Monday, June 16, 2008

Hardcore vs Casual vs real metrics

Hardcore vs casual has been a debate that has been around so long it's suspected of even pre-dating the advent of common sense.

With so many people calling themselves hardcore this or casual that it's almost impossible to find a spot for oneself because the hardcores and the casuals have 1 thing in common: They're both.

They're not hardcore, they're not casual because neither of these terms actually have a definition. If you spend 72 hours playing WoW in one stretch some people would consider that pretty hardcore, others note that you haven't been playing for 3 years and dismiss it as pretty casual. Another group will point out that you can play as much as you want and if you don't get into the theorycraft / math behind it you will never be hardcore. Others again will dismiss all your achievments as casual because you haven't killed illidan yet or haven't gotten your chunkogear of azzinoth.

And that's exactly where the problem comes in. Hardcore and casual are terms that mean very different things to very different people.

In fact the terms have become so frayed over the years ( I remember times where hardcore simply meant you could only die once ) that they add no informative value to anything anymore. And it shows... if you decided to join a casual guild in WoW as it is you could end up in a guild for levelling alts but you could also find yourself strapped to a mandatory sentence of 4 raids a week with 100% attendance requirements.

If we really want to qualify and quantify guilds we would be better off using things like skill and time to measure what guilds are suitable to us.

Time dictates everything. If you can play for 2 hours every night then that is the time you have. You already know you're not going to be doing large 25+ man raids because they simply take longer than 2 hours. You could potentially join a Kara raiding guild provided they have a modicum of: skill.
Skill dictates what you can do. There's limits to what we can do. Some of us excel in healing, some of us are high quality tanks and some of us are huntards (with all due respect to skilled hunters out there).

So on one end of the spectrum you have people with lots of time and incredible skills and on the very other end of the spectrum you have the unskilled that couldn't play more than an hour or two a day anyway. Between that you can find anyone from unskilled with lots of time, to skilled with no time and moderately skilled with lots of time and so on and so forth.

And this is where the comparison between hardcore and casual falls short because it fails to see that the metric can only be a metric if it's tied to either skill or time.

As long as people see hardcore and casual to be both a measure of time AND skill it's completely unuseable as a metric and we're basically just bashing each other over the head with things that don't mean the same thing to everybody.

Using terminology on a large scale basis that doesn't mean the same thing to everybody involved is akin to religious and political debates. If I call you a smart aleck you either know what it means or you can look it up. If I call you hardcore you can look it up but you still won't know what I meant.

You can find a quizz for every metric in the world. You can find a quizz that tells you what religion is most suitable for you. You can do a quizz that tells you what friends character you would be but you can't find a quizz that tells you whether you're hardcore or casual because there is no definition for either.

So next time someone tells you they're hardcore point out that you're way more hardcore because you read my blog (not recommended on pvp servers).

1 comment:

Dane said...

lol! So, now I'm hardcore, just for enjoying your blog? WooHoo!!!