Sometime during level 57, I got the feeling that I had beaten the game. I won. The rest is just that stuff you do in any CRPG after beating the big boss: wander around, clean up quests, finish storylines you want to see through, maybe see about improving your equipment. Having poked my head into Outland, there are boars again, so that feels like some other game entirely. Like an expansion pack, entirely optional, not really part of the core game. But it might create a new drive to play.
I spent less time in the Plaguelands than I should have. I hit it in the early 50s and never went back. I spent much time in the Un’Goro Crater, with the dinosaurs. One night I did all the Felwood quests, which was where I felt like I had won. You finish there, make friends with the firbolgs, run through the tunnel, to find more firbolgs in a snowy area. Oh, I guess this is the point at which the game just gives you an infinite survival mode, with higher numbers but mostly just something to do with your time. I missed Silithus almost entirely. Stopping at the Cenarion fortress, I was unclear on how many of those exclamation points were really quests, as opposed to “grind, collect, and redeem” trade-ins.
It’s all neat, and I’m interested in the Burning Crusade, but I am not sure how much I want to disturb this feeling of completion. I could exit on an up note, rather than going until it feels like work.