Greetings from the Wild, Wild, West! That’s right, boys and girls, I’m all Cowboy’d up and ready to ride (but not into the sunset). As RL settles as the dust about my feet, I’m suited up in my finest leather, my horse is strapped, and the path before me is now clear. Deathwing, I’ve conquered every watering hole from the Mojave to the Rio Grande. I’ve dueled with the biggest and baddest roughnecks this side of the Mississippi. I’ve seen my enemy use fire and ice, shadow and flame, so what makes you think I’m going to be at all intimidated by you?
Groooooooowl! Because I’m huge, and I just ripped the world apart!
What was that? A little wolfie growl? Surely not a big, bad, fire-breathing dragon! Yesterday I was scared of you, but the myth has faded just as your name shall fade from the history books of Azeroth when I am done with you. Ladies and gents, I ride into the Cataclysm, not away. Who’s with me?
My love of Priests cannot be overstated, because today I feel Renewed as I never have before. Perhaps it’s the simple life joy of having all my family again under one roof after a week of torment and distress. No, it’s definitely that, and a renewed hope that this time around there are new and bright paths before us, a faithful certainty that my wife will not have to go back into the hospital. How that changes a person! A renewed vitality has strengthened my love for the game I play, and for the people I play it with (and talk about it with).
What is in the past but things we cannot change? Memories, unalterable except through coercion and disease, refresh me, give me clarity as to the good things that come out of playing and out of blogging, of being part of a community that teaches each other and supports each other. All of this out of some strange common bonds that we share, bonds that shouldn’t exist if I gave myself to deep thoughtfulness. But they do exist, because we share, to whatever degree, small or large, an interest in a game that has spanned the continents and sailed the mighty seas.
And so we play on, riding towards a destruction of the world as we know it with fervor and anticipation unguarded. The world is slowly groaning beneath the feet of people who have changed, some believe for the better and some believe for the worse. Always there will be those that cry foul when a parent takes their ball away from them, and sometimes they do not accept the gift that is a new car or Hawaii vacation because they loved their ball infinitely more than any other gift that had been or could ever be given to them. Perhaps slowly they will begin to see the need to take the ball away from them. Maybe it was made in China and the paint used had lead in it, something the parent knew but the child was oblivious to. There’s a level of trust that exists, then, between player and dev. For all the feedback that we, the players, give, discretion will always remain in the hands of those who wield the power…for good or ill. If change happened just for change sake, I may stand and fight, but although I wear stained glasses, I can still see that change is a-happening for a reason, and it’s incumbent on me to do my part to make sure the change benefits as many as possible.
Cataclysm will change many, many things that we know and love. Changes to our own selves have been drastic in come cases (Paladin), less so in others (Resto Shaman – they were already nearly perfect). Let’s not stray into paths of ill-reason and high expectations, however. We will still be playing World of Warcraft, and many of the basic principles of the game are unchanging, as are my memories still. Rest assured that you will still do battle with Hogger, albeit in a slightly different setting than before. You’ll still wield the power of fire, frost, nature, arcane, and the Light, though you may pass through times of comparative power that you did not experience the first time around.
I’m an old fashioned New Englander, frugal and independent as any good New Hamshire-ite could ever be, and yet as I find myself on my homestead in the Wild West of the Mojave Desert, I’m now influenced by the past and the deeds of the great and even notorious Cowboys the Southwest has ever known. All the fear of the future that I once had is now gone. The trepidation of facing perhaps the most powerful dragon Azeroth has ever seen is assuaged, and the Rebel that I am (UNLV Alumn) is ready and willing to ride into the fire of a bright sunrise and take dead aim at those who would bring hurt and destruction to the world I love. The changes are inevitable, the path is clear, so on I ride into that chasm that is the unknown future, but not without hope, and not without light, and not without all of you. Let’s ride!!!