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The QueueMay 2, 2015 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Wait, we did what?

This week’s WoW leveling stream ended on a slightly perturbing note for me — I’d played through Stonetalon Mountains plenty of times on Horde characters, and always enjoyed the zone for its big climactic conclusion and subsequent bout of orc-tossing. But I’d never seen it on Alliance side. And Alliance side is awful. I felt horrible after finishing it, and what you didn’t hear on the stream was another full five minutes or so of exclamations about it. You can catch the leveling stream on Youtube now, if you’re interested. Anyway, on to your questions!


Q4TQ: How do you feel when you get into a Beta, especially for a game/genre you haven’t played before? Do you make it a priority to play it/give feedback because you were chosen for the Beta, do you treat it like a free game or preview, or somewhere in between?

I think I probably treat betas a little differently than most people do, but that’s mostly because when we’re talking about Blizzard games, I write about them. So while yes, I do report the bugs I find here and there along the way, a lot of time is also spent just hunting things down to write about and bring to you guys. It’s not really about being a sneak preview so much as it is about doing my job, both as a beta tester looking for errors, and as a writer looking for cool newsworthy stuff. If it’s a non-Blizzard title, then I play through it, yes, and hand in feedback and report bugs where I find them — and also enjoy the neat feeling of getting a sneak preview of sorts. But betas are primarily to iron out any bugs that haven’t been caught just yet, so that’s kind of a priority, you know?

If I stumble upon on the rare chance I find myself in a beta for a genre I’m unfamiliar with, I think I’d probably stick to reporting grammar and spelling errors in text, rather than game bugs, unless it’s really, really clear something is completely broken. Stick with what you know, you know what I mean? Something I might look at as a bug may actually be an intended feature or aspect of that genre I’m totally unfamiliar with, in which case my feedback isn’t exactly going to be helpful.


If barbarians are the best class in Diablo then should they be brought into WoW?

The problem with doing that is answering the question of how, exactly, you make them into something that isn’t just a Warrior clone, you know what I mean? If you bring a new class into the game, ideally it needs to fill a role that hasn’t been or can’t be filled by a class that already exists. I don’t know if they could do that with a Barbarian.

However, I have said on more than one occasion that I’d love to go hunt down Alleria and Turalyon and find them on a primal world full of dinosaurs and badass barbarians. I’m talking full on Frank Frazetta Conan realness here. Maybe some Thundarr too because who wouldn’t love a little Mok in their life.


Q4tQ: What is your favorite class in Diablo3 and why?

I really liked the Demon Hunter class when I started — it’s what I played for my first playthrough in campaign mode. Most of it was due to the awesome trailer I saw at BlizzCon 2010. Duel crossbows? Yes please. But I found myself less than thrilled with ranged gameplay, so my second time through I played a Monk. I love everything about that class, the attacks are fun, the visuals are great, and I get to go melee, which I vastly prefer.


So QftQ, Anne: short of a series of zone revamps, can you think of any way to redeem the Alliance leveling experience 1-60? Do you think that the Boost removes Blizzard’s incentive to correct the leveling process, given that they really want people to skip all that stuff?

This is a really good question. The thing is, there are zones that stick out in my mind as being ridiculously fun, like Westfall, Redridge, Duskwood — places that have been retouched, but still retain the same feel. But yeah, Stonetalon was just a little too much for me. South Barrens was also hard to experience on the Alliance side, and oddly enough, just as hard to experience on the Horde side. I think at this point, even leveling without heirlooms as we are, it feels a little like we’re rushing through content — and we’re only playing two hours a week!

That said, I don’t know if there’s anything they could do to improve that experience. The problem with revamping zones is that the time spent doing so invariably takes away from time that could be spent doing current content — and how many people are realistically going to level though these zones now that the boost is around as an option? Why would you level through that old stuff, if you’ve got a way to bypass it?

The answer to that is “people that want to experience the story,” and unfortunately that story is … well, you saw my reaction to that particular portion of the story on the leveling stream. Can it be fixed? I don’t think so, because all that 1-60 content is now firmly stuck back in time during Cataclysm, which was one of the most grim expansions out there, particularly for Alliance players. If you adjust one zone’s story, or update it, you have to go through them all — and that means a Cataclysm-level revamp, and I don’t think Blizzard wants to do that again. If they had more manpower or a second team to work on it, I could see a post-Siege revamp working, but again, I don’t know if that’s something they really want to do.


Avengers? AVENGERS? Maybe people already did a discussion since it’s been out in the UK but us US-ers just got it last night, what did people think?

Well it’s not really a Blizzard-related question, but I went to see it last night so I’ll answer it anyway! Spoiler-free, as much as I can here. I liked it. I didn’t like it as much as I liked the first one, but I liked it. I think that the “romance” that got stuck into the middle of it all was kind of awkward and maybe didn’t need to be there, but I understand why they put it there, because it set up what happened at the end of the film and gave a really good reason for why that particular member of the team chose to do what he did, although I kind of want to know what happened to him now. I’m sure we’ll find out eventually.

Ultron was a really great villain. I loved the development in the whole Infinity Stones plot, and that little post-credits scene may have made me inwardly squeal. Maybe.

Overall I’d recommend it, but I definitely wouldn’t go see it unless you’ve seen the other movies in the Marvel lineup first, otherwise some stuff is just going to go completely over your head.


If you do the Theramore scenario, does Theramore than become phased to be destroyed in your game?

Yes — but there’s an NPC you can speak to in order to return it back to its original state. This was mainly put in there for people that hadn’t actually completed all the Theramore quests on their max-level characters, and those are kind of required if you want the Loremaster achievement for completing Swamp of Sorrows.

That’s it for Saturday’s Queue — there were plenty of good questions I missed on Friday, so if yours wasn’t answered here, come back tomorrow, because I might just answer it there!

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