There is no coming to consciousness without pain.

WAR is, as they say, coming.

We can take that in its literal sense of course, or as I like to do, interpret it as some sort of new kiddie street slang for ‘fantastic’ as in “Man, have you heard that coming new CSS track?”; “This new Apple gadget is totally coming!”; “That was the most coming race I’ve ever seen” and onwards to the slightly more abstruse “We’re going out, are you coming?” and “Oh God! I’m coming! I’m coming!”.

Nevertheless, it’s comi… on its way, and this was reinforced a few days ago by the pre-purchase codes for the collector’s edition turning up. Brilliantly packaged it was too, an entire (albeit slim-line) DVD box for essentially a single sheet of paper folded in half.

Tell me, human, of this Earth device that you call email.

Despite the ludicrous packaging, the codes were all there: there’s the one for beta access, the one for the in-game bonus XP item and the one for something else, which I must confess I’ve entirely forgotten in the staggering excitement of having several strings of alphanumeric characters and nowhere to use them. It’s a dangerous item to have around though, because every time I catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye I feel the hype clawing at me, like the cold hard feeling of a general anaesthetic slowly crawling up your arm, and the irresistible wave of blackness sweeping over you as it quickly claims your consciousness. “I’ll just have a quick look at the website, what harm could it do?”; “I guess… I guess I should probably register, you know, just in case there’s a mad rush later.”; “Oh, there’s a screenshots section, is there? I’ll just have a quick peak… oh, shiny!”; “It’s probably a good idea to research the races and classes ahead of time. I mean, all the information is there, it would be rude not to.”

And then it’s two o’clock in the morning, and you struggle out from under a pile of papers of character sketches, and skill trees, and maps of the starter zones replete with quest objectives and optimised pathing routes for levelling. And you gaze in stark horror at what you’ve done, the monster you’ve created, and from beneath the corner of a pile of paper you see the pre-purchase box looking at you. And it laughs a deep, booming, maniacal laugh of victory. And you hold your hands to your head and scream.

And then you wake-up. And it’s morning. You’re in bed. You let out the calming, shaky sigh of the dream-waker, as you smile sheepishly to yourself at the foolish faux horror. But as you open your sleepy eyes in order to greet the day you find yourself staring into a papier-mâché face. And the camera quickly pans away to the ceiling to show you curled naked around a life-size recreation of your newly planned character. And you hold your hands to your head and scream.

Of course your experience might differ, I’m just saying that that’s what usually happens to… someone. Else. Who’s not me. No.

I am, unfortunately, getting the first twinges of excitement now. I say unfortunately because, as soon as the excitement gets a hold, as soon as it manages to find that first footing in the rock face of your resolve, it begins its gecko-swift ascent and plants the Flag of Fleeting Fanboyism in the summit of your mind. I’m trying to resist, trying not to get too interested in it because it’s a long way off; it’ll probably be disappointing at launch, either because it’s rubbish, or because it’s so good that the servers crash from the player load; it’ll be full of PvPwits for at least a few hours, until they’ve all buggered off and reached the level cap, and it will almost certainly not live up to the ludicrous amount of hype that the company is putting out, let alone those fanboy bloggers who orbit through the hyposphere above us in their Delusion Balloons, at the insane heights that only the most pumped-up, unrealistic, wholly conjecture-based analysis can reach.

However, having explained that I’m trying not to get excited, the gecko of excitement has indeed begun his ascent, and I’ve had a look at the various races and classes in order to get an idea as to what I’d like to play, and hopefully I’ll be able to provide a brief Melmothising of them in the near future.

In short though: War Priests and Ironbreakers are totally coming.