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The QueueMar 6, 2019 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: When pigs (and gnomes) fly

We all have a dream, and my dream was to fly.

Or maybe just to answer questions. Who can keep track of these things?


Q4tQ: If you’d never played WoW before today, would BfA be interesting/fun enough to ‘hook’ you into the game, without the momentum retained from prior xpacs and time sunk?

I feel like our momentum is actually part of what fuels so much dislike of the game today. I have played World of Warcraft in 2004. I have a wealth of memories of the game past: gameplay mechanics I enjoyed, dungeons that are now gone, friends that I made, new characters I met, challenges I overcame. Every single time I open the game, it competes with 14 years of good times.

Sometimes the game in front of me wins. Sometimes, it’s memories that overtake me. Just this afternoon I was running Ulduar with a friend, and we talked about how so few dungeons or raids are this beautiful anymore. Ulduar was a raid that you might enjoy just wandering through and staring at everything. Lately we’ve had Warlords of Draenor, in which anything could be improved by adding more spikes, and Legion, which I enjoyed but it really did want everything to be as terrible and fel-infused as possible. These weren’t places you wanted to stick around.

And that’s just one example. I still unfavorably compare today’s talent selections to vanilla’s talent trees, the forever-gone original Scholomance is my favorite dungeon in the game, and no matter how artful, no cinematic can compare to the shock I felt when I first saw the fall of the Wrathgate. For the long-time player, Battle for Azeroth is full of new frustrations (like Azerite armor balance), repeated storylines (don’t forget the Horde is evil!), and confusing twists to characters we love (yes, I know Sylvanas is evil, but this is a different kind of evil).

Brand new players won’t have any of that baggage. They would see Sylvanas as a convincing threat without thinking anything was out of character. They would accept the talent system and the Azerite system for what they are instead of comparing them to earlier mechanics.

And for all of our rose-colored glasses, the storytelling in WoW has come a long way since 2004. Each zone has its own strong storyline, and as you quest through them, the world around you changes in response to your actions. Beautiful cinematics punctuate big story moments, and many of them feature your own character as the star. Storytelling in WoW has never been this good.

At max level, those stories continue in dungeons and raids, which players can get into and experience with just a few clicks of the group finder. Azeroth is a vast world and no corner of it is inaccessible. For people jumping into the world for the first time, a strong narrative combined with a game that’s easy to get into would make World of Warcraft very compelling.

Not to say the game is perfect — talent trees! — but the game does have a lot of good features that I think we forget about after playing for a while. After all, it’s been six months since any of us went through BfA’s initial chain of quests. Even though the story has continued at a fairly brisk pace (for Warcraft), that’s a long time to be without what I feel is one of the game’s strongest features.

TLDR: Yes, I think brand new players would enjoy Battle for Azeroth. Maybe not enough to stick around for a decade like so many of us have, but BfA in and of itself has been a fun experience.


Is there any addon for customizing my own and the target’s health bar? Or to at least hide the blizzard UI one so I can make my own with weakaura?

There are plenty of addons you can tackle this problem with. MoveAnything lets you move, scale, and hide UI elements, letting you replace them with whatever you want. But you can also use a unitframes addon that replaces you character’s health bar, your target’s health bar, your party’s health bars, your raid’s health bars… anything. You can customize your UI to look nearly however you’d like… if you’re willing to spend the time tweaking settings, adjusting sizes, and dragging boxes around your screen until they’re just right. I use VuhDo, which has the advantage of being able to import setups other people have made… though I unfortunately only figured this out well after I spent hours DIY-ing mine. If you like the idea of completely customizable frames, grab VuhDo and then browse the VuhDo section of Wago. If you find something that’s mostly what you want, you can tweak it until it’s perfect.

But there are tons of unitframe addons. Browse Curseforge to see if something else strikes your fancy.

However, if you were talking about nameplates (the health bars that show up above your head and your enemy’s head), try Threat Plates, which are larger, clearer, and more customizable than Blizzard’s default nameplates. And if you’re interested in a heads-up display style interface, try Ice HUD (which is what I was using before I decided to customize everything with VuhDo).

Addons can be a real rabbit hole. Once you get started, there’s always one more addon or one more adjustment to make your UI perfect. And then one more. And one more. And one more.

Good luck. You’ll probably need it.


Q4tQ: What do you do when you feel like you’ve “overscheduled” your life? How do you reclaim sanity when you have too much you want to do?

My typical strategy is to let the stress keep building until I can’t cope with it and have a dramatic emotional breakdown. Once you’ve gotten the breakdown over with, you pick up the pieces and start over again. It’s really convenient because you never actually have to deal with the problem! (Dealing with problems is hard.)

However… I don’t think I can recommend taking my own advice. Does anyone in the Queue have good coping strategies? Because I think most of us (me?) could probably use the help.


Mitch knows how to most reading the queue is a afterthought

Wait. Are you saying I did all of this for nothing?


QftQ: What are the chances Liz will post a blank Queue and then blame it on Mitch?

Wait… I could just do that?

Dammit, why doesn’t anyone tell me these things in advance? Maybe next week.


Q4tQ: Why is sadness so hard to describe, yet so easy to feel?

The easy description is the thing I am feeling right now, but having been told that no one reads these answers… well, actually that just produces more of that same feeling, except it’s that feeling and also I am talking to myself. Great.

That’s all for now. Until next week, friends, if there is a next week. After this Queue, I’m questioning everything.

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