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Thread: The Weekly Marmot - Why Hardcore Players Need Casuals

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papapaint View Post
    I disagree. I don't think "casual" players asked for these things.

    Casual players aren't players we hear from. They don't visit forums, or guides. They don't read dev watercooler, or even know what you would mean if you said a "blue" said something. In a way, you might think that they care less about the game than anyone.
    If you're talking about the mythical player who never interacts with anyone, never reads anything outside the game, never talks in trade chat, isn't in a guild where they share their opinions... I'm not sure anyone could say anything about what a player like that wants out of the game. Perhaps my view is so skewed and I'm so hardcore that I don't know what I'm talking about, but I kind of remember what it was like being new to this game and I still read stuff (even if I didn't understand a lot of it). I'm not sure how blizzard is supposed to appeal to a group of players who give blizzard no feedback on what they like and dislike about the game, other than falling subscription numbers which may or may not be correlated with how much they enjoy this game. If the vocal portion of WoW's player base is a minority, then all we know is that the minority is discontent with how things are going (by every blog and forum post in some way referencing general discontent in the community). This says nothing about the majority, who we are assuming is discontent based on 600k lost subscriptions, which could easily have just been the result of it being summer when there are less people playing.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurrr View Post
    If you're talking about the mythical player who never interacts with anyone, never reads anything outside the game, never talks in trade chat, isn't in a guild where they share their opinions... I'm not sure anyone could say anything about what a player like that wants out of the game. Perhaps my view is so skewed and I'm so hardcore that I don't know what I'm talking about, but I kind of remember what it was like being new to this game and I still read stuff (even if I didn't understand a lot of it). I'm not sure how blizzard is supposed to appeal to a group of players who give blizzard no feedback on what they like and dislike about the game, other than falling subscription numbers which may or may not be correlated with how much they enjoy this game. If the vocal portion of WoW's player base is a minority, then all we know is that the minority is discontent with how things are going (by every blog and forum post in some way referencing general discontent in the community). This says nothing about the majority, who we are assuming is discontent based on 600k lost subscriptions, which could easily have just been the result of it being summer when there are less people playing.
    600k lost subscriptions a few months into an expansion (note: not summer at all), which was the reverse trend of every previous expansion.

    The "every blog and forum post in some way referencing general discontent" is absolutely nothing new for WoW. One of the more entertaining things to do is dig up old posts with people complaining about how blizzard got everything wrong and they are quitting.

    We know what casual players want, if only from observing subscriber levels. Unfortunately, those don't come until after the changes to the game have been implemented. They're not "mythical" by any stretch of the imagination. It doesn't really even take long to find them. You probably bump into a few when you random heroics and wonder why the hunter has on cloth and is using BC gems. They're the people who play world of warcraft because they like gnomes, or want to be a troll with a pet raptor. They actually play the game for most of the same reasons that we hardcore players started playing. We just took a much deeper interest in it. Think about how many games you play without looking up how-to. Ever play halo with friends? Smash brothers? Mario Party? Do you ever do poker nights, or meet up with random people at the gym for basketball? Do you go look up how-to guides on every aspect of everything you do?

    Most people do not look up guides on how to do everything. And you're right, we don't know how to know what those players want. In fact, judging by the slight defensive tone in your post, I feel correct in assuming that you're under the impression that I find the changes to the game to be inherently negative, and that's not true. I think, like all changes, that it's negative for some players, and positive for others. I also think that Blizzard has been trending towards doing what they can to keep those players they see as the "most reliable" customer base, and I honestly feel they missed the mark slightly by trying to cater to players who will complain regardless of the state of the game.

    The reality is that blizzard has several types of players who play this game, and it's not possible to please them all. It's not the blunt and simple division of casual-hardcore, it's a wide spectrum that encompasses everything from opinionated players who demand everything to highly skilled players who have never posted on blizzard forums at all.

    In my opinion, blogs/forums are terrible places to see how the general population really feels about the game. In the end, people vote with their dollars.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papapaint View Post
    600k lost subscriptions a few months into an expansion (note: not summer at all), which was the reverse trend of every previous expansion.
    Then perhaps it is because WoW is only capable of catering to so many people at once. Is it inherently a bad thing if some casual players dislike the current state of the game? And I think we're making a mistake lumping all casual players together as if they all like and want the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Papapaint View Post
    Think about how many games you play without looking up how-to. Ever play halo with friends? Smash brothers? Mario Party? Do you ever do poker nights, or meet up with random people at the gym for basketball? Do you go look up how-to guides on every aspect of everything you do?
    No, and I'm content to not experience every facet of them because of my limited involvement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Papapaint View Post
    Most people do not look up guides on how to do everything. And you're right, we don't know how to know what those players want. In fact, judging by the slight defensive tone in your post, I feel correct in assuming that you're under the impression that I find the changes to the game to be inherently negative, and that's not true. I think, like all changes, that it's negative for some players, and positive for others. I also think that Blizzard has been trending towards doing what they can to keep those players they see as the "most reliable" customer base, and I honestly feel they missed the mark slightly by trying to cater to players who will complain regardless of the state of the game.
    Then we're in agreement, except that I don't think that they are catering to the forum trolls, if they did we would have a dance studio by now at least. If they happen to implement something that people on the forums complain about not having, I don't take that as evidence of them caving in to demands, especially when all the crying in the world won't get them to revoke the random dungeon finder or the dungeon guide or level 20 mounts or whatever people are crying about next week.

    Quote Originally Posted by Papapaint View Post
    The reality is that blizzard has several types of players who play this game, and it's not possible to please them all. It's not the blunt and simple division of casual-hardcore, it's a wide spectrum that encompasses everything from opinionated players who demand everything to highly skilled players who have never posted on blizzard forums at all.
    Which goes back to the 600k subscriber loss, they cannot please everyone. I just wish people would stop acting like WoW is dying or that it has become a hollow, terrible game because some parts of it are streamlined and easier than they used to be. It is still possible to be immmersed in the game world if you actually want to be instead of blowing through the experience with heirlooms and dungeon chaining.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurrr View Post
    Then perhaps it is because WoW is only capable of catering to so many people at once. Is it inherently a bad thing if some casual players dislike the current state of the game? And I think we're making a mistake lumping all casual players together as if they all like and want the same thing.
    We? I specifically said that there's no obvious division. I literally said that it's not possible to please all players. You're arguing with points I'm not making.
    No, and I'm content to not experience every facet of them because of my limited involvement.

    Which goes back to the 600k subscriber loss, they cannot please everyone. I just wish people would stop acting like WoW is dying or that it has become a hollow, terrible game because some parts of it are streamlined and easier than they used to be. It is still possible to be immmersed in the game world if you actually want to be instead of blowing through the experience with heirlooms and dungeon chaining.
    Major strawman argument here. I didn't say WoW was dying, that it was a terrible game, or that it's impossible to be immersed. However, if you deny that they're losing a largely silent subscriber base, that the game has become inherently less immersive from a role-playing perspective, or that the community antagonizes people who do not have endgame raiding as their primary focus, I think you have blinders on here.

    To be perfectly honest, for me (and I would imagine, most high-end raiders), the game is better than it's ever been to fit my specific method of play. This is what I mean when I say they've been catering to a specific base of players, and I think they're seeing ramifications for it.

    Saying the game is less immersive doesn't make it worse. It just makes it a different type of game, which I'm fine with.

  5. #45
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    I'll agree with Papa in the sense that WoW doesn't really feel much like an MMO anymore, more like a dungeon crawler game. Most dungeon crawlers dont require subscription fees.

  6. #46
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    Agree with a lot of what you said. The only caveat I would point out is that having a large subscriber base is really for more than some Blizz employee to have a high salary. Its critically important to current players that Blizz's revenues are strong because it allows them to make the most creative, rich and interesting content in gaming today.

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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unger View Post
    Agree with a lot of what you said. The only caveat I would point out is that having a large subscriber base is really for more than some Blizz employee to have a high salary. Its critically important to current players that Blizz's revenues are strong because it allows them to make the most creative, rich and interesting content in gaming today.

    Great show.
    He said that.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theotherone View Post
    While this would be nice, the problem is people, in game, to whom advice is given often take it as a personal attack and those that give the advice are often condescending jerks. I play a DK, Warrior, Pally (tank/heal), Priest, Mage and Hunter, and I know my classes, but unless I'm asked I don't offer any advice. Not even to guildies. That said, I have no issuse asking for help. When I was learning my warrior I came here and everyone was very helpful - but in game, forget it. We just seem to live in an angrier world.
    A lot of this comes from the dungeon finder. People can only take so much abuse before they become jaded and angry and tune everyone out, no matter how much help they need. That said, I have never got upset with suggestions. I know my class quite well, and I still listen when people make suggestions. I have learned a lot from people who took the time to explain stuff to me. I think a lot of it has to do with how you make suggestions. "Stack haste you noob" vs "I noticed your not reforged to xxx haste breakpoint which would give you an extra tick of x-spell." is a very different way to say something. That said, with the current walking on eggshells environment, I never offer unsolicited advice. If I happen to run with someone who is doing really poorly, I will politely suggest that they are not ready for the content they have chosen and that there are lots of resources on the internet to help them if they really want to run that content.

  9. #49
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    I think the bigger part of it is people just lack communication. How many times have you kicked someone or been kicked from a group without so much as a word. Oh this tank sucks, he can't hold aggro. /kick, maybe next time you tell him, hey, your aoe aggro kinda sucks, you know what you're doing? maybe try doing this instead, and if he doesn't get better, sure kick him then, but at least now he knows.

    I had a shadow priest in ZA 2 days ago (first 5 man in months), and it was awful, he was doing mind spike spam no dots, and hardly any dps. So i asked him if he knew what he was doing (because my 2 guildmates in the run were getting ready to votekick him), and he said, yes i know. and then i asked why he kept mind spiking on trash, and he said, because trash dies so fast, putting dots he felt wasn't as productive. well that actually makes some sense but i asked why he didn't mind blast, or mind flay or anything else, and he said he was just being lazy, sorry, and then we went on to do akil'zon and he actually did #2 dps. we ended up wiping to trash a lot though because of his lack of effort so we dropped him anyways and in the kick message i actually said "doesn't try on trash, MC's mobs we are focusing down, or doesn't MC mobs when we want him to, causing trash wipes", and kicked him.

    As a starcraft 2 competitive player, it is kind of shocking to me, how there is some mannerisms in sc2, that are universally accepted as good manner, and if you don't follow them you're a bad manner player, but in wow, it seems being bad manner, is 100% acceptable, and in fact, promoted by the social norm.

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  10. #50
    I think the bigger part of it is people just lack communication. How many times have you kicked someone or been kicked from a group without so much as a word. Oh this tank sucks, he can't hold aggro. /kick, maybe next time you tell him, hey, your aoe aggro kinda sucks, you know what you're doing? maybe try doing this instead, and if he doesn't get better, sure kick him then, but at least now he knows.
    Problem is that it's something that most people have just learned over time...you try to help someone, they start spitting fire. You try to help the next person they start spitting fire. Third person comes along and you finally just say, "F- it. I'm sick of typing out things for these idiots. /kick"

    I like helping people, but many people simply don't want to be helped and I get tired of wasting my time doing so only to get kicked in the e-
    nuts for it.

  11. #51
    I loved it when my casual guild started raiding. We started with AQ and it took us some time to get through the twins, mainly because people weren't the right level (I was 63 at the time, we had many not yet 70) and because we didn't have good gear. so we did daily dungeons to get geared up and had a lot of fun eventually doing a few basic raids.

    Then we found out the raiding was just so the Guild leaders boyfriend could get the achievements and now that he had, well no more raiding.

    The guild basically fell apart after that. Since then Cata has come out and I haven't done any raiding or dungeons since December, it just isn't fun without people you can normal run with.

    I've done the random pug for dungeons to get the achievement and pet, as well as the horseman and brewfest, but those are season and rarely last more than a couple minutes anyway. It would be great to find a guild willing to work to help me learn how to play my class in a raid and how I should go about buffing armor with enchants and gems. The problem is people don't care to take that time. So people like me just shrug and forget about it.

    OK done now

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    Problem is that it's something that most people have just learned over time...you try to help someone, they start spitting fire. You try to help the next person they start spitting fire. Third person comes along and you finally just say, "F- it. I'm sick of typing out things for these idiots. /kick"

    I like helping people, but many people simply don't want to be helped and I get tired of wasting my time doing so only to get kicked in the e-
    nuts for it.
    I agree. There is definitely a point where we've done our part, helped enough, and want to just get it f'ing done with. But i feel a lot of people with this negative attitude, hasn't gotten to that point yet, hasn't even tried to help others, but already consider themselves "deserving".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turelliax View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazeyonoma View Post
    I agree. There is definitely a point where we've done our part, helped enough, and want to just get it f'ing done with. But i feel a lot of people with this negative attitude, hasn't gotten to that point yet, hasn't even tried to help others, but already consider themselves "deserving".
    Not that I'm innocent in this matter (I've certainly gotten sick of trying to help idiots who won't be helped), but are you saying "I've earned the right to boot these clowns because I've tried to help in the past"? That somehow having tried to help before makes it ok to be (what the person being kicked will see as) a douchebag?

  14. #54
    No, I'm certainly not saying it's ok to be an impatient douche, just explaining the human/emotional element that finally makes people snap and say, "Screw it." when it comes to this topic. It doesn't excuse it, just explains it.

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    Our guild is a bit behind the times but we are now working on the raids in Cata. We been burning through the heroic grind and za/zg and are ready to raid. We beat LK before and enjoy raiding but we are a small guild and our pace is slow. We beat the first 3 bosses so far in Blackwing Descent and I thought that is a good progression.

    I sometimes do feel there seems to be less to do in wow after being in it since Vanilla. Maybe it is just we all have so much time invested here. I think after seeing the end game Cata stuff I may move on though. It has been a good run but I am starting to feel the age of grind, gear , rinse , repeat and time for a new experience.
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    I've been following this discussion both here at TankSpot and on the WoW forums for some time now and I wanted to take a moment to respond to Lore's thoughts as well as some of the thoughts by others here.

    I wrote several long posts to respond to this Weekly Marmot but I think I've narrowed down my disagreement with Lore's position to the following points:

    First off, I'm not sure I'd completely agree with Lore's definition of "casual" players. For one, it seems to equate "newbie" with "casual". Everyone was a newbie at some point, but what they blossom into isn't always the same. For example, I'd agree with Papapaint that the truly casual players are not going to post on the forums, but then, how does one explain the many players complaining about the difficulty of normal raids and heroic dungeons (yes, even now) on the official forums? Most of them are NOT new to WoW.

    My issue with Blizzard's direction of constant nerfs to content is that it breeds an awful lot of laziness. I have to agree with TotalBiscuit when he says that Blizzard has socially engineered through various means (such as the RDF and unfortunate gear inflation in Wrath) to be lazy rather than to "up their game". This is why there was so much QQ on the forums regarding heroics when Cata was launched. The heroics were certainly challenging, but they were nowhere near as difficult as some made them out to be. Yet, Blizzard still went forth and nerfed a bunch of content, many of which did not need to be nerfed (well, hallo thar, Ozruk!).

    There are 85 levels of leveling content and an entire tier of level 85 Heroic dungeons. Blizzard should be using all that content to cultivate their core player base. Nerfing content only goes towards placating the lazy players who are whining about the difficulty, and there seems to be more and more of these people in WoW.

    You know the players I'm talking about. You meet them every day in the RDF, the ones that silently drop group after two or three wipes. Hell, I was in an entire "casual" guild full of these players. It got so bad that I eventually stopped doing heroics with them because I saw no point in wasting a half-hour of my time getting to Lady Nazjtar only to have everyone else quit the GUILD RUN after three wipes because the tank couldn't move out of the geyser.

    There's no reason why the lazy players, such as the ones in the guild I was in, couldn't have, with a little perseverence, uped their game and become better players. I mean, really, two, three wipes in and they all quit with excuses like, "Oh, I forgot I have to go walk my dog". And this was back in December when content was still new, BTW. For them, however, quitting and waiting for nerfs was just easier. And, again, these were NOT newbie players who did not know what they were doing.

    I appreciate and agree that we should all do our part to help new players in the game. However, constantly nerfing content because the metrics say the majority of RDF groups have problems with this boss or that dungeon is NOT the way to do it. All it does is make the problem worse.

    Consider for a moment why the newbie gets such a shock when he / she tries to do raiding and is told everything he / she is doing is wrong. As Lore pointed out, it's often because the prior content never required he / she do any better. By nerfing content, though, all Blizzard is doing is extending the trend and allowing the player to continue playing badly to get through content.
    Last edited by Mad Cat; 06-16-2011 at 06:41 PM. Reason: gramer & Speling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Cat View Post
    First off, I'm not sure I'd completely agree with Lore's definition of "casual" players.
    I know this is gonna seem like I'm jumping down your throat but such is not my intention. Regardless I can't help but feel the bile rise in my throat every time someone in this thread has taken exception to his definitions of "Casual" and "Hardcore". Ultimately those really REALLY don't matter ... I'm sure Josh winced inside every time he had to use the terms. The definition of these terms are simply unimportant ... what IS important is the player food-chain that he spent the rest of the time describing.

    Consider for a moment why the newbie gets such a shock when he / she tries to do raiding and is told everything he / she is doing is wrong. As Lore pointed out, it's often because the prior content never required he / she do any better. By nerfing content, though, all Blizzard is doing is extending the trend and allowing the player to continue playing badly to get through content.
    But is this really a bad thing? Not every player HAS to or even WANTS to be a cutting edge fire-breathing hardcore raider ... and that's great ... the game should still cater to them imho and that's what this nerfed content is for. My contention is that good players will eventually get good, no matter what, they simply want it ... and plenty of bad players never will and are both aware of that and content with that. It is not blizzard's job, nor is it good for the game as a whole, to try and force bad/lazy/ultra casual players to become good ones. That said it IS their job to provide them with content and it IS important to the server communities that these people be entertained because they make up a large portion of our player base and therefore community. They contribute in many invisible ways, be it providing a soft cushion for brand new players to land on (whether they eventually become hardcore fire-eating raiders or stay ultra casuals ... its usually best for a brand new player to have somewhere nice and soft to begin), or farming up some herbs and minerals for the AH, or just helping contribute to the server-wide story that has been painfully lacking lately. We all need each other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by feralminded View Post
    I know this is gonna seem like I'm jumping down your throat but such is not my intention. Regardless I can't help but feel the bile rise in my throat every time someone in this thread has taken exception to his definitions of "Casual" and "Hardcore". Ultimately those really REALLY don't matter ... I'm sure Josh winced inside every time he had to use the terms. The definition of these terms are simply unimportant ... what IS important is the player food-chain that he spent the rest of the time describing.
    I agree with you that the actual labels and their definitions are not necessarily what matter. What does matter, though, is what type of player is WoW attracting and cultivating in it's food chain.


    Quote Originally Posted by feralminded View Post
    But is this really a bad thing? Not every player HAS to or even WANTS to be a cutting edge fire-breathing hardcore raider ... and that's great ... the game should still cater to them imho and that's what this nerfed content is for.
    But where do you draw the line? As some players (perhaps jokingly) argued on the WoW forums, there will still be players who have issues with the nerfed content. And I think what upsets a lot of players is that gear inflation will make the content easy with each tier anyway, so why do the nerfs really need to be there?

    Furthermore, the players that the nerfs are catering to are very unlikey, if at all, to ever get better. Why should they, when they can just wait for the next round of nerfs in the next tier. These aren't the players who are going to reinvigorate the raiding scene in the food chain. As you yourself point out:

    Quote Originally Posted by feralminded View Post
    My contention is that good players will eventually get good, no matter what, they simply want it ...

    Quote Originally Posted by feralminded View Post
    and plenty of bad players never will and are both aware of that and content with that. It is not blizzard's job, nor is it good for the game as a whole, to try and force bad/lazy/ultra casual players to become good ones.
    It's not about forcing players, it's about encouraging them to be better by having content that gradually gets more difficult and helps them learn their class. Lowering the bar never helped anything (except perhaps enrollment at my university's comp sci department).


    Quote Originally Posted by feralminded View Post
    That said it IS their job to provide them with content and it IS important to the server communities that these people be entertained because they make up a large portion of our player base and therefore community. They contribute in many invisible ways, be it providing a soft cushion for brand new players to land on (whether they eventually become hardcore fire-eating raiders or stay ultra casuals ... its usually best for a brand new player to have somewhere nice and soft to begin), or farming up some herbs and minerals for the AH, or just helping contribute to the server-wide story that has been painfully lacking lately. We all need each other.
    I'm not advocating that these players shouldn't have content provided for them (my understanding is that the Molten Core dailies in the upcoming patch are geared towards such players) and I do agree that they act as a soft cushion for newer players.

    I just don't think this system of taking content away from one class of player and giving it to another class of player is a good idea; it pisses off the former and ultimately makes the latter feel like second class players. Even now there are arguments from some players that there should be a third, ez mode difficulty per tier as they feel left out having to wait for the current tier to be nerfed.

    And I certainly don't think Blizzard should be rewarding laziness.

    Look at it from a numbers point of view. Blizzard had a game that had a particular difficulty and it gained them some 11.5 million players. Since Wrath, the expansion most players say the game started getting ridiculously easier, Blizzard has had a net loss of 100K players. Aside from raiding and Heroics, the game is easier than it has ever been, and there's more content at the end game there has ever been before. So why are players leaving?

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    I enjoy your story about your casual days; brings me back to my shaman from when I thought high armor was all that matters. I kept buying the generic store leather with the highest armor and was shocked upon death. Years later, I know what's goin' on here. Rerolled mage though, shaman isn't quite my thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    You're on a website dedicated to sharing information and strategies and helping one another out. I think you may be just preaching to the choir here.
    Good point. lol - However, there's always hope that the message will trickle down, no?

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