(Hi. This post originally linked to the WoW Cataclysm Friends and Family alpha screenshot content posted on MMO Champion in early May. Blizzard asked MMO-C to take down the content as it violated the non-disclosure agreement. MMO-C promptly complied. Since the content that I linked to and referred to is gone, I’ve gone to the Joseph Stalin One-Hour Photo Retouching Studio and I’ve removed that section of this post. I’ve left the section below intact, because it discusses my views on alphas and betas in general and how people–me included–sometimes overreact about things that are still very much in flux. Also, if you are one of the lucky bastards that is actually in the alpha, remember, you’re under an NDA. No spoilers here plox. Thank you.)
Now. You’ll notice all I’ve done is talk in general (albeit gushing) terms about how good it looks. I haven’t said word one about the other stuff that got leaked–new items, new enchants, even new talent calculators.
And I won’t.
Why? Because this stuff will change. It always does. This is frigging alpha, people. Do you remember what the Wrath of the Lich King talent calculators looked like in alpha, and what they looked like on release day? MASSIVE changes. Numbers will be tweaked, talents will appear and move and disappear, spells will be buffed and nerfed again and again and again based on internal and external playtesting and feedback. Why are you going to get your panties wadded up over an “underpowered” or “overpowered” talent that stands a damn good chance of not even being in the game when you finally get in line for that midnight release party? Do not lose your cookies over anything you see there. Blizzard has already given us their general pathways for our classes, and some specifics, in the class previews. Go with that for now, and don’t stroke out over incomplete alpha talent calculators.
And finally, a thought. The Cataclysm “friends and family” alpha is, supposedly, under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) of some sort. Well, we see how well that worked, right? Two days in and already we have this immense flood of hundreds of screenshots and tons of detail information ripped right out of the alpha…and it’s generating huge buzz all over the WoW community. So if you’re one of the Powers That Be at the Blizzard Mothership back in Irvine, how do you feel right now? Are you pissed off that the NDA got so flagrantly violated? Or are you pleased with the crazy fever-pitch intensity of the glee people have at seeing this stuff? Or perhaps some of both?