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The QueueApr 9, 2018 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Na na na na na na na leader!

There’s really no reason for The Queue’s intro today other than the fact the wife and I watched the episode of the Simpsons where they all joined the Leader’s cult and homer collected leaderbeans.

And really, isn’t a collection of leaderbeans just a symbol for today’s social media-drive liked upvoting shared on instagram and retweeted with eight-thousand favorites sort of li(f)e?

I’ll be over here, blowing your minds. Let us Queue.


MISTAH JAY ASKED:

Q4tQ: Do you think future patches would allow for us to attempt a coup against the Alliance/Horde if they continue the faction conflict, possibly leading to our [The Player] exile and forming our own Faction, blackjack and ERPers optional?

Blizzard has spoken about a third faction a couple times and it hasn’t been too favorably when they have. There’s some good reason for this, too. A playerbase at its low point would have trouble keeping three alive, and creating a distinctive story for all three factions would be troublesome and time consuming, to say the least. Historically there was Anarchy Online which offered three factions, and while the game for a time worked out well, the third faction (a neutral group) quickly fell out of favor. Granted I haven’t really looked at it in the last five years or so, and things might have changed, but Blizzard designers cited that specifically to me when discussing it privately some time ago.

Another option which has been floated, and one that I think may gain more ground as the game ages, is to have a traitor sort of quest line in which the character switches factions while keeping their races, etc… This has been done in older games like EverQuest II, and while interesting, hasn’t really taken hold en masse yet in the MMO universe. I haven’t heard lately if WoW has been considering such a thing, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see something like that if the community rallies around it enough (at one point this idea had some traction, but the objection was that character silhouettes were important for PvP, which has since gone away with the introduction of shared races).

To look at your question another way and answer if there could be a coup plot line? Of course — that’s a somewhat common story device. What I don’t see, however, is it leading to any sort of unification; be it through directed storytelling where the plot is laid out for us, or through a series of player choice. It works in some games, like EVE (where the objective is mainly PVP — I know I’m oversimplifying), but in WoW, where you have a more structured world that’s story driven vs player driven, I think the paradigms are too divergent to really mesh well.


OMEDON ASKED:

From a WoWhead interview summary:

“The developers are aware of the faction imbalance in hardcore raid guilds and have ideas on how to tackle the problem, but nothing to share quite yet.”

Q4tQ: Is there any way this gets addressed that doesn’t soften the faction wall or allow some kind of cross faction grouping? I can’t think of one.

This question sort of relates to what I was talking about above, so to continue on the theme:

I don’t think cross faction grouping will be in store for the game anytime soon, even though I really want it to be and would pay $100 to unlock the damn feature so I can play with all my friends. Did you see how I bolded that? It’s because there is an artificial barrier to playing with people I like that stands in my way of enjoying the game completely and I don’t like that; especially when Blizzard is all about breaking down those barriers lately. Designers have said before that this isn’t on the horizon as well; we disagree strongly on this point.

Okay, so now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, the real answer is that there isn’t much they can do, nor is it something that they should devote much time to given the tradeoff between hardcore vs everyone else. The easiest thing (and what I think is the most likely) is to introduce separate achievements realm/region firsts for Alliance and Horde. That may compel some guild to switch factions so they don’t have to compete with another guild directly.

I know there’s talk about racial attribute imbalances, and while there are a few instances on both sides of the factions that it has some merit on, overall the racials are pretty well balanced in my opinion; especially when compared to the olden days.


JDMAC COMMENTED:

I have a great idea for Blizzard. They should SELL the Draenor Pathfinder and Broken Isles Pathfinder achievement in the Blizzard Store.

Perfect for me – I would appreciate the time-saving aspect of it. They could charge $50. Fine with me. :-)

#nevergonnahappen

/salute all
4Azeroth

I think this needs to happen, and I could see it eventually getting rolled up into the character level boost eventually (although I doubt that it would be for a while).

The grinds for these activities are not easy, especially Draenor Pathfinder, which is timeboxed and requires a fair bit of prep to even get to the point of unlocking it. With older content the main drive to complete it is to experience the story and adventure, roadblocks in the way of that, while necessary for a gameplay standpoint, are perceived as artificial when others can get around them instantly.

If my friend is leveling a character for the first time and I’m leveling an alt along side him, I’ll be able to fly over the mountains without a second thought, where he’ll need to stumble around to find the tunnel, probably get knocked off his mount a few times, and eventually get there. That experience is fine for current content when all players are doing it — because it’s a shared experience of leveling and progression — but when you just want to enjoy the story, it becomes tiresome and a barrier to fun.

And just like I mentioned earlier in this queue, Blizzard is all about removing those barriers. So yes, I could easily see them offering this as a microtransaction or looping it into the level boost.

I should point out though that it would be just the ability. I think the achievement + special mount should be something that has to be worked for, just like everyone else.

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