Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's Under The Lid?

I am a lunch lady. This being the last week of school before Thanksgiving break, our district has a week of minimum days, so that teachers have time to finish grading and have conferences. In the kitchen, this means my day is squashed a little tighter, and we cut our menu down a bit. I'm not serving any less students, really. I'm just serving the same amount in less time. So, in order to make things easier on everyone, they take off the item that takes the most assembly, and our salad bar is cut down from five items to four easy to grab items.

You would think this would make things easier. Less items means less preparation time and faster serving times, right? Wrong! I have this nifty sheet of plastic covered ice cubes I use to keep the salad bar items cold. So that the children didn't have any ideas of popping the little water bubbles, I covered the empty space in my salad bar with a lid. The second grade were the first through, and by the time they had passed, I was losing my patience telling them to leave the lid alone, that there was nothing under it. So, I put a sign that said "DON'T TOUCH" on the lid. Then the questions began.

"What's under the lid?"
"Is it hot?"
"What's under the lid?"
"What is that?"
"Is it freezing cold?"
"What is that?"
"Why can't we have what's under the lid?"
"Is what's under there for the 6th graders?"
"What's under the lid?!?!"

The last threads of my patience were fraying. The sixth grade was next, and they passed the lid up like it wasn't even there. Today I am thankful that they could care less about eating fruits and vegetables. The first grade started lining up to eat, as they are last on minimum days, and I braced myself for more questions. The only peep I heard was,"That says Don't Touch.". Bless their little too-shy-to-ask hearts. I made it through the first day of minimum day week alive, and mean lunch lady didn't surface. Phew.

From Tuesday through the end of this week, I'll be serving a full salad bar. It's much easier than fielding the "What's under there?" questions. And my ice blanket will live past Thanksgiving!

I have a point to this story. With every new content patch, with every new expansion, there are many, many players who are also asking, "What's under the lid?". Nothing new, we are an inquisitive bunch by nature. Is it always good to know what is under the lid, though? Everyone plays this game differently. There are levelers, raiders, explorers, modders, achievement junkies and there are diggers. I'm sure that those that choose to delve into the test realm game files enjoy this game just as much as I do when I find a quest I've never experienced before. And all you test realm raiders, I'm sure it is just as exciting for you to figure out the strategy to a boss before it even hits the live realms. I know there are those of us that really get excited about reading about the changes before they hit the live realms. But should we open that lid and peek?

Shadowmourne is very slick looking. Shawndra, a connoisseur of axes, had to have a little help snapping her jaw back shut (without biting her lip, those tusks are painful!) when I described it to her. Then she heard about the process by which Arthas claimed Frostmourne, and figured the axe was just too much for her to handle. You see, she likes coming by her gear as easily as possible, and any idea of her weapon even trying to own her means it must be too much work. Had she not been next to me when I opened the lid and had one day come across Shadow's Edge, she may have gone ahead with the story line, forging the ultimate weapon. Now, Shawndra will be happy peering over my shoulder as I pore over weapons and armor, making her checklist of acceptable looking items that aren't out of her realm of ability, and also keeping a checklist of impossible to attain awards in the back of her head. They weren't impossible when they were just a code in the latest test realm patch, but after they were leaked and discovered in boss loot tables, I made the decision on what she was capable of. Should I have?

I remember our guilds first foray into Zul'Gurub. We didn't go in there expecting anything. We had no lists of loot we wanted. We didn't even have a dkp system sorted out yet. We went in there and wiped on the first two mobs. Did we cry at our lost chances at loot? No! We laughed, some until tears came, and walked in there and wiped again. Then we went in there, wiped the tears, rebuffed, and let the rogue pull, because that is what he was good at (he's good at a million other things, too, but I won't go there. ^.- ), and we got a little further. I don't remember what we got to that night. I know we had no idea what we were doing, and it was fun.

I would love the wonder of finding an untouched (for me) dungeon and going in with my buddies and giggling while we do everything wrong for the first two or ten tries. But, I know that we feel obligated now to look up boss strategies. So it won't be so strange to go in there, with someone else having blazed that trail for me. I might even know what the boss drops. No, I'm leaving the lid down on that one. You can't make me look!

The decision to open the lid is a personal one. I, for one, plan on not opening any lids and showing my fellows in queue anything that isn't in the game already. I'll wait until me and my buddies hit the first instance before I crack open the strategies, unless they don't mind blazing the trail with me. I sure hope they don't mind. Sometimes it's good to escape to somewhere noone has told you about...

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