The QueueMay 6, 2016 11:00 am CT

The Queue: Ashkandi answers your questions

Technically Ashkandi communicates entirely through stabbing, chopping, mashing and otherwise crushing foes beneath its mighty blade. I will be translating for it.

This is the Queue. Ashkandi awaits your questions.


Q4TQ: Do you think Blizzard should add or modify a class to play closer to D3 style? It might be because I’ve almost broken my left mouse button playing the Raekor set build, but I think a click-tastic class playstyle in the game could be fun.

Okay, Ashkandi just killed a whole mess of Orcs. So I think it agrees with the premise you’ve put forth here.

Back when I was writing for the old site, I used to argue long and loud about this very idea — I was a huge proponent of making Warriors feel more like Diablo 3 Barbarians. What changed?

Nothing, actually. I still feel like Warriors could stand to be more Barbarian-like, at least as Fury. I’m not sure I want the kind of Charge spamming that the Raekor’s set promotes, but overall I like how Diablo 3 lets you customize your abilities and be a Furious Charge build or a Whirlwind build or a Hammer build. I’d like it very much if Arms and Fury got a bigger dose of Diablo in how they feel and play.

That being said, I know there are Barbarians who use shields, but it just feels weird to me to imagine my Prot Warrior spec being as frantic as the D3 Barbarian.


Q4TQ: Is Legion continuing with the WoD design goal of less gear with sockets, less gear with enchants, with being able to equip an item as soon as it drops? And have they tuned secondary stats in such a way that it’s easier to determine whether something is an upgrade without carrying around a list of stat weights and doing the math whenever you get a potential upgrade?

More context: I think the design goal of “make it easy to equip an item as soon as it drops” completely failed in WoD, because most of the time when I got a new item, I still had to look up Ask Mr Robot to figure out if it was actually an upgrade. I can’t remember the last time I got a new item drop and immediately knew it was an upgrade unless it was an item on my best in slot gear list that I’d already looked up. And with nothing but RNG gem slots and few enchantable slots, jewelcrafting and enchanting feel much less important now than they were in previous expansions.

Ashkandi just decapitated all of C’thun’s eyestalks (does it count as decapitation when it’s an eyestalk? Deorbisication?) and took the Old God out in one hit, so I’m pretty sure he thinks that yes, Blizzard is continuing with that design.

So far, keeping in mind that I’ve only seen a few set pieces (I did look at the various Legion legendaries last night) I’d say that they’re continuing the less sockets, less enchants philosophy. As to whether or not it failed, I think that’s a class by class issue — some classes had a much easier time deciding if a piece was an upgrade than others did simply because they had an easier time knowing what stats they wanted.

Overall, I still think it’s a design goal that merits pursuit. Your opinion on it matches one I’ve heard a few times now and I hope Blizzard works to ensure that it improves on the implementation of that design in the future. As an enchanter on my main and a JC on my DK alt I do agree that it definitely feels like Warlords made those professions a lot less useful.


Dear Ashkandi,

Do you like the taste of Orc blood or Troll blood better?

Looking back over my shoulder at the piles of dead things we’ve left behind us, I gotta say I think Ashkandi is pretty blood agnostic. Doesn’t seem to care what we kill.


QftQ:  If one has never tanked before, therefore never built up habits that need to be relearned.   Do you think Guardian Druid would be doable?   I’ve toyed with the idea in the past but never gotten up the nerve.

Any tank class is doable if you’re willing to sit down and learn the class’ quirks. Ashkandi here has tanked many dungeons for my Death Knight, and I often used her on my Warrior as soon as the dungeons were forgiving enough that I could tank with a 2h (or two 2h’s) and she’s seen me do it enough to know that tanking is all about being responsive — Guardian Druids are no different.

Basically, take it for a spin. But Ashkandi recommends a DK tank because then you can tank using Ashkandi. She likes that.

At least I think that’s what she’s saying. She made me kill a few dozen bears, so maybe she’s just saying she doesn’t like bears, I really am not sure.


Me, Ashkandi, and her best friend Ashkandi.


Are alligators and crocodiles essentially still dinosaurs?

Ashkandi just made me go to the swamps and kill a whole ton of crocolisks to answer this question. Here goes:

No. They never were dinosaurs in the first place. They’re archosaurs, but not dinosaurs. Crocodilians are the surviving non-avian archosaurs — the archosauria included pterosaurs, all dinosaurs, all birds, and all crocodilians. If you go back to the most distant ancestor of birds and crocodilians, that ancestor is the first archosaur, and it’s also the first ancestor of all dinosaurs (who are, after all, the larger group that birds belong to) and all pterosaurs. Archosauria can be further divided into the pseudosuchia (which is all crocodilians and all extinct close relatives of the  crocodilians) and the ornithosuchia (birds, dinosaurs and pterosaurs).

This means that the closest living relatives of crocodilians aren’t, say, lizards or snakes or turtles, but birds. But that doesn’t mean that crocodiles and dinosaurs were the same, merely that they were closely related. In fact, because birds are the closest relatives to crocodilians, many modern scientists put birds (Aves) in the reptilia instead of separating them.

Crocodiles are essentially dinosaur cousins, and evolutionarily important for studying dinosaurs, but are not dinosaurs themselves.

Ashkandi is a little surprised that we got another dinosaur question less than a day after the Tavern Queue. I know this because she just made me go murder a whole lot of Orcs. That’s how she expresses surprise. And all other emotions.


Q4tQ: What Warcraft creatures would you like to see more of in Hearthstone (or, in some cases, introduced for the first time)?

As I’ve mentioned before, the severe lack of sha minions in Whispers of the Old Gods deeply disappoints me (though I’m still holding out hope for a Pandaria-themed expansion or adventure), and there are also way too few tauren, worgen and pandaren in the game compared to, say, humans, orcs or blood elves. I’m also holding out hope for a Highmountain tauren card in some future expansion after Legion is released.

Well, that’s just great, now there’s like fifty dead Hearthstone players here. I have no idea what she’s trying to tell me here. For all I know, she wants to see more people weidling Askandi in Hearthstone.

Fifty one. Okay, yeah, that’s what she was going for. More Ashkandi in Hearthstone.


Everyone loves Ashkandi.


In D3 I’ve always been a DH guy. Never strayed. But for S6 I’m thinking of making a switch. But I’m terrified of making a choice. So I put it to the queuevians here:

What class would you recommend I take for S6? Knowing that I’ve only ever played a Demon Hunter and never tried any other?

You know that big gem that looks like an eye in the hilt of Ashkandi?

ashkandibrotherhood-noheader-050616That one, right up there. Anyway, right now that eye gem is just looking at me as if to say ‘is this person serious’ and I’m trying to reassure her that it’s an honest question and you’re not just yanking her hilt. (She doesn’t have any chains.)

Her answer is Barbarian. She made sure I knew this by making me go out and kill a lot of Vrykul. There’s dead Vrykul everywhere. One dude’s torso is in sixty pieces. She’s very insistent.


Ok, now that we know what world quests are, and how important, pivotal and rewarding they are, it’s worth taking another swing at this question:

Is it reasonable to speculate that a relevant, rewarding overworld will take a huge bite out of queue-powered instancing in Legion?  I just got finished politely tanking a typically abusive randomly assembled timewalking dungeon, and my skin was notably thickened by the countdown in my head to world quests and not needing to do dungeons to enjoy my tank spec…. as tank specs are really really good at overworld content.

So speculate, am I the only LFG-using tank going on strike in a WoW where the overworld, where no one’s “the bossa me,” is a viable, highly supported PVE content direction?  Will that impact the game for singular people that rely on LFG to see dungeons as their main PVE occupation in WoW?

I’ll be honest, I took Ashkandi to Hellfire Peninsula and let her amuse herself murdering demons while I thought about this question.

I think you’re actually missing something. Right now, tanks get nigh instant queues. DPS can end up waiting between 10 minutes to an hour depending on the situation. If DPS players can just say Ah, the heck with this and run around the world doing World Quests and get comparable rewards to content that will cause them to be sitting in a Queue for an hour, why wouldn’t they just do that content instead?

At the very least, it’s likely to make DPS players feel like they have something to do while waiting for their queue to pop. But really, in a world with so many more DPS players than tanks or healers, and DPS has always been excellent at questing and soloing, I can easily foresee a situation where DPS players just ease back on how much LFD/LFR they do. Depending on what the rewards for World Quests shake out to be, of course.

That’s not to say that tanks don’t have a reason to avoid queues as well, but tanking is usually an instant pop or close to it, compared to the wait DPSers go through. In the end maybe it’ll all work out, and the players who just don’t like random queues (I’m one of those) will only run dungeons with friends and otherwise just do World Quests.


Ashkandi with her second best friend, the Drake Talon Cleaver. They talk about weapon stuff. You know, cutting limbs off, hacking foes apart, all that kind of thing.


Q4 the alpha testers: So far, how alt friendly is legion?

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “you won’t have time to do anything but your main and OS” and 5 being “level them all”.

I love having alts… I have 15 level 3 garrisons with shipyards and 7 legendary rings (of these, 4 are maxed or almost maxed at 795). I’m working on getting 3 more rings. Just doing 4 795 rings was a huge job…I think I’d get burned out fast if I had to do that constantly in legion.

Ashkandi decided we should go to Uldum and just kill every hostile thing we could find. I think that means she’s saying that Legion is more alt friendly than Warlords but to be honest maybe she was just feeling irritated about something. I’d certainly say it was more alt friendly than Warlords was.

Okay, that’s the Queue for today. Ashkandi says to have a nice weekend. Unless you’re a Forsaken, I guess, based on the sheer amount of them she just decided we should be killing.

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