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The QueueMay 28, 2015 11:23 am CT

The Queue: Arriving precisely when it means to

Yesterday, I chided Alex on not writing the Queue the night before, thus causing him to run late. Today I’ve failed to take my own advice and look what’s happened. Anyway — let’s get on to the questions!


Since Wildstar is going F2P. Do you think that will add more pressure on WoW?

I’m not sure “pressure” is the right term, but Blizzard has to see how the vast majority of MMOs have shifted to a free to play model — or do so not long after their launches. The trouble with the subscription model is that it’s hard to get enough momentum with subscriptions to be sustainable (even, apparently, with Wildstar‘s C.R.E.D.D. system, which the WoW Token borrowed heavily from). I’m sure we’ve all noticed that when a new MMO comes out, a lot of our WoW-playing friends vanish to try it out… but they’re typically back to the WoW grind within a month or two, at most. Without players sticking around, a subscription model is hard to maintain, and we can see how many MMOs have abandoned the idea in favor of microtransactions.

But does this put pressure on Blizzard to make WoW free to play? Because WoW has a healthy subscriber base — even now, with the latest drop, it has more subscribers than any other MMO — I doubt Blizzard would see a need to make changes. But if the subscriber situation were to become more dire? Maybe… but that doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon.


The more I watch Game of Thrones, the more I’m convinced the film format will do the Warcraft universe a disservice. Don’t get me wrong, it might be amazing in its own right, but the sheer scale of its story needs the kind of breathing space only television would afford it. There’s at least 20 seasons’ worth of material.

I agree that there’s way more content in Warcraft than can be covered in a single movie, but I’m not giving up hope on the Warcraft movie just yet. While TV does give a story a lot of room to breathe, playing out across 22 hours rather than 2 hours, movies still tend to have television beat for budget and special effects. Though, yes, Game of Thrones looks great, the Warcraft movie is spending years in post-production to get all of the digital effects right (especially its all-motion capture race of orcs)… and that’s a level of CGI that may still not be practical on a television budget, even a big one.

I don’t think there’s any reason the movie can’t tell a small slice of the game’s story well. And if that works out, sequels (or even TV spin-offs) can tell more stories to expand on the universe in a cinematic way.


Q4tQ: I was a hardcore raider from Vanilla through Wrath, then “retired” for Cata and MoP due to work. Now my schedule is open and I’ve been happily working my my through Heroic and now trying for Mythic BRF. After about a month of pushing Beastlord (4% best attempt, almost there!) I’m left with the feeling that the fight is overly complex. A 10-15 minute 5 stage fight with a dozen different mechanics for the final boss in a raid tier sounds like an epic and appropriate conclusion in my book. However the idea that fights of that length and complexity are the norm now almost has me mentally exhausted. Is this just a case of “I’m too old for this %@#&”, a sign I should stick to Hardcore instead of Mythic, or are there others who share my hope for shorter boss fights?

I’m in a similar boat, honestly. Back in the early days of the game, I was a 40-hour-a-week raider in a top-end guild, pushing for realm firsts (though not typically world firsts). I couldn’t even estimate how many hours I spent learning (and wiping on) Ragnaros, Nefarian, and C’Thun. I had a lot of fun doing it at the time, but I suspect there’s a lot of rose-colored-glasses coming into play here, too.

Now it’s ten years later and it’s hard to find the time and dedication I had to WoW back then. Not that I don’t still dig the game, but there’s no way I could find the kind of time to devote to raiding that I used to — which I’ve dealt with by tackling lower levels of content in a more casual way. If you’re finding raid content frustrating instead of fun, then maybe backing down a difficulty level is the answer. The point of the game is to have fun, and if max-level content isn’t giving you that, then you should see if something else does.


With the talk about unborn valk style pet spawns in 6.2, what do you see as the biggest “little” annoyance in wow?

I’d been on a pet collecting binge lately, though I’m at the point where I’ve nearly given up out of frustration. The sticking points I’ve hit in my quest to catch ’em all have been the rare spawn Minfernal (which is preventing me from finishing tamer achievements) and, of course, the Unborn Valkyrie. Even as fed up as I am with trying to hunt these two, there’s one thing that makes tracking them down bearable: I can fly in those zones.

Flying lets me cover a lot of ground to check spawn points and get to places that are otherwise hard to walk to quickly, meaning that even if there are no spawns, I can find out without wasting a lot of time. Sure, there’s still a lot of disappointment, but it’s not heavily time consuming while also being disappointing.

What I’m getting at is that it feels like the lack of flying exacerbates these small annoyances, making content you might be interested in doing not more challenging, but more annoying to get done. So, while pets are definitely going to be a nuisance (especially early on when everyone’s trying to get them), I have to say the lack of flying seems like the biggest annoyance right now. Do I absolutely need flying to play the game? Of course not. But when I have flying, it’s easy to jump from place to place and pick what I want to do when I want to do it. With ground mounts and flight paths, it can be a time-consuming nuisance to get from place to place… and often that means that I hang out in my garrison and join my guild for events but otherwise don’t bother venturing out much. Which is a damn shame.


In today’s OQ article, the in-game chat system was mentioned. It was suggested that Blizz should buy Vent and implement it. I actually thought “hmmm…maybe it would soften the blow of recent announcements…” if they did actually correct / update the in game chat system. Would you guys give it another chance if they revamped it?

Voice chat is crucial to good communication, and having a workable voice system in the game would save a lot of people a lot of frustration. My guild has recently been testing new chat systems to find a better solution — which means have several chat programs installed and configured… and I still sometimes have to fiddle with them to get them working properly. Wouldn’t it be great if instead of spending time on that we could just play the game? I’m all for it.

Blizzard, you can make this happen, right?


By the way, for when: site redesign?

Though I do typically try to avoid answering two questions from the same person in a single Queue, I felt this one deserved the attention of a wider audience than it got tucked away in the comments. We’ve been having weekly meetings with our designer, and have seen drafts of a new logo and site design. We think it looks great and hope to have it up and running by mid to late June. (Though, as with all deadlines, this may slip — we’d rather have it done right than done fast.)

The design we’re running now was thrown together quickly and we never meant it to be forever — so we’re looking forward to moving to Blizzard Watch 2.0!

That’s it for today! As always, leave your questions in the comments and come back tomorrow for answers from Matthew Rossi, who is hopefully more timely than Alex or I.

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