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The QueueSep 11, 2020 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: For the light! If we’re allowed to remember the light…

Yeah, let’s talk about Kyrians. Later. Towards the end of the Queue we’ll talk about Kyrians.

In the meanwhile, there are other questions to answer in the Queue.


Where do souls go after they’re destroyed in the Shadowlands?

As best we know, they’re just gone. <spoiler> is not coming back.


So, there’s still one left but how do you think Afterlives stack up to the other shorts made with that art style?

Personally I still think The Burdens of Shaohao was the best, by far, but I’m enjoying Afterlives more than I enjoyed Warbringers or Harbingers, although Lords of War were better imo.

I really did enjoy Warbringers. I liked the focus on strong personal stories of major figures in each: they both gave you a piece of BfA’s story as well as a poignant story about these major characters. Of them, Azshara’s encounter with N’Zoth was my favorite.

That short just encapsulated everything you needed to know about Azshara. Her strength and ferocity. Her determination to succeed at any cost — but only on her terms. She stared down an Old God and the Old God blinked first. Whether you know Azshara’s whole story or not, you knew everything you needed to know about her when you watched that video. Jaina’s was very beautiful, but said less about the character. Sylvanas’ showed some very emotional moments but I felt said less about her than the others did about their subjects.

But all in all, they were nice character studies. Afterlives has been interesting, but hasn’t hooked me like those. None of them have made me feel anything as strongly as watching Jaina sailing across the water, alone, looking for the ghosts of her past. Or Azshara, struggling desperately to hold back the waters about to destroy everything she’d built. Or Sylvanas, putting up a last defense for her people and failing.

The Kyrian short was interesting lore-wise, and beautifully put together, but I felt no sympathy for Uther and no sadness for Arthas. The Maldraxxus short was an excellent introduction to the zone, but light on emotion. And the Ardenweald short didn’t do much for me, either: certainly I feel badly for Ara’lon, but I don’t know him enough to care deeply. And Ursoc is little more than a name to me, personally. It did present the Anima drought in extremely stark terms that we haven’t seen it before, but it’s the emotion of a story that gets me, and these haven’t delivered on that.

Everyone’s opinion is going to differ, of course, but these are not my favorites of the lot. They aren’t bad, but they aren’t my favorites.


what are your thoughts about the pre patch event?

I am a little underwhelmed, but not because of anything specific about the event. It simply feels like we’ve done this before. It feels like we’ve done this a lot before. New expansion, someone’s invading, fight things, fight things, fight things as a prelude to fighting more things, etc etc. The process is pretty cyclical so I’m feeling a little “been there, done that” about it.

I am excited about rare-hunting, though, because there are some nifty things you can grab. I am concerned it will turn into a nightmare grind, but for now I am excited.


Q4tQ: Whatever happened to the BW tinfoil hat article series?

Hm, I actually hadn’t thought about them until you brought it up. It wasn’t a conscious decision to cancel them, but we did stop writing regular Know Your Lore columns — instead of a weekly column, we write them whenever there’s something we want to write about. That means we’re covering lore in a more focused way, usually around characters of current interest.

But because there’s no strict requirement to do one a week, that weird speculative stuff has vanished. I’ll talk to Rossi about it. (Someone ask me about it again next week so I don’t forget.)


Q4tQ: Tinfoil hat question: If I buy aluminum siding for my house, does that also mean my home is wearing a tinfoil hat?

Is the aluminum siding covering the roof in a hat-like formation? If not, no, it is not wearing a tinfoil hat.


Which Covenant is your favorite, and why? Any reason for that, such as something from the beta that most players are yet to experience?

Kyrian, purely because I get an AOE Holy Shock for my Paladin. I also dig the aesthetic for a Paladin, though I am disconcerted by their philosophy where to properly serve, you must forget your life.

You’ve lived a lifetime of service, and now you have to forget that to properly serve in the afterlife? Stories in which characters must abandon emotions for some greater cause usually fall flat for me. Shouldn’t Kyrians need emotions to empathize with and care for their charges? Instead they cold and regimented, feeling a duty to pre-determined rules and hierarchy without remembering why their service was ever important.

It’s not an uncommon narrative, but the requirement to abandon all mortal cares and emotions feels like a gaping wound, and it makes me feel odd about joining the Kyrian.

But hey, AOE Holy Shock!!


Blizzard has a juggling act ahead of them trying to balance all the covenant & class/spec combos. Somebody somewhere is going to crunch the numbers and publish their findings. I believe I will choose my covenant based on what “feels” right for my character but I confess to an intellectual curiosity and I’ll probably take a look at those numbers.

Q4TQ: Could there be a significant enough difference (significant as defined by you) between the covenants that would make you rethink your initial choice?

Yes. I already feel like I can’t choose my Covenant based on aesthetic. (Though it will be nice when/if the aesthetic matches up with the character.) There’s too much gameplay involved in Covenant abilities, and perhaps Soulbinds, too, though I admittedly haven’t dug into that system as much. I know Blizzard really wants to balance the Covenants, and I applaud their efforts, but I’m not sure it’s possible.

In the end, I’m going to choose what’s most practical for gameplay. That may not be what’s numerically best, but what I feel I most need (or want) to compliment my playstyle. I like the Kyrian’s AOE Holy Shock for Holy Paladins — it feels good for both damage and healing, synergizes well with Glimmer of Light, and is a great Holy Power generator. It seems incredibly strong. But I could be wrong. Maybe there’s something that will help me heal better, and if there is, I’ll consider it.

And that’s all for now, folks. I hope you have had a good Friday and have a good weekend. Be sure to take the time to tell your loved ones that you love them, because life is too short and too hard not to remind them on a regular basis.

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