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The QueueAug 13, 2019 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Total Namehem

While some of you were securing your names for WoW Classic, I was making plans. This was mostly because I was trying to pass the time while I was waiting in the queue to log in, but that’s beside the point. The point is, I was able to con Mitch into teaching me how to play Fortnite, and we’re going to do it on the Blizzard Watch Twitch channel this Wednesday in my usual 9 p.m. CST time slot.

I only installed the game so far. Don’t rush me. I’m sure it’s going to go really well. Let’s A some Qs!


Question for the Queue!
How did your name reservations for classic go? I managed to get three names I wanted. Glad it went smoothly as one name would of been really stressful for me to not get as I wanted my classic main to have same name as my retail main. Have had same main in retail since classic.

I eventually got one of the two names I wanted to reserve but I was extremely cranky the entire time.


q4tq: Do you always play all games with sound on, or do you turn it off for certain games? I’ve usually got the sound off in WoW, despite the nice music, because I usually watch something on Youtube or elsewhere and the music is distracting. But I can’t live without sound in games like Overwatch and Heroes

Actually, I usually leave the sound on because I’m usually watching something on my second monitor! I turn off the music, but all the wooshes and clangs — and splashy fish bobbers especially — clue me in that something important is happening in the game and I should probably pay more attention. Or any attention, really.

I will say that sound design is definitely a vital part of my game in Overwatch. While I’m so glad subtitles raised the bar for access, even using them as an option that extra little bit of info I get from the directional sound of running feet is just too good to mute. Also, I tend to tunnel vision when I play so I lose the plot on whatever’s going on over on the second monitor anyway.

Besides which, no way I’m missing the chance to hear Matt Mercer drawl, “it’s high noon” at me. I’m not made of steel here.


Q4tQ: do you think these 15 years of theorycrafting and knowledge will impact the classic experience and that maybe we might see raids with bears, tankadins and other setups we didn’t see in vanilla? Things that may not be optimal but given the experience of the player can be viable?

Honestly I think we may see the opposite, at least at the higher levels. Some raids will, of course, let people cut loose and do whatever — compared to raids today, a 40-man raid gives mediocrity a huge place to hide. Melee Hunters will be on even footing with Ret Paladins toward the bottom of the DPS charts but as long as one of the Mages forgot to respec from Fire before they came to Molten Core nobody’ll notice.

But at the top? Nah.

I honestly doubt we’ll see top guilds play many of those hybrids or lower-performing classes aside from fights where it’s absolutely vital they be there for whatever reason. If you haven’t been following the server first races, you may not know the number of alts guilds maintain at high levels. They frequently swap out dozens of characters while they’re trying to woodshed a strategy — having the ability to suddenly swap all their existing DPS for nothing but Rogues can provide some important insight as to what’s not working. It’s likely alts will be used in those one-off, “need a Hunter with the Tranq book” fights. Most DPS players who want to see cutting edge play will roll a Mage — is rolling Ignite implemented for Classic? — or a Rogue, aside from those brave soulless individuals who think they can squeak by because they have Banish. Healers will play Priests, specifically Dwarf ones. Tanks will play Warriors.

Class balance has come a very long way since 2004. Of course in your raid with your buds you’ll let anybody come along, but the community perception will be totally different.


Q4TQ: do you wish that things like the Priest racial spells would return? Every class having an ability that is race-specific?

Do you have any balance concerns about that (i.e., cutting edge guilds only recruiting Dwarf Priests because Fear Ward was OP), or not?

Would you prefer if those racial abilities were more flavorful than impactful, to avoid creating another Fear Ward situation?

I like the idea of it in theory, and as cosmetics, but in practice not so much.

It felt like racial abilities across the board were intended to be a tiny, ‘oh, that’s nice’ little perk to go along with the fantasy of playing the character you really wanted to play. “If someone really wanted to live their Warcraft 3 dreams and play a Sentinel-style Hunter, they wouldn’t look at the five extra gun skill and roll a Dwarf instead of a Night Elf,” is what I’m sure the developers thought to themselves. If you’re playing D&D and have an awesome backstory for a half-orc Monk you’re not going to change your mind and pencil in a Halfling because they get a slight bonus to Dexterity, after all.

Lots of people don’t really care all that much about the RP or fantasy of it all, but if even that tiny boost is enough to make the decision for people, those much bigger variations are absolutely going to make the difference.

That said, I’d love more cosmetic racial effects. For example, Tauren Priests should get some spells that are less glittery and more like An’she’s sunny rays — and I say that fully adoring glitter.


Q4tQ What class has the most unique class-specific storylines in Classic?
Also, Books that teach you spell levels will be at thing in Classic, right?

And all that above stuff said, I love quest lines that reflect classes, too.

All classes get a couple early unique quests that teach you how to play. As a Rogue, you’re tasked with infiltrating a dangerous tower, using skills like sap and learning how stealth really works along the way. Priests buff a dude at the side of a lake with Fortitude. You know, the true class experience

Beyond that, Warlocks get a special quest for each demon they learn, plus one for each level of horse, so I’m fairly sure they win out. Paladins get one for each level of horse, plus the one to get that super cool hammer. Both quest lines to get the Epic level horse are pretty lengthy and require multiple steps, but they both get a free horse so they’ve got that going for them.

Most classes with different states, like Warrior stances and Druid forms, or classes with a core unique mechanic like Hunter pets and Shaman totems, got little quests where you learn how to use the skill, then attain them at the end of the quest. Also notable is the quest chain for the Hunter Rhok/Lok from Molten Core, which had several quests worth of mastery. The Priestly Benediction had two main quest parts to show mastery, plus a few other steps. Both were designed to show you you’re working with someone who truly knows their class.

Speaking of Hunters, I believe that the only skill book of mention at release will be the book that drops off Lucifron that teaches Tranq Shot, which is necessary to beat the next boss. The later spell books that represented a huge power spike came through in AQ.

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