seems like there is to me. Where some of the group want to chase progress as much as possible and the others are more laid back about it. That is actually irrelevant to this post though. The only thing that matters is that progress is being pushed in the group. At first I thought that this was good and I thought that the reason why I was growing increasingly unhappy was to do with a number of other issues. I was fooling myself, the lesson I’d learnt through my near miss of joining the other group obviously hadn’t been taken to heart. To me having fun is the most important part of raiding with progress being a nice side benefit. To me being 3/8 hc is amazing and incredible and more than I could ever have hoped. I wanted to clear Dragon Soul, believed it was achievable and we did it, to go beyond that is just icing on the cake.

Therein lies my revelation and the point of this post. I’m more casual than I ever thought I was. I’ve always said I don’t mind wiping but actually that’s not true, or at least not to a point. I don’t mind wiping a few times, 10 or 20 to nail a boss where the progress we make each time is clearly visible. I do mind wiping over and over when it seems hopeless and if that makes me a quitter or lazy or whatever so be it. I will kill everything, even on heroic, one day as I want the achievements. However, that day doesn’t have to be today for me. I don’t need to kill it when it’s current and actually knowing that works against my normal inclination to continue. When you know that next tier, and certainly next xpac, it’s going to be a lot easier, it makes you wonder why you’re putting yourself through pain now.

I believe that I can raid and clear normal mode of a current tier and am more than happy to do so. I don’t believe that I am skilled enough or perhaps mentally strong enough to do the same on heroic. I don’t want to put myself through that.

The conclusion or where I go from here
I don’t know is the answer, because my personal playing preferences and desires are not necessarily that of the group. I love this guild that has made me feel included and welcome for the first time in this game and I certainly don’t want to leave it. I also would like to be able to continue raiding, just at a reduced intensity level. Whether those two goals are compatible will be something that I’ll have to find out. I don’t know why I wrote this post to be honest as it is a lot more personal than I would usually like to go. However, I don’t know maybe I just needed to write it all down in the hope that the people that I really like, and respect, will understand where I’m coming from.