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The Queue: We meet again, Brewfest

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!

There was a point where I used to really enjoy Brewfest. I’m not sure where that changed exactly — somewhere in the many years of the holiday being available, my interest waned. By the time the holiday rolled around, I already had gear better than what I could get from Direbrew. I had all the various fun drops. Last year I skipped the event entirely — I think I ran Direbrew on one lone alt that needed a gear boost. But then I realized the event has since had toys added to it, toys that I totally missed in last year’s lackluster run.

So I’m here again, in the chilly hills of Dun Morogh — or on some characters, the heated sands of Durotar — and I am ready to race rams again. So many rams.

You know what, let’s answer your questions instead, okay? For now.

Rik Osborne asked:

Anybody else hoping that, next expansion, they back off a bit on what they did with crafting professions in Legion? Specifically, requiring dungeon running for basic profession advancement?

You know, there was a point while leveling in Legion that I realized I simply couldn’t be bothered with profession stuff anymore, so I stopped trying to actively level it. I think it was the dungeon racing that really got me — I’d finish a dungeon for a zone quest, only to be asked to run it again a short time later for a profession. I may be a little weird, but I kind of loathe interrupting my questing with dungeons. If I get into a groove of running around knocking out quests, I want to keep doing that.

Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate what they tried to do with professions this time around. They are infinitely more interesting than they were in Warlords. And I do like the idea of getting quests to help professions along. But I think I’d like it more if it were more streamlined and incorporated into the questing experience. Right now, it feels a little disjointed — I can either go do a zone’s worth of quests, or I can sit in Dalaran and play with professions until I’m sent somewhere on a wild goose chase for more profession things that may or may not actually merge with the questing I’m already doing.

I don’t care for sitting in one spot to play with professions. But I also don’t really care for a profession experience that asks me to go places I’ve already been — or zones I haven’t gone to yet. Legion’s been great about letting you pick where you want to level, but profession quests are designed so that they only take place in one particular area. That area might not be the place I chose to go level in. I’d rather professions were merged with the flexibility of questing so the whole thing is a more streamlined experience.

Dtail asked:

Q HELP !! Need to do Triumvirate to unlock stuff. I hate instances. I’m doing maybe 1 every 2 years because it’s REALLY needed. This is one of them it seems, or I’m blocked from certain WQ’s. I don’t have an active Guild. What’s the best way getting this done with less than 10 % chance of getting yelled at.

Seat actually isn’t that bad via the Group Finder — the bosses aren’t that difficult to beat on Heroic. You should have a pretty good idea of how to play your class by now. Take a look at the Adventure Guide and make a note of what your role should be doing on each boss. It’ll give you a list of things to avoid, and things you should be doing. My guild is pretty much dead so doing dungeons requires jumping in the Group Finder — it’s not that bad. You don’t even need to say anything while you’re in there. Just stick with the group and follow their lead. I was a little nervous about hopping in there myself, but the queue popped fairly quickly and the dungeon went pretty smooth, even though half of us had never seen the place before. It’ll be okay!

dillene asked:

Q4tQ: if the next expansion focuses on the Old Gods, what could Blizzard do to create a real sense of fear in the game? I realized the other day that my primary motivation in fighting the Legion is anger: these fel-addicted circus clowns are trying to destroy my planet and I want them to knock it off. I don’t want to be angry at the Old Gods- I want to be *horrified* by them. What would foster a real sense of existential dread?

I think a lot of it has to do with general ambience. Blizzard’s really good at ambience. Back in Vanilla the Plaguelands were really creepy — part of it was the whole undead-lurking-around-every-corner thing, but a big chunk of it was just the sounds in the area — or absence of them. The Old Gods promote fear, yes, but also madness — I imagine little unprompted whispers would also make a reappearance.

WoW has never really been a horror game, but it has had its fair share of weird and disturbing vignettes over the years. I’m pretty sure they’re capable of making something downright terrifying if the situation calls for it. I don’t really expect WoW to jump whole-hog into the horror genre — like I said, it’s not that type of game. But I think they’d come up with a way to unsettle people with little difficulty.

MusedMoose asked:

Q4tQ: do you think we need some new “main” characters? It feels like we’ve seen the same NPCs playing the big story roles for a long time. Most of the named characters we deal with are from WarCraft III, with some like Khadgar and friends dating back to WarCraft II. Hell, WoD’s entire theme was “let’s bring back a bunch of old characters and fight them again”. I was never a huge fan of Garrosh, but at least he was introduced in WoW and got a full story arc, as did Varian.

With a new expansion on the horizon, do you think it’s time to introduce some new people and let them lead the way for a while?

I think we’ve had a good variety of old and new introduced over the years. Anduin for example was just a kid when we first met him in WoW. Garrosh Hellscream was entirely a WoW creation. Wrathion was first seen in Cataclysm. The Draenei are wholly a product of WoW. It’s true that a lot of the “main” characters we’re seeing this expansion originated in earlier titles, however. But Turalyon and Alleria have never been seen in WoW before, so I welcome their addition (finally!).

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All of these characters have the quality I’m looking for — mainly, development. They’ve been introduced and allowed to grow over the course of the game. That’s the big thing I think makes a character a “good” main character. It’s one that we’ve been allowed to get to know. The last thing I want to see is a character inserted just for one expansion as a “big name” and then thrown away before they get to go anywhere.

And Blizzard’s been guilty of that one on occasion. I still think Fandral Staghelm had a lot of potentially that was utterly wasted when they scratched him off as a raid boss. Yrel had potential, but instead of continuing to utilize her as a character, they crammed all that “growth” into one expansion and left her behind. I would’ve liked to have seen where she could’ve gone, if she’d been given a chance to do so. Maraad just started getting interesting when they killed him off. And I am forever going to be annoyed about Amber Kearnen, who was slowly making progress and then poof! Cut down before she could go anywhere else.

The thing is, WoW was preceded by these other iconic games. When it first came out, it had to rely on the characters that had already been established. But every expansion has introduced more into the overarching Warcraft canon — and I feel like they’ve got a huge cast to work with now. It’s just a matter of who they want to hand that highlight to each expansion.

Scott Leyes asked:

So what’s the deal with Hatuun? When you first meet him, he decloaks and rips Velen a new one accusing him of “abandoning” his people; but when you start the Mac’Aree area, we see a cutscene where Hatuun TELLS Velen to go, charging off to fight and buy him the time to escape. Velen didn’t even seem to want to go.

I think Hatuun expected Velen to come back at some point. I don’t think he expected to be abandoned for the thousands upon thousands of years that Velen was gone. And I feel like there was a part of Velen that really wanted to go back, too — he says as much, that he begged the Naaru to turn around and go back. They told him it wasn’t his path. In that flashback, Hatuun was likely fully prepared to die, but he didn’t.

Instead, he and the rest of those left behind were abandoned. They watched their world fall apart. They watched themselves fall apart — warped and twisted much as the Broken were on Draenor. After all that time, I expect Hatuun came to the conclusion that Velen and the others must have died somewhere along the way. They had to have died — they wouldn’t have just ignored the fact that there were survivors on Argus.

And yet Velen shows up again, and when he does, he looks older, yes, but otherwise healthy enough. Hatuun is a stark example of what became of those Argus survivors. Velen is an example of what they were — what they still could have been if Velen and the others had made an effort to come back. To Hatuun, it looks as if Velen has hardly experienced any suffering at all. He looks like he’s been taking an exceedingly lengthy vacation while the rest of Argus was plunged into horrors that Velen can hardly begin to imagine.

So yeah. The dude’s bitter. He’s well within his rights to be, given the circumstances.

Elainede Shalott asked:

Whats the best way to deal with the seed of destruction on this week’s Argus WB?

If Sotanathor hits you with Seed of Destruction, you should get out of the main group immediately. When it goes off, you’re going to send out waves — you want to be far enough away that there’s space for others to dodge between the waves and avoid the damage. Needless to say, if you see purple waves coming at you during the Sotanathor encounter, avoid them. Unless you really like taking a dirt-nap mid fight.

That’s it for today’s Queue — if you have any questions you’d like to see answered, be sure to leave them in the comments below!

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