You will gain 100k sp post 30s with a 8hr playtime per week, be it killing easy mobs, hard mobs, leves, and/or behest.
Easy mobs maybe better for sp, but the real loss is that... its for sp only, you get no l00t that is 'above your reach', no faction, no groups, no leve rewards, nothing. That is the trade-off, and for what? 3-4k sp more per hour? Why should anyone feel sour about it? The game is throwing the hermits a lifeline here.
Is casual defined as ability to get achievements in a short time frame?
What is the achievement a casual wants to get?
Because I am definitely a casual if it is defined by playtime. I do not want achievements or meaningless levels handed to me to feel good, nor a walkthrough so I can see the story. I have a good platform to experiment with this world, with new combined abilities, exploration of camps, mobs, their behavior. I can choose solo, group with friends, and I have a world with imperfect information to interact with players, explore together.
Because I am casual, I have a thirst to optimize the time I have online, look for ways to cut corners and get what I want. Perhaps, that is what you all need too. A desire to find a way rather than despair.
I'd like to end that there is a place for groups, even if the sp rewards are not significantly more. SP will end when you hit 50, and you WILL need a group for the endgame challenges, you will need to know how the game mechanics work, you will need to know how to communicate and strategize with short time frames, how to work as a team.
I whole-heartedly disagree with you. You will NOT gain anywhere close to the same amount of SP per hour in a group setting as you will in a solo setting or a small group fighting blue/green. At least, I never have. In fact, I haven't even come close to that. Everytime I have had a large group doing anything post 20, our SP has been abysmal in comparison to small group/solo/pre-20. It's not like we haven't tried either. We've fought everything we could find: hippos, skeles, puks, diremites, efts, etc... in a larger group, nothing seems to work as well.
I'd also like to bring up the crafting/DoL aspects I've mentioned and their respective hurdles. Everyone has been so focused in on the battle that it has gotten neglected. Currently, I am at a complete standstill in any of my crafts that are above rank 20. Besides the 1-2 r15+ leves I get per reset, the only means of leveling these classes is through grinding mats... a process which requires an insane quantity of shards/crystals/mats per rank. Just doing ONE single armorer rank (23-24), I went through 800 earth shards, 600 fire shards, and 40 fire crystals, not to mention 3 stacks of iron nuggets. This is literally the only way I can even rank up my armorer, as each reset I seem to be getting less and less leves that will give out decent sp (15+). As for DoL, if I go out for a mining session (to stock my armorer sessions) I notice that every time, after about 2 hours, I start to damage everything that I prospect. At that point I can get maybe 1/5 successful swings if I guess right, otherwise its an automatic fail.
These are some of the other "proverbial walls" I'm talking about, and I'd like to get others opinions on them as well.