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The Queue: No shoulders is good shoulders

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!

Soeroah asked:

…How long has there been a gateway back to Dalaran on both sides of the Demon Hunter class hall? I swear there’s only ever been the one.

Your question caused me to immediately log onto my Demon Hunter and check the gateways. When Legion first launched, I consistently ran my Demon Hunter to the wrong side of the class hall, then had to double back in the other direction to find the gateway. There was definitely just one and, eventually, I trained myself to recognize which side of the hall had one.

Lo and behold, there’s a gateway on both sides of the class hall now. It must have been a patch 7.1.5 addition. It definitely wasn’t there the whole time.

Galdwynn asked:

Do you still get Artanis in Heroes if you buy Legacy of the Void?

That bonus is still listed on Legacy of the Void’s page in the Blizzard store, so yes.

Fixxen asked:

What happened to your class columns? I used to love reading all the different class articles and honestly its how i stayed up to speed on changes to classes i dont often play. (As a raid leader or officer it was very helpful). Anyway I really miss reading all the thoughtful class insights through those articles. Will they ever come back?

Hold on, let me put my businessman hat on.

No, they won’t be coming back. We pay all of our writers, and to be able to continue doing that, we need to make careful choices about where we put our money. I believe our class columns were all awesome, but regular, long-form editorial content for all of them wasn’t viable.

The game has 12 classes with an average of 3 specs each. To provide coverage for all of them, that would be 36 columns. Now, that’s on the high-end, because not every spec is different enough from others to need its own separate column or author, but it’s still a significant number. Beyond expenses, though, we need to consider the audience: Most people only read the column for their class and spec. For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume every class and spec has equal distribution. Roughly 3% (or less!) of our audience would have any interest in a given column.

In the grand scheme of things, these columns were some of our most expensive content to produce. Patreon funding doesn’t cover the costs for these columns. That sliver of readership isn’t going to generate the advertising revenue required to continue funding that niche content, either.

Maintaining class columns in an ongoing format just isn’t viable any way you look at it. What few class columns we still have, we’ll continue running them as long as the others want to write them. We won’t be reintroducing others, though. Not only does it not make sense, but it would also destroy our budget. We’re perfectly sustainable right now and have options to expand coverage in directions that make more sense. Reintroducing 30+ niche columns would be shooting ourselves in the foot.

Jordan asked:

Does anybody actually care about the one day, one off micro holidays? Tbh the rewards are not attractive enough to log in and, what, have a farm-off of materials to get my faction banner in a zone people rarely use anymore?

Get a shoulder bird for five days? Seriously, stop developing this type of [CENSORED] content and focus on core mechanisms and pain points like the entire artifact power grind, how unrewarding and even punitive world quests seem at a certain point, or you know, something else game breaking.

I’ll be honest, it’s crap like this that makes me upset that we didn’t get any Wrathion or Jaina storyline content this entire expansion. We can’t have coherent plot structures, but we can go take care of [CENSORED] mushrooms in Zangarmarsh? Plz no.

Well, I’ll start off with the obvious point: developers do different things and you can’t necessarily hotswap them into different roles. The person who puts a bird on your shoulder is almost certainly not the person who is crunching numbers for World Quest rewards or the Artifact Power curve. That person is also not the one writing the stories, or creating cinematics, or designing raid encounters, or creating textures for a new zone.

I’d bet money the people who created and implemented these micro-holidays have almost nothing to do with any of the things you listed.

Beyond that, I think you’re falling victim to something everyone falls for once in awhile, including myself. You aren’t the world. The developers aren’t creating the game just for you. I think micro-holidays are cool. They’re fun little things that give me something new and different to do once in awhile. I like them. You don’t. That’s fine. Millions of people play this game.

I’ll flip it around: I don’t care about Artifact Power. Or legendaries. I don’t do high-end raiding anymore. From my perspective, the developers putting so much time into adjusting how those things work is wasted development time because for me, they work fine. I’d totally prefer they were doing something else. Seriously! I’m so sick of hearing people whine about AP. But the developers don’t work for me. They’re making a game a whole lot of people play, and they’re trying to make a good game for as many people as possible.

I’m also disappointed we haven’t seen anything with Wrathion and Jaina, but I’m not going to blame it on X or Y other thing being in the game. They didn’t do it because they didn’t do it. I’d love it if Jaina got a better story, but I really don’t think Jaina didn’t get that story because the developers were too busy implementing Skorpyron in Nighthold.

Scott asked:

Does anyone else feel there is a HORRIBLE power falloff upon reaching level 110?

I just finished leveling an alt – Resto Shaman – and had little to no trouble getting to 110, but now EVERY single mob she encounters is a PITA… and god forbid she aggroes more than one, or she’s dead for sure. I realize that gear is an issue, but this seems ridiculous.

There’s certainly a difficulty shift as soon as a character hits 110, yeah. I experienced this with my Warlock most noticeably — on our livestream no less. At 109, I was AOE farming my way through quests without ever losing a point of HP. I hit 110 and, in the exact same questing area, pulling two or three mobs was suddenly a life-or-death experience. That experience didn’t last long, though. As soon as I started getting level 110 gear from World Quests, I felt like I was on even footing again. The sensation of being significantly weaker, for me, didn’t last more than 24 hours.

While it’s awkward, I think there’s an extent to which it’s necessary given how the game scales. Power level increases sharply at max level — gear from World Quests, dungeons, raids, and so forth. If mobs were balanced to be a non-threat to characters who just hit level 110, those mobs might as well not exist for players who have been 110 for even a week. If mobs scaled with an individual’s ilevel, then gear might as well not be a thing.

Filed Under: The Queue, Q&a

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