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The QueueJan 28, 2020 12:00 pm CT


Sorry, I’ve been super busy lately. No, no, not running around Kalimdor visiting random people to get all the flower crowns. Of course not. Something else, probably.

Hey, I definitely have time to answer some questions while I’m not on a flight from Uldum to Feralas, so let’s get to Queuein’!


Q4TQ: the research tree for Horrific Visions uses the old talent tree layout. Do you think that means anything? Could Blizzard have gathered that enough players miss those kinds of talent trees, and be looking into integrating them back into the game (even if not to replace the current talent system, but elsewhere)?

I don’t think it means anything beyond the fact that it’s a way to add roguelite function to repeatable content. It seems less like old-school talent trees per se, and more like the tech trees we’ve seen in the Garrison Shipyard and the Legion Class Halls. I’d say the most similar mechanic was in the Deaths of Chromie scenario, where even if you outlevel the content it’s really tough to get past a certain point without going into the tree a bit. I’d guess the Visions will be very similar — you can’t expect to do much until you get the sanity-restoring orbs at the barest minimum.

I bet we’ll see a tree or two like this in Torghast, though.


How are you feeling about the upcoming season of the OWL with all the departures in casting staff?

Frankly, not great.

Regardless of whether you buy into MonteCristo’s heel kayfabe, he’s been the canary in the coal mine of fair labor before. He knows his worth, both monetarily and creatively — he cited both motivations in his Twitter signoff on the subject — and he absolutely will not settle for less for the good of the team or the league. This isn’t bad. Blizzard is a multi-billion dollar company and has the scratch to compensate their talent accordingly, if they want to. They can also use Monte as a touchstone, and turn to their less assertive, less experienced talent, saying if this guy is unquestioningly traveling around the world with little compensation for it, what can you expect to garner?

Losing MonteCristo, DoA, Chris Puckett, Semmler, and Malik Forte in the space of a month gives the remaining talent more room to negotiate. It can also shake up the C-suite, letting them know that people will hit the bricks if they’re not treated fairly. At Riot, the treatment of casters reportedly raised across the board after Monte and DoA led by example, so long-term it could be good for the health of all parties. But that hardly raises the confidence in the quality of the overall broadcast in the short term.

And that’s before the fact that they were already on really shaky ground going for a global-style tournament from a logistics standpoint alone. Doing so in the current international political climate adds a whole extra layer of difficulty — LCS is having a ton of issues right now with visa holdups for their non-NA players, and those players are just going from one country to another. There always seems to be a player or two caught up by this, but I’d expect it to be completely disruptive to the point that it could potentially derail the entire season, especially since we’ve seen wildcard playoff placement come down to a map or two every Stage. We’ve also seen a whole lot of players and staff quit, citing the mental and physical strain the League put on them, and I’d imagine that will only get worse throwing travel into the mix.

Also… YouTube?


Q4tQ: What are the odds the Azerite Armor I get from the Emissary is for the Helm slot on my Engineering toons?

For your sake, I hope it’s the same chance I have to replace the 370 bow I got from the Nazjatar opening quest.


Q4tQ: Danath Trollbane, last of the royal Arathi bloodline, is back from Outland now. With the Horde kicked out of the Arathi Highlands, does that mean there’s a new kingdom on the block? If so, how do you think that will affect lore and/or gameplay?

With the canonical Alliance “win” in Arathi, it seems like Danath has his kingdom back. I would guess that, gameplay wise, this would remain in limbo in-game with the Warfront still happening until roughly 2025, when Danath is finally killed by a demon in a novel. This will not be updated in-game until late 2028.


Q4TQ: What is the best Hearthstone toy? A lot of the Holiday reward ones are very cheap or cheesy looking, IMO. I like the Horseman’s one, and Noblegarden. And of course the Shadowlands pre-order one is gorgeous.

Honestly, the only one I tend to use is the regular old Hearthstone. I’m not even sure why. Sometimes I’ll switch it up to the holiday ones when it’s the holiday, but meh. I like the classics.


We now have the Flower Crowns as year-round tmogs.
There is the Darkmoon Faire finery that isn’t very armor looking that can be tmogged.
Then the new worgen heritage armor looks like dressy wear, and not armor, and it can be tmogged for battle.

Do you think that the other Lunar Festival gear should be able to be tmogged all year, and not just for the holiday?
I always thought the “doesn’t look like battle armor” or “associated with the holiday” were the restrictions for it, but I feel precedent has been set that those reasons no longer apply.

I am absolutely on board with this, for a number of reasons, not all of which are OMG FLOWER CROWNS. That does factor in, both from a perspective that it looks good and also from the perspective that a lot of these items are good for character-building. For instance my Gnome Rogue usually rocks some kind of goggles, but it would be so much more her flamboyant badass style if she could have a pair of shades as opposed to lime green engineering numbers. I could definitely see a seductive Void Elf Warlock wanting to transmog to the black Valentine’s Day dress all the time, or a Dwarf explorer who wants a Brewfest hat. It would also make Christmas in July guild events more compelling if people could wear their gaudy sweaters then.

To me, the best argument is that it makes limited-time content more compelling to complete. There is no way I’d be globetrotting right now otherwise — I have too much stuff to do! — but it all comes back around, eventually, to FLOWER CROWNS.

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