Today is patch day in WOW. This is a bittersweet sort of thing, because it brings both curses and blessings. On patch day we get new content to see, new things to do. We have dungeons to explore, new evil bosses to defeat and most importantly of all, new stuff to acquire. The downside is that we have all kinds of lag and disconnect issues, our personal interface modifications need updating and fixing and the world is just so damn crowded with everyone jumping online at once.
Did I mention the new, shiny stuff to acquire? Ooh, shiny.
I find it tremendously interesting because people are so dedicated to doing whatever it is that is new. Any area of the world with changes is immediately flooded with people and the economy goes completely nuts. Prices skyrocket for nearly everything because the people who are normally out there producing goods for consumption stop their work and rush off to see the new horizons. The big players in the economy often step out of the Auction House loop for awhile as they zoom off to gawk like a tourist at the beautiful new things. After even a day or two things go back to normal, but in the few hours after a big patch it feels like some kind of carnival/revolution/madhouse as everyone changes their patterns of living.
Of course the chat channels light up like no other time with everyone asking about the new changes, begging for strategies and information and looking for advice on how to grab the newest, best loot. There you will see a very interesting back and forth between the truly hardcore inhabitants of this virtual world (I count myself in that number) and all the casual players. The hardcore people have been reading online for weeks about the new patch, looking at the published patch notes (seriously, click that link and look at how huge these notes are) and spending their days theorycrafting what everything will mean. They have updated their spreadsheets, (Yes, I have a spreadsheet I maintain, and it is updated for the patch changes already) figured out how they will use the changes to make additional profit from their Auction House manipulations and professions (guilty again) and looked up all the different quests and spells that were datamined from the test version. The casuals beg for information and the hardcore players dole it out (usually accompanied by a tone of condescension) in bits and bytes.
It strikes me very much like the consumer cycle. You buy something new and it feels great. You wear it a lot and feel proud and beautiful while you have it on. After awhile these feelings fade and it becomes just the same as all the rest of your wardrobe so you go out and buy something else. Of course I am not someone who actually buys things in this fashion... I think I have bought 3 pairs of pants in total in the past 6 years, as a random example. I do however get these same types of feelings from a content patch in WOW. I rush out to get it, (download it early) show it off and wear it whenever possible, (play the new content like mad to get all the stuff) and eventually grow bored and look for a new outfit (work on old achievements and wait for a new raid dungeon).
That new black leather bag from Gucci is just *gorgeous* dear, don't you know they are all the rage right now? Why would you be wearing that old brown Prada one... behind the times a little are we?
What are you talking about noob? The Paladin 2pt10 bonus is ridiculous, it ups your DS casts enough to push the ArPen DPS/point value above haste! L2Spreadsheet.
While the two people above might think of themselves as fashionable and elite and view the people they are dismissing as peasants or noobs respectively I think they really have more in common than either might like to admit. Everyone likes the feeling of being on the inside and having the best, newest information (not to mention the shiniest new stuff) and you find that at the heart of nerddom and at the most fashionable stores and shows in the world. We aren't so different.
The servers are UP! I am outta here. See you all in a week when I emerge from my room.