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The QueueApr 5, 2018 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Advance planning

Welcome back to The Queue, our daily Q&A feature for all of Blizzard’s games! Have a question for the Blizzard Watch staff? Leave it in the comments!

Don’t get me wrong, Gallywix’s new model is utterly breathtaking and all. But what’s up with the blueprints on the wall behind him? Are those even blueprints? A map? Some kind of key to a hidden treasure trove? That looks like either a Night Elf building, or maybe a Pandaren building. I mean, maybe we shouldn’t read too much into the scenery and all, but I can’t really help but wonder what exactly that little note is all about, you know?

Let’s take a break from pondering, and answer some of your questions instead.


Q4tQ: I’m curious why Blizzard didn’t remove Light’s Heart from your order hall after you’ve reached the point where it’s used/destroyed in the story. After all, it’s not there at the start either. Maybe replace it with a doodad to replay the cinematic.

Honestly, I think it’s just a matter of game mechanics. Players who haven’t completed all of Xe’ra’s quests would be left out in the lurch if Light’s Heart just up and vanished, you know? And it’s easy enough to skip all of that and make a beeline for Argus on an alt. I mean, you could theoretically make one of those phase things to make it reappear, but that’s…kind of complicated for a Class Hall. Better to just leave it where it is, and let players ignore it.


Q4tQ: was it proximity to Xe’ra that gave Turalyon immortality, or just being able to wield The Light that does it? is that how the Draenai get their immortality and (presumably) keep it with their Light of the Naaru racial?

I believe it was the process of becoming a Lightforged. We don’t actually know what the heck is involved in said process, other than that it makes you light up like a beacon. The process Turalyon went through was mentioned in the audio drama A Thousand Years of War. But they didn’t lay out all the details or anything. Draenei are naturally long-lived — I mean, just look at Velen as an example. So the process of becoming Lightforged likely didn’t make as much of a difference. To something as short-lived as a Human, however…it’s far more significant.


Q4TQ: Lore question: Was Jaina’s assistant – Pained – …Aegwynn? In the Chronicle Vol. 3 it is said that Aegwynn was an assistant to Jaina at Theramore and lived under a different name… but the book didn’t expressly say if Pained was her new ‘cover’.

No, they were two separate people. In Tides of War, we learn a little more about Pained’s backstory. She was a bodyguard assigned to Jaina by Tyrande, during the Third War. After the war was over, she stayed with Jaina, simply stating that she’d never been officially relieved from her duty. Unfortunately, we never really learned much more about her. She died in the attack on Theramore, and all her history pretty much died with her. She’s one of those characters I wish we’d get a short story about, though — I always found her interesting.


Q4TQ: Looking back on treasure chests, what did you hate finding in them, and what did you look forward to finding in them?

I love gold. I love getting gold, especially in large amounts. Items that sell for a lot of gold are also appreciated. But really though — vendor items, cosmetic items, or toys for the Toybox are always my favorites. I didn’t really care as much about Artifact Power rewards. Keep in mind, I didn’t really hate finding anything in a treasure box. I mean, a bonus is a bonus, no matter what that happens to be! I just have a preference for cosmetic or silly items over anything else, when it comes to treasure hunting. Or gold. Gold is always fine with me.


Q4tQ: Do you have any superstitions around games you play? Like always /dancing at the start of a HoTS match. Or shooting bells if you’re attacking on El Dorado.

I don’t know if I’d call it a superstition, but I’ve always jumped through raid portals, or tried to. If I hit the raid portal at the peak of my jump, I’d quietly think to myself that it would be a good raid night. That was always a correct statement, but I think it had less to do with the raid or the jumping, and more to do with my mindset after hitting said perfect leap. Doing that automatically put me in a good mood, and the good mood usually held out through the evening.

Of course, nowadays I just use LFR, so my days of happily hopping through portals are by and large over. But if I see a portal — any portal — I’ll try to leap through it anyway. Old habits die hard!


Q4tQ: I come back to this question every now and then and I always forget to post it, also because it’s hard to word, but I’m going to give it a shot. Do you find it hurts the lore and storytelling in WoW to have so many “maybe this is a lie” or worse “it was all a lie” threads? The two biggest examples I can think of are Loken and the Old Gods/Shadow in general.

So much of WOTLK’s titan plot was muddied by “oh but Loken lied,” leading to a confusing mess of a dishonest narrative overall. Yes I know Loken is based on Loki and lies are his schtick, but at the same time, like… it’s hard to tell a story with sufficient clarity with that shadow of intentional lies over it.

Speaking of shadows, I find it highly irresponsible and annoying that the shadow’s whole thing is “oooh all these paths and any can be true, oooooh,” leading to citations and assumptions in out of character lore discussions that could be built on sand, or stone that the devs can just… make sand whenever they want because “ooooh the shadow lied!”

I don’t think it hurts the lore or storytelling at all. In the case of Loken, the reveal was a major reveal, one of those shocking “wait, what?” moments that I absolutely love. It cleared up all those weird discrepancies we’d been confused about over the years, and it did so in a really clever way. I mean, we knew Loken was up to no good. We just didn’t realize the depths of his no-good-ness.

As for the Old Gods and the shadow, I think it’s a really interesting approach to take. I mean maybe it means we’re not really sure of anything, when it comes to the shadow or the Old Gods. But at the same time, that’s exactly the space the Old Gods would like us to be in. The uncertainty of truth is one of those major thematic elements with the Old Gods. We thought they were all about lies and deception, but they’ve been laying out truths all along — a select few truths in a spectrum of potential truths. It’s a little dizzying to think about.

And as a narrative device, it frees up the lore team and allows them all the room in the world to write. Yes, it means things aren’t set in stone all neat and tidy and organized. But when you’re dealing with an ongoing narrative, like the kind you find in MMO’s, you need that freedom to keep continually shaping the story as you see fit.

That’s it for today’s Queue — if you have any questions you’d like to see answered, be sure to leave them in the comments below!

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