My latest reading on “what is wrong with the human brain” is Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness. The titular theme is that human beings are really bad at predicting what will make us happy. We imagine future events but leave out important details. You have the essence of the experience in mind but forget all the details that could mitigate it, leading us to over-estimate how good the good will be and how bad the bad will be.
The author’s recommended solution, which he does not expect most to take, is to use surrogates. On average, you will better predict how much you will enjoy X if I tell you how much some random person enjoyed X than if I tell you what X is. The odds are better that your brain will miss something important than that this random person is much different from you on an important variable. It is also known that the average person thinks he is different from average for most important variables, so this means you.
Apply this for a moment. You have been following that MMO’s development for years, listening to developers, getting all the details, and on that basis you will probably have a worse estimate of how much you will enjoy it than if you just tried to get a sense of how the playerbase feels as it launches, worse than if you just asked a random player/tester how much fun s/he had. If you consider the pre-game anticipation part of the fun, go to, but consider it a separate form of entertainment rather than useful information-gathering.
Of course, as an MMO player, you are in a niche market. You can improve your enjoyment estimates by narrowing the range of potential players over whom you are seeking a random or average estimate. But remember to stick to that principle or at least keep track of how often you get burned when you veer from it: if you usually like what Ravious likes, and Ravious says he likes/hates X, you can rationally make a buying decision based solely on that. I am happy to take movie recommendations from a few reviewers who I know to have similar tastes, and Roger Ebert will usually know before I do whether I will enjoy a film.
I grant that Bhagpuss is a unique snowflake whose preferences will differ on the important variables.