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Getting what you paid for: Should the endgame be accessible to casuals?

Amanda Dean

Hardcore players are frustrated with game changes that benefit more casual players. Casuals are overwhelmed by the amount of play time required to be competitive in the endgame. This brings up the question of who deserves to see the complete story unfold.

Seraphina of Baelgun brought up the issue of accessibility to endgame content on the WoW official forums. Like all of the other Warcraft games, WoW has an interesting and compelling story line, with several sub-stories along the way. While all players pay for the same content, not all of them can experience it. In many role playing games, once you've played through certain story line elements you can access the endgame content. Relatively few players will be able to complete the Sunwell Plateau prior to the release of Wrath of the Lich King, just as relatively few players were able to down Naxxramas before Burning Crusade was launched.

In WoW, the PvE endgame is earned. Players work their way through attunements and gear upgrades. Raiding is exciting, time-consuming, rewarding, and frustrating. Those who have put the effort in the game clearly deserve exceptional rewards for their efforts. Seraphina suggested optional levels of difficulty for the raid instances with scaled rewards. This suggestion would undermine the efforts made by raiders, however, because there would really be no reason to gear up for the next challenge.

Certainly we all have different goals in the game. There is certainly a division between raiders and PvPers. Some players are compelled by advancement while others seek companionship. Seraphina stated that she is dedicated to loyalties to her in-game friends and guildies. Her unwillingness to abandon them in favor of a more accomplished guild has stunted her ability to experience the endgame content. I respect that. This player has chosen loyalty over progress, I respect that.

I can see both sides of this argument. Many players will have to be content with raid videos to see the raid content. Personally, I'm cool with that. I'm not a raider, and I don't want to be. Thanks for taping the battles for me, and congrats on your accomplishments. I can't wait to vicariously down Kil'jaeden in patch 2.4. Good hunting.

Whatever your game, just make sure you enjoy it along the way. What do you think, should the endgame be accessible to all players?

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