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The QueueMay 30, 2016 11:00 am CT

The Queue: I’m no hero

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!


Is Alex doing the Queue tomorrow as normal, or someone else?



Q4rQ: As a Patreon supporter, can’t seem to figure out where to ask, so I’ll try here again.

1) After reading Illidan, which creation process and existence is more miserable: Death Knight or Demon Hunter?

2) The novel Illidan seems to mess yet again with the timeline. Per the book, the Alliance and Horde came through the Dark Portal just two months before we raided the Black Temple, yet that expansion was supposed to last a YEAR?!? How should we reconcile that?

You can ask wherever, really. I look in both places. Whether or not we answer a question is still dependent on whether we think we can answer it or provide a good answer.

Both Death Knight and Demon Hunter seem miserable but at least Demon Hunters go into it willingly. Death Knights (at least Wrath era Death Knights) didn’t get a choice in the matter. They were raised and put into service. Demon Hunters know what they’re signing up for.

As for the Burning Crusade timeline, I think we can assume we spent time doing other things. There was the Sunwell crisis and the entire campaign on Quel’Danas. And there could’ve been a period of relative calm before the Scourge reared its ugly head and we took a trip to Northrend. Just because the timeline says a year passed between the start of BC and the start of Wrath doesn’t mean we were in constant battle the whole time. Think of a school year in the US: you aren’t actually in school for a year. There’s a summer vacation in the mix.

That said, I think only two months passing between going through the Dark Portal and conquering Black Temple is far too quickly. We pushed Illidan and the Legion back across an entire continent in only two months? Not likely. But the precise amount of time it took isn’t all that important, really.


What is the impact of the current highly negative reviews of the Warcraft movie?  Why are they so negative?  How will they affect the future of the Warcraft movie franchise?

And what is the reason for the big disparity between the audience reaction to the movies, which has been overwhelmingly positive so far, and the critical reaction?  Will the audience reaction have any effect on the perception of the movie by the general public?

I don’t pay any attention to movie reviews. I’ve never let reviews decide whether or not I see a movie. If it interests me, I’ll watch it. Word-of-mouth from friends influences me more than a review written by someone I don’t know; if someone who shares my tastes and interests didn’t like it, I probably won’t like it, either. Or if they did like it, I’ll probably like it, too. I suspect that describes most people.

If most people cared about reviews, we wouldn’t consistently see movies which are received poorly by critics raking in hundreds of millions of dollars. In recent memory, there’s Batman vs Superman. If you want to look back further, The Fast and The Furious is 53% Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes. And let’s look at the films which followed it:

  • 2 Fast 2 Furious 36%
  • Tokyo Drift 37%
  • Fast & Furious 28%

When you get to Fast Five, it rockets up to 78% Fresh. Did the movies really get better at that point? Or did critics figure out the franchise is having a blast rather than trying to be revolutionary high-class cinema? Compare it to CinemaScore, which surveys film audiences after they’ve seen the film. Every Fast/Furious film past the first one received an A grade. If a movie’s success was based on critical review scores, Fast/Furious would’ve ended with the first movie. Instead, we have eight of them and they’re still making more. What CinemaScore has discovered is the vast majority of movies score a B and higher because most people simply want to be entertained for two hours. Whether that entertainment is comedy, action, drama, whatever — if you entertained them, they’ll say you did a good job. Critics look at a movie more deeply than that. They need to assess its strengths and weaknesses and rate it on the details. To many, that doesn’t matter. Critics don’t determine a film’s success.

If you find a movie reviewer who has the same taste you have, then trust their reviews. Otherwise, trusting strangers to tell you what to watch doesn’t make any sense.

Does that mean I hate critics? No. They have a job. They do it well. They simply don’t decide a movie’s financial performance and money is what determines success. Do I think Warcraft will suck? I don’t know. Probably not. I bet it’ll keep me entertained for two hours. But knowing Warcraft‘s story, and Blizzard stories in general, I’m not surprised critics don’t like it. Let’s be real: Blizzard stories are derivative and super corny. But if it’s fun, we often don’t care. Critics need to care. It’s their job to care. If Blizzard had a film for every one of their franchises, you can bet your buns critics would point out they’re all essentially the same story with different special effects. But if the audience has fun watching them, they’ll give that film an A and walk away content.

We’ll see how the Warcraft movie performs in the US when it releases in the US. Word-of-mouth and marketing will decide that, not professional reviews.


If you had your main toons spells/powers IRL… would you be good? or bad? would you use them to help people or yourself?

At this point in the expansion, I’m not sure I have a main. I’ve been rotating through alts. Regardless of the character, though, I would keep my abilities to myself. Use them to make life easier around my house, never use them outside, because it’s 2016 and as soon as people notice I’m using magical powers, I’m going to get wiped out by a drone strike.

Being a superhero involves a whole lot of hiding and I’m not very good at that. And it probably wouldn’t be worth it. I’d be content with summoning a few demons to do my chores around the house. Then I can banish them when anybody comes ’round.

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