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The QueueApr 10, 2020 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Alpha Friday

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m definitely writing this on Thursday night and not very early Friday morning. Nope. I am a responsible writer who’s on top of things.

So uhh… let’s Queue.



Can Blizzard Watch have a Spoiler Article Pinned to the top of its news page for the next couple of days since the UNBOXING of Shadowlands is on going? I just want to fanboy the F out about all the things but don’t want to spoil peeps.

So, two things here. The first is that, the way our CMS works, we can’t really “pin” an article like that. We do have the rotating selection at the very top and theoretically we could make it a “rotating” selection of just one article. But frankly, that would hurt the site more than it would help it, because highlighting those articles helps generate traffic.

The second is that — and I’m not directing this at anyone in particular, I promise — this is a Blizzard fan site. We’re going to be covering things that are spoilers. It’s just going to happen. What we try to do about that is avoid spoilers in the title of an article and the very first paragraph/section so that people have to click through or scroll before they see anything specific. And we also ask that plot spoilers and the like be tagged in the comments.

But at the end of the day, there are going to be some spoilers here. Datamined models, screenshots from the zones, etc. are going to be part of posts and the comments. Again, we do our best to avoid major spoilers, but we’re a site covering Blizzard news. If you’re coming here hoping to also be able to go into Shadowlands 100% surprised, well… that’s probably not gonna happen.


QfMitch: How much are you gonna rub it in all our faces that you got into alpha and we didn’t? You cheeky little son-of-a-gun!

Ha! I wish I could rub it in more, but I honestly haven’t had nearly the time to play it that I wanted. My day job has been keeping me incredibly busy lately, so I haven’t had a ton of free time. I’ll likely be playing the alpha tonight/over the weekend in between Animal Crossing sessions (which have also been less prevalent in my life than I’d have liked). When I do play it, I’ll be posting to Twitter, I’m sure :P


Q4tQ: When we get the new Shadowlands leveling, do you think max-content level for the chosen era should be included in what they expect you to do for your level 10 to 50?
For example, should leveling in Legion include the Suramar campaign? Should leveling in BFA included the War Campaign?

What about later massive updates? Should we have to do the Argus/Nazjatar intros as well?

Huh, I honestly hadn’t considered this. Personally, I’m leaning toward no. I mean, I want people to be able to experience the story because I generally just like people seeing the work Blizz puts into writing these things. But some/most of these post-cap activities weren’t designed with leveling in mind in the first place. Sure, there are still quests, but there aren’t as many, or the ones that do exist are dailies more intended to prolong content than for a player to charge through them and level.

Plus, it’s not always immediately clear what you have to do or where you have to go for post-cap content. Try logging in on a newly boosted character right now. You’re overloaded with content, it’s hard to know how to unlock Nazjatar, etc. If a player were to finish the at-launch leveling content for an expansion only to find that they had a lot more to do to finish that expansion and leveling, it would be a deterrent. And the alternative is that Blizz go back and readjust all of that post-cap content so it has a more obvious flow to it.

It just… it doesn’t seem worth the time or easily doable when they could just take an experience already made for leveling and squish it down.


Q4TQ: do you think Shadowlands should have included a new class?

The short answer is that this is the sort of judgment that can only be made in retrospect. SHOULD it have? I don’t know yet. Maybe the expansion will stand on its own and be amazing without the need for a new class. Maybe everyone will look back on it and go, “Wow, Blizz really missed an opportunity to introduce a new class.”

Now, would I have liked to see a new class? Absolutely! It’s a new, exciting thing and I like to see what Blizz comes up with and how a new class plays. Plus, I really, really want another Mail user in the game. (Though, personally, I was never too excited for Tinkerers… they’re just not my thing.)

I don’t necessarily think the game needs a new class or that ever X expansion Blizz is obligated to add a new class. If it fits, it fits. If not, it doesn’t. New classes shouldn’t be a box to check on their list. Again, I love seeing new classes and I would’ve been all for it, even if it was something I didn’t plan to play a ton of. But I don’t think it’s a necessary addition to make an expansion amazing.


Q4tQ: How do you feel about the return of the original-ish Surrender to Madness?

Mechanically, I have a lot of questions about how it works (which I haven’t been able to test yet). It sounds like a combination of a buff on the player and a debuff on the target, which seems like it could be a bit odd or hard to keep track of (or balance). If I use it on a target and it dies, do I lose my Insanity buff? Will it be much less effective on add-heavy fights (think Yogg-Saron) in that case?

Basically, I have a lot of mechanical questions. BUT! I am very, very happy that it’s going back to killing the Priest. I love that. It’s the perfect flavor for that sort of thing, and the idea that you can avoid that by killing your target gives it a bit more practical usage. I’m really excited for it, and I hope it ends up being balanced in a way that makes it a viable option and not just an unused talent for an entire expansion.


What’s the dumbest WoW thing you’ve done in recent memory? I shared mine below.

I am perfect and therefore do not make silly mitsakes.

Okay but for real, I’m not sure I really have an exciting answer here. I think the closest would be all the times I’ve forgotten about moving Levitate to a different spot on my action bars. It almost always results in me jumping off a mountain or dismounting really high into the air, waiting until the last second to click Levitate, and then scrambling to click it when I realize I moved it that last time I was in-game.

99% of the time, I do not click it on time. In several of those instances, I click it as I hit the ground and the game does a little thing where it shows my character receive the Levitate buff and then immediately die (like the game got both inputs at once). I always feel silly when I confidently fall from the sky expecting to live only to come crashing into the ground.


Q4tMitch: If we got an Old Gods-themed expansion, would you want to see Azeroth’s Old Gods return, or would you want to deal with a new one?

My dream Old God expansion is them all coming back, taking over various portions of Azeroth, and then us having to fight them in new variations on their original fights. Like, I had really hoped that in 8.3 (or 9.0) N’Zoth would have freed all of the Old Gods and then certain cities would get taken over. The raid would’ve been us fighting through Old God-infested versions of multiple cities (i.e., we go from Thunder Bluff to somewhere new to Stormwind to somewhere new again). Maybe we lose one or two cities in the process.

Regardless of what we did get (which was, in fact, a very good raid!), I would like to see the Old Gods return before we see one surface that we’ve never heard of just for the sake of making a new Old God.


Thoughts on covenant choices as a Shadow Priest? Both in terms of aesthetics and abilities?

I’m definitely leaning toward Venthyr, just because I love their aesthetic. I’m ready to make an emo band with every single one of those vampire bois.

As far as the abilities go, I think Mindgames is REALLY cool sounding (even though it should be two words) and I low-key want it as a baseline Shadow ability down the line. What I’m less hyped about is that the Necrolord Priest Covenant ability basically gives an AOE Vampiric Embrace to all Priests. I know Shadowlands is about classes embracing all facets of their kits, but VE has been a Shadow thing since the beginning, and giving a version of it to any Priest who wants it feels… not great.

Honestly, I hope they change that one. It’s cool, but I don’t like the idea of an iconic Shadow ability going to Holy and Disc Priests.

And that covers us for today! I hope you all have an amazing weekend. Remember to tag spoilers as best as you can below, please.


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