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The QueueApr 3, 2015 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: My fever is writing The Queue today

World o fWarcraft Shaman screenshot

I spent last night thinking about humans. We’re terrifying if you really stop and think about us. We can eat things that are toxic to most other species. We can survive broken bones, gunshot wounds, all manner of injuries that would incapacitate or even kill most other species on Earth. Humans used to hunt by simply walking after our prey until it fell down dead from exhaustion. Then we figured out how to make things get dead even more efficiently. Spears, spear-throwers, slings, bows… we’re a terrifying bunch.

We always see in sci-fi or fantasy settings these races that are super-human, but the fact is, humans are super in a lot of ways. We eat onions and those things are loaded with chemicals that will cause other animals to die. We just shrug them off. Same with chocolate. Humans can eat it, but a lot of animals can’t. We have digestive systems even goats would admire.

This led me to wonder why humans and orcs are always depicted as enemies in fantasy. I know it’s because Tolkien invented orcs, drawing from older Latin and Old English traditions for monstrous things, and as a result everyone else who uses orcs tends to use them in a very Tolkienian way. And that’s fine. But really, everything you ever see orcs in Warcraft do, humans do that. Ride around on massive animals and wage war on everyone around them? The Mongols perfected that. The idea of constant industrial growth feeding into a military machine? Humans are all over that. You’d think humans and orcs would have looked up after the Third War and realized they really have a lot in common.

But they didn’t, so instead of the Alliance and Horde forming a supergroup and going on tour of the universe making the entire Burning Legion wet itself, we get to PvP in Ashran instead.

Anyway, questions. Let us answer them.


What’s stopping some of the iron horde from defecting since the new cinematic came out (if they) don’t agree with what’s happening?

Well, there’s probably nothing stopping a few stragglers from defecting, or more likely just saying ‘okay, I’m out’ and going to hide in the mountains for a while. But overall there’s a few problems with this scenario.

The first one is, orcs are extremely aggressive, and especially the ones on this Draenor. The orcs of the Horde we know had to go through some serious bad news (losing the Second War, getting locked in camps and suffering through demon blood withdrawal, escaping the camps and running to Kalimdor, the Third War and the invasion of the Burning Legion) before they could work with the trolls and tauren, and even then look what happened with Garrosh Hellscream and the ‘True Horde’ – some orcs are totally down with slaughtering their enemies and getting more powerful and they’re not too picky about how they do it.

Most orcs on Draenor right now don’t really understand what the demon blood is, or why they shouldn’t drink it. Remember, last time, people saw Mannoroth dump that stuff in a cauldron right in front of them, and they still lined up to drink it. Without the horrible object lesson of what this is going to do to them, it’s likely many of the Iron Horde are tired of losing to what they likely see as alien invaders, and may well line up to drink some victory juice.

Secondly, with the Iron Horde being a Horde, and having a lot of lip service paid to their bonds of iron loyalty, there’s likely a huge amount of social pressure not to be the weak link. You’re going to leave your people to join up with the aliens who invaded your world and pushed back your forces when they were on the cusp of ultimate triumph? I can’t see that being a popular choice.

Thirdly, who are they going to defect to? The Alliance? Doesn’t seem terribly likely. They might do better with the Horde, but the Frostwolves aren’t likely to be thrilled to see the same people who were killing them suddenly saying ‘oops, our bad’ like that.


Although there is already cross-pollination, can WoW learn anything from Diablo and vice versa?

Well, for starters, WoW absolutely could look at the design of the Barbarian and Crusader classes in Diablo III and steal as much of them as possible for warriors and barbarians, respectively. I don’t know what we’d do with the whole concept of mighty weapons – I’d love to see that come in, but I think that Titan’s Grip is as close to that as we’re going to get. And while I don’t think Paragon levels are going to come in to WoW, there has to be a way to introduce some alternative advancement that isn’t just levels to WoW.

As far as what Diablo can learn from WoW? I kind of think it did. D3 in particular looked at how complicated the talent trees were getting (and remember, the talent trees WoW had until Cataclysm were basically heavily inspired by old Diablo 2 trees) and they pruned that down, making a lot fewer choices a lot more meaningful. And WoW immediately lifted that idea when they redesigned their talents for Mists of Pandaria.

Yeah, I really just want warriors to play like D3 barbs.


Quick question before I waste a 6k gold enchant.  If I’m doing an upgrade weapon, is the enchant lost when upgraded?

This expansion made such a disaster out of professions, I’m only now starting to mess around with them

I just upgraded my blacksmith weapon and it kept its enchant both times I upgraded it.


With Blizz’s history of overcorrecting for problems with each expansion over the last 3. What is everyones best guess on what they will change, remove or overhaul in about 2 years when the next expansion comes out?

I don’t expect the ‘tertiary stats’ system to endure, and I’m also leery of the long term survival of secondary stats like versatility and multistrike. We have three candidates to survive, crit, mastery and haste, and I wonder if crit and haste might not get combined into some new stat that does the job of both. Celerity or Alacrity or something like that.

It’s also possible that we’ll end up with whatever new feature does the work of Garrisons in the next expansion being a lot more ‘day off’ friendly. Maybe to the point of almost not having to log on at all to play it.

Well, that’s the Queue for today. I’m going to go sweat and hope whatever virus is in my blood will finally get out of me.

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