Hardcore Progression vs. Community – Can a guild have both?
So recently a topic was raised to me by a few friends who also run their own guilds. The question was raised with the change in raiding with WotLK can you have a hardcore attitude toward raiding and still have a strong sense of community?
Had you asked me with just Naxx, OS and Malygos, I would tend to agree that it may be possible. In Burning Crusade most certainly not, and in classic WoW most certainly not.
Lets define the two sides before continuing any further.
This is a very strict raiding schedule (4+ days and usually 16-25 hours a week minimum). Hardcore Progression guilds make certain specs mandatory, make certain consumables mandatory. Members of these guilds MUST know the strategy before going into the instance, and if they don’t perform are replaced without batting an eye. For their unquestionable loyalty and lack of a social life they are rewarded with cutting edge content and epic gear. Fun is defined as pushing the
envelope of your ab ilities to get through content as quickly as possible.
Community is defined as building tight bonds with fellow guildmates. Where the social aspect of the game, conversing with friends, doing quests and other fun events takes precedence over a strict militaristic attitude toward the game. Community cares more about individuals than the end goal. Focus is put on fun with a good group of people rather than fun through pushing the hardest content.
Most often you hear the argument of hardcore vs. casual. This is not that conversation. This topic focuses solely on progression minded guilds, vs. those that want progression perhaps but don’t want to break the bank doing it. Now some of you would say that’s is the argument of hardcore vs. casual. Maybe, but it really depends on your definition of hardcore and casual. Some may say hardcore is those who raid, and casual are those who don’t. This is why I wanted to define community and hardcore progression. Because I feel that these are brands “hardcore and casual” both can apply to Hardcore progression and Community.
In my travels around Azeroth I have found that no 2 guilds are alike. I have seen hardcore, hardcore focused, casual raiding, focused raiding, etc. One thing that I have found is each create a different community but its more of the casual focused ones where the members truly feel like valued members of the guild and not cogs in the machine that the truest sense of community is formed. You see people rely on each other a bit more than that of a hardcore progression minded guild.
So I feel there is a sliding scale the more you move toward hardcore progression from casual progression the less sense of community you have. The reasoning behind this is by moving away from having fun with fellow guildmates to treating content like a job or mission you start to lose that camaraderie you get with a more casual approach.
Then again you can move too far toward casual progression where the sense of community is strongest but could create boredom in its members.
On the 2 extremes being hardcore progression you see player burnout, on extreme casual progression you see player boredom.
So while I don’t think you can have hardcore progression with a good sense of community. I do think you can have progression and still maintain a good sense of community. There is a happy medium. But for those who don’t care about community, hardcore progression may be where you want to be.