The Queue: There’s a question, but is there an answer?
Does every question have an answer? While this column posits to answer all of you gaming questions… some questions don’t have a right or wrong answer.
But I’m here and you’re here, so let’s see what we can do to answer the unanswerable.
QftQ: How much do you want to see the Gnomes accidentally create Mecha’thun as their Azerite Death Machine to use against the Horde?
I’ve actually been wondering lately if there’s any genuine lore connection between Hearthstone and WoW. There are some things that just don’t work as crossovers — like Jaina and Anduin becoming Death Knights. But Hearthstone keeps pushing into storytelling, adding interesting new characters and expanding on game locations.
Early expansions had a theme, but new expansions have turned these themes into a full expanded universe. Hearthstone has painted a new vision of Gadgetzan (which I like a lot more than the current iteration) and this expansion is completely based on WoW-NPC-turned-Hearthstone-hero Dr. Boom. This expansion has a story that goes beyond a premise and a trailer: there was a short animated series about exploring Boom Labs, there are three comics about Dr. Boom, and the single-player Puzzle Labs are full of mad scientist characters, each fully-voiced and with their own unique personality. Hearthstone keeps bringing these lively new worlds into being and I wonder where it could connect with WoW.
TLDR: Mecha’thun or riot. Come, my fellow Gnomes! Rise up and prove the Goblins are not our superiors! RISE!!
Q4TQ: Which redemption arc are Night Elfs least likely to applaud at the end of, Sylvanas or Azshara?
I’m no Night Elf, but I fear these potential redemption arcs. Waving a magic wand and saying “okay, you’re good now” would undermine the agency of either character… and in Sylvanas’ case, making her “good” again would wind up crushing her under the weight of everything cruel thing she’s done.
Dread aside, it’s definitely Sylvanas. That’s an open wound, and it’s not going to heal by the end of the expansion. Or the next expansion. Or the expansion after that…
And I was just typing that I’m not even sure what Blizzard could do to make an Azshara redemption arc — she’s far too self-interested to care about “redemption” — but then I remembered Illidan. So, really, anything could happen.
Q4TQ: Now that Gamescon has come and passed and they didn’t talk about 8.1, is there any specific event or moment in the coming weeks where it could happen? Or will they just randomly release an 8.1 trailer at some point? Because obviously Blizzcon is way too late, the patch will already be on the PTR at this point.
PAX West and Dragoncon are both this weekend, and there will be a Blizzard presence at both… but I’m not convinced we’ll see any announcements. PAX tends to be more about floor gameplay demos, and while it has one panel about WoW, it’s a history panel that doesn’t involve anyone from Blizzard. Dragoncon has some panels on lore, but I don’t think it’s likely we’ll see big news there, either.
Right now I’m expecting an announcement that’s not tied to anything except the fact that Blizzard is ready to talk about the next patch. Which, as you know, will be Soon.
Azshara has done little over the past 10k years. We’ve seen naga around, and they usually had some small plan, usually working for someone else (like Illidan in Outland). But we haven’t seen her do much, until the Eye of Azshara dungeon last xpac, where she was dead set on getting one of the titan pillars, and then now in BfA.
We know that she is connected to N’zoth. We’ve seen him as an inactive force, corrupting others (Deathwing, the Emerald Nightmare), but never saw him do something until Warbringers. Also, he supposedly woke up at the end of the Emerald Nightmare raid.
My question: Is there some connection between him “waking up” and Azshara becoming a bigger presence? Was she happy hanging out under water, but now that he’s awake he’s pushing her into a more active role?
The trouble with predicting Azshara’s actions is that we don’t know what she wants. She serves no one but herself, but even as we’ve seen glimpses of her here and there, we’ve seen nothing to suggest a particular goal. And I don’t think Azshara is one to sit idle and wait for N’zoth to wake up. She’s been building her empire, raising her army, and laying her plans.
Has she taken N’zoth’s wants into consideration while doing all of this? Probably, because it wouldn’t be wise to anger such a powerful patron. But it doesn’t mean her goals are its goals, or that she’s only becoming a big player in the story on its command.
And I can’t imagine her being pleased at N’zoth waking and ordering her around. Even in the face of her death, and the death of all her people, Azshara held a position of power over N’zoth, and I can’t imagining it’s different now. Even if N’zoth thinks it’s in charge, Azshara is still playing her own game.
Ok, I’m going to say this as lovingly and constructively as I can, and pointedly on a queue written by one of if not certainly my favorite “old guard” blizzard watch writer and not on a topic-related article but…
As so very happy as I am for the new members of the Blizzard Watch staff… I can’t help but feel that in some but certainly not all instances, there’s an uptick in the impression of taking the capital-G game elements of the properties they are reporting on perhaps a little more seriously than I see as the comfy laid back norm here. Is this an intentional change?
I frequent many fan sites for blizzard games and, for me, the appeal and charm of blizzard watch is how laid back and “don’t worry, it’s ok if you’re more worried about lore/transmog/collectibles” this site is. I love you guys for that!
I guess I’m seeing an uptick in criticisms for logistical nit picky things, mentions of “the meta,” and other things I consider outside the purview of Blizzard Watch and more in the realm of… I dunno, other sites.
I still love this site, I think the whole stream thing is a little trendy but thankfully the main page has been fixed and I don’t have to click on those twitter posts. I’m not really “complaining,” again I’m happy for the new voices and I like what their hiring says for the site’s health, but… yeah. Felt I had to mention the… shift in mood, and how I felt about it.
Thank you for reading. I know this was long but I don’t have a problem posting it here… that said, I don’t and won’t see a need to validate, or debate my opinion, it is what it is.
Have a nice day :)
There hasn’t been an intentional change, but having more writers lets us cover more things —and sometimes that may be more capital-G game.
There’s Tyler, who knows Overwatch and has the expertise to write about vaguely worded Overwatch patch notes which don’t highlight the real effects. But he’s also written about Reinhardt karaoke, and even though he’s only been with us a month or so, I think he’s responsible for 80% of our total D.Va fan content. Which is fair. D.Va is amazing.
We have Deb, who’s had some harsh things to say about the guild interface. She’s a guildmaster and deals with Blizzard’s poor support for guilds every day. I feel her opinion is more interesting than just saying “this happened.” She’s also written about steamy romance novels and WoW’s own crazy cat lady. Cory wrote a piece about Blizzard breaking World Quest addons that called Blizzard on what seemed like a really lousy justification for the change. He’s also written about Zappy Boi and dog memes.
As to meta coverage, I think this comes up a lot in Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Heroes, which are games we haven’t traditionally written much s about. But when we’re talking meta, we’re really just saying “these are the things that work well right now.” A post on Hearthstone decks for the Witchwood meta is kind of analogous to a post on gearing up for WoW heroics. They’re both advice on how you can achieve your game goals… though perhaps the “meta” phrasing isn’t making that clear.
Many mentions of the meta are also tied up in competitive gaming, which is another thing we haven’t always posted about. I admit, we’re experimenting to find the best way to tackle esports — but that’s something we do for all the time. The editors review traffic reports daily, weekly, and monthly to analyze what we’re doing well and what we can improve on. Content is ever-evolving.
Some days our balance of serious and silly may be lopsided, but our overreaching editorial direction hasn’t changed. We want to talk about the things we find interesting, the things we’re excited about, the things that annoy us, the things that make us laugh. We want to share our joys and commiserate over our frustrations.
Not every post does that, and not every post does that well, but that’s the goal.
That’s it for today, folks. (And isn’t it enough?) The ever-endearing Mr. Adam Holisky will be here tomorrow, and I think I’m contractually obligated to be nice to him because he’s my boss. Hi Adam!
Take care, everyone, and I’ll see you next week.
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