The Queue
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The Queue: Arrival day

The day has finally arrived. Okay, at least for me. While a lot of con-goers seem to be heading out early this year, I’ll be leaving for the airport not long after this is published. Virtually or in person, I look forward to seeing you all at BlizzCon this year.

As usual, ‘Mitch’ is joining me for the Queue today. We should all be impressed by his dedication for joining us in the Queue today since he’s only just made the dangerous trek to BlizzCon himself.

Now, on to today’s questions!

Galdwynn said:

Hope everyone traveling to Anaheim has a safe trip and a great time at Blizzcon!

You know what would be super awesome? If I was watching the Opening Ceremony and when they scanned the crowd someone was holding a “Queue” sign. =D

Liz: Okay, Quevians, which of you is up to the challenge?

‘Mitch’: As a Shadow Priest, I enjoy tentacles, the mad whispers of blasphemous entities, and flan. Don’t look at me like that, flan is both the most delicious and most eldritch abominable of the custard based deserts. Anyway, I suggest you go for it with this. Don’t merely wave a sign around. Don a headdress of writhing tendrils, paint shadowy runes upon your body, wear the garb of shadows and invoke the madness of the Void!

‘Mitch’: And eat some flan. Seriously, the most malevolent custard ever.

Husskies asked:

So I bought a virtual ticket for Blizzcon yesterday mostly because I wanted to get the goodies but I might as well use it and watch some panels. Anyone has anything that looks really interesting that I shouldn’t miss?

Liz: As was mentioned in the comments, the opening ceremonies are always good. For any games you’re interested in, there’s a big panel for each. Hearthstone and Legion have “what’s next” panels, Overwatch has a “what’s new” panel, Heroes has a “state of the game” panel, StarCraft 2 has a “foundation for the future” panel, and Diablo has a 20th anniversary panel (which I hope contains something interesting, because otherwise it doesn’t look like we’re getting any Diablo content). But I find the behind the scenes stuff to be interesting, so I’d tune in to the Legion design retrospective and the cinematics panel. Your mileage may vary with Q&As — there are always interesting tidbits in them, but not all questions have particularly interesting answers. And remember, even if you can’t catch things live, you can always watch them later.

Mitch’: This tweet from Gary Platner says it all for me.

Captain Cakewalk the Wanderer asked:

Q4tQ: Spawned by my below post about how awesome I think Vydhar is I want to ask are there any characters in WoW that you know creep the heck out of other people yet you find cute/interesting/nice or anything other than terrifying?

Liz: Helya and Sylvanas both, really. They both have good reasons to be vengeful, but it’s taken a toll on them and they’ve really both crossed the line into being villainous themselves. But they’re both complicated characters that you can have a sort of sympathy for despite what they’ve become.

Mitch’: As a Shadow Priest player I think the Old Gods are all terribly misunderstood. I mean, nobody’s going to eat your eyes, right? Sure, they’re madness given form, but can’t we just embrace the madness? If I had to pick a favorite it would definitely be Yogg-Saron, but they’re all dreamy in their own right.

‘Mitch’: Come on, you remember C’thun? Giant eyeball, loved to swallow people? How can you say no to a charmer like that? Really, seriously, you haven’t even given him a chance.

Todd asked:

My main is a resto Druid. When running Darkheart Thicket, Archdruid Glaidalis, he mentions that he senses a powerful druid, comments on my weapon and my great restorative powers.

Do the other classes (or specs) have similar moments in dungeons?

Liz: Though not necessarily in dungeons, there are some cool interactions with Artifact weapons in the game. For example, my Elemental Shaman was trekking past some air elementals in Stormheim and they saw the Fist of Ra’den they backed off. And Strom’kar the Warbreaker, the Arms Warrior Artifact, makes Trolls in Throne of Thunder run away from you.

Liz: I really wish there was a list of these somewhere, because they’re really interesting, but I haven’t been able to find one. But Restoration Druids definitely aren’t the only ones!

Mitch‘: As a Shadow Priest, I know that Xal’atath, Blade of the Black Empire talks to you often, and as one example, it has special dialogue when you run the Emerald Nightmare raid, including when you confront Xavius and after he is defeated.

‘Mitch’: That knife is extremely chatty. in fact. Like me! We’re planning on starring in a buddy-cop movie this summer. Xal’atath is getting too old for this chittering voice of the void stuff.

Eno asked:

QftQ: Is it true Blizzard offered $100K to each ‘Heroes of the Storm’ team just for playing in their tournaments, no matter where they place?

Liz: This is a thing coming up for the 2017 season, and it will only be for the top teams — so, unfortunately, Quevians can’t just throw together a team and rake in the cash. (Not that y’all aren’t awesome, but this is for the top teams in the region, which is something that takes some real dedication.) But my esports knowledge is pretty casual, so I asked Anna:

To be clear it’s $100k/year per team so even a team like Dumpster Tier Superstars from last season — who were basically just five players with one dude acting as management — would earn $20k each before taxes and winnings. With the amount of time they have to devote to scrims and practice (and the time it takes away in opportunity cost), it’s not like they’re going to be Scrooge McDucking it up, though it’s definitely better than nothing. And 7th and 8th place have to fight to keep it, vs the top two teams of their new amateur league.

Liz: We’re talking basically a full-time job here?

It’s not just the full time aspect per se, but lots of more accessible part time jobs (retail, waiting tables, fast food) won’t take kindly to people having to have off nearly every weekend to compete.

Liz: Here’s the rundown of how it will work:

Mitch‘: I don’t really see the issue here. Blizzard wants to encourage the best teams to participate, which let’s face it, they’re doing in the face of juggernauts like League of Legends and DOTA2. The amount of money the teams will get is nice, absolutely, but it’s not going to work out to being ‘yay I’m rich now’ money and they’re only paying the top team in a region. I think it’s fine.

‘Mitch’: Now, what I personally think Blizzard should do is subtly ladle poison whispers into every Heroes player, guiding them step by step down paths of madness where Euclidean geometry no longer matches the math we know and all scuttles past us, forever out of the corner of our eyes. Never visible, always tantalizing, just out of reach. You almost hear it. You never see it. But you know… deep in your hear you know it’s there. Like an itch in your brain. Embrace it, this splinter embedded in the tender substance of your dreams, and let it flay your dreams.

‘Mitch’: But I have no problem with paying the best teams to play. We want to watch the best teams. We want to see them in action. We want to hear the terrible quiet hush of dread tittering forever just out of our range, forever goading us onward.

Liz: And with that insightful answer, this is ‘Mitch’ and I signing off. Please leave your questions in the comments for Mr. Matthew Rossi to answer tomorrow. After that, we’ll be Queue-less through the BlizzCon weekend, but we’ll catch up with you again next week.

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