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The QueueApr 23, 2018 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Mondays are fun days

In other life I work in publishing and tech, and Mondays always seem to be a day full of 9am emails and 10am meetings. Can we get a support group going in The Queue today for those of us that have to deal with such Monday things?

I’m honestly surprised there isn’t some virtual therapy or website to commiserate about the horrors that are Monday mornings.


Q4TQ: Opinion question – Allied Races are adding up fast. Is this a good thing? Would it be better to fold in say Kul Tiran appearance options into the human appearance choices?

Yes and no.

I’m definitely of the opinion that allied races are a good thing for the game and the community. It’s giving everyone an opportunity to explore the early game and older expansions again, and the unique lore, visual styles, and gear is a good addition to freshen things up a bit.

They are, as you said though, adding up fast — and there’s a lot of them that could be added in the future. The sky is really the limit here. If Blizzard is able to add these, and create legitimate unlock experiences for each, then one has to wonder about overall races too… Akkora, anyone?

The question I think becomes less of one about gameplay and mechanics when they add up though. With the allied races occupying essentially the same space as an existing race, there’s not a ton different. They’ll wear the same armor, play through the same general storyline, etc… What I think does become a problem, however, is how complex Blizzard makes the unlocking system and how they handle the user experience.

With the unlocking system, right now it’s pretty easy. You reach the requirements as explained in the allied races building, do the scenario, and you’re good to go. But as the game progresses I could see increasingly complex or confusing unlocks, if only due to the sheer number of them. In seven years will anyone want to go back and grind out rep for factions that are left in the dust and whose content and gameplay reeks of systems a decade old? Probably not. To solve this I would encourage Blizzard to avoid this systems debt and allow a rolling unlock of races, so when the expansion after BfA is released, all old allied races are unlocked automatically.

The other problem is going to be the user experience when creating and unlocking an allied race. If there are more than a dozen of them overall, that means you’re going to have to scroll through, find the one you want, and hunt-and-peck multiple times to create a character. As much as those of us reading this column think “well, big deal,” it actually is a big deal when it comes to UI/UX development. With everything, for the most part, being on a single screen right now, you’re not in situations where getting to sub-races requires much thought. But if that expands users are going to become frustrated because the user interface is too confusing, and the overall user experience is going to degrade. One of the key points of entry into any game is the character creation screen, and that’s why you’ve seen so many iterations of it over WoW’s lifetime. UI and UX best practices have evolved considerably since 2004 — and they will again. A multi-level system of race creation sets up a problem that Blizzard will need to solve.


Who in your opinion knows Bolvar is the Lich King? besides the obvious ones like Jaina Sylvanas Saurfang etc etc Does Anduin know since he is King now?

I would think that a lot of people know, if not just from the reports we (as champions for our respective factions) would have given to the King / Warchief. There’d also be a fair amount of rumors an second hand reports that would make this information something quite difficult to hide.

I’m struggling to find any real world example of where a leader, be they good or evil, has been disposed and the public hasn’t found out quickly. I know there’s rumors, some more probable than others, of this happening in the dark ages, but I would argue that Azeroth isn’t set in that setting communications-wise. Plenty of news has traveled plenty fast in Azeroth, and I don’t see why this would be any different.


QftQ: How fast is alt leveling now? I’m leveling my Monk alt with a friend, and I’m wondering if it’s the xp boost from heirlooms (50%) and the monk xp boost (50%) that’s making it so speedy, or if with heirlooms–or even without–this new dynamic leveling system really is that fast.

It’s fairly fast I’ve found. The biggest grind for me was 1 to 60, with the expansions providing ample room for moving quickly through content. Wrath zones in particular are so tightly compact with quests that I ran through them very fast, and the same goes for WoD. In WoD I also bought some garrison supplies from the auction house and ran with the 20% XP buff on, which made those 10 levels last a few hours at best (although I did screw around a bit, watched some cut scenes, RP walked my Garrison, etc…).

I would say that the experience has overall slowed since the changes introduce in 7.3.5, but that’s not really a bad thing in my book. Leveling with Heirlooms was previously such a joke that it was a borderline artificial barrier to end-game entry — the kind that Blizzard really doesn’t like to have in their games anymore. Given that, it doesn’t surprise me that leveling has been slowed down; but it wasn’t a big deal when I just went through it.

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