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The QueueAug 1, 2018 1:02 pm CT

The Queue: I thought we were friends!

I’m just not into the us vs. them rhetoric that fuels Battle for Azeroth, but this is the story we have, so there’s nothing to do but roll with it.

Here’s a picture of a hamster to start the Queue off right.


Q4tQ, BW Staff: How sick are you guys of this year of faction nationalism marketing? Seriously, my heart goes out to every WoW community owner/manager everywhere in these times of “cheap heat,” particularly in pointedly inclusive spaces like Blizzardwatch. Many thanks and much love to all of you for maintaining this bastion of reason.

It’s frustrating. I think of World of Warcraft as a community of friends. I’ve been playing since vanilla and I’ve made so many friends in the game. When I think of World of Warcraft, I think about good times with good friends. Some of the people I’ve played with I’ve fought beside for years, taking down dragons and vanquishing demons. (And doing a lot of floor tanking. Someone has to.) But it’s more about the people than the next raid boss.

When Blizzard pushes an “us vs. them” style story, like Battle for Azeroth, it has a noticeable impact on the game’s community… and not a good one. People strongly identify with their characters and factions, and telling them that the other side is their enemy starts a chain reaction, and I’ve seen plenty of arguments, insults, and threats since we started with the expansion hype train.

I have friends who have stopped talking to each other. I have friends who have stopped playing because they just can’t. I have been equally attacked for playing Alliance and Horde characters. (But for some reason, no one seems to have an issue with the fact that I have a Death Knight. If you want to talk about a morally gray character, look no further.) I’m seeing the community attack writers in especially vicious ways.

It’s ugly out there, and the whole thing has made the trip towards the expansion — which I should be excited about — downright depressing.

On Blizzard Watch, I’m thinking much more carefully about what we post. We talk about how to delicately discuss faction issues and how not to insult or provoke. When I had opinions (ahem) on yesterday’s in-game story, someone in Discord asked if I would write about it. No, I won’t, because it will just start another angry community brawl that I don’t want to be part of. Obviously, too, I’m spending more time moderating comments. Most of our community is swell, but it only takes one person to provoke another and turn things into a particularly ugly comment thread. I don’t enjoy having to read every comment in a thread just because we’re talking about the latest Warbringers, or having to repeatedly tell people just to be kind to one another. (Why is that so hard?) I shouldn’t have to tell people not to incite violence or start angry mobs to get writers fired.

We are friends. We should be friends.

We all love gaming and we all love World of Warcraft, but Blizzard aggressively pushing faction conflict has changed that. Or maybe it’s changed us. Or maybe we were always this way but it was masked because we all (mostly) get along.

The practical takeaway is that communities have to be careful. At Blizzard Watch we’re thinking a little more about what we say, and spending more time moderating comments and reminding people to be nice to each other. (You can help us out by reporting comments or threads that cross a line, either from Disqus, by emailing us, or by pinging us in Discord.)


Is Capt. Delaryn Summermoon the one in the Sylvanas cinematic? Because whomever it is seems like a goner by the end, but Delaryn is still giving orders in the post-burning world quests.

When I watched it, I thought she was… and that’s a damn shame, because even over the course of a few quests, I’d grown really attached. (She had a really good voice actor, which helped.)

So is her presence in the world quests an oversight or does it mean she’s not dead? I’m hoping for the not dead thing. She was great.


Can one be morally muave?

Morality comes in all shades of the rainbow. My favorite shade of morality is coral.


Q4tQ: a friend of mine wants to roll a gnome shadow priest, and I am conflicted. Thoughts?

I have to admit… I race changed my Gnome Priest into a Void Elf.  I know, I know, it’s out of character. But they have such amazing hair. I couldn’t not. (In my head, she’s related to my Blood Elf Paladin, forced to flee Silvermoon for her experiments with the void… which seems pretty unfair since the Blood Knights literally captured and tortured a Naaru, but this is the world we live in.) Still, Gnomes maximize your Priest’s cuteness and it’s hard to go wrong with that.

But it’s my understanding that Shadow Priests are not actually at their strongest right now, so I’m not sure if it’s a good time to roll one at all. (On top of the fact that they may or may not be under the control of the Old Gods.)

So I don’t know. Maybe you wait it out to find out if they’re all being mind controlled. (And whether they get stronger in patch 8.1.)


Race/class restrictions are finally removed across the board. What new class would you make first for your new Gnome?

Gnome Paladins or riot.

Gnomes can be Warriors. Gnomes can be Priests. But Gnomes can’t be Paladins? It just doesn’t make sense. Gnome Paladins are inevitable, and when they arrive, I will be there, waiting.


Is The Boomsday Project going to literally be the most powerful Hearthstone set ever released?

As Matticus has told me, Ben Brode was apparently the one keeping the Hearthstone team in check. Every card from the Boomsday Project is crazy and overpowered.

But if everyone’s crazy overpowered, no one’s crazy overpowered, right?

That seems to be the development philosophy.


Will Blizzard Watch be attempting another 24-hour livestream with the launch of BFA, much like the attempt at the Legion launch?

This is definitely not a staff inquiry disguised as a queue question.

This person who is definitely not staff member Alex Ziebart was not the only one who asked about our upcoming streaming plans. We’re currently discussing a launch day stream with everyone taking two-hour shifts. That would be a lot more organized than our last launch day stream, which was pretty much “let’s all hang out and level until we get too tired to hang out and level.” We haven’t worked out a specific schedule yet, but a lot of people seem interested… so it’s just about cat herding everyone into a functional schedule to make it happen.

Tyler and Nico — if you didn’t know, they’re our new streaming team — are planning on their first stream tomorrow afternoon. Expect several streams a week from them going forward, perhaps with occasional special guests. Matticus and I are talking about Hearthstone streams, which I think sound fun.

And that’s all for now, folks. Tune in next time for more questions and more answers! It’s the Queue!

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