The Queue

The Queue: Can’t we all just get along?

Before we begin, a message from our sponsors…

Er, well, we don’t actually have any sponsors, so it’s really just me.

Ahem, anyway, I know that Blizzard is really pushing the Alliance/Horde conflict with Battle for Azeroth. (It’s pretty hard to miss.) And I know that we have people here on both sides of that divide. But we’re all here because we love WoW (and/or other Blizzard games). So let’s do our best to be chill about Blizzard’s encouragement to be out for each other’s blood, here and elsewhere. We’re all friends, right? Let’s keep being friends, even if one of us plays Alliance and one of us plays Horde. Y’all are all pretty great.

PSA time over. Let’s get to the questions.


TROLLING AZEROTH ASKED:

Qs4tQ: We know by now that Warcraft developers liked the system used in Legion to open up flying. So they’re sticking with that for BfA. That being said, for areas of concentration in BfA, where we can ALREADY fly…do you think flying will be curtailed? Ex: Arathi, Tirisfal, Gilneas, etc.

For Teldrassil and Undercity (and anywhere else there’s a big story conflict), my suspicion is that the story content will be a short instance or scenario and then be over. You won’t be able to fly in the scenario, but once you finish it, whatever’s left of those zones will be available for flying as usual. As for Warfronts, to the best of my knowledge they’ll be an instance, which means Blizzard can, similarly, have a unique set of rules just for the 110+ content.

It would be kind of like how you can’t fly in the Broken Shore scenario if you run through it on an alt, even if you have flying. You would break it if you could fly, so you can’t fly.

But bear in mind that this is all speculation: Blizzard hasn’t confirmed anything.


ENO ASKED:

Is there still the possibility that we may get some new race-class combinations announced for BfA? I’m wondering if night elf paladins may still be a thing.

I seem to recall that gnome hunters weren’t announced until later on in Legion’s developmental cycle?

It’s totally possible! Looking back, Legion was announced at Gamescom in August 2015. But Gnome Hunters weren’t announced until November. Considering how sketchy the details on Battle for Azeroth are so far, there will be plenty of announcements coming — and that could include new race/class combinations.

However… my suspicion is that Blizzard will just let Allied Races having new classes fill in for the new race/class combo quota for the expansion.

So place your bet, Queuevians. Will we or won’t we get new race/class combos?


ELIZA ASKED:

QftQ: If you’re familiar with multiple RPGs, do you ever try emulating a class that’s out of a different game? For example, I enjoy a Skyrim build that includes summoning minions and using a 1H weapon. I’m having quite a bit of fun trying to copy that playstyle on a WoW warlock, using a minion and 1H sword or dagger to do the majority of my damage. On the flipside, I have an orc “shaman” in Skyrim who primarily uses lightning and a mace.

It’s a fun idea (and I can’t say I haven’t toyed with the concept), WoW’s classes don’t always mesh neatly with other fantasy universes — and when they do, it’s often because you’re touching on general fantasy tropes, which aren’t necessarily that exciting. For example, there’s a mage build in Dragon Age Inquisition called Knight Enchanter, which is basically a melee mage. You summon a magical sword and doing damage with it restores your barriers, so you’re a mage with high defense. In WoW terms, the playstyle may actually match up best with Holy Paladin soloing — you’re in melee, casting spells and hitting things with your sword — but it’s still a long way off. (The Knight Enchanter can actually do good damage for one.)

Huh. I’d never thought about that… and I do enjoy Knight Enchanters and Holy Paladins both.

I still want a battle mage though.


ARCHMAGE RC ASKED:

How likely is it that the actions of the new expansion will actually be carried forward into the following expansion. The loss of Teldrassil and Undercity for either faction will be hard, but what are your opinions or thoughts on how that carries forward. With the exception of Cataclysm, most expansion changes stay within the expansion, and there’s even been talk that Argus won’t stay in the sky at the end of Legion. So do you think this may be a cata-level change which will carry over to future expansions, or do you predict that something will happen towards the end that basically undoes everything?

I think it will be hard to fix the kind of destruction Battle for Azeroth proposes within the course of a single expansion. (Remember how long it took us to get around to repairing Stormwind after Cataclysm?) If we’re leveling entire capitol cities, I think it has to carry over to have any kind of story significance. If you handwave and rebuild overnight or put in some kind of surprise time travel element, the emotional impact of the story is reduced to nothing. Without long term consequences, nothing matters.

That’s why, I think, Warlords of Draenor felt empty — nothing we did had any impact on the story or the game world as a whole. We came, we beat up a bunch of Orcs, we left, we never saw any of those people again. Story-wise, we could have skipped the whole thing. It didn’t matter. Nothing we did mattered. (Well, except for lining up Gul’dan for Legion.)

So I hope, if Blizzard does wreck stuff, it stays wrecked and we have to deal with the consequences of it. Otherwise the story will just feel hollow.


KELDEREK ASKED:

I’d like to hear more about why you guys think the faction conflict is back? This could even be Tinfoil Hat style. What does engaging in this main plotline allow the devs to bring in? To bring up? (It feels a little like a letdown after destroying the Burning Legion, which suggests to me that they’re using it to open up something different.)

First off, I tend to think the faction conflict is stupid. I enjoy playing with friends on both sides of the fence, and the two sides being entirely adversarial usually just annoys me. Plus it feels driven by paper-thin reasoning. For example, leading into  with the factions united against the Burning Legion felt awesome. And then Varian died and the Horde and Alliance completely hate each other again, all because no one actually bothered finding out that the Horde leader also died, and the Horde were forced back by overwhelming odds. Yes, there’s a long-time and fully justified animosity on the part of the Alliance, but we have better things to do than pick fights with one another right now — and if someone just bothered asking what happened, the Horde’s retreat made sense. Of all the reasons to be in conflict, “we couldn’t be bothered to speak with our former allies” is honestly the lamest one.

So, really, I don’t always understand why we’re bothering to fight except for the fact that we’re contractually required to because of the game’s name.

But despite my frustrations, I think there’s hope for the story in Battle. The conflict between Sylvanas and Genn we’ve seen in Legion feels genuine. It felt like driven by who the characters are rather than the need for some excuse to put the Horde and Alliance at odds. So I’m hoping to see more of that and less let’s fight just to fight!

And the scale of this goes well beyond Sylvanas and Genn. Blizzard promised we’d see more character stories, including Thrall, Anduin, Jaina, and Vol’jin. We have no idea what Thrall and Jaina have been up to, and Vol’jin has been… well… you know… dead. I’m interested in seeing what happens when you throw these characters together. Bringing the entirety of each faction to the party will let the devs focus stories about the game’s biggest characters instead of spinning out another this is the greatest threat to Azeroth ever fight.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

That’s all for today’s Queue, friends. Leave your questions in the comments for Anne to answer tomorrow — especially all the lore questions that I have no idea how to answer. I’ll see you next week!

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