Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Concern Is Now

Many bloggers have posted their various concerns about Cataclysm over the last several months.  They run the gamut from gloom and doom to unbridled excitement.  Sadly, I think the quantity favors the gloom and doomers, but you'll have that.  Change, after all, is scary.  I'm a Catholic, I know.

My concern, however, is not so much with what Cataclysm is going to do to me when it drops.  I suppose I should preface that statement by admitting that I'm not beta-ing and I'm not someone who dives into all the Cata information.  This isn't due to lack of excitement, it's due to the fact that when I was little, my parents never actively prevented us from sneaking peeks at our Christmas gifts.  They would sort of hide them, sure, but as a kid you know all the hiding places in the house.  Or at least you think you do.  Either way, I found them.  I looked, and I ruined the surprise.  To me, it made the wait until Christmas worse.  After all, now I knew what I was getting, but I couldn't have it yet.  Talk about torture.  Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather be surprised and not know.

This isn't to say I don't like to have some idea of what I'm getting.  I mean, I did make the list.  Didn't your parents have you circle crap in catalogs too?  Or at least walk you around a store so that when you said "I want this" they answered with the ubiquitous "we'll put it on you Christmas list".  (Do they have Hanukkah lists? Or Eid ul-Fitr lists?  Probably not as prevalent, but I'm sure it's not a completely unfamiliar concept to most).

So that is the attitude that I bring into Cataclysm and blogging about it.  I don't mind having some general ideas, but I'm not going out of my way to see the specifics.  Not only would it probably torture me, but, unlike those hidden gifts, the Cataclysm information can change in the blink of an eye (or maybe like them, what with all the threats to "take that back").

My concern, then is what happens now.  Or, soon.  As in, when the next major patch drops.  We know, in general, that there are going to be some major changes to begin paving the way for the expansion.  How is this going to affect current raiding?  If you're not familiar with where I stand with my guild: we're fighting the Lich King on normal mode in ICC.  We're still truckin'. 

A lot of people are afraid that all these changes are going to "break the game" in the long run.  That they're going to ruin it for everyone.  I'm not so sure about that.  I've read the admittedly compelling rationales behind their apocalyptic musings, but I just don't see it.  Blizz has gotten so much right over the years.  That's why we're all here.  Sure they're going to screw some things up, that's human, but I don't how you can think they won't get a whole hell of a lot of stuff right along the way.  Maybe it won't be right for you, but you have to have a little faith in a company that has a pretty solid track record. 

I don't think there should be any debate that Blizz will work things out in the long term.  Given enough time, they can balance, tweak, redesign, and do all those things that they've shown they can do well over the years.  They'll listen to some stuff we say, ignore others, but in general trend towards a good product.  Not for everyone, but good in the grand scheme of things. 

Therefore, I think we should be more concerned with the short term.  Change has to start somewhere.  What happens until they have time to fix it?  What happens when we get completely new trees that maybe aren't balanced for current raiding?  I mean, they have to be more concerned with how these things are going to preform down the road than how they'll do right now.  We can put up with a few months of awkwardness if it works out in the long run.  After all, half the player base is probably on a break right now.  You're not going to anger too many people, and rest assured, it's always been a game of numbers.  That's business. 

I can hope that it's going to be a seamless transition, but we all know better.  There will be kinks.  There are always kinks.  And Blizzard will work out the kinks.  They always do.  It'll just take time.  Time I may not have if I want to see the Lich King downed.  But I'm the minority.  Most people have their Kingslayer title already.  And I can always watch the videos on YouTube. 

Still, that is my main concern at the moment: how the will the very next patch perform when dropped.  It seems almost counter-cultural with the intense focus being thrown on November, but that's where I am.  I'm confident it'll all work out in the long run.  I just hope our group can finish what we started.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not just complaining here.  I don't want this to seem like just another "the sky is falling post".  It's more of a "batten down the hatches" post.  It's a "grab a hold of something, 'cuz it's going to be a wild ride" post.  I see it as a challenge. 

Change is hard.  Change is scary.  But Change can also be fun.


  1. I don't have my Kingslayer title yet either. But I stopped raiding a month ago due to a real bad back, so I won't ever get it. But I'm with ya on this. In the short term, when the patch drops but before Cataclysm it'll be weird to play with talents optimised for level 85 while only being 80. I'll look at it as my beta time, a time to test out any fun new abilities without stress, without pressure, and without negative consequences. Devs will tweak things here and there, Cata will hit, TONS of people will play, and I think have quite a bit of fun too.

    Doom & Gloomsayers don't really interest me anyway, I like your approach. Also, can these doomsayers really see the future with such clarity? If so, all I want to know is this: What stocks should I invest in in 2011, I need me some money!!!

  2. My wife and I just got ours last night after 8 weeks. Keep on trying you'll get it.