The QueueJan 14, 2017 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Talking Tyrande

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!

I wonder if Blizzard has ever considered releasing a line of Night Elf jewelry. I mean yes, it’s overstated and pretty in-your-face, but it’s still pretty, you know? I could go for some earrings. You know what else I could go for? Questions. Luckily, we’ve got plenty of those!


USAGISENNIN ASKED:

Q4tQ: Do you think that the problem with Tyrande is that Blizzard has never really shown the romantic development arc between her and Malfurion?

Right now it just seems out there because as soon as Malfurion came back into the picture Tyrande just fell all over him like Xe’ra fell for Illidan.

She dose give a lot of deference to him, but maybe there is a reason for her overwhelming emotional attachment. Do you think Blizzard’s writers have the chops to write what would necessarily be a deeply intimate love story? Conversely do you think if Blizzard actually did fans would react positively to it?

I think — and I’ve said this before — a lot of the issues I have with Tyrande are just due to the back-and-forth we see with her character. In the War of the Ancients trilogy you see her in her early years with Malfurion and Illidan. The romance isn’t really highlighted so much because it’s just not a major part of the plot. They aren’t romance novels, they’re books about a war that defined who the kaldorei would become over the next 10,000 years. Tyrande was presented as a little naive, but at the same time it suited her character — young, shoved into leadership long before she was probably ready for it.

In Warcraft 3, we see her as a leader, and she’s tough. She’s blunt, she’s analytical, she’s an experienced leader and she’s been in that role for 10,000 years. She’s focused on what needs to be done, and while there’s some affection for Malfurion there, that affection doesn’t override her position as leader. Malfurion didn’t want her to free Illidan, she did it anyway, because they needed his help.

The problem that I have is that somewhere between Warcraft 3 Tyrande — who I quite liked — we bumped back to War of the Ancients Tyrande, and there’s little explanation for the personality shift. We’ve seen flashes of the Warcraft 3 version pop up every now and again, but it feels less like a character with many aspects to her personality, and more like a disjointed character whose personality nobody can really agree on.

So I don’t really think that showing that romantic development with Malfurion will do anything for her character, no. What I think would do lots for her character is to focus on and highlight just what’s going on in her noggin — all of it. We got one of those deep-dives with the Arthas novel, I wouldn’t really be opposed to seeing one focused on Tyrande, told from her point of view. Something that shows just what it’s like to live for 10,000 years and yes, love a dude — but also be a leader and everything else that goes along with it.


PVP SCRUB ASKED:

QFTQ: I used a mage portal in my class hall and popped up in Frostfire Ridge…I was like woah malfunction and ported back and went on my way. Unfortunately I now know that I had my opportunity to get the hidden artifact appearance…is my chance lost forever or will it happen again someday?

You’ll get it again someday! Watch for a note about strange noises or emanations coming from the portals — that’s your signal to go take the portal back to Frostfire and get the hidden appearance. And don’t sweat it too much, I think I must have missed the Druid screech notifier for the hidden appearance a good handful of times before I noticed it was there.


DRINDAAR_LIGHTKEEPER ASKED:

Thinking about zone design per expansion (BC-Legion) which expansion do you like the most? Personally, while WotLK is my favorite expansion, I think MoP had the best zone design and aesthetics.

I’m right there with you — although Legion also has a really appealing zone design, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of zones like Highmountain and Stormheim when flying mounts aren’t an option. Pandaria, however, had the advantage of not only being beautiful, but really captured that feeling of being somewhere we’d never seen before. Someplace where civilization went a completely different direction. Suramar hits me the same way, and I love Legion for that zone alone — for the city, mostly. I wish all cities were designed like that!


ROWSDOWA ASKED:

Question: When Garrosh dumped the Heart of Y’saarj in the pool in front of Mogu’shan Palace, he destroyed a large portion of the vale, up to that small pool in the center of the vale that one might presume are the last remaning portion the Aman’thul’s essence that Ra’den extracted from himself following the Titan’s death. HOWEVER, what about the Terrace of Endless Spring? The dungeon journal describes it as the “sacred center of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms” and that it is also “hidden high in the mountains.” Was it destroyed by Garrosh? Does it also contain Aman’thul’s essence? Should we need to contact the Highfather of the Pantheon, would the Terrace of Endless Spring be the first place we should go?

The waters of the Vale have nothing to do with Aman’Thul’s essence — Ra-den stored the essence in a vault near there, but it was later absorbed by Lei Shen — who then died trying to conquer and claim Uldum for the Mogu Empire. After Lei Shen was resurrected in Mists, he still had that essence — but then we killed him, and carted his heart to Wrathion, who promptly ate it.

In other words, the last remnants of Aman’Thul are currently residing somewhere in the digestive tract of an easily-irritated and very young uncorrupted black dragon. We’ll have to wait and see how that one plays out.


THE MILKMAN ASKED:

Q4tQ: Do you prefer to have a thematic interface (detailed UI, visually suitable for the game you’re playing) or a minimalist UI (more screen space to see what you’re doing)?

I very much prefer a minimalist UI. My button mod keeps everything small and tucked out of the way, my bar mod is streamlined and small for simplicity’s sake. I think my map is the only super-shiny thing on my screen, but that’s just because I like the SexyMap addon, and I’ve used it since it was first released — I could go minimalist with that one too, if I wanted to! I really just want everything as clean, tidy, small and out-of-the way as possible when I’m playing.

This is mostly a side effect from raiding with a healing class in vanilla. …if you ever did a 40-man raid as a healer in vanilla, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

That’s it for today’s Queue — if you have any questions you’d like to see answered, be sure to leave them in the comments below!

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