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The QueueMar 27, 2019 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Meet my shark smile

Why does everyone keep telling me to smile? I am smiling! This is my smile!

And if you don’t like it, well, these teeth are pretty sharp.


MOVEWOW ASKED:

Q4Liz: Did you play the new Artificial Intelligence Arathi battle grounds over the past week? Where would you like and not to see it in WoW’s future?

I didn’t, but I think the addition of AI into the game has been an interesting one. Just look at the NPCs in Island Expeditions, where the NPCs have distinctive styles. Personally, I dread Sneaky Pete and Dorp. Pete stuns me, Dorp’s pet chases me, and Dorp hits me from a safe distance, so unless the rest of my group is with me and paying attention, meeting them probably means I’m dead. It’s just like PVP! (Okay, Pete doesn’t stunlock as effectively as a PVPer, but he does it better than any other NPC I’ve met.)

I think this holds a lot of promise for encounters that aren’t just same old same old. In dungeons and raids, NPC behavior is pretty predictable, and even bosses follow set patterns — usually set patterns we’ve gotten used to over a decade of gameplay. Giving some NPCs more unique gameplay behavior could really shake things up, but so far we’re only seeing this in PVP style content. I’m curious to see if that will change in the long run.


RED ASKED:

Q4Liz: what do you think about Vulpera? Totes adorbs? Or are you indifferent?

And now that I’ve gotten that out of the way: let’s assume for a moment that the next set of Allied Races is Vulpera for the Horde and Mechagnomes / Junker Gnomes for the Alliance. If you could, would you, a known gnome fan, change it so that the Alliance got Vulpera instead of the new gnomes, and the Horde got something else?

Vulpera: adorbs, and I wouldn’t be upset if Horde got them. On day 1, WoW kicked off an aesthetic of the Alliance having “pretty” races and the Horde having “ugly” races. The very first expansion gave Horde Blood Elves to give them a “pretty” — and immensely popular — option of their own, but despite that, the initial aesthetic impression remains. So I think giving Horde Vulpera would give them their “cute” race (sorry Goblins, you’re cute but not as cute as Vulpera) and help further push down the idea that the Horde are bad so they should look bad.

Obviously, this is subjective, but there as definitely been a trend of the Alliance getting races that would be considered “normal,” while the Horde are monsters and beasts. And since I think the stereotype of good and evil as pretty and ugly is ridiculous, I’m happy for any rejection of it.

Now, mechagnomes. I actually think it might be interesting if they went to the Horde, though I don’t think it’s likely. Even though they may not quite be a fit for the Alliance, Gnomes have a strong sense of loyalty that I think means they would stick together, or try to. But the idea of a tribe of Gnomes turned away by the Alliance and going to the Horde is an interesting one that adds depth to the typical good/evil dichotomy of the factions.

But wherever these races wind up, I’m almost certainly playing them both.


SPENCER MORGAN ASKED:

Q4tLiz: why does the game railroad us into interfering with Gnomish explorations of trans-humanism? We quest in Borean Tundra, and are told “this mechagnome wants to give us shiny bodies that shoot lasers. Stop him”.

Soon, Mechagon will be a thing, and lo and behold. The “bad guy” of that content is the dude who wants to give us perfect, immortal, machine bodies. Someone on Azeroth wants us to be stuck in these fallible meatsack bodies that “require food and sleep” and that “can’t initiate self_repaire.exe” when we’re injured.

Trans-humanism (trans-gnomism?) is naturally rather frightening. There’s a body horror element to it with the idea of losing parts of yourself, only to have them replaced with invasive machines. And just how invasive are those machines? Are you in charge, or are they? Can you trust someone (somegnome?) like that, who could be a person or a robot?

The everyday residents of Azeroth don’t have answers to any of the questions I just posed, so it’s natural to be a little intimidated, a little scared. Azeroth is full of dangers, and for all most residents know, this is one of them.

Learning about our hybrid robot bretheren is the first step towards changing this attitudes. Perhaps a march through Stormwind, carrying protest signs?


RJAGODA ASKED:

Hey Liz! Hope you are well. If gnomes were not in game what would you play?

Hmm. Tough question. I do play some non-Gnomes, but as you can see, Gnomes are kind of my thing. They’re such precious little killing machines.

But I do in fact play other races. I have a Void Elf Priest, a new Kul Tiran Druid (replacing a Night Elf Druid), a Dark Iron Warrior, and a Lightforged Paladin. So I’m not entirely tied to the idea of being a gnome. Not entirely. But with the Allied Races, there are now plenty of choices (as long as you don’t need to play something small and cute).

Of course that doesn’t really answer your question. Oops.

If Gnomes were no more, I don’t think I’d be particularly devoted to any other race. They all have their selling points, and variety is the spice of life, isn’t it? Unless you can play a Gnome, obviously.


ENO ASKED:

QfLiz: I had already named a creeping tentacle pet after Mitch, but I haven’t named any pets after you, Anne and Rossi yet. What pets would best fit y’all?

Anne is a Lofty Libram.

Rossi is Tyrael.

I am Zu-Fu.


TKC ASKED:

Q4tQ: A particle is moving around in a circle and its position is given in polar coordinates as x = Rcosθ, and y = Rsinθ, where R is the radius of the circle, and θ is in radians. From these equations derive the equation for centripetal acceleration.

Why do you do this to me. :|

And with that, I’m going to call it a day. Good luck out there, Queuevians — it’s a tough old world, so be careful as you navigate through it.

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