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The Queue: Dangerous real talk

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!

Malkil asked:

Now that we’ve had some time to digest the Anduin questline and cinematic, is anybody else hoping that he doesn’t become a paladin?

I mean, I like paladins, but we’ve had quite a few very strong ones in Warcraft lore already. I’d like to see him as a Disc priest, equally comfortable with smiting enemies and healing friends.

I’m torn on it. I honestly don’t feel like priests are particularly inspiring, and inspiring is what faction leaders should be. I mean, I’ve played priests in the past and love it, and priests never struck me as the person you rallied behind. If Blizzard was going to make priests work as an inspiring figure, they should try to do it with Velen.

At the same time, Warcraft has become a little one-trick-pony with paladins. There are paladins everywhere. I was lamenting the other day about how it’d be hard for Heroes of the Storm to include many of Warcraft’s major figures because they’re all paladins. One paladin, Uther, is in the game and he has most paladin stuff covered. “But what about Retribution Paladins? They’re different, right?” I mean, not really, because Retribution Paladins are sparkly Warriors and we still don’t have most of Warcraft’s Warrior characters, either.

Warcraft is a vast sea of Paladins (and Khadgar) these days. I don’t know if the story needs another one.

I guess, for me personally, Anduin is generally an unexciting/uninteresting character. I don’t know what they’re going to do with him, but I haven’t found him compelling enough to actually care. I know there are people who adore Anduin, so I’m not suggesting they ditch him. For me personally, though, all of his screentime feels like time wasted.

Malorne asked in response to Rossi:

I want to know how you feel in your life guys. It’s strange when we kinda know you are suffering but in the article you pretend everything is normal… I don’t use Twitter so I’m only reading about how you, the writers, feel from time to time in the introduction of articles here.
The last time it was really bizarre for me was when I realized Liz was not alright on a Queue article, but no details were given at all. I thought something so bad happened that nobody would say anything about it and just act as if Liz had left the website and that’s all. Then I went to her Twitter page because I was really worried (for all I knew she might have died in a car accident or something like that by that point, I really had no idea) and hopefully I learned she was alright and recovering.

Ok… I don’t know where I was going with that… Just wanted to tell you that I care about how you all feel. Maybe I should get Twitter…

This isn’t a question, but I’m going to risk being candid and fielding it anyway. Being a public-facing person — not a celebrity (we’re definitely not celebrities), but someone who exists in the public eye with an audience — makes personal lives really complicated. By and large, you want to put forward a positive attitude. Even in cases where I don’t like something and am vocal about it in places like the podcast, I try to do it in a way that contributes to a conversation. You can’t, straight up, have a bad day. I mean, you can, but you can’t let people see that. Nobody wants to see that. Nobody wants to read or listen to someone being an enormous jerk. I know I don’t.

As an example of having a bad day, this has shown through more than once on our weekly livestreams. Even if one of us is feeling absolutely awful, we all need to get together as a group to do that stream anyway. We might not be in the mood to be around other people. We might just want to put our head down and get some writing done or just not be social for awhile. That’s not an option: we have to perform even on the bad days. Sometimes we do a good job of faking it. Sometimes the other people in the group can compensate and lead the social interactions so the grumpy person can be quiet and focus on the gameplay rather than the entertainment factor. Once in awhile, though, the mood slips and we hear about it afterwards. “Can’t you guys be a little more positive? This was depressing to watch.”

We try, man. We try.

Certainly, a contingent of our readership is interested in our daily lives and have been with us long enough that they’re interested in our well-being. At the same time, we hear from people who’ve been with us just as long who are like “dude, stop talking about your life, it has nothing to do with your content and it’s ruining my vibe.” And you know what? I think that criticism is fair. I enjoy having a camaraderie with our audience, but the fact is, we’re still here to be professionals. Whatever that means.

Become a Watcher

Being a public-facing person also means this extends to, for example, social media. Participating in social media is an expected part of jobs like this now. While most people can use social media to discuss life (or just about anything) with their friends, people in public positions need to be conscious of the fact that thousands of people they really don’t know will be reading everything they say. Many of those thousands are probably there for just one specific thing: World of Warcraft, Blizzard games, whatever. Discussing anything else is likely to alienate them. Alienating them has a professional impact, so you limit not only how you talk about things, but what you talk about. I’ve even had long-time followers get upset because, for example, I discuss my books too much. Those books are an important part of my life, but a notable segment of my audience thinks I should shut up about it. To them, what I consider personal achievements intrude on what they want from me.

I’d say a small fraction of what constitutes The Person I Am makes it to Twitter. My life goings-on usually don’t end up there. I typically only discuss personal things if I can frame them in a way that’s funny (or at least dark humor) so I can justify it as entertainment. Many of the things I’d like to discuss with my friends, I just don’t. I stay out of conversations I might really like to join in on. They have the ability to freely discuss those things. I don’t. I need that filter. It’s pretty isolating! I’d go as far as to say needing to always inhabit a certain persona is a major contributor to how few close friends I have these days. I’ve lost contact with some long-time buddies because I can’t participate in the social circle like I used to. Nowadays, my close friends are almost exclusively the people on our staff. I’m in direct contact with them in places unavailable for public consumption. I don’t need to be “on.” (That doesn’t mean our chat is a cesspool of hatred, because it isn’t, but there is more freedom to have conversations.)

Once in awhile, the need to filter everything breaks down. It becomes a mental health issue. When it hits a breaking point, I’ll slip and say something I probably shouldn’t. Regardless of whether I meant it or not, I should’ve thought it through. I should’ve kept it to myself. But I didn’t, because I needed to breathe. And the backlash comes swift and hard.

It’s a brutal cycle. You keep a lid on it for the sake of your audience. Frustration at the isolation and not being able to be yourself builds up. You get more reckless than you would’ve been under normal circumstances. You throw caution to the wind and vent or do something “fun.” In the process, you make people angry, and as a result, you put the lid back on and the process repeats itself. It’s legit that people got mad, too! Sometimes it’s boneheaded stuff that, even if you meant it, you shouldn’t have said it. Dumb opinions are okay to have, but only if you don’t use them as a reason to harm people.

For better or worse, social media is a central part of culture now. That’s where the people are. When you can’t participate in it, or people always expect a performance out of you, it grinds away at you, man.

Some people do truly, honestly care and understand that we’re people, too. The unfortunate truth, though, is most people really don’t care. And I do think it’s understandable that they don’t. This big thing I just wrote? The vast majority of our readers don’t come here to read stuff like this. They don’t want to read our diary. They come here to read about Blizzard’s games, not our personal crap.

Mistah Jay asked:

What’s wrong with Pineapple on Pizza?

Now, people don’t want to hear about our personal problems, but pizza is legit.

I have no idea what’s wrong with pineapple on pizza. I like it as an occasional thing. The acid of a pineapple works really well with pizza sauce, and accompanied by toppings that aren’t extremely salty (like pepperoni), it creates a dish that’s both sweet and savory (and refreshing.) Hint: If you like dipping your chicken nuggets in a sweet sauce but give people crap for pineapple on pizza, you are an enormous hypocrite. You can not like a specific combo, but don’t rake people who do like it over the coals.

Certainly, I wouldn’t get pineapple on pizza all of the time, but I do like it for something different. I also like a white sauce pizza from time to time, which a lot of people argue isn’t valid, either. A good spinach alfredo pizza or something along those lines is great. Regular ol’ pepperoni will always be my favorite, but it’s good to change it up sometimes.

optimus asked:

Do I assume correctly that since the console versions of Overwatch use their respective system’s online store framework that you canNOT use Battle.net balance to purchase skins on console?

You assume correctly. PlayStation purchases are through PSN, Xbox purchases are through Xbox Live, etc. Battle.net doesn’t factor in.

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Filed Under: The Queue, Q&a

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