WoW is like that water for me.
The SwimmerChampion’s Seals). I’m guilty of spending absolutely slaughtering lowbie mobs 2 - 5 points (like those dreaded Pirates for the Steamwheedle Cartel) at a time. I’ll run a few heroics, hit random battlegrounds to farm honor and pad the HK's or, if nothing else, farm some old achievements. These kind of nights are my normal. In this mode, I’m happily experiencing more of the games content, but there’s still a whole other level that exists.
A Willingness to RaidSo far, I’ve talked about three levels of play: the pure social dabbler, the little bit of everything, and the progression raider. There seems to be an endless discussion both in the blogosphere and in trade chat about being Casual or being Hard Core, and often casual players are derided or disrespected. Despite being a member of a guild and a member of a 10m progression team, I’m still Casual. I disagree that I’m still not a progression raider even though I’m Casual. I’m just a part-time progression raider.
Progression Raiding is the end-game (at least for me), and it requires some extra effort on a player to actually be successful. You have to actually work for it (i.e. fine tune DPS, review strategies, communicate with your team, etc). At times, it feels like actual work and it can cause burnout. You also need to be willing to fail (frequently at first with improvement as the encounter starts to gel). Failing sucks. Eventually, however, you’ll pull it together and kill the sucker! That feeling of beating a fight, especially a challenging fight, and seeing the epics drop or achievements pop up is one of the best.
I raid two nights a week for about four hours in each session. I can plan around it -- yes, I actually need to plan to play video games on progression nights. I want to get the kids in bed, kiss my wife good night, wrap up work, and the switch over to Peashooter mode.
I enjoy raiding. It’s the game’s pinnacle, and to play at the end-game level you need to have some focus. Chat is present, but not during raid rules or strategizing, and certainly not during the fight! The players are still friendly, but more businesslike. The game is more intense, more exciting, and sometimes a bit stressful. It’s fun, but it’s different that mucking about in Stormwind collecting crabs.
Sounds stressful, right? Sure, but when you Win.... ahh.... it’s all worth it!
Due to that intensity, I won’t commit to 5 or 6 raid nights a week. That’s just not me. That leaves me with no downtime to actually just hang out diving under waves or floating over top of them when I feel like it. Other times, I’m merely content to walk along the edge and watch the others ride the waves. See, I play WoW because I simply enjoy playing the game at each of these levels.
So what about you? Can you raid all week long? How do you balance more casual down time?