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The Queue: Does Free Will exist?

Y’all talked a lot about free will and predestination and forced corruption in the Warcraft cosmology yesterday. I ended up exercising my free will and am not talking about it at all in this Tuesday’s Queue.

I will say that one of the things I liked about Warcraft III is that Arthas damns himself. Every step of the way, he makes choices, and they lead him step by step to his ultimate fate. Even taking up Frostmourne is a choice he made after being repeatedly warned not to do it. To my mind that’s a lot more interesting than getting shot with a magic red dart that might be a Tear of Elune and turning bad just because.

J.T. Robertson

So last night I finally got my revenge on the Sixtrigger brothers. I swept in with a random group and destroyed them with bullets of pure hatred. Then I /spit on their still-warm bodies, and wished them all the worst in the afterlife.

Honestly,I don’t think any questline has had an effect on me like that one. I went into the initial quest on my hunter main not knowing what would happen, and I was very, very angry at Blizz when I saw what happened. I found the terrible truth beneath the trees and could do NOTHING. My character isn’t an idiot, but at that point there was nothing I could do. If I could undo a quest, it would be that one, and I haven’t completed it on any alts on purpose.

So…I guess to make this a question (it is the queue, after all), two things: 1.) Am I the only one that hates this questline and the lack of choice? and 2.) Are there any other questlines you wish you could erase from your character’s history?

Oddly enough, I feel like I have a sixth sense for quests that will trigger my ‘NOPE’ meter and I bailed on the Sixtriggers almost immediately. So I never had to do any of that stuff. But I looked it up and I’m glad my inner ‘NOPE’ was on that day.

There was a quest back in Vanilla WoW that I did on my Tauren (back when I played Horde exclusively) – A Forsaken Alchemist told me that there was some toxin in Azshara that had sickened a young Tauren lady and he needed samples. Thinking he was going to cure her, I went to Azshara and acquired the samples, dealing with all the annoying Azshara-ness of that zone. When I finally got back, he took the samples, thanked me, did some alchemy stuff to them, and then used them to kill the Tauren girl in front of me.

There I was, a Tauren Warrior, and a Forsaken poisoned one of my own people to death right in front of me for whatever his reasons were, and I couldn’t even kill him for it. That was just it. The quest ended, the Tauren died, and I could do nothing. I have never forgotten this. By itself it ruined playing Horde for me. I think I’ve hated the Forsaken ever since and no amount of hand wringing ‘What are we if not slaves to this curse’ whinging will change the fact that I watched one of them kill an ally for no reason. And this after the Tauren argued for admitting the Forsaken into the Horde in the first place!

That quest, by itself, has stuck with me for twelve years.

Tauren It Up

Worst part of Warcraft lore? I think I agree with the amount of focus on the Titans. I sort of wish that stuff would stay in the background as myth and legend that some individuals choose to believe in while others don’t. It would be fun to think that our war is decided by warriors with their lives on the line, not just part of some cosmic opera in which we are but ants on the universe’s stage.

But, in that same train of thought, I don’t like how some races age. Humans are so incredibly short-lived compared to immortal, ageless elves that have just been dicking around for 10,000+ years. So much important things have happened in the last 30ish years of Azeroth’s history but when I try to get into the motivations of my elven characters, I can’t help but think “Yeah, but this’ll blow over since really the last 30 years are about 0.003 percent of my life so far anyways and all of my human friends will die of old age before I know it.” It can be interesting to have big differences between player races, but some of the scales seem truly askew. And don’t get me started on the nature of undead ones. It’s a great challenge for me to properly roleplay a Death Knight, and that’s one of the classes with a clear cut template to follow as a guideline.

Your house is on fire.

“Oh, this will blow over, sure, I’m surrounded in flames now but really, this house fire is less than .01% of my lifespan, there’s no reason to panic.”

Not a terribly compelling argument. You could make the case that beings that can live for thousands of years have a lot more to lose by ignoring problems. They’re going to have to live with the consequences a lot more than some flash in the pan goblin who’ll be dead well before the toxins they’ve released into the air will start causing tumors to form on people’s faces.

Similarly, if you’re old enough to remember when demons fell from the sky and blew the entire planet up, seeing it all happen again would be a pretty big panic button, I’d think. Heck, just remembering that it happened could be enough. Imagine being a very well read Blood Elf, too young to personally have been exiled from Kalimdor but remembering all the writings of Dath’remar about the Sundering, and then seeing the same demons that nearly wiped out your people and personally killed your grandmother infiltrating your people and corrupting them from within? Not knowing how to stop it? And knowing that you’ve got hundreds if not thousands of years of life ahead of you, and it all could happen again in your lifetime?

As for the Titans, I get what you’re saying, but I think the whole point of Warcraft is that in the middle of this almost cosmic battle, mortal men and women of all races are the ones who will ultimately decide the outcome.

Caec

Second wind is nice, but not because it does much good while fighting.

I kind of think people dramatically overstate how good a talent it is.

Neither Arms or Fury loses enough health in between fights while leveling that Second Wind’s healing out of combat make any real practical difference. It’s nice at the end of fighting a rare, where you might finish at much lower health (and are too lazy to swap to prot for that fight), or after taking on 6+ mobs at once or something. Though one might argue that taking Furious Charge as Fury mostly negates the benefit Arms gets from Second Wind in relationship to leveling as either spec.

The real place where Arms pulls ahead is still retaining Victory Rush. Being able to manipulate adds or minions to keep pumping out heals via victory rush makes Arms have a sort of sustain when it comes to healing in some longer fights that aren’t just mowing down normals as you level (this is especially true when aoeing a big pack of enemies).

You’re wildly misusing Second Wind if all you’re doing is using it as an out of combat heal. The strength of SW is that if you can avoid taking damage for six seconds (say, using Shockwave to stun, then Heroic Leap to get far enough away) you can heal to full before your opponents get back to hitting you. I’ve used this approach so many times while soloing/World Questing/running dungeons that I simply can’t imagine doing without it. SW has kept me up on the Helya fight in Maw of Souls so many, many, many times now.

Absolutely it’s a good talent. I don’t disagree with you about Victory Rush — not having VR is an absurd weakness in Fury and one I’d hope would be addressed in 7.1.5 but so far as I can tell no datamining had revealed anything like that. But Second Wind isn’t an OOC heal, it’s a ‘just avoid damage for six seconds’ heal and it means that if you can just kite for six seconds, you’ll get a big chunk of your health back. Or heck, use Shockwave and then hit Die by the Sword just as Shockwave’s stun ends, you’ll get two seconds of Second Wind healing tics (12% of your health) back for sure.

Frankly, if I were revamping Warriors, I’d made Second Wind a baseline Arms/Fury ability. I wouldn’t even leave it as a talent, it would just be baked into the class. It’s that good.

Haib

One of my least favorite scenes in Legion is the Ysera corruption bit. I mean COME ON he throws a red shard perfectly at her heart from 500 yards and that’s it. Boom. End of that green dragon. No redemption possible. It was a huge waste in potential story but I feel WoW has always squandered anything to do with Emerald Dream lore.

I don’t understand why we can’t purge the corruption of the Nightmare from the various beings who get corrupted by it.

In fact, it feels like we give up way too soon on Druids who Xavius corrupts. We just kill them. Why can’t we reason with them? The entire novel Stormrage is about the Nightmare reaching out and threatening nearly all of Azeroth and we stopped that. Clearly the Nightmare isn’t all powerful. Even if Xavius has gotten a power boost from N’Zoth, we’ve stopped N’Zoth’s minions before, too.

Of course, killing an Ancient seems to barely inconvenience them at this point (Both Ursoc and Malorne died in the War of the Ancients and yet here they are again) so really, maybe it’s just easier to kill them than figure out a way to wake them up? Who knows with Druids? This is why I prefer Warrioring.

Chrth

Q4TQ: So whatever happened to the Lunastre brother/sister who doesn’t want to work with us? I’m guessing they’re dead, right?

The last we see Anarys, Ly’leth is imprisoning him or her while also using her or him as the template for the player’s illusion spell. There’s no indication that Ly’leth has her sibling killed, so who knows? At present we have no further information but we may well see her or him again, as was suggested in replies to yoru comment.

Drakthorn

In the adventure journal description for black rook hold it says that gul’dan ripped out Illidan’s soul there, and Maiev is imprisoned outside after chasing gul’dan to the castle. Is the Illidan soul part shown anywhere in game? Seems kinda important to just be relegated to a single line in a dungeon boss description. Part of the demon hunter class campaign maybe?

To my knowledge, this is never shown in game. It’s possible it’s somewhere I just haven’t gotten yet.

I honestly feel like seeing that moment should have been the entire point of Black Rook Hold, you know? Like we fight all the stuff we do, get to the end, get past the final boss only to see Gul’dan bamf off with Illidan and a hearty ‘too slow, suckers’ which would only  make us want that guy dead even more than we already do.


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Okay, that’s the Queue for this Tuesday. See y’all Friday for ‘Mitch’ and a Dakotaraptor answering your questions.

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