Best advice I have for pre-patch is read all the blogs. See the bottom of this post and the comments for resources, posts, and guides. If you have one, please link it!
Here’s the problem. In the past, I did patch days like everyone else does patch days in the blogosphere. I talked about my class, I wrote guides, I talked about all the changes. Here’s what I’ve decided: there are so many people doing that way better than I would.
So instead, we’re going to amble down the path of the many, many half-finished blog posts I’ve written about this patch and Mists and the game in general. We’re going to hit each point as succinctly as possible (which means this post will go on forever…) and, yeah. That’s the plan.
Point 1: Where I Stand on Mists of Pandaria
When MoP was announced at that fateful Blizzcon, I looked at my husband and said, “You have got to be kidding me. Pandas? They’re going to base our entire expansion on an April Fool’s joke?” Later came: “Who am I fighting? What will I be raiding? What is my purpose?”
I would never completely discount something without seeing it first, but my initial response was slightly more than reserved, slightly less than annoyed. Internally, I gave Blizzard this challenge: you’re going to have to sell me hard on this one.
For months, no matter how interesting the news came out, I dismissed it. Over and over again I brushed it off, sneered, or sighed at “monk” this and “pandaren” that and “Horde” this and “Alliance” that.
Then I played the beta. I wanted to play because it was beta, not because my mind had changed. I wanted to see it for myself. This was it–the moment Blizzard would have to sell me on Mists of Pandaria.
And they did. At first, I wasn’t that intrigued, but slowly I started getting drawn in. I hit Valley of the Four Winds and Kun-Lai Summit and saw the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Then I saw the cinematic.
Where I stand on Mists? I’m not heaving with excitement like I have at previous expansion releases, but I’m interested. I’m invested. I’m ready!
Point 2: There’s Something More We Don’t Know
You’re not watching a demo reel of what you’re going to see throughout Mists. You’re watching the prologue, the opening to a story.
One of my reservations came directly as a result of not having a Big Bad. This has been discussed at length by a number of people (my favorite being Big Bear Butt Blogger in relation to Alex’s idea about Big Bads), and this is not a problem for me anymore. It was a huge sticking point in the beginning, though.
I’ve gotten so used to the formula: here’s a Big Bad Guy. You maybe know him from lore. You’re going to go through the expansion and face a lot of things, but at the end, the bullseye is on this guy’s head. Like many people, when a full-on change in direction surprises me, I balk. And I balked hard all over Twitter about not having an enemy.
But I see now the wisdom in what Anne said in relation to the entire patch. Instead of proving ourselves before we face the bad guy or putting pieces together on the way to the bad guy–this time, we’re uncovering a story, one page at a time. We haven’t read the ending first. No one has spoiled it for us yet. We’ll make our way through the story one quest, one boss, one patch a time.
And for a girl who likes stories, that’s a pretty exciting prospect.
Point 3: Patch Day is Exciting
I’m not foaming at the mouth yet, but I’m looking forward to logging in, testing things out, experiencing it with my friends and guildies. It’s a new chapter in our story.
These days, my approach to patches is much more tempered. I’m not in a rush. I’m not in a flurry. I sort of miss that excitement, but the calm with which I approach most of these things now is a welcome change. I’m riding a wave. I know it’s going to be a fun time, and that’s good enough for me.
I’ve also realized that I’m not the pre-plan everything for the Auction House kind of person. I’m also not the plan-every-detail-of-the-patch kind of person (although I truly admire people who are both of those things. I’ve always tried, I just realized it wasn’t my thing). I’m really okay with that.
Wrap-Up the Mayhem!
Wasn’t very Mayhem-y, was it? I’m going into this patch with a calm interest, a tempered excitement. I’m not reserved at all–I’m looking forward to 5.0 and Mists of Pandaria very much–but there’s a seasoned smile in my mind’s eye, a knowing nod, a warm hearth.
It’s a good place to be.
There are so many posts today about 5.0. If you have a question, I guarantee someone has an answer.
I’ll link helpful posts I read and ones that are linked in the comment throughout the day, so if you have one, please link it for me!
Druid 5.0.4 Mists of Pandaria Resources (Restokin)
Mists of Pandaria Lore Resources (WoW Insider)
Shadow Priests Glyphs & Talents and Changes in Play Style (Bible of Dreams)
Quick Start Guides (The MMO Melting Pot)
Happy Patch Day!