The QueueJan 10, 2017 11:00 am CT

The Queue: Cosmos

I have a weird problem in that the old Carl Sagan series Cosmos and the World of Warcraft addon suite of the same name are kind of jumbled up in my head. Yes, I know Neil deGrasse Tyson did a new series, but the one I watched as a kid is the Sagan one.

Anyway, the Algalon fight always makes me feel a little bad, both because it reminds me of the old days when I used Cosmos and because I feel like I’m beating up on Carl Sagan. Still, it’s really pretty just before he aggros.

Here’s the Queue. Let us go then, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky like a backdrop on an old educational TV show.


Q4tQ: With the release of Nighthold, will Mythic+ start dropping higher ilevel gear again? Did Blizzard say anything about if or when this would occur, or what ilevel the gear would increase to?

I do not recall any specifics aside from “We’re aware this is an issue” and there’s nothing in the patch notes to indicate that they’ve implemented any changes to loot ilevels in Mythic dungeons or World Quests. My assumption is that they’ll likely make any such change (if they do at all) with patch 7.2 as we get the Tomb of Sargeras and the various new demon invasions to unlock it.

As far as I’m aware there has been no mention of how the gear ilevel would be improved or by how much.


QFTQ – Has anyone else found the lack of ability to fly to one’s corpse in ghost form the most infuriating aspect of this entire expansion? Why would Blizz punish us like this on an expansion with so many terrain variations and hard-to-reach-via-ground locations?

True story. I fell off a cliff in Stormheim trying to get to a World Quest because I forgot I already had the flight point and didn’t have to do this stupid ‘go up past the dragons and then find a narrow path down a steep cliff’ thing again, and the place my corpse ended up meant that I couldn’t reclaim it. So I had to res at the spirit healer, which meant I couldn’t keep going for ten minutes.

I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a consequence for character death. But making me pick my way through treacherous terrain only to make it so I can’t even get to my body just makes me annoyed. It doesn’t make me cool down or reduce my stress level to run back to my corpse only it’s too far up or stuck in a way that I have to try and drop off of a cliff and land just right on my body to res.


Q4tQ: So, hang on… if 7.2, which we know is likely hitting the PTR when or soon after 7.1.5 drops… aren’t we then kind of “all caught up” until Blizzard is in a suitably media-focused promotional position to talk specifics for later patches since it seems they want the PTR to always be cooking? We can look forward to 7.2, sure, but in theory, 7.2 can’t drop until a potential 7.2.5 or 7.3 is pretty much ready to go on the PTR, which would require an info dump, right? Are we therefore looking at a likely 7.2 drop relatively close to a major convention or even Blizzcon? Maybe 7.3 will be the blizzcon dump, and 7.2.5’s briefing will be at a “lesser” convention?

I wouldn’t assume that Blizzard won’t simply make a media push when it’s on their terms to do. I don’t see them holding back content this expansion — they seem pretty focused on getting it out. I mean, 7.1.5 is what they called a ‘mini-patch’ at BlizzCon, and it’s not small. Lots of class changes, lots of updated systems and things like Brawler’s Guild, Micro-Holidays and Mists Timewalking in there.

As a result I expect 7.2 will be a very large patch. I don’t think Blizzard needs to wait to release it for any particular reason. They can absolutely put it out whenever they want to, really, and people will cover it on their terms. They don’t need to wait for a convention. It’s much more likely that it will hit the PTR, be tested, and be released when they feel it’s most beneficial to the game to do so.

Are there any MMO’s coming out in the next few months? Darkfall is launching in April, right? I’ll speculate that 7.2 will drop in April.


Q4TQ: As I play Beast Mastery, I’ve noticed our Legendaries are things we used to have by default, or were talents. Adapation, Bestial Wrath lowering our focus costs, etc. Why do we have to get an RNG Legendary to get things back that we’ve had for years?

Short, dirty answer — so you can have those abilities at all without cluttering up talent and ability choices.

Longer, more thoughtful answer — We’re at level 110 now, and the philosophy behind the Ability Pruning we saw in Warlords is actually a sound one. We’re in danger of going crazy with buttons to press. Even in Mists we were seeing some compression because things were getting out of hand. World of Warcraft is already to the point where you have a solid ten to twenty buttons you can press depending on class and spec, and that’s a fair amount.

But Blizzard knows that every ability they prune is someone’s favorite. By putting those abilities back on legendary items they have a way to let you build your character in a unique way and give you some of that nostalgia about an ability you loved but which doesn’t fit the current design paradigm as a talent or class ability. It’s trying to satisfy both at once. Whether or not it’s successful is up to the player base to determine. I know my legendary doesn’t have any such ability on it, it just makes my Whirlwind hit everyone again if there’s three or more mobs for it to hit.


Q4tQ: Does Blizzard need to have everything in WoW explained and make sense? There have been a couple questions today, and a ton in the past, that ask how things are related, how things work, or why something happened. Does Blizzard owe it to us to provide reasons for it all?

I’m one of those people that wants to know everything about everything in WoW. But I have begun to think it may be unreasonable to expect Blizzard to provide all the answers I seek.

Any attempt to make everything in a fantasy setting 100% consistent and explained will just lead to further questions as inconsistencies become apparent and then themselves need to be explained. This is a feature of the creation of complex fictional settings and it’s why we get cool new stuff.

Example — the setting changed greatly between Warcraft II and Warcraft III. We went from a single continent to discovering two others, Northrend and Kalimdor, and in the process the War of the Ancients and the original battle against the Legion 10,000 years ago was established. That was all new when WCIII came out. It wasn’t in the first two games.

Now, this isn’t license for creators to just make errant nonsense and throw it at you. There has to be an attempt to bring disparate elements into enough logical consistency to allow for suspension of disbelief. And sometimes there will be errors. The infamous Draenei ‘retcon’ is one of those — Chris Metzen (the writer of the Warcraft III guide that first lay out the lore behind Sargeras and the Eredar) contradicted himself in setting up the Draenei in The Burning Crusade. It happens, and when it does it’s an opportunity to creatively justify your decisions as they have over the years.

What I’m saying is, what Blizzard owes us is the best possible game they can make, and while logical consistency and reconciliation of disparate elements are tools in the arsenal they aren’t the be all and end all of the process. Sometimes the attempt just raises further questions, and that’s okay.

Okay. That’s the Queue for this week. I’m having a rough week, so I’m going to go try and not have a rough day. We’ll see how that works out.

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