I’ve decided that “Casual” and “Hardcore” are too vague as terms. We need several coordinated sliding scales.
Scale #1: Time devoted to WoW outside the game. One end would be those people for whom the game begins and ends at the logon screen. The other end would be those people who spend -hours- reading about/writing about/listening about the game outside the game. Theorycrafters, WoW bloggers and podcasters especially fall on the high end of this scale.
Scale #2: Time spent in-game. One one end would be those people who log on for 20 mins at the end of the night one to two night a week.. because there’s nothing interesting on TV. They complete 2-3 quests and then log off. On the other end of the scale is that person who logs in for more than 10 hours a day. Everyday. Both of these people exist.. and there are lots of people who fall somewhere in between.
Scale #3: Group activities in-game. One end would be soloing. Somewhere around the middle would be 5-mans and 5-man heroics. On the other end would be 10- and 25-mans.
Scale #4: Class knowledge. One end would be that guy.. you know the one.. he got to 80 alright.. but he’s really surprised when you mentioned that he had a “decurse” skill. He’d trained it .. but had never used it. On the other end is that person who can tell you the exact duration and cooldown of everyone of his skills. He know which buttons to hit.. and which orders to hit them in.. and he know what to do to properly take advantage of any of his procs.
Scale #5: PVP Knowledge. One end would be me. I’m aware that pvp exists but I avoid it at all costs. On the other end would be those people who make up theoretical arena teams just to explore the class synergies.. and then make up the “perfect” arena team to beat their theoretical team.
I think -I- fall at around 8/11. I think my guild, overall, falls at 6/11.
I’m definitely not a top-end raider. I don’t -want- to raid 7 night a week. My ideal would be 3-4 night a week raiding.. the kind of raids that finish Naxx-25 in about 4-5 hours. Instead at the moment we’re doing 4-5 hours in Naxx-25 3-4 times each week (that’s ~12-20 hours in Naxx-25 each week).. and normally we finish 3 and a half wings. We’re not done with the content.
So.. a -truely- casual person would spend 20 mins a week soloing.. would never read anything outside the game.. and would randomly button mash. Ok.. so I’m not casual I blog.