Welcome to Hardcore

February 25, 2009

It’s come up a few times recently, but it seems by general definitions I’m a hardcore player, and I’m also a teensy bit elitist. I feel like I should be exiled for admitting it. But really, I shouldn’t have to feel that way. Being casual has become some new defining idea of ‘good’ in MMOs, the idea we’re not addicted, we’ll play occasionally and enjoy it and do our best with what we have. I thought I could do that. But as I get older and play more games, I do want to achieve things. I want to raid.  I want to show I can beat the content, and I want to do it with friends or guild or alliance or even, whoever. I just want to see it.

I do play a lot. I quest a lot, and hey.. you know what, I do even read quest text around 50% of the time. But if a game developer wants me to read it more, they should make it either useful or interesting, not just there as a slow-down factor. I read it in Dark Age of Camelot, most of the time (looking for clues). But as I got used to the schtick of MMOs, I didn’t need to read it as much, if it says ‘go east and kill ten rats’, I do that, I don’t need to read the paragraphs about rats becoming a nuisance, it’s a given. I understand the underlying meaning, so why choose reading quest text as a division between casual and hardcore. I know many casual players who don’t really pay attention to quest text either. I also tend to read fast and quest fast. That’s MY choice. If I want to spend my endgame mindlessly grinding for better gear or rep, or whatever.. then that’s a valid choice I make. I haven’t previously skipped games once I got to the end. And though that’s the given way to play these days amongst the cool kids, it goes against the grain for me. And part of my dissatisfaction at the moment is because I’m trying to play two MMOs and it isn’t working all that well for me.

I hate crafting. Which also puts me in the hardcore category a little unfairly. I hate meaningless crafting, and crafting has become that in most of the games I’ve got some access to. Sure, crafting is extremely useful in WoW, but the fact you need to craft certain things for yourself (not sure if it’s still that way) really means that crafting is a necessary quest to complete if you want the best gear. It doesn’t have to be that way, and I prefer not being forced into grinding one thing when I’d rather be grinding another ;-p. I never bothered with crafting in WAR, it’s horrible and best left to others. And in LotRO, again, it’s easier for me to buy stuff from crafters than to sit and do it myself. When Moria was launched I decided to grind up tailoring without buying ANY leather. It made me a lot of cash, but now I’m a Supreme Tailor and no-one wants to buy anything I make. Hell, even I don’t want to wear anything I can make. I’m merely there to equip alts, which I can never be bothered to do because it  means keeping a stock of lower tier leather. Farming in LotRO is kind of fun though! I can see crafting being an interesting sideline in an MMO, but unless implemented to be as interesting as in Everquest or Vanguard, then I’m just not interested.

And I like to achieve. I like to think I play my class well, I like to think I learn its intricacies and can be relied on to tackle difficult content. As a hybrid I often don’t get any attention for this, but I guess people would know if I did it badly. I know if I do it badly. I certainly know if other people play badly and sometimes it frustrates me (ok, so Spinks reminded me of this with her post commenting on Tarsus this morning). I would love everyone to match my standards, and that’s where I’m elitist. But I also know that if the content gets beaten, that’s good enough and everyone will have had a good evening. But inside I’m screaming, just a little.

So there you have it, admission time. I’m hardcore. Not hardcore enough to have a dedicated raiding guild with a schedule and DKP or to impose my playstyle on others. But nonetheless, I don’t think I fall into the casual, or even the hardcore casual, categories. And for the record, I used to roleplay until it all became about ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ and food. I’m not really good at that kind of thing, the being nice…

We celebrate the casual player, we think that’s the right and healthy way to be. But I’m done apologising for enjoying things at my pace, and with my standards. Not that anyone will listen to me anyway (as previously discussed, my opinions are often presumed or not really heard).

And, to lighten the mood, here’s some  things I’ve been musing of late:

  • I really love Chuck, not least for the World of Warcraft reference (I’m guessing it was WoW-specific, but could have been another game with leve; 60 Warriors, that I don’t play)
  • I also love that Supernatural now uses the word ‘ganking’, a lot
  • Where next, gamewise?
  • How many holes does a blanket have to have before it becomes a cloth?


  1. Once you reach this point, you rarely become un-hardcore again. I mean, really, I play maybe two days a week now a-days, but damn if I’m not hardcore those two days.

  2. Whoever is using those classifications of hardcore is talking out of their arse.

    You can like crafting and be hardcore. You can be hardcore without being a 100% achiever. In any case, the term hardcore is so bloody wide nowadays that it’s next to useless UNLESS the person using it takes pains to define what they mean by it beforehand.

    Just play what you want, as you want, when you want, and sod the rest of them.

    That is all.

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