This isn’t a post about Mists of Pandaria. Let me get that out of the way right now. I might talk about Mists a little bit, but more about the idea of Mists than anything about the expansion itself. There’s a lot of buzz around the expansion announcement, and the coming days will be chock full of news tidbits. Some of them are going to be awesome. Some are going to induce panic and nerdrage.
Very little of it will be set in stone.
A lot of things will change over the next six months, year, however long it takes to get Mists done. But the announcement itself is, in many ways, a psychologically liberating event; it expands the horizons of our plans in-game, allowing us not only to look past Deathwing, but to say, hey, stuff is going to change again in a little while.
Be ready for it. Be flexible. Show some fucking adaptability, in the words of Doug Shaftoe.
(What? You haven’t read Cryptonomicon? Fix that, now!)
I need to learn to accept things as they are, not as I’d like them to be, and that those things are going to change. My hobby is going to stay relatively the same for a while – a few months, maybe a year, but not much longer – then things are going to be different again. The things which I learn to enjoy now may not be so fun later; the things I don’t find fun now could be completely different in Mists.
This is, ultimately, a good thing; we don’t find the same things fun forever; every activity grows stale with time.
Attachment leads to sorrow. I feel like I’m going back to my DT Suzuki books from college here, and revisiting the tenets of Buddhism in Warcraft, but I can see that the changes in the future mean that it’s important to find joy in play now, not later. If you don’t like something, put it down and try it later.
The annoucement spurred me to try new things tonight in Warcraft. I had a chance to run a normal instance with my guild, and I took it.
Not on Cynwise, though; on Cynwulf, my Death Knight. He’s been a mining mule for ages, but I dusted him off and am giving him a go. And instead of PvP, I ran a dungeon (Throne of the Tides) and lost my Cataclysm dungeon virginity.
Look at me, I’m PvEing! And not dying!
Holy fuck, but it’s a pretty instance!
And I had fun, wtf?!
I’d grown attached to the way things were going, or more correctly, the way I perceived things were going. It was a big step earlier this week to admit that I had a problem with warlocks, and that I not only had put them down for this patch, but that needed to put them down for a while longer. I needed to break free from the idea that my happiness was tied to a single character, a single way of experiencing things. Not only did I need to jettison the idea of having a main, but I needed to discard the idea that I should be having fun on a class I used to have fun on, just because I used to have fun on it!
Mists reminded me that there are changes coming, substantial changes, and that I can’t know how I’ll react to them. That’s okay.
Instead of attachment, cultivate mental flexibility. Instead of grinding out a single toon, have multiple options available for the future while playing now, while having fun now.
The world as you know it will change. Be ready to change with it.
There’s only one real immediate problem I see, and it’s a kind of big deal to me. While I’m starting to have fun on my Death Knight right now, if I level him up to 85 and decide to do any Arenas, he’ll lose the Doomsday Messenger buff which gives him the sandwich board proclaiming the end of the world.
And we can’t have that! That would be a crime!
Okay, fine, I admit it, I’m really attached to him in that board. I should probably get over that.
(Or … I should roll another DK for PvP… ?!)