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The QueueMay 8, 2019 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: I have regrets

Don’t we all? But instead of pondering our many regrets, let’s answer some questions.


Q4tQ: Do you think a Dragon could be killed by a mace or some other blunt weapon?

I think you can kill anything with a mace if you try hard enough. Don’t give up! Anything is possible!


To The BlizzardWatch Powers That Be:

I miss the “What are you playing this weekend” posts of old.
It was always neat to see what the writers are playing or plan to, especially when it’s not WoW.

This is one of those features that people say they like (Mitch is one of those people), but only a tiny percentage of people actually read. Time is precious, and we must spend it on things most people are most likely to want to read.


QftQ: Which BW staff are planning on going to Blizzcon this year? I mean who wouldn’t considering you’re getting free press pass tickets, hotel rooms, food, car rental, and special parties with Blizzard staff, and all the Blizzard swag you can make off with? :D

Mitch, Matticus, and Dan will be there. Even with a press pass, it’s pretty pricy to attend BlizzCon, and when we do, it’s usually on our own dime. And that’s a lot of dimes.

And about the party, because there was a question about it later in the thread: it is, similarly, something pricy. AOL fronted the money for it when we first started holding it, and we had an arrangement with the Annabella that let us had the space for very little. On top of the fact that not many of us are going to be at BlizzCon, I fear that the party of old would be difficult to replicate. Hotel space has gotten more expensive and parties have gotten bigger. I don’t know if we could organize something like that even if we did have the money.

To give this answer something of substance beyond “things are hard!” let me tell you about the very first WoW Insider BlizzCon parties. For the first one, we just showed up at a bar somewhere, and around a dozen people showed up. It was easy to organize — as easy as a post saying “meet us here!” — really low key.

We tried to do the same thing the following year, and around 100 people showed up. As you can imagine, this didn’t go as well. The place was overcrowded and we spilled outside onto the patio. There was an hour wait to get drinks. I remember sitting outside and just thinking what the hell. We knew plenty of people read the site, but having that many people right there was kind of staggering.

The next year we got space at the Annabella, which we filled up. Then we got more space at the Annabella, which we also filled up. It turned into a big event that needed people manning the door to turn people away when our space was full, and bouncers to get rid of troublemakers. We started doing a livestream from the event.

The party became this massive thing of its own, almost accidentally. All we did was tell readers that they could meet us at a bar the night before BlizzCon, and things escalated from there. And while it’s fun to meet people, I honestly think I prefer the non-events we’ve done at more recent cons, where we usually spend some time at Con Before the Storm meeting people, and arrange impromptu get-togethers on social media. It feels more like that first BlizzCon meet-up where you could talk to people and just enjoy being there rather than having to run an event.

I know people enjoyed the parties, but I think our days of party-planning are in the past. It was fun while it lasted.


Q4tQ: What’s the educated guessing at for the 8.2 drop? Not that the aforementioned creator isn’t an educated guess but are they right? That seems way optimistic for where my head is at with the game right now!

Patch 8.1 was on the PTR for three months, and even the smaller patch 8.1.5 was on the PTR for two months. Patch 8.2 has only been on the PTR for three weeks, and even if Blizzard was working to release it more quickly than previous patches, we’re only just seeing the first round of raid testing, which will take weeks on its own.

So I have to agree that a May release date is way too early. I’d say mid-June at the earliest, and more likely early July — a full three months would put us in the second week of July. My money is on the last week of June or first week of July.

Note: I have cribbed heavily from a post Rachelle wrote, which has more speculation on a possible patch date.


Weird Q4tQ:

What if… I only show up and play any WoW expansions after the last patch comes up? Do you think that my experience with it will be diminished for not playing it since the beginning?

I ask this because I simply can’t play WoW anymore as a MMO per se, with all it’s scheduled releases and etc, not planning on raiding beyond LFR, and I’m thinking on waiting until all the content is released in a single expansion for then to play it, to enjoy the story, which I still love and not to get burned with the grinding parts of it.

This is an idea that sounds great on paper, but I’m not sure it would work very well in practice, because content evolves and we evolve as we play an expansion. New content and quests are added, and if you come in late, they can get jumbled to the point where you can’t entirely see the story’s narrative.

I’ve been playing the entire expansion, but because I am sluggish at getting anything done, I’ve already experienced this first-hand. I didn’t finish the main questline to rescue Jaina before patch 8.1 came out and suddenly there was a new questline to help Jaina prepare this invasion of Zandalar. You could be on both quest chains simultaneously, with Katherine Proudmoore mournfully asking you to find her daughter while around the corner Jaina is sending you on another quest. The longer you’re out of the game, the more tangled the narrative becomes.

Then, as The Angriest Angel mentioned in the comments, you’ll find that people just don’t want to do earlier content. Dungeon groups will power through instances as quickly as possible, and kick you or leave you behind if you don’t keep up. Early raid LFRs can get harder, too, because most players have been there and done that — you’re likely to find fewer players running and fewer good players running, because they’ve moved on to newer content.

So, yes, you can do this, but I don’t think it would be that fun. You would log on to be confronted by a mountain of out-of-order quests with no clear indication of which order, narratively, to do them in. Finding groups for early expansion content would probably be tougher, too, meaning you would either wind up speed-running to keep up with your group or skipping it entirely — and both dungeons and raids are a huge part of this expansion’s story.

If you enjoy the game but not the stop-and-go between patches, I’d recommend letting your subscription drop between patches. Play some at release, then unsubscribe until the first big patch. Play, then unsubscribe until the second patch. You would get game content in reasonable chunks, without being beholden to sticking around for the grindy lull in between.


Q4TQ: should WoW pull another Cataclysm, and redo the whole world once again?

If so, how would it happen? All at once in an expansion, like Cata, or progressively, one zone at a time (through content like Warfronts)?

Would it be just EK and Kalimdor, or would you include Outland and Northrend as well?

Would you keep the old versions still accessible through Zidormi? Is Zidormi extremely overworked, or are we simply dealing with different instances of Zidormi through time?

And if you’re against this idea, why is that?

Yes. Cataclysm-era Azeroth content is very dated, time-stamped to an era when Garrosh was Warchief. While Sylvanas certainly isn’t any more peaceful than Garrosh, there are places in the old world that simply feel out of context in the game’s narrative.

However… I don’t think Blizzard will do it. Revisiting the old world is a huge job — and most of it for content that isn’t relevant to top-level players. I think it’s more likely that Blizzard will phase new zones as it has new stories to tell — like in Darkshore — which lets them tell new stories for max level players while leaving the existing zone untouched. It’s the best of both worlds… except for the fact that parts of the world still just don’t make sense narratively with the current game.


Q4TQ: Why are gnomes so puntable? Why are Goblins unpuntable? Will Gnomes ever take their rightful place as rulers of the Alliance and start punting all the larger races around?

The other races are just jealous of how adorable we are. I feel bad for them, really. It’s never too late to race change, people!

Also… you all apparently had a lot of Gnome questions, but instead of writing a whole Queue only answering Gnome questions, I have encapsulated all of my Gnomish enthusiasm into this question. I think it is probably a fair answer for most questions about Gnomes.

But I’m going to call this it for the day. I hope your Wednesday is going well, and I will see you back here next week.

P.s. Werewolf Gnomes.

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