Casuals: The Hardcore’s Burden?

Published on: Feb 23, 2015 @ 17:18

I know what you’re probably thinking because I thought it too:

“No,” I said at first. “Of course I have no responsibility to these people. If they are randomly dropped into a strike with me, how is that my fault? They either keep up or get left behind.”

But my opinion has changed. After some self-reflection and research, I just couldn’t fight the feeling that perhaps we should be doing more. Read on and you’ll see why.

Crisis of Conscience

A few days ago, while jogging and listening to a podcast about Destiny (after listening to ours), one of the contributors made the comment:

“You know, I tried to get into Destiny, but I would join strikes and everyone just ran off, leaving me to kill everything. They were all these elitist hardcore players and I was just a casual. So I quit. It’s just not a game intended for me.”

destiny casual guide

My face became very serious. I stopped running and thought, “Oh no,” as something twisted inside me. Like holding up a mirror, I realized that I am that elitist hardcore player. That ass he’s talking about – the guy who runs off leaving new players in the dust – that’s me.

That doesn’t sit well with me. I’d prefer to be part of the solution, so I’ve tried to understand this problem. I’ve scoured the forums and talked with friends about this division between hardcore and rookie players.

All I wanted to do was answer two simple questions: What is a casual player, and do we have a responsibility to include them?

What is Casual?

I felt like understanding why casual gamer are casual was an important foundational step, so I looked to definitions. Despite what our grammar teachers drilled into us, words are fluid.

Defining casual and hardcore depends largely on context, so the most relevant context possible was in fellow players – that includes the forum here and Reddit, which I’ll include some quotes from:

“Greeting fellow guardians, I use to be a hardcore gamer but time and family got in the way. Now I am just a filthy casual.” – GLA KASSAD

“Sure, playing 40 hours a week could get tedious but playing ~ 2 hours a day (or less during the week, more on the weekend) is pretty casual.” – Mykle

“The PS2 and Xbox brought in many of what we initially called the “casual gamers”. Many of the franchises that are popular now began at this point (Call of Duty, WoW, sports franchises, Halo, GTA). Those “casuals” became the “core gamer” in the next generation. They make up the large majority of the buying power.” – Aoi

“I think there are plenty of flaws with the game, but I don’t think the balance between casual players and hardcore players is one of them… I’m not a gamer, really. Mostly I play this game to relax – I like the mechanics, and strikes and patrol missions are the kind of low-key gaming experience I enjoy.” – NedLumby

Artwork by CindyCerberus

Confused? So was I at first. Never did I consider this search might raise more questions than answers – to the point where I didn’t know what I was anymore. Casual or hardcore, spontaneous or steadfast? I’d always considered myself hardcore, but there are things I refuse to grind and time I refuse to sink into Destiny.

So was all the searching a dead-end? Thankfully, no. You see, there is a pattern. Here’s the scarlet thread we can follow back to something useful.

From Casual You Come, to Casual You Return

What is the common theme? Elasticity, flexibility, and adaptability. The evolution from casual to hardcore and de-evolution back to casual is the link between all these comments.

And the truth is, being a casual gamer with Destiny is necessary sometimes. Life circumstances change, and as with most MMOs, the time you dedicate needs to change along with those circumstances.

But the transition doesn’t change. We all move along the spectrum between casual and hardcore, and I’ve worked up two definitions from the various comments on forums that I think will be useful for deciding where we currently fit.

As you read them, ask which best describes the phase of Destiny you are in.

Casual: A person either easing in, easing out, or on standby with Destiny. They have, perhaps, dedicated significant chunks of time in the experience, but they no longer spend as much time as they once did. They also may be trying out the experience for the first time, with or without prior MMO-esque games under their belt.

destiny casual player guide

Hardcore: Some dedicating significant amounts of time in the game currently, trying their best to maximize their experience. This may include regular raiding expeditions, multiple characters, daily grinding and bounty work, and just generally going ‘all-out‘ by that person’s standards.

There is an element of subjectivity here, as we are often defined by how we perceive ourselves. One man’s 2 hours a day might be considered casual, while another might give the only two hours he has free in the day to raid or upgrade gear.

These definitions serve two purposes. First, they give us a measure by which to judge our standing with the game. We are less likely to look down on casuals if we discover, to our shock, that we share some common bonds.

Second, they show us that we are in fact, at one point or another, casual Destiny players. The time either has or will come when we all must step back from the game, which has implications for how we respond to those currently in that phase.

What is Our Opportunity?

The Destiny community never ceases to astound me. They are, beyond a doubt, some of the most passionate and patient people I’ve ever met, but let’s not pretend we are perfect.

I’ve had my fair share of frustrated outbursts playing Crucible and getting the thousandth shotgun slide to the face, or getting paired in a strike with someone who thinks cursed thralls just want a hug.

And boy oh boy, I’ve let some choice words fly and been on the receiving end of some gnarly private messages.

But the good times vastly outweigh the bad, and I’d like to see that continue. Those unique encounters with strangers make Destiny special.

Before considering our great opportunity, I think it’s important to ponder two key points:

Who Are We Playing With?

They say first impressions are everything, but what happens when you can’t see or hear the person on the other end of your Internet connection? As Ursula the sea witch once said, “It’s all about body language.”

Our fellow players have tells, just like in poker – certain signs we can interpret to help understand where they’re coming from.

First, are they lagging behind in strikes? If so, they are probably new and experiencing that particular strike for the first time. Or they could be incredibly drunk, in which case you should absolutely get them into a party chat just to hear what their world is like.


Are they head-shoting everything with two legs? Yeah, you can probably figure they’re beasts at this game and have memorized just about everything that could possibly happen.

Are they tracking with you until right up to the boss and then hiding in a corner the entire time while you do all the work? Those people deserve no mercy from anyone ever.

But once you understand where that avatar next to you is coming from, you can successfully ask yourself the second question.

What Were We Like in Their Shoes?

It’s really no surprise, especially if you’ve ever peered into someone’s armory to see what weapons they’re rocking, but we judge people based on how similar they are to us.

A quote from one of NedLumby’s Reddit posts is particularly relevant here:

Look. I don’t have a Gjallahorn, Icebreaker, or Suros. I don’t have a VoC or Mythoclast or a Crota’s Whatever. You guys that have played significantly more than me and have raid groups have all those guns, and they look fucking awesome.

I see you playing with them when I’m spazzing out with you in Roc Strikes. I want them. I’m jealous.

And those of us with all those guns are perfectly happy that someone is jealous. We get the satisfaction that naturally comes with success, but it can also make it exceedingly difficult to sympathize.

I’ll be honest, there are times when I wish I was approaching Destiny for the first time again. I’m jaded and cynical now, numbly running through these PvE missions until it’s all muscle memory.

Putting ourselves back into the shoes of those we are playing with can refresh the experience and give us fresh eyes again. We tend to forget that we too were once level 20’s just praying to the cruel Destiny gods for a Legendary Engram.

But we have the opportunity to not only make the journey enjoyable for those level 20’s, but also revitalize our own time with Destiny.

How Can We Seize It?

Trying new experiences takes effort, but it takes far less effort than we sometimes imagine.

If you’re ready to try your hand at something new, and the opportunity to mix things up in your group and meet some fascinating new people is up your alley, try a few of these things:

Accept Those Friend Invites

This one’s a bit like rolling the dice. You’ll probably lose a lot, but sometimes you’ll win and win big. I don’t recommend accepting invites from people in the Tower that you stumbled upon, as pointing, dancing, and waving are all well and good, but just blinding jumping into a party chat with a random doesn’t usually end well (and believe me, I know).

If you’re playing with someone who is competent and fits your style, why not chill in the playlist with them a few rounds and send them a friend request later?

I’ve found a few raiding buddies that way, and raids are a blast – which leads to the next tip.

destiny filthy casuals guide

Do Raids with ‘Casuals’

Raids are some of the purest fun you can have in PvE, especially if you find a group that can dedicate a little time in the week to run Vault of Glass (because let’s be honest, it’s just more enjoyable than Crota in many ways – and lower levels can partake).

Seeing new players as a burden in raids is simply a product of our expectations, and we would benefit tremendously from overhauling our expectations. Most casuals miss out on them because they don’t have X or Y, which is truly unfortunate.

Sure, you may feel a desperate need for those last few shards to get to level 32, but which experience would you actually enjoy more: integrating another interesting person with a desire to learn and improve into your group, or jumping from 31 to 32 so you can take part in Crota’s End on hard, which might just destroy every shred of joy in your world?

It feels good helping others, and the weekend warriors would love it if they had people that were patient enough to show them the ropes.

destiny filthy casual fundamentals

Teach the Fundamentals

I understand wanting to get through raids and strikes quickly. It’s natural, especially if you’ve done something hundreds of times, to say, “I’ll run the relic and everyone else just shoot.”

But the first time I did Vault of Glass, I had no clue how what was going on. The people I was with literally said, “You stand here and shoot this until I tell you to run here and then you’ll get a chest.” If I were physically present, I would have nodded dumbly and slunk to the place they showed me.

But I’ve never felt better than when someone said, “Hey, do you want to try and run relic?” I also died. A lot. I’m sure my team hated me for it, but now I live for ground pounding those twisted harpies into dust.

Pass the reins every once in a while and act as teacher rather than leader – it speaks volumes and builds character.

destiny filthy casuals

Seek Out Newcomers

Don’t stalk them or anything creepy, but if you notice a forum post or raid listing from a “filthy casual” and you’ve got a decent raid group already, why not integrate that person?

There’s very little risk on your end, and if things don’t work out, they don’t. No harm, no foul, and at least you tried.

The truth is there are some people who would play more frequently if there were others to play with, so even “casuals” might only be that way because they haven’t found the right group yet. Plus, I’ve met some people on Destiny that, while radically different, are a blast to spend time with. So if you seek them out, chances are you won’t regret it.

Your Thoughts?

I’d be interested to hear stories of how these things are happening right now, as I know they are. Destiny is built on its community, and there are tremendous opportunities here.

Believe me, it takes effort, but it’s effort well spent.

Taylor Bair

I write about the intersection between the games we love and the lives we live. When I’m not working on websites and marketing projects, I’m writing with a hot cup of chai tea in one hand and a computer in the other. Makes typing exceedingly difficult, let me tell you.

  • BrinyLeech30 – lvl 32 Titan

    This is a great article and I can totally relate! Being a level 32, I do forget that at one point, I was a level 20 and bumbling around trying to get to level 26-28. Then when I was invited to raid the VOG for the first time, I was so nervous and died, a lot. But now, I try to make it a thing for me to join random raid groups (when invited) because, to be honest, it is really satisfying to get through the raid and hear someone freaking out on the other end of their Mic! Ecstatic with voice cracking because they just beat it…and got the Mythoclast, Gjallahorn, fatebringer or whatever. Its a rally cool feeling that were able to get someone across the threshold, helped make them better and hopefully they pay that forward to the next guardian that needs help.

    • panthersnbraves

      Most of my friends can play more than I can, so they all have 3×32’s and all maxed out weapons. They are bored and just raid a couple times a week with the same people.

      I’m like “come back and help us!” We try and cobble together a group and then end up can’t quite finish the Boss stage of the raid. No chance of even trying Hard Mode until we can max out our gear…

  • ItsJustinTheGame

    Im semi-casual, I don’t do raids often, and, if ever, It’d be helping a newly fledged level 27 with vault on normal( or my new character), I hate crota(ive never killed crota, as nobody wants a noob( I have played up until there maaaany times, but they just wont teach me, so I have the arms and chest for my hunter)), I honestly play iron banner hardcore for the light level 36 gear, as it is more enjoyable. I do play a TON, but its Vanguard Roc over and over, bounties, work on my new Warlock/Titan, and all them good things. So I can come from both casual, and hardcore. I put the hardcore time in, but casual effort.

    • wp8winRTftw

      I am like you. I have the arms, chest, and legs for the raid, and need about 20 more shards to hit level 32. I have however, done this by soloing up through the shrieker hallway every week. No one wants a noob, even though they have been noobs themselves. That said, I have never really had a bad experience with AFKs on the ROC strike list. I have however, gotten the sense that there is a group that do nothing but the Nightfall and the Raid and look down on everyone else. They need to realize that they are probably the minority. Few people have the time to run 3 characters, do 3 nightfalls, 9 raids per week, and all the rest. Without the noobs and casuals, Bungie goes under in a year or two, because a there are not enough hardcore players to make it economically viable.

      • ccBOTES

        I can also help you out for whatever you need to do, invite me ccBOTES (PS4)

        • george

          Thanks for the offer. I really appreciate it, and it only goes to shoe how great the Destiny Community really is. Unfortunately I am on Xbox.

          • I’m on Xbox 360 and regularly teach lower level players VoG and Crota normal. GT is DavidVibez

    • twsited

      Add xXTwisteDXx if your on ps4. I’ll teach you crota. Its really easy tbh. Doesnt take much once you know the mechanics. Leave a message so i know your from here

      • Rom3

        I’ll help too add me R3alRom3 we run Crota and Vog all the time if want you can also join the clan PowerRaiderz nice little play on power rangers the tv show from days old, it’s a couple of college grads who play destiny in there free time!

      • ItsJustinTheGame

        I just learned it, and you’re right, it is easy. Also, Im on XB1(no exclusives for me D=)

    • Jamil

      if your on psn friend me jmilram if you would like to raid crota.

  • Grymwulf

    I recently started playing Destiny with my brother (we’ve been playing for almost two months now) and I just hit level 31 yesterday. I feel that I was a casual and now consider myself to be a hardcore player (based mostly on the amount of time I put in to the game, not necessarily because I’m all that great at it yet).

    A couple days ago, my brother and I were playing Iron Banner matches and I was simultaneously trying to get kills with my Two To the Morgue shotgun to get points for my Thorn bounty. In a couple matches, there was this guy, Patrick something, who was just awful. Dreadful. He would walk up to my brother and I with his pulse rifle and try to kill us and basically give me free points for my Thorn bounty. In fact I can easily say Patrick something is responsible for at least 50 of my Thorn bounty points, and I will be forever grateful to him.

    At first, my brother and I had a good laugh over just how bad this guy was, but then we started to feel really bad about how bad he was. After those slaughter matches, we both friended Patrick something. We’ve started inviting him to Strikes and Crucible matches with us. He’s horrible, but he’s actually a super nice guy. He is what you would call a casual, and it has become our goal to help him become better. Does he die a lot? Yes. Is he a n00b? Absolutely. But it’s fun and leads to some hilarious moments.

    Also, I finished the Thorn bounty yesterday, and I feel like I beat the game. That bounty SUCKED.

    • BoneCrusher

      I made this bounty 3 times x)

      • Grymwulf

        Bungie ought to have a picture of you on a wall somewhere… 😉

    • Jeff

      I’m not Patrick, but I share his pain. Mid-20 level with no fancy armor or weapons led to quick and multiple deaths. Glad someone took pity on one of us cannon-fodders.

      • bent2727

        if your on ps4 add me: bent2727
        I have 3 32s and im pretty good at the game and id be happy to help you with raids and strikes and shit like that

        • Jeff

          Xbox 1. Was leaning to ps4 because some friends have it, but got the 1 for 320 right after Christmas, price was too good.
          On live – jmulli

    • wiggumon

      That was really cool of you. Many times I considered throwing in the towel because I couldn’t find anyone to lend a hand.

  • Adamms

    Never leave a guardian behind. Every time I jump into a strike with a player who is a lower level or not as big of a player as myself, I try my hardest to help out and not bum rush him. It can be a little hard sometimes, but in the end its great to help everyone out. Great article once again.

    • Laytonaster

      I agree whole-heartedly. I consider myself a bit of a hardcore player, but even I recognize that just having one player who tries to solo speedrun the damn strike can make the entire effort fall apart, and that it’s not only faster and more efficient to work together to wipe mooks out, but also more fun and less frustrating.

      • NobleExile

        I like that: No Guardian Left Behind. Believe me, I need that. I’m a level 30 Hunter and have yet to run the Vault of Glass or Crota’s End simply because life and family intervened…

        • Black Crowen

          Me too.. L31 Titan and have only done parts of VoG. I can totally relate to him saying that he didn’t know what the hell was going on. I guess I can equate it to not knowing what the strikes were or how to do them, whereas even the harder ones are becoming easy through repetition. But I’ve been 31+ for months, and I want some raid gear! ) Think I’ll try that new LFG this week.

          • NobleExile

            Congrats on hitting level 31 😀 I’ve been level 30 for 3 months now.

          • Black Crowen

            Sorry for late reply… Pls let me know if you want to do VoG, am putting team together. Will be my first time but have been studying up.
            Also am available for Nightfall or heroics. Did the L30 last night with two good guys, was pretty manageable. Nfall we’ll need 4-6. I’m usually on at night 9-12 EST.

        • Keith Santos

          If u r on ps4 look me up psn is Keith2064. I have everything from Crota raid and would like to help more new people finish it

          • NobleExile

            Lol thanks for the offer, but I’m on Xbox 360 ^^” but dang dude O.O that’s insane… I recently got my first legendary primary from the Vanguard: Payback SOS. I do like it xD

    • perera74

      This. Sure if I’m running Roc, and the Devil’s Lair crops up again, we’ll all take off on the Sparrows. But I’ll always get of the damn thing as we enter to first doorway and up the stairs, and you know… shoot the bad guys. It’s getting to the point where players run/ride past sections you don’t have to engage in that are mechanics to the Strike. It breaks with etiquette in my opinion.

      Also, if the same Strike gets repeated either straight after or it’s just been too frequent and I bail, I will go on team strike mic and say why. It’s just a common courtesy.

      • Adamms

        YES. I hate it when people just Sparrow through strikes. I had a group and we were playing the nexus, they ran all the way to were the Nexus would spawn then waited for me to kill the three Servitors by my self. Again if you’re going to speed run a strike, either get people you know or tell the others you’re playing with.

  • JD Nasty

    This game sucks because you “baby” the Casual Players.. Bungie wants this to be a “Real” MMORPG then stop making it so easy.. People go from 1-32 in just a week.. People can obtain the HIGHEST MAXED LEVEL in just a week.. Destiny a Good MMO?… Negative. It’s for kids ages 6-17yrs of age.. Learn from the Best MMOs and spin of them. It’s a simple concept. Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XIV, World of Warcraft, etc… Follow me on twitter and Twitch @JD_Nasty

    • ElectricZealot

      I guess I’d follow you on Twitter or Twitch if I gave a rip about the games your playing. You did notice that this was a Destiny post, right? “Baby” the Casual Players… If you’re getting from 1 to 32 in a week… PLUS playing the other games you mention; I’ve only one piece of advice – get a job and out of Mom’s basement. Or, try living without the Trust Fund.

      This game has issues because of a$$clowns. Some of which work at Bungie and some of whom are too arrogant to realize their own status in life. Nice job advertising your own lot…. I’m sure all your ‘mates’ on those much ‘vaunted’ games would be so impressed with the example of them you leave.

      • mayhem_x178

        Clearly someone hasn’t been at max level since the first month of this game being out, otherwise you’d know the frustration with this broken ass game.

        • ElectricZealot

          And, that someone would not be me… Let’s make no mistake – frustration with the game? In spades. Issue with others that are so arrogant that they need to spout self-promoting BS on a completely relevant article that provides a different, positive viewpoint on how to deal with casuals in the game – and possibly provide some self-fulfillment?


    • MSUMC25

      What a tool…

  • SociO_PathiK

    You know, it really is difficult to determine whether I am a “casual” or “hardcore” gamer. I grind out different bounties (primarily vanguard bounties), have never finished a raid but still love Destiny. I keep things fresh by trying to solo the weekly heroics. I have added some players that I have met in matches and on strikes but many times never see them again and very rarely get invites to others sessions. The hardest part for me is finding the time it takes to get into a raid with a group and actually complete it. For example, I decided to pull an all nighter so I could finally do VoG. After an hour and a half of posting on the forums and adding people who said they were looking for players, I finally got invited into a run that was partially completed and within 20 minutes and a few deaths, the “veterans” of the group made a comment that there was no way we could get through the raid cause they were the only two who knew what they were doing and then they quit. Another hour into forum posting and I got an invite to another raid in progress and spent an hour and a half running around with a group of guys that were way cool, helped me out alot, but were unsure of how to finish the raid. It is frustrating to say the least, but if there are people willing to help it makes the frustration more bearable. Do I care to be the relic runner? not particularly but I would give it a shot. Do I want the raid gear? Hell yeah I do! What I really need to do first though, is get another tv to game on so my wife doesn’t keep stealing the tv I game on in the middle of a strike or when I get a good set of bounties!! #dadsofdestiny #gamerdad #imnotanoobijustsuckatthisgame

    • Mithri

      I see your pain.
      One hint I can give you:
      Start using for searching a raid group
      From my experience you can get a group within minutes, and most of them are quite nice, especially for VoG, and even more if you’re telling them you are unexperienced.
      There are a lot of helpers out there.
      But getting a group via the forums is pita compared to the lfg site

      • FlipFlipadelfia

        I only used to raid from launch until about a month ago. I found tons of cool people that I still join up with for Nightfalls and such, but I was also able to find a group that raided around the same time that I could (in my very strict time window) and now I exclusively raid with them.

        The various LFG websites are a great way to get a quick group and meet new friends.

    • Brad_030

      What Mithri said. Use lfg, and don’t be afraid to say that u are new to raids. People will help and it won’t take long to find a good group!

  • narcogen

    “First, are they lagging behind in strikes? If so, they are probably new and experiencing that particular strike for the first time.”

    Or, you know, they prefer playing through the encounter more or less as intended and aren’t speedrunning past everything directly to the boss just to check off an item on today’s to-do list. My pet peeve is in matchmade activities when a fireteam of two is joined by a random and the random decides that they’re going to set the pace for the activity.

    • Random Access

      I do this when I want some glimmer / bounties and, well, because I like popping heads and completing a strike at the same time. A friend and I were playing last night and a guy joined in – flew to the end and we were thinking: “he’s missing the fun” 🙂 Still played a few with him though

    • l Bl4ck widow l

      Had that happen 30 minutes ago. This random was a jerk. He sent a message to my friend saying we were losers and he carried us through the weekly. Um dude, you died not once but twice at the end boss, and my friend and I killed the boss by ourselves for more than half the boss’s health. He ran through all the parts dictating the pace and then send us hate messages. People like that are what causes a lot of people to quit. I sent him a nasty reply basically of keeping his unwanted comments to himself. He thought he was so entitled….

    • guest

      if you aren’t killing the enemies intended by the strike,ie the ones the objective tells you to kill,then you aren’t playing the strike itself,your doing patrol cosmadrone with a possibility to suddenly being consumed by darkness. if someone lags behind me/me and my friends get all the way to the objective,and if they take long enough when they finally get there they get to solo that part,and then afterwards we go on our usual warpath. even as a lvl 7 on devils lair I saw an objective and said”alright. go there” saw “kill fallen walker” did I kill dregs? no I shot the walker with every bullet I could. if you play the objective you don’t fall behind.

      • narcogen

        If you’re the third member of a fireteam that got put in by matchmaking, you don’t get to dictate the pace. Strikes usually have only a few targets that actually require killing– does that mean you shoot them, them only, and skip everything else? Everything that isn’t required to open a door?

        If Bungie intended strikes to be played that way, they wouldn’t be in patrol zones, they’d be separate like the Raids. Several strikes also feature patrol level enemies in non-darkness zones between encounters; I doubt Bungie put them there for the purpose of having something to speedrun past.

        Of course there are limits. Some players just dawdle about or never move from spawn– I don’t mean that. I mean pushing forward and shooting enemies that are along the objective path in a normal way. If players are doing that and you’re pushing ahead of them, not fighting things because they’re “not the objective” and you get consumed by darkness, that’s your fault, not theirs.

  • NightShade2447

    Great post, Thanks so much! I love reading these while playing Destiny!!!

    I think i would consider myself in-between hardcore and casual.

  • daken616

    Nobody gets left behind is something I heard one person say when I first started. I’ve kept that going as I play. I make an effort to help anyone if they need it, there’s no reason to be rude to anyone. I’ve come across casual players, and I’ve come across hardcore ones too. I think I’m somewhere in the middle. Maybe more towards the latter. I’ve seen and heard players be mean for no reason, I try and be the opposite. Helping others through the game makes it more fun for me.

  • F3_Hard_Drive

    Good article. I’d be a hard core player if this came out 10 years ago. As it stands getting old(er), family and responsibilities means getting in a couple of hours at night at best, plus not many chances to meet new people to form a raid group at a PTA meeting.

    Which is the frustrating part. I’d like to raid or do Weekly Heroic and Nightfall strikes, but I still feel a step slow in matchmaking Vanguard strikes as a de facto casual. I’ve tried going to LFG sites, but being a lvl 29 with only purple gear at best is bit intimidating when you see mostly “experienced want speed run, lvl 30 or above” and “have x, y, z exotics.” I would love to play some end game missions and hook up with some players that don’t have a tag that includes some variation of “yer mom” in it, but it does feel like there is a barrier for the casual.

    • WSquared88

      What console do you run on? I would definitely help you out on the raid if you are on the Xbox One. I like helping people out in Destiny its fun.

      • F3_Hard_Drive

        Thanks for the offer. PS4 though.

      • autobot

        WSquared88, I was wondering I’m on the xbox one and I have been itching to do a raid for the first time and more. I’m a level 31 warlock and have been just doing the weekly and strike stuff. I’m an average player that takes his time unless I know the area. I play with 3 other guys at times and we never have enough guys to do the raids. I would love to learn how to do these. I’m a family man so I can’t play until 9:30 EST. Would you be able to help me or us?

        • WSquared88

          Sure, I would love to help. If you send me a private message we can figure out a good time for this.

          • autobot

            sorry how would I do that? Disqus does not have that option. sorry I’m a newbie to this

          • WSquared88

            I just assumed there was a private message system on here since there is one on literally every other type of social media. What about this Wednesday the 25th at 4pm?

          • autobot

            sorry the earliest I can do is 9:30pm. I have to wait till the kids go to bed. I can play either tonight or tomorrow. what is your gamertag?

          • WSquared88

            W Squared 88, how about Friday at 9:30 pm? I want to make sure I can give the full amount of time just in case it goes really long. I don’t think it will go longer than three hours though. Do you want to do VOG or CE? I recommend VOG because its more fun and focuses more on the team instead of the singular player.

          • autobot

            I sent you a message on xbox. I can do VOG @ 10:45 pm on friday if that works for you. Should we do the normal or hard?

          • WSquared88

            That works, we should do normal first and then if we are up for hard we can try it. Hard actually is hard and if this is your first time it’s best to do normal first.

          • autobot

            cool sounds good. are you able to get other players

          • WSquared88

            Im going to put a post up on and

          • autobot

            I’m sorry but I might have to hold this off till next week if that is ok.

          • WSquared88

            When next week because I’m going to PAX east next weekend.

          • autobot

            maybe tuesday night. if not I can hold off until you get back

          • WSquared88

            What time on tuesday would you be free for the raid?

          • autobot

            sorry 9:30 pm est. is the earliest i can do

          • WSquared88

            Sure, I can do 9:30 to midnight. It shouldn’t take that long though.

          • autobot

            I just sent you an xbox message. Tonight is good but could we do the crota raid instead. I tried both this weekend and the are fun.

          • WSquared88

            sure, but be forewarned the crota raid is harder than the VOG raid.

          • autobot

            ok no problem. We had a couple 32 guys so it wasn’t bad when we ran it.

    • Random Access

      I’d be happy to raid with you (McFuzzySquirrel) 🙂

      • F3_Hard_Drive

        Thanks I will take you up that! PSN tag is F3_Hard_Drive

    • LegendaryTorch

      Depending on the time and timezone you are playing, we could play together. I’m always looking for people to play with and do some activities. I have done the raid (VoG and Crota) several times, but not very often, yesterday I did VoG on hard for the first time.
      But I know a lot about the game and the different stages of the raid and I know how it is to find a group that is willing to take players with lower level or without the ‘requiered’ weapons with them. I never had any expectations regarding my fireteam but I can understand why people want to have lvl 30+ with exotic x, y, z.
      I don’t have a set raid group and always use different lfg sites to get everyone together.
      So, if you are interested in nightfalls, weeklys, crucible, raids and every other activity, feel free to respond.
      Quick info: I live in Germany, my timezone is UTC+1 or CET and usally start playing at 7:30 pm or 8 pm.

      • F3_Hard_Drive

        Thanks LT. I am UTC – 5, but maybe we’ll cross paths if I can get on early. PSN Tag is F3_Hard_Drive.

  • SushiPizza

    Picture this; I join a Strike with 2 random players, we land and one of the players runs past all the enemies to the next checkpoint, leaving me and the other to fight it out until we catch up. It’s a little frustrating, especially a Level 30 Strike, but I don’t think we should knock that player, for the simple reason that he or she payed $60 for an experience and that $60 also gives that player choice. This person’s action may make him or her out to seem like an elitist, but why should we care, ‘hardcore’ or ‘casual’, we all play for a reason, so drop the labels.

    • Fredo Gallardo

      I tend to do that a lot without realizing (rushing ahead) but when I notice I’m alone, I pull a 180 and head back, at least most of the time.

      Unfortunately it’s happened a few times last night that a buddy and I got paired up with someone who at the beginning of the strike just sat down on a ROC strike while we finished it on our own. As upsetting as that was (don’t know how to boot players from the strike) all I could do was report him at the end as he got a new legendary ship and legendary engram.

      On a positive note, at least I know now that you can report players for being helpful and friendly and not just scum.

      • Luc J

        I haven’t had anyone just sit out on the strikes yet but I read that when you get to the boss if you guys wipe it’ll bring the camper up. Then just push him into the line of fire for the lulz, if you’re bored and not running the strike for don’t die bounties or anything

    • guest

      the objective of a strike is to follow the objective,if you kill enemies that aren’t even part of the strike…why are you doing the strike? even as a noob on my first day I knew better

      • panthersnbraves

        Those random enemies at the beginning are a way to build up your ammo if you are short. It may be that they are trying to get some ammo or XP up a weaker weapon.

  • Ajax

    I’ve tried playing with casuals so many times as I tend to do Crota on NM before I do HM every week but it’s just frustrating. It’s not like Vault of Glass where people can change between 3 roles (relic, portal, oracles), nope there are 2 roles in Crota and it’s probably not gonna change for the next 10-20 wipes. I tried doing sword bearer every time i get a group that’s new but they always seem to have the issue of simply staying alive long enough for me to hit Crota for 2 downs, it really gets annoying when you keep hearing “Guardian Down!” idk man, I have the patience for a couple runs but sometimes it’s not worth the 2-3 hours….

    • Entropy912

      I hear you man. I’m a nice guy and I don’t mind helping people get through things but I’ve developed an intuition about players and if I feel like a group or specific players are not going to be able to complete the task at hand I wish them good luck and move on.

      We tried to get a guy through the Gorgon maze for an hour before I kicked him for being terrible. It was nothing personal and we gave it a valiant effort but at that point he was just wasting everybody’s time.

  • Fredo Gallardo

    Great Article!

    Loved this peace and love the page.

    I might consider myself a bit between both depending on the time of the month but I tend to be more of a casual, 30-60 min. a day maybe a few hours over the weekend. I was fortunate enough to team up with someone from the beginning that really helped out recommending websites such as Planet Destiny and others.

    One that really helped me out in particular was “” since it put me in a group with similar minded players that play around the same time as I do.

    Thanks again for the awesome article!

  • Livcoc

    Great article!!!!!

  • BAMozzy69 .

    Where strikes are concerned I never push on ahead and bypass sections of enemies that can be left. Mainly as I see these as an ammo resource and partly because I like to shoot them after all that’s the point. I am (I suppose) a Hardcore gamer – considering the amount of hours (1500ish), level 32 with all Exotics, VoG and CE weapons – all upgraded too – even the ones I don’t use. I also know the order of enemies during strikes/raids too. I doubt that will change if I dropped down to a few hours or less a week.
    For me I think the main difference between between ‘hardcore’ and ‘casual’ is down to the amount of time spent outside of the game world doing research, watching videos, participating in forum discussions etc etc. A casual gamer is far less likely to end up doing this than a Hardcore gamer. Like you said, some gamers have more commitments that limit their time to spend on a game but they know exactly what the best set-up is and how every encounter works because of the research.
    In the case of Destiny at the moment, I have no real reason to play. I have everything – If I don’t play this week or for a few weeks, does that make me ‘casual’? I don’t think so! I don’t consider Destiny is finished as new content will be added at some point but until then I have nothing left to get. I will probably play a few hours here and there to help friends get through the weeklies and raids but that’s it for now. I don’t think that makes me a casual player in the interim.
    I don’t mind playing with casuals as long as they have a mic. Its quite nice hearing their delight at getting some rewards they wanted or just getting through some activities. Its great being able to offer advice and opinion on certain aspects too and feels great to be able to help someone.

  • en0chian23, level 32 Warlock.

    I just got a new friend that way you describing, my raidbuddies where not online that day and I wanted to do Crota. Got a group of people from the destiny app together and we god damn rocked it. Got Crota down in 2 tries. And when they join my party they were like “oh, you are lvl 32, how awesome!”. I ended up with 3 new friends to my friendlist, and they ask me to help them with all kinds of stuff, and like you said, it feels great to help out other, it brings me back to when I was lvl 28-30. I wish I had people like me to help me out, but I did not. And I remember the first time I did VoG, I was scared to say I havent dont it before, afraid they would kick me if I did. But then I ended up with a group a couple of weeks after the first time, and the fireteam leader asked if someone havent done it before, it felt so good to hear him say, “Dont worry, Ill teach you” instead of kicking me because I was a newcomer. It endend with a really great raid and we had a really good time, learning and laughing. I try to do the same nowdays when I get new people in the groups, and its like you can almost here there calm from them when I say the same thing to them. Destiny is a game to play with other and i realise that teaching new guardins is one of the most satisfying things to do. And who cares if it will take 20 tries to get the Templar down, the more we do it, the more they will learn. And hearing someone say, “wow, really thanks for helping me” after is so good. I try to help as many as I can when I dont have other things to do, helping new people in the clan. And instead of saying “I will run the relic” I usaly ask if someone wanna try it, and I tell them how to do it. Great article and a great way to look at it.

  • A tired hamster

    Preface:I have three level 32 characters (warlock, titan, hunter) and almost everything exotic in the game…there is almost nothing left for me to do that is exciting.

    Honestly, this shear repetitive tedium of the infinitely spinning hamster wheel that is this ah cursed game known as Destiny has ground out my will to help people mostly at this point.

    I will always help the people who’ve regularly helped me with things…even if I hate the idea of doing whatever they want to do AGAIN. People who’ve done nightfalls and raids with me from the start always get helped. People I do the hard mode Crota fight with get helped. But besides those specific people on my friends list I have gotten to the point where I will not go out of my way anymore to help some acquaintance or rando with something I’ve done eleventy billion times over…it’s just a waste of my time. I’m not sitting in the raids hand holding for hours on end getting nothing for it. Not doing weekly strikes for people getting nothing for it. I simply can’t and won’t force myself to stomach more of the grind than I already have… Sometimes I ask my good Destiny friends to do something and they say “No…I can’t do that again…not again man” and I totally get it. I get it. Sometimes you just have take a breather.

    People the were playing Destiny since launch are burnt out. Shadows in dust at this point. We want off the hamster wheel. Besides, no one taught us/me shit…Bungle sure didn’t explain anything…we just figured it out as we went and it was half the fun. Trial and error. Trial by fire. People can get out of this game what they put in and their hands should be busy molding their own future…ahh Destiny…not being held on both sides being carried along.

    • FlipFlipadelfia

      Sounds like me last week with the Will of Crota Nightfall. I couldn’t even bring myself to complete it on all of my chars. I have no problem helping people as long as they aren’t TRYING to be carried, and as long as its not Will of Crota… FING hate that strike!

  • BOoya956

    Keep it up Ryan. This is good. Now I’ll shut up.

  • Uzgov Lopez

    Agreed, we have a little clan, and we try to include nice people, we don’t care if you have only blue items, or if you never did a Raid, I believe it’s important to be good and supportive with the community, it really suck’s play alone Destiny.
    This community values more if you have a “Gallajowherever is named” over if you are a nice guy to play with, and that is wrong.

  • Lee Juriet

    Good points; I’m a somewhat hardcore, in that I now what to do, have the weapons to do it with, but I’m willing to help lower levels if they need it, and pathologically hate those that try to skip most of a strike by running past the guys they should be killing.

  • ForeverLaxx .

    Sorry, but I always have to take a stand against defining Casual or Hardcore by time invested. Standing around the Stormwind Auctionhouse for eight hours doesn’t make you hardcore. It’s how you approach the game and how seriously you take the game that matters.

    Do you min|max your character even though you only have 2 hours to play a night? You’re hardcore. Do you spend 4 hours running in circles? Casual. Start with a proper definition before trying to come up with solutions to a non-problem.

  • Octus

    I totally think this is a great article. I love people being constructive and helping out the community. Its super rare for the internet to be this way, and I think you are awesome.

    To stick to the topic. I’m current casual, taking a break from being so hardcore.

  • hauntedknight55

    In the near future, I fully intend on joining up with Raid groups who have never done them. Seeing them learn for the first time will make them exciting. VoG overall is still really fun.

    However, I cannot stand joining up with a group of 31s to get VoG hard done “quick” as the LGF says each week and having them failing miserably. When I ask what happened after awhile when weird things are happening and get silence from them only to find out an hour later that they have never done it, why are they doing it on hard? Drives me crazy and I’ll quit.

    Casuals and newcomers needs to be honest about their playing style. I’m more than willing to help when I know they need it. That’s the real difference between hardcore and casual, its honesty to your teammates.

  • molee94

    This is the best destiny community I’ve ever come across. All the positivity and willingness to help is touching. I have also helped lower level player’s because I was one of those guys, who struggled to get to level 3,, so reading all these posts gives me faith in humanity.

  • Psyk0tica

    This is something I need to remember. I’ve played Magic the Gathering for years, and there were always guys helping the younger guys out. It was a big part in me getting to the level I’m at (bunch of PTQ top 8’s, been on the PT once). Without people like that I’d never have gotten there, even if it’s a combination of ability as well as learning. I would have bailed on magic after a couple of years if it weren’t for people willing to help me out.

    As far as Destiny, I’d like to start helping random casual players out with things, whether it’s normal raids (maybe eventually get to doing hard with them?) or Nightfalls etc. Pay it forward so to speak. So hit me up on xbox one if you want to jump in normal Crota or Vault or even need a hand with Nightfalls. As long as I’m not in the middle of something I’ll be happy to help. A buddy and I will be running normal Crota later, we could probably Duo it so no reason not to teach along the way.

  • Great article. Destiny is my first psn and online game. I got into it relatively recently w my son, and we’re having a lot of fun with it. So I get this discussion about the casuals and the hardcore. Ultimately, its kind of about manners to me.
    I agree with comments people have made: we have met some great people already through this game. The community appears overall to be rather mellow and welcoming overall. I love that some individuals have been generous w their time to take me through stuff, and particularly to take my son and his buddy out for a run or two.

  • Justingoska

    I don’t even play this game 2 hours a week, but I have all the skills they say a hardcore player would have.
    I’m not new to video games,mmos, or fps.
    I just don’t feel like beating the same missions dozens of times over and over again.

  • Forge

    This article made me think as we have been chatting a bit about this issue in our clan since so many of us are sliding into casual territory. I generally LOVE helping new people in strikes and raids, I honestly can’t beat the fun of seeing someone FINALLY get through the gorgon maze for the first time only to reach the jumping puzzle just to utter something like “Oh God there is more!” only to beat that section too shortly after and go onto to get their first Atheon kill.

    One thing that stood out for me though, is about the people who boost past every single checkpoint possible, leaving other playing fighting far behind.The boosting through strikes can be a double edged sword for me. I am definitely turning more into a casual, Sure I have the level 32’s and almost every gun in the game I want (Except vex, Atheon hates me no matter how often I kill him.) but I now prefer enjoy and play through the content. Sure I could jump on my sparrow and skip half the strike, but that just isn’t fun for me. I WILL boost up to the fights, but then I get off and start head-shotting and trying to stick enemies in the face.

    The issue comes when I jump in with someone who is just too cocky and boots ahead to spam finish as fast as possible, then dies.

    I was in a nightfall with a lower level friend a while back (Winters run) when he said “Oh hey, a guy I know needs this, mind if he joins?” I don’t care, I’m happy for people to join me even just as I kill the boss, share and share alike, so I reply “Of course, grab him in.” We had been in quite a while as we were being careful and planned to continue being so, taking our time, killing everything for fun and most importantly, not even having a chance of wiping. I use these times to try out new gear and gun combos to see how they play and let the lower level have fun.

    Then the guy joins and first thing sprints off, dodging enemies and skipping everything he can on the pike, he then tells us “What are you doing, skip all this then I can finish faster!” Having done most of the raid for him, we didn’t care about just how fast he could finish if we skipped all the content we were enjoying so we finished killing the Minotaurs etc. then we start forward and see the guardian down sign.

    And wipe. He boosted past everything, got to the final area and triggered it then died right away. Since he was in the final area and we were not we all get wiped and sent to orbit. He then tries to blame us for not “Boosting after him” I tell him that ‘No, it was his fault for boosting to the end when he was incapable of staying alive and that he just wasted all our time after we invited him.’ He tried to argue that we had wasted his time and that we were noobs, so again I point out that we lived while he was in our game lass than two minutes before causing the entire team to wipe and that he was clearly an idiot. He tried to argue more. Needless to say I booted him and don’t ever run with him now.

    I will always prefer to run with a casual than a hardcore who boosts ahead since I know I can solo a strike or Nightfall if I need to, and I know I can take my time and play it with a friend, but I can’t trust someone who might wipe us all just cos the thinks he is L33T.

  • Lord Fadderstet

    I enjoy my penis.

  • xMoKaYx XBOX ONE warlock lvl31

    hey Tailor,
    thx for this article. I am a casual! I am 33 have a job a girlfriend and a dog (they want to be pampered) and I usually play not more than 2 days a week for 4 hours a day! I love playing PVE with others! I just moved from Germany to USA and have 2 buddies in Germany that play the same amount per week and it is hard to find time to play together. None of us made it thru a raid. We didn’t find palyers that wanted to help us! We are not stupid and I read a lot about the game cause I love it and I want to understand the mechanics and get better and equip my warlock so he suits to my game style! Yes I am jaelous and I look what the guys have equiped in the tower. It is hard to here when people complain that they don’t know what to do wiht all the strainge coins! I was so happy to get enough to buy my exotic chest armor. I am happy bungie change the to match making for weekly heroic strikes. I konw the the strikes. I still enjoy them and I like to get thru fast but I kill all enemies. My friends ask me last time why I am using my supper so less! I answered: cause you 2 crazy titans always jump in the fight and I stay behind you and revive you and need the supper to come back when it smacked us all! Now they call me medic! Yes this is my role and I love it! So if you need a medic in your raid that you like to explain the raids … ! Iam usually Friday and Saturday evenening online! I am proud to get yesterday lvl 31 for my warlock!
    See you out there guardians!
    The german medic!

    • Robert Stewart

      Medic … I will join you (I might have one other friend) if you need someone … only done the raids a couple of times but will share what I know. BUT I do not know everything.

      Xbox One … PSURober (Level 31+ on all three characters)

  • Kari Goebel

    I find myself somewhere in between. I have one level 32 character with all the cool stuff. Each week I run the raid for a chance at the Crux of Crota, have multiple clears fully upgraded raid weapons, Iron Banner gear, etc. I tried to start two more characters, but I just don’t have the time to level them up, and they sit as a lvl 4 and a lvl 2 basically as additional vault space. In fact, I have a second hunter who will instantly be a 31 if I can ever get him to lvl 20. I even have a warlock that would be a lvl 30 if I could find the time (thank you RNG). I find that it’s not as simple as casual vs. hardcore. I’m confident that Destiny can be approached a few hours a week if casual players don’t spread themselves too thin. Set an objective, work towards it, and even casuals can be 32’s. I notice more often, people just want to get rewards without having to spend any time working for it. Even with Destiny, every drop fills the bucket. It’s not hard to get to level 28-29 solo, and at that level it’s easy to run the vault of glass a few times to get enough materials for 30-31. Then normal Crota is manageable. Causals are not an issue. The issues come from the lvl 17’s who complain about not having Gjallarhorn right away and request raid groups of lvl 32+ only on LFG sites to carry them instantly to awesome gear rather than embracing the grind. There is a reasonable lvl progression in Destiny, and skipping it takes all the fun out. Why try and run a Hard Mode Crota at lvl 29? Why skip the fun? What does the game become then other than a tedious job? The ones embracing the level progression are fun to play with.

    • Christopher Boscarino

      I agree completely. I bought the game in Oct, and the newer players I have seen lately seem to want to raid in when their level is in the low to mid 20’s. I think it’s because the veterans are so tuned into the raid, the exotics, and end game content (which if fine at level 30+) that they want to get the fun toys too without having to grind. I met a level 24 (young kid) who wanted to do VoG, all blue armor and weapons. I explained that he just wasn’t ready for it. I explained the light level system, told him I would help him on strikes, but he wanted none of it. The situation is not helped by level 31-32 snobs who make it seem like if you are not equipped with ghorn you are beneath them.

  • FlipFlipadelfia

    Casual and Hardcore are relative terms. There is no criteria to meet to be one or the other. Time wise I’d be a casual. I only play 2-3 hours a night, 4-5 nights a week. However, my gameplay is Hardcore I have 3 32s. I only do Raids, Nightfalls, Weeklys, and Bounties (sometimes IB). I log on and do specifically what I need to do (I don’t have time otherwise).

    I would consider myself Hardcore, but compared to some of the guys I play with I may be considered Casual because I don’t play as often as they do and don’t always get every weekly reset event (raids/nightfall/ect) completed.

  • Viciouskunk

    So last night I went; sorry planetD, I haven’t tried yours yet. And u picked up two guardians both hunters 29 & 30 respectively. I was rolling with my 32 warlock. We went through the strike and went extremely smooth. Best parts were the fact I speak only English with fragments of French; however I was playing with someone that only spoke Spanish (30 guardian) and the (29 guardian) was bilingual and translated everything we were saying. It was so much fun. I showed them both some stuff that they didn’t know about the strike. I could tell they were new cuz of the grimoire scores too. Anyway we beat it finally didn’t have to restart luckily. And headed back to tower after both nightfall and weekly, and I was lucky enough to hear this. YES! YES! YES YES YES YES YES YES FINALLY!!!! YES!!!!! I’m level 30!!!! I haven’t heard anyone yell out of pure happiness in a LOOOOONG time. My clan I play with, have become casuals again and we don’t play as much together right now cuz everyone is capped or burned out. I keep chugging along and I’m glad I did. Because I was able to help this guardian get to level thirty with a chest piece he’s been waiting to aquire for weeks! It made me remember when I was going through the Vault over and over to break the Lvl 29 plateau. Great experience and motivation to continue to find guardians in need.

  • I really like this article. I think someone below had mentioned that labels really don’t matter…That we all play for a reason and when we are available to play. I totally agree. My time throughout the day is divided among many things and sometimes I have/make time for Destiny and sometimes I don’t want to play it for a while. The behaviors that are mentioned above I think may have to do more with personalities than if they automatically fall into one category or another. I like to communicate with my teammates and make sure we are on the same page (blasting past enemies, strategies, etc.) or if I intend on doing a particular thing, like stopping to switch up my load-out. Anyway, I think keeping an open mind when playing with someone “new to you” is important, and then go from there.

  • Duncan

    Just yesterday I saw a level 3 roaming around with a Grimore score of 200. I had just gotten my first Gjallarhorn after playing Destiny since the first hour it was out so I was trying to do some bounties to max it out. But then I thought of my only moral code: Do for others what you expect them to do for you. So I sent him a message saying, “Want some help?” I discarded my own ambitions to make a new friend and help him get better. If you ever want help, message me on Xbox One or 360 at USNG R00KIE GUY (zeros no O’s).

  • Kenshiro Genjuro

    Something that has been on my mind for a long time, but haven’t thought to post here or elsewhere before now, is how cool it would be for game types such as this (ie lots of RPG elements) to have a “mentoring” dynamic built into the gameplay somewhere.

    In the case of Destiny, this could take the form of a bounty or something, where you take a lower-level guardian under your wing, and direct them through whatever tasks you may have long since mastered. It could be for pretty much anything they can get the servers to fit the players in. They could even have a handful of exotics that could only be obtainable this way. Your character may be gimped slightly in some way or another (weaker weapons, or even melee-only) to help ensure you don’t end up just taking over the event by slaughtering everything in your wake and are forced to focus on providing guidance.

  • owen lattin

    I consider myself to be a bit of a hardcore considering the fact that i am a member of the clan invigorate and play 4-5 hours of destiny a day I do think that more casual players should be given the opportunity to play raids and etc and should not be looked down on

  • Entropy912

    It’s not totally uncommon but it’s rare to see posts on LFG sites, especially, looking for casuals or no experience required. Most of the time people want to ensure that they get whatever event they are looking for finished in a reasonable amount of time which puts the “Casuals” at a disadvantage when it comes to finding groups. This is a problem for the entire game, not just “hardcore” vs “casual” players. For example, if you have a level 31 character without a ballerhorn, even if you’ve cleared hard mode Crota 100 times good luck finding a group for HM Crota.

  • scotsking

    I’m what you call a hardcore player, 3 toons 2 at level 32 & 1 at 31 (one piece of armour short of 32) but I still hate the “must get this strike done in double quick time” attitude of so many players that I don’t do matchmaking strikes as much as I used to. So many times I find myself the only one fighting my way through on Mars when the call comes out “all of his guards are in one place” & I realise that I have been left behind again. I still love playing but most of the time It’s with friends I have made after joining a destiny clan. I do agree that helping lower levels has its own rewards as me & a fellow clan member helped out a random group to defeat Atheon that asked for our help. It was their first which made it special for us too. On the flip I have regretted taking a player into VoG who would not listen to anyone else when they were trying to help them.

  • Benhng HupHoe

    Destiny is about community. It is always good to be nice to one another.

  • RealTalk

    Who the hell has time to teach another person how to play? No one taught me or my friends so how come they cant learn jsut as we did? Its not brain surgery. Basic critical thinking skills and you will pretty much always do well with any game. My time is too valuable to me to spend the bit of it I have teaching or helping anyone else. You want that level of help look up a guide.

  • YepImAdicK

    As a lvl32 I’m a god and casuals are my footstool.

  • Alex Yan

    Casuals can be better to play with than hardcores. I was getting bored of the game because I had already finished pretty much everything on offer, so I decided to go help some new players. They turned out to be really nice and more fun to play with than my regular fireteam. Now I chill with the ‘casuals’, and sometimes play with my regular team.

  • tsavo0

    I simpy disagree. No one helped me get started in destiny, i had to work for all the gear, go through all the shitty raid groups on lfg, fail all the strikes, i worked my ass off to get where i am. Its this sense of entitlement that ruins casual gaming. These casuals expect us, the hardcore to help them out and sacrafice our time and effort to teach a raid to people who havent even gone through the process of looking up videos on the fucking thing. Its amazing to me that people can sit there at their tv and expect things like that. It took me till late october to be geared enough for me first vog run. But you know what i did in the meantime? I watched countless vidoes on youtube tuned in to dozens on twitch streams and did all my research. So when that time came for my first run i wasnt the burden that annoyed more seasoned raiders. In conclusion, nothing in life is given to you. Im a student in college pursuing a double major in political science and military history. Every night i get to my dorm do my homeworks, study my ass off, then get on destiny and grind my ass off. And it finally paid off , i got my first ghorn on march 5th at 6:11 pm. That made all the effort of 6 months of grinding worth it. If some body usnt willing to put in that amount of effort, is too lazy to watch youtube videos, too assinine to go to destinylfg then you know what? They dont deserve that mythoclast or that gjallarhorn

  • stw picknell

    lvl 31 and never did any raid. not easy to find 5 more guys willing to take me in. At least the weekly heroic strike has matchmaking now.

  • Stickc

    This article is on point. Being a 3rd year medical student, I really don’t have as much time as other people to play destiny. I try my best to tat least put 4 hours a week of destiny, although I want more. So yeah, I consider myself as one of those casuals. But then when I’m on break and back home, I can say that 6 hours a day is just an understatement of how much I spend playing destiny. So am I a hardcore gamer? Well, like it was mentioned in the article, it’s a matter of circumstances and how much time you have to play. Thank you

  • Bellator

    Insightful article. I particular like the line, “act as teacher rather than leader”.
    Recently I posted within a Destiny forum that I was looking to do my very first raid. I’ve been playing since day one Alpha, and would consider myself to be between casual and hardcore. While I play every day, do countless bounties and have worked hard to bring 3 characters to level 31, I would not consider myself to be a “super” skilled player. Another player posted that he would be happy to help me with a raid. A few days later, he sent me an invite. Not wanting to be rude, and thinking this was finally my opportunity, I accepted the invite. Down I drop into the Dark Below. Within a few seconds I’m killed and the rest of the team keeps moving on. Next thing I know, we’re in a different area where an ultra knight immediately pounds me and I die again. I didn’t ask a lot of questions, as there is already a lot of talking going on between this team on what each person is doing, so I just wait patiently and change my player view in order to watch and hopefully learn. Knowing I was new to the experience, my “leader” explained nothing. Right before Crota, the only direction I was given was “stay in the center and don’t shoot the knights!” After a knight came after me, in the center, and promptly laid waste to me, I didn’t understand why no one would revive me; even at one point with a titan bubble over me and a teammate standing in the bubble right next to me. At this point, everyone is saying I should be booted and someone else brought in. No need to boot me, as I left. I later learned that the raid was on HARD mode (level 33), and all the other team members were level 32s already with raid gear and raid weapons. It basically ruined my day, and has been the worst experience I’ve had in Destiny. IF I do a raid again, I will make darn sure the “leader” is more of a “teacher”, who has the skill and patience to guide others at an appropriate level.

    • Onefasteuro

      That sucks to hear bud. If you ever need to team up with someone my psn is onefasteuro335 I do have 2 32’s and all the raid gear short of HoC but I love to pass along what i know. I got lucky to have some patient groups with me when I started too. Gotta learn somewhere right!

  • Jimmy

    Play the game how you want to play it. Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks, how hardcore they are, how casual they may be or how badass you think you are. ITS A GAME. I have some really good news for some and some bad news for others. Real life is hardcore. Get use to being “on your game” if you want to be successful in life… cause brother, life is harder if you’re dumb.

  • Robert Stewart

    Great article. Bravo!

    I have always considered myself a casual gamer, but by your definition I am a hardcore gamer. My time on the xBox One (the limited amount I have) is dedicated to Destiny. I have a Level 31 Titan, 31 Warlock, and 32 Hunter but I have very limited experience with VOG (3 runs and 2 finished) and some experience at Crotta. I have gotten these levels through grinding, strikes and finding one good raid group (but I am sub for them and only run ever other week). I would love to find more groups and run VOG and Crotta more often (each week). Though typically I am a grunt (I am okay with that since I am rookie in
    the raids but would like play the key roles as well) and help where I
    can. One friend and I run the NF twice (I could run it a 3rd time) each week but it is usually just the two us … a 3rd player would be welcome.

    I have been on both ends of being left behind and leaving someone behind. When I was left behind I tried to slog through or I ended up quitting and starting anew. There was one time where there was a Level 32 Drill Sargent who told us
    where to go … when to shoot … etc. After two tries and two
    failures, the drill sargent left (found out later he was giving bad
    directions). That kind of experience makes team work more enjoyable I am happy to say the last I realized someone was left behind, me and the other guy went back to help. It was a more enjoyable strike playing together and I will not leave someone behind again.

    I have tried to find groups but with little or no luck. My gamertag is PSURober.

    • STU GATZ

      . posted from the wrong account!


      I’ll add ya tonight homie!
      Always down for whatever. NF Strikes, Raids, Crucible…
      Lvl 30 Warlock, Lvl 29 Hunter, and an unloved Titan in the garage (Lvl 26 iirc? Never really give him the time he deserves).

      See you in orbit Guardian!

  • Wow, I can relate to this article all sorts of ways. I have had all sorts of interactions on the journey to getting my Warlock to 32, which JUST happened last night during Crota’s End on Normal.

    There was the one guy I encountered on matchmaking that ended up taking me and 1 other guy through all these farming locations and strategies. We are friends, but we have yet to team up since.

    There was my 1st time on Crota’s End on Hard while still a 31 Warlock. It was a group I got into from an LFG site, and we had just finished Crota on Normal, and someone had the Crota checkpoint on Hard, and even though I had reservations about being too weak to be helpful, they offered to cover me through it. After several attempts–and several jabs at my expense due to my less-than-accurate Sunsinger jump-gliding, we managed to take down Crota, and I got some decent loot. And a friend. (Although we have not teamed up since, either.)

    Fast-forward to last night’s Crota Normal raid. I had just arrived home to join the raid (from The 100, but a different clan than my own. Charlie Company 276 Represent!), and I had asked if there’d be time to go to the Tower to switch weapons!

    Nope! We dove right in, and I fumbled with the Destiny app on my tablet (I usually used my desktop to access the vault), trying to get my gear in place. After we got the Abyss chest, I got separated from the rest of the fireteam. I wandered aimlessly for a bit, but did not die…and finally got my gear in place. We get to the bridge, and for the first team, the group I was in opted not to cheese. It was time for someone to take the sword, so they had me take it. I had never taken it before, but I ran across. (Oddly, I arrived to the other side, only to be told the Gatekeeper had disappeared or something.)
    We defeat the Ogres, race through the Shrieker gauntlet, get the chest (which is where I earned the last Radiant Shards to max out my boots and finally reach 32), defeat Ir Yut, and defeat Crota with only one minor hiccup. A good drop for me, too–got the “Light in the Abyss” ship, plus the “Deathsinger’s Gaze” that I was coveting for so long. This group seemed hardcore…no friend requests from here.

    In closing, I guess I’m considered “hardcore” for the amount of time I’ve invested into the game, but I still feel more “casual” because, while I enjoy winning in Crucible (which doesn’t happen as much as I’d like, ha!) and earning legendary/exotic items….well, I see other guardians who are come off as unsympathetic and so goal-focused, and…it just doesn’t seem as fun to me. I would rather enjoy the story (what little there is so far) and having fun times with others through my travels. Oh, and when people gush about the nice things I have, I try not to let it go to my head. Rather, I’ll wish them good fortune that they get their own soon.

    Again, great article, Mr. Bair!

  • Chryat

    I consider myself ‘casual’, but this game requires a little bit of ‘hardcore’ to even participate unless you are entertained enough just patrolling around and shooting bad-guys. There is a lot of repetitive grind and cooperation required to reach goals that true casual gamers wouldn’t have the time, attention span, whatever for. I guess what I’m saying is a ‘casual’ destiny player isn’t all that casual because the mmo aspect sorta requires more than casual investment. I’ve never played an mmorpg before just for that reason. I got into this ‘hybrid?’ because its bungie and being a halo fan I knew the shooting would be good, but man it can be a time-sink. I’ve sunk enough to get to lvl 31 Titan.

    Having said that I think I have more fun when I get into strikes or raids with newer or more casual players because it reminds me that it’s a game and not something to get over with to check off the list for the day or week etc. I’d rather go through a strike and shoot every last alien scumbag in the thing than rush through it to the boss, which I am often guilty of.

    Also enjoy helping people of whatever level as people help me get through something hard that wouldn’t be possible to do alone.

  • Viral ST

    what armor is the titan wearing in the top picture?

  • T-Bizzle

    Great article! I think of myself as a more casual player, but strive to get better every time I play, and like to play with better players. It would be awesome if all the ‘hardcore’ players would be patient, but that’s not always the case. For instance, the first time I ever played Crota’s End HM, I joined a random group and made it clear I was running HM for the first time. No problems, until at the end when I got killed halfway through taking out the big guy. I received nothing but negativity and complaints, and as a result myself and another random in the group abandoned. Now that I have some experience on HM, I realized that these players had a poor strategy and did a poor job of explaining things (not that there is much to explain). If you’re an experienced player accepting a ‘noob’ in your group, you should know what you’re up for. I personally like to take newer players into the VoG for the first time, and explain the mechanics. Taking a little extra time makes the experience better for everyone.

  • Hobo Sloth

    I’m a filthy casual and as such don’t have a regular raid group. One of the best times I’ve had on Destiny was when I did the nightfall with a random guy I met in the tower who then invited me to do Crota’s End on hard with him and his raid group even though I was only level 31 and had never even completed it on normal before. They were incredibly helpful and patient and we had a great time. I still play with them now

  • Jeff

    I bought Destiny sometime in Feb. I would love to play more, but squeeze in when I can. I just went from 24 to 27 doing Iron Banner. Mostly pve play, though I haven’t made it through all story missions. I’ve played 3 strikes, and each time the rest of the team ran off and ditched me, makes it much less enjoyable.


    Confession: I am a “filthy casual” and new dad. Those are not mutually exclusive items 😉

    I’ve really been enjoying this game, but haven’t had a chance to run either VoG or CE. I’ve previously been a ‘hardcore’ gamer, but a wife and daughter demand even more time than an mmo grind, and so I’m happily a casual now.

    That’s said, always looking to expand my friends list by adding fellow guardians, so I can send out invites and arrange nightfalls in game.

    Definitely going to give the LFG a try to link up with a raid group, just need to ensure I can dedicate the time, so as not to disappoint the team.

    Add me guardians.
    STU GATTZO on Xbox One

  • That Guy

    Great article. I have two 32 characters but I don’t think i’m hardcore. if anything whenever i use LFGs I make a point of putting ‘#Chilled’ because i want to find people who are playing for fun. I’m happy to wipe countless times as long as I know everyone is trying their best.

    It’s a game that’s supposed to be fun, not stressful.

  • Turncoated

    I just moved to a PS4 and everyone is still in ps3 but even before that, the groups were stagnating. So, if you want a broman to join you or if anyone else reading this just needs someone new, I’ll be more than happy to play with any and all of you regardless of level (I was actually helping a 27 through crota last week…somehow it worked). My only request is to complete them cuz it feels so gooooood. I usually run with a level 31 warlock (soon to be 32 if I get that damn helmet from crota) on a perpetual radiance and can dance the robot so lezzdodis.
    PSN (ps4) name: swiggittyswoop

  • LCNMike

    I’ve been playing since launch and have only done each raid once. Have a few friends who barely play because they aren’t the type that enjoy grinding for loot and levels. I just got my warlock to 32 because I grind iron banner every time it’s up but there’s still so many raid weapons I want. im more interested in VoG Than CE because while I like the weapons in both im really looking to get the Vex Mythoclast and Atheon’s Epilogue. I want them all of course but those are the two main ones. My friends have only done the HM raid once and I was at work when they did, my one friend got the Vex, AE, VoC, and the ship. They haven’t had any interest in doing it again. I’m left just soloing the nightfalls these days, and I’d be soloing the weeklies as well if they hadn’t put in matchmaking. Been considering LFG for a while now but even though I know how simple it is to just leave a bad group I don’t want to get stuck in one. I’d be hoping to get lucky and find people like this who have experience and are willing to be patient and help the inexperienced get through this stuff.

  • I am Parzival

    I consider myself a hardcore solo gamer. Three guardians level 31, 28 and 30. I have never done VoG or Crota. I play everyday. I had a friend show interest in Destiny, so I invested in headphones and voila…… She has been playing for about 8 days and last night broke the level 18 ceiling, hopefully by the end of tonight she will be level 20. She has rekindled my desire to play and now I have ventured into crucible more often than not. She has gotten better and I continue to be amazed at her quick progress. I am eager to begin raids with her. She is more outgoing than myself and I assume I will soon find myself intertwined with others and enjoying Destiny as a newbee once again.

  • Mr Beerski

    I consider myself a hardcore and just took my brother in law and his son in law (casuals) thru crota for their first time. We had alot of laughs, they died, ALOT!!!!!!! Great times though and they now have some raid gear and weapons. I like helping out when I can………

  • My thoughts are… Taylor… you need to stfu. Quit bottling all those that are hardcore gamers in a bottle and trying to tell us what we should do. How bout a big FUCK YOU for even attempting it. The truly “Hardcore” gamers have all left Destiny to rot or we have left Destiny until HoW. And guess what. I’m not gonna help any pathetic casual or newb get to the end raids. Want someone to blame for that shit? Blame Bungie for this pathetic fucking game.

  • MakkinjeM

    Cool topic. Just had a situation a few days ago, which reminded me of this. I was playing Skirmish, when suddenly a player somewhere between rookie and harcore decided to add me as a friend. (he was in my party that match) He totally convinced me when i was shot down by a rookie camper, and he took down the whole enemy team and resurected me. After that, the match didn’t went well, but i was still planning to add him as a friend.
    Until 1000 points from the end of the match. We were trailing a good 1500 points, but there still was some perspective of winning the match. And then… He left the godd*mn game, ragequiting after 3 or 4 consecutive deads. I was very dissapointed and decided to not add him anymore, due to the fact I hate ragequiters. That was a shame, as I would’ve added him if he had not done that.
    Never ragequit when you like to be someone’s friend. Suck it up and try again next time!

  • Victoria Willet

    This article has raised some questions, like when did I become a hardcore gamer?? I’m on ps4, my tag is vixenw78, and my clan is Legends Of The Lost Light. I have all 3 characters at lvl 32, and I’ve probably been the arsehole that left you behind during a strike (sorry about that). I play daily, so I’ll happily help out, and our clan has finally got used to raiding. Happy Shooting, Guardians!

  • Ned Lumby

    Update: I have all those guns now. (except VoC, which is weird because I’ve gotten four mythoclasts)

  • Jakob Memborg

    So this is a very interesting discussion. So i am a forced casual gamer, since I am studying on the university to hopefully become a game developer, as well as I am married and became a parent september last year.
    I when I read the title of this article, I thought I was about to read why I was in the way of the hardcores. I happily realized, this was a very mature discussion.

    Whenever I have the time to play I enjoy every second of the game I am playing. I believe that many casual players are not really bad, but just not as experienced as a hardcore. It takes longer time, since the span of learning is divided out on how many hours this player spends. I just recently started playing Destiny. I’m probably not as good as those who have tons of time playing but I still consider myself rather good.

    Be mindful though, that there are also a fair share of kids playing, which may be why some players simply don’t get the point.

    The real curse of being a casual is that it takes more time to level and gearing up, and it is often percieved as a lack of experience. I have noticed that many game developers are using the term “cater to casuals” as an excuse to make lousy content, or making content far easier available. This certainly also sets casuals in a bad light, but this discussion really points out what a casual is.

    As a student, husband and parent, I know I have responsibilities, which must come first. But I am a child at heart, and I love to play.

    As a casual, I like a game that is good, detailed and deep, when playing. Though Destiny is not exactly deep, it provides a good time, without having to hang around many hours a day. It provides many of the rewards that MMOs does, and it is a great motivator to play. I will eventually get the same experience as the hardcores, more or less, but it will just take a longer time.

    I hope this discussion will motivate players to help newcommers. I have already had great experiences in Destiny, and I will help and guide newcommers, since I know how important that is for the society of the game.

    A great many thanks for this article