EVE: The hardcore and casual partnership

Too often we talk about hardcore vs casual players in an MMO from a content perspective. Raiding is for the hardcore, the main quest must be casual, form X of PvP is hardcore, form Y is casual, etc.

How you design your MMO determines a lot of this divide. Vanilla WoW raiding was certainly for the hardcore only. You simply couldn’t bring a lot of casual player to a raid and make progress. At the same time, current-day questing is very casual, with no hardcore option.

In EVE, the hardcore need the casuals, and the casuals need the hardcore. Goons couldn’t function without the top leadership (super hardcore), all of the Fleet Commanders (hardcore), the Special Interest Groups (SIG) leaders, etc. But all those hardcore players wouldn’t have nearly the same game without the hundreds and thousands of casual ‘F1 drones’ that also play and contribute.

Why someone is hardcore or casual varies greatly, but a well-designed MMO will not just accommodate both, but get them working together. An FC will lead dozens of pilots into battle, and while the FC needs to be highly skilled and knowledgeable, not all of the other pilots need that same level of dedication, which is much different than the above-mentioned raiding content.

The same goes for manufacturing; the hardcore come up with the what, how, and when, but they still need the line members to jump in and complete the orders, move the goods around, etc. Plus upward growth is almost always an option; if you want to get more into an area, and transition from casual towards hardcore, you not only can, but are often highly encouraged to do so. That’s not only good for the organization, but is also good for the game, as more involved players stick around longer than the average casual.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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8 Responses to EVE: The hardcore and casual partnership

  1. Mark says:

    Not that I have time anymore anyway but my biggest issue when I did play was I felt overwhelmed at the idea of being in a fleet…I guess I felt like I didn’t have time even then. I know you posted how fast you jumped into action lately but how long do the “fights” usually take or how long do you need to be involved?

    I always enjoyed the game but eventually got burned out because I was pretty much solo which obviously isn’t a good way to enjoy the game for the most part.

    • SynCaine says:

      Last night I was in a fleet that was basically 15 minutes. We formed up, undocked, blew some stuff up at our undock, the rest fled, mission accomplished. It’s not usually THAT quick, but I’ve had multiple fleets where in 30 minutes the job gets done. There are also fleets that go 2hrs+, but you can leave midway (might get your ship stuck in a station, or have to risk a solo trip home, but still). It really can be that quick and easy, or way more involved if/when you have the time.

      • Maineiac says:

        Jabber is great for that. You just keep that app running in the background while you play other games and then log in for a fleet ping. You don’t have to log into EVE if you don’t want to, which I enjoy.

      • Mark says:

        Ok great thanks for the info, maybe i’ll get sucked back in one day.

  2. Rohan says:

    Heh, I once made a similar argument that the MMO decline was caused by the move to small guilds. The idea that larger guilds, even larger raids, have more room for “grunts” who just want to play without taking on more officer-level responsibility.

    • SynCaine says:

      Certainly we could carry lesser players in a 40 man raid than we could in a 25 or 10, and if you raided with 100, well, that’s a lot of room for casuals as well, because 10, 25, 40, or 100, there is only one main tank, one raid leader, and one guild.

  3. zaphod6502 says:

    I haven’t played EVE for a while now. In my timezone at the ass end of the world there was simply no meaningful activities to engage in as all the big action and timers would always be happening during prime-time Euro and US time. I am content to read about EVE in Wilhelm’s blog and I am looking forward to the new EVE FPS whenever that is released.

  4. Eph says:

    “Vanilla WoW raiding was certainly for the hardcore only. You simply couldn’t bring a lot of casual player to a raid and make progress. At the same time, current-day questing is very casual, with no hardcore option.”

    And the closest WoW ever got to casual-hardcore interdependence was during Wrath, mostly thanks to multiple loot lockouts and the absence of LFR. Remember GDKP raids?

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