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The QueueMay 12, 2020 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Distracted

I started writing The Queue, and then

Wait, where was I? Right, I was writing The Queue, and in the comments somebody linked this YouTube channel, so I’ve just been watching that all

Huh? Oh, right, The Queue, where you answer questions and then we give the questions. Wait, what? Whatever. Did you guys see they’re putting out Hamilton on Disney+ in July? I’m really surprised by

Okay, we have to stop getting off track. Let’s just — hang on, where AM I?


KALCHEUS, THE IMPATIENT

Q4tQ Do you think Blizzard knows how frustrating it is to get weapon and trinket upgrades in 8.3?

One of the best moves you can make on Twitter is to follow a multitude of designers and developers who don’t necessarily work on the game you’re playing, but play it. In addition to getting insight on a variety of projects, you’ll also get to see their unique takes on the games they play. If you follow a lot of Blizzard devs, they’ll almost always cross-play games.

And yes, yes, they’re quite aware.


SONICHELLBOY

Question for Anna- Has it ever been explained why the cooldown for Revive Battle Pets is 4 minutes on Draenor but 8 minutes everywhere else? It’s been driving me nuts for years!

This is an artifact of the Garrison system. When you get your Menagerie to level 2, you cut the time it takes for Revive Pets to recharge. There are a few other buildings that grant really cool things in Draenor, like get underwater breathing form the Gladiator’s Sanctum. My personal favorite is the AH that’s just a specialty hearthstone away in the Trading Post (after you’ve accumulated all the parts from Draenor raids and dungeons, of course).

I use that secret AH all the time… with the extra hearthstone it’s so freaking worth it.


WARLENBRONZEBEARD

Q4t(Anna Bell)Q: Two part question, both about pet battles: 1) what are the pets from BfA not to miss from a looks perspective (unique appearance or rare coloration)? and 2) what are the pets from BfA not to miss from a pet battle perspective (unique moveset or add a “flock” or “howl” type move in category of pet (Beast, Mech, etc) that never had it before)?

The first part is really open to your own aesthetic and characters. If you play a Night Elf, the Nightwreathed Watcher from the Darkshore Warfront may be a necessity for you but if you’re playing an unrepentant Horde character you might want to go in a different direction. The ones I really covet are the baby mummy Miimii, the lengthy bee quest pet Bumbles, the undead monkey pirate Captain Nibs, and I have a soft spot for the Lost Platysaur. Plus, an honorable mention for Happiness, who is adorable and awesome and technically added in BfA but not really from BfA, if that makes sense.

In terms of battling, at this point there’s a vast handwaving “it depends.” It depends on where the gaps in your stable are, your overall battling style, and your goals going forward. If you just want to collect pets, your needs are going to be very different from someone who really wants to conquer every battling challenge. If you have an Ikky or Zandalari Kneebiter and a Terrible Turnip or Corgi for taming, you’re set for the absolute necessities. The Chitterspine Skitterling can pair the Black Claw from Ikky and the Kneebiter with Swarm, and is a good pickup for Aquatic teams if you’re trying for the Family Familiar route.


BENDOVER

QftQ: We’ve had Daily Quests, Weekly Quests and Various World Quests as casual (if somewhat mandatory) End Game content for several expansions now. Then there’s the Timesink Isle and Mechagon model of “grind everything until you fill the bar”. I think all of these have their merits, though I feel they’ve always been part of other over-complicated systems gating progress. In Mists it was Reputation, as many important crafting recipes were behind certain Rep thresholds. Later there was the Weekly Valor Cap (and Valor buff to alts, after main had hit the cap). Then we saw World Quests and Emissaries take the stage, which kinda condensed a lot of what we saw.

I think all of these systems have their merits, but IMO what worked best where WQs tied to Legion and Faction Assaults. Regular WQs just seem to be random chores, that have nothing to do with each other. The Assaults, they were tied to a timer and were condensed in a smaller zone, and they kinda always told this small more-or-less cohesive story, and to me, it made sense why I was suddenly doing stuff in this one part of the world.

Of all these “casual” End Game systems, what do you think worked in them, what didn’t, and what should Blizz learn from them for Shadowlands and beyond?

I’m about to get keelhauled, but I really, truly miss Valor Points.

You didn’t have to fill the bar the whole way to get several rewards, many of which you didn’t want — you could stock up a little, and then invest in the item you wanted. Your reward was always one you wanted — instead of War Resources. You didn’t have to do all the quests — you could get the points from quests, or dungeons, and if you skipped one quest because it was rares or chests, it didn’t set you back because you could make up the difference elsewhere.

Now that I think of it, Coalescing Visions are Valor Points, only you don’t get to buy the stuff you want directly instead of hoping the crate at the end gives you something (but not a weapon or trinket). From a design standpoint, I understand why the Valor system was way too straightforward. It didn’t have the gatcha aspect of RNG from Titanforging or Corruption, and I can’t tell you how many 430+ belts I’ve fed to the smasher while my leg slot is still barely above 400.

I don’t think Valor as it was would be a good or usable system today, but as a relatively casual player these days, I just miss it, is all.

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