Someone had the bright idea to give me my own World of Warcraft column.
That’s right, my own personal place to rant, rave, and
otherwise spew whatever ideas pop into my head. I’m not
exactly sure how it all came about, but I’m rotating between
two theories, one which involves a drunken binge of epic proportions,
and the other temporary insanity with much flinging of poo. [ style="font-style: italic;">Editor’s note:
I plead the Fifth on this one folks!]
Either way here we are, sitting on the precipice of my brand new
column, so why don’t we make the leap and dive right in with
some basic information about little old me.
My name is Jason, more commonly known around here as Mem. I am one of
the newer writers to the WoW section of Ten Ton Hammer, and I have
thoroughly enjoyed every second (and I‘m not just saying that
because they pay me). I never in my wildest dreams imaged that I would
actually get to write for and about a game I love so much. The
opportunity to do so is really a dream come true.
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my toon of choice is an Undead
Shadow Priest which I play
alongside my wife, the best and most attractive Tauren Resto Druid I
have ever seen. My first character was surprisingly enough, not my
Priest. I began my WoW career playing a Tauren Warrior on the Perenolde
PvE server. Back in those days Warriors were a dime a dozen, so in
order to get more play time I rerolled as a Priest. At the time Shadow
Priests were simply taboo and as such I started out as a Holy Priest,
healing my way through the game. I had fun healing, I really did, but
once Shadow became more viable and I was given the option to respec I
never looked back. I like to joke that my wife rolled a healing toon so
that I never had to again. I still do heal from time to time when
circumstances demand it, but I believe that Shadow is my true calling.
I have during my journey through the World of Warcraft been more of a
hardcore player, which was reflected in most of my articles here on Ten
Ton Hammer. I have a competitive nature, and I like to win. Sometimes
my expressions of this come out in less than nice ways. I suppose I
could even be perceived as having a virtual chip on my shoulder. This
of course has not endeared me to the majority of the WoW population,
and have even had the word elitist spat at me like some deadly insult.
I took it all in stride because that was who I was. I was the elitist,
the hardcore player, the never miss a raid even for a funeral type.
Keeping this in mind it shocked some that I will be writing a
column based on the more casual aspects of the game. Lately though,
things have been changing for me in big ways and that brings us to the
real topic of this column:
Casual is NOT a Dirty Word
The urge to be the best, to push content, and have the most uber gear
possible has always been a big part of how I play the game. So it was
as much of a surprise to me as anyone else when I found myself less
than happy with my play style. I found that instead of doing my normal
WoW routine I instead wanted to do other things, such as spend time
with my family and enjoy my friends and perhaps even /shudder head out
into the sun, that bane of gamers everywhere. This was a very confusing
time for me, I didn’t understand what was going on and I kept
thinking if I killed just one more boss, or put in one more raid night
I would feel differently.
Fast forward to more recently I finally had to be honest with myself,
nothing was working and the spark that was once there was gone. I then
began to make changes, I played less and did things I wanted more, and
I was happy. But I left some very unhappy people in the wake of my
transformation. I could almost see the accusing stares, and hear the
muffled whispers of “casual” followed by a derisive
snort and a roll of the eyes. Sure these things were probably mostly my
imagination, but if I was up front with myself, I would have reacted in
much the same way not so long ago.
The war between casual and hardcore players is intense, with both
groups striving to make the game “theirs” to prove
that they have upper hand, and that their style of play is best.
It’s almost like the current political climate with the two
main political parties in the United States at each other’s
throats because they have all the answers. Casual players claim
hardcore players take the game too seriously, have no lives, and tend
to be for lack of a better word douche bags. Hardcore players think
casual players are too soft, are mostly comprised of talent less
players, and overall are killing the game.
I am sure that
there is some merit in both these opinions, but in general both sides
are wrong. If a closer look is taken and more consideration was given I
believe that hardcore and casual players could coexist in harmony.
There is an undeniable bond between the two, as all players regardless
of which side of the coin they are on are a part of the World of
Warcraft universe, and we are all logging on for one thing, to enjoy a
game. The details of what we do with that time, or how much time we
commit do not matter and it’s high time the words casual and
hardcore stop being flung around like insults.
I’m not asking that we all sit together and sing Kumbaya, in
fact I’m not even asking that the two sides like each other,
what I am asking for is a healthy dose of respect. Accepting and
understanding that your way is not the only way, and that
it’s ok if others play differently than you do is something
we should all strive for. It is a difficult concept to grasp, it took
me experiencing both sides of the equation to truly
“get” it, but now that I do I can really appreciate
and understand the value and allure of both play styles.
I can’t say if I’ll ever go back to being a
hardcore player, perhaps later the spark will be ignited, but for now I
am content with just being casual, and even though the thought
used to repulse me, being casual is not so bad after all and never
again will I throw it around like a dirty word. Players on both sides
of the divide, be proud of who you are, and how you play. Keep your
heads high, but not so high you can’t see the other side.
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