Home > Random > Labels, Semantics and the Overuse of it all.

Labels, Semantics and the Overuse of it all.

I’ve had my opinion on this long before a couple of WoW Insiders started bantering back and forth about it.

Let’s start with Casual vs Hardcore

(yes, I just went there)

Consulting our good friend dictionary.com:



1.happening by chance; fortuitous: a casual meeting.
2.without definite or serious intention; careless or offhand; passing: a casual remark.
3.seeming or tending to be indifferent to what is happening; apathetic; unconcerned: a casual, nonchalant air.
4.appropriate for wear or use on informal occasions; not dressy: casual clothes; casual wear.

5.irregular; occasional: a casual visitor.



1.unswervingly committed; uncompromising; dedicated: a hard-core segregationist.
2.pruriently explicit; graphically depicted: hard-core pornography.  
3.being so without apparent change or remedy; chronic: hard-core inflation; hard-core unemployment.

Out of these definitions, I would think (and I’m sure anyone can make any of these definitions apply), the third “casual” definition and the first “hardcore” definition would be the best ones to apply to game play, since I’m pretty sure pornography is not allowed in WoW (unless you go to the  goldshire inn on Moonguard… uhh… so I’ve heard).

Actually, let’s run with that. It makes this a much more interesting blog post. Let’s take the obvious raiding game out of it and look at RP. I’m not into RP in WoW, but there are players who are. And there are players who are on different ends of the RP spectrum. There are those that dabble in it, role play on occasion on their RP toons. Based on the above definition, these players may be defined as “casual” RP’ers. They may fit the 4th definition (occasional) or even the third definition (unconcerned). There is a player base that absolutely uses this mindset. Then you have the Goldshire Brothel on Moonguard. Everyone has heard of it. Some may even casually partake in the goings on there. But these folks are more dedicated. As well as pruriently explicit and graphically depicted.

Now let’s look at the raiding base. These two terms seem to take on much different meanings when it comes to raiding or PVE end game. And if you look at the actual definitions, one can see why a “casual” raider gets the negative connotations that players have given it. It’s not a huge leap to go from without definite or serious intention or seeming/intending to be indifferent to “bad”, or “lazy”. You can almost see the sneers when players describe other players as “casual.”

So the funny thing is, many of the players that often get labeled “casual” by the playerbase at large, are actually more “hardcore” by definition. There are a LOT of dedicated players in this game. I would say many players don’t feel indifferent or apathetic toward their game play at all, and resent being labelled “casual” and not getting the credit they deserve.

We can’t equate “casual” to “bad” and “hardcore” to “good”. It just doesn’t work that way. How are we defining “good” and “bad” anyway?


adjective, bet·ter, best.

1. morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious: a good man.
2. satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree: a good teacher; good health.
3. of high quality; excellent.
4. right; proper; fit: It is good that you are here. His credentials are good.
5. well-behaved: a good child.
6.  kind, beneficent, or friendly: to do a good deed.
7. honorable or worthy; in good standing: a good name.
8. educated and refined: She has a good background.
9. financially sound or safe: His credit is good.
10. genuine; not counterfeit: a good quarter.

That’s just the top 10. There are 45 definitions of the word “good”.


noun; adverb, adjective

1. not good in any manner or degree.
2. having a wicked or evil character; morally reprehensible: There is no such thing as a bad boy.
3. of poor or inferior quality; defective; deficient: a bad diamond; a bad spark plug.
4. inadequate or below standard; not satisfactory for use: bad heating; Living conditions in some areas are very bad.
5. inaccurate, incorrect, or faulty: a bad guess.
6. invalid, unsound, or false: a bad insurance claim; bad judgment.
7. causing or liable to cause sickness or ill health; injurious or harmful: Too much sugar is bad for your teeth.
8.suffering from sickness, ill health, pain, or injury; sick; ill: He felt bad from eating the green apples.
9.not healthy or in good physical condition; diseased, decayed, or physically weakened: A bad heart kept him out of the army.

36. Slang. outstandingly excellent; first-rate: He’s a bad man on drums, and the fans love him.

Again, I listed 10 definitions. There are 36 of them.  What does this mean? This means there is no meaning. Ask 100 people who play WoW to define “good” or define “bad” and you’ll get 100 different answers. Maybe half of them will use “casual” or “hardcore” to describe them. What is a good player? Is it someone who is “high quality”? Sure, that’s one way to define it. I think it’s vague enough that I can assume most will agree with this statement.  The definition of “High Quality” may also be somewhat universal in the World of Warcraft, but it doesn’t always equate to “good”.  And “good” isn’t always “high quality” in the broader gaming sense.

I think if I asked anyone in a battleground how they define “bad”, they may come back with the first definition verbatim. That’s probably a little harsh. Maybe the fourth definition would be closer to the truth. Inadequate or sub-standard are terms Raid Leaders use a lot. That’s not to say the player is really bad. Just there’s room for improvement. When I think of how “bad” is used in WoW, it feels more like players are attacking other players’ character and not necessarily their skill (or lack thereof).

Though I have to laugh. We see it in battlegrounds a lot, players calling other players “baddie” or “baddy”. I looked this term up too!



a villainous or criminal person.

So really, no players are “baddies”. The Baddie is Garrosh, Deathwing, Arthas, Kil’Jaden, Kel’Thuzad. Not us. We’re not evil.

So getting back to that whole casual vs hardcore vs good vs bad thing. I think it would be very fair to say that there are “hardcore” players that may not be good players. Likewise, there are casual players that are not bad players. Therefore, we cannot equate casual to bad or hardcore to good. Here are some examples of how to use these terms in WoW:

Example 1:  Whizzy is a player who doesn’t raid. He never liked raiding and was never really that good at it. He has mastered all the professions and plays the Auction House. He has made several million gold through AH buying and reselling.  He would be considered a hardcore player. Obviously, not on the raiding side, but on the “dude’s totally obsessed about making gold” side.

Example 2: Dizzy is a raider. He raids 3 nights a week. When he’s not raiding, he’s out farming mats, VP capping, daily capping, buying gear on the AH, running LFRs, studying his class, watching videos and analyzing logs. He theorycrafts, eked out every last bit of possible dps he could by min/maxing, etc. When we raid, he tops the meter for a bit, then dies. He can’t dodge tornadoes. He can’t get out of rockfalls. He stands under Garalon. He tops the meters in DPS and friendly fire. He’s a hardcore player because of his dedication and commitment. But he’s not very good because he tanks the floor.

And we can’t necessarily call someone one thing or another. In some cases, players can be both.

I’m going to pick on Myranda here, because I can and he loves the attention. I consider him a very good player. He kicked ass on his ret pally. He theorycrafts, he strives to be the best player he can possibly be. But while he’s been very loyal to the guild, he’s not a very dedicated raider. Yes, foo I can almost predict when you take your 6 months breaks! LOL. So if I were to slap a label on his ass, what would it be? A hardcore player, but casual raider. I can even say he’s a hardcore MT’er. But definitely a casual raider.

So if we’re going to be throwing labels around, what do we call MT? If I’m out recruiting, and I say MT is a casual raiding guild, what the hell does that even tell someone? 5 players looking at that post can interpret it 5 different ways. I’m a fan of telling it like it is. Take out the mystery, confusion, misconceptions of these labels. For anyone who’s recruiting for their guild, tell people who you are, and don’t fluff it with “casual”, “semi-hardcore”, “progression”. Don’t just say you’re active, social or fun. Say what you DO. Then let your audience draw more accurate conclusions.

I like to describe MT as “Business-Casual”. I’m not going to whip out the dictionary, and I’m not going to open this label to interpretation. I am going to give you an analogy. If someone invites you to an event where the dress code is “business casual”, you don’t dress up in tuxedos and evening gowns and deck  yourself out with the most expensive jewels. You also don’t just roll out of bed, don’t shower, throw some wrinkled clothes on from the hamper and think that’s acceptable. MT is a raiding guild and this is how we approach raiding. You’re not required to raid every day, theorycraft, VP cap, etc. But don’t just roll out of bed and show up half drunk. Unless your name is Kioja.

(sorry dude, couldn’t resist LOL)

See I pick on everyone here. I hope Giz doesn’t feel left out.

Categories: Random
  1. Myranda
    May 24, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Awww… I got a shout-out. /tear

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