Cataclysm is coming fairly soon now, by all reports. MMO Champion fixed the date of release as being November 2nd, barring some bug delays, and that gives us about a month and a half to go before everything gets washed away in a sea of change.

Be generous, call it two months. Be cautious, and call it only one.

Whichever way the expansion winds blow, this one is bringing some serious changes to the core structure of the game itself, and almost all of the classes.

It’s a good time to really talk about last minute planning and preparation.

Unless, of course, you’re like my friend Occulus, who saved up about 200,000 gold and full heirlooms, a stored Mechano-Hog and non-combat pets against the day he can create his new Worgen Druid.

There may just be such a thing as being TOO damn prepared, after all.

The first thing I want to talk about, and to my mind the most important thing of all, is preparing mentally for what’s going to come.

Change is coming. Specifically, changes to the core mechanics governing how YOU play the character you already know and love are coming.

Let me relate a few hypotheticals for you.

Maybe you’ve been playing a Hunter, or multiple Hunters, for years now. Literally years. You know them, you love them, they rock your world.

The news coming out of the beta, and the Blue posts surrounding the upcoming Cataclysm have made it clear that, come the Big One, your understanding of the core mechanics of Hunters and how they work will be wrong.

In Cataclysm, you will need to approach the class with a fresh perspective, learn how to spec your Talent points in new ways, learn how the new non-Mana system works for you, learn and understand new stat priorities based on Talent spec anew, and also learn how all your abilities and spells work and what speeds/cooldowns they have and work out what to use, and when.

You know this is coming, and there is one more piece to this puzzle. You haven’t really been following everything, you’re not in the beta test, you haven’t grown with the changes as they’ve been implemented and tested. But you HAVE read enough in the Blue posts, and in the forums, to see that current players who ARE avidly following the news of these changes, and presumably playtesting them out, are ranting and raving.

Other players are complaining that this won’t work, or that got nerfed, or this thing is awesome, or that thing is all screwed up.

Some folks have already worked out some kind of shot rotations and mechanics systems where they pop one ability 3 times followed by hitting “X” to unleash a buff, and then something else gets done. You don’t really follow what the hell they’re talking about, because you haven’t even SEEN these changes yet, let alone begun working out rotations.

But what you do know is this; you know how to play your character now, you really enjoy playing it as it is, and you do it very well. This new stuff sounds like they’re changing it all around, and the player comments make it sound like it’s going to be really difficult and complicated. That depresses the hell out of you.

You’re starting to think that, once Cataclysm comes, you might not even play that character you love anymore, because it just doesn’t sound fun anymore. All too confusing and complicated now.

That’s a hypothetical situation, and it could be any other class you’d like to name. Paladins, for example, are really taking some massive changes right in the shorts. (Why do I think of Jong when I say that?)

I’d like to take a moment to address this.

Yes, your class will be changing. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. Maybe your favorite spec is changing a lot, while others are just seeing some small tweaks.

The first thing I’d like you to do is take a mental step back from all the rhetoric. Get your head out of the midst of all the little details, move back from worrying about what cooldown Swipe has, or how many Talent points you can put into whatever.

Look for a moment at the big picture.

Yes, things will change. And yes, the playstyle you enjoy now will likely be changed.

The thing to keep in mind is, most classes have a reasonably easy way to play, and a min/max micromanaged optimized way to play (however you’d like to refer to it).

No matter how you play now, go to Elitist Jerk’s website for a moment and take the time to read the theorycrafting threads for your favorite DPS spec.

In most cases, there are incredibly detailed instructions on how you simply MUST play. Tons of research, comparisons, spreadsheets, graphs and more.

Just because all of that exists does not mean that you HAVE to use any of it.

In many cases, the difference between one player using the ‘optimized’ techniques, and another clicking whatever ability happens to be off the cooldown or sounds good, is about 100 to 200 dps.

Gear makes a big difference. How that gear is chosen based on knowledge of hit caps, expertise caps, crit rating, haste and mana regen makes a big difference. What lag you experience in 25 person raids makes a big difference. Whether or not you’re trying to carry on a typed chat conversation with your BFF at the same time as you raid makes a big difference.

If the worry of having to deal with a new system soon stresses you out, remember… you can play your own character however you are comfortable with. Don’t sweat it. You don’t have to do what everyone else does.

Many people out there play their characters to 80 and have a wonderful time without ever ONCE visiting any out-of-game resource. Maybe they’re not ‘optimized’, but they’re close just the same.

I have an example.

I am leveling a secret Death Knight. I’ve never managed to maintain momentum past level 63 before, and I’m now almost 67.

Cassie has also played a Death Knight, she leveled hers to 80 and really enjoyed it.

We’ve both played Blood spec.

When I was chatting with my buddy Melpo the other night, he asked me what I thought about my DK. I told him what I was enjoying the most was how much fun it was to manage/juggle my Runes as Blood spec.

With my Talents, when I trigger a Death Strike, one Frost and one Plague Rune become Death Runes, Runes that can be used by any ability.

As a Blood spec, I get the Heart Strike ability, which is powered from Blood Runes.

I find it fun to approach a ‘snack’ mob, unload a Death Strike which gives me 2 Death Runes, hit 2 Heart Strikes using up my two Blood Runes, fire off a Death Coil from the built up energy, maybe two, and then another Death Strike to get two more Death Runes. By then the mob is, generally, dead. Yum!

This lets me then approach a ‘dinner time’ mob, and eat his ass alive by chaining 6 Heart Strikes as fast as the GCD lets me. I find it hilarious good fun, juggling my Runes like that.

Maybe the second mob died faster than the first, maybe not. That’s not the point. The point is, I’m having fun controlling what abilities I’m going to have available on the NEXT mob I fight. I enjoy planning various rotation strategies in advance, and being able to choose to ‘unlock’ Heart Strike to be chained 6 times in a row (8 if you consider the Blood Runes coming off cooldown by the end of shot 6) if I damn well feel like it.

Cassie overheard the conversation, and said afterwards that she felt like she didn’t play her Death Knight ‘right’, because I’m sitting here doing all this juggling and managing of Rune cooldowns and playing with Plagues and using Brain Freeze for no apparent reason all the time even when the mob is a millisecond from death to interrupt that Fireball, and she “just hits whatever button was off cooldown first”.

Here’s my reply to that, to her and to you.

Did the mobs die?

Yes or no. Did the mobs die?

Did you live? Did the mobs die and you lived, and lived quite handily at that without heirlooms or other cheats?

Did you have FUN doing it your way?

Then who gives a shit if you hit whatever buttons came off cooldown?

Seriously, I beg you to hear me, and think about it.

If doing what you do sees the mobs die, you live, and you are ENJOYING it, then that is enough!

Now, carry that forward into the new expansion.

Do not worry NOW that people are talking about complicated rotations in beta threads. Do not worry that people are up in arms about this thing or that thing, or whatever.

Go forward knowing that whatever you end up doing, irrespective of what anyone else is doing, if you are killing mobs, if you are surviving your fights, and if you are having fun doing it your way, then you’re doing it exactly right, and anyone who says differently can kiss your ass.

You worried about DPS meters? I refer you to the above listed reasons why your DPS may vary from someone else that have nothing to do with rotations or ability choices. You worried about raid performance? By the time everyone hits level 85, I’m sure your favorite theorycrafters will have something to say about new mechanics that will have been playtested in live. You’ll have plenty of tools to figure all that crap out then, AFTER you’ve leveled 5 new levels, gotten all sorts of gear upgrades, and found your balance.

There is one thing I know I cannot do. I cannot ease your feeling, in some chamber of your heart, that if the ‘leet’ people are doing super-complicated rotations, you should too. I know. I know exactly what you mean. All protesting to the contrary, no matter how well you do with your own method, that feeling that you could be doing better if you only tried will probably remain.

But I still ask of you, to take that step back, let go of the small shit, the little fears, the minor debates and piddling little worries, and focus on the big picture.

Play your character. Have fun. Do it your way. If they die, and you live, and it’s been fun then YOU WIN.

You can worry about the rest later.

Play it, Blue Eyes!

“And I did it, myyyyy wayyyyyy.”

39 Responses to “Are you worried about the changes to come?”
  1. Moonra says:

    Im a bit worried about the Resto side of Druid but I’m hoping to test a few things on the PTR soon (as soon as the char copy pushes my main thru). I’ve been reading a lot of ‘less happy’ things about Restoration Druids but without testing it myself I don’t really know what to think :s

    I’m looking forward to the whole “mana matters” thing as a healer, I would really love the extra challenge to the healing roll :) it adds a bit more math and stuff to it…

    I’m dying for Cataclysm right now, I’m done with Wrath :)

  2. bigbearbutt says:

    A tank specific follow up to the “Frankie say relax” from above.

    Are you worried about how badly screwed up Tank threat generation sounds right now? Are you concerned about the class you know really well getting twisted and confused? Are the descriptions of nerfed threat generating abilities, extended cooldowns on area affect tools and such buggin’ you out?

    Blizzard may have all sorts of intentions towards what they’d LIKE tanks to have to deal with. No matter what gets released though, what matters is how many people step up and actually tank in the live game. If Blizzard releases a live build that people who tank look at, and say, “screw that, I don’t need that level of bullshit aggravation, someone else can tank”, before too long Blizzard WILL implement changes. It’s either that, or lose players and subscriptions because without tanks, everything in instances and raids shuts down.

    It’s the big picture. No matter what, there WILL be an equilibrium. It may not happen right away, they may really, really have their heads shoved up their butts and think that they can force people to play differently, and ram whatever you are worried about through. To some extent, yes, people will adapt. They’ll just deal with it. They will take it and try to get the other people around them to get with the new deal too.

    But if the entire random instance/raid system collapses due to a new tanking/DPS/healing paradigm, make no mistake, Blizzard WILL enact changes. They will not sacrifice customer satisfaction and paid subscriptions to stand on their principles of making us play the way they want us to. Yep, an equilibrium will be established.

  3. Adanos says:

    ^ that is golden…. the whole lot

    Though I have a problem with the coming Cataclysm and all you’ve said, why change has to be bad? I mean, I was reading MMO Champion’s forum today, and a guy was complaining that Cataclysm sucked cause he cannot use his “1 button macro” for druid tanking, and is that good? letting people tank by “1 button macros”??

    I’ve been playing WoTLK for a bit less than one month, I’m a tank, thats what I love to do…. and after seeing WoTLK I have to agree with a mail you wrote to me a while back, WoTLK introduced “tanking for dummies”, so is that good? I mean, its good to have more tanks (even though I dont think there’s more tanks in WoTLK over TBC) but is reducing tanking to “1 button macros” the best way to get people to tank?

    I for one, look at the changes they are making with hope, and I also think that both the DK and the Druid are going to get the most juice out of the changes… maybe threat generation is a bit off in this build, but thats something they can easily change, and even if it doesnt change…. maybe having less threat generation is a good thing, it may force the DPS to get their butts out of their asses and actually learn how to DPS properly, cause as you have said countless times BBB, at the moment in random dungeons tanking can become quite a pain, having a mage going full aoe and a rogue going full single target. Maybe after wiping a bit on Cataclysm makes DPS learn about watching threat, and attacking the same target as the tank, following marks.. like in the old days.

  4. lissanna says:

    I’m betting that druids will get at least 1 more major pass before 4.0 hits the live servers to fix a couple major things that will improve our quality of life. There’s still time… (I hope!).

  5. Sukugaru says:

    So there’s all this doom and gloom coming from the beta, with regards to threat generation and how resto druids’ Mastery is completely useless, and I was getting all worried about it and getting ready to ragequit, without having played Cataclysm at all.

    Then I stepped back and had a think about it. Truth is, the beta’s still beta and numbers and such can be tweaked anytime. The other thing is, we won’t be able to play Cataclysm the same way we played Wrath. In Wrath, the rogue who’s at 20% health might be about to die in the next second. In Cataclysm, he might live for ten to twenty more seconds. We don’t know exactly. But because our experiences are so coloured by Wrath, we look at that rogue who’s at 20% health and think “OMG need to heal right now” and get upset because the Mastery doesn’t improve our HoTs all that much.

    The other thing is, the druid is a very flexible class and it’ll be very easy for me to work out something new and play the class my way, come Cataclysm. Maybe I won’t be able to BearOE so much. Maybe I’ll have to relearn healing. But truth be told BearOEing and healing were getting a little boring. And if nothing else cat form levelling is always fun, especially if I can work out fun new ways to omgwtfpwnshred enemies’ faces off.

  6. Tufva says:

    I know exactly what you mean about just going with the flow. When levelling my alts I’ve taken a quick gander at “how you are supposed to do it” so that I get a basic idea how that class “works” and then just gone out and hit buttons – sometimes following rotations, sometimes not – but like you say – things died, I lived – it was good. :-)

  7. Chawa says:

    Great timing for this post!!!!

  8. Leah says:

    I read official forums a lot (I know, glutton for punishment) and every once ina while, someone will resurect a thread – smotimes its moths old, and sometimes – its years old. and the funniest part about it that 99% of the time, you don’t realize right away that its a necro, because people complained EXACTLY THE SAME WAY all those years ago.

    In other words, there will be much complaining and then people will adopt and enjoy the new way of things, possible even more then old way of things. So I’m just waiting it out and enjoying my characters the way they are right now and when they change? I’ll enjoy them in their new incarnations (even if I do worry about my performance a lot, but that’s a different story)

  9. Solitudeone says:

    First, THANK YOU! This is really the best ‘cataclysm post’ I’ve read in months which puts a :) on my face. Earlier today I happen to be thinking some simular thoughts about liking what I do now with my druid (cast what I want when I want) and enjoying it that way (mobs die-I live-all is good). I really was very concerned about losing this with Cata. Your thoughts are on the mark, just play and enjoy, everything else will come later when it needs to.

  10. BlackDragon says:

    As expected, a very insightful and on-the-mark post from BBB. Thank you for putting into an eloquent discourse what I believe is on most WoW players’ mind as we wait for Cataclysm.

    – Aenur of Hydraxis

  11. Russ says:

    I agree with the above comments – this was a great, timely post.

    I have some concerns about druids too – for me, it’s the damage side of the feral spec (for both PvP and PvE purposes), which Blizzard has already said is running on the weak side at the moment. However, I’ve read enough to know that a) Blizzard isn’t done developing us and tuning the numbers, and b) they will be flexible and reactive after release if things just. don’t. work. It’s not guaranteed that there will be balance at the beginning, but we have to see what happens when it goes live, in addition to keeping up with changes post-launch.

    I don’t think that damage will be an issue for me as I level – for me, it’s going to be all about seeing the new content, adjusting to the changes, and meeting the challenges we face. I’m going to enjoy that for a while… it’s the only way to avoid worrying too much NOW about the group performance issues we’ll face later. :)

  12. Ngita says:

    Pve? No. Its going to be harder and i like that. I wont be pugging for a while because players will need to learn and adapt to cata and not just blame the tank or heals. It does not matter how strong or weak we finish at because blizzard will balance the content around the players.

    Pvp? Battlegrounds on beta are just a crashing mess of horde zerging outnumbered alliance. Any discussion gets counted by your not wearing pvp gear and your team mates should have prevented that.

  13. Darth Solo says:

    I would like to respectfully disagree with the premise that rotation doesn’t matter. Of course it matters. Otherwise GearScore would reign supreme. This can be easily checked in RAWR where you can switch around the skills in your rotation. As ret paladin simply using one skill before another can cost 100 DPS. And that’s valid for most classes.

    Here’s a story to back this up. While running a heroic I noticed that the lowest person on the DPS chart was a DK who managed to deal about 700 DPS (yes, in a heroic!). Checking his gear revealed that the dude was wearing at least ilvl 264 items. And he was actually attacking mobs and everything. How the hell was that possible? It remains a mystery. I guess he’d probably bought that char off ebay or something.

    In closing I remain of firm opinion that rotation does matter and is often more important than gear. Top DPS is also important in groups because otherwise the entire group might suffer due to one player. When playing alone, you can do 1 DPS as far as I’m concerned, and as long as you’re having fun it’s all good. I agree that people generally play games in order to have fun, yet by under-performing badly in a group you’re basically having fun at the expense of others and that’s not very nice.

  14. bigbearbutt says:

    Well, if you choose to take what I said and walk away with that understanding of what I meant… okay.

  15. Fangtastic says:

    Darth, Bro… you gotta chill a bit.

    Top dps in a 5 man, competent play where you pull your weight or /autoattack /follow are all different things.

    Everyone is going to have a minimum of 5 levels (not short ones either by the sound of it) to learn their characters anew and time enough for us to get used to the new and Blizzard to patch what can not be endured. Two weeks into the expansion there will be lots of min-maxing but not everyone obsesses over that. There is a middle road known as “good enough” for when you’re playing to relax. Not everyone has the soul of a raider where the only source of enjoyment it beating your own best pull after pull. Some of us have grown past that and are now happy to be good enough to go efficiently while still chilling out enough to enjoy the scenery.

    As for the DK in your story – I bet he was leveling a new weapon skill.

    I for one am looking forward to Cata – for my bear druid (resto seems sad for now), my rogue (self heal? NOW I can get behind the class!), Prot warrior (Blood and Thunder? That name alone sold me), Disc priest (offense and defense? Shadow offspec with shadow copies? Shadowfaxes!) and mage (fiery weilder of destruction – fire sounds soooo good now!).

    Cata can’t come soon enough, and I can’t wait to learn all the playstyles anew – it will be like a new MMO, except I won’t be completely clueless about my roles like I was when I first started on WoW. :-)

    This WILL be fun, I refuse to let it be anything else. :D

  16. Karzogg says:

    Lovely post! I have been worrying about some of the nit-picky little crap coming with Cata, and I really appreciate your dose of perspective! Thanks!

  17. Bigguss says:

    I have given up on reading Cataclysm changes. I used to try and keep up with all of the changes that are happening to my 7 x level 80’s and in the end i realised that it was all for nothing. Things are in such a state of flux at the moment its all for nothing. Spells are changing, specs are changing, heck, even stats on gear are constantly changing. So i am now working on the premise that ‘what will be, will be’. I’m sure that when we all sign in on the day of release that our current gear, no matter what ilevel it may be, will kill early mobs and we’ll all have fun with our current toons.

    I think we’ll all have to trust Blizzard to balance the game to make it at least, if not more fun than it is now.

  18. Kaethir says:

    I’ve kind of approached the whole shebang with Bigguss’s feelings. Until it’s live, the only thing I’m paying attention to is what new abilities we have, no more specifics than that.

  19. Meadow says:

    Thank you for this post, I really needed it. I’ve been getting rather spun up about the resto and balance changes, and you are exactly right about needing to wait and see how it feels to me personally before deciding. Thank you for your sense of perspective!

  20. Greysmoke of Shadow Council says:

    Well said, BBB, well said. :)

  21. Drew says:

    I’m just a *little* bit scared about 4.0.1 before the expansion. If the class changes hit before my ICC 10 is done (we’ve gotten to Arthas, but he really smacked us around the other night), I worry about having AoE enough to even get through the trash before Marrowgar, because that trash was designed for current AoE. This, combined with changes to healing rotation and a seeming implausability of spamming rejuv and wild growth makes me worry about my resto druid. I guess my paladin could always crawl back into her healing duds. :(

    For what it’s worth, I agree with you, BBB, up to the point of hopping in a raid. At that point, too many other people are relying on everyone else for people not to worry at least a *little* bit about how they’re performing and what they bring to the table. Even with a 30% raid buff, the mechanics of fights like Sindragosa and especially the Lich King make errors often turn into wipes for the rest of the group.

    That has more to do with situational awareness than rotations, though, I suppose, and again, applies to about 3% of the content. Peer pressure often makes it feel like that 3% is 90% important.

    I’m looking forward to exploring different classes while I re-explore the old world in Cataclysm. I know already that I’ll be rolling one of every race to experience each redeveloped starting zone before I settle on 4(!) to level through each continent – a Horde and Alliance toon on each continent in order to soak it all up. Will I stop leveling them once they hit Outlands? It’s possible.

    How dated will *that* feel by then? :)

    Sorry for the ramble.

  22. Copey says:

    The classes you mention are funny, because I have almost the exact same set of toons Bear. I have my main, a feral tank druid. I consider myself an expert on bear tanking, and most things druidy in general. I will continue to stay on the cutting edge of research for any and all changes. I also have a hunter and a pally tank, both of them progressing through Icc 10 depending on what the guild needs that week.

    I freely admit, that as I rotate through my toons, I get progressively less skilled…It’s actually a running joke in my guild. Once I get to tanking on my pally, there are just so many things I don’t know, because I only have so much research time, and I took less time with each alt to really look up how to raid. Just the other day, tanking Lich King on my Pally, I was trying for the life of me to come up with the 2nd stun that our normal pally tank does on the valks, (hammer of justice and couldn’t remember holy wrath). He wasn’t on, so I just sat there between pulls reading tool tips trying to figure out what he does. Between pulls on Lich King. I barley have a grasp on this toon, and one pull for some reason didn’t have Righteous Fury on. It was a blast for everybody because everybody was on wacky alts doing weird stuff. We were all “playing our way”.

    I’m actually looking forward to them totally changing hunters and pallys. Because once they change them to focus and holy power (points? I forgot what I read the other day, like combo points sort of?) I will be on a level playing field again, learning the character over with everybody else. New guides will be written for noobs like me, because everybody will be noobs like me on hunters and palidans. Can’t wait.

  23. Shanbear says:

    Long time reader, first time poster – BBB, I salute you whole-heartedly for this post.

    Yeah, ok there are those people out there that do worry about that extra 100 DPS, but I don’t. If I’m not having a great time then what the hell do I pay my sub for? An extra special thank you for this because my Mum (yep, my Mum :p ) plays WoW and she is a fire mage. She gets so many rude, nasty and downright asshattery comments about how she ‘should be arcane’, but she loves being fire. Why should she change spec because it’s what everyone else does, or just because the arcane mages are above her in the damage meters? She’s no slouch, she pulls her weight and does decent damage – plus she keeps me on my bear-tank tip toes! ^_^

    Lots of love n hugs

    Shan-bear

  24. Herr Drache says:

    Talents, Stats, Rotations, that all doesn’t worry me anymore. After I read the first few posts about the changes in Cata, something dawned on me.
    It’s not a patch.
    It’s not an expansion.
    It’s WoW-II !
    I mean, it’ll still be a game that I recognize, and of course my toons will still look the same and feel similar to play, but the details? They’re all shot. My rogue will still prefer to attack from behind, my tank will still yell obscenities at the mobs, my wife will still shoot deadly laser bolts from wherever those big fluffy chicken shoot their bolts from. My pally will still have all kinds of golden animations, and my DK, errr, whatever it is that DKs do. I guess blood won’t do great DPS anymore, though. The cat will shred, and the mage will just blow stuff up (or go frost and live forever!)
    HOW they do it will change a bit, and what to look for on gear will as well. But with Elitist Jerks’ help, I’m sure I’ll soon have a “4-3-2-1-6-5-OSHIT1-OSHIT2″ rotation again – or a “4-3-2-2-2-POW-4-3-2-2-2-BOOM” rotation :)

    What scares me a little are all the “Nerd Points”, the crafting/gathering challenges and all that. I’m self-sufficient on my arsenmall of alts, but will I have the time to level the important crafts in time so I don’t have to pay out of the butt for the consumables my tank needs. And (evil as I am) can I do that fast enough to still make a decent amount of gold before the prices crash?
    Can I get a few more mounts to get my 100? (RNG gods haven’t been nice!)

    Elitist Jerks and similar sites will get the nitty-gritty details figured out, other sites will get the “now, realistically, *this* should yield near-best results and you won’t go insane”, and Blizzard will adjust all kinds of things to keep us on our toes.

    I’d say, go have some fun leveling to 85, re-visit some of the old zones while the dust is still settling, and just enjoy NOT raiding for a little while :)
    And yes. If the mob’s dead and you’re not, then you did it right!

  25. Nightwhisp says:

    Okay, when it comes to WoW I’m a bit of a “Jonny-come-lately” or in my case a Jani-come-lately. I didn’t start playing until after Wotlk went live, so I have known no other world. This serves to make the trepidation about the forthcoming expansion all the more intense. Knowing this I have just tried to not prejudge and take it as is comes. I have been pretty successful at that to a point, but when I read from an expert like Lissanna that basically with the current beta version she cannot heal on her druid in a competitive way, I worry a lot. It is my hope that the developers will listen to these folks that know a bit about the classes and make the necessary changes. Regardless, at some date soon everything that we know about the mechanics of our toons will change. We will all need to start over and learn again. I too am gratified that we will have five levels to get used to the changes, and to learn our toons. This will make a huge difference for so many of us, and also give time for theory crafting and tweeking, by the community and the developers. So on we go into Cata, “Damn the torpedos; full speed ahead!”

    But, the more things change the more they will stay the same. We will still be judged by our gearscore and by the numbers on recount. There will still be the arguments about, “I payed my subscription so I get to play however I want to.” Vs “The other 24 players paid a lot more, so you have to play the way they say.” For me, this is, and will be a time filled with angst and worry and excitement and also a profound feeling of loss, and sadness. I have spent so many hours of game time gearing my two mains, and the second that Cata goes live all that gear will be useless.

    So what do we have? At the core of the thing, it comes down to what you are saying with this post, John, and so many others. If I may paraphrase, “We play this game to have fun, and if we are having fun, it is all good, if we are not having fun we should be doing something else.” I will remind myself to chill and take it all as it comes.

  26. Copey says:

    I think Bear’s “Frankie say Relax” comment above is spot on. No matter what role you like (or hopefully love) to do in this game, you will probably be able to continue doing it in the next expansion. The beta healers say healing is hard, or that tanking is messed up, or that dps is terribad. That’s what the beta is for. Blizzard is a huge company that built its success on the happiness of millions of people, not on the misery.

    Every expansion there is a tank class that declares that the sky is falling. I experienced it first hand at the end of Burning Crusade, and was denied tanking spots because my character was “broken” now that I had 5k less health or something. Tanking spots that the week previous to the 3.0.1 patch I had locked up and was performing.

    Tanking takes a different kind of person than healing or dps. All three are vastly rewarding in different ways to different people. And all three are REQUIRED by the way the current MMO model is set up. To think that one of the tank classes or one of the healer classes isn’t going to work very well any more (through out the whole expansion) is like saying the CEO at Blizzard called a meeting and he and the shareholders decided they wanted to make less money. It won’t happen. You may not like the changes personally, but for the vast majority of people the changes will be acceptable.

    Blizzard has made “end game” raiding more accessible to people so that more could enjoy their hard work. They are not going to take that away in the next expansion by making impossible to find players willing to put up with having zero people willing to tank or heal. Triple B say Relax, and I agree. What ever you are doing now, you will probably be able to do then…probably with prettier graphics and a more interesting rotation besides “spam swipe every cool down until mangle or lacerate needs refreshing, also maul sometimes”.

  27. bigbearbutt says:

    Love all the great comments, big hugs to all, but I have to say, most especially big hugs to everyone that is feeling the crunch like Nightwhisp.

    Don’t worry… we will get through this, and a few months down the road we’ll look back andlaugh at how important everyone made this all out to be.

    Look at it this way.

    Think back to the ‘sky is falling’ people who took every little thing in the Burning Crusade seriously. All the progression, all the anxiety and min maxing and stuff.

    And then contrast this with now, where if someone asks “Anyone up for Serpentshrine Cavern”, one of the most likely Trade Chat responses will be “Serpentshrine WHO?!?”

    Today’s Trial of the Crusader 25 and ICC is next expansions’ Serpentshrine Cavern and Gruul’s Lair. If it’s not actually FUN, nobody will go back to do it anymore.

  28. Drew says:

    Well, ICC is just so infernally long, and even at 85, I’m willing to bet that you still need to know the mechanics if you want to succeed in some of those 12 encounters. It will be a while before we can 5-man ICC. Arthas has a lot of draw though, lore-wise, to be sure; much more so than Illidan.

  29. Rob says:

    I’m not really feeling the fun factor right now. I totally get the changes, and I think most of them for the best. But Blizz is, every week, doing stuff that is just making my head scratch.

    Hunters. Camoflauge. Great ability. Then they nerfed it to be about useless.

    Druids. No permanent tree form. WOuld it be that hard to get a glyph for tree form? Regrowth 6 second. 1 LB only. Its basically a crippled holy priest.
    Balance is stupid. Feral seems ok so far.

    DK. Nerfed Death strike to death. That’s a huge part of the class, so I can go and do old instances and basically be unkillable. As it is, its pretty bad. Why put this change in; because some top level guilds feel that it’s OP compared to other tanks in cutting edge content.

    Questing…Great, new quests, that’s fun. Only a handful of new zones, only 5 new levels…another 2 years or so to keep us occupied with 5 new levels…That’s not much.

    I do thing all things die, and this is the moment when Blizzard has jumped the shark. I just don’t feel there is all that much in this patch, despite an almost total revamp of the game. The mechanics are the same. The classes are the same, no new classes. A yet longer grind to max level. New races, which I can take or leave. New dungeons, which are likely the same as the old. How many more dungeons do we need anyway? Some of them are 5 years old already, and in bad need of a facelift. How much more time until this content is too a joke? I guess i’m tired of what wraith has become, a few hard fights, and instances that are complete jokes as we are 4 tiers above their intended level. Not to mention quickly obsolete raid instances. Ulduar was fantastic. Nobody does it. Naxx is great, 4 wings is cool. Nobody does it. TOC is…well TOC. Nobody does it. What have we done for the last six months? Most of us have done the first 6 bosses of ICC. That’s boring, and bad raid design. Way too long, way too linear. 90% of us are leaving this expac without even seeing LK. That sucks.

    Sorry for the grumbling, but this close to the expac. Yeah i’ll get it, but I already have a bad feeling.

  30. Donovitch says:

    I’ve been leveling all 10 classes up to 80 (2 more to go and they are 65+) just so I can find the most complex and detailed class/spec when the expansion comes out, work my ass off at it- so when people see my dps they can gawk and say: “how’d he get that out of THAT?” So yes I am enjoying the idea of relearning tons of mechanics come cataclysm because imo that is the reason i play.

  31. Jadissa says:

    I’m pretty worried about the paladin changes – excited, sure, but definitely concerned. Playing around on PTR left me feeling like I had no idea what to even do anymore, but looking around at the prominent prot paladins in the community, it doesn’t seem like anyone’s got a real great idea right now.

    I guess I’m just sitting tight and hoping it all works out. We should all have to undergo more re-learning this expansion than the previous two, and all of the other changes in Cataclysm make me feel Blizzard has a great idea.

    @Rob – Statistically, much larger than 10% of the raiding population has gotten past 6/12. Heck, GuildOx shows roughly 32% of all raiding guilds knocking out Putricide on 25, and 68% on 10. I know raiding guilds don’t solely comprise the raiding population, but I think you’ve got a bit too much of a dismal outlook on how this worked out.

  32. Wedge says:

    I’m terribly amused by the “we shall overcome” vibe of the “tank specific follow up.” I’m one of those tanks from classic and TBC who quit tanking because it became mindless drivel in Wrath. To me Cataclysm IS the equilibrium. For four years the use of aoe was very situational and dps classes had to take their own part in the responsibility for controlling and focus firing pulls. Two years of aoe mindlessness and dps refusing to take any responsibility. and when Blizzard wants to undo that travesty they have their “heads up their asses” if they want to bring the game away from that?

    Most of the reports are based on broken betas with non-functioning added-threat abilities, PTRs with Wrath heroic mobs dealing twice they damage they’re intended to, new paradigms that aren’t necessarily compatible with the Wrath heroics in the first place, people who are trying to to get used to tanking with all the changes while yahoo dps are just going full bore, etc. There are a lot of crossed signals. Blizzard doesn’t have time to spend much QA time on beta/PTR build. If people can’t use the flawed data from betas responsibly and would rather just cry that the sky is falling, it just discourages Blizzard from allowing people the privileged to take part in beta testing. Either go try things out and provide intelligent feedback without the QQ or threats, or ignore it and let those who have more patience do it.

  33. Gorman Ghaste says:

    Thank you for some welcome perspective. For me, I’m too excited to be worried!

  34. bigbearbutt says:

    You know, Wedge… what you just did is called projection.

    You projected all of your prejudices about Wrath tanking onto me, and then used that as a springboard to get on your soapbox, and conclude that I should either go provide “intelligent” feedback and stop QQing (so, I guess my feedback here is stupid) or shut up and let you, the more enlightened person, take care of it.

    Never said that the way things are now is great. Never said anything about the way things are now at all in the post. You seem to have decided, all in your own head, that I’m somehow referring to the changes to AoE tanking in the classes in your diatribe, and apparently I’m QQing that we won’t be able to mindlessly Swipe spam things down or siomething. And yet, lo and behold, I wasn’t. It’s all in your head.

    I’m here to tell you, your comment just tells me that you’re either a moron that can’t comprehend what he reads, or you’re just an asshat, Wedge. Go QQ somewhere else.

  35. Tarrbear says:

    First let me say, thank you so much for your perspectives. I enjoy reading what you have to say as it usually ends up being my way of grounding and not ending in that lack-of-confidence puddle of bear goo I seem to spend a lot of time in.

    As for Cata, I admit I panicked, “OMG!!! I have trouble holding and keeping aggro sometimes now!!!!! What am I gonna do when they change my spec and I have to relearn everything?”

    Last week, after “failing,” yet again, in ICC….. I was beginning to wonder if I even want to play anymore. I admit it, I downloaded the ptr and began playing over there. At first, it was for no other reason than to see where I want to take my little bear momma. Then, I began having fun playing with all the new toys at my disposal and actually giving voice to the bugs I find. Now, although there will be changes for everyone, I’m truly looking forward to having fun again. So far I haven’t seen the rage or aggro issues I was having before. oh yeah….. and I love that I get to use more buttons :P

    Now………… looking forward to seeing which addons I still can’t live without.

    Thank you just because!

  36. Jape says:

    I’m mostly looking forward to the changes myself. I don’t typically like change, but I think the additions of the new expansion will be pretty solid. I am most interested in seeing the new talent trees and the new stats that replace MP5 and all that.

  37. Rage says:

    I’m so not looking forward to this expansion. Maybe it will force me to quit or try the Flavor of the month toon. I loved my rogue in BC and in wrath I came to hate it. I never e even bothered to level it to 80. I think they have it all wrong. Mana management isn’t fun, movement, control and coordination are what makes the game come to life. BC was much more fun for me than wrath and I’m thinking cata will make me long for wrath.

  38. LFD says:

    First of all awesome post and for everyone that is out there that is worried. I shared your fears. I got lucky enough to get into the Cata beta late 2 weeks ago and I can tell you already that obviously things are changing but dont worry its not as bad as some people are saying. It is deffinatly difficult at first but once you start understanding the new system things begin to flow. The tallents and the spells are set up to get you started and as you level there is a correct balance of working the new spells in with the old spells. The game is going to get a lot more fun, the quests are awesome. So has the Big Bear said dont worry and just enjoy the game. It’s only getting more fun.

    LFD *Nazgrel, Horde

  39. scaresome says:

    I’m looking forward to a lot of stuff in Cata, partially because the trip through WotLK was so satisfying.
    My best guess is that our stats will be re-set before the release (no arm pen gems etc) and I think we’ll go uber now during this version of the game, mondo fun. We will be re-set for what a leveling-to-85 will need.
    Another thing coming will be the new talent trees before Cata release, I think this will happen in a patch. So we can get our mechanics figured out before we have to deal with more Crowd Control and challenging fights.

    I remember the last days of BC when we got a bunch of new strong armor really easily and the major cities were all attacked. It was awesome.

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