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The QueueJun 28, 2017 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Mitch, no

There’s no other way to phrase this: my coworker is a troll. And not the good kind of Troll you might find healing you in LFR or tagging along with you while learning to Druid. No, this coworker (whose name I shall not mention, not at all, you couldn’t guess) is just a troll.

Sorry about that.

Let’s do a Queue, shall we?


I can imagine the author of tomorrow’s queue reading these comments looking for questions and saying “Mitch, what have you done?”

This is literally me every week.


After a week of not playing WoW due to burnout, I’ve found a way to come back to the game and enjoy it again: stop playing alts.

Alts had been my favored way to play WoW since the end of Mists. But it worked because there wasn’t really a lot of content during the 1-year wait for WoD, and all of WoD. We had to find things to do, and alts were the perfect answer (for me, at least).

In Legion, I could only get so far while dedicating my WoW time to 12 characters. I did manage to complete all of their class hall campaigns, and get all of them to AK40… but at the end of that process, I had no desire to keep playing them anymore. I was only going through the motions, logging on each of them daily to check their missions, caches, and things like Darkmoon Faire and world bosses… but I wasn’t actually doing enjoyable things on them anymore.

This is a cycle that can swallow you without you even noticing it, and it is the main cause of burnout, in my opinion: doing things just for the sake of doing them, without actually enjoying them, or for fear of missing out.

Now I’ve picked a small group of characters that I’ll actually play: my shaman, monk and paladin (who have been my “mains” since Mists), plus my druid just to try something new every once in a while. The rest of my characters are “benched” for the time being. I didn’t even do the world boss on them this week.

Being able to play WoW every day without feeling like I have to check on all of them every day has been liberating. Yesterday, I was able to do some actual progress on my monk (who is now very close to the class mount), instead of taking killing the same world boss over and over again.

TL;DR: Legion and alts don’t mix. Picking a small number of character to focus on has made me enjoy WoW again.

Going into Legion, I wanted to play every class. Between Artifacts and class campaigns there were so many stories and I wanted to play through all of them. I wanted to level new alts to 100 to play them through Legion and go through more of their lore. I wanted to do everything!

The fact that I’ve written that in past tense probably gives you an idea of how long it lasted. I leveled my main to 110. I leveled an alt to 110. I worked on leveling a few miscellaneous other alts but never quite had the patience to make it. After all, what was there for me at the end other than a checklist? Do World Quests, do LFR, do Mythic+, all in an endless Artifact Power grind. After a while it was hard to motivate myself, and it’s really just back to a couple of core characters… and some casual, casual alts that I don’t even try to attack the grind on.

I know some of you out there keep up a ton of alts and I salute you. I can’t do it. It turns the game into an endless, un-fun checklist for me.


qftq: what are your opinions about cookie-cutter talents in this expansion?
for DH there is only one way to play in raids and i hate it, so i go with a underperform build and do subpar damage

Unfortunately, I think cookie cutter builds are going to be an issue in any game that has RPG elements. No matter how much the game developer tries — and I think Blizzard tries very hard to make talents on each tier competitive — some abilities are going to be better than others. And even if they’re only marginally better or situationally better, players develop this “cookie cutter” mindset where one choice is always right and the other choices are always wrong.

And once that becomes “common knowledge,” these cookie cutter builds become a social problem. Guilds and groups may not accept you because you don’t have the supposed “right” abilities — which sounds like it might be the problem you’re running into.

The trouble with this kind of conventional wisdom, though, is that it isn’t always right. The numbers that you get in a simulation or even the numbers the best players in the world can get aren’t necessarily the numbers that you and I can get in the real world. The best talents by math aren’t necessarily the best talents in practice. Take me for example: my Windwalker Monk has the level 45 talent Power Strikes when Energizing Elixir is hands-down the better talent. But Elixir is an on-use ability, and I have the bad habit of telling myself I’ll hold on to the cooldown until I really need it — or simply forgetting it entirely. (As you can see, I am a long way from being a perfect player.) So I usually run with Power Strikes, which is a passive that I don’t have to think about. It’s not the best talent, but I tend to get more DPS out of it.

If you look through the talents of every class, I think you’ll find that a lot. The best talents overall may not be the best talents for every player. We all play a little differently.

But who’s fault is it? That’s harder to say. If you’ve been watching the hotfix notes that have been coming out since patch 7.2.5, and especially since the Tomb of Sargeras opened, they’re definitely trying to position all classes to succeed… at least by their opinion. (If you’re an Affliction Warlock, you may not agree with this.) But it’s players who push this “wisdom of the crowd” on others, and vote kick you if you don’t have the right spec or aren’t doing enough DPS.

Though it isn’t exactly helpful advice, I’d say we could all stand to be a little more open minded about whether the cookie cutter is always the best answer.


Q4TQ: What’s the ilvl minimum for Tomb of Sargeras?

LFR wing 1, which opened yesterday, has a minimum ilevel of 860. Which was surprisingly hard to figure out as I don’t actually have any 110 alts that are under 860.


Are you doing the Fire Festival for the new pet and toy (and achievements)? Do you like when they add new bits to old holidays?

As someone who’s played since way back when in Vanilla, I have done some of these in game holidays a lot. And when Blizzard adds new rewards but changes nothing else, I’m honestly just a bit frustrated. It means going back to the same old grind for a shiny new trinket when hundreds (or thousands) of players are trying to do the same. It can be an exercise in frustration rather than fun… so, to be honest, it has to be a pretty cool reward to pique my interest.

I do kind of want that pet… but time will tell whether I have the patience to actually get it this year.


Q4Q: Which Warcraft racial leaders would go into which Harry Potter houses?

I’ve been waiting 20 years 10,000 years for this question.

Okay. Maybe not. (Do you really think I’m that old? Hopefully not.)

  • Sylvanas: Do you even have to ask? This lady’s a Slytherin. She’s determined to reach her goals and won’t let anyone get in her way. (So just don’t get in her way.)
  • Illidan: His “ends justify the means” schtick is also very Slytherin. Like Sylvanas, nothing will get in his way. (But I’m still more scared of Slyvanas.
  • Khadgar: The worst kind of Gryffindor. He’s heedless of danger (especially danger to you) and is happy to jump head-first into terrible situations with only the barest sketch of a plan. I’m on to you, Khadgar. You’re trying to kill us.
  • Genn: A but of a hothead, Genn is a total Gryffindor, never looking before he leaps… and somehow landing into trouble because of it.
  • Varian: Too soon? Varian is the best kind of Gryffindor, a brave protector.
  • Jaina: Ravenclaw. Nerd city (but in the best way).
  • Baine: He defines the best of Hufflepuff: loyal and steadfast.
  • Thrall: He’s the worst of Hufflepuff: standing in the background flailing his arms and saying “can’t we all just get along?” Come on, Thrall, pitch in and help us out here.

Okay, those aren’t all leaders (or even all alive), but I’m going to count on the rest of you to fill in the gaps. After all, what’s more fun than putting fictional characters into fictional magical houses on a Wednesday afternoon? (It’s either this or work, right?)

Okay everyone, that’s it for the Queue today. Anne will be in tomorrow, so please leave her questions rather than spending the day talking about Harry Potter houses. (Because if you do, I don’t want to think about the eventual retribution that I will never see coming.) So remember, your questions are the lifeblood of this feature, so please — for the Queue (and for me)!

I’ll be back here next week for more questions, answers, and grumbling about Mitch. So, you know, typical Wednesday.

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Filed Under: Mitch No

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