The QueueJan 27, 2017 11:00 am CT

The Queue: My Warcraft Novel

For the record, yes, they should hire me to write a Warcraft novel, and it would be an awesome tale of the generational struggles of a family of Draenei during their long flight from Argus. I suspect I’d die working on Volume 10 of the thing.

It’s the Queue, let’s talk about stuff.


FALLANGER

so im the only one who wants an alternate reality expansion?

You’re likely not the only one, for the simple reason that there’s probably always someone who wants anything at any given moment. WoW is a huge game with an enormous fan base and while Warlords may have soured some players on the idea, others may still be interested in the concept. Technically Warlords was exactly that — we went to an alternate history where instead of drinking the Blood of Mannoroth, Grom refused it and used advanced war machinery from our timeline to create a new version of the Horde. The fact that it all went to Fel at the end doesn’t change the fact that it was an alternate reality.

Heroes of the Storm proves that there’s lots of mileage in the idea of alternate takes on the characters and stories we know. I’d almost rather a series of dungeons built around the concept — I can easily imagine us needing some MacGuffin to beat the Legion once and for all that meant going to various alternate realities to retrieve ‘Titan Essence’ or something, and thus running into the timeline where Malfurion was the one locked up and watched by Warden Tyrande Whisperwind, or the reality where Azshara had become a Druid and Illidan had ruled the ancient Highborne, or the one where Zul’jin had joined the New Horde and thus the Blood Elves were trapped in Quel’Thalas. A Caverns of Time style change of pace rather than an entire expansion of just one idea.


SPENCER MORGAN

Q4tQ: Why has blizzard never thought to make a ‘Skyrim’ of their own? As for exploring a brilliant world WoW does that well enough for the Warcraft IP. Yet, exploring StarCraft means being stuck in the confines of the RTS genre (I’m no fan of Blizzard’s business model of selling each race’s chapter of the story as a full game, but that’s another conversation). Diablo could really use the story focus in the next game, storytelling in D3 felt like something that got the job done! To be clear, by ‘Skyrim’; I don’t mean the exact same leveling and combat system as the Bethesda games. Simply a game meant to be experienced as a single player, in a vast, beautiful, and dangerous setting. Where the story unfolds through exploration, discovery, and the occasional cut-scene. Instead of a series of NPCs lecturing you on what’s going on. I’m thinking of Diablo, and StarCraft as I write this. Please avoid answering with “Blizz hates single player games!”.

I am very clearly not Blizzard, I don’t work there, and aside from the occasional tweet to and from there I don’t really even know anyone there. So this is pure speculation but I think it’s fair to say we can deduce from their releases that Blizzard likes games you can play with your friends or with other people, that they’ve gone all in with always on internet and that while they’re capable of and willing to tell stories with their games, they’ll always put gameplay ahead of story.

What does that ultimately mean?

Well, it means that a big, sprawling single player sandbox game might be better left in the hands of studios like Bethesda or Bioware. It’s not that Blizzard couldn’t do this but that they’re disinclined to do it, that their passion lies in other directions. I’ve argued before that I would love it if Blizzard did something exactly like what you’re suggesting, or even an Assassin’s Creed style game with Nova/the Ghost program, but I recognize that it doesn’t seem likely at the moment.


HAIB

Q4TQ: Does anyone else feel like things have gone a little too smoothly in Legion so far story-wise? I mean we hit a few speedbumps along the way (losing Ysera, Vol’jin, Varian) but as a whole we got major artifact weapons and picked up most of the pillars of creation. We infiltrated Suramar without too much effort and took down some demigods (Helya).

I guess I am waiting for some kind of plot twist. Like Khadgar betraying us then Jaina swooping in to save us all. Or maybe modern storytelling has spoiled me.

First off, the story isn’t over yet — patch 7.2 sees the Legion go on the counterattack in several zones. Furthermore, while we do manage to push into Suramar and ultimately confront a certain someone atop the Nighthold, it’s not like we just walk up and have it super easy. Stuff happens (I’m deliberately not spoiling Nighthold here for people who run it via LFR and haven’t gotten to see it yet) and it continues to happen.

Honestly, I’m not sure why you associate the events you describe with ‘modern’ storytelling. Things fall apart into absolute crap in Hamlet for example. Beowulf has an ever escalating series of conflicts that doesn’t end well for the eponymous Geat in question. The Iliad is basically the story of how it took the Greeks ten freaking years to sack Troy and how things kept falling apart on them in part because Agamemnon didn’t know when not to be a jerk to the best fighter on his side.

World of Warcraft plays out much as you’re describing if you look at it as a whole — we defeat one great threat, only for it to turn out that things got worse while we were trying to deal with that threat and now there’s a new threat. Just in Warlords we saw Cordana betray us and now we’re dealing with the fallout of her betrayal.

Remember, we’re going to Argus. There’s a lot left past 7.2 and we have no idea how it will all shake out.


THE MILKMAN, NOT MISTAH JAY

Q4tQ: Could Orcs one day be Paladins?

The way I see it, Orcs are an inherently violent race, more so by drinking the Blood of Mannoroth. During the time of the internment camps, they became lethargic, and if Grom himself was an indication, regretting what they did under the Blood.

Who’s to say a few Orcs wouldn’t see what The Light can do (especially with Argent Tournament, fighting against the Scourge) and wished to try and redeem themselves with it? They might not become Priests because standing around shooting spells might not be what those old Warriors are capable of doing, but wielding it as a weapon against EEEEVILLLLLLLLLLLLLL as a Paladin could go a long way to seek what they think is forgiveness

Well, the fact is it seems like anybody who wants it bad enough can become a Paladin. So the answer to the question of ‘Could Orcs become Paladins‘ is a theoretical yes. It is possible. Is it likely?

No. Orcs tend to have a survival of the fittest mentality. The idea of the kind of self sacrifice it takes to embrace the Holy Light (or any variation of it, such as the Light of Elune — who herself seems more connected to the Holy Light than we originally anticipated) seems anathema to their culture, even before they drank the Blood of Mannoroth. Shamanism, which is a path of balance between extremes seems more in tune with Orc spirituality than the path of the Paladin. Orcs don’t even have Priests, so it’ll be a bit of a slog for them to have Paladins (but remember, Tauren got both Priests and Paladins at once, so it’s not impossible).

I don’t see it happening any time soon, but it’s just technically possible.


PEPE STORMSTOUT

Q4tQ: What World of Warcraft class-specific ability, spell, talent or glyph (past or present) would be the most overpowered, awesome or funny if it was given to another class?

(Inb4 Metamorphosis/Dark Apotheosis warlock and demon hunter feud)

Dude, they gave Execute to everyone. Everyone had a freaking Execute for a while there. Maybe they toned it back, but I remember being furious that Blizzard kept giving other classes Execute.

Now they gave Survival Hunters Harpoon which is functionally a better Charge than Charge is.

Warriors, the class every other class bites on constantly. Half the Paladin tanking kit has been improved Warrior tanking abilities over the years. You want a class ability that will be overpowered in another class’ hands? Whatever it is, Warriors already have it, and when another class gets it the thing will be twice as good as our version. Whirlwind, Charge, Shield Slam, Execute, you name it.

Okay, that’s the Queue for this Friday. Take care of yourselves, guys.

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Filed Under: Alternate Reality, Argus

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