Euripedes over at Critical QQ is calling for an end to the use of labels such as “hardcore” and “casual” to define ourselves as gamers.
Now I can’t say that I agree entirely, there has to be some sort of method to clarify and identify our interests.
Completely removing labels would be akin to calling all sports fans just that, “sports fans” and never letting them specify what sport it is that rocks their socks. “Hey, hockey’s on! You’re a sports fan, you must like hockey, right?”
“I’ve got Halo set up. You’re a gamer, you like Halo, right? DAOC? Street Fighter? Hello Kitty Adventure Island?”
“All gamers must like PvP, right? Raiding? Questing? Grinding?”
“Gamer” is just too big. And people like nice, small words to sum things up so explaining everything that you do and don’t like isn’t going to happen.
The biggest problem is that the gaming community at large uses the following formula to calculate the difference between the hardcore, the casuals, and the noobs:
Anyone that plays more than you is hardcore. Anyone that plays less is a noob. You’re casual.
The sliding scale makes it difficult to really nail down a definition.
I’m sure I am considered hardcore by many.
I want to raid 2-3 nights a week. I wants said raids to start on time. I want my raid members to show up repaired, enchanted, glyphed, flasked, and ready to focus. If we wipe, I want there to be a brief discussion of what went wrong and what will be done to fix it.
To me, that’s a casual raider. Only 2 nights a week. We don’t have an application process to join the guild. We don’t have DKP. We don’t have anything resembling an attendance policy.
But in the interest of throwing off a poorly-defined label, how about we say I am a serious raider? Raiding is the primary focus for my mage, so we’ll throw that word in. Not hardcore, but I take the time and effort that goes into raiding seriously and I expect others to do the same.
So what is happening in the raiding world of this serious raider?
The most active officers met over the weekend and talked about where we wanted to go with the guild.
I had sent one of the officers a letter earlier in the week (I consider him something of a co-GM) outlining my concerns.
We seemed to be stuck in that awkward spot of being a casual guild that raids (hey, we have 10 people on, let’s go bash our heads against Ony for a couple hours) and a casual raiding guild (2 nights a week on the calendar, let’s show up and kill shit with some semblance of precision).
As a serious raider, I’m looking for the latter.
We’re having an issue with one of our best tanks being a little… um, difficult. He’s an awesome tank. And apparently he’s done with it. Has let raids not get off the ground due to a lack of a tank instead of sucking it up and tanking. He’s finally agreed to tank only when he has to. Which is good, because he pretty much has to.
Now that we’ve moved Tuesday night to Wednesday, we’ll have my DK buddy as the main tank. Our priest was willing to go tank on his warrior, but that would have left us down a healer. Likewise, the druid has a bear gear set, but would have left us down a healer. Not to mention, progression just isn’t the place to be breaking in tanks. It isn’t fair to the new tank (zomg I can’t believe I fucked that up) and it’s not fair to the other 9 people in the raid (zomg I can’t believe he fucked that up).
Until we’re at the point where we are ready to start recruiting, we’re kinda stuck with what we have. We agreed to wait at least 2 weeks before looking at recruiting again to see where we were.
Tanking issues aside, we have attendance issues.
Sunday raids have never gotten going. We agreed to move Sunday to Thursday.
This means we’ll be raiding Wednesday and Thursday and I couldn’t be happier about it.
I was never fond of Tuesdays as a raid day. Tuesdays is patch day and who wants their progression raid being borked up if add ons get wacky or the new content is bugged (unless you think falling through the floor endlessly is fun, to each their own). Wednesdays should be enough time to get hot fixes to major issues in or at least be aware of the bugs. We’re not going to be getting any server firsts anytime soon so waiting one day doesn’t hurt us.
Thursdays are awesome because it means we can get things finished up right away. And if we don’t, we’ll be able to pug what we didn’t get to over the weekend. As it was with Sunday raids I was twiddling my thumbs on Fridays and Saturdays turning down raid invites on the off chance that we *might* get to it on Sunday. Of course we never did so I wasted all those opportunities.
The other portion of the attendance problem is people not signing up for the events. The officers that were available for the conversation are all really good about clicking accept or decline so I don’t know what the root of the problem is. I’m going to look into using the guild site calendar as our primary calendar tool because more people can access it during the week. I can always take the responses from there and update the in-game calendar myself. The lack of a “maybe” button or the ability to append a note makes the in-game calendar very limiting. (Blizzard, hope you’re listening to someone making this same point somewhere. Total tangent – when the battle.net goes fully operational, I wonder if they will do guild-site hosting that would allow for calendars integrated in and out of game?)
My big worry regarding the lack of accepts/declines on the calendar (besides making it really hard to plan if the raid is actually happening or not) is in regards to when we start recruiting. I don’t want to be in a place where I recruit someone and the new guy clicks accept, but an “original” member of the guild decides to show up that night and the new guy gets benched just because someone with seniority was able to log in. We agreed that wasn’t cool which led to what I think is one of the strongest outcomes of the discussion.
We’re going to have a raiding charter. What we expect from the raiders and what will happen if they don’t meet those expectations.
To me, this signifies a big step in us going from a casual guild with a sloppy raiding team to a casual guild with a hardcore serious raiding team.
We’ll see how it goes. My job right now is to get the Sunday raids moved to Thursday on the calendar and poke the people that haven’t registered at the guild site with a big stick.