During my amazing six week break, my guild found itself in an incredibly odd position where we had enough tanks and healers for two groups, but the DPS support just was not there. We had tried recruiting before attendance reached critical levels, but with our pathetic progression on a high population server, we got no bites. Raids had to be canceled when not a single DPS would rock up and frustration was mounting. Eventually the raid leaders had no choice but to merge down to just the one group; meaning the excess tanks and healers lost their positions. Fast forward to 2013 and we now have enough people to possibly start up that second team again, and the task of getting it together has landed with me. I have dubbed this second team super casual, but several conversations I have had with those interested show that the age old question of, “What does casual mean?” is still very prevalent, at least in my guild.
Setting the Standard
For as long as I can remember Concur has touted itself as being a semi-casual guild; a rather confusing term that, when I look at it, really makes no sense. What? We’re relaxed for one half of the raid and then during the second half we become frothing elitists who scream down Mumble and kick you from the guild if you make one mistake? No, not at all. When I used that term to define our guild all those years ago, I meant to say that we are casual in a sense of time spent actually raiding.
Our raid times are limited to two three hour sessions a week, and we like to make the most of that time! We expect those interested in raiding to have put a decent amount of effort not only into ensuring that their character is the best it can be, but that they have also taken the time to master their class and study each fight before we pull. -Source
While this is mostly true of our raiding style, every once in a while players get slack, and unfortunately that shows in how lack luster our progression is. Those who are keeping true to our guild philosophy often get frustrated; too often does our raid roster change due to poor attendance or our raid leaders feel they have to bear with average performance because there is no-one else available to step in and take their place. It seems to me that the casual component has outweighed the “bring your best” part of the statement; something I know the raid leaders are very eager to squash.
Does Casual Mean Bad, Then?
Reading back on that last paragraph, I realise that I have basically said that ‘casual’ and ‘bring your best’ cannot be mutually exclusive — that casual means “bad”. That was not my intention. Those more casual players in Concur may be bringing their personal best, but it generally is not the best their character can be. I should stress that it is not because they are “bad”, but that it is, once again, a time thing. I did my best to try and complete the dailies each day, but to be the best would have meant not missing a single day of quests — something that I could not achieve. Others do their best by showing up to raids when they can, but to be the best would mean 100% attendance.
By labeling my second team as ‘Super Casual’ I may be confusing people, or even deterring those newer members in Concur from signing up for it altogether. I mean super casual in a sense that the group will only run once a fortnight, at least initially. We haven’t even had our first raid night yet and already people are trying to pressure me into changing the group into a more progression orientated team. I will not cause myself any more stress than necessary, and I certainly won’t be benching people because Mister Leatherwearer wants less loot competition. I made it clear in my post that while it would be more laid back than raid one, there are still basic raid standards in place such as minimum item level, etc. If you can make it, great! If not, that’s okay too. The raid will go on, even if it means we have three rogues.
On a final note, as a raider I always I made sure I rocked up having thoroughly researched the fights beforehand and that my character was optimised to the best of my ability. Not THE best, but the best I can achieve with my play time. I may not have the highest item level or all the raid achievements, but I will get there eventually. I suppose that by identifying as a casual player, and labeling my team as a casual raid, my focus is more on the journey than it is on how quickly we can get to the destination. Group composition may not be perfect, and some nights will be tougher than others, but we will sure as hell have a good time getting there.
What do you consider to be a “casual raider”? Do you feel like the World of Warcraft community has moved away from the idea that casual = bad, or are those players who are identifying as casual keeping the stereotype alive with less than stellar performance? Have your say in the comments below.