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The QueueOct 6, 2020 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: It’s October!

The scent of woodsmoke and slightest chill, combined with the fact that I can now officially put up all my spooky scary decor has propelled me from the endless month of Mar-gu-sep-ril into October. As such, I’m pretty sure I’m going to put up my Christmas tree on November 1st. Why not.

This is The Queue, where you ask us questions and we give you answers even if we are clearly kind of confused about things.


Q4tQ: How many characters do you plan on getting a free gender change on starting next week? I currently have two planned.

None. All my characters are women already. Maybe it’s because I went so long with no option, but given the choice I pretty much never play as a male character.


Q4TQ: With the second year of Hearthstone Grandmasters ending this coming weekend, it’s worth reviewing what has and hasn’t worked. As a viewer it’s great to have high quality competitive Hearthstone every weekend in a league format. However, it seems to have completely destroyed the actual competitive scene with an increasing number of players dropping out because there’s so little room for movement into the system based on a small handful of official tournaments you have to win your way into. This is the first time they didn’t completely change their format after a year. What could they do to reinvigorate the competitive scene and maintain a good viewing experience?

It’s hard to say. Hearthstone has always been an outlier in esports because of the nature of the Innkeeper system and the circuit overall. When I covered esports every week it was damn near impossible to keep tabs on Hearthstone, because there were dozens of events every weekend, from comic book shops to Dreamhack-level events. There was the massive list on the Blizzard website, but beyond that I basically just followed as many casters and higher-level Hearthstone players and collected links through the week, hoping something would materialize. The con of that is, it’s really hard as a fan to find and follow events. The pro is, although they may have a rough go of it, every competition gave you a chance to find a new face.

In order to revamp it, you really need to walk the line between giving new players a chance and giving your higher-level players who use Hearthstone winnings to pay rent a bit more stability. I would have quarterly events with a much larger pool, with both a higher-tier demi-permanent slot and a points-based system for a cattle call. High enough to discourage people from being forced into running multiple events, or even every weekend, but low enough to give new blood who aren’t making a living off Hearthstone to have a chance to come in and play spoiler. That aspect is one of my favorite parts of Hearthstone esports, and the criteria for being chosen as a Grandmaster — and the fact that only 2 people will be relegated out of the system — makes it a poor choice to even try to climb your way to Hearthstone glory, especially since the game is oversaturated for other content streams to boot.

Also, move back to Twitch. lul.


Q4tQ: If you log out on a mount, should it appear in character selection?

I like this idea in theory, but in practice it’s going to end up with a massive mount that takes up the entire screen, and you can’t see the character. I do think the name/level/class over on the right is more important in letting you know which character is which, but given the size difference between, say, a Pinto Horse and a Protodrake, this just sounds like a nightmare for the graphics team.

I’d rather they spent that time making new transmog.


What’s cookin’, Queue?

Fried chicken, boiled taters, and buttermilk gravy, in these here parts.

I’m making a black bean soup with cheese and cilantro to put on top and corn tortillas on the side. Every year around this time I just get really into soup, and this year, though I’m totally on top of keeping everyone else in the house fed, I can usually barely remember to take a vitamin these days. With soup, I can make one big pot and portion it out into screw-top tupperware containers so I can stick it straight into the microwave from the fridge or freezer. This specific soup is one where you cut up a few vegetables, throw it all in a pot with some water, and wait a few hours so it’s pretty low-effort overall.

Even if I let it become a science experiment it’ll be tasty for dinner, though!

Cory’s Anna Earworm™ results: I’ve already been spinning the Spooky Scary Skeletons remix for a while. The thing is, last night I was doing research about copyright and DMCA and a whole lot of other super interesting compelling stuff, so right now I’m listening my way through a whole lot of stuff with elapsed copyrights, like this medley of Gilbert and Sullivan numbers — though it’s important to note that while the base songs themselves have lapsed copyright, this specific medley may be protected. Copyright law is weird, but even EDM skeletons can’t compare earworm-wise with Three Little Maids From School.

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