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The QueueSep 16, 2020 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: What comes next

ursoc in emerald nightmare

It’s almost here, y’all.

It’s really hard to focus on Battle for Azeroth stuff right now, let me tell you.

This is the Queue. Let’s chat.


Having seen/reported on all the good and bad from the Beta of Shadowlands, what, do you think, is going to be your favorite part of Shadowlands as it relates to systems (Covenants, dungeons, raiding, etc) and what storyline are you most interested in seeing played out over the expansion?

I’m most interested in the Ardenweald storyline because it promises some closure for Teldrassil, and guys, I am still emotionally compromised by that story and I need closure for it. I need it. The world is a dumpster fire right now and I need that storyline to have some kind of resolution, some sort of mourning.

My favorite part of the game is going to be a tie between the new customization options and the return of Single-Minded Fury, which will allow my Night Elf to have scars on her face from Teldrassil and to use two fist weapons and become a dervish of punching death.

Q4tQ: I’m sure the short answer is “we don’t know yet” but, when leveling alts I Shadowlands, if you chose to skip all the main story quests, what does that mean for gear, tints, and other rewards? Do you just lose out on it all?

I am assuming there will be gear rewards if you level entirely through the new ‘adventure mode’ version of Shadowlands, but I also assume that no, you won’t get the rewards from quests — I expect it will be more like the way World Quests give generic rewards now. But remember, if you do a quest, you get all the possible rewards from that quest added to your Wardrobe, so you won’t miss out on alternate appearances from those quests.


Q4tQ: Anyone else eagerly awaiting the first draft of the class guides for Shadowlands? The other day I gave the new Enhancement a try, but as things didn’t feel right had to come here to ask if I was doing something wrong or if the spec still doesn’t mesh with me personally. I find It a bit reassuring to read a “how to” prior to giving all these new changes a try.

For years and years, I was always the guy who had to write class guides.

No matter what I did, someone got mad at me. Did I mention this one thing they thought essential? Did I understand every single aspect of the class? Was I focusing too much on best geared, optimal builds? Did I not say the exact thing they wanted me to say? There was simply no way to win. For any expression of I’m glad to see this there were twelve personal attacks.

I don’t know if I’m going to write guides for Warriors this time around. I’m pretty far from cutting edge nowadays. But I guarantee that if I do, someone’s going to go out of their way to tell me how awful the guide is, and how awful a person I am for not mentioning something — maybe I’ll forget to stress that Whirlwind costs rage now, and that will make me someone who deserves to die in a vat full of lemming feces.

So, when you do see some class guides in the wake of Shadowlands, please be nice to the people who write them. It’s a huge amount of work and people get very angry about them.


TIL that my MiL hates Thomas the Tank Engine. It’s such an inoffensive show, this surprises me. Like she aggressively hates it.

There was a show on for a while called Bananas in Pajamas and I loathed it with the fury and intensity of a thousand suns.

The theme song would get stuck in my head at a moment’s notice, and I would be unable to concentrate on anything until I could drive it out with something else, and even then, that damn song would threaten to return. Back then we didn’t have iPhones — I owned a Sony Discman, and I would burn songs to CD’s to play on it. I made a song list of loud, aggressive, screaming music, songs like Ministry’s Just One Fix, just to drown out that theme song the second my brain tried to remember it.

Now, I couldn’t tell you what Bananas in Pajamas was about. It was probably mid-tier children’s fare. The wikipedia entry suggests it was Australian. All I know is, the second that show came on, I would break my limbs to change the channel. I hated it. And it was likely even more mild and inoffensive than Thomas the Tank Engine. You can never tell what’s going to hit that last nerve in someone.

A picture of my cat Puck from 2015. Just because I wanted to.


Q4tQ: Do you think “Enemy Infiltration – Preface” is foreshadowing something coming in Shadowlands, something coming in future expansions, or is a complete misdirect?

It’s a complete misdirect because it’s the freaking Nathrezim, that’s all they do. I mean, Balnazzar alone has made this kind of swerve his main deal. But I absolutely think we’ll see more of it in the next couple of expansions. Honestly, I hope Lothraxxion turns out to be evil. I’ve wanted to kick him the groin since Legion.


QftQ: When the devs said that time works differently in the Shadowlands the community quickly jumped to the concept of a time skip on Azeroth, but what if the intent is in the other direction. What if at least one of the characters (Anduin comes to mind as a possibility) experiences years, possibly even decades in the Shadowlands before we rescue them? This could lead to some interesting possibilities for me, especially if despite the changes to their mind their body is unchanged when they return to Azeroth. Picture an Anduin who is subjectively in his 40s returning to Azeroth and people still want to treat him like a naive 20 year old. Thoughts?

I think people have been suggesting this for Anduin (although in most versions I’ve seen he comes back extremely physically old, because people want that Legion comic to ‘come true’) and I think it’s interesting, but what really has me interested is the idea of other characters having spent a lot of time in the Maw, or in other parts of the Shadowlands. How long was Uther dead before Arthas finally died? How long did Draka experience in Maldraxxus? How much time elapsed for figures like Kael’thas or Lady Vashj, has it been decades? Centuries? We could get there and find that Alexandros Mograine barely remembers his life, it was so long ago from his perspective.

I think for me the most interesting concept is that we could experience a very fractured expansion, with vast stretches of time between zone stories, and a kind of dreamless elegiac quality to the storytelling, only to return to Azeroth mere moments after we left it.


Q4tQ: If Blizzard doesn’t announce the end of the current PvP season today will that mean the release date for Shadowlands is going to be pushed back?

I seriously doubt it

Okay, that’s the Queue for today.

Talk to y’all next week.

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