For the purposes of this column, I am defining a casual WoW player as someone who has 2 hours or less to play at a time. If you spend 2 hours playing solitaire, then you are considered a hardcore solitaire player, but for the World of Warcraft, a couple hours really isn't very much time. There are a lot of people who have more time to play that consider themselves casuals and there are casual raiders and there are hardcore raiders and, well, these categories really don't work very well. But there are definitely also hardcore raider elitist types and many of them are bellyaching that Blizzard spent last year making the game easier for the casual players. I think that Blizzard made the game easier and more fun for everybody and while casuals got a whole lot of benefit from last year's development, raiders got some goodies specifically for them as well.
But this column isn't for the raiders, it's for those of us who don't have enough time to raid on a regular basis and have to squeeze as much fun and value out of our playtime as possible. And regardless of who else it helped, Blizzard did a lot for us:
Getting from 60 to 70:
If you've played the original EQ, you may have expected (like I did) that getting to 70 when Burning Crusade came out would take as long as getting from 1 to 60. But that was not the case. Getting from 60 to 70 was easier for me than getting from 40 to 50 and from 50 to 60. It was fast, fun, full of quests and easily soloable.
Getting to 60:
And then there was Patch 2.3. Leveling to 60 became much faster and easier which is perfect for those of us with alt-itis.
As the t-shirt says, green was the new purple for a while. The quest rewards and drops from mobs in BC replaced blues and purples from the old world on a regular basis. I think it leveled the play field, so that for a while casuals and raiders had equal gear.
This is perhaps the biggest and most controversial change for casual players. Arena play is accessible to those who only have a short time to play as well as those who play all night. But then making the previous season gear available to just BG players made it accessible to those without regular teammates.
Doing the Dailies:
The introduction of Daily Quests and the expansion to Cooking and PvP added some very casual-friendly gameplay. The grind for money, honor, marks and well fed buffs got more interesting -- well, at least until we get tired of the same quests. Blizzard says they have plans to add Daily Quests for all of the professions, so we have that to look forward to as well.
Money, money, money:
Not only do the dailies make it easy to earn money, but the huge number of quests available in Outland allow you to rake in the max-level gold bonuses long after you have hit level 70. This makes it easier for casual players to save up for flying mounts, epic or otherwise -- or crafting supplies or enchant supplies or gems for their new purplez.
5 man fun:
If you have enough time to squeeze in instances into your game time, then BC added plenty of content for you. Looking forward to this year, Patch 2.4 will have a new place to play.
Speaking of places to play, I haven't forgotten this week's event schedule. The Darkmoon Faire continues in Mulgore through Monday. So get your profiteering or cannoneering done while you can.
Also, the Eye of the Storm is the battleground for the Call to Arms holiday weekend. Zach's strategy guide is a good one, as usual. I will make my standard BG plea to fight at your objectives, please. In this case, fight at the towers. Pretty please. If you are fighting at a tower, you are either defending it or capturing it at the same time. If you want to just hang around and watch everyone else fight, great. Just do it at a tower please.
Next week, I will be answering some reader mail about finding a group quickly. Until then, have fun!
Robin Torres loves answering reader mails. Please send her questions at Robin.Torres AT weblogsinc DOT com.