Casual World of Warcraft

I have been playing World of Warcraft for around a year. I play almost every day. I have leveled many characters over my 1000+ hours of gameplay. I have a level 85 feral druid as my main, I have a high-level mage that's almost level 80 (working on him now) and I have over a dozen other toons that range from very low levels up through 60.

Like I said I have the druid, mage, a hunter and I just started to level a couple priests. My main character I have all my professions maxed out. I did mostly questing up to lvl 85 and I've done a lot of the endgame content. I've completed all of the heroic dungeons and done some raids with my guild and raid finder.

I've focused on getting a range of achievements. I've spent hours just working on those.

So I have pretty good experience with the game. I could go on... I just want to establish that I know what I'm talking about.

In recent years it seems that Blizzard (the company that owns and develops WoW) is leaning more towards trying to build their content for the casual gamer. This isn't making the hard-core gamers happy. They are nerfing a lot of the content. In other words, they're making a lot of the content easier over time. There's a lot of different ways they do that, but bottom line is many of the serious gamers that are really into the endgame content think they take it too far.

I actually feel for them. I think there should be a percentage of content for those hard-core players even if they only make up 1% of the server population. I'm a casual.. I don't care.

But however you feel about that, the things they are doing are broadening the game in such a way that it is a great thing for the average casual gamer. I kind of consider myself in this group. But more on the end of hard-core casual. I play a lot!

But there are so many things that you can do in this game. In a lot of ways they're building mini-games within the game. World of Warcraft in my mind encompasses multiple games all rolled into one. Most people have THEIR thing. They don't do everything. Some people focus on questing and leveling Alts, others dungeons, some on raiding, others just do PVP.

For starters you can just focus on questing. You can follow the bread trails of quests and solve all the worlds problems, kill the bad guys and get loot and gold along the way.

Now with the introduction of the dungeon finder and the raid finder, whenever you want you can go in and run instances, you can right now! You don't need to belong to a guild or take the time to put a group together to jump into a dungeon. You can simply click a few buttons and it will search for people for you to play with. The queue times are almost always under 15 minutes from my experience. (I've done 100s of dungeons and raids this way)

You can go back once you level up your character and go back into a lot of the old dungeons and raids. My guild does this together just to get Transmog items.

You can also go back and work on achievements like Loremaster. Go back into the content, the world and do all the old quests and storylines. There are literally thousands of quests across the world.

There also the professions. You can level these (alchemy, enchanting, engineering and much more!) and then use those professions make you some money. Or some of those professions can help you create items that can help you with the content; to make you more powerful.

There is a making money element... one of my favorite parts of the game is actually playing the Auction House. I make money in a variety of ways by making stuff to sell, buying stuff, selling stuff... and selling anything that I find along the way on my toons.

Besides doing the PVE content... you against the world or the environment... You can also get into something called player versus player or PVP. This is where you can jump into battlegrounds, Arenas and other venues to battle other players in various ways.

And Achievements are a great way to spend your time and have some fun. There's a huge range of various achievements you can attain that require you to get into the contents and do things beyond the norm.

With the coming new expansion, "Mists of Pandaria", they are even doing more for the casual gamer... they are doing things similar to Pokémon. You will be able battle your pets you've collected over time. They're doing something similar to Farmville. You are going to be able to have your own plot of land to grow stuff on.

I'm sure there will be many more opportunities with your dungeon finder, raid finder... they're adding something called Challenges in the next xPac where we have to beat the clock in a dungeon.

Casual World of Warcraft makes it possible for just about anybody to enjoy the game. The developers are focusing on adding features and things to do that will allow more and more people to really enjoy this world.

If you've been considering trying out this game or you've been away from it for a while, consider diving in. It's a lot of fun. You don't need to be obsessive about it or become addicted to it... WoW can be another game that you can play at your own pace, in your own leisure way... as a casual gamer.

-- Joe Taylor

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