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The QueueMay 15, 2020 12:43 pm CT

The Queue: Queueing, please wait…

I’m not sure how it keeps becoming Friday, but it’s Friday! Again!


Do you think that a time skip will mean that WOW 2.0 will be a thing? Do you think Blizz is working on winding up Wow?

I think the line between sequel and expansion is pretty blurry, especially with an ever-changing MMO like WoW. In a lot of ways you could call Burning Crusade WoW 2.0, and not just because it was literally the 2.0+ patch.

Every expansion brings with it fairly significant changes — good and bad — to gameplay. While mainstay features remain, there isn’t a single class that plays quite the same as it did on launch day. We’ve seen huge swaths of territory added to the game map, giving us new stories and new places to explore. We’ve gotten graphics updates as PC hardware has improved, and feature additions as the state of gaming in general has advanced. WoW may be well over a decade old, but it hasn’t spent its time standing still.

Honestly, we’ve had almost everything you would get in a sequel, just without throwing out what the game is now to rethink it from scratch. And though I can see a lot of ways that rethinking it from scratch might be better — there are systems in WoW that are the way they are because that’s the way they’ve always been — I also don’t think there’s any reason to when Blizzard can rethink things every expansion, and even every patch cycle.

Shadowlands is introducing some pretty big changes in the game’s most basic system: leveling. It’s streamlining it both mechanically and narratively, so you can jump in and play the story from beginning to end in a single smooth experience, without all of the artifacts of years of game development cluttering the process. It’s the kind of thing that you might call a sequel — WoW 2.0 or WoW 3.0 or whatever we’re on now — but it also implicitly suggests we aren’t ditching the existing game for a wholly new version. Shadowlands is a version of WoW that’s meant to sustain player growth by putting in a new leveling framework. That’s not something to do if you’re just planning on launching a new game box next time around.

So I simultaneously don’t think there’s going to be a WoW 2.0 and I think we’re playing WoW 2.0.


Classic vs. Retail? I started playing Classic when it was reintroduced and have spent 90% of my time there vs. Retail. I don’t have enough time to keep up with both game versions as, essentially, they have the same goals (kill multiple pixel-enemies over and over). With Shadowlands on the horizon, I’m feeling uncertain whether I am going to continue with Classic or jump to Retail to see the new content. I suspect others’ might be feeling the same. What are your thoughts on this?

I’ve meant to get into Classic, but found I haven’t had the time or energy. (I played through it the first time, and it’s a time-consuming process that I haven’t been able to get into again.)

But I’d also liken it to leveling an alt. Some people have an alt of every class. Some people have multiple raid-geared alts. That takes a good amount of time and dedication — I just have two 120 characters and that alone feels like a lot to me, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I can’t find time to play WoW Classic on top of that.

Both retail and Classic have lulls between patches/phases, which would be a good time to drop one game and pick up the other. Classic is more unforgiving to people who fall behind — catch-up mechanisms aren’t really a thing — so it’s hard to drop out for too long, but I don’t think the back and forth is necessarily too bad because each game has downtime periods.

Also… there are only two phases left for Classic. In six months to a year there won’t be anything new to do in Classic. And though I fully think Blizzard is going to add Burning Crusade to the mix somehow, there’s a good chance that will leave a big empty spot right around when Shadowlands comes out.

Retail is going to be busy when Shadowlands launches because that’s going to be where all the exciting new content is. But Blizzard drops Burning Crusade Classic a month later, people will be back on Classic servers enjoying the game’s retro mode.


In a Blizzard Watch MMO where each writer has their own zone, what would the Liz Zone be like?

It would be a giant pillow fort, with pillows and blankets of every color, texture and style. There would be grand open spaces where blankets overhead are supported by precarious pillow piles and mis-matched pieces of furniture. There are comfortable hidden nooks with piles of books and snacks (equally important).

But I guess the zone needs to be something more than a pleasant place for naps and avoiding the outside world. There would be narrow mazes of pillow tunnels, sometimes dark and ominous, with the ever-present risk of pillow cave-ins. There’s definitely a pillow dungeon somewhere — maybe the maze is part of an oubliette — where those who disturb the quiet peace of the place are sent, their sorrowful cries absorbed by layers and layers of thick pillow walls so the rest of us can sleep at night.

Yes, that seems fine.


Q4tQ How are you doing today?

You know how every day sometimes — all the times? — feels like a year lately? I am really feeling the weight of those years right now.

I hope you all are feeling better than I am, but if you aren’t at least we’re all here feeling miserable together. Yeah! Solidarity!

I’m not sure if that makes me feel better, but it was worth a try.

So, Queue, that’s all for this Friday. The Queue was a little short and a lot silly, but that’s all I came up with to talk about today.

However you’re feeling today, try to take a minute to breathe and ignore the craziness of the world outside. I’m a fan of ignoring things with video games, so I’m well set for the weekend. How about you?

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