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The Queue: A tragedy in three acts

Welcome back to The Queue, our daily Q&A feature for all of Blizzard’s games! Have a question for the Blizzard Watch staff? Leave it in the comments!

No, the name above is not deceiving you. Since Liz is off drinking all the wrong types of alcohol on her fancy, Dumbo-less vacation, I’m here by myself today. That’s kind of a big deal for me since this is technically my first Queue. Sure, I’ve been doing the dual-Queue thing with Liz for a while now, but as a super-cool-not-at-all-dorky person who has been picturing myself writing one of these since the Site That Must Not Be Named opened applications three years ago, this is a pretty special moment.  Thankfully, we have a pretty good question to carry us through — and with that, our show begins!

tjc569 helps us set the stage

QftQ:

You have been commissioned by the richest noble in Stormwind to create an play/opera/ musical to relieve him from the boredom of the spring season. Everyone who is anyone horde and alliance will be at the premiere.

What type of production do you choose? What type of story? Who (RL or fictional) do you cast?

For me, picking the production and story was easy. The star: Talonpriest Ishaal, my favorite underrated Shadow Priest. The production: a musical tragedy that tells the story of Ishaal’s idyllic life, his descent into Outcast status and the resulting division from his love, and the fallout from their division.

Act I: Ishaal is living a happy, if slightly difficult life within Skyreach. He is joined by his love, Vaskyx, and the two live average lives, though there is a sense of unrest within Ishaal, who laments his place at the lower end of the caste. Throughout the act, he seeks ways to upend their lives and make the two of them happier — he loves Vaskyx and his efforts are all made with her in mind. They eventually push the boundaries of the law and the act ends with the two being thrust from Skyreach and exiled — transformed into Outcasts.

jabrone77 wants to know…

What do you think of tying LFD/LFR to your personal server?

I ask because Anne Stickney commented in the podcast how she misses that feeling of server community. ( more or less )

I know wait times would probably be outrageously long, but is it worth it in your opinion to get the feeling of server community back? Maybe a better system that tries to group you with players from your server first? What can be done to foster community WITHOUT dumping the system altogether?

A couple others mentioned this, but the system actually does prioritize players from your server at first. Although, considering this isn’t something I actively realized until now — though I totally see in retrospect — it’s probably not enough to bring that sense of server community back. Frankly, I’m not sure anything ever will. What would be nice is some sort of reward for repeatedly partying with players you’ve met through LFD/LFR. I’ve genuinely met some very nice, funny people in randomly matched groups and while I could add their battle tags fairly easily, it’s honestly… I don’t know, a bit awkward? At least for me it is. But this is an MMO and it really shouldn’t be. Having some sort of incentive to not only meet new players but to make them part of your active group of friends might help bring back a sense of community, even if that sense isn’t necessarily among your server.

Matthias S.L. (TheExplorer on Twitch chat) wonders

Are there anyone else who plays Heroes as more of a single-player experience? I’m not much for competetive MOBAs as they can be quite toxic if you mess something up (and I also don’t want to drag a team down who would’ve done better otherwise) so I just play the free heroes in AI mode and level them up, and it’s actually quite fun.

I absolutely do this, albeit not to the exclusion of the other game modes. If I need to knock out dailies and don’t have much time to dedicate to the game (which is honestly the case a lot of the time lately), I set A.I. to beginner and just dumpster them for a quick, totally painless experience.

But if I have friends playing who want to do Quick Match and I have the night free? I’m totally down for that, too! Heroes is really nice in that way — you can play in ways that range from single-player, 5-minute games that you knock out over your morning coffee all the way to full-group, 40-minute brawls that will leave you screaming in excitement or frustration.

Ishaal Image Cropped

Act II: Ishaal and Vaskyx sing their separate lamentations in harmony — Vaskyx wishing for their old life, Ishaal wishing to make the most of their new life. One day, an Orc approaches with a proposition: help the Fel Horde, and they can return to their days in the skies. Ishaal refuses on behalf of both of them, but Vaskyx eventually helps the Orc in secret. When Ishaal finds out, he still refuses the Fel magic’s allure. The two break into a fight and the act ends with them parting ways.

Become a Watcher
Grimoire61 gets philosophical

Q4TQ:  If a Demon Hunter uses a potion of demon slaying, do they die?

Actually, it would help the Demon Hunter become stronger. On top of the naturally acquired demon-slaying abilities, the potion would add that extra oomph to take out any demon in their way.

…Unless the Demon Hunter drinks the potion during Metamorphosis. Oops.

SpaceBard asks

How big of an operation would it be to go back and make things “open tag”? Not every mob, but certainly all the bosses, especially in the zones like Icecrown (Argent Tourney) and other old daily quest hubs.

As far as I’ve been told, nothing in programming is easy no matter how easy it might seem. That being said, Blizzard managed to switch many elite/group enemies to non-elite during the Cataclysm revamp. I don’t think that was a mob-by-mob effort, but it may have been easier to go from elite to non-elite than from non-elite to elite. Depending on what internal markers Blizzard uses – if any – to differentiate these mobs, it could be as easy as the flick of a switch or as difficult as an entire zone revamp. With programming, even the easy stuff can cause problems halfway across the virtual world.

Though, yes, it would be very nice to adjust some of these mobs. I would really love a general QoL pass on old content but I’m sure that’s so far on Blizzard’s list of priorities that we won’t see it for some time, if ever.

Ishaal Mourning

Act III: Over time, Ishaal joins the forces of the Outcasts, who are under threat from the Bladefist Orcs on behalf of the Fel Horde. Ishaal becomes a master of Shadow magic and works to harness the spirit of Anzu as a massive weapon against the invading armies. Meanwhile, Vaskyx realizes the true intentions of the Fel Horde and plots to defect back to the Outcasts during an upcoming raid.

When the Fel Horde attacks, they’re ill prepared for the power of Anzu. Wave after wave falls to his power. Little does Ishaal know, he has mortally wounded Vaskyx in the attack. As the battlefield clears, he is able to make amends with Vaskyx just before Vaskyx dies in his arms.

The curtains close.

EricHunt1 said

Okay, I get it. Ads are necessary to keep the servers up and running, and I’ve turned off my ad blocking software for Blizzard Watch; one of my favorite websites. But please, could we not have an ad pop up from the bottom of the screen with flashy blinking animations that induce headaches. It’s those kind of ads that led me to download ad-blocking software to begin with.

I’m putting this here because one of the replies really NAILED IT! If you see an ad you don’t like, a popup that clearly shouldn’t be there, or even just have general feedback, the best way to let us know is via email — you can send it to us directly at [email protected] or use our comment form. Various individuals will certainly see comments, but we all get team emails. If you want us to see something, that’ll definitely do it.

Ghost Vaskyx

To this day, Vaskyx watches over Ishaal, unseen and unheard but still an ever-present entity in Ishaal’s life.

That’s all for Mitch’s first Queue! Hope you all enjoyed my masterpiece in brevi. I’d ask you to make life hard on Rossi for tomorrow’s Queue, but I’m pretty sure I’ll do that myself during the stream later today.

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Filed Under: The Queue, #MitchWatch, Q&a

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