As the title inquires...
For whatever reason, the so called "Hardcore" or "Elitist" crowd disappears from WoW. The competitive scene is gone too. PVP and endgame raiding still exist, sure, but the people who were doing this stuff at the highest levels now no longer play.
The probability of such a thing happening is irrelevant for my purposes.
What happens to WoW with all the best and most dedicated players of both PVE and PVP persuasions gone?
Here's my thoughts, and you tell me yours and if you agree with mine.
These so called "Hardcore" players, or "Elitists" whoever they may be, however you define or quantify them, are one of the most important facets in WoW. Without them, what's the point of having hardmode raids, or making content difficult? Why have a competitive scene for PVP if there's no truly outstanding players to watch, sponsor, or feature in competitions and at events?
Even if by the numbers these players make up a small percent, which, according to Blizzard they apparently think that they do only make up a small percent... even if they only make up a small percent of the playerbase, they're easily the most important part of the community. Why? Because it's what separates WoW from countless other MMOs, gives notoriety, inspires the community to do better and do more than just grind dailies, etc.
Not every hardcore or elitist player is in a top 100 guild or is out there clearing hardmodes on week 2. There's hardcore players at almost every level of gameplay, but what separates them from other players is that they're always doing research, knowing how to play their class, knowing the fights on day1 when new content drops be it 5mans or raids, and always pushing to upgrade their gear and performance as much as they can. Even if they're not the greatest players ever, the fact that they care and strive for constant improvement usually puts them significantly above the average player in terms of knowledgeability, competence, execution, and performance.
So what happens if they all disappear? No one is explaining shitall to new players in 5mans, or LFR. No one is carrying the group anymore in 5mans or LFR. No one is working to organize guilds, raids, or groups of players for PUG content, and if they are, they're doing so poorly, and trying to organize players in shoddy gear who don't know the fights, the mechanics, or their classes.
No one is posting videos of correct execution of mechanics for fights anymore. No one is writing guides or class tips that are actually factual, helpful, or available when they're needed most (while the content is new). Addons? Half of the most important ones probably disappear and go completely broken a few patches out. Who are they being developed by if not the most passionate and dedicated of players?
And for anyone wondering what the fuck the point of all this is, for me, it's that Blizzard basically made MoP a giant "Fuck You" to the "small percentage" of hardcore/elitist players, despite the value they add to the WoW community as a whole, by gating content behind dailies and by making the entire gearing process a massive rep-grind, and then turning around and verbally slapping them in the face with their ridiculous replies to shit on the forums about how "you don't have to do dailies" -- Look, fuck you pal, if it's the best progression path available to someone who's hellbent on the best gear as fast as possible, you better bet your ass they'll be doing that shit no matter how much they fucking hate it. Galleon? You better bet it's a huge issue to people on servers with large raider population disparities.
And I just don't think they "get" it when they say that it's only a "small percentage" of people who grind out every daily every day in the name of progression... that doesn't change the fact that they made the best progression path available an incredibly tedious and not remotely fun experience, all while taking away everyone's ability to do it through alternative means. Cata was nice. Get to friendly, put on tabard, run dungeons. Now? It takes me 10 times longer to grind VP via dungeon, and I have to grind out an infinite amount of tedious, boring, uncompelling, grindy, substanceless dailies to get gear for any toon. And apparently this is an upgrade?
Everything that's not raiding is a means to an end. Blizzard just made my means to an end take a million times longer, and suck a million times worse, and they expect me to be content with "Well, they're optional, you can do a little at a time" -- If I'm not raiding and gearing up as fast as possible to do progression content as efficiently as possible, I might as well not be playing. So I'm not quitting, but I'm certainly the fuck not happy about all this nonsense. And that's where the question came in: What would happen to this game if the entire community of "hardcore" or "elitist" players disappeared?