What is the goal of WoW?

I know, kind of philosophical, but here we go.
I just started playing retail WoW when I found out that in order to enjoy a story of an expansion, you need to do things like Raids and Dungeons in that expansion. However, as we all know, not many people do Raids and Dungeons in old xpacs. Instead, all players are ushered into focusing in the endgame content, where it all matters. Even though we can experience old xpacs contents, it is just for zones, questing, and leveling.

So my question is this: is the ultimate goal of WoW always the endgame content of current expansion? I really want to enjoy the Raids and Dungeons to experience the old stories (which I heard are INCREDIBLE, especially in TBC and WotLK), do I need to find specific guilds for that? What are WoW players chasing after in the game in each expansion?

Please enlighten me as I am reconsidering whether I should invest my time in this game or not, I am really confused about the system in this game. Unlike GW2, where the story is separated from other instances, so everybody enjoy the same story journey.

I was always under the impression that the end goal of WoW was always F.U.N. For example did you know there are a small group of people who pay 16 dollars a month for WoW JUST to fish? To them subjectively, that is fun. For someone like myself fun is going into an instance and soloing it for the challenge as well as for the lore and open world exploration to really get to know the world and it’s amazing NPCS and pop cult references. Different strokes for different folks, including the people who just like art, that’s a thing apparently and it works.

To have fun.
To achieve fun is individual.


  • Experiencing the entirety of the game by seeing it. (Pvp, Raiding, RP, Mythic+, Pet battle: All of it.)
  • Collecting every pet/mount/tmog.
  • Raiding 1-3 times a week with your buddies.
  • Pushing yourself beyond your limits (M+ / pvp etc)
  • Getting all achiements.
  • Getting every class to max level.
  • Exploring the unexplored before others?
  • Socialising.

I mean, the list is long of the “goals” of WoW.
I have friends who fit in to different categories mentioned above, as well as a lot of unmentioned ones.
As for if you wish to do older content as your “Main goal”, there certainly are guilds and groups made for just that.
Discord-communities are huge atm, and with the new WoW-community feature it’s also easier to find niché playstyles.

I personally find it fun to get some gear here and there, to push myself, to help people (wheter it be through playing or talking), to meet new people (friendly ones), and I enjoy getting progress.

Never invest your time in an MMO unless you enjoy not having a 100%-clear goal beyond one you make yourself, cause it’ll be an endless loop of a less positive emotion otherwise.
NO mmo has a “goal” that is set in stone by anyone but oneself.

I suggest to play singleplayer games if you want an “end” which is set by the game.

As others have said, the goal of the game is to have fun, and that can look very different for different people. Most of what you’ll hear people talk about it end-game, but there are still plenty of people whose main goals are things like collecting transmog, doing pet battles, or just playing the Auction House. I’ve been playing this game for many years, and I’ve had different goals at different times. Right now I’m taking a character through all of the quests. I haven’t logged into my “end game” character in several weeks, as that’s not what I’m having fun with right now. If all I’d focused on this whole time was end-game, I’d have been bored and left long ago.

Once you get a bit above the level of the expansion, you can start soloing those old raids. For Burning Crusade, the 10 man raids (Karazhan and Black Temple) are probably doable in the low 80s. Most of the other will be doable by 90. (The last boss of Serpenshrine Cavern and the first boss of Sunwell might need 91 or 92.) The 10 man versions of the Wrath raids (which all of them have) should also be doable in the early 90s.

If you don’t mind your XP dropping to nearly nothing and one-shotting mobs, you can keep questing in the content after you hit it’s level cap, and there’s enough questing content to put you into those level ranges needed to solo stuff even with the sharp XP penalties. It’s something I’ll often do when I just want to enjoy the story. There are also alternate leveling methods (gathering, battlegrounds, pet battles, archaeology) that you can use if you want to level up a bit to solo stuff without starting on the next expansion.

Thank you all for SO SO MUCH insight into this game! This really put things into perspective, especially after a lot of endgame pushers content that I have watched. I will take all your further considerations and try having fun in mind in this run through. If you or other players still want to give me some insight, you are welcomed to do so! Thank you!

WoW doesn’t really have a goal. You don’t have to do a particular thing to “win”.

You don’t need to raid or even do dungeons to enjoy the quest story lines. Each zone has a bunch of story lines. Not all of them end up in raids… in fact, most don’t.

You may want to check out the WoW Loremaster title on wowhead. To get the title, you need to complete the major story lines in each zone up through Pandaria. There are also minor story lines that don’t count towards the title.

Completing The story lines for a given zone awards the achievement “Loremaster of XXX” where XXX is the name of the zone. Getting all the zone Loremaster achievements gives the title.

The achievement for a given zone must be earned on one character but you can collect the each of the zone achievements on multiple characters and on different factions to get the added towards earning the title.

Some people level a character to max and then come back to do all the storylines in each zone to get the achievement. Others just level several characters to earn the various zone achievements needed for the title.

On my accounts, I just leveled characters and at some point, checked the Loremaster title requirements to see what I was missing and would then periodically log in just to run a few story lines.

People going for the Loremaster title often use the two Addons Wholly and Grail to see what quests they still need to complete. One add on is a data base of quests, the other is an interface to the DB. I use them in conjunction with the wowhead Loremaster Zone Achievement information about zone storylines.