Prioritizing play for a casual raider

I’ve come to dislike the term casual raider probably due to all of the negative connotations that go along with it.  When you called someone a “casual” or to really make the insult sting “filthy casual” it meant that as a player you were not very good at video games and lacked the ambition that made the rest of us “hardcore raiders” play so much.  Now that I’m older and hopefully wiser, I know what used to be the dirty word “casual” is an entirely different market of gamers that developers are now catering too.  First of all I like to let people know that I’m not casual, I’m a working professional with a family and all of that takes up time that I would otherwise be using to play video games.  As a working professional gaming enthusiast, I have had to take a hard look at my priorities in game and ruthlessly cut down my to-do list.  There is no way to do everything that I want to in game each day or even every week.  The following is how I have been balancing life with my insatiable need to play WoW.

Currently I’m playing the new Battle for Azeroth expansion for World of Warcraft and while some of my friends are able to put in 10+ hours per day into developing their characters, I have about 3 to 4 hours at night and maybe a 6 hour block on most Saturdays to play.  First I look at what my big picture goals in the game.  Currently I want manage a successful guild/community and have us on a consistent raid schedule – further down the road I will want us to clear all of the current raid content.  In order to do this I start with a list of priorities:

  1. Recruitment like-minded players who want to play the same what that I like to
  2. Raid fight research and strategy development
  3. Character development

I’ve talked a little bit about how I’ve been recruiting players and how that’s been going.  I’ve had a lot of luck building out our community through advertising on the WoW forums.  Most of my time recruitment has been spent chatting with people that are interested in playing with us.  I’m terrible  at multitasking when it comes to playing and talking.  If I’m enjoying a conversation I can’t be playing the game at the same time or I’ll get distracted.  So I need to choose either playing or talking to applicants.  Our community numbers are over 200 players with about 60-70 online per night and last night we were able to fill our raid with 26 people.  I’m hoping to grow our numbers even further and get a second group going during a weekend night.  Of course this means that I’ll have to find time to level an alt if I’m going to be part of the second group.  One of these days…

mage

Raid fight research and developing strategies is an area that I want to dedicate more time too.  I typically have a ‘jump in and see where we land’ approach to learning a raid fight.  We can talk about the mechanics on a basic level but I believe that people (I) really need to see how something works to be able to learn how to do it. The first week of Uldir was a rough one for me.  I had done less research than several of my members and they ended up doing the fight explanations.  This week I was on point and spent a lot of time analyzing where our boss kill strategies were lacking and ways to simplify the fight for the individuals through group directions.  Basically means I tell people where to stand, when to stack up and spread out and what to kill and when.  If you can communicate this to your people and they are able to understand the general concept of the fight, we will be able to get that kill.  The more I see a fight the more I’m able to understand how to explain it, so when I had the opportunity to get additional hours on a few of the fights with one of my former raiding guilds I took it.

For the last month I have been spending the bulk of my time in game developing my own character.  No one wants to see the guild leader at the very bottom of the logs, and that’s where I’ve been.  I would be happy if I could sit more middle of the pack but it’s a challenge to do so while still making calls over voice chat.  I’ll sometimes catch myself just watching things happen without hitting my buttons just so that I can fully understand what went wrong so that I can correct the errors.  Sometimes this happens and we kill the boss anyway and then my lots REALLY suck.  I can pull some decent numbers if I keep my mouth shut and just focus on playing correctly.

I’ve finally gotten into a rhythm and will work on certain things every night.  Emissary quests can build up to 3 at once and do them all and that’s how I’ve typically been completing them.  I haven’t missed any yet!  The list seems long but I built this list based on what I’m actually doing and not what I’m trying to get done.

  1. Daily:
    1. Complete every emissary – these are the bonus rewards that you get for doing 3 or 4 of a specific type of world quest.  They also give a ton of reputation which I’m focused on getting in the most time efficient way possible
    2. Check the companion app for azerite quests
  2. Finish Weekly Tasks:
    1. Complete a high level mythic keystone
    2. Complete Warfront activities
    3. Expeditions for the weekly bonus
    4. Kill the world boss
    5. Complete the weekly if the reward is good (this week it is complete 4 mythic dungeons)
  3. Raid preparation:  I wrote about preparing on my mage for raid last week
    1. 10 Flasks
    2. 40 Crit Food
    3. Intellect Potions – I’m currently poor in game so I used these sparingly
    4. Stat Runes – Also use these sparingly
    5. All gear gemmed and enchanted
  4. Complete additional Mythic + dungeons for gear upgrades
  5. Complete world quests for Azerite and war resources
  6. Farm Gold

Since farming gold is so far down on my list, my in-game money has been dwindling.  I’ve been stingy with my consumables and since I’m an alchemist my flasks last 2 hours which cuts the amount I need to buy in half and saves me about 6,000g per week.  I’ve only started to get to an uncomfortably low amount of gold and started looking at some ways to refill the coffers.  One of my characters is a Tailor/Enchanter so I’m currently looking at an item that I can craft a bunch of and disenchant for a profit.   I’ve crafted a few of the alchemy items called Potion of Herb Tracking, which goes on your companions and they return herbs when completing a mission.  I’m confident that I can make enough gold to pay my subscription and replenish my battle net currency back up to the cap of $350.

5 thoughts on “Prioritizing play for a casual raider

  1. Many years ago, ok, maybe about 6-7 years, my wife and I were about where you are at with the amount of time to play. I am now past 55 and real life demands are making even half that amount of time to play difficult. With my 40 hour week, a 1 hour commute each way every day, trying to maintain a home, my wife working 50+ hours plus trying to finish her Bachelors, helping her elderly parents in their 80’s with cleaning and food shopping, it can at time be difficult to even want to log in. Not being confident in my own level of skill any more has made stepping away from raiding a bit more palatable. She still raids. I do all I can to help her stay prepared. If that means tagging along while she gathers Anchor Weed so she can weed pick while I deal with mobs. We do what we can so we can have at least a little fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What I wouldn’t give for more hours in the day. I’ve been avoiding career paths that would lead to over time and currently have a very short commute. We are in a good holding pattern for the moment but change is only a heartbeat away I imagine.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. While the term casual can be a bit preoccupied, I think it can vary widely depending on your guild/server/game. I’d say I’ve never been a hardcore raider, but I was absolutely a progression raider. We only ever did 2-3 nights a week, so to some we were the casuals, to some we were a bit too hardcore to commit.

    I think my current reading of the term is more “not necessarily goal-oriented, or at least not progression-oriented”, I especially hate any mapping towards number of hours /played – I’ve known many “casuals” who put in a lot more hours than I did – and I’ve known hardcore raiders with less /played than I had. But I’m fighting to keep the term casual unbiased.

    The only argument I’ve never really grasped is that of working vs non-working. Maybe it was just different enough for me but I’ve worked so much during university (part-time or full-time, depended on the year) that I never felt I had more time to play than people with a full-time job. Also we had nearly zero students in a normal school – so the only people who were at home more were stay-at-home folks with small children. And while some of them were online a lot, they were afk like 80% of the time, if you cared to check, so I don’t know. is “student with massive amounts of time” just a trope or did I successfully avoid those all the years? 🙂 I’m just a little miffed at those few guildies who had the weird sort of job where they were officially allowed to play WoW because they were waiting on something all the time anyway…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hardcore, semi-hardcore, casual all mean different things to different people. I recently read a document a serious raider put out there describing a “semi-harcore” raider as players who were in a top 200 world guild which I think may be a outlier on the high end. To me the different terms are more of how many days you are committing to raid 2 days or less I think this is a more casual schedule. Of course there are no official definitions for the terms in gaming so it is on us to specify what we mean when we use the terms.

    As far as free time in college vs work I currently am at work 9 hours per day, commute for 30-40 minutes. When I was in college I had roughly 3 hours of class per day and maybe an hour of driving on the days that I had class. Work that I did outside of class would depend on the time of the semester so anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours in a day. Not to mention winter/spring/summer breaks where I would have completely unscheduled time to play as much as I wanted. I definitely had waaaaaay more time as a student that I do now.

    I had close to no extra time to game when my kid was less than a year old. It was only when she started sleeping more consistently that I was able to commit to playing a game as time consuming as an MMO. So I totally understand parents not being able to be present all of the time that they are on.

    Liked by 1 person

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