I was listening to a podcast the other day, and the guest said, in a tone that spoke of elitism, about some people not having had a chance to do any ‘real end game’ in Mists yet. This kind of piqued my interest, and caused me to question the views of the speaker. I will admit I do not know this person very well, they were a guest on the show I was listening to, and I don’t listen to the show they are a part of. I caveat this because it is always possible that this was sarcasm, or an attempt at humor by the person I heard say this.
I was curious, though, when I mentioned this on Twitter and heard many people mention they have heard hardcore raiders use the same term. This got me thinking, and because I could not get this out of my head, I decided to write about it. You’d be surprised how often the articles you see here on All Things Azeroth come from this very effect. Let me assure you, it is a disturbing, nay alarmingly high number of articles that get in my head like a truly horrible, but catchy song heard on the radio.
Back to the comment though. I don’t know if my reaction goes back to the old dispute between hard cores and casuals, and the evolution through the expansions of that debate. Terms like Welfare Epics, Loot Whores, and others are indicative of this, and all lead to the base issue. Those who are what I prefer to call Hardcore Progression Raiders feel that only they should have access to certain things, while the folks who have other things to do, or other obligations, and cannot do the often 40 hours or more a week when a new patch hits to hammer on the new encounters want to still look like the heroes the NPCs in game say they are.
I don’t really want to go into arguments about who is deserving of what rewards, as I do believe Blizzard has found a way to reward the more experienced and further explored players in the way of better gear(even if it looks the same as the gear that I get in Raid Finder). Instead I want to look into a perspective of some, it seems, that some forms of content aren’t ‘real’ as compared to others. The crux of the issue is that some hard mode progression raiders apparently do not see LFR, or maybe even Normal mode raiding as ‘real end game’.
I am curious to see what others consider as “Real End Game”?. To me the term End Game means the activity that the player chooses to do once they have reached the current level cap. Some forms of end game, such as dungeons, PvP, pet battles, and so on, can be done at all times, though there is definitely an aspect of each that falls into the End Game category. There is some, however, that is definitely only doable at End Game. Dailies and Raiding are the two primary examples of which, as they for the most part can only be done once you hit the level cap of 90.
Based on my research via Twitter and other communication means, the term Real End Game is meant to differentiate Hard Mode raiding from the two lower forms. I do not know what the people who use this term, and therefore have this view, call the Normal and LFR versions of the raids. I suspect I would only get angry if I did know it, since I don’t think I am shooting too far afield to assume this is a derogatory or insulting name. My view, and yes I am possibly biased, is that ‘Real End Game’ is the End Game you have the interest and ability to do.
If I can only do LFR, for whatever reason, this is in no way lesser end game. This is what is available for me. I do not call hardcore world first progression raiders cut throat raiders, or ‘Lifeless End Game’, so I am a bit baffled by the insinuation that the raiding I do is in any way inferior to hard modes. This leads back to the odd need for some people to denigrate those who they see as lesser than. I have never felt the need to look down on others, or in any way hold myself as better than anyone else, even when people have tried to elevate me.
I do what I enjoy in game, and think everyone should likewise enjoy their game time. Back in the day, I had a saying which I think applies here very well. It’s your game, enjoy it. Basically, until someone else is paying for your game, and time, you have the right to do what you want, just as I have the right to do what I want. A result of that is concluding that there is no such thing as ‘Real End Game’, or to think about it another way, everything is Real End Game, because every form of end game content for people is real to them, is a valid form of game play at the level cap. It’s your game, do it your way.
What do you like to do with your game time, and do you feel you are in any way experiencing a lesser end game for your decisions?