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The QueueJan 4, 2017 11:00 am CT

The Queue: Insert gimmick here

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!


How did the factions get airships into Deepholm again? Did they just drive them in a nosedive into the Maelstrom?

Sure! That’s how we got in there, right? We jump on the back of a mount and dive down the hole. Why can’t they do it the same way?


If you were a dog..what breed would you be?

I don’t know anything about dogs except Polish Fest here in Milwaukee always has a little booth where you can hang out with Polish Tatra Sheepdogs. They’re cool lookin’. So I’ll go with that one. Because to me, every other breed of dog is just a dog. Big dog, little dog, yappy dog, quiet dog, fast dog, slow dog, they’re all just dogs.


What Blizzard-designed mount would you want to own IRL (assuming it works as it does ingame)?

The chauffeured mount because I don’t know how to drive nor do I want to learn how to drive. Someone else can drive for me. I mean, most of these mounts are animals so you don’t exactly need a driver’s license to ride them, but I don’t know how to ride a horse, either. And I don’t want to learn how to ride a horse. Or a dinosaur.

I have legs. Public transportation exists. I don’t trust myself at the wheel of an enormous machine or with the reins of an enormous beast. If someone wants to volunteer to drive me around, sure, they can do that. Otherwise, I’ll walk or take the bus. Worst case scenario, I call a cab.


So the nighthold preview just came out, and in the associated article here, we’re already talking about expansion length, so here’s my question arising from this: Am I alone in thinking that meaty 7.X patches like we’ve seen and had promised thusfar are requiring more and more time to breathe as the current reality? I can’t help thinking this due to the fact that patches are big promotional devices, and therefore this much work has to allow a suitable degree of time for, say a “brand new with 7.3” player to see absolutely everything. Do you think this is the case or is there an inherent “shoulda been here at launch” factor to something like an MMORPG? I guess the core of my question is don’t multiple bigger patches inherently necessitate a longer period between each patch? If so, what does that say for how long legion SHOULD stick around within the context of being fair to players who join later? All of this is also compounded by how many “legion era only” goals, and RNG-heavy ones at that, are in this expansion, IMNERHO.

I don’t think this holds up entirely because there’s something else to examine, which is expansions themselves. Should every expansion release more slowly than the previous one so new players can check out Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, and Warlords of Draenor before they catch up on Legion content? Nah. The goal is to get those people caught up quickly and easily so they can either make friends on current content or play with their friends who are already on current content. The same would apply to patches, I think. With each new content patch, the hurdles one must jump to reach it are lowered. Newer players should have a somewhat easier time progressing up to current content than the people who were there initially.

I’m not Blizzard, I’m not in marketing, I’m not even a game designer, but I’d think the cycle would be to recruit new players with the latest expansion, but use content patches to keep them. Whether Blizzard approaches it that way or not, I don’t know. But over the history of subscription numbers, we’ve seen how players come and go. New expansions are definitely what brings in the new players and brings back the players who let their accounts lapse. People will stick around for as long as there’s new, interesting content to do, but as soon as we hit a content lull, they leave in the millions. Warlords of Draenor had an enormous launch. It had a huge marketing push and its launch content was genuinely great — I stand by my launch day opinions that the questing was some of the best WoW had ever had, and the journey to max level was amazing. Problem was nothing of note came after that and the game hemorrhaged players.

Slowing down content releases seems like the opposite you’d want to do if you want people to keep playing. Patches should focus on player retention. Save recruitment pushes for major expansion releases.

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