I recently received a couple very kind emails from a reader, and they've given me the first idea for a post in a long while. This person wanted to know if I'd received an invite for the beta (I haven't) and, if so, if I had any thoughts on it.
In fact, I hadn't even opted in to the beta until after I got their first email. I've also been largely indifferent to the beta information that's been posted so far, for a few different reasons that I won't really go into here. The thing that struck me, though, is that this person felt like they'd really had to struggle at the start of Cataclysm, and this time they wanted to be prepared.
When I read that, I realized that while I'm pretty confident in my ability to ferret out the basics of Pandatimes huntering, this wasn't always so. I came into this game with a pretty big advantage: my boyfriend. As I stumbled through the leveling process, did dungeons with people I found in general (this was before the RDF), and finally capped out at 70, I could always go ask him what the deal was with stuff, things like "what's Omen?" and "why should I have it?" I could ask him to help explain the peculiar mechanical oddities of the World of Warcraft such as the infamous BC steady shot macro. To this day, he's more knowledgeable about the game as a whole than I am, even though I think I've got a pretty good grasp on a lot of things.
On the other hand, with Mists, Blizzard has continued its movement towards a more intuitive model. When I started playing in BC, there was a lot of deeply weird stuff in the game, and the ideal way to play often made very, very little sense. These days, they're continuing to pare down the bad talents, give you the mandatory things, and try to make the glyph and talent choices interesting. This means that I think we'll be able to look at our spellbook and pretty much figure out what we ought to be doing based on that.
So, that's going to be my next "real" post. Not "here's how to play once the Pandatimes happen," but rather "here's how to know how to play." Expect it later this week - Thursday at the latest.