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The QueueOct 9, 2019 12:14 pm CT

The Queue: Add your own title

Just what it says on the tin. Let’s talk Warcraft. And maybe some other stuff if we get distracted.


Should any race that can use warriors and priests also be able to use paladins? Does there really need to be a deep lore reason in order to get paladins? If so, then should there be more differentiation in how the difference races make their priesthood?

Or essentially, why are the new new races (like pandas and the vulpera) constantly locked out from being paladins?

Blizzard has opened up races, but kept Paladins more locked down than the rest. Gnomes are another example — they could always be Warriors, and Cataclysm added Priests, but never Paladins. So they can access the light, but not while wearing plate armor, which feels a little unfair.

Tauren got access to Paladins in Cataclysm, but they had their own special sect: the Sunwalkers. Allied Races have been a really mixed bag. Dark Iron Dwarves and Lightforged Draenei can both be Paladins, matching their standard race variants (and simply because it makes story sense for the both of them). Zandalari Trolls can also be Paladins, but have their own special story about it.

So Paladin’s access to the Light seems to be a special kind of thing — every race has its own story. And it’s not that Blizzard seems unwilling to give it to new races, it’s just that they apparently want a clear story reason. Because apparently Priests can’t just strap on plate armor and call themselves Paladins.


Q4TQ: does it surprise you that the community seems way more excited about Vulpera than Mechagnomes? Do you feel like Blizzard maybe dropped the ball on the latter, and could have picked something else that was as exciting as Vulpera for the Alliance? (Sorry, I know you love gnomes, as do a bunch of regulars here, but it’s the sentiment I’m gathering from here and other places.)

I’m not surprised that Vulpera are getting as much attention as they are. They’re immensely cute, and while they’re modeled on a Goblin skeleton, they don’t feel like a Goblin derivative — they aren’t just Goblins with blue skin, for example — which makes them more interesting. Meanwhile, Mechagnomes feel rather derivative of Gnomes, and therefore less interesting.

Except I think that’s a bit of a misnomer. While Mechagnomes still have that basic Gnome design, they also have more customization options than, possibly, any other race. They’re Gnomes, but they’re Gnomes with add-ons. A lot of add-ons.

They definitely have more customization options than Vulpera, though which race is more adorable I will leave as an exercise to you, readers.

Mechagnomes are race with a ton of customization, and a mechanized theme that we haven’t had in any other race. I think that’s more unique and more exciting than it’s getting credit for at the moment.


Are Mechagnomes redundant?

This all depends on how you classify “redundant.” To an extent, all Allied Races are redundant: they offer us relatively minor variations on an existing theme. I honestly haven’t managed to level a single Allied Race to max because it just seems so tedious to play a new character of the same class to max level when I already have a perfectly good level 120 with a classic race. It’s a lot of work all for a new hairstyle or skin color.

In that way, yes, Mechagnomes are redundant — but so are all the rest.


Are Mechagnomes immortal (unaging) for all practical purposes?
Can my Mechagnome character have left Gnomeregan with King Mechagon 400+ years ago?

What an interesting thought. I don’t recall knowing the age of any of the Mechagnomes we work with, but it seems unlikely that they’d age like everyone else. When a body part breaks or wears out, they replace it with a superior mechanized version, and when that wears out it, too, can be replaced.

Sure, all of the fleshy bits would age, but the whole concept of the Mechagnomes is to augment themselves with technology to improve themselves, and my bet is that while they aren’t immortal (without being completely mechanized, like King Mechagon himself), they can probably be rather long-lived. If something goes wrong? Just replace it! That’s something those Gnomes made entirely of flesh can’t do.

Well. Without a good resurrection spell.


Are you going to make your Gnome into a Mechagnome?

I really haven’t decided, but

While I’ve already said that Allied Races are redundant, and an annoying grind, to boot, Allied Races do have their benefits:

  1. They look super cool. This may change over time as the newness wears off, but right now they definitely look super cool.
  2. Their racials are amazing.

There’s just no comparison between original race racial abilities and Allied Race racial abilities. The new racials are both more interesting and more powerful. Just as an example, let’s compare Gnome and Mechagnome racial abilities.

Here’s the rundown for Gnomes:

  • Arcane Resistance: Reduces Arcane damage taken by 1%.
  • Engineering Specialization: Engineering skill increased by 15.
  • Escape Artist: Escape the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect.
  • Expansive Mind: Maximum resource increased by 5%.
  • Nimble Fingers: Haste increased by 1%.

These are all perfectly fine abilities, but for the most part they’re not noticeable. Escape Artist, our only active ability, is solid in PVP but sees very little use anywhere else in the game.

So now let’s look at Mechagnomes:

  • Combat Analysis: You gather and analyze combat data every 5 sec, increasing your primary stat by 50, stacking up to 8 times. The data decays while out of combat.
  • Hyper Organic Light Originator: Summon Organic Light duplicates to distract your foes.
  • Mastercraft: You function as a personal Blacksmithing Anvil, Cooking Fire, and Mining Forge. In addition, your limbs include every profession tool.
  • Re-Arm: When you fall below 20% health, heal for 20% of your maximum health. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 min.
  • Skeleton Pinkie: Allows opening of locked chests and doors that require a skill level up to 100.

Some of these are silly color, like Mastercraft and Skeleton Pinkie. But Combat Analysis sounds like a very powerful passive and Re-Arm is a huge survival ability, even for a 1.5 minute cooldown. And while I can’t tell how useful Hyper Organic Light Originator will be without seeing it in action, it could be really heckin’ useful.

So… I’m thinking about it. On one level, I just think Mechagnomes look cool. But on a more practical gameplay level… their racials are look so much better than Gnome racials. When I get the chance, I may flip the switch on my beloved Gnome… but it’s a decision that requires more thought.


Q4tQ: Does the impending 8.3 Auction House change leave you inclined to not bother auctioning anything until it arrives? I feel kinda non-motivated to list my ten Grumpies.

I greatly look forward to that bright, sunny day when I can walk up to the Auction House and just buy things (and sell things), without keeping addons up to date or maintaining my own spreadsheet of search results so I know what is (and isn’t) a good price.

And that day actually, possibly being on the horizon right now? There’s no way I’m bothering with the Auction House unless the sky is about to fall on me. Which, with N’Zoth ready to destroy us might actually happen.


Should Bliz continue to encrypt data to prevent mining – if so, all data, or some? Which data should or shouldn’t be? What impact does data mining have on the overall game, if any at all?

I’m pretty happy with the state of datamining as it is. It gives us a preview of coming attractions, and I find the look behind the curtain as the patch develops to be really interesting. It offers additional opportunity to give Blizzard feedback and, hopefully, make things work a little better.

Is the system perfect? No. But I think it’s pretty okay. Lately Blizzard has managed to keep the biggest spoilers away from the datamining crowd — particularly major cinematics — so we aren’t spoiled the instant the PTR opens, and there are still some surprises. But we still get a good preview of what’s to come — including changes that may go undocumented in the patch notes. We just have to remember that everything we see in datamining is a work in progress and can change (sometimes change a lot) before release.

And that’s all for now, everyone. Please remember to be kind to one another and leave Mitch some shadowy questions to answer for tomorrow. I’ll see you all next week.

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