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The QueueAug 18, 2020 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: My Best Friend

Friendship ended with Rutherford, now Ms. Parton is my new best friend.

Please don’t tell Rutherford I said that. Ms. Parton is blonde and beautiful, but she really can’t tank.

This is The Queue, where you ask us questions, and we have answers (we hope).


Trying to get PTO request in for the start of Shadowlands. Any word on that yet?

We’re still definitely getting it sometime before the ball drops in Times Square to bring an end to this hellyear. Probably.

Right now everything in the world is just kind of up in the air, so it’s hard to get into specifics, even with daily life for me. I commend them for being able to nail it down within a half-decade.


Q4tQ: What do you think about having additional factions in WoW that’s entirely made up of NPC’s that’s on par to the size and power of the Horde and Alliance?

I think it would add much more depth and a new freshest to the game. Then maybe the Horde and Alliance wouldn’t always have to be at all war with each other and at the same time they could retain their faction identity and flavor.

I’m resisting my urge to be snarky here, but with a very few exceptions most of the raids we’ve done, bosses we’ve defeated, and dungeons we’ve crawled belong to some tertiary NPC-only faction — The Scourge, or The Burning Legion, for instance. On the allies side of the equation, those are the non-affiliated reps we’ve ground out since the beginning of the game, like the Argent Dawn or the Golden Lotus.

So at first blush this seems like a decent solution for the “must we have two warring factions” treadmill, but in practice we’ve taken this route a bunch of times, too. Sometimes almost hilariously so — I still find it funny that I murdered the crap out of a bunch of zombies with the Argent Dawn while Tirion Fordring was over in the corner being sad and eating worms, and now I have to prove myself to the Crusade but he just waltzes in, no-fuss, handed leadership of the entire organization? Bite me, Tirion. No wait, please don’t — or at least brush your teeth to get rid of that worm breath first.

But in the end, we just end up back at the old if it’s red it’s dead. Time is a flat circle, etc.


Diablo Q4tQ: Do you think Diablo IV is more likely to focus on expansions, or do you expect them to give us new classes in smaller updates like D3 did with the Necro?

Cynically, whichever makes them the most money.

I would assume that would be the larger update approach, since allowing people to choose pieces a la carte means they’ll pay less for the one thing they want, rather than more for the thing they want plus the other stuff that’s okay, I guess. However, the cost of producing something like a full expansion has to be considered — narrative-centric games from large studios seem to get getting rarer in favor of the endlessly replayable genres.

Can they call it an expansion if it’s a half dozen new maps you can crawl through, a pet, and a new class with no new story arc or developed boss encounter? Would people buy that if they didn’t care about the new class? Is there room for a bundle that’s just pets and wings? What about random wing loot boxes?

Optimistically, I’d prefer wholly realized narrative expansions, but then I’m not in marketing or finance.


WoW Q4tQ: Do you think Blizzard will ever give us accountwide Hunter stables?

If they do, like Red suggested, it would likely be in the form of a wardrobe mechanic like the battle pet stable.

It’s a little odd to think about, just because that would be a massive chunk of content to restrict to a single class. In scope it would be similar to pet battles, but only Hunters could do it. At the same time like pet battles most of that content — the art, the rare creatures, their placement in the world, and the sometimes difficult taming or spawning requirements — already exists. Though of course I don’t know what’s under the hood and there’s always the possibility that adding anything would make half the server instances crash or whatever, it seems like adding in a catalog of critters would be a relatively easy task compared to something like the Mage Tower (where the encounters had to be tuned on a per-class, per-spec basis anyway).

The only thing I could see being really game breaking would be if I tamed something on a higher level hunter that wasn’t initially designed to scale down, but considering how scaling is going to work next expansion it seems like that math is mostly worked out by now.

For the record, I would love this, if only because I could then match my pet to my (bad) transmog.


Q4tQ: Is it every soul that ends up in the Shadowlands or just Kyrian that get to choose what form best represents them?

I’m not entirely sure how the entire system across the Shadowlands works, but yes, we meet others who get to choose their forms. In Ardenweald there’s a wide array of magic critters and creatures who used to be someone or something else. The original Night Warrior and his husband are a stag and a courser, for instance. I’m not sure whether Mr. Night Warrior really desperately wanted to be a unicorn when he was alive like Pelagos, or if he was liked running wild and free through the forest, so it just made sense to make him one. We see very few people in Ardenweald, so maybe everyone who felt a deep kinship with animals just go there regardless of whether they were really into cats or really into those weird gross plaguebears in Southshore.

I’m not sure what happens if you feel like your innermost self is a glittery otter, but you have to atone for a bunch of murders so you’re assigned to Revendreth. Maybe you would never be assigned to Bastion if you’d ruin their aesthetic because you wanted to be a hulking gargoyle. But in short, yes, there is some element of choice to be had.

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