Clov: He’s crying.
(He closes lid, straightens up.)
Hamm: Then he’s living
– Samuel Beckett, Endgame
Warlords of Draenor End Game
End Game is a chess term. This refers to the final stages of a match when most of your pieces are gone and the strategy level changes and, perhaps, increases.
End Game for WoW players falls into three sections. What does one do at the end of an expansion? We will min/max our characters. We take it to the next level of raiding; perhaps heroics (a given, really) or mythics. We might level an Alt and take it through the exact same content, now well rehearsed, for a new shading on the experience.
As a player steeped in Normal and Heroic raids, I see players now showing up to “help” us. Those players have devoured the content at a frightful pace and now have been cut loose by their team, their team has disbanded because they did it all.
It is a Tragedy in Three Acts. I feel terribly sorry for the Itinerant Heroes, adrift after a hard investment. I also thank my Raid Leaders who have been cognizant of the arc in an expansion. We have forged friendships and overcome the same obstacles without the whip of a harsh taskmaster. Our Heroic Archimonde might be two months away, well within the dawn of Legion.
Min/Max is a term for fine-tuning your character. You minimize your least helpful stats and maximize your most powerful stats. It is an end game exercise that has gotten much easier over the past three expansions.
In the end game for hunters, for example. There is a threshold of 53% Crit. Once you achieve that threshold (raid buffed, of course), you stop stacking Crit and move to another stat.
That fine tuning is not nearly as necessary today as we are very much over-powerful for the content. Still, we always want to be more powerful!
Even now, this year’s version of min/max is planning for future gear. We might win a item level 725 chest piece but have to wear our lower ilevel tier piece. We hold that piece for a later day and probably have many such pieces, held in abeyance for the new version of you.
Valor Points are like a HoT, padding all of our gear. Power Word: VP.
Valor Point upgrading comes with decisions as you are constantly layering in new pieces to your set as your progress through the content: downing bosses and having fun. Gear is the reward but not the end game.
The End Game is the beginning game and that is having fun with your friends!