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The QueueSep 23, 2015 11:00 am CT

The Queue: Cameo

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!

While the officially unofficial Transmog Tuesday in yesterday’s comments were a blast, there wasn’t exactly a surplus of questions in there. After eliminating the questions I couldn’t answer without time travel (and the joke questions I received on Twitter), there was little left. How little? Well … you’ll see.


Do we have rough estimates of city population? We hear how 90% of blood elves are wiped out and how forsaken had a problem renewing population, for example. (Yes, before the val’kyr)

Any guesses how populated Stormwind is? Thunder Bluff?

I don’t believe there are any canonical sources for population numbers. Not population of the world, cities, towns — nothing. Unless I’ve missed something huge, Blizzard simply has not touched that. The RPG book has population estimates, but the RPG book is non-canon and whatever numbers are in there weren’t necessarily chosen by anyone who works at Blizzard at all. The RPG book described most cities as having a population of 20,000 or less — which is silly small. You can’t call those places cities even by the standards of the Middle Ages. It doesn’t matter, though. They aren’t canon and are thus meaningless. Sorry, I know that isn’t a satisfying answer, but that’s the only answer we have: Blizzard doesn’t want to nail down those numbers and never has.

I can understand why. They aren’t necessary in the fast-and-loose fantasy world they’ve created … and this is an MMO where thousands of people die in every major in-game event. Were we to take realistic population numbers into consideration, I’d guess every race on Azeroth would’ve been driven to extinction by now. There are as many people as the game needs.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m even willing to make any guesses here. What we know of Azeroth in no way lines up with Earth at any time period. Not level of technology, not settlements, nothing. If we assumed the Eastern Kingdoms is a full continent — a large one which takes up a significant portion of the globe — there’s no way Stormwind, Ironforge, Gilneas, and Undercity would be the only cities or densely urban locations. The rest of the continent is composed of little towns or monster-filled wastelands? To support a population that hasn’t dwindled to the point of effective extinction (due to an insufficient gene pool), it’s likely tens of millions of people would need to live in Stormwind alone. The kingdom of Stormwind would likely have Stormwind City as its capital, plus a handful of other cities about one-third or two-thirds its size. The kingdom couldn’t only have one city and what — three or four villages? There would be a lot of towns and villages.

And when I’m talking effective extinction, remember that humans (for the most part) only live in and around Stormwind. It isn’t like Earth where the human race is spread across the entire globe. All of humanity has only one city? That cannot be so. Real world humanity had multiple urbanized cities when the concept of an urbanized city was only first coming to fruition post-hunter-gathering. With what information we have, it just isn’t possible for the population numbers to work on Azeroth. That’s likely a reason why Blizzard doesn’t touch them.  If they sat down and actually fleshed out a complete map of Azeroth, I think the kingdom that is Stormwind would have at least three or four other major cities (though still smaller than the capital city) and a heck of a lot more between.


Should I be a responsible adult, or go buy sushi for lunch?

Why does a sushi lunch make you less of an adult? In my experience, kids don’t like sushi!


Do you think we’ll get a D3 exp announcement at BlizzCon? If that’s the case, any guess on new class(es)?

My gut says yes, we will see one, only because I feel the time is right. I’ve seen no real indication one way or another, I just feel like it’s about that time. It’s been over a year since the release of Reaper of Souls. I don’t expect a release date in the near future, but at least an announcement. Sequels can wait numerous years between releases, but I don’t feel expansion packs can wait that long — especially expansions for a game that isn’t an MMO. If Diablo 3 is going to get another expansion at all, the announcement should happen within the next 6 months, and BlizzCon just makes sense given that timeframe.

And uh, that’s all, folks! Here, enjoy Kimbra’s “Cameo Lover” because it’s pretty good and stuff.

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