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The QueueFeb 13, 2016 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: This guy gets me

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!

I’m not exactly sure how one manages to stay upright after falling asleep standing up, but this Orc seems to have the task down to a fine science. …look, he’s been working really hard, okay? Let’s get to your questions!


Q4TQ: I posted this in the breakfast topic, but I wanted to address it in the proper place for questions.  I may send it to the podcast Ok, I just listened to the anniversary podcast, and I am a little put off: The hosts acted VERY smug (even though they said they wouldn’t) about counting achievement points.  They all admitted this was something they didn’t do, so weren’t very good people to talk about it.

1)  Is there anyone on the site that IS a person that likes to get achievements?  Seeing that this is a big portion of the game (one of my favorite mounts comes from an achievement) and that a lot of people do do it, I think it would be nice to be represented somehow with someone that knows something about it.

2)  The hosts reaction to achievement track pretty much was, “Who cares, it means nothing?’  Ok, let’s be realistic: What does progress in an online only video game mean at all?  When the servers go down, you can look at nothing.  When Blizzard and Activision are done putting money into the game, it will mean nothing.  You don’t own a copy of the game, you can’t boot it up and enjoy it for old times sake.  You can’t replay story moments.  It means just as much ‘nothing’ as achievements.  So why say achievements mean nothing, and have that be your answer to shrug off the question, when ultimately, anything we do in the game will mean nothing? And please, lets not get depressing and say nothing in life matter.

My apologies if I came off as smug, as that definitely wasn’t intended — I was more baffled than anything, because the question in particular was asking about tracking total achievement points. To be clear, I really dig achievements. I have a ton of them, and I like spending the last dregs of an expansion (like right now), hunting down and clearing out achievements I haven’t gotten yet. To me, achievement points are kind of like an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway (everything’s made up and the points don’t matter). I never really understood why achievements have numeric point totals on them to begin with, because you can’t…actually do anything with those points. They’re just there, hanging around, an arbitrary number.

To me, it’s not really about the number of points so much as the achievements themselves — some of the first achievements I picked up were the ones involving lore (Well Read, Loremaster, etc), because those were fun, right in my wheelhouse, and something I enjoyed doing anyway. I know how to get mounts from achievements (and I’m still working on my mount collecting for a couple of those), and I like the process of doing achievements, I just don’t particularly care one way or another about the numeric values assigned to them. I’m not really sure why anyone would care about that numeric value, because it doesn’t really say anything about how many achievements you’ve got — it’s just the total of the arbitrary numbers that were assigned to each individual achievement. It seems like an odd thing to want to track, to me. Track which achievements you have left to do? Sure! Track which ones you’ve completed out of a particular meta? Absolutely! But the number? I don’t understand why you’d need that.

I’d much rather hear about how someone went about the process of completing one achievement or another than what their total “score” happened to be. If you tell me you have 10k achievement points, that doesn’t mean anything. If you say “Man I just finished What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been!” — that actually means something (and gets you a congrats because hey, that Violet Proto-drake is pretty sweet!).


I recently rewatched all of the WoD in game cinematics and there were two things that really ticked me off.

One being Thralls inability to see that it was all his fault. I actually felt for Garrosh. He was forced into a position he didn’t want and wasn’t ready for by Thrall. He straight up tells Thrall this and blames him yet Thrall holds no personal responsibility and just comes off as arrogant

Second was the downfall of Archimonde, followed by Grommash’s announcement and subsequent cheering. Orcs cheering yep understandable. Main timeline horde yes and no. But any alliance and especially alternate timeline Draenei would have no reason whatsoever to cheer along with Grommash and bow down to him. Just left a very sour taste.

Anyone else feel like this?

Without going into spoilers too much, I can safely say that Thrall didn’t come out of that duel unscathed, and there was a reason he was so quiet after that cinematic finished — you’ll see more about that in Legion, particularly if you play a Shaman.

As for the cinematic with Grommash…yeah I’m pretty much right there with you, but I’m less “ticked off” and more “mildly confused” about the entire thing. It’s apparent that the intent was for Grommash to transition at some point from villain and leader of the Iron Horde into a hero, but it felt like that transition happened off screen in another room, and we simply didn’t get to see it. So instead of being right there with Grommash in that whole fist-pump of victory moment, I was left wondering what I’d missed instead.

I can’t really speak for Blizzard, since I don’t work for them. But I do know as a writer, sometimes I’ll write something that reads as a very firm transition or piece of character development to me, but when someone else reads it, it doesn’t ring the right way. It’s not something immediately apparent to me, because of course I know exactly what’s going on in my head while I’m writing it, you know? In cases like this, there’s not much an author — or a game developer — can do but look for that disconnect between A and B, and make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.


Are AnneStickney LoreTours still in the pipeline? (As in, things you’d like to do if you have the time and resources). I was relistening to some of the early podcasts from last year and remembered they sounded like a really cool idea.

They are still something I’d very much like to do. It’s having the time to do them that continues to be pretty problematic. It’s not just a matter of popping off to record five to ten minutes of footage — there’s figuring out what I want to cover, coming up with a script, recording said script, taking said footage, editing the footage and script together, re-taking footage or sound if either one isn’t quite right, and…well, plenty more involved on top of that. Making video content takes a lot more work than the five to ten minutes it takes to actually watch the video in question. At the moment, I’m too busy with other streams, podcasts, writing, and editing to carve out the time required to get the lore tours thing off the ground — but it’s still something I’d like to do in the future.

Needless to say, you should pop out and give some props to the people who do regular video content and machinima pieces about WoW and other titles. They do a heck of a lot more than you think they’re doing!


Q4tQ: Do you think we will ever get any actual information about languages like Gnomish or Goblin, other than the fact that they exist and are used by their respective races sometimes? We have dozens of confirmed translations for languages like Shath’yar, Thalassian, Orcish, Draenei and Taur-ahe, which makes it feel a bit weird we know next to nothing about some other Azerothian languages. Heck, we even know two phrases from the Qiraji language (“Khar’sis”, meaning “hand of earth”, used by the qiraji to refer to Fandral Staghelm, and “Un’Goro”, meaning “God Lands”).

It’s doubtful. Even when you look at the few words we do have translations for, those are only the smallest part of an entire language. Blizzard’s creative team focuses on telling stories, not writing languages. If the story warrants including a word or two from a particular racial dialect, they’ll make up that word or two. But I don’t think they’ve sat down and written out dictionaries for every race in Warcraft or anything like that — and I don’t really expect them to do something like that anytime soon. Writing a language is an enormous undertaking for just one race, and with the large variety of humanoid species on Azeroth and beyond, it’d take years to try and hammer it all out.


QftQ: With the new system of skins in Overwatch, has anything been said about if the pre-order and special editions skins will be able to be obtained ingame?

The unique skins from the Overwatch Origins Edition and the Noire Widowmaker skin offered as part of the pre-order bonus are all listed in the skins sections of the hero profiles, but they are not assigned a credit value, so you can’t purchase them in-game. I don’t think they’ll be available in the loot boxes, either — they’re reserved for people that pre-order the game, or specifically pick up the Origins Edition. There are plenty of other skins to collect, though! (I’m getting the Origins Edition anyway. I mean come on, it comes with a Baby Winston pet for World of Warcraft. I can’t pass that up.)


How big was the (Magatha’s) poison a factor in deciding the victory (in the mak’gora between Cairne and Garrosh)? If no poison was used who would have won?

That’s a really good question. On the one hand, Cairne was already pretty old for a Tauren when he challenged Garrosh. On the other, he’s a Tauren, and while they may have peaceful ways, they’re more than capable of fighting when needed. I think Cairne’s strength took Garrosh by surprise, he definitely wasn’t expecting that kind of fight out of Cairne. But I don’t know if Cairne would’ve had the stamina to hold out against Hellscream long enough to take him out, though. We’ll never really know, but if Magatha hadn’t been involved, I get the feeling it would have been a much more even playing field at the very least.

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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