I’m worried about the state of my characters.
Now, let me say that I only logged in briefly about an hour ago since the servers went back up, because the patch installer would completely freeze up my entire computer about 2% in and I had to wait for the Mac 4.0 client to go live this morning before I could properly start instal. I’ve still got 10.5GB left to download (edit: well, by the time I post this, it’s only 8.3GB…), and while the almost 1MB/s download speed is pretty damn good for me, it’s still not going to be happening within the next hour or so.
So given all that, I haven’t had a chance to really try any of my characters out. I haven’t assigned Lisan’s talent points, I haven’t fiddled around on any of my random alts. And while the Warlocks are (quite understandably, and I’m right there with them despite hardly ever playing Mellie these days) pissed off about their pets being renamed, I haven’t heard BAD things about pallies – just that they’re quite different.
And there’s the problem that I’m worried about: with all the changes, all the differences, will my characters – Lisan specifically – still be the same characters when I go to play them?
Now, obviously this isn’t as huge a worry as it would be if I RP’d Lis at all. But she is a CHARACTER in my head. She has a story, she has a personality, she has a life, of sorts. But a lot of that was influenced by how Holy Paladins played. And sure, maybe it’s silly, but healing differently… well, I’m afraid it’ll mean that Lis won’t exist anymore. It’ll be this other Dwarf who looks like her, but isn’t her. And that would break my heart, because Lis and I have been through a lot. We went through a brief period of confusion and disorientation when she had that run-in with malfunctioning Gnomish technology (aka – I got sick of the Human model and race changed her), but she was still doing the same things, and before long she (and I) grew accustomed to her new stature and curves, and she even became more herself, if that makes any sense. That character who sometimes slipped out of my grasp and felt too mutable around the edges solidified and became someone I never lost sight of. I knew who she was, really knew.
I’m worried, when I finally log in, set up my bars, re-bind my clique bindings, and get to healing, that I won’t know who that dwarf with the blonde braid is. And it won’t be the end of the world, and it won’t be enough to make me say “I don’t want to heal as a Paladin in Cata” or anything, but it won’t be… Lisan. It won’t be the character I watched struggle and fight her way to Westfall, the girl who set out to heal in melee gear, the girl who has, for the longest time, looked like a mage because I needed heirlooms I could use on more than one of my lowbies, and the others were clothies, and the int (and XP bonus) was good enough to offset the fact that it was, y’know, CLOTH. It won’t be the oft-grumbling little spitfire who always acts like she’ll leave you to die if you’re dumb enough, despite the fact that she couldn’t bring herself to do that.
If she’s not Lisan anymore, I’ll probably have myself a good cry. No, I’m not kidding – these past months, dragging Lis up by her bootstraps, learning how to make her at least somewhat better than average at healing, has made her very special to me, moreso, I think, than any other toon I’ve played. But after I have my cry, I’ll simply take a look at her and figure out who she is. She’ll probably get a makeover and a name change, if not a race change, and she’ll be someone different. I’ll mourn the death of my stubborn, sweet girl, but I’ll turn that memory into something new. Something similar, but unique. And then with that new partner in healing, I will go on to 80 and beyond. With that new partner, I’ll finally get “Starcaller”, and I’ll venture into the new worlds of Cata, and I’ll get my first (and hopefully, if luck is with me, my guild’s first) Deathwing kill. It won’t be the same, because she and I won’t have that history that Lisan and I have, but it will still be good, and while I will quietly wish Lis could be there for it, I won’t let it ruin the joy and excitement and accomplishment of it all.
But honestly, I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that. Because I love my little Dwarf girl. Sure, Speedy the ram isn’t Drika, but she still has Bastian, and Speedyram is a great (newly-discovered) source of joy in my life. The simple whipping of her braid as she casts makes me happy inside, and is the reason why I don’t display any helms, even if they look wicked cool. She’s a little version of me, stuck in Azeroth, in a way that none of my other characters have ever been, even while she’s her own character. It’s so easy for me to slip her on, as it were, because she fits me like a glove. I want to see her journey through Ulduar, I want to see her reach level 85, I want to see her take on Deathwing with 24 of her closest friends and most trusted teammates. I want to continue making jokes about her constant flirting with female Draenei (*coughLizbetSpookygoatAnderiaRaisaOsephalacough*).
So this is my hope, my wish-upon-a-star, my heart’s desire as I wait for this patch to finish installing – that Lisan will still be Lisan. Change everything else, make me go crazy from lack of mana or new stats or new talents… but let Lisan stay herself.