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The QueueMar 28, 2019 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Dungeons and Warcraft

I’m back, let’s jump into the Queue!


We can debate the aesthetics of beauty endlessly, but I think we can agree that the Horde are races that don’t have conventional, familiar looks, while the Alliance started with humans, shorter humans (dwarves), even shorter humans (gnomes), humans with pointy ears (elves). I definitely feel like there’s a message there, if an accidental one: normal/pretty = good guys, unconventional/ugly = bad guys.

It’s a characterization shorthand that exists all over the world of fantasy and a rather tedious trope. Thus, I’m all for breaking it by giving the Horde some of these races that may be traditionally considered “pretty” or “good” (or both) and bringing some more dubious choices to the Alliance. (Dark Irons are interesting in that morally dubious category.)

I don’t disagree that the aesthetic duality you’re describing exists, however, I think there are two sides to the coin.

Consider for a moment that the Horde and Alliance are equally good from a virtue standpoint — both have their faults and both have their positives. Ethically I would argue, especially from a comprehensive standpoint, that they have both shown the true natures of existence.

There is, however, one area that the Horde has which the Alliance does not — they are the outcasts. The ones sitting, if I am to borrow from our collective experience growing up, at the table at the back of the lunch room in the corner, talking about Demogorgons and not about sportsball. This creates a situation where the aesthetic representation you outlined comes into play.

They’re outcasts for whatever reasons, and they join together. Looks, I would argue, are not a causality of being an outcast. Unconventional isn’t either. The relationship is purely coincidental, and if there is a causality it speaks to the xenophobia of those that reject them to the status of outcast. I’ll borrow some poststructural thought here:

The abnormal is defined by the normal; both in prose, form, and in the overarching archeology of knowledge. The symbolism of a downtrodden Horde citizen is common — however a level of rejection comes when you think of an Alliance citizen being that way. When if you step outside the bounds of the language and constructs of The Matrix The Alliance, one sees that their citizens are just as helpless as the Horde.

Now, does WoW showcase this effectively? At certain points I would argue it absolutely does (Westfall), but overall it does a poor job at this depth of story in a contained simulcra. Only stepping out do we get to see the other side of the coin (and everyone should keep in mind that the side of the coin Liz has examined is completely valid and true as well).


Is it time that the Horde changed it’s capital? Orgrimmar made sense when the Horde was founded, it was the fortified camp of the most numerous and powerful race, the Orcs.

Now though, we don’t have an Orc warchief, the Orcs were decimated by Garrosh’s antics, Orgrimmar itself was sacked a few years ago so isn’t exactly an impregnable stronghold.

With the addition of Silvermoon and Suramar to the Horde, two of the three magical superpowers on Azeroth, and Zuldazar with all of it’s might, isn’t it time that the capital moved from an irrelevant cluster of huts in a desert canyon into an actual city?

I couldn’t agree more.

I’m not really sure why the Horde, and I mean that as the collective body of nation-states, allowed itself to remain with their capital of Orgrimmar after so much has gone on there, and so many better options present themselves right now.

Of course there’s geopolitical and military reasons — but a move en masse to a stronger fortification when there’s constant war would be a wise move.

Now all that said, Orgrimmar has improved itself significantly from a defensive posture since the Cataclysm. The gains would still be pretty greater if they were elsewhere (sans Undercity). And yes, before someone jumps at me, I think the Alliance should have also relocated.


Anyone else notice every question today specifically addressed Liz by name, except the last one, which is the type of question known to upset Liz. It’s like yesterday’s Queue comments were directed directly at her. Or at least the ones she chose.

It’s the new Q4TQ!


Q4Liz (even though Liz is not answering tomorrow’s Queue as far as I know): do you get annoyed that when you ask people for questions, they (myself included) shower you with a bunch of Gnome-related questions?

Do you wanna, maybe, answer questions about other stuff?

Yes. So let me use this opportunity to answer something else. Hey Adam, have you been able to play WoW much lately?

Nope, sure haven’t! I’ve tried and tried, but between having a serious amount of #life thrown at me lately, a new child, and another serious amount of #life, there’s been no time for games. I really wish there was. I’d love nothing more than a few weeks to just relax and play a video game or two.

Maybe in a couple of years…


Q4tQ:Just how bad do you consider Bethesda’s handling of F76 to be? The game feels like a deliberate race to the bottom, and I’m worried that Bethesda (and others) setting the bar so low will create an environment. Where other developers can be ‘the best option’ out there by simply doing just a bit better than them.

There’s a few things that happened with Fallout 76, but I want to get to the two core clauses of your question:

  1. Did Bethesda intentionally set the bar so low by either incompetence or malcontent?
  2. Will others follow suit?

I don’t believe that the Bethesda developers, managers, or whomever else intentionally did this (and I don’t think that’s what you’re saying either, fyi); I do think that their overall inability to function with a backup plan or handle a crisis has lead to the situation the game has been (and is) in.

This handling of a crisis is something that the gaming industry should have come to terms with long ago, but for whatever reason, it continues to be problematic. I honestly don’t know why either; every other industry has extensive crisis management gameplans and SOPs that actually work (look at the airlines — you’re now offered thousands of dollars to bump your flight).

With regards to others following their path and racing to the bottom — no, I definitely don’t think that’s going to happen. Polished games are a huge win for the consumer and for the studio. I worked at a place for a long time that did not want to be on the cutting edge, but instead wanted to be like Apple — doing it right after letting others make the mistakes. I personally know several designers and leaders in the industry who feel that same way. They’re letting Bethesday make the mistake, and they’ll come out swinging.

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