The QueueMar 10, 2017 11:00 am CT

The Queue: And also the R

It’s an in-joke. Don’t worry too much about it.

Let’s chat, ladies and gentlemen.


I had an epiphany the other day. Back when I first started playing D&D, I played a Ranger. I always liked the idea of wizards, sorcerers and spell-casters, but the first class I played in D&D was a Ranger. I played one for a long time.

While I picked up spell-casters in other games, and eventually in later editions of D&D as well, I never forgot my “roots” so to speak with the game.

Then the other day, I realized that with me currently playing a Hunter, that’s sort of a “return to my roots”, as Rangers are analogous to Hunters (with the current Survival spec being the closest to the classic D&D Ranger. Although I play BM.)

This was combined with the fact that I gave my Mage some extended playtime the other day for the first time in a long time, and I’m really not liking the Legion changes. Fire just doesn’t feel “fun” to me anymore. In my heart I’ll always be a Mage, but now I realize my current class recalls my RPG history, and one of the first classes I ever played.

I’ll be upfront, I put this  one here so I could talk about WoW and D&D at the same time.

I’ve been playing D&D since 1983 (I was eleven). I first started on the Basic Set before moving on to playing both AD&D and the D&D Expert Set. These were very much different games, and for a long, long time, AD&D (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons) and D&D were so different that they were hard to even compare. Some of the basics were the same, but in D&D, Elves, Dwarves and Halflings were classes — if you decided to play a Dwarf, for example, you didn’t play a Dwarf Fighter or a Dwarf Cleric, you just played a Dwarf, and you were basically a Dwarf Fighter with special abilities but slower progression.

Why am I bringing this up? Mostly nostalgia, but I do have a point, and that point is that Warcraft and WoW are very much influenced by D&D and games like Warhammer (which of course borrow from Tolkien and other fantasy novels and stories) but they don’t match up 1 to 1, and that’s always been a source of frustration for me playing WoW.

One of my favorite classes in D&D to this day is Paladin. One of my oldest characters was a Paladin, a humble sort named Garth of Tralver, the bastard son of a minor lord who took holy orders mostly to escape his shame over his origins and who discovered a real vocation in the process. I played Garth in something like six campaigns, kept re-rolling him, played him in homebrew games and Greyhawk and Faerun and even had him in an Eberron campaign for a while. (He was Garth of Sharn there.) And as much as I liked playing Garth, I’ve never rolled a Paladin named Garth in WoW, because nothing about WoW Paladins would fit him.

(Incidentally, my first D&D character ever was a Fighter, because in 1979 you had to play AD&D to play a Ranger. I started in D&D.)

I love Paladins in Warcraft lore, but I’ve yet to feel like the any of the playable specs matches what I like about them. Ret comes closest and so I keep stubbornly trying to play Ret but I keep not enjoying it, and I haven’t for years now. If you do, that’s great, and I hope you keep enjoying it. For me it’s just always been painful. But when we start the leveling stream up Horde side, I’m going Paladin again, because I’m just that stubborn.


I still have 40 minutes to go and I’m sitting here plotting out the most efficient way to get lunch. /twitch

Anyway, show of hands, who here’s abandoning life to play Mass Effect in two weeks? HYPE.

I’m going to be honest, one of the reasons I wish Blizzard would gird their loins and do a full on single player RPG is that I want Bioware to feel some heat. Bethesda makes good games, but they’re very Bethesda games and they don’t feel like competition for Bioware, and while companies like Obsidian and Beamdog might get there someday, they’re not there yet. I had hopes for Horizon Zero Dawn but going console exclusive meant it’s not going to rival the Bioware juggernaut, and Nintendo and Zelda again feel like they’re a very specific niche thing of their own (although clearly Breath of the Wild has staying power and can actually get people to buy the Switch).

Blizzard’s story chops are something we could debate (a lot of people didn’t like Diablo 3‘s story and Overwatch had made its story something that happens in other media, not the game itself) but I’d really like to see them take some of the game design excellence and put it in service of a single player game. I say this as a fan of Skyrim, Fallout, Dragon Age (I’m currently replaying Dragon Age 2, in fact) and of course Mass Effect, although I am still kind of unhappy with ME3‘s ending. I loved what Bioware did with story in MMO’s with The Old Republic (I still think that was some of the best storytelling in an MMO I’ve ever played through) and would definitely like Blizzard to mix it up with something less hack and slashy.

I don’t expect to see this, but I’d be happy to be wrong.


Q4tQ: So… ok, I know that SOMEONE is going to say “oh but leveling 100-110 is so fast,” and I acknowledge that, but this isn’t really my question, but one I end up addressing every now and then among guildies and altoholics that are even more time-efficiency minded than I am.

Are heirlooms stopping at 100? 7.2 feels like a sound halfway point of the expansion, and the brand spankin new MoP TW vendor is still only providing heirloom upgrades to 100. I have had all classes to 110 for awhile, I’m cool with or without them, but for the sake of my friends I must ask: is this it for heirlooms as far as we can guess? Is there any word by Blizz anywhere on the radar that I haven’t seen? Do they regret them? Is the idea outdated? What’s the deal here? I have multiple altoholic guildies with full collections of them, waiting to use them, and I think these are fair questions.

As of right now there are no plans to make Heirlooms scale to 110. I wouldn’t expect to see that until the next expansion, if at all considering we’re likely to get a free boost to the next expansion’s starting level if it continues the pattern set in Warlords and Legion. So when Rage of Argus comes out (I just made that up, it’s not the next expansion) it will likely have a level boost to 110, and thus, heirlooms will not be as necessary as in previous expansions.

Perhaps they’ll still put them in, perhaps they won’t. Right now, though, there’s been no sign of heirlooms boosting to 110.


Q4tQ: what is the most inebriated you have been for a raid?

For me, not too much. OTOH, beer and AV go together. That dwarf hunter that kept falling out of the towers? That was me. With St. Patty’s day and the BG weekly coming up, I see a significant PvP bender in my future.

I am a recovering alcoholic who has not touched alcohol since 2000. I do not drink, and I have not had an alcoholic drink the entire time World of Warcraft has existed. So the answer to your question is, I have never been inebriated at all in a raid.

Now, I once got so massively drunk that I attempted to bite the Archbishop of York. But that was in 1995. WoW wouldn’t exist for another 9 years.


I believe the top-ranks of the Burning Legion have a knowledge of easy, huge-scale way to destroy the undead. Otherwise the plan to “make Scourge, let it wipe the living, then come in and wipe the Scourge” doesn’t make sense: we’ve learned at the end of the WotLK that the Scourge may very well be stronger than the Alliance and the Horde combined.

But if Kil’Jaeden actually knows that one simple trick ™ to destroy all of the undead on the plantary scale, then it all makes sense: after all, I don’t believe that KJ the Deceiver of all people would expect Ner’Zhul or anyone else to keep his side of the deal.

What do you think?

If Kil’jaeden knew one simple trick to wipe out all the Scourge, then he’s a massive idiot for not using it.

“Illidan, I know you’ve proved you’ll betray me at the drop of a hat and have, in fact, actually killed one of my dreadlords, taken over Outland and otherwise been a huge pain in my big red butt, but instead of squashing you like an insect I’m going to give you a chance to weasel your way out of it by giving you a task I could easily achieve by myself.”

I think it’s more likely that while he didn’t expect Ner’zhul to be loyal to him, he assumed he’d put enough safeguards in place with Mal’Ganis, Tichondrius, Balnazzar, Varimathras and Detheroc all watching him and didn’t realize just how devious Ner’zhul was. After all, he’d easily lied Ner’zhul into starting the Draenei purge and just as easily removed him from power as soon as Ner’zhul learned the truth, it wasn’t like the former Elder Shaman had a great track record when it came to battles of wits with Kil’jaeden.

But Ner’zhul chose well in Kel’Thuzad and Arthas, and managed to get Illidan to help him kill Tichondrius, so it turned out Kil’jaeden simply underestimated how clever he was. Which makes sense, considering how easily he fooled the Orc before. When you clown someone that hard (I mean, he actually successfully pretended to be Ner’zhul’s dead wife) it’s not surprising you lose respect for them.

So no, I don’t think the Legion has a ‘kill all undead’ button. Considering my Death Knight is undead, why wouldn’t they use it and take out the Scourge and the Ebon Blade and the Forsaken in one shot?


Q4tQ: On a scale of “work complete” to “stop that incessant clicking”, how excited are you for Chronicle Volume 2?

Okay, that’s the Queue for today. I’ll see y’all next week. Unless I fail my saving throw.

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