This is a question about how to scope out prospective games where I'm a player.
"Casual" isn't really accurate as a description of me as a player, since I'm very invested in story elements, and I love to collaborate with other players in their narrative arcs. While I get that a player's quest to play their most heavily optimized PC who can deal XXX damage per round and have an AC of 30 is valid, too, I'm not interested in playing on a team when their interest in optimization bogs down combat or takes over what could be in-character conversations about the story. I get quiet and bored when sessions involve frequent conversations around what items or builds will increase damage output and by how much. While I can definitely enjoy role play in shops or looking through hoards, it can get tedious and frustrating for me when the plot hooks and activities the group pursues are always directly related to how much gold or stuff we could get from them and we spend a lot of table time doing cost-benefit analysis about which items to attune to etc.
I've tried to be as non-judgmental as I can be in the above paragraph, but reading it back, I still worry that it sounds... I dunno, annoyed? I support anyone's RPG journey, so I'd appreciate having some strategies to figure out in session 0 whether a game is for me or not. And I'd like to do so without accidentally shading anyone's play style.
So, how can I communicate my preference in a clear and non-judgmental way during Session 0s? What questions can I ask in session 0 to suss out whether I'm at a prospective table with players who'll initiate and hold long conversations about optimizing during combat or game play?