Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hardcore and Casual: Why I Hate These Words (And Recruiting!)

I am the guild leader of my guild Windfall. And I have been dealing with a problem some of you can probably relate with. We are wanting to be a PvP guild that is successful. I consider success to be known on the server as a PvP guild and have a good reliable rated battleground group (high rating). I didn't see this as a stretch, but as I'm finding it's hard to find footing in the "PvP guild" world if you have no "gladiators". People care about silly things like that. Because apparently only good players have that title. It couldn't be that there are good players who have been PvE this entire time and are finally trying PvP.

My friend, Alarguss, is in charge of setting it up and recruiting. He has asked my help in recruiting and I have copied his macro for recruitment. Here it is:

<Windfall> is a PvP guild looking to fill the rest of our Rated Battleground core group. Still currently looking for active hardcore PvPers looking for rated BG's and arenas. PST for more info!

It's not that bad. However, we hardly get any whispers from this. One word sticks out to me in this message though. Hardcore. What does hardcore say to the public? Because to me hardcore says living, breathing, eating PvP. Like if you don't have full PvP gear there's no way we'd even look in your direction in terms of recruitment. Like if you had never been above a 2k rating in arenas you don't deserve to exist near us. I guess I wouldn't say elitist, but just crazy dedicated/serious. I might have a jaded perspective, but this is what I think when I see that word, and I can't be the only one.

This isn't how my guild is though. We hardly have any people, we aren't doing anything organized right now due to lack of numbers, and no one in my guild has ever been a really huge arena fanatic. So whenever we do get recruits, they leave very soon after. So I wanted to change the style of recruiting to get more numbers. I have been a guild leader for many years and I know the best way of recruiting is to get a broad range of players than sort from there. So I made a new recruitment message:

<Windfall> is a casual PvP guild looking for active PvPers to fill our ranks so we can start rated BG's and guild Arenas. PST for more info!

Oh crap.

Without even thinking I went to the opposite side of the world and used the dreaded C-word: Casual. This wouldn't be a bad thing if people didn't ruin that word. In the past if I've ever even mentioned my guild to be casual I get a wide variety of people I don't want.

There's a good kind of casual and a bad kind of casual. The bad kind of casual is unreliable, because making raid/BG times reliably is taking this game "too seriously". The bad kind of casual doesn't see whats wrong with passing on participating as a guild in mandatory raids or rated BG's to play their alts. The bad kind of casual doesn't take time on their own to improve their gear, and only waits for organized guild events to get geared. These examples are real from my experiences in the past.

This is the kind of player that gets attracted to casual guilds. This is not to say all casuals have this mentality, but a majority of them do. So how do I describe a guild that wants to be in the middle of hard core and casual in 255 characters (To fit in my recruitment macro)?  A better question, what word could we use to describe this?

Do we even need to make a new word? Yes. If we didn't we'd have to somehow change a public's definition of hardcore and casual. This would be impossible. It would be like trying to get me to play an alt. It's just not happening. The only reason there's a problem is as I've noticed over time people would rather focus on the negatives over the positives, I mean even I did it earlier in this post. Instead of paying attention to the fact that not all hard core players are elitists, or that not all casual players are terrible, a majority of us remain ignorant to the fact that there are good players of both categories.

I know what you might be thinking; why does this matter? Well it shouldn't. But as I've seen it matters to the general public, and as much as I try to portray how it shouldn't matter what other people think of you and play how you enjoy playing, I have to worry in this case. Why? Well because where do you think I have to recruit from? Ah yes, the public.

So how do I fix my problem? I think I might have a solution:

<Windfall> is a PvP guild looking for active PvPers to fill our ranks so we can start rated BG's and guild Arenas. PST for more info!

Removing the buzz words could possibly help. Would it mean the people that respond will be the exact kind of people I look for? No, but it's a start. And I guess that's one of the jobs of being the guild leader; having to sort through all the people to find the pieces of the puzzle that fit just right. Or having to take a wrong piece and fix it until it almost fits until you find the missing one.

However can we fix the problem in general? It would take a while but I don't see why not. Making hardcore less powerful and "scary" of a word would just take a few players to just calm down, take a deep breath, and stop berating players if they even think about doing something wrong. Or casual players to just stop using "casual" as an excuse to not try harder. These kinds of people are the exception currently, but if enough people change the ways of the stereotyped hardcore and casual players it'll become the norm. Than a tidal wave of change would happen in the player-base.


  1. I think you made the right choice with the last macro. If you don't like words that are currently in vogue, avoid them.

    Keep track of the people that show up for the BG's, monitor the ones that don't, and see if you have to kick or talk to them later.

    Good luck!

  2. I agree with your view on the situation of recruiting!

    I'll keep it in mind when doing my own!

    However, I don't like to be one to put it in /trade or the such XD


  3. @Bloodshrike - I think so too. And definitely no doubt that's one of the best ways to determine the quality of recruits, let's just hope I get some people FOR the BG's! Haha =P

    @Jamin - Generally speaking trade chat isn't exactly the greatest place to recruit, so if you don't like recruiting IN trade there's really no need! Best places to do it to get quality players is like your server forums, or other WoW websites. No doubt! Good luck recruiting =) My example of trade chat macros was just setting up my premise of why those words blow.

    I edited in a last paragraph that for some reason did not get published. Weird, I know. So if some of you reading may have thought this seemed unfinished, well, it was! Sorry about that.

  4. Active is a good word, and I also think dedicated might describe what you're looking for. Obviously your macro space is limited, but using more adjectives that more accurately describe the qualities you want in a guildie will help define what the guild itself is. The last macro you came up with is much better without resorting to "hardcore" or "casual", and hopefully if you get whispers you can talk about the guild in more detail to explain how to play successfully without being too hardcore or too casual.

  5. You may want to try something like this:

    is a PVP Guild focusing on Rated BGs and Arenas. We're recruiting Active and Reliable PVP-oriented people to help build our guild into a force to be reckoned with! PST for more info!

    By saying that you want to "Build" the guild it should tell people that you aren't quite there yet, but where you want it to go.

    As for the Hardcore/Casual debate, I agree... there seems to be a level of activity missing from in-between those two extremes. A different adjective would be nice, since a large majority of people fall into this category, I think. Hardual? Cascore? Hardcasual? We can do better, methinks. :)

  6. I think your true feelings come over when you describe what you view a casual as, someone who "refuses to participate in mandatory raids". Right there, that shows you're hardcore by defining what YOU think someone else should do to meet your standards. Someone can be casual in terms of time available to play, but not in their outlook. For example, I get to play maybe 5 hours a week but I still make sure I am striving to improve gear, get the top enchants and gems etc. However, sometimes I log in to get an invite into a raid immediately only to have to decline because I simply can't commit the time.

    By that token I'm therefore a bad casual? No, your opinion is off on this I'm afraid. I have a casual level of playtime but that's different from a casual attitude, and perhaps your elitism & prejudices are showing through on this one.

  7. I have to agree a bit with Jezzi, if I only have 5hours or so a week to play I'm not going to spend them farming money, gear, or rep so that once every 3-4 months I might get invited to a raid or rated bg.

    I actively look to increase my gear, and better my skill from addon's to strategy guides, gemming enchants and studying where I can get updates. But wow serves me no purpose if I spend my entire time trying to keep my 85 druid geared up with players who play 5hours a day as compared to 5 hours a week.

  8. More to the truth, the inclusion of "mandatory" precludes and trumps the idea of casual. If casual friday is mandatory then it is no longer casual friday. If casual dress is mandatory according to code then it is not casual dress anymore.

    It sounds like you are a hardcore guild and want hardcore players, although the players that have joined to date outhardcore'd you. However more to the point you are not casual and do not want casual players.

  9. Perhaps advertise your guild as a pvp raiding guild? I`ve only played a little pvp, but I used to love premades back in Vanilla. PErhaps shoving some information that you`ll be pvping like a pve guild raids? BG`s at set times a week etc, also you might not get members but you might get recruits for your BG`s by saying people to get in touch to go to these from PVE guilds, I have never joined and doubt i will join a pvp guilkd as in my experiance they dont raid, and I like to raid, If you offer places, and a regular time for them to turn up, perhaps on none raid days on your server? tuesdays for example you might get some more people and some may join on alts or whatever.

  10. I would have chosen even different words. It's certainly a good start to just leave the words "casual" and "hardcore" out, but maybe you're looking for "motivated" and, as mentioned in a comment above, "dedicated"?

    Even though it's tricky, if you can, try to describe the type of player you want for your guild as accurately as possible, without resorting to words like "casual" or "hardcore". But don't leave descriptive words like that out completely, either.

  11. @ Anonymous two posts below mine,

    I think there is a place for casuals in any guild within the context they are casual TIME players not attitude, as in my own case I am an "active reserve" in my own guild where I help out when I am needed and can guarantee I have the time to commit to raids or pvp, but accept that I am back of the queue ahead of the more hardcore regulars.

    It sounds like those kind of players could find a home in your guild alongside those players who can commit more time?

  12. @Jezzibella - There's a difference. If you joined a raiding guild to raid but then don't show up to raid times because of that reason, then it's a bad thing. If you are in a guild that's like "Heyyy come raid tonight it'll be fun" and you have to pass because of time constraints, that's not a bad thing. I guess my problem lies with people who sign up for things and promise their attendance then don't show up and get angry at me when I approach them asking why they didn't show up. "You expect me to show up to times I agreed to when I joined? PSSH NOOO WAYYY" =) It's sad, but it's happened.

    @Anonymous 1 - Raiding and Rated Battlegrounds to me are something that you have to invest time into if you want to succeed. Sure you can still do them if you only play a couple hours a week, but really if you want to be successful at them you'd have to put more time into, at least at the beginning. Like with PvP gear. Sure you'll have to grind out all that honour to get the gear in the first place, but once you have all the gear all you really have to do is Rated BG's and arenas, which really don't take that much time. But hey, play the game how you want to, no doubt.

  13. Enjoyed the post! I hate the way words are taken to the extreme and people jump to the conclusion that it is all or nothing. I have seen both HARCORE and CASUAL guilds that contain a section of members that don't fit into either category. These people float somewhere in the middle and are often more active then some of the so called HARDCORE players but take the CASUAL approach when it comes to raids. More often than not they will turn into your long term members.

    Brimbane the Druid