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Recap of Alpha Competition December 2010

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Historic Sneak Attacks on December 7th

It might make a conspiracy theorist wonder why Blizzard would choose to launch their expansion a few weeks before Christmas on the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  For many humans, not to mention gnomes, elves and other yuletide fauna and flora, the next few weeks comprise the busiest, most hectic, most stressful days of the year.  But, it is the holiday sales season, and what better way to distract its user base from any possible competition than to give them a huge dose of fresh content.

The anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack is a bit more curious.  Is Blizzard suggesting a hidden agenda with its choice of release date?  If we learned anything from James Redfield's The Celestine Prophecy, it was that we ought to look closely at what may otherwise seem to be a coincidence.  Given that I am merely a World of Warcraft gold blogger and not a spiritual guru, any attempts I make to decipher this code should be viewed as "half-assed" at best.

Firstly, in order to decipher a riddle this confounding, I knew I needed some help.  So I messaged my pal Nicholas Cage and asked about the preparation he did for filming the National Treasure movies.  And while he failed to return my urgent request for an interview, I did think about the methods he used to decipher those clues that twice led him to glorious treasure and worldwide admiration.

It seems that Nick was book-learned -- a scholar.  But, he was also a man of the world, as evidenced in his previous car theft proclivities before he became a treasure hunter.  And it always seemed that ten pounds of zealotry dangled in front of him like a carrot on a stick.  "Come this way" it would call to him.  "Come this way and use your genius to save our history".  Which got me to thinking, why *did* Blizzard remove the Carrot on a Stick trinket from the game?  Was it to prepare us for an unforeseen collision with history?  That suddenly the rabbit down the hole has disappeared and we must confront what stands immediately before us: an expansion so bold, so wide-eyed and brazen, so irascibly innovative that a solitary kitten rolling a ball of yarn past a humming sewing machine could reflect the totality of Blizzard's hubris if it was in the nature of a kitten to pause and ponder such things?

What I'm trying to say is this:  Blizzard has changed the world of the World of Warcraft just like Japan changed the world by bombing Pearl Harbor 69 years ago.  Nostalgia will drip like the untapped wells of the Arathi Highlands once we realize that we have no time machine to go back to the world of the World of Warcraft before it was smote by Deathwing, that we now dwell in a different world, that we share it with different creatures, and that we fight a different enemy.  Those wells will drip with no pools beneath them and they will resolve into nothingness.  It is the nature of time that the past blurs, the present congeals, and the future effervesces.

In late 1941, America was looking back over its history, the glowing warmth of the Great Depression plump in its cranium, the very real possibility that most of them would need to brush up on their German if they were going to cut it in the new world order.  What they didn't see was the resolve of a nation to undo evil, the resolve of a group of people to move past the way things were and move toward the way things ought to be.  And as we look at the December 7th launch of World of Warcraft Cataclysm, perhaps we see what Blizzard was saying:  Sometimes Deathwing mounts a planned sneak-attack, tosses the world into chaos, and though we may never be able to experience the joys of the Great Depression again, we can move forward with the military industrial complex nipping at our heels, prodding us toward the riches and fame of a distant, reality-tv laced future.

Final word of wisdom, especially if you are a college kid:  Don't blow your exams in favor of epics.  Blow your epics in favor of exams.  Really fun games will always exist.  Really important opportunities to do good for yourself are harder to come by.

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