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The QueueJun 25, 2020 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Be good

Some weeks, I can write an intro that’s fun and about a specific topic without feeling like I’m being disingenuous. Other weeks, the world seems like it’s so on fire that trying to pretend otherwise feels wrong. There’s been a lot of upsetting (yet important-to-bring-to-light) news in the gaming world this past week or so, and that makes this week one of the latter weeks.

So I’ll just say this: Be good. To each other, to yourself, and just in general.

Now then, let’s Queue.


Q4tQ: How is Blizzard Watch doing? It seems like site traffic is down a good deal, and with what’s going on in the world, I don’t know what that means for your Patreon support. But I hope that everyone at Blizzard Watch is doing OK.

For starters, thank you for your concern! Blizzard Watch is doing okay right now. Traffic is a little down, but probably not as much as you’re imagining. A lot of folks attributed this feeling to The Queue having fewer comments and lower activity across the board. And while that part’s certainly true, The Queue is — believe it or not — a pretty small corner of the site. It’s very true that this is where the site’s core community hangs out, but it’s not where the majority of our readers are.

Now, COVID hasn’t really helped matters, but a good portion of our page views (and therefore ad revenue) come from Google. Good SEO practices are what have been keeping us at solid numbers, and those efforts are in no small part thanks to Liz and the other Editors. Not everything lands — RIP my Evan’s Remains review — but we’ve been pretty good about experimenting with new content types that help support the site. Some days, our top post has more than three times the views of any other post, and it’s one we published weeks ago.

That said, there are two aspects of the site that have noticeably dipped. Podcasts are one of those. Likely due to COVID — but possibly other reasons — listenership(?) has taken a pretty big dip. It doesn’t hurt the site nearly as much as the same kind of dip in PVs would, but still.

The other, which everyone can see, is that Patreon’s pretty low. It’s technically lower than our goal for weekly Lore Watch. That doesn’t mean we’re going to up and stop recording weekly right away, but it’s something we’ll have to re-evaluate eventually if things continue to be where they are.

TL;DR – The site is still doing well and we’re not in any serious trouble thanks to the magic of Google! We can always use more Patreon support, but only if you can afford to contribute.


Playable Gnolls: Yay or Nay?
(Obviously with a significant model update)

I mean… Eh? I’m more or less indifferent on this one. I’d prefer a different race before Gnolls. And not gonna lie, I kind of love their weird blocky model.


I’ve never seen the Iron Giant. What am I missing?

You’re missing a very good movie that didn’t really get enough credit when it came out. It’s one of those movies that’s great to watch as an adult, even though it’s technically a “kids film.”

Now, since we’re talking about Iron Giant, I want to share a story of the only thing I can think of when it comes to that movie. When I was a kid, my cousins would frequently stay the night on weekends, and we’d usually play video games and watch movies or cartoons. Normal kid stuff.

Anyhow, one weekend, my cousin’s staying over and we turn on Cartoon Network. The Iron Giant is playing! We watch for a bit, waiting for it to end. When it does end, guess what’s on next? The Iron Giant again. And again. And again. Whenever the “Coming up next” screen appears, it’s just “The Iron Giant” nonstop. Cartoon Network doesn’t have any commercials explaining why, and there was nothing leading up to it. Just, one day, out of the blue, they decided to put on the Iron Giant for like two days straight. Then things went back to normal.

It was the weirdest freaking thing, and I still don’t know why it happened, but I kind of love it.


Q4tQ: The more I think about a time skip post Shadowlands the more I find myself split on the idea. From a story perspective it certainly would be a great way to build up the little issues and troubles introduced into much larger threats that could carry an expansion’s story. On the other hand, I’d feel a little cheated coming back to find the old grizzled Anduin featured in the “Son of the Wolf” comic. We’ve watched him grow up over 15 years, I don’t really want to deal with the same kind of “what happened to you?” shock like when you attend a high school reunion. Maybe I could make an exception if we find out he became a Shadow Priest during the skip.

The more I think about a major time skip, the more I’m against the idea. I just don’t know how it can be done in a way that doesn’t completely break the game. Unless Blizz is planning a Cataclysm-style revamp, I think it would end up feeling like a half-effort. If anything, the idea of time being different just means that we could come back to Azeroth and no time at all has passed.

My personal favorite idea is that the IS a time skip, but it’s like… a few seconds off from our normal time. So we come back from the Shadowlands and everything feels slightly different. Enough that NPCs have a weird sense of, “Why does this feel off?” but not enough that anyone can figure it out. Oh, and the furniture will be in a slightly different position, too.


Q4tQ: should Heritage Armour double as race-locked “Heirloom” armour for upto the expansion where they would become available, assuming you level more than 1 of that race (Mag’har for BFA, Nightborne for Legion, etc)?

I don’t really think we need to add any more complexity to the system. Heritage Armor is for transmog, Heirloom Armor is for XP boosts and scaling. Crossing those two AND adding in an expansion lock would just muddy the waters unnecessarily.


Question for the Queue
If you could design a glyph what would it be?

I want glyphs in general to provide more customization for how spells look. It would be really cool to have a glyph that made X number of Shadow spells appear different. And if we never get a talent system that dips into it more, I think it would be SUPER cool to have glyphs dedicated to the different Old Gods.

For if you select the “Minion of Yogg-Saron,” you gain a buff signifying your choice in Old God, and all your spells have a more Yogg-inspired look. Mind Flay changes to look a bit more like the line that connects you to Yogg if you’re not looking away when you should, for example. I would love ways for Shadow Priests to pick an Old God as our deity of choice and have that actually affect our characters.


The Horde and Alliance faction leaders hold a limbo competition to celebrate the end of the war, which faction wins?

The Horde, because Forsaken can probably do a lot of cheat-y things with their bones.


Q4 Mitch: What do you think of Devs so far? Did you end up watching it all in one sitting?

Related Q4 Mitch: How is TLOU2 going?

I loved Devs. I didn’t watch it ALL in one sitting (it started getting really late), but I think I ended up watching it all in less than 24 hours. It was a really trippy show at times — episode 3’s intro is maybe the weirdest freaking thing I’ve seen while not entirely sober… and it was awesome — and it was also really pretty to look at. I have some complaints about the acting (which may not necessarily be on Sonoya Mizuno so much as it is the direction she was given), but overall, I’m so glad I watched it. I’m also glad it was a miniseries. It told the story it wanted to tell, and that’s that. Alex Garland is absolutely on my list of must-watch writer/directors now. Between this and Annihilation, I’m sold on his style.

As for TLOU2, I’m enjoying it a lot! I just hit a narrative shift that I think I’ve seen a lot of people talk about, and I’m not sure I’m sold on it yet, but otherwise, the game has been great. It’s probably the most gorgeous game I’ve ever seen, and there are some technical marvels that I’m blown away to see exist in a game. It may not be for everyone, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve played.

And with that, we’re done! A few of you also asked about Shadow Priests getting Devouring Plague back, and my short answer is that I’m happy it’s back, with the caveat that I expected more changes than just this. I’m not sure it solves all of Shadow’s issues, but it’s a pleasant surprise to see back.

Until next week, y’all!

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