Blizzcon is over, and a lot of information about changes has been released.

Duh, I know!

One of the most common statements I’ve heard, is “Wow, I’ve been wishing for a lot of this to happen for some time. I can’t wait! This is gonna be awesome!”

This post constitutes my traditional “Take a deep breath and relax” reality check.

The only things we should really be excited over and freaking about RIGHT NOW are the things they’ve told us about Patch 3.3 coming soon, the Icecrown Citadel content patch.

Why?

Because I’d like to see how many folks can hold their breath until Cataclysm is released. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Yes, the announcements are exciting. Or daunting.

But please remember that you need to have patience. Do not let these announcements discourage you to the actual game you are holding in your hands right now.

“But why should I level an alt now, when they are going to revamp all of Azeroth with totally new wicked races and quests?”

Because it’s fun to play NOW, and not in a year and a half. What are you going to do, cancel your account because all seems drab and boring in light of the bright new dawn we have glimpsed at Blizzcon? Some will. I speak from experience, I remember the reactions to the last big info release before Wrath came out only too well.

“Why should I do Achievements NOW, when there will be more coming soon?”

Maybe because your Explorer Achievement will be unavailable in it’s current form when all of Azeroth is destroyed. Maybe. Who knows? But seriously, you should do Achievement because you like to do them are are a completist, or like the rewards offered.

“Why should I raid and seek out gear now, or strive for upgrades, when we have no idea how current items will change when all these stats are removed outright?”

Because, again… you’ve got a game now. You should be playing it, the way it is now, because it’s fun to play. It’s not a job, and you aren’t supposed to be logging in feeling like it’s time to punch your time card for another three or four hours, and hoping to improve you character that little bit. So what if your current gear may be changed in the future, have fun NOW with what you know.

For those of you out there that play because it actually IS a job you get paid for, such as some WoW bloggers that are paid to write about their experiences… well, don’t know what to tell you. Except, I hope you still enjoy the dream gig. :)

Look, Cataclysm sounds great to me. I like a lot of what they discussed. I don’t want to be the one that’s a sourpuss, or the wet blanket.

But if I took anything away from watching the live panels from the Internet Feed, it’s this.

They know some of what they plan to do, but they have NOT progressed much farther than a design doc with first principles and general intentions when it comes to the gameplay changes and theorycrafting.

They intend to remove some stats and enhance the functionality of others, to simplify itemization a little, return the focus on core stats.

What they have not done is implemented it or gotten into the nuts and bolts of it.

They are at the brainstorming stage, discussing things around a table, working out what they’d like to do, and what effect they think it would have. Seeing the experssions on their faces to some of the questions asked after the Class Q&A was pretty illuminating. For a lot of the questions, it wasn’t ‘What can we share”, it was “Well gee, we hadn’t discussed that yet.”

So relax, worry not.

The dungeon and raid design, the world redesign, the quests, the races, the art… yes, I believe that those things are pretty far along.

But in terms of core gameplay, they are still at the “That’s something we can discuss in the future” stage.

This is not to discourage you.

This is to remind you of the cold, hard truth, that the next expansion might not be out until July of next year. Or even later.

Think about how much playing time there is in 11 months. Think about how far you reached, how high you climbed from the time you first picked up the game, to when 11 months had passed.

I know people that are raiding Ulduar, extremely well I might add, that had not even picked up the game yet 11 months ago.

Things are subject to change. Always. The further away something is, the better the chance that you might not even still be playing WoW when it finally comes out. Thinking about and dwelling on the proposed changes now, setting your vision on what could be and getting your hopes up will just cause disappointment when you log in and see the game we still have. And that’s silly.

What will come, will come. It should be enough to know that, rather than creating another new continent to push us farther from the world in which we began, they are instead bring the old world back to life, and completing the circle.

Think about the fun of new races, think of the fun that you will someday have…

But please, remember that there will be a new raid very soon, as we face off against Arthas himself. Rejoice in the knowledge that the Dungeons and Raids panel promised us that the final defeat of Arthas would feel…. EPIC. (And possibly contain some sweet cinematics).

Think about new 5 person instances in 3.3, with new fun to be had. Won’t that be cool? Just as we get tired of Emblems and Trials, we’ll be moving on into new territory to master.

The big picture is great, I’m very glad Blizzard chose to share it with us. As always, however, they share this massive amount of dreaming and imagination…

and we must remind ourselves, that when we sleep this evening and wake up, Cataclysm will not be lying under the tree in the morning.

Please. Don’t lose interest in your toys now, just because you know Christmas is coming someday.

18 Responses to “As always, grasshopper, patience.”
  1. menglor says:

    On the Direct TV blizzcon show the announcer got Mike Morhaime to basically say that Cataclym will likely release in 2010. so we are at least a year away.

    The conversation was something like :

    Interviewer: So blizzard is going to release 2 things this year, right?
    Mike: ya, 2 titles.
    Interviewer: so its SC and ?

    Mike: Well we really want it to be Cataclysm.

    and if you watched any of the D3 panels, the lead designer said we have the concepta all down, its just about implementing and we wont say we are done till its done.

    Didnt even remotely hint that its close to ready, Where as Mike is suggesting Cataclysmic.

    So, imo Expect 3.3 to hit in Feb, and it to last till March before Beta invites go out.

    so, like you say, Take a DEEP breath (hahahaha) cause 3.2.2 is coming, and then 3.3

  2. menglor says:

    Damn Wish I could Edit.

    I just wanted to point out, if you think 3.3 is sooner rather then later, Expect a LONG PTR testing of Cross Server LFG for 3.3! thats going to be a big monster!

  3. Kobay says:

    I will be a very, very sad Bear if Cataclysm is released before D3.

    I have had a lot of fun playing WoW for the past 2 1/2 years, but I am ready to move on to another game. One that, just maybe, I have a chance of “beating.”

    Because, you see, when you work in the evening, you don’t Raid.

    I will never face off against Arthas. I will count myself lucky if I get a shot at Oxy in 3.2.2.

    I’m more or less ready to leave the game now, as a bad assed Heroic running Bear, except for two things. My wife still plays, and I haven’t another game to move on to.

    Blizzard, please, give us D3 soon.

  4. lissanna says:

    It really looks like D3 won’t be out this year. They want to put a bigger spacing between SC2 and D3 coming out…
    .-= lissanna´s last blog ..Druids in Cataclysm – What should be our 3 new spells? =-.

  5. Kayeri says:

    Yep, I was having my “back to Lich King” time today. Cataclysm sounds great, but I really dont want my my alts to languish until then, it’s quite a ways off yet, after all. I ran a heroic ToC, then a heroic VH to settle back in, and then signed up for this week’s raids…

    ::firmly settling back into the present… for now:: :)

  6. Jeursey says:

    I had imagined that I could play at my own slow pace forever, knowing that someday I would be able to visit every instance, even if it meant soloing it much, much later after level caps rose. But no longer… now I feel pressured into doing EVERYTHING NOW because it just won’t be there later. Gear up for 3.3? Forget it, I have Loremaster achievements to chase! Old world raids to do before they vanish forever! Given that it may take weeks of headbanging just to get into them, I’d better start now!

  7. B_Dragon says:

    All in all, a good post BBB. You’ve echoed my thoughts – Cataclysm may be coming, heck even the Icecrown raid is on the horizon, but it doesn’t mean we should drop everything we’re doing now and just drool for the new stuff.

    I for one am still going with the current program – doing Heroics, grinding reps, and basically enjoying what Achievements that may end up in my way. And leveling the Side-Project, and experiencing Azeroth at my own pace (before they tear it apart in the next expansion =P ).
    .-= B_Dragon´s last blog ..World of Warcraft: Cataclysm =-.

  8. KiwiRed says:

    I’m having a similar reality-check. Sure all the Cataclysm news sounds awesome, but it’s going to be a long time until we get to unwrap that present. Time to (finally) level a DK past 57, and maybe a horde toon to ‘enjoy’ the Barrens experience (while it’s still there).
    .-= KiwiRed´s last blog ..I Want Patience And I Want It Now =-.

  9. Leafy says:

    Lovely, timely post BBBBBBBB…

    Certainly one I’ll be circulating amongst my guildies who are hitting the freakout stage…
    .-= Leafy´s last blog ..Cataclysm: Character Slots FAIL =-.

  10. Kaitus says:

    Well, considering the awesomeness and epicness (Yes, they’re different things) of IC, I’m assuming it’s going to be a loong while on the PTR before they’re done testing. I mean, Ulduar took it’s time on the PTR rounds, and IC is supposed to be a hundred times better! Plus there’s all that amazing new stuff to test, like cross-server LFG, and even Onyxia! So we certainly won’t be bored waiting around for Cataclysm. Hey, in 11 months I can almost certainly get both of my main alts to 60 at least, probably to 80. I could even pop over to hordeside to try out vanilla WoW horde style (Which is supposed to be a lot better.) before it get’s blown up.
    .-= Kaitus´s last blog ..Must not Forget Blog… =-.

  11. Fuzzyhippie says:

    Completely agreed. I have to confess, I have had a slight bit of remorse at the thought that some of the more peaceful places I am used to leveling alts at are go to have gaping chasms of fire in them. I feel as if I need to take this bit of time before the expansion and say goodbye.

  12. Lady Jess says:

    I personally have my lowbie alts on hold til the xpac. Hell, they’ve waited for like…a year already to get where they are, whats one more (one of them is waiting for hubby to come home anyhow)? I’ve done the Azeroth as it Is trek four times. I’m fine with waiting if it means #5 and #6 see it differently from 40 up. Because, as you said…there’s plenty to be done on my lvl 80′s anyhow:P

  13. Flamehase says:

    Hi Bear,

    Loved the post…… You’re right…. it’s about a good 16 months away…. it could be out for Xmas 2010 or a little later….. Plus I like the old WOW and BC content…. However I’m not too high on the item changes……. no attack power or spell power…. and the comment for BlizzCon was that they’re going to add more stamina in its place…. (urrr) think about it….. if they’re giving you 100AP currently….ok… blizz is taking that away and giving you more stamina in its place…..ok ….bear …come on ….stay it….stay it…. that’s not right….but that’s blizz…..they’re going to nurf all of us …. And most of us will not see it… LOL

  14. Rob says:

    Totally agree with bear. Enjoy your life as you have it now. Dont’ wait for a year or two or five from now. You may be dead. Sorry, that’s the truth. You could say this bout the game, or extend it to every aspect of life. I regret not doing X while i had the chance. Perhaps my main regret, again real life stuff, is that I didn’t tell my godmother how much she meant to me, and I drifted apart in her last years. She died alone at a too young age.

    Anyway wow stuff. Do those naxx achievements. Get champion of frozen waste. I guarantee that it will be more difficult to get a group together to get those achievments (or they may disappear forever). My proudest moments in wow – getting champion of naaru and hand of adal. Granted this was already after attunement nerfs in BC, but still I have those titles, and not many do. Do ulduar. Dont wait until next expansion; everything will be different. What was once hard in tier 9 would be a cakewalk at level 85. Black temple is now a joke with 25 80s, and doable with 10 in naxx gear. Its a far different experience. Just like all the retroraids. There is no plot or strat or anything in MC and AQ20, just zerg zerg zerg (also ZG). AQ40 still has twin emps, BWl still has alot of tough bosses. But by and large the old content will be trivial next expansion. (unless of course they retune them).

  15. Wintersdark says:

    I have to agree that there’s no sense in waiting. The whole “Why bother gearing up when they are going to change it” is the most silly, though. Honestly. We’ve been through two expansions so far, and both times, one thing has been completely true: It’s a bit reset button. Everyone starts anew with gear, gets quest greens and blues, and works from there. If you’d suddenly stop raiding with this news, why were you doing it in the first place? Unless you started with WotLK, you had to know that come the next expansion everything would be reset again.

    Regardless, you’re right. Cataclysm won’t be for a long time yet, so either continue on as normal as if they hadn’t announced it, or go do something else… but don’t let anticipation for it stop you from having fun now. Carry on, folks! Nothing to see here!

    That all said… It’s normal for me to play a while in a given expansion, then stop playing entirely until the next comes out. This isn’t so much because I can’t wait for expansion changes but rather because I run out of things to do, and people to play with.

    I’m a pretty skilled player, but I work evenings. I generally can only play in the mornings. This means raiding is extremely difficult for me to manage. I do well enough, have seen most of Ulduar now when I can manage to get in on guild runs, but realistically I can only rarely raid. I greatly enjoy doing random stuff – soloing instances, doing oddball things with friends (be they wierd instance runs for whatever purpose or… well, anything), and have a lot of fun with that but I’ve found it nearly impossible to get into a guild that’s actually focussed on just being friendly and enjoying themselves.

    I’d play longer if I could find a guild that was out first and foremost just to have fun and enjoy themselves, but every one I’ve been in has had dreams to become a serious raid guild, and in the process that *requires* certain changes that generally lock me out. DKP, raid attendance requirements, etc, and it tends to cause the guild to gravitate towards a different sort of player: ones who focus more on staying “cutting edge” on the raid scene but being utterly uninterested in anything else.

    Story of my (WoW) life; been that way since release, alas.

    Hmmm, sorta rambly and generally grossly off topic in this comment. Excuse that :)

  16. Plainsrunner says:

    I think I may be in the best place in life for not having to be patient…I am off to Afghanistan for 12 months, which means–no WoW….gasp!

    However, this also means being away long enough to be chomping at the bit to play again, with all my boredom gone…only to get to walk straight into cataclysm…NOM NOM NOM!

  17. Bellwether says:

    Until there’s a beta, I won’t be talking about Cataclysm on my blog. There’s too much to do RIGHT NOW. You summed it up well, Bear. I actually regret watching that preview video, even…I don’t need to know about this stuff until it’s going to begin affecting me.

  18. hagu says:

    You must remember this is Blizzard – just because it will be designed in 12 months and ready in 15, doesn’t mean it won’t ship in 10 months :-) Remember mid-November vehicle quests?

    While nothing that was announced should affect today’s play (except for keeping an alt slot open since you have to have a goblin.) But it is very wrong to think unshipped content doesn’t impact the current game; Anyone who tried to sell Badges of Justice two months before the WotLK Beta can tell you that. Or someone who tried to buy titanium after the epic gem announcements. Does any of the “focus on the now” crowd plan to still have all their crusader orbs when 3.3 ships? Guild management will have an even longer horizon as they decide whether they want to continue and how to deal with the dramatic changes in raiding around when WoWC hits alpha/beta and the information starts to build.

    Also remember that Blizzard, intentionally or not, has a designed a game that rewards you for not playing it. If you were to not play your 80 for a month or three or 12 (BTW good luck in/thanks for Afghanistan), when you got back frozen/runed/crusader orbs would be cheaper, the gear choices better, the average gear level of your fellow players higher.

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