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The QueueAug 6, 2018 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: BfA impressions, Sylvanas vs Saurfang, BW status, and eggs

Happy last-week-of-Legion folks! Let us Queue.


MISTAH JAY ASKED:

Q4tQ: 2 Bosses Enter: Sylvanas vs Saurfang

This is interesting. Let’s talk about it from two approaches.

Pure Power

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Sylvanas’ strength comes mainly from physical actions; her bow. She has a level of magical abilities, which we’ve seen, but it’s not the main way that she fights; and when she does use her banshee abilities it seems to take a lot out of her.

Varok Saurfang on the other hand is an old warrior. He can take a hit, be whatever it is from, and survive enough to fight. It could easily be said that Saurfang is the more slow moving and strong contestant, whereas Sylvanas is more agile and punishing.

Which one would win?

In my opinion Saurfang. He’s got a lot of experience, he’s got motivation beyond just his own extreme distaste for the Horde, he’s got an axe to grind (pun intended). When you combine strength, experience, and motivation you end up with someone that’s willing to sacrifice themselves to vanquish their opponent. I think Saurfang fits that, and I think Sylvanas is too selfish to hit that level. Thus, Saurfang has the advantage.

Political

Sylvanas has shown a lot of political knack in her time. She’s always been set out on holding the keys to the Horde, and even as a secondary figure in the plot for years it was clear that her orchestrations were leading up to her taking control. I’m a huge fan of her story, and I don’t think there’s a more politically cunning individual in Azeroth than Sylvnas.

What this means in “Azeroth reality” is that if it came down to Sylvanas vs Saurfang based on political or soft power alone, then Sylvanas would win without a doubt (in my mind, at least). Of course this is WoW, and the Horde is not just about soft power; it has a history of leadership obtaining rank by exercising quite a bit of hard power.=

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Is this where the story is headed?

This is totally not to criticize Mistah Jay’s questions, because it’s been one that I’ve been thinking of two a lot. I think everyone has. But what struck me is that we’re only seeing the story unfold right now, we don’t have a full picture. Does a Saurfang and Sylvanas death match seem to be looming? Absolutely. Right now all signs point to that.

But keep in mind it’s also within the realm of possibilities that the two come to an understanding, perhaps against something the Alliance does (it’s not like Alliance hands are not dirty either — ignoring other stuff, the internment camps alone are still worth major retaliation in my opinion), and in doing so create an unstoppable Horde. That’s an interesting thought that popped into my head last night when I was thinking about this.

All this said, I don’t want to rage up faction warfare here, but instead just consider this more from a modern story perspective with a lot of twists and turns. Please do so when discussing this.


DAN SORT OF ASKED ME:

Q4tQ: What goes best with eggs? Ketchup, Tabasco, or unending eldritch horror through your bodily functions?

Dan, my friend, I’m afraid that you’re completely and utterly wrong.

You take water. Add salt. Stir. Set to boil. Wait.

It’s boiling. Give the pan a wind up to move the water around in a clockwise motion. Movement? Done.

You take two quail eggs, crack gently and pour into the spinning water. Done.

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Wait 90 seconds. Get the strainer. Remove.

Place in Ramen.

Beautiful.


APENX ASKED:

You’ve played Battle for Azeroth a bit, what are your overall impressions from the beta now that it’s winding down?

I want touch on two points here. The expansion and the usefulness of the beta.

First, the expansion itself — I don’t think we’ll truly know how it will be taken by the community until its released and things progress a bit. The key for me is if Blizzard continues to apply lessons learned from past expansions, so we don’t get another WoD or Cataclysm. My gut feeling is that they have, but it’s going to take until patch 8.1 for them to fully suss things out.

Second, the usefullness of the beta. It’s good to have, I like to be able to play through opening stories and get a feel for things. Other writers here deep dive into content, and I’m fortunate enough that I can stop when I want. That means there’s stories that I haven’t heard yet and am looking forward to experiencing them next week. But the overall usefulness of having a beta has decreased significantly over the years for us as much of it is about datamining and finding the latest mounts, toys, rewards, etc…

Our friends at Wowhead do an amazing job at this, and my hat is absolutely off to them. Don’t take my previous statement as a criticism of what they do at all. There’s been a natural evolution here — back in 2010 I was taking screenshots of items from vendors. Now the Wowhead crew can pull them down from datamining instantly. Their way is 100x better.

It does leave us asking ourselves the question of how we can add value to the conversation and position ourselves when the market itself has moved away from how we were doing things. This iteration we’ve been more focused on analysis, which I think we’ve done well with; and with original galleries and summations. That said, I think we can do better here next time, and I’m keen on spending more time pondering and discussing with my team.


LOHKAR ASKED:

Q4Q: What is the general status of Blizzard Watch? You guys have added writers, but Patreon hasn’t moved much?

Blizzard Watch is going well! You are right that Patreon has leveled out, but that’s not a bad thing either. Stability in a business is key, and we know what we can rely on each month and make plans around that. I would like to see it grow and level out at a higher number, which is why there’s a site redesign in the works, new content initatives, and new writers. All of those things bring more value to the site, which in turn increase our Patreon support.

I should also note that I’m constantly playing with new ad strategies and other monitization stuff, and that’s another stream of revenue (although it really just goes into operational costs).

Internally the team is doing well, too. There’s always chatter going on, and the new faces here have fit into the mold quite well. I’m pleased, and I hope you all are too! I’m really looking forward to what we have to offer in the next few months.

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