Flood of Information

I’m skipping over the Shared Topic again this week. Since I am not a big time raider, I don’t really have a whole lot to say about the fringe benefits of bringing someone along to a raid. Instead, I took a peek through some of the older ideas that have already been Shared Topics and found something that struck a chord today.

For the past couple months I have detached somewhat from World of Warcraft. I am in my final year of undergraduate study at university and have found my time to be rather more limited than in years past. Part of my game time has transferred over to the Xbox 360 further thinning my time in Azeroth.

The good news is that I can still tune into my favorite podcasts and read a few news sites and remain fully up to speed on everything happening in my relative absence. Everywhere I turn, I see updates on Cataclysm, Deathwing, and all the loot and zone changes that are now tantalizingly close.

Part of me, however, still wants a surprise or two on launch day. When I get my box and load up the installer, I want to have a giddy anticipation for the newness of what I am about to experience and explore. If I knew everything, that sense of exploration would be lost.

The Warcraft community, much like the world community, runs on a 24-hour news day. As with real-life news stations, our sources of information are constantly looking for the freshest, most breaking stories. Each new nugget of information is swiftly packaged, consumed, and discarded in favor of the next.

Now, I am not faulting the writers at Joystiq or MMO-Champion (or any of your favored WoW news sources). They all are exceptionally dedicated and talented writers who provide us with excellent sources of information for the low, low price of free.

There just isn’t a way to turn down the volume. The nozzle of news is either wide open or completely shut. This constant influx of information is perfectly reasonable when fresh ideas are being explored. The trouble begins when there just is not any new news.

We are on the cusp of Cataclysm’s release and, as a result, dramatic changes are simply not possible. Most of the game has been coded and finalized, most of the artwork is finished, games will be packaged within days. We know about as much as we are going to prior to release. But the news keeps coming. We hear more and more hashing on the same topics. Changes once deemed revolutionary are now rather pedestrian. Cataclysm already feels old.

And we don’t even own it yet. In real-life current event news, reporters cannot peer into the future and detail the world as it will be. They have to make do with the now, the what-is (except for commentators who call elections after 20% of the vote has been counted…). Warcraft players get to see the future of their game before they play it. Data mining reveals new artwork, loot, and mechanics. The beta has been even more illuminating, allowing individuals to play the future as it evolves through the development process.

I know that all of this has been said before, but the moment of truth is swiftly approaching. December 7th will dawn a new era in Azeroth. Many have said that they don’t mind spoilers and will be perfectly happy knowing everything beforehand. I have slowed my intake of details to keep some secrets for launch day. It just would not be as fun otherwise.

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~ by Aliera on November 9, 2010.

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