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The QueueNov 26, 2018 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: How we wanted to do this

Welcome back to The Queue, our daily Q&A feature for all of Blizzard’s games! Have a question for the Blizzard Watch staff? Leave it in the comments!

Due to recent events, nobody in my family really felt like doing anything really traditional for Thanksgiving, so my sister suggested she could bring over her “D&D stuff” and run a little one-shot for everyone. Promptly after her arrival it looked like Wizards of the Coast threw up on the dining room table and we spent a good eight hours playing a game that ended up definitely being neither little nor a one-shot. Hai Flutin the Tiefling Bard (Yes, I did that) will make her return at some point in the future, along with everyone else in the party, and nobody’s really upset about that at all.

But hey, we have questions to answer, so for now let’s get to that, shall we?


Q4tQ: Are there any specs given to allied races that don’t line up in your opinion?

One of the things kind of brought into stark realization in Legion is that some specs just don’t make a whole heck of a lot of sense from a story perspective. That expansion didn’t just give cohesive stories to each class, it actually went into every specialization in the game as well. When you do that, suddenly everyone starts thinking really hard about the strangeness of a race being denied a class, but allowed a specialization that seems to directly contradict whatever that race stands for.

For example, Void Elves are definitely affiliated with the Void in-game, and yet they can be Holy Priests. Conversely, Lightforged Draenei are certainly imbued with the Light, yet they can be Shadow Priests. There are other examples probably, but those two are the biggest “offenders,” if you want to call them that.

However, you can’t just offer a class to a race and limit the specializations they can choose. The game has never worked that way — it’s a game mechanic thing, not a story thing. The choice to add story to something that was traditionally mostly a game mechanic makes those weird moments stand out, but you kind of have to draw the line somewhere. In Blizzard’s case, they draw the line at class, but not specialization.

So for example, Zandalari can’t be Warlocks — and that makes perfect sense. They weren’t around for all the Burning Legion shenanigans the rest of the planet went through, so there’s no reason for them to have picked that up at any point in history. The same goes for the Lightforged — there’s no way a Lightforged Draenei would ever choose to take up the tools the Burning Legion used.

Is the specialization thing kind of nonsensical? Well yeah, but it’s always been kind of nonsensical — we just mostly chose to ignore it until Legion brought it to our immediate attention.


I’m writing this while playing WoW…if you look at the text, they mix and match calling her Lucille or Lucy Waycrest. Now, I know, Lucy is just a nickname for Lucille, but it is odd they’re not consistent with her name.

I suspect that out-of-game, it was a difference in whoever happened to be writing that particular quest. But if you want an in-game justification, we can probably just chalk that up to familiarity. Some people might know Lucille a lot better than others, so they call her Lucy. Some people might be using her full name as a matter of respect — or using the shortened version as a denotation of their lack of respect. As outsiders, we aren’t really familiar with the details of who knows who in Kul Tiras, but those little moments of familiarity (or lack thereof) help paint the picture for us.


QftQ: World of Warcraft has a lot of difficulties in story and design, due to how old the game is. A lot of newer mmos are a bit more actiony, for instance, and WoW always seems to need the faction conflict flaring up due to WoW being designed around that. But with hints that there could be major shake-ups in the story – particularly the state of the factions – do you think it’s possible that… Blizzard could be thinking of WoW 2?

I don’t think so. I don’t think we’ll ever see a “WoW 2” — we’re just going to see the original game continue to evolve. If there’s one thing that was made glaringly apparent with the Classic demo, it’s that the game has changed significantly over the fourteen years it’s been around. One of the beautiful things about World of Warcraft is that it’s always had room to do so, provided the developers wanted to go that direction.

There’s still plenty of room to make those major changes within the scope of the game we’re currently playing. Rather than potentially split the playerbase, I suspect Blizzard will continue to find ways for the old game to evolve — after all, that’s what keeps it fresh, right?


Q4tQ: The Horde filling the Uldir Hall of Fame way faster than the Alliance brought back the debate about racials and how they give an unfair advantage to a faction/race. Do you think racials should still be a thing and that they can be fixed or would you rather eliminate them (or change them into a cosmetic effect)?

I don’t think they need to be changed or eliminated — racials are pretty puny by design. Sure, there are some racials that could be considered beefier than others, but even then any advantage is just a few percentage points, nothing more than that. If things get too out of control or lopsided whether by faction or class, Blizzard will eventually make some adjustments — I mean, they’ve been doing that pretty consistently over the years.


Q4tQ: do you think we’ll end the Horde like Varian said we would if anything like Garrosh happened again?

Well Varian isn’t exactly around to make good on his promise is he?

To clarify — Varian isn’t in charge anymore, Anduin is. That promise Varian made kind of flew in the face of what Anduin believed at the time. Anduin wanted peace between the factions, he didn’t want the Horde destroyed. He still doesn’t want the Horde destroyed. But he’s also coming to terms with the realization that maybe that shining vision of peace between factions he’s been gunning for all these years isn’t as easy a possibility as he thought.

I think, if given the choice between end the Horde, or see the Alliance fall, Anduin would choose to save the Alliance every single time. But if there were an inkling, no matter how small, of potential peace between the factions? He’d go with that option. Anduin still wants peace — but he’s absolutely unwilling to sacrifice the Alliance to achieve that.


Does Khadgar have a last name?

Nope! Surnames in Warcraft have always struck me as a little odd — some people have them, some people don’t. There doesn’t seem to be any significance to them. They aren’t a mark of rank or nobility, as we’ve got simple farmers out in Westfall that have last names, as well as kings and queens. Surnames out here in the real world generally denote a familial connection, but that doesn’t seem to be practiced so much in Azeroth.

And then of course we have Azeroth’s champions — and none of us are allowed to plunk in a last name on the character creation screen. So maybe the use of last names in-game is kind of spotty just because of that initial semi-limiting game mechanic. Either way, Khadgar doesn’t have a last name — he’s just Khadgar. But he’s also the only Khadgar, so maybe he doesn’t really need a last name after all.

That’s it for today’s Queue — if you have any questions you’d like to see answered, be sure to leave them in the comments below!

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