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The QueueAug 23, 2016 11:00 am CT

The Queue: 40 levels in a day

So, I knew the whole Invasions as leveling tool experience had been radically improved by a recent hotfix — I’d leveled two characters in their 90’s with it, including my long abandoned Paladin. But upon getting him to 100 I decided to see how useful it was for a low level toon, my level 23 Warrior. So, this Monday, I took her to the Westfall one since she could get to it pretty easily.

Long story short, she’s now level 64. And I didn’t log on every two hours to hit all the Invasions, nor did I log out at an inn to reset a zone to stage 1 (although I was advised to do so on Twitter and I find that fascinating). This is just from hitting as many invasions as I could reasonably reach, with a last minute assist from my wife on her Sandstone Drake to get to some of the elites in Azshara. That one popped me up six levels by itself.

This is the Queue. Let’s chat about stuff.


If Anduin runs off in the Exodar at the end of Legion to take the fight to the Legion, who inherits the throne of Stormwind?

At present, there is no presumptive heir to the throne of Stormwind. (That we know of, anyway — Blizzard could easily provide one by saying some minor lord with a relation to the House of Wrynn exists) So if for some reason Andruin were to step down or die, there would be no one with a clear right of succession.

That being said, a King doesn’t lose his throne simply because he’s not sitting on it. Varian left Stormwind to go to Pandaria and Draenor and he was still King. Andruin leading an attack on Argus doesn’t strip him of his title or position. He’s still King even if he’s not there to rule — one presumes he’d appoint people to handle things in his absence.

Interestingly, as of right now, if Anduin was to choose a spouse in order to produce heirs for Stormwind, his potions are Calia Menethil (who is closer to his father’s age) and Tess Greymane.  (If we’re going with the stereotypical ‘marry a princess’ angle anyway.) I’m sure the House of Nobles in Stormwind will be pressing for Anduin to lock down someone from their ranks as they did his father.

I know some of you are already drawing Wrathion in a fantastic white suit here, but unless Dragons can do some interesting things it’s likely that the people of Stormwind would want someone who can provide an heir.


I didn’t cheer the deaths because I’m working for an Azeroth beyond petty faction wars. As an Alliance player I thought Vol’jin was a cool dude and I was sad to see him go. As for Varian, well, I cried ;__;

I still feel like the choice of Vol’jin here was a poor one. I understand that his death was to clear the way for Sylvanas as Warchief. But frankly, I’d have rather he wasn’t gone. I feel very much like his death was a waste of his potential and that he was very much underutilized as a character.

Varian, well, he’s been around a while and he’s gotten to be front and center quite a bit, sometimes when people didn’t want him to be. I feel like the Broken Shore gave him a final chance to show off why he was a big dog, so to speak — for everyone who ever protested why Tyrande might have been willing to let Varian lead the Alliance, the answer was finally shown. Watching him drop from the airship to mess up that Fel Reaver and make his charge at Gul’dan, you finally get why people followed this guy.

Vol’jin was still pretty heroic, but in the end his death was overshadowed and he didn’t get to show what he could have done as a Warchief.

Having fought a few of those Fel Reavers now, I come out of those cinematics deeply impressed with Varian as an Arms Warrior. He definitely shouldn’t have switched specs to Fury there at the end, the lack of self healing showed.


Wait a [censored] minute on the comment, “The Forsaken have put a far greater hurt on the Alliance than the Legion ever has.” That is BS. Let us take a quick trip down the WOW memory lane

The Legion did the following:
1.) Let the Orcish Horde loose on Azeroth in the first place. (Resulted in the torching of Stormwind)

2.) Let the Scourge loose on the Eastern Kingdoms, which resulted in the destruction of the majority of the Alliance (Lodereon,  Silvermoon, Dalaran)

3.) Remember when Kel’Thuzzad summoned Archimonde to the world? First thing he did was blow what was left of Dalaran to high heaven…

4.) Reinfected the Orcs so they could kill Cenarius, even though he did get main character Rez a few years later.

5.) 10,000 years ago blew up the world…

6.) Tried to have Illidan blow up the world to stop the Scourge they created but let get out of control

7.) Seemed to be responsible for the events of the Wrathgate, even though it was forsaken that carried it out.* I am basing this on the fact Varimathas seemed to be the brain child of the rebellion and during the encounter was speaking to the Legion

8.)  By stupidly leaving Frostmourne in the Frozen Throne, created the Forsaken in the first place.

9.) Corrupted the Scarlet Crusade (granted they likely didn’t need a lot of push) and led to the death of the first Ashbringer. Severely weakening any chance the Alliance might have had in reclaiming Lordereon.

10.) Killed a whole lot Draenei via those demon blood infested orcs.

11.) Created the Felwood…

And this is just the off the top of my head list. Point being the Alliance has suffered a great many losses to the Legion itself and to brush them off as far less worse than the Forsaken is just factually wrong.

Granted, the Forsaken have done plenty of terrible things to the Alliance, including but not limited to
1.) the Wrathgate (see above)
2.) Blight bombing Hillsbrad
3.) Blight bombing Southshore
4.) That whole invasion of Gilneas
5.) Alas, Andorhal
6.) The blight in general
7.) Stormgaurde
8.) Most likely blight bombed half the Alliance’s puppies and kittens during 1-5

I think, debate about which is actually worse aside (Alex was specifically speaking from the perspective of his character, and not himself, and it’s understandable that a character in game might not know all of that even if I agreed with your reasoning in all your exaples, which I don’t) there’s still a kernel of truth to be had in the idea that Alliance players fighting to defend certain Horde zones is utterly ridiculous even with the Legion threat bearing down on us all.

I’m not saying they wouldn’t hold their noses and do so anyway, but for me on my Night Elves, going into Azshara and having the Goblin Trade Prince who stole my people’s ancestral land so he could make a giant Horde symbol barking orders at me is pretty messed up. It’s very tempting to imagine her saying ‘You know what, demons? You can have the Goblin in the hat.’ I mean, coming in from Talrendis Point on that same Night Elf Warrior I’ve been leveling and seeing what the goblins have done to the zone… it makes me want to let the Legion roll into Orgrimmar. I mean, the Legion attack is technically on Org’s gate, so all I’d really have to do is nothing, and my people get some vengeance for the Horde’s blatant attack on Ashenvale (they firebombed Astranaar, killed everyone at Silverwind Refuge and then desecrated their bodies by leaving them to rot on the ground, killed our allies at Maestra’s Post.. and I’m going into Azshara, which they wholly stole from us, to help them?

Yes, the Legion is a grave threat. They beat the combined forces of the Horde and Alliance at the Broken Shore. We have to fight them. But to dismiss the Horde/Alliance conflict and how it would affect people’s motivations is something a lot of players do — I’ve seen a lot of complaints that Blizzard is ‘pushing the Faction conflict’ in Legion, when in fact they’re just exploring the consequences of certain character arcs. There’s no way you put Sylvanas in charge of the Horde and Genn Graymane doesn’t go after her and her forces given even the slightest opportunity to do so. If anything, keeping that story confined to Stormheim is showing restraint.

So, sure, the Legion is absolutely the bigger threat and I’ll stipulate that they’ve had a hand in a huge list of terrible things to befall Azeroth, but it’s still hard to imagine my Human or Night Elf characters being sanguine about going to, say, Tarren Mill. My Human Warrior is from Lordaeron. He grew up in Brill. Seeing everything he ever loved reduced to what it is today, seeing what the Forsaken did to Southshore, it’s very hard to imagine him not saying ‘Let them wipe each other out. Then we can fight the winner.’

That’s not to say it’s not weird seeing Horde in Dun Morogh or Westfall, but neither of those places are such glaring reminders to the Horde of an Alliance aggression against them. I mean, maybe a Legion invasion of the Southern Barrens might be like that? I don’t know.


Probably the last person to realize this, but, just in case you, like me, had been keeping your Elixir of the Rapid Mind‘s for the perfect occasion (that is to say, dumping them in some dusty old bag, and promptly forgetting about them), well.. Pairing them with the Legion Invasions? Perfect Occasion

I was going through that Nelf’s bags on hitting level 64 (I hadn’t played her in a while) and lo and behold, I happen to have one of those bad boys in there. Didn’t even touch it yesterday.

So yeah, the fact that I’m doing this right now is a sign of my deep commitment to you all. Because my hands are sweating at the idea of popping that bad boy and running around Whirlwinding all the demons for massive XP and great justice.


I didn’t think that Sylvanas and the Forsaken created The Blight.  I was always under the impression it was a Lich King Thing as during Warcraft 3 you could only build your structures on Blight.  Am I wrong?

Short answer — yes and no.

Long answer — the stuff Sylvanas and her Royal Alchemist’s Society have cooked up (on her direct orders — there is no debate here, Sylvanas ordered them to do it) and which the Forsaken have unleashed in Gilneas, Southshore and other places (again, on Sylvanas’ direct orders, as we see in the Worgen starting zone and the Tarren Mill quests) is a new version of the original Plague of Undeath that the Cult of the Damned used to help the Lich King spread his Scourge throughout Lordaeron.

Was there Blight before Sylvanas ordered her version created? Yes. You even used to grind up Plagued creatures in the Plaguelands for Blight samples back in vanilla, if you played as Horde. And when you did that, you were helping Sylvanas create her new variant of the Plague. That’s what the Forsaken were up to throughout vanilla WoW, in fact. They were making this new version of the Plague, a far deadlier strain that liquefies those unfortunate enough to be its victims. Turns them into goo, and worse, in some cases that goo still seems to retain some sort of intelligence since it can attack you.

Man, just thinking about Southshore gives me the shivers.

So yes, there was Blight before the Forsaken made their new, even more horrible version. But Sylvanas still ordered her people to create something even worse than the original, and they still absolutely did do exactly that.


So I’ve been doing invasions and leveling alts (wow, have my Alliance alts been neglected), when I started thinking about the logistics of the invasion. And one invasion site…doesn’t make sense. At all.

Northern Barrens and Azshara are perfect staging grounds to strike Ogrimmar and Thunder Bluff. Kharanos and Westfall are great staging areas to strike Ironforge and Stormwind respectively. And Hillsbrad, while not ideal, is close enough to Undercity Gilneas that it’s worth the effort (it’s also where Archimond stood once to take out Dalaran. Honoring your leaders for the win!)

And then…there’s Tanaris. In terms of invasion, Tanaris is…nonsensical. It’s not near Ogrimmar, Thunder Bluff…hell, even Theramore (if it was still there). It’s relatively isolated by mountains, desert, and sea. There’s the bugs that would sooner exterminate the Legion and thus be a hindrance. So…why there? The Caverns of Time? Possibly, but the Bronze Dragonflight could always collapse the cavern rather than let it fall into Legion hands. And the re-origination device in Uldum has been disabled, so there’s no prize there.

It’s just not strategically important compared to the other locations. Hell, Darkshore and/or Felwood make more sense, being close to Teldrassil, Hyjal, and Moonglade–a major city, the World Tree, and a blessed territory. And Felwood is already attuned to their presence. Those are logical footholds to try and make into this world.

So why Tanaris? What’s the point of invading one of the least strategically important places in the world? Any ideas anyone (other than game mechanics)?

The following locations are within striking distance for Tanaris:

The Caverns of Time. Hit those, successfully take them, and you’ve got access to Time Travel, something the Legion seems unable to do on its own.

Uldum. The Halls of Reorigination are sitting there with an actual blow up the world device inside them. You want to kill whole planets? Why not let them do the work for you?

Un’Goro Crater. This former ‘petri dish of the Titans’ still has a Titan waygate which would allow the Legion to move through to Sholozar at will, as well as technology that prevented the Old Gods from crossing it for eons. The Legion has their own portal tech, but Titan waygates seem superior (they’re certainly more durable) and anything that can mess with the Old Gods is worth looking at.

The Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj. Sure, the Legion are just as horrible as the Old Gods, but there’s no love lost between the two and the Legion know they’re going to have to fight those guys sooner or later.

Feralas. The largest contingent of Night Elf Sentinels outside of Darnassus itself are sitting right there. Take them out and you’ve crippled the only military force on Azeroth which can say it’s beaten the Legion twice.

I agree that Tanaris and Gadgetzan aren’t priority targets on first glance, but the Legion already has forces pounding on Orgrimmar’s back gate, threatening Undercity, Ironforge and Stormwind (and also, Tarren Mill’s not all that far from Quel’Thalas) so expending some effort to get your hands on either time travel or a working Titan reset button seems like worthwhile goals to me.


Something I feel needs to be pointed out: there is currently no Horde vs Alliance Conflict.

Yes, Genn is pissed at Sylvanas – and who can blame him after all she has done? – but he is still supporting Anduin, who does not support striking back.

The Horde, despite the change in leadership, has taken no overt actions against the Alliance, and even refer to the Elfs in Ashenvale as “Allies” in the Norther Barrens invasion.

Khadgar and the Kirin Tor are letting the Horde back into Dalaran.

And you – yes, YOU – are becoming your class leader, willfully inviting members of BOTH factions into your order hall. Whatever your personal feelings are regarding the history of Alliance vs Horde (including the Broken Shore) are being put aside in order to meet the threat of the Legion.

Now, might this change over the course of Legion? Of course. But as of this moment, as we gather strength and prepare to return to the Broken Isles, there is no Horde vs Alliance faction war.

This is all true, but it does ignore Stormheim, where there very much is a faction conflict. Now, Stormheim hasn’t happened yet (although neither have Class Order Halls, so that doesn’t count either), so I get your point. As of right now, far from open hostilities, the heroes of Azeroth are flying around saving each other’s cities even when those cities are Tarren Mill or Westfall.

Seriously, Legion. Just drop down in Elwynn next time. I mean, really now.

We do know that there will be Horde vs. Alliance conflcit — that’s not open for debate — but in the current stage of the Invasion it’s correct to say that there is a certain level of cooperation between the factions.

Okay. That’s the Queue for today. I’m off to go level some more alts, work on the sequel to Nameless (Available now, you can click that button over on the side, and buy Alex’s book while you’re at it) and get ready to Podcast today. I’ll see you all Friday.

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