I can say, and it will not be a lie, that I experienced most of the content in World of Warcraft through years. I quested my way to the highest level. On more than one occasion. On more than one faction as well. I developed my professions to their greatest potential, and I learnt an important lesson of patience through fishing. I ventured into dungeons, in times when druid could, and did steal my plate pauldrons from Zul'Farak.
I remember those old times leveling up. I remember how I proudly wore Scarlet Crusade tabard on my Paladin. It was my first tabard. It did not have any stats, not a particularly great look either. But unlike the guild tabard, this one had to be won. And unlike guild tabard, it was not some hideous pink garb you were supposed to pay for. I doubt it was pink, but I remember I refused to buy the tabard of my first guild on the account that it was hideous. I would not wear that one if they payed me.
But all my shenanigans aside, the endgame is a different beast. There is a different procedure to how things are done. A different etiquette exists in the endgame. There is different approach to the game. In World of Warcraft, endgame in most common sense means raids. And to do raids you have to be prepared.
There is no more exploration, sense of wandelust, and lost progression through world. In the endgame, whole new mentality takes over. You willingly subject everything you do to further this one goal. To raid. There is determination, cold-blooded calculation, and shrewdness that is otherwise not present. There is a routine to things you do. A calculating efficiency.
Maybe you do not like this routine, but this is the one path that will get you to the raid the fastest. In olden days, people grinded for materials, did dungeons for that extra loot. Sometimes if stories are to be believed, farmed Maraudon for that one trinket with nature resistance, that was the only way to get past a certain boss in one of the Silithus raids. Today, we have dailies instead of common grind. All the farm required is kept to the bare minimum. If anyone called Wrath of the Lich King generous with epics, then Pandaria is welfare through and through.
I raided my way through Outland, Northrend, Cataclysm, and even Pandaria. I went from the one who was called when the guild was short on people in Burning Crusade, to a regular member in ten men progression race at the start of Cataclysm. But all in all, the most fun with endgame I ever had, is nowadays. These days my guild would consider itself lucky, if we could get a group of people together in matter of months for just one trip in flex Siege of Orgrimmar. What can I say, we got old.
These days, we are casual, the most laid back guild there could ever be. We tackle the old raids every now and then, not too often. We do not want those blades of Azzinoth to ever drop for my Paladin. Yes, I do know my Paladin cannot wear them. And, yes, I do know most of us could solo the Black Temple. It is a guild thing.. But for all the good it is to others that can equip them, those blades would be fine just sitting in the bank until fury paladins become an option.
|Time-space continuum distortion witnessed at World's End Tavern|
My endgame these days consists of a heroic dungeon runs, and scenarios. I do a wing or two of Siege in LFR in course of the week. Depends on my patience. Every now and then, I go and do a quick level or three on my various warrior and paladin alts. I work on my old reputations that I neglected for years. Wrap up the quests in old zones I missed while I leveled up. I stay away from PvP and pet battles. Not my coup of tea.
Some day, I might even start doing the daily quests with the Anglers. And pigs will fly. More realistically though, I will sooner hit exalted with Anglers through random heroic runs, than with dailies. Do not ask why, I just cannot bring myself to do those daily quests. Probably the same reason as why I did not level up fishing and cooking since Wrath of the Lich King.
It must be those pandaren advices. When you see a goblin, he will say, time is money friend. Orc will start about strength and honor, blood and thunder, blood and honor. But pandaren will say: "Slow down, life is to be savoured." And that is how I enjoy my endgame this days. Slow but steady. No rush, no hurry. The world might be coming down, and I will still come to save it. Eventually. The world will not go anywhere while I jam with L70ETC in World's End Tavern.