Burning Down The House

So here it is, the Shattering of old Azeroth.  The old world is gone, and while parts of it are familiar, so much of it is not.  Stormwind and Orgrimmar are awesome.  They are different in ways I didn’t expect. They look better, they feel more like living cities.

Are you feeling overwhelmed? I sure am. And I love it.

Don’t get me wrong; it was disconcerting to sit there, dumbfounded, just trying to take in the changes to very familiar cities. I think it’s important to maintain focus, to embrace constraints, and to set goals.

But last night, I had no idea where to even begin. Any half-baked plans I had for Cataclysm were thrown out the window due to the sheer immensity of the changes.

What I felt, more than anything else, was like a younger me, logging in to this game some coworkers had talked about, saying, “how addictive can this World of Warcraft be, anyways?”  But instead of truly new player, I have at least some idea of what I’m doing now. I’m not struggling with how to move my character around, or how to write a macro, or how to fund my adventures.

No, I think what overwhelmed me, more than anything else, was knowing all the new things that are out there to experience, and knowing that I wanted to make it last.

I remember those heady feelings of going into a new zone, knowing nothing about it other than that I had a quest to deliver something there. The experience of discovering something new is potent, heady, and I want to savor it.

I looked at my stable of alts, of those that I’d gotten up to level 20 or so, and thought about them a lot. See, I’d experienced the old game through the eyes of Cynwise; all of my effort was poured into her. For a while it was her and her banker; then Cynwulf was born, then another alt, then another… all good, because rolling alts is a joy all its own.

But it leaves me with a question I think a lot of players are wrestling with right now: how do I want to experience this new game? If you’ve been playing for a while, you have the knowledge and resources to do pretty much whatever you want. You can ignore the new old world, wait for Cataclysm to be officially released, and level your 80s to 85 and start playing at the level cap again. You can roll a bunch of alts and level them all at the same time. You can roll one alt, and experience the game again. You can take your existing characters and run them all through it. You can delete everything and start over from scratch.

I feel like we wrestle with the Tyranny of Choice in Warcraft too much; with so many choices of what we can do, we sometimes forget what it is we really we want to do. But in this case, I think the choices are a good (if completely overwhelming) thing.  It’s time to challenge those assumptions we’ve made about what we want out of our play time.  It’s time to try new things, to see if we like them.  It’s okay to not be perfect, to not be leet, to not know what you want to do.

Sometimes you have goals. I’m someone who likes goals, even if they’re kinda silly. Absurd. Far fetched. I’m big on having goals, on embracing constraints. It’s good to have a narrow focus.

But sometimes, you don’t know what it is you want to do next. You wander from activity to activity, sampling a bit of everything.

And that’s okay too.

I don’t know what I’m going to do next in Warcraft. I’ll log in tonight and… see what happens. I’m not in any rush, not in any hurry to get it all done now. Maybe I’ll roll an alt. Maybe I’ll play the AH. Maybe I’ll try soloing Deadmines again. I got no clue.

But I’m not going to try to do it all at once.

Slow down. Take your time. Find out things that you want to do, and do them. The joy and wonder of things being new wears off all too quickly. Don’t be in a hurry to be jaded.

This game will only be new once. Well, twice, since this game was already new once.

Okay, MAYBE, it can be new a third time in the future if they do this all over again. Whatever. My point still stands.

So.

If you feel like you want to do everything that’s new in Warcraft, but don’t even have a clue where to begin?

I’m right there with you, happily overwhelmed.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Burning Down The House

  1. I’m very overwhelmed. But I’ve decided to roll two new toons. One Horde and one Alliance. Time to see the changes on both sides of the fence.

    Overwhelmed? Understatement! LOL

  2. I’m definitely overwhelmed. Splitting time between the main (mage) and a new warrior alt alliance side (I know.. blasphemy). So much to do, even before 7 December makes me level the main again.

  3. I know exactly what you mean! I’ve spent a ton of time wandering around in a daze just trying to sort out what to do. In the end, I just starting running about the barrens and durotar, checking those zone out. “Perhaps I’ll go do the peacebloom vs. ghouls line in hillsbrad. And… HILLSBRAD! We have southshore now!” My mind is just running around on wild tangents trying to sort everything out.

    And I too, am loving it.

  4. Vok

    When I first logged I was a little freaked out. I run around for 30 minutes trying to decide what to see first. Eventually I decided to take my time. What’s the rush after-all? This isn’t going to happen again for a while, if ever.

    So, other than getting the PvZ pet on my main, I’ve done no exploring at all. I have, however, rolled an alt. I have never, ever, had so much fun leveling. I’m glad I’m doing it on a alt, not a main, because I really getting to enjoy it. If I did everything on my main it would not be nearly as good when I did roll an alt.

    And it’s not disappointed at all. The amount Blizzard has learnt is showing though. It’s absolutely perfect.

  5. Yes, yes – very much so. I have thought about starting a new character for kicks, but one of my old ones will have to die to make that space…I can’t delete characters the way I know some folks can with gleeful abandon. ;) I’m thinking it might have to be my hunter. I’m not VERY attached to her. Except it’s her pets that get me. “I can’t delete OPHELIA!” The actual character, I could delete.

  6. It’s been a week now and I STILL have no idea what I’m doing… Each night when I log on I sit there trying to decide which character to play or to roll a new one. I’m pretty sure this is exactly what Blizz were after with the changes, but there’s just so much to do now it’s going to be a while before I have any clue what to do first :)

  7. Nuala

    I’ve decided what to do, finally! I will wait for Cataclysm and get my worgen female rogue started- she will take the Human path (that is, westfall, redridge, duskwood, northern stranglethorn), instead of the laid-out Nightelf path. While doing this, I’ll be starting on all the zone Loremaster achievements with my main, who is already Loremaster but loves them quests. Finally, I will also roll throw-away alts just to play through all the starting zones.

    I do miss out on the horde side this way though, but that will simply have to be enough, because I have only so many hours a day. :(

  8. Comito

    I’m in the same boat, overwhelmed lol! But I’ve focus it down to Leveling my main horde char to 85 and see what the end game is like. Whilst in the background getting my Alliance toon towards L85, then working on Loremaster!

    Finally I’ll prob have a Warrior in the making to really touch a new class whilst playing PvP in their style!