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The QueueJan 3, 2019 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Account wide reputations, Velen, and weight loss through WoW

This Queue is dedicated to all those reputations that I’ve failed to hit exalted with… I never realized until recently how many I probably just need to do some moderate farming to get up to the next level.


BUNDT CAKE ASKED:

Q4tQ: Do you think Blizzard is justified in not making reputations account-wide despite the associated achievements (80, 100 exalted reputations, etc.) already being so?

Yes and no.

Consider this triad of things:

  • Reputation is a measurement of how well your character is liked by a group of NPCs
  • Groups of NPCs behave in a natural way; the more they like you, the more you’ll get out of your friendship
  • It only makes sense that some storylines advance after a group of NPCs REALLY likes you, to the point of absolute trust

Fundamentally, that is how reputations should and ought to work. They are a measurable state of affinity that a group has towards your character for your deeds. In a strict roleplaying sense, this means that you’re working alongside them to achieve their goals, sometimes at the cost of your own, and they really appreciate it. Over time, that appreciation builds up and you’re rewarded for it. This might seem like I’m stating the obvious, but it’s this simple thing that gets in the way of reputations going account-wide. When you roll a new character, and they’re suddenly exalted with Stormwind when they’re a level one dwarf that hasn’t even met a human yet, it doesn’t make a ton of sense.

Now that is just the bridge between the systems (reputation rewards/gains) and the story (you doing stuff to make a group happy) — so in this regard, no, I don’t think reputations should be account wide, and I sort of hope they never become that way.

However, let’s just look at the systems part of it, the part of the game that is outside the story — this means we’re not looking at the bridge between the systems and the story, nor the story itself, squarely focusing on the gameplay elements. Here we (mostly) just have items that are obtained for having a high reputation. You hit exalted (an arbitrary number of internet points that has nothing to do with the story) and you get a shiny new chest piece that’s weighted correctly for a spec and has a nice-enough item level. Great, you get something for your trouble.

Here is where I do not agree with the lack of account bound reputations. There is no reason that I’ve yet seen from a systems, balance, or gameplay perspective that those items cannot go account-bound. All of them. Gear is so diminished these days compared to what it was 10-years ago that an alt getting a good chest piece right away when hitting 120 isn’t going to do a damn thing to the game, other than having another player be able to jump into heroics and LFR. And at the end of the day, isn’t that one of the big things that is needed? More people doing group content and playing together, forming social connections that we need to keep these drawn-out long-term games going?

I have a feeling that this is how the future will play out:

  • Blizzard has tested and stirred the waters with reputation achievements going account-bound
  • We’re going to have nothing change for at least the rest of this expansion, if not the next
  • We’ll get all reputation rewards account-bound instead of BoP, or the reps will simply become account-bound themselves

The key in there, however, is that I’d be very surprised if Blizzard does anything additional during this expansion cycle. They’ve made a fundamental change (whether they’ll admit it on Twitter or not), and in doing so Pandora’s box has been opened somewhat. The wisest thing to do is not overreact one way or another and instead wait and see on the long-term impact and then adjust course. They’ve done this before, they’ll do this again. It is known.


ARTHONOS ASKED:

I resubbed over the weekend after a 2 month break, and after completing the intro quests for the Alliance to the Darkshore Warfront, I’m left with a one burning question:

Q4tQ: Will Velen get a new staff? Now that the gem is powering the Vindicaar the thing just looks like two sticks lashed together. I feel like he deserves better.

He’s screwed. Plain and simple.

In actuality though, I think Velen’s story has come to a close in many ways. He’s had a lot thrown at him over the years, and we’ve seen him in both timelines go through some stuff (or um, stop going through stuff, as it is/were/has been/will be/could have been/timey-whimy). At the end of Legion he’s hanging around and all “Well, Argus can’t be saved because it’s all dead now, so I’ll just go back to Azeroth and chill with the boy king for a bit.”

Of course, there are opportunities for him to do things, he’s got a lot of magical power and he is a faction lead, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a lot more to tell about him. Anything that’s added will be simply there for the sake of moving his character through another arc, when it’s clear that his arcs tend to have a lot of time between them (remember, he’s really old). That’s not to say such a thing will be artificial, and in the next expansion (or even later this one) we could see something like that. Many people speculate that the faction divide could end after this, and if so, Velen could very well have something to do with it. But that said, I’m not expecting another major arc with him center stage as much as he has been before.

So his staff is broke, and he’s up the creek. Such is life.


LOUTAINX ASKED:

I’m trying to scrape together motivation to get healthy/lose weight. I just can’t seem to ever find the energy. What has worked for you guys?

I don’t talk about it on Twitter often, but I’ve been dieting for a bit. At my worst in 2012 I was at 320lbs, and at my best in 2014 I was at 235. Right now, after going back up to 290lbs in 2018, I’m at 240lbs, and am looking to continue my path downward. There’s a few things that I’ve learned from this, including how it’s possible and ideal (for me at least) to integrate video games into my weightloss routine.

First, I know that this isn’t a new years resolution or something that I’m doing because someone told me to do. I’m doing this because I want to feel better, not take as many pills, and live a long life. I’m doing it for me — selfish, yes, but my mind needs to be in that spot for me to really want the weight loss. If you’re going to do something like this for someone else, my hat is off to you if you can. I initially did it for my wife, but once it became not a big deal that I was shedding the pounds anymore, the positive reinforcement (naturally) tapered off, and my weight went back up. I am in no way blaming her, it’s entirely on me — it has been from the start. And now that I fully realize this, I’m doing this for me and thus far am feeling pretty good about it.

Second, know that you’re going to make mistakes. You’ll probably yo-yo back up to something you’re really not happy with. That’s OK. It’s part of the process and part of teaching yourself things that you haven’t been taught before. Yes, of course yo-yo-ing that much isn’t good for your health and you should avoid it at all costs, but let’s be realistic; the point here is not that you’re going to lose all the weight and put it back on, it’s that you’re going to lose weight and have a couple months of really healthy eating, and then majorly screw up for a few days. Hey guess what. That’s life, and it’s OK that you’ve made a mistake. Recognize it and move on, just like when you forget to take out the trash one night.

Third, find something to reward yourself with. For me whenever I was eating healthy (which is my biggest thing), I would play a video game. When I wasn’t eating healthy, I wouldn’t. I can eat as many carrots as I can, and drink as much water as I can (versus soda, la croix, and other stuff), and in doing those healthy things I’m doing something that I already like and get a lot of positive dopamine from — playing video games. This has made my brain associate one with the other. It was REALLY important that I did this religiously from the get-go, but now that I’m into it over the last 10-months, I don’t do it all that often. However with that said, I also regularly snack on carrots and some hummus while reading, and drink a ton of water when I’m playing WoW … so maybe I am? Either way, treat yo’ self, just not with fatty food.

Finally, please talk to your doctor. Often times weight is connected to more than just overeating. Depression, anxiety, underlying and undiscovered health conditions can all be part of it. They can also guide you in how much you can realistically diet and make sure that you’re healthy as you do so. Each person is different, and your doctor is the person to be the guide through this. I firmly am against weight loss programs and other things like that — I’m sure they work for some, but I know so many people that are depressed and they eat, and then they’re sad that they’ve put on more weight and become depressed, so they eat more, and the cycle continues. My doctor helped me break that cycle. I go on a walk/run for 30 to 45 minutes each day, and I eat about 1,500 calories worth of food. I only drink alcohol socially, and I don’t let fatty foods that I can’t eat sit around in the house. I have literally thrown out bags of candy. That’s me. You’ll be different, so you do you, and talk with your doctor about what your journy looks like.

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