Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Invaded by raiders

My apoplogies, apparently some hardcore raiding forum linked to my blog and now I get lots of nasty comments from elitist raiders. My favorite one is: "Casuals, at least in Blizzard's eyes, are happy jumping in front of the mailbox in IF, or doing whatever it is they do." I also made the error of following a reader's link to the official WoW forums to a related thread, and the comments there were even harsher. It seems that some raiders have a profound sense of entitlement, thinking that the more they play and the more they shout at Blizzard, the more entitled they are to exclusive content. And they absolutely want that content to remain exclusive, and keep the casual riff raff out. Thus any ideas to make raid dungeons accessible to casual players get shouted down with all sorts of insults. Lets see if I can clear up some misconceptions:

- "Casuals can't raid because they don't have the time." A typical example of circular logic. Casuals have problems raiding a place like Karazhan, because assembling a raid group with any chance of success takes too long. But that is because Karazhan requires a good class mix, an attunement, and hundreds of hours played at level 70 for gear from other places. If a raid dungeon existed that was much easier, had no attunement, and had a lot more flexibility what class mix could come, assembling a raid group would go much faster. And how much time it takes *in* the raid dungeon would be a matter of good game design. If I had to build a casual raid dungeon, it would start with about 20 minutes worth of trash mobs, a first boss, and then doors in three directions, leading to more bosses. Thus the raid group can always decide how many wings of the dungeon they want to do in what evening.

- "Casuals only want free epics". It is funny that the people who actually raid apparently think that there is no fun to be had in raiding itself, and that you do it only for the epics. Every single serious proposal I've read (or wrote) on how to make a casual raiding dungeon included that of course if the place is easier, the loot has to be less good. Casual players do not necessarily want free epics, they just would like to be able to raid at all.

- "Nobody would go to casual raid dungeons. Karazhan is extremely popular." Doh! Karazhan is extremely popular because it is the easiest raid dungeon that exists at the moment. Pre-TBC there were places like UBRS or Zul'Gurub which were easier than Karazhan is now or Molten Core was then, and these more casual places were very well visited. If Blizzard opened up a raid dungeon easier than Karazhan, it would draw a lot of people right now.

- "Casuals are happy jumping in front of the mailbox in IF". No they aren't, they just have nothing better to do. One thing that is important to many players, especially casual players, is to hang out with friends. If a raid dungeon is easy enough to be played in a very relaxed way, it is like a big party, lots of fun, hanging out with friends, while still having something better to do than just jumping in front of a mailbox.

- "You can't make easy raids because of the freeloaders." How your guild handles freeloaders is your guild's problem, not Blizzards. This might come to some surprise to the self-centered hardcore raiders, but not everyone is only concerned with his own welfare in World of Warcraft. Many people are quite willing to help guild mates to gear up, even if they couldn't possibly contribute as much as the already better equipped people in a raid. Raids that have enough slots for a couple of "freeloaders" are actually a good feature, for a better social coherence of a guild. Due to Real Life ® it is obvious that in a large group of friends not everybody plays the same amount of hours per month. And World of Warcraft is a game where your power depends very much on the amount of hours you played. Guilds kicking out the players that play the least, or the players who play the most leaving the guild to join a stronger one, are negative consequences of the current WoW model. A better guild model would allow the more advanced players to give a leg up to their friends that play less.

- "Blizzard should give most attention to the people shouting the loudest." Unfortunately Blizzard fell right into that one. Casual players have a lot less free available time. So of course they want to spend the little time they have to actually play, and not hang out in the forums complaining. If Blizzard wanted to know what their players want, they would have to put up some sort of survey *in game* with in-game prizes for everybody who answers, so that even the casual players would want to participate. Right now the casuals are the silent majority. The way they do vote is with their wallet. And the shrinking player numbers in North America and Europe should tell Blizzard something. Patch 2.3 was a first indication that Blizzard got that particular message and is trying to improve. Patch 2.4 will bring more daily quests and a new 5-man dungeon for casuals, but the added raid dungeon apparently will be rather hardcore. :( It is probably too late to still improve TBC raiding, I only hope that WotLK will be better in that respect.

- "I earned exclusive content because I pay a monthly fee and play a lot." Everybody pays the same monthly fee. But the cost per player for Blizzard aren't the same for everybody. Raiders use up more resources like server utilization and bandwith, because they play more hours per month. They are the least profitable customers for Blizzard. Of course Blizzard should provide content for them, as raiders running around in full epic gear are visible to the other players, and might motivate them to keep playing. But the amount of resources Blizzard should dedicate to them should be commensurate with their numbers. It was widely reported that data from WoWJutsu show that only 4% of the raiding population ever visited Black Temple. And we don't even know how much the raiding population is compared to the non-raiding population. If the Black Temple had been a 25-man raid slightly easier than Karazhan instead of a high-end raid dungeon, we can be sure that 100% of the raiding population plus many people that aren't part of that raiding population yet would have visited it. Thus between 30 and 50 times more people would have actually have used that content, and it would have been a far better use of Blizzard's resources.

- "I killed Illidan, I am a superior person than you are." Replace Illidan with whatever other boss the elitist raider is able to reach, and you aren't, and you'll see the sentiment far too often. I actually makes me a bit sad for the poor pathetic kid that achieved nothing more noteworthy in life than some success in some raid in some online game. As passionate as we might discuss games, in the end they shouldn't be that important. People should define their self-worth with real life achievements, like a happy family, a good education, a good job, being an upstanding member of a community. These are things that really count, and they are the most likely to make you happy in the long term. Failing classes, getting divorced, or losing your job over World of Warcraft raid success is a very, very Bad Idea ®. If ever politicians start legislation against "WoW addiction", raids will be the first thing to go. How do you think raiding is getting along in China, where you aren't allowed to play more than 3 hours in one session? Companies like Blizzard would be wise to create content that does *not* force you to play more than 3 hours every day just to keep up, just to avoid the backlash from the law.

A certain amount of competitiveness is good for games, it gives people goals to strive for. But there is a limit where competition can become just too much, like for example doping in sports. And I would say that World of Warcraft in many aspects is too competitive, especially in the raid content. It is all about the biggest e-peen nowadays, and not about playing together any more. But how many of 9.3 million players can be at the top of the game? Unless you change the business model to a spectator sport one, with live transmissions of Black Temple raids on ESPN and paid for by advertising, Blizzard has to try to give the maximum fun to the greatest number of players possible. Having many people excluded from the most elite content is not the way to go.
hmm never hav thought that lot of hardcore / raider / elitist read tobold's blog. i thought only casual player like me visit this blog.

i quit WOW when i ding 70 with my warrior and paladin, raiding in TBC dont interest me, so after 2 years of WOW finally im burned out.

id prefer Blizzard to wake up and cater for the majority of players who DO NOT WANT RAID / DO NOT WANT GEAR-BASED ENDGAME. They can add new zones/area without putting them on paid expansion. And the fluff endgame / horizontal endgame like housing should be implemented. Off course elitist raided will scoff at these alternate endgame activities, after all they are the ones who said 'either you raid or quit'..

2008 will be a fun year to watch when other AAA+ title MMO like conan and warhammer ROB subscriber from WOW. I guess its already too late for Bliz to change its course.. there is nothing left in WOW except more raid, more gear and more of the same.. no more innovation..


off course Blizard should own up their declining USA server population instead of claiming 9.3million WORLDWIDE subscriber..

never before i seen massive underpopulated US realms with the exception of handful old server. The RIGHT move now should be a real server merge. but it will be fun to watch bliz claiming more subscriber yet forced to do server merger.
Hi Tobold,

Just to answer your (probably rhetorical) question:

"How do you think raiding is getting along in China, where you aren't allowed to play more than 3 hours in one session?"

As far as anyone can tell the raiding scene in China is pretty healthy. They took precisely 7 weeks from TBC being released (it was only available in China on 6th September) to getting their first kill of Illidan. You can see the screenshot here:

As part of an interview the guild leader was asked about the 3 hour limit and said that it doesn't apply to adults:

"Q: Were the Draenei Shaman affected by China leveling limits? I have heard there is a 3 hour XP limit before the character stops leveling.
A: These limits only affect people under 18 years old(registration needs personal id). It doesn't matter to their guild, since they have registered with an Adult."
Tobald this is why I come to your site!

It really sums up quite acutely the issues at hand and why many players are being alienated from the game.

I feel alienated due to inaccessible game content.

Keep up the good work. I so hope the dev's at Bliz HQ read this blog. They could learn an awful lot here.

Again thanks for being a guiding light!
/applaud Tobold

You hit the nail on the head with the whole post. Thank you!

What I never understood is essentially this attitude:

"There is content that only hardcore should ever be able to see, casuals seeing the content devalues the whole thing and Blizz can never do this".

Where is the fun in exluding others?

Not that anyone even knows if I killed the last boss in BioShock.

The exclusionistic streak I read way too often is the main thing that's wrong.

Seriously blizz should put the normal/heroics in for raids.

Normal for casuals, at accessible levels. Heroics for hardcore.

Give better loot in hardcore. OK so you kill Illidan in 12 minutes on Hardcore. Good for me. At least I get a realistic chance to see him as well.

But maybe it has to do with the weird item focus and the attached item envy.
I wasn't already a big fan of raids for the sole reason that raids (as currently implemented) aren't so much about challenges and beating new bosses in new ways and testing skills: they are places where better gear drops and that you have to "farm" for weeks and weeks before you complete that "set" of yours.

I enjoyed some UBRS/ZG raids back in pre-TBC days, but I didn't go many times because "farming" those places for gear drops with low rates looks almost like WORK and not like playing! A virtual work for virtual rewards.

That's why I only have one 70 and why I play a lot of alts! I enjoy the fun of playing WoW without having to feel "obliged" to raid X or Z for better gear so I can then raid W or Y for even better gear, so that, when another expansion comes, I get green quest rewards or drops that are better than that hard-won gear. It's just a pointless, futile exercise...

And since you can't really "casual raid", I don't! Raiding, as implemented, requires commitment and, like I said, feels almost like a JOB. I play WoW for fun, NOT to have a 2nd JOB! :)

IMO, what lacks (but is probably too late to change!), is some more GOAL oriented rewards, rather than LUCK oriented drops. I mean, if EVERYONE on an instance/raid that would down boss X or Z would get ONE piece of better gear, then equipping wouldn't require THAT much commitment. Casuals are a bit left behind in this regard.

In fact, there are other bad places for casuals too: some daily quests have pre-quest requirements for FULL 5-man groups; some class quests have HEROIC dungeon requirements (thinking of my druid's Swift Flight Form). Sure, finding people to RUN the proper heroic will now be easier, but actually DOING it will probably turn out harder as many players won't be geared/talented/experienced enough to successfully run heroics...

As for "casuals" being more cost-effective for Blizzard, they're also the ones that tend to leave sooner. Dedicated hard-core raiders will probably ensure them a longer lasting customer, which is why they make things hard to get so as to make them stay long enough until they come up with another instance for them to learn/farm for gear drops...
blizard people need to read tobold's blog and put more effort to cater the 90%+ people who never raid / casual player. Catering for only 10% of subscriber base is recipe for destruction.

i guess the TOP people in blizzard (both management and designer) dont want to veer too much from the 'raid or quit' formula. New Innovation is hard to come by, housing is harder to implement (more server hardware etc).

even the next expansion smack of premature announcement. putting 'new hair' and 'new dance' as major expansion feature is foolish. if thats what blizzard think casual player wants then their current lead designer need to go.

I loved WoW 1-60, even 60 is fun. the 61-70 is ok, but at 70 there is only raiding hell..

is adding housing causing soo much trouble to bliz designers ? putting more and more harder raid instance (where less than 4% ppl will visit) is considered a good move ? i guess time will tell how good is this 'alienating majority of your customer' strategy pans out

As for "casuals" being more cost-effective for Blizzard, they're also the ones that tend to leave sooner. Dedicated hard-core raiders will probably ensure them a longer lasting customer, which is why they make things hard to get so as to make them stay long enough until they come up with another instance for them to learn/farm for gear drops.

Isn't that circular logic again? Blizzard puts most of their developement effort into raid content, thus raiders stay in the game longer, thus Blizzard should put more effort into creating raid content? I'd say if casual players don't play as long a raiders, then Blizzard needs to find out why they are leaving, what content would make them stay, and then add that sort of content.
I raid on some blog that Blizz believe in what they call the donut model. The core are the hardcore people and those are the ones they project to retain in the long run.

I kind of disagree to this and it's an outdated model that was maybe true for WCIII, Starcraft or DiabloII. But these were very different game concepts where the competitive online nature on the hardcore end gave it longevity.

WoW sees casual players online for 3 years now. Don't think you the donut expectation even explains that.

And yes by catering to hardcore play it does become a self-fulfilling prophecy as well. You retain who you cater to keep entertained.

And of course if blizz plans to retain 4-10% of the population who hardcore raid vs say 50% of the rest, it's still better business to retain 50% of the 90-96% left.

I think in truth they do want to retain both populations, but some hardcore seem to think it's good if casuals leave the game. I wonder if Blizz will indeed justify putting development staff on raid content the way they do now when most casuals are gone, because their income will have dropped drastically at that point. Just economically hardcores need the casuals to be around very badly and some don't seem to realize that.

I actually think Blizz is much more aware than some may think.
This whole post sounds almost identical to something a friend of mine said and says. I agreed with him, and agree with you too.

I don't think ALL content should be simply accessible. I do know that casual doesn't mean lesser player, it simply means less time available. I know several hardcore players that simply suck and several casuals who are top of the game players.

The smart hardcore types know this and recognize both. The dumb ones go on thinking "less time available to play" = "lesser player".

Heck, I've been part of a successful raiding guild in EQ1 that played on casual times; 4 hour slots, 3 days a week, totally optional. Raids were full (72 man raids) almost all the time. EQ1 raids were contested mobs, not instanced like in WoW where the "hardcore" are guaranteed a crack at the mob.

We jumped through the hoops, worked together on flagging, gearing up, keying, etc.

*cough* We did it in less total time than it took most 'hardcores'. ;)
I read this blog a lot but seldom chime in. I just want to say that this expresses my feelings and frustrations very well. Blizzard would be wise to read and consider it carefully. Thanks Tobold! Keep it up!
Well according to datamined figures of the 60,000 top guilds (which is only US/EU figures mind you) is that out of the top 1.5 million almost all of them have raided in some sort of fashion, be it 10 man or 25 man raid zones.

I love the whole

"et. And the shrinking player numbers in North America and Europe should tell Blizzard something."

Zero figures zero proof apart from anecdotal evidence from ex-wow players who saying that their server population is shrinking all the time and that the servers are bare. I'm not a blizard fanboi, in fact I didn't even play any other Blizard game apart from WoW. Yes I'm a raider (just last night cleared SSC, so far from 'hardcore') and really the majority of the people who play the game the most are the raiders.

Why? Because they want to (or can do should I say) put more time into the game so they get through content allot faster, whilst that older content for the casual people can actually still go through it allot more.

What I want to ask the more casual players is, what do you want?

I find the game really boring if I was restricted to non-raid content even with a bunch of friends that I play with regularly in 5 mans it's still only a few hours a week max I'd do that.
All of what you say is true and on point. Very nice summary.

I thought I'd bring up something you reminded me about. You talk about how the Sunwell Plateau 25-man raid will be hardcore as an unfortunate occurance. I say, it's a good thing for casuals (raiders or no).

My view of what Blizzard is doing (which I think is a very effective business plan), is they're recycling content so that all _eventually_ will get a crack at it.
I present as evidence, Season 1 gear obtainable through honor, and Badge of Justice gear being as good as raiding gear. Essentially by buffing gear to be more widely available, they're making it easy for others to do currently available content. This allows those who have been struggling to move on from Kara (or to Kara), or move on from beginning raids, or anywhere before the 'bleeding edge' to move forward.

To summarize, the theory is this. For every time new bleeding edge content is added, you will see a buff to the rest of the players (or a nerf to the content those players are trying to master), such that it will allow the player base to move forward to content they haven't seen before. Those who have reached the end will be in Sunwell, those trying to get to Black Temple will start there, everyone moves up a notch, everyone is happy.

We'll see if this is how it'll be in time, when 2.4 details start to emerge, but it seems a clear direction we're heading now. I'm just bracing myself for the continued calls of 'welfare epics' and the other complaints you've listed here.

Can you expand on your idea for a "pre-Karazhan" raid? Not so much the structure (1 boss, then 3 doors to new bosses), but what you think the bosses should actually do? What kind of encounters are we talking about? The entry level encounters into Kara (Attumen the Huntsman and Animal boss) are simple, straightforward fights that should be doable for any group of people who leveled up questing and has blue quest rewards.

Is it a problem simply of scale? If Karazhan, at its current difficulty, was scaled up to a 25 man to be the entry dungeon to 25 man raiding, would that solve the problem, or is the Kara level of difficulty higher than you are talking about? If it is, can you give some examples of encounters that would be an appropriate level of difficulty for this entry (Make your next blog entry "Tobold's raid bosses 1, 2, 3!"...and most importantly, how those encounters would translate to making people prepared to conquer the instance after. This is how anyone, raider or casual, learns and becomes a better player...Gruul is the least complex 25 man boss, Magtheridon is more complex than Gruul, Vashj is more complext than Magtheridon, Kael'thas is more complex than Vashj, etc.

Full disclosure, by the standards of the commenters above, I'm a hardcore raider, my guild raids 4 nights a week and I make 3 of those nights, we are in Hyjal/BT. However, I don't consider myself incredibly hardcore, and I look at what I see as Hardcore raiders (6-7 nights a week, mandatory attendance) with the same amount of scorn I guess people here look at me with.

Orestus, 70 Druid
Mug'thol US
Wow Tobold, I love how some people misquote me in my other post, and you then make a post talking about how "elitist raiders" are on your blog posting up how much casuals suck.

First off, try reading my whole thread. I know, as someone pointed out, it takes at least a minute to read my post, so, that by itself makes me elitist. But, don't let it stop you from personally attacking me as "an elitist raider".

Of course, you could read my post, and see that I'm only making an argument why I THINK that Blizzard won't be making any "casual raider" dungeons anytime soon. Notice, I don't say a word about casuals being less important than non-casuals, just why I think Blizzard is likely to keep ignoring them.

So, apparently, because I've raided in Kara, I'm an elitist. Even though I don't raid very often, and even though I agree that there should be more ways of progression...I'm an elitist because your readers and you, are able to selectively quote me, and take it out of context.

First off: EVERYONE jumps around in IF, or their selective city, often doing nothing. I saw someone talking about not coming back to WoW, because they didn't want to just jump around in IF...and I thought that was hilarious. It was in the thread dealing with some scroll you sent yourself, Tobold. Read through it, its there. I'm sincerely sorry if I notice that a lot of people, myself included, spend their time running around doing close to nothing. I know, I know, it makes me an elitist raider, and I shouldn't even be allowed to breathe, I'm such a bad person for saying it. Sorry again.

Second, are you claiming I made nasty comments, because while I agree with you that there should be more types of progression, a casual raiding dungeon isn't likely to be developed by Blizzard b/c of the money it would take? So, not even disagreeing with you, but making a comment that about why Blizzard disagrees with you, makes it a nasty comment? Wow. Sorry for saying something that somewhat resembles disagreement.

Third, you splice in quotes by me, and then MAKE UP QUOTES I did not say, at all. I don't say casuals want free epics. I don't say they are freeloaders. Find where I do. Thanks.

Fourth, I'm sorry, but I pay the exact same as you to have access to the WoW servers. If you play less than me, you pay more per hour, and I pay less. BUT, you agreed to pay the same amount as I do, you just use your time less than me. Again, nice, solid resentment for people who play more than subsidize my game, nope. I pay less than you a month for my WoW time, thats it.

You are singling me out Tobold, quoting snippets of what I say, without actually seeing the context of my post. Then, you personally attack me as an elitist raider, and further follow it up by saying I am making nasty comments, because again, I posted up why Blizzard disagrees with you, not why I disagree, since I don't.

Hey Tobold, been coming here for a long time. It isn't very fun when YOU misquote me and disregard what I am saying. You're readers didn't read my thread, they took snippets from it and called me names. Then you, Tobold, did the same, even making a whole new blog post calling me a name.

Wow. I thought maybe you would have seen my posts for what they were. But instead, you missed the context of it, and proceeded to attack me (and, by mixing up my quotes with things I DID NOT SAY on this blog topic, is pretty mean).

Sorry that my argument why Blizzard disagrees with you was taken out of context, by apparently everyone who read it.

Go back and read it with it not as my opinion about casual players, but as why BLIZZARD won't be designing you a casual raid dungeon.
I'd like to duel some of these hardcore raiders. Well atleast come season 3 next week after I buy almost the whole set. I'd love to see their illidan epics get past my 10 matches per week, 400 resilience epics.

Think about it, if a harcore raider beats illidam, and I beat a hardcore raider...then I beat illidan too right?

Take that!

Can you expand on your idea for a "pre-Karazhan" raid? Not so much the structure (1 boss, then 3 doors to new bosses), but what you think the bosses should actually do? What kind of encounters are we talking about? The entry level encounters into Kara (Attumen the Huntsman and Animal boss) are simple, straightforward fights that should be doable for any group of people who leveled up questing and has blue quest rewards.

I don't think you would need to "dumb down" encounters to create a casual raiding dungeon. For example you could take a carbon copy of Karazhan, remove half the trash mobs, diminish the stats of the bosses, remove the attunement requirement, and you get a pretty decent casual raid dungeon.

Zero figures zero proof apart from anecdotal evidence from ex-wow players who saying that their server population is shrinking all the time and that the servers are bare.

Figures have been posted both coming from WoW Census sites, and from XFire. But apparently the only proof you would accept is official Blizzard numbers. Which is exactly why Blizzard stopped publishing subscription numbers by continent the minute they went south. Which in itself is some sort of proof.

You are singling me out Tobold, quoting snippets of what I say, without actually seeing the context of my post. Then, you personally attack me as an elitist raider, and further follow it up by saying I am making nasty comments, because again, I posted up why Blizzard disagrees with you, not why I disagree, since I don't.

Nick, I'm sorry to tell you that the world does not revolve around you. This is not a post about you. Only the jumping quote was from you, the others were from other commenters or from people who posted on the official WoW forums. I don't waste my time making blog entries to single out and insult single blog readers. I'm writing about a category of players, some of which comment on my blog. There have been lots of comments about free epics or the "problem" of slackers in raids over the years here. And you can find similar attitudes all over the WoW forums and in many more hardcore oriented message boards.

I apologize if by quoting that one phrase from you it made you think that I was only talking about you, but I certainly wasn't. I'm not going to make a list of names of commenters who I think have at least some of that attitude I'm writing about. You need to know yourself whether you feel included or not.
@nick. go back and reread your post. It doesn't send the message you seem to think it does.

"But what really confuses me is when people who are "casual players" complain about the lack of "casual raids".

that statement alone shows you really didn't ead anything before.
There are a lot of people that want to just log on and get thier friends and then maybe pug the rest of the slots and go.
We used to be able to do that. Those days died with BC.

What I find funny is you can dedicate paragraphs to why it's a bad idea to give the people in the middle such content. But you can't take the time to understand why people who have RL commitments that prevent Hard core raiding might want something in between.

The sad thing is inspite of people like you trying to tell us how hard it would be for blizzard to actually do that kind of content of for casuals the fact was those people were doing ZG, and AQ20 when the hard cores had burned through everything and had nothing else to do. If they had simply retuned the loot tables in the old raid instances a large number of the poeople that "confuse" you would have happily run those old instances. But blizzard chose to just make them obsolete. Unfortunately they'll probably do the same with the next patch.
Well according to datamined figures of the 60,000 top guilds (which is only US/EU figures mind you) is that out of the top 1.5 million almost all of them have raided in some sort of fashion, be it 10 man or 25 man raid zones.

Sorry, but you are misrepresenting data here. The data mining you quote is from WoWJutsu, who only count those guilds in which at least one player is wearing Karazhan loot. So what you are saying is that nearly all the guilds in which members wear Karazhan loot have actually been raiding Karazhan. What a surprise!

The 1.5 million figure you are quoting is the total number of *characters* of all these guilds, not the total number of raiders. US plus Europe having had somewhere around 4 million players most having more than 1 character, 1.5 million raid guild characters is still a small number compared to the total. And not every member of a guild that raids is a raider. I'd love to see the total number of level 70 characters in the Armory compared to the number of characters in the Armory wearing Karazhan loot. But even that would overestimate the number of raiders, because a lot of players never got to 70 (I can prove that, I'm married to one).

I have yet to see any numbers saying that more than 10% of the players fall into the category of raiders.
Again, go back and read my post. I've read it.

Even Tobold, who takes my quote out of context, actually included the whole premise of my argument...

In the eyes of Blizzard.

I want more types of progression, but I am saying, that casual players who are not making as big of a stink about their lack of progression. Sure, a couple people post here. Or a couple of people post on the WoW forums.

But, this...majority...of people keep logging on and paying/playing. I made the comment that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. And I feel that is true. The "elitist" raiders do make a stink, and they get the attention. Same with PvP players.

I do opine that there is not enough progression, and I do opine that while some casual players want casual raid dungeons, there is not enough of them to get Blizzard to actually make them. For the simple matter that casual players log on, do their business, and log off, without complaining to Blizzard by cancelling their accounts, etc.

Unless there is an argument that enough new people are replacing the casual players who quit out of disgust, I just don't see server populations drastically dropping because of the casual player's disgust with this lack of content. I have friends who play who don't PvP or raid. They log on, and do what I said in my original for their epic mount, buy and sell from the AH, mess with professions, etc.

I think a lot/most casuals are more likely to do this, than casually raid, because of the time restraints that casuals in fact define themselves by.

Look, I don't say casual raiders are less of players than raiders. I don't raid a lot, which was why I said I consider myself a casual raider. But I do see a lot of casual players who have no intention of raiding because they are in fact casual players, and don't have the extra time to run 5 man instances, no less 10 man+ raid dungeons.

But, people just ignore my argument, and latch onto why I think Blizzard won't be designing raid dungeons for the people who aren't shouting for it where Blizzard will actually hear it. Take that for what it's worth, and...

I'm sorry that I stated my opinion, since apparently my opinion is dead wrong.
I'm sorry that I stated my opinion, since apparently my opinion is dead wrong.

No it isn't. You just stated it badly, and then got all flustered and offensive when people responded part to you and part to the issue in general.
After reading this post and its respective comments, I pondered wether I should comment also and risk getting flamed, or if it was worth giving my input. So here's my input (I'd prefer if I wasn't flamed :) ):

Casual players have less time to play, yes. And the general idea is that they want to be able to access the same content as hardcore raiders.

It dawned on me that I'm in an interesting situation in-game at the moment and can comment with a broader point of view on the matter. See, before TBC came (and until I was 4 months or so into it) I was part of a 'casual' guild. It was more social than casual, but the point is, it was made up of mostly non-hardcore raiders. Anyway, things changed and I moved to a raiding guild as a social, and eventually I was offered (and took) a raiding spot. What I do now is raid on my guild and help out my old, casual guildies in Karazhan on occasion.

As such I can tell you that it's not really a matter of people who play well (not in an awesome way, just regular-Joe) and think they should get to see more content. It's also a lot of people who are drinking/sleepy/watching TV or just not paying attention at all while playing as a group, that would like to be able to see the places hardcore raiders do. I'm not bothered at all that someone who plays casually sees Illidan himself, but a lot of the time it seems that there's a large majority of people who wouldn't think of complaining about not being able to beat a single player game boss, that complains about how hard it is to raid and how unfair it is to not be able to 'finish' WoW.

I'm sorry, it has to be said.

How else can it be explained that:

Guild Casual 1 - freshly made, constituted mostly of alts of casual players with blues almost one-shots Karazhan? I'm not even making this example up. One of my ex-guildies put his priest on the said guild and they killed all but the last boss in Kara. And they weren't even playing their mains. And they're not even online all the time (maybe there's an exception or two). They were simply paying attention to what they were doing.

Do you give 100% reason to the guy that buys a single-player game, and can't finish it due to unattention and then complains about it?

Let me clarify something - an UBRS was required for TBC, yes. Heroic and non-Heroic versions of raid instances would be good ideas, yes. But I can bet, there would still be complaints on 'how hard' the non-heroics are and on how 'impossible' they are to do by casuals.

Blizzard needs to cater the casuals too. It's true, and I for one loved the casual-friendly changes 2.3 brought (and am pondering if I should stop raiding so I can enjoy WoW more casually). But what people sometimes complain about is wanting some sort of 'god mode' on WoW. In online games, it would simply be an unfair advantage over other people. Want a god mode? Play single player games like the next person (like I do). :)

PS - Before you start flaming, I did NOT say all casuals want 'free epix' or a free ride to hard raid instances. What I DID say was that a lot of the people complaining are people who don't even bother paying attention to the game at all. And those are the ones that imho shout louder (not the 'hardcore raiders' as, like you so well illustrated are a lot less than the casuals/socials).
No it isn't. You just stated it badly, and then got all flustered and offensive when people responded part to you and part to the issue in general.

Or, as it appeared to me, he stated it clearly enough, but people, you included didn't bother reading his lengthy post properly and decided to get all het up on some imaginary attack on "casual" players.
You'll have to forgive me, because I treat this Blog as a forum, since there is a way to comment. So, my 6 or so posts on this site haven't been 1 liners.

I don't want to fight with anyone on here. I had no idea people were going to take a couple of comments I said and turn me into something I'm not. I posted, thinking that maybe someone else would agree or disagree, but not that I would all of a sudden become the big bad elitist raider.

Personally, I thought my argument made sense, and was clear enough. But others didn't. Fair enough, it was a lengthy post. But, all the criticism thrown AT ME, was too much to just ignore, because my whole, entire argument was ignored, and taken totally out of context. Instead of arguing against my argument, snippets were extracted that sound bad by themselves.

Then, Tobold himself, someone I respect, jumps on and does the same thing. That honestly bothered me, because I figured that if nothing else, even if he considered me as someone dissenting from his view, dissent is welcome... as long as I don't personally attack anyone, curse, etc, which I did not do.

But my post was actually quoted in part by Tobold in a brand new Blog...exciting right!? Not when that blog post then goes on to castigate me as some sort of elitist who hates anyone not like me.

Did I get flustered? I don't think so, I was personally attacked for something I didn't even say in the last blog thread. Please, realize that.

Then this blog quotes me...with the title attacking me both as an elitist, and as someone making a nasty comment.

Me flustered? No, more like me horrified. All of a sudden I'm an elitist making nasty comments. And I quote:

"My apoplogies, apparently some hardcore raiding forum linked to my blog and now I get lots of nasty comments from elitist raiders. My favorite one is: 'Casuals, at least in Blizzard's eyes, are happy jumping in front of the mailbox in IF, or doing whatever it is they do.' "

Now, in bold, I am personally attacked. Then the quote attributed to me "CASUALS, AT LEAST IN THE EYES OF BLIZZARD".
That, is not me considering casuals as do-nothings, instead, its what I think Blizzard thinks of Casuals. I jump in front of IF, I'm not dissing anyone with that line. In fact, I stole it from some other poster from another thread in THIS BLOG. I thought it was funny. Oops.

Then, a ton of language is quoted, that I did not say. It is disturbing that my quote is taken out of context, (even though funnily, the context actually is inside the quote!) and then a ton of quotes that I did not say, think, anything... are plastered below if that is what I said, implied, etc.

Am I flustered? No, my argument was taken totally out of context, positions attributed to me that were undue, and then a whole new blog post by Tobold himself lambasting me as something that I am totally not...with questionable and libel-esque quoting. People called my reasoning flawed, circular, or just plain stated badly. I'd disagree, and point out that a careful reading, which is becoming more and more rare, is all that is required to have understood me perfectly.

But, if the rules of logic are going to be brought up to then bring me down, personally, let me just add that the quotes/misquotes used in this blog post were total straw man quotes, designed to be so absurd as to make the arguments against them not only easy to make, but almost impossible to refute. Did someone really say that because they beat Illidan, they are better than someone else? If so, quote the person, don't list it under my quote taken out of context for every one of your readers to imply it came from me.

Look, I'm not trying to cause problems here, but personally, after making what I thought was a somewhat lengthy argument(is a whole minute spent reading my post that time consuming?), I get attacked by not only other posters who misread what I wrote, but Tobold.

If I appear flustered, it's because I used to look forward to reading whatever insight Tobold and his readers get from games and society in general. Now, I have to come here to defend myself from personal attacks based on a misunderstanding of what I wrote.

And now, a whole Blog post that basically attacks me, for something I'm not. Flustered indeed.
Nick, you really need to be a lot more succinct in your posts. I dunno about you, but having to use my mouse scroll button more than 4 times to get past your comment given the default window size is way too much text. Can you really be surprised that not everyone read your dissertation in its entirety?

Most of us don't care about you. I know I certainly don't. We care about good games to play. Some of us take the advice to heart while developing our own games (yes, devs do read blogs too). Many of us dislike the circular arguments put forth by many raiders ("you don't need gear since you have no content! You don't need content cuz you'd just burn through it too fast!"), and I agree with Tobold's assessment of the folks who seem to have this profound sense of entitlement.

Honestly, what Tobold wanted from the get-go was to have something like UBRS, but with slightly better gear. Imagine a 10-man instance, with no lockout (or a 24-hour lockout, I guess) that dropped rep-level or heroic-level purples in it, that was roughly heroic-level or maybe a bit easier. It'd be easier than Karazhan for certain (the later Kara bosses are much more technical than old world raids like Molten Core, for example).

It would allow casual players to play together in larger groups without needing to fully organize raids, much like UBRS. That sounds like a great way to spend development time to me.

There will always be content that only a small percentage will see. This is done to cater to the hardcore player, just like the crap-load of quests and 5 man dungeons cater to a casual player. Casual should not mean "content with easy goals" It should mean your progress moves slower than a hardcore player. After all, the constant claim on this blog of "MMORPG's are devoid of true skill, time played equals success", Then a casual player would get there eventually. Fact is teh higher leveled content is very skill based. And I'm not just talking about the coordination to get people there or the gear required. I have grouped with plenty of players who far outgear most and play more then a human should, and still couldn't pull their weight.

I think the argument of caual players not wanting gear, but wanting social environments is a false view of a casual player. Casual players want to see what the hardcore players are currently seeing. Period.

If all the casual player cared about was a social raid, why aren't all the casual players running the plethora of pre BC instances? Wouldn't a 40 man BWL be a very social engagement at 70?
Well I've got to applaud this blog entry. I read it earlier today but didn't have time to comment. Well said.

Nick: Just chill man. You're REALLY upset about nothing. :) When reading the blog entry I never thought that one single person said all those quotes and I REALLY doubt that there are many out there that did.

Regarding the discussion, this is just a personal thought but I think that casuals are in effect financing the raiding content because of their greater numbers. So basically should the money be spent based on casual/hardcore subscriptions then Karazhan and it's instances above it would be cut down to 10% of it's current size/content/loot/whatever.

Today it's a bit like the majority voting for something but they still lost.

Yeah I'll probably be flamed for saying that a fair bit. :)
Then, a ton of language is quoted, that I did not say. It is disturbing that my quote is taken out of context, (even though funnily, the context actually is inside the quote!) and then a ton of quotes that I did not say, think, anything... are plastered below if that is what I said, implied, etc.

Nick, I'm telling you again: If something is quoted that you did not say, then it is quoted from somebody else. In fact most of the post is about other people than you. You just imagine it is all about you. It just isn't.
Vivendi is doing to WoW what SOE did to EQ. This is fine as long as casuals don't have anywhere else to go, but makes you vulnerable if a viable option becomes available, but there's been no serious alternative to WoW, so most casuals bitch but keep subscribing.

And what legitimate threat is on the horizon?


I can easily see those two titles being massive flops.

STO? (with evil tribbles, haha)

And even if Evil Tribbles Online (ETO) or Star Gate Worlds are serious competition, they're both 2+ years away.

The bottom line is that there's no viable mmorpg alternative to WoW, and probably won't be until 2009 - and that's at the earliest.

The only mmorpg that might sneak up on us is Guild Wars 2, but that's probably wishful thinking on my part.

Just kidding, I myself am now a full time Casual Player. Why is that? Well I raided hardcore pre-bc instances and was in a guild that I thought were people I could advance with once BC became available. Boy was I wrong! Because of my constant raiding I was alienating my Real Life responsibilities and my girlfriend too. I ended up getting written up at work becuase I made many mistakes since I was exhausted they even went so far as to subject me to a drug test becuase they thought I was on drugs becuase of the black rings under my eyes I got from staying up late trying to beat the four horsemen in Naxx. Also My girlfriend threatened to leave me more than once but she knew I was just going through a phase so she stuck around. Once TBC came out the guild I was in raced to 70 and then started trying to get all of our attunments so that eventually we can all get to Kara and beat the snot out of it. Well I ended up getting a final warning from both my job and my girlfriend so I slowed down my progress. Apparantly my fellow raiders thought I was slacking and one day I logged in to findout I was booted from the guild. I was only out of the game for 3 weeks and that was enough for them to decide to boot me. At first I was shocked but then realized that raiding was not everything. My job is finally giving me a promoption and my girlfriend and I are now engaged Yet I still play WOW but don't care about raiding anymore. In fact I almost feel sorry for the raiders because they seem to think that WOW is nothing more than a pure Raiding game and noone else matters. As a casual player I laugh whenever I post on my lvl 45 hunter and they call me a noob when in fact a year ago they were all drooling over my full Paladin Epic gear from Nax and other Raid instances. Now I see it from the other side as a casual player and don't think I will ever raid again. The virtual rewards are great indeed but is it really worth the loss of your real life responsibilites and social life?

And Nick, Dude calm down. I read Tobold's post and not once did I think it was targeting one person.
@nick , stop behaving like a little kid. you sound just like those kid who always arguing for arguing's sake.. and there is a lot of those in WOW official forum.

@ =##= , predicting AoC and WHO going to be a massive flop is kinda stupid. More likely those 2 MMO will drain subscribers from WoW in 2008. Lot of ppl already burned out on WOW and they will go for anything to get out of WOW.

Tobold is the voice of casual players n thats why i read n agree with his blog.
A large majority of players enjoy exploring & leveling up. Grinding day in & out for a 2% chance of a stat increase is not a blast as subscriber numbers show. AoC & WAR will pull a few people away and if they turn out to be decent, by the time people leave them it will be 2009 or '10 and maybe something else will come out.

I've been retired from wow for 9 months, contemplating going back to lv up a class I've never tried just to have an enjoyable time until other MMOGs appear. I've done the server first plenty of times and really, like anon mentioned above, its not all that.

Keep up the insightful posts Tobold, 2yr reader and still enjoying it, thanks.

=##= , predicting AoC and WHO going to be a massive flop is kinda stupid. More likely those 2 MMO will drain subscribers from WoW in 2008. Lot of ppl already burned out on WOW and they will go for anything to get out of WOW.

I said I could easily see them being flops, not that I think they'll be flops. There's a subtle difference.

In other words, I hardly consider them sure fire hits, and I can envision any number of ways that both titles could have disastrous launches.
Nick, you lament the fact that people seem not to read your posts, and yet you keep talking over and over about how Tobold has quoted things you never said. Looks to me like you should follow your own advice and read Tobold's comments, and finally realize that the world does not revolve around you, that Tobold's post is not about you, that you are not singled out, and that not everything that is being discussed is from your comments.

I'm almost expecting you to again talk about how Tobold has twisted your words into a dozen quotes you never said, even though Tobold has said -- twice now -- that the post was not about you and that the quotes were not from you.
@ =##=

i think you underestimate WHO and AoC way too much lol. or is it your personal hope to see them both fail ? i myself want them both to be successful because as it is now, blizzard isnt going to put more innovation in WOW because they think they are number one.

A little competition works wonder. just look at what bliz do after LOTRO succesfull launch.. they immediately pushed out WOTLK expansion prematurely. there is nothing definite in those WOTLK feature list announcement.. declining US/EUR subscriber because of LOTRO ? probably..
You heard it here first, folks, blogging is regurgitating casual posts from the WoW R&D forums.
I would like to get more into raiding but after seeing the requirements Id rather wait until its adjusted and improved. I can understand that BlizDevs cant simply /cast fixpatch ver x.x without considerable time/effort towards it. Though many players may think its as simple as pushing out a 235kb content patch after reading some theorycrafting forum posts, the patchs are actually very well planned out.

Take for example the attonement problems when TBC first hit retail shelves... they put the content out there, players struggled with it, then it was adjusted. I would expect the same for any "new" content they add in the future. ZA perhaps will be doable with "blues" and quest chain gear, with a patch.

One thing is consistant on a game like WoW, there will always be players that play more than yourself. I would challenge the content makers to design the game in a way that doesnt place a barrier between someone who plays little and someone who plays alot. When you go to a live footbal game do the people who "participate" in footbal events have to sit behind the bleachers? ... no of course not that would be asinine.

~btw, I take full credit for that "jumping aroud in IF" comment that was referred to on this thread, lol.
Raiders are a bunch of cat-assers. Tigole, who himself is a cat-asser, designs the endgame and that is the reason it is so raid-heavy.
So, Tobold, you are asking for an instance which is EASIER than karazahn? Please tell me how you would create a boss easier than the animal boss or Attumen. Sure, you cannot clear kara in leveling greens, but that is why it's such a large instance. You run it, gear up, and can take down perhaps a new boss each week.

I also love the way in which you handle 2.4 coming out. You are thrilled about the dailys and 5 man, but complain about the included 25 man raid. I myself am excited about the 25 man...I do not, however, get all uppity that they're including solo quests and a 5 man for casual players. Blizzard is trying to offer something for everyone. Get over the fact that not everything is designed for the casual player.
Tobold, the computer dork I terrorized in high school finally found something that he thinks makes him cool. He gets to raid.

I finished Kara, Gruul and Mag before I finally quit this game. Now I'm back to dating flesh-and-blood girls and socializing in person. Leave the nerds their fiefdom. Changing the game in a way that denies them the one setting in which they are kings would be cruel. Entertaining, perhaps, but cruel.
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