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The QueueNov 20, 2017 12:26 pm CT

The Queue: For Gnomeregan!

Do I have to say anything beyond the title? I don’t think so.

For Gnomeregan!


Don’t Gnomes seem to get short shrift when it comes to getting their story told in WoW?

If you know me at all, then you know I am in complete agreement. As Condiment noted in the comments, it’s the same with Goblins. They’re both relegated to relatively simplistic stereotypes and comic relief. (Is it because they’re both short? Is that all comic relief takes?)

I find that disappointing, because there should be a reason these races are here, as part of the Alliance and Horde. Every race should have its heroes, its stories, its victories, and these races are left to the occasional joke and little more. I was thrilled to see Mekkatorque kicking ass in the Legion cinematic, but after that, there’s nothing. And there’s not a single Goblin in the Horde cinematic. (And the only Blood Elf I think you see is unconscious and being carried off the battlefield.)

On one hand, there are a lot of races in World of Warcraft and it’s tough to give everyone a big shining story moment every expansion. But some races don’t seem to get anything at all, Goblins and Gnomes especially. (Though what I wouldn’t give for some new Blood Elf story…)

Oh, and if this is a short joke just be aware that I am trying to set you on fire with my mind right now.


Hmm, anyone know if gear can drop for under-110 characters?

My level 65 paladin is being offered the daily quest for the bosses, and I wouldn’t mind a few more shots at Typhoon.

Yes! Like Timewalking, these will scale for anyone at-level for the original content. So break out those alts and get farming!


So delightful watching everyone scream about the long run back to Emeriss :D

As someone who played in a serious raiding guild when Emeriss was brand new content, I have to say I also find this hilarious. It was a tough encounter back in the day, and it was incredibly easy for players to troll one another by just running in and dying. The DOT Emeriss throws out is brutal to heal through and when you died your corpse became a death mushroom to murder others. I actually haven’t had a chance to get in any anniversary dragon-killing in so far, so I’m not sure if this mechanic still exists or if you just have a chance to become a mushroom when the DOT ends… but either way it’s bad. (Really, any kind of death mushroom is bad. It’s best to avoid any and all death mushrooms.)

Someone running into the middle of the raid and dying would wind up being a wipe. And one wipe quickly became two, three, ten… It was both infuriating and essential, because these dragons dropped the nature resistance gear guilds needed to tackle Ahn’Qiraj. (Remember resistance gear? It was a big thing back in the day.) And in the competition for server firsts, competing guilds would definitely troll each other by trying to wipe you. It was horrible. (And my memories are from a PVE server. PVP servers were even worse.)

This is the stuff about vanilla WoW that we look back on with rose-tinted glasses. We may think fondly back on those challenging raids, but we gloss over how terrible it was to make dozens of corpse runs until the ground was littered with bones. Today’s world bosses may be manage to kill you, but they’ve got nothing on these vanilla encounters.

While I think revisiting classic WoW does sound like fun… well, at the same time it also sounds like a lot of no fun at all. But it’s easy to forget those no fun parts.


If Battle for Azeroth is providing no new classes (as seems to be the case) should it provide any new healing dynamics, or is the current model the best way to keep going?

I know I just went off on what I disliked about Vanilla WoW… but this question neatly fits into one of the things I liked about WoW’s earlier incarnations. Today, I have max level Monk, Shaman, and Paladin healers. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, and plays a little bit differently, but they also play ridiculously similarly. As long as I keep my heal buttons in the right spot — small heal on this hotkey, big heal on this hotkey, AOE heal on this hotkey, dispel on this hotkey, emergency button on this hotkey — I can switch between them with barely a thought.

That ease is great if you’re playing alts, but I can’t help feeling that something has been lost as Blizzard has pushed the “bring the player, not the class” philosophy. It’s a great philosophy that means grouping isn’t just a matter of getting X of each class and fitting them together like a puzzle, but it’s also led to homogenization of classes. Perhaps it’s like this for all role types, but I particularly feel it for healers because I like playing healers.

In Vanilla through Wrath, it felt like each healer had a niche (though not necessarily a very balanced niche). There were things they were good at and things they were bad at. From Burning Crusade forward, I played a Holy Paladin: I was incredibly good at single-target healing, which I could do for long stretches without running out of mana the way other healers would. I was a great tank healer, but if you wanted to heal a group, any other healing class would be better. But what I was good at, I was good at. Today it feels like every healer is pretty okay at everything, which is exactly why I can hop between healing classes without exerting any thought. Any of my healers can group heal or tank heal.

Any of my healers can do anything. It doesn’t really matter which one I play. And… honestly, that feels a little dull to me.

So my request would be to make healing classes a bit more distinct from one another. But I realize that’s a tough ask. How do you create classes that are completely different but also balanced against one another, so a group could grab any without feeling underpowered? Early iterations of WoW often had the problem where you needed exactly the right puzzle pieces classes to succeed, and making classes more equally matched has helped with that. But I wish my class could feel special again, like I were contributing something only I could do. I haven’t felt that way in a long time.


Q4tQ: Do you hope, as I do, that we never see another sign of the Kalec/Jaina mess?


I’m sorry, I think I blacked out for a minute. Were we talking about how awesome Jaina is?

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