Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Arthas is safe from me

Via Biobreak I found this this interesting blog post raging against elitism from the Screaming Monkeys blog. The author gets all excited about a comment on another blog, where some elitist players states his opinion that "casuals don’t deserve the same experience as people who devote more time and effort". I can understand where the anti-elitist rage of the casual player comes from, but I would say that what players "deserve" depends very much on your definition of what "same experience" is.

For example, in my case, I am nearly certain that Arthas is safe from me. I gave up raiding after having seen half of Ulduar, and never got any loot from there. As Ionomonkey writes: "Real life will dictate how much time I can give to WoW, not the other way around." That is true for me too, and an increase in real life workload meant raiding several nights a week until midnight became less and less feasible. Then I realized that I wasn't having all that much fun in the multiplayer "Simon says" gameplay of modern raiding, that raid healing was stressing me more than relaxing me, and that raiding mostly served to get the gear to allow more raiding. Nowadays I'm so far behind the curve, there is no chance for me to catch up, except by being carried by my guild mates, which is something that I want to avoid. So come patch 3.3, I will effectively be "excluded" from the raid part of Icecrown, and I will never participate in killing the Lich King. I will not have the "same experience" as the people who spent more time raiding. And you know what? That is okay with me! Because in reality I'm not excluded, I just opted out.

The big difference between Wrath of the Lich King and Burning Crusade is that in early Burning Crusade casual players couldn't even START raiding. In WotLK the barrier to entry has been significantly lowered, low enough to allow the majority of players, even casual ones, to at least make some progress in the entry level raid dungeons like Naxxramas. And that is all I have ever been asking for. Patch 3.3 even promises cross-server LFG pickup raid functionality, which if it works would eliminate the need to join a raiding guild and stick to a fixed raiding schedule with them.

Of course if you absolutely don't want to group, or if you absolutely never have a consecutive block of a few hours available, you are "excluded" from raiding. But it is silly to blame WoW or elitists for that. Many activities in real life, e.g. a party, require getting a group of people together for some time. Demanding that you can kill Arthas while soloing in short blocks of time is just as silly as asking to be able to celebrate a party alone and in half an hour.

In summary, casual players deserve access to raid content, and Wrath of the Lich King provides that access with a reasonably low barrier to entry. That is not the "same experience" as doing hard modes or beating the hardest raid dungeon in the game. But there is actually nothing unique about the harder modes of gameplay, they are just further along on the same path of raid progress. As long as everybody can get *onto* that path of raid progress, everything is fine. And it is totally okay that how far everybody progresses on that path depends on the amount of time and effort he spends.
Hard mode sadly is not farther along on the path, hard mode is simply the exact same content with monsters and bosses that do more damage. That's all. So I can reasonably appreciate how the "elitist" feels when it no longer is an achievement to see the content. I don't begrudge people from seeing content, I just simply understand the dulling effect it has on people who dedicate more to the effort.

If the mechanics were to change in hard mode or even the paths and encounters were to change then by all means, hard mode is a reward for your hard work. As it stands hard mode is simply a repeat of content you've already mastered with everything dialed up a notch and honestly there's no real fun in that imo.

I think players ought to be rewarded with things that others cannot see or attain if they put forth the effort. Do I wish that everybody had to stop being able to raid if they aren't dedicated? No, I would rather have the reward for the dedication be something other than dialed up content that you've already seen.
Hi I am a former hardcore raider (Hand of A'dal achievment) that quit just before WOTLK came out because I didn't have the time to raid anymore. I resubscribed to WoW about a month ago and over this time transferred to a high population realm (my only realm only had high end raiding guilds), levelled to 80, got myself so crafted epics and badge loot and am now do passable DPS in normal TOTC 10 man. I've just picked up the T9 shoulders from doing the daily heroic and a couple of TOTC 10man runs. This would have been impossible back in TBC. I that this is an example of how causal friendly WoW is now. By the way I am in a casual guild that hasn't even cleared all of Ulduar because we can't enough people to raid more than 4 hours a week so it is not as if I'm been boosted by my high powered ex-guildies.

I don't think casuals have anything to complain about with the current state of WoW. With skill (by this I mean willness to research and reasonable playing ability) and willingness to sit at WoW for the length it takes to raid you can see end icecrown.
Last I checked, cross-server LFG won't include raids. Major bummer for me. Seems that you'll still need to sell your soul to a guild to see the Lich King.
I'm in much the same situation as you, Tobold. Guildmates will happily carry me through raid content that is above my ability to contribute meaningfully to, but I don't find it an enjoyable or meaningful experience to participate in that way. But what I have found is there are a lot more side-games to be found for the casual non-raider to justify my now rare playtime.

The elitists who complain that casuals are getting access to the same experience are clearly fooling themselves. In no way will the casual's experience be the same; there won't be the same challenge and correspondingly the feeling of achievement at completing bleeding edge content. What there will be, however, is the same pixel art. And that the elitists want to get up in arms about someone else being able to see the same pretty pictures as them only goes to show how little they value the challenge and gameplay of the harder encounters and their chosen playstyle.

Maybe the scent on the winds of change doesn't smell too good to them, but I think I'm with you here. 'cos it smells pretty good to me.
This myth that you need to raid several nights a week until midnight to see all the raid content really needs to die (unless you're desperate to see the hard modes.)

Raiding in Wrath just isn't like that. I raid one night a week for three hours and I've seen all the raids so far. That's what normal mode is for.

"I think players ought to be rewarded with things that others cannot see or attain if they put forth the effort."

You mean like ZA Bear or Glory of the Raider mounts?

I didn't disagree with you until you started saying non-sense like what I just quoted.

Good read Tobold
Triv, try to tell me that Firefighter is the same on Hard as it is on Normal. Some of the hard modes are just more of the same but some are really innovative and create a whole new dimension to a boss and those are the ones I really enjoy.
I have never understood why time and efforts spent standing next to 24 other players are somehow more valid than efforts put forth solo. Raiding is not hard, it is easy. As Tobold pointed out in a past post, in order for 25 players to all succeed, the odds of each of those individual 25 players failing must be extremely low. Spam your 3-4 button rotation while avoiding the specific pitfalls of that encounter, you aren't going to break out with something "brilliant" or "skilled" that totally sways the fight in your guild's favor.

When I think of all the most skilled accomplishments I had while I was playing, almost all were soloing something intended for groups, a few were with a duo or trio doing something intended for 5 players. Nobody thinks 25 vs 25 would be the most skillful and strategic PvP, it is pretty clear that 3 vs 3 arena is acknowledged as the pinnacle of PvP strategy and skill. PvE is no different. You don't deserve credit for finding 24 other people to be online during the same blocks of time.
A true 3rd gen MMO will allow all content to be soloed. After that, the debate between casual and hardcore will be a thing of the past.
I'm curious what percentage of the WoW players actually raid the post-naxx content. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a relatively small percentage.
Personally I would like to see more small-group content which can be completed in 30~60 minutes.
Triv makes some very valid points.

The degree of difficulty scales with the ILevel of the loot rewards between modes, and the players who cannot complete the hard modes dont get the higher level loots. It's as simple as that.

Last night I got invited by my guild to fill in as a healer for a ToC 10-man run, yet I am still in Naxx 10/25 gear with only 3 pieces of Ilevel 213 gear. Everyone else was on alts with similar gear. The big difference? Everyone who was there, besides myself, had already been there on their mains and knew the fights already. Before each fight the raid leader would explain to me in Vent the basics of each fight and we went from there. We wiped 3 times on the first encounter, but one-shotted the rest of the fights. The wipes were my fault, as positioning is critical in the first encounter and I let the main tank die by not being where I should be. I really enjoyed the hightened stress levels associated with the encounters and got -very- lucky with plate healer drops being the only pally healer in the bunch.

I would have felt guilty, except that I was not carried by the rest of the raid. Even with my low ILevel gear going in, I was still able to get the job done and was given kudos by everyone there on how well I did. The kudos meant more to me than any of the gear I acquired in the raid. It was a good night of WoW. The best I've experienced in a LONG time.

Now, here's where the disconnect comes into play: I can understand how the hardcore raiders might be upset by how I obtained my upgrades, because I was equipped in Heroism badge gear along with my Naxx set pieces. Basically, I have bypassed Ulduar altogether and am now in the position of getting gear from ToC 10-man now, and 25-man ToC in a few more weeks. There is something inherently wrong with this in my opinion, and it's the main reason that players have the right to complain about the perceived/actual gap in progression as it stands now.

This flies in the face of the recently embraced practice of using a "gear score" to determine who gets to come on dungeon runs and raids. Luckily, on my server, people still consider your past reputation/skills/abilities when looking for players to group with/invite to raids, else I would never have been invited to ToC 10-man last night if all the raid leader looked at was a "gear score".
I gave up on raiding about when Planes of Power came out. Before that, raiding was mostly "get a big gang together and throw everything at the big monster". That was fun. After PoP it began to be all about countering scripts and following strats.

The challenge in raiding, and it's a huge one, belongs to those organising the raids. It's a social meta-game that merely uses MMOs as a framework. The people who are good at it could be organising conferences or charity events, and probably do in real life (those that aren't in the military). That side of things has absolutely no attraction for me, and what's more I'd be terible at it and hate every moment.

For the non-organising participants, as Tobold says, raiding is just Simon Says, only with the added attraction of being graded on your performance afterward. Not fun.

My objection to raiding isn't in the slightest that having chosen not to do it I don't get the goodies. It's that it takes away huge amounts of development time that could otherwise be used to make content that I would use. My solution to that would be for MMO producers to make some MMOs that simply don't have and will never have raiding. More focus, less trying to be all things to all men.
Not only that Tobold, but their is actually a great deal of content in patch 3.3 you CAN enjoy - three wings and 8 bosses of epic 5 man content, full of lore, encountering heroic characters like Jaina, Sylvannus, and Arthas; and the epic quest line to get a ilevel 251 weapon. Maybe Arthas is not as safe as you think!
FWIW, my raiding guild raids once a week from 7 to 11ish on Sunday, and we've cleared Ulduar and TotC, and are now working on ToGC. I recently levelled a new character and got her from starting level 80 to ToGC kitted in about a month and a half, with about double that effort or a bit more. It's amazing how fast you can kit up if you spend a couple of hours thinking about your upgrade path - makes a huge difference compared to just randomly gathering loot.

I think that people overestimate the amount of effort required to get into end-game raiding these days. Either that or we're unusually efficient!
It's a tribute to the way WoW is designed that people will keep playing even if the obvious progression path doesn't appeal.
You will be facing Arthas in the final Icecrown 5-man. I expect it will be more like Mal'Ganis in Culling of Strat, though, where you defeat him and he backs off, taunting you to the Frozen Throne.
Bliz is striking quite a nice balance with WotLK. Casual players can get into just about any content, but the hardcore players have tougher challenges with better rewards.

One point I'd highlight is the rolling badge system. This is perfectly designed to get newer toons up to raid-quality gear without an excess of effort. In BC, if you wanted to see Sunwell, you'd have to work your way thru Naxx, Gruul's, Mags, etc. to get geared up -- not to mention the attunements you'd need along the way. In WotLK, you can run heroics to get gear that's equivalent to the penultimate raid. That means you can take a new toon into a (normal) raid within a couple weeks of dinging 80.

Sorry to say, though, you won't be able to do cross-server raid PuGs. You will however (as I understand it) be able to use something like the current LFG tool to look for raid PuGs on your own realm. And that seems like it might be good enough. Even on my backwater realm, I see PUGs for Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader all the time.
I guess I'm lucky. I'm on a server that hosts a lot of PUGs. I'm also in a guild who raids/hosts pugs almost every night of the week. We've gone up as a far as ToC25. No heroics/hardmodes. This fits me just fine, and there is no pressure if I don't log in, or even log in and don't raid. It's great, relaxing, the way a game(a hobby) was ment to be.

I feel some of the more "hardcore" raiders fail to releaize that WoW is just a game (a hobby). Which means most people will only play as much as they are having fun and meeting all real life obligations. In vanilla WoW I was pretty hardcore. Staying up until 2am almost every night. It took a toal on my work performance. I have to look at this through the eyes of reality. In 5-10 years when I'm done playing WoW I can have a bunch of fake items, gold, titles which mean nothing...or I could advance in the real world and atleast have something real to show for hard work outside of a stupid game.

The majority of WoW are casuals. People who mostly consider their real life obligations before a game. Why shouldn't Blizzard cater to casuals as this is where the majority of their income comes from? Let casuals see all the raids, and get the gear. Let the hardcores get some non-combat pet and some lame title.
"Nobody thinks 25 vs 25 would be the most skillful and strategic PvP, it is pretty clear that 3 vs 3 arena is acknowledged as the pinnacle of PvP strategy and skill."

I love WoW players.

As for Arthas, won't everyone be able to see him once Cataclysm is out and bumps everyone to 85? Assuming the gear jump is not as extreme in those 5 levels as it was for 10, the old raids should still be a reasonable challenge (in WoW terms) for casuals at 85, right? What's another X months for casuals to wait for Arthas at this point?
I agree with Samus in this one.
The problem with the elitist attitude is not that they feel entitled to something special but the fact they think what they do is somehow special.By allowing others to get the same pixels they do it sends the message that they aren't special unique flowers.
Thanks for the linkage Tobold! really appreciated. My post was mostly about the hardcore complaining that casuals are ruining the game for them. I fully agree that Wrath doesn't requires the same kind of commitment as before and that I need to put a minimum of time to raid. If I have 15 minutes to play it's unrealistic of me to expect to raid.

Thanks everyone for the comments!

Raiding is not hard, it is easy...You don't deserve credit for finding 24 other people to be online during the same blocks of time

Ouch... as a former raid leader I am wincing at the effort it takes to get 24 other people of appropriate classes/roles and gear level to be online at the same time.

However, if you are finding it to be easy I think you are underchallenging yourself - even assuming you as an individual player are already topping out on what you can contribute to the raid (top dps, impreccable heals, amazing agro generation and mob pick-ups), there is a whole game of raid strategy/planning/coordination that is more complex and challenging than soloing BRD at 60 (and yes I've done that). I am not arguing about how you feel about the game, I am just suggesting there is a whole world of complexity out there. And that's not even talking about raid achievements.
It will be very easy to catch up in 3.3 and you won't have to have any carry you. Emblems of Triumph will drop from Heroics and you can purchase a full suit of T9 in a couple of nights of chaining heroics along with some very nice T9 level accessories from crafting with EoT bought Crusader Orbs.

It's just a matter of if you want to catch up or not.
Hey Tobold, isn't "to celebrate a party alone and in half an hour." called masturbation?
I'm with you Tobold.

I started actively raiding in BC - just Kara, with an occasional 25man or ZA run.

In Wrath, I raided seriously for about 4months before RL imposed a limit on raiding (full Naxx clear).

And I never raided after that except for the occasional OS or VoA runs. Otherwise, if my guild needed a slot filled and I had time, I would join the raid.

With 3.3 with random LFG heroics as well as LFR (Looking for Raid) feature, I am 100 behind PUG-raiding again.

On my time and schedule - if there is nothing, no biggie - just keep on doing what I am busy with.

Unfortunately I read somewhere that you can only be in 1 of the LF channels: either 5mans or raids, not both at the same time :(

So I think I'll decide which chaneel to use depending on my playtime available: short amount of time - heroics/5man, 2+hours - raids.

Arthas? I'll get him after the Cataclysm! (I killed Onyxia for the 1st time 2 weeks prior to her upgrade to level 80!).
You know, I like WoW very much but Blizzard (unfortunately) don't pay my salary, so I can't afford more hours then I can get. It's a hobby, something I do to let my stress under control and have fun.

What I don't get is why people get so furstrated or nervous on a thing that's not even theirs. If Blizzard have to shut wow down, they will do it. They will not ask the players for permission.

It's just a game. If you can spare more time, nice. If you can't, sorry, going to miss part of the fun (a small one), but nothing that you can't see on next patch with lvl cap increase.

Why people care so much? What's the point? As Capt. Kirk.. I mean, Willian Shatner wisely said, get a life!
Yeah Samus, I don't understand it as well. The single-player game is so hard that not everybody reaches the level cap and you have to use all your abilities and plan your character so carefully if you want EVEN a shot of reaching max level...
Casual players are lazy, and use excuses like family and wives as a reason to get free gear. In all actuality, they are just sucky players.

You can easily gear up in WoW more than any other MMO, it is that casual. Badges, Dailies, and PUG raids are easy on my server and many others.

You are just lazy
Gc said that raids won't be part of the new lfg system. Something to do with conflicting raid IDs if I remember right.

On hardcore/casual: more time /effort. Should be rewarded. But TOC hardmodes failed miserably. Blizz showed what they could do with firefighter etc... everything should be that quality on HM, not just more dmg/healing
You know, it's a very weird feeling trying to reply to a post only to see that some good people already made your points for you. So my hat goes off to spinksville, Honors Code, Anaindenial and Alamein.

Their arguments perfectly demonstrate that you don't have to be an uber dedicated raider to have a shot at accessing all the content and character progression. It's not guaranteed without some time and effort spent (and skill, yes), but it's nowhere near close to the artificial limits prevalent in vanilla and BC. And that is a good thing.
The hardcore people spend so much of their lives in game that they want to protect some sense of accomplishment in the game. While Blizzard's eroding of that in favor of "casual" i.e. normal people, is great for most players, to the hardcore player each time the game gets easier, a little bit more of the veil is lifted. Eventually they cannot deny the absolute meaninglessness of their achievements and that they have wasted god knows how much time and invested so much self-worth and emotion into an illusion, and whatever problems drove them to escape into the game are still there, but are likely looming even larger as they have spent all their energy on the game rather than improving their lives.

Hence the perpetual nerd rage.
yeah Tobold in 3.3 you can just run 5-mans and get a full set of T9 which is plenty for the Icecrown raid, if you want to see it that is.
Tobold, I have to disagree with you somewhat. Casual raiders don't run Naax to begin with. Of course I'm generalizing, but because of the of the emblem changes, which enables a newly minted 80 to get Tier 9 quality gear relatively quickly and through purchases of craftable gear I'm seeing new toons hop right into TOC within days of hitting 80.

People might go back through Naax, but quite frankly, why? You aren't going to be interested in gear there at that point, and it's much quicker to just get something from TOC.

I like the ideal that Blizzard implemented with WotLK, but I think they tipped the scales too far to one side now. They've destroyed the thought of progression, and I think that has had a bit of a detrimental impact on the game. In this case, I think they were focused too much on what people said they wanted, and not enough on what Blizzard thought might be best for those players. And I think they need to dial back a bit and get progression back into the equation to a greater degree than it is now.
What casual players deserve or not is not up to some dumbasses to decide. Saying casual players don't deserve certain contents is like saying you don't deserve to play wow if you dont spend time on it.

My point being as long as we can afford to pay for the subscription, we can do whatever we want. There is no point arguing with the lifeless dumbasses who say only they are entitled to high-end contents.
Casual players are lazy, and use excuses like family and wives as a reason to get free gear. In all actuality, they are just sucky players.

You can easily gear up in WoW more than any other MMO, it is that casual. Badges, Dailies, and PUG raids are easy on my server and many others.

You are just lazy

@Hudson: Yellow card! Please try to express your opinion in a less harsh, less insulting way, or risk your comments getting rejected. I'm not permitting mud fights between readers in the comment section of my blog. I'm not saying you can't express your opinion, but I do say that you have to do it in a mature and minimally polite way.
"Hard mode sadly is not farther along on the path, hard mode is simply the exact same content with monsters and bosses that do more damage. That's all."


Hard mode in Uldar activates the last boss (Alagnon?), so without doing hard modes there is one uncleared boss.

I'm not really sure how I feel about that. It _is_ cool that only the hard mode raiders get the "gratz doodz!" speech in Dalaran. It _is_ cool that only the hard mode raiders get a kick-ass title (and maybe mount?). I'm not so sure it is cool that they are the only ones who get to try to kill him.

I'm not in a guild that can do the hard modes (in fact it can't do all the easy modes) mostly because it can't field even remotely similar raid groups from week to week so half the raid is still learning many of the bosses.

If we could do all the easy modes, but not all the hard modes I might have a strong opinion about that. If we could do all the hard modes I might have a different opinion.

Trying to think logically about it though, it might be appropriate to have one boss out of 14 or so that only hard mode raiders get to see. It might be appropriate to have one boss per expansion that only hard mode raiders get to see. Maybe.

When I hit 85, and do all the Cataclysm raids, and gear up, I'm coming back to stab Alagonon in the face though.

I will give you that organizing and running a guild is its own challenge, but only for the guild leader and maybe a few officers. At least 20 people in that raid just show up and do their small role.

And how many players are really actively engaged in developing strategies, versus how many players just watch the strategy on Youtube? I'm not saying there's no potential challenge there, but calling yourself a "hardcore raider" is not necessarily a badge of exceptional skill in my mind, it only symbolizes a large time commitment and a minimum competency. You can get the best gear in the game and not be exceptionally skilled.


Just because you can level doing very easy soloing does not mean it would be better to level doing very easy grouping. And make no mistake, in order for grouping to compete with soloing, it cannot be any harder.

What I'm arguing for is the end game. I want solo, 2-man and 3-man instances. There's no reason they couldn't be the most difficult things to do in the game if that's how you wanted to balance them. The closest thing I have come up with is to solo the Burning Crusade instances, which I assure you is MUCH harder than any Wrath instance or raid. But despite their difficulty, these instances obviously do not provide any worthwhile rewards for a level 80. Because the number of people doing the instance with you is what's valued, not skill.
"The problem with the elitist attitude is not that they feel entitled to something special but the fact they think what they do is somehow special.By allowing others to get the same pixels they do it sends the message that they aren't special unique flowers."

The entire MMO genre is built around the premise of haves and have-nots, of one person being "more special" than another. It's called character progression.

The problem is that WoW has created a new class of player who demands that the genre be changed to fit his or her specific wants. I don't like the racing sim games very much, but instead of trying to change those games to suit my likes, I simply play other games. With MMOs, on the other hand, we now have large groups of people moving from game to game demanding that everything be available to them quickly and easily. Instant gratification rules the roost and anyone who questions that philosophy gets branded an "elitist" who is out to spoil other people's fun.

WoW is a lot less interesting these days because of how watered down the experience has become. I never got to visit AQ40 back in the day, but I was never bitter about it. Quite the opposite, I believe that the fact that there were hard-to-reach places in the game added a lot to its mystique. And it's not like I ever ran out of other things to do.
If Blizzard made a SUPER HARD CRAZY CHALLENGE dungeon for these "hardcore" people who complain about "casuals", made it everything they wanted and made CERTAIN a casual could never set foot into it... but put in no rewards other than the 'exclusivity' of it - they'd cry about not getting rewarded for their effort.

People just want something to cry about.
@Samus - You want what I want! There is no real reason not to scale all the content. They clearly have the technology and experience to do it since they have heroic mode and are adding 10 vs. 25 for same instance. Even if trio is the lowest scale they need to do it and scale the rewards appropriately. We're not saying they shouldn't have risk vs. reward balance but for goodness sake already, open up the content to smaller groups. I'd do duo instances for the XP only with some gold dropped. They could have a one time quest reward only the first time you complete the instance and after that it's just XP and some gold.
if I was still playing WoW I bet he'd be safe from me too I never even downed Lucifron after who knows how many tries, much less Rag. Though I did kill the first two bosses in ZG...
Also I think that some content being for raiders only is fine. Its just wrong if ALL the interesting content is only for raiders or a ridiculously huge percentage of it. I like to raid too but only sometimes, not on a schedule.

If there wasn't some skill in raiding then all guilds that put in effort would have achieved the same thing by now. Ulduar has been out for a very long time now and there are several fairly hardcore guilds (hardcore defined as raiding 4 nights a week) that never finished the hardmodes.

I have no problem with casuals seeing Arthas as long as it doesn't degrade the experience for me, that is they don't make him extremely easy just so everyone gets a chance to kill him.

Ulduar hardmodes were a perfect example of doing it right, I wasn't impressed with ToGC very few of the fights added anything new and the ones that did added very little (except Anub, that was done fairly well). Again in comparison to Ulduar where most the hardmodes were actually quite different.
The problem with added solo/2/3 man instances is balance. You can't rely on much of a makeup (or gear check if it's for casuals).

About the only thing i've seen done right for solo was the Ogri'la demon quests, but that removed everything that was unique about your class.

25 Mans can add very specific roles to people which are a little unusual (Valkyr Twin orb catching) but still have enough other people involved that it has some flexibility.
"My solution to that would be for MMO producers to make some MMOs that simply don't have and will never have raiding."

I'd like to see a split and see both ends of the spectrum, actually. I'd love to see an MMO that has no raiding whatsoever, and another that is nothing *but* raiding from day one. I'd love to see the population and retention numbers on those games.
I look at it simply: Do hard-core raiding elitists pay more per month thatn I do? No? Wow, what a revelation! I guess since I am paying the same for the game then I should get to see all the same stuff.

Will I? That depends on the time and effort I put into the game. But very simply, I'm paying for access to every part of the game, just as the elitits are. If they want exclusive content, then they should be willing to pay more for such, or maybe they can pay me to stay out of their way.
It's overly simplistic to think that hardcore players just want an exclusivity. It's not just that, although lord knows every "top" guild on the realms I've played on lord it over the rest.

The way they see it, they not only spend a disproportionate amount of time playing WoW, but they contribute the most to the game too. Hardcore players go to the PTRs, write the strategies, record the videos, point out loopholes, move the economy, challenge the developers, and bring about class balance by min-maxing their toons. From their perspective, it's like two guys working in a movie theatre for the same $9 an hour, only one is doing 75% of the work and the other 25% of the work. So of course they'd be upset if the manager gave them both the same holiday bonus.
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