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Firstly, I apologise in advance for my ignorance, but I haven't had the time to check through many other threads about this subject, bar "They dumbed down my WoW".
In a nutshell, I consider myself to be a fairly hardcore PvE player of World of Warcraft at the moment. However, as is told in that afformentioned thread, due to player base demands, it has been dumbed down significantly with the relase of the "Wrath of the Lich King" expansion.
While I still enjoy the game, there is little for me to do at the moment (I do still raid and PvP, and play the game, and I believe I will continue to do so since I have many friends on there, and I will wait it out until the Ulduar content at least), but I feel like Blizzard have lost direction with the game.
So, to the point of this post: I was wondering if anyone could recommend to me any different games to try out that might satisfy my desire for endgame PvE.
Specifically I'm a fan of challenging and well-designed encounters (The kind of which were seen in Vanilla WoW and TBC - C'thun, Vashj, Kael'Thas, M'uru for those who know WoW) that are still there for a more "hardcore" community (if that doesnt sound too elitist).
A couple of names that kept popping up in the thread I read were EQ2 (which some of my friends on WoW used to play), Lotro (something I would consider, but I have never been a fan of that franchise), and Final Fantasy 11 (something which I have always considered, loving the offline games, but have never known enough about to make a decision).
Thanks in advance for any advice or help you can give me.