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The QueueDec 11, 2019 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: I’m not trying to be negative


Whenever I write up Hearthstone Brawls, I get told that I’m too negative. (But can I really be at fault when so many Brawls are all frustrating RNG?) So today I’m turning my critical eye on WoW.

You’re welcome, everyone who dislikes my Hearthstone articles.


Q4tQ: Do you feel that Blizzard went to far with the burning of Teldrassil? What I mean by that is not the actual burning of the city. But by including the Night Elf player base in a quest that was designed to have them fail at while they watch helpless citizens of their city running about dying to fire? I’m still not sure how I feel about this and also about Blizzard for actually doing that.

I think that an interesting story will provoke an emotional reaction (and at least for me) WoW doesn’t do that very often. I enjoy the story and the cinematics are incredible, but as to a real emotional reaction? That’s happened three times in the past 15 years, and one of them was Teldrassil. Running around that burning tree, trying and failing to save people? That was rough. The fact that we’re still talking about it just goes to show how much the story affected us.

However… I have a number of issues with how it fits into the narrative. It was a very strong emotional moment for the Alliance, and the Horde don’t get that — save, perhaps, a growing horror at what they’re involved in. And that’s a pretty thin story for the Horde, because they just went through that with Garrosh. Yes, there are a lot of ways that Sylvanas is different from Garrosh, but the narrative arc — Horde leader decides to use their power for evil and drag the whole faction with them — is a rerun. Blizzard has gotten better at telling stories since Mists, with more cinematics and more complicated, interesting secondary characters, and there are some great, moving moments with Saurfang. Talanji’s story has been fantastic. But overall? We’ve done this before.

I also very strongly feel that painting one faction or one race as evil without giving players any agency (other than ditching characters they may have played for years) makes for lousy gameplay. If you’re playing Horde and you don’t agree with what’s happening, you feel helpless and miserable because you have to participate to advance your character. There were points in the Horde quests in Mists where I simply felt ill going through quests. That’s really not fun.

Some people enjoy playing the bad guy, and that’s totally okay. But for those who don’t enjoy playing the bad guy, you’re out of luck.

I think any narrative has to address this imbalance so that we can all play the game and have fun, whether we imagine our characters as good, evil, or somewhere in between. Otherwise it’s hard to stay invested in the game or its story.

Battle for Azeroth doesn’t do that.


Q4tQ: Odds of getting guild banks added to Classic?

I find it very interesting that so many people want to enjoy the original experience of the game… but with the conveniences of the modern game. I really can’t blame players for it, because vanilla was packed with annoyances, many of which have been addressed in over a decade of quality of life improvements.

The Classic motto seems to be “no changes,” and that’s frankly the biggest change to the vanilla experience. We all know exactly what Classic is, what comes next and what comes after that. At some point there won’t be any more Classic content to play and everything will hit a brick wall. There’s talk of a Classic+ experience that explores territory Blizzard never visited in the olden days, but that goes against the “no changes” identity of the game. Classic is locked in time, like it has been trapped in amber.

So, no, I don’t think there will be a guild bank or any other improvements. Classic is what it is, for better and for worse.


Q4tQ: would you rather pet 5 Leeroy-sized alpacas, or one alpaca-sized Leeroy?

What kind of question is that?? Five Leeroy-sized alpacas, of course.


Q4TQ: What is the best thing to come out of BfA in your opinion?

All of the cinematics! Battle for Azeroth really went all out on in-game cinematics, and threw you into a lot of them. That really makes you feel like you’re part of the story, which you don’t really get in older content where the only people you see involved are major lore characters. It’s great to finally be able to see yourself in the middle of the action.


Qfor Elizabeth Harper The corollary to Husskies’ question:

What is the worst thing to come out of BfA in your opinion?

Azerite Armor. The grind for Azerite Power is tedious, the traits are a mish-mash of must-haves and what-were-they-thinkings, and you would often find yourself ditching gear with an ilevel because they didn’t have the right traits. Or you would have to grind enough Azerite Power that you didn’t lose traits, or wait until you got another upgrade so you didn’t didn’t lose traits.

It’s like Reforging, which Blizzard supposedly got rid of because it wasn’t fun to upgrades that weren’t upgrades until you visited the reforger and did a bunch of stat math. But Azerite is very much the same. When I get a new piece of Azerite gear, I have to check all of the traits and how they work with my other traits and whether I’ll lose traits. I usually go to Questionably Epic and feed it every piece of Azerite gear I have so it can tell me whether there’s a better trait combo on different pieces. It’s just needlessly complicated.


We know that Shadowlands will cover five different places people go when they die, and we know there are thousands more out there. What other realm of the dead would you like to see?

I want to know where the tinkerer-types are. The math nerds and the engineers who are out there essentially meta-gaming death to find efficiencies and improvements via ridiculous inventions. Sure, it would be all Goblins and Gnomes, but why not? Why not?

Okay, people. I’m calling this Queue done. So go forth and comment and be sure to leave some questions for Mitch tomorrow.

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