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The QueueNov 20, 2020 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Shadowy thoughts…

With Shadowlands launching on Monday, I’m sure we’re all thinking shadowy thoughts. What else is there to be thinking? Shadow this, shadow that… it’s certainly all that I’m hearing in our virtual break room these days.


Q4TQ: What sweet decks are you enjoying in Hearthstone so far? I am quest druid C’thuning people.

Il’gynoth OTK Demon Hunter. I haven’t been doing great at getting all of my combo pieces in place, but the deck is pretty good at going face without pulling all of its combo pieces and has a lot of healing to survive when until it does. And when you do pull off the combo, even part of it, it’s awfully satisfying.

For those of you who aren’t up on Hearthstone, Il’gynoth is a new Demon Hunter card which causes your lifesteal effects to do extra damage to your enemy instead of healing you. Demon Hunter has a lot of lifesteal effects to choose from, but it’s best paired with a Mo’arg Artificer (which doubles the damage your spells do to minions) and a lifesteal AOE  (like Soul Cleave, which does two damage to two enemy minions). But there are lots of ways Il’gynoth can help you out. Pull out a lifesteal weapon and then buff your attack and then hit your opponent in the face — it’s not impossible to buff a Demon Hunter up to 14 attack, and since Hearthstone players only have 30 health, that’s gonna hurt.

My matches have not gone as well as that, but Il’gynoth is not to be trifled with.

But as you know, I am still fond of pure Paladin decks, and the expansion added Yrel, which is pretty great.


Where should I (or at least my avatar) be standing at 5:59 pm EST on Monday?
–Capitol City?
–Next to the portal in my garrison?
–Beside Nathanos’ old kitchen table at the Marris Stead?

I’m the killjoy who’s going to say nowhere. Blizzard has gotten really good with launches, but no game launch is perfect. On launch day there’s always going to be at least one bug or bottleneck that makes gameplay frustrating, and lag can be an issue too. Even though sharing does a lot to combat the annoyances of crowds and lag, I usually wait until I’m a bit behind the rush to get started. Your mileage may vary.

The more practical answer is that you should camp out in your faction’s capitol. Done.


The more I think about it, the more I realize this pre-patch event is the perfect send off to BfA. What else embodies the past +2 years more than killing bosses over and over again and instead of getting the drop you want you just walk away with disappointment?

Yep, this checks out.

These end of expansion events are designed to be different and exciting. They break the usual rules of the game in ways that are supposed to be thrilling — a contagious zombie plague, rares that practically spawn non-stop — but “different” isn’t always better. Sometime the game’s norms are there for a reason: because players endlessly trolling by running zombies into crowds and exploding, thus killing everyone, just isn’t fun. Or at least it’s only fun for players who enjoy disrupting other players’ experience by repeatedly killing them.

Blizzard usually avoids mechanics that cause this kind of disruption. But for an event, this is exciting! Thrilling!

Or at least that’s the idea. How it works for you in practice, I think, greatly depends on the type of player you are.

I have had some fun with this event, but the frustration is real.


Question: Remind me, please, didn’t I read somewhere that they were trying to prioritise your own friends and guild mates when sharding? I have on several occasions not been able to /tar one of my guildies around one of the IC rares. Also the other week, three of us met up at the Darkmoon Faire. It wasn’t busy and we even grouped up, but we had to manually force-sync in order to be able to see each other!

Is it just me or is that decidedly odd?

I’m honestly not sure about guildmates, but I’m pretty sure party members are all supposed to be sharded t0gether. It certainly makes sense that it would work this way. But it definitely doesn’t work that way, at least not always.

I played through Blizzard’s early expansion launches, where you would find yourself in a crowd of hundreds of players all trying to kill the same mobs. It was a nightmare in which you ran around in circles hoping to click something just a bit faster than the player next to you. You were constantly frustrated, and your only victory came from passing that frustration on to someone else. Dreadful.

So I really like sharding. It’s the perfect way to avoid everything I just mentioned. But it’s kind of buggy. It’s still kind of buggy.


Q4tQ: Will you be leveling and playing Shadowlands with someone or will you be playing solo?

If you’re going to be doing it with a person/people in a group are you going to all pick the same Covenant so you all have the same daily and weekly Covenant quests and objectives?

For myself I’m not going to pick a Covenant. I’m just going with whatever makes my wife the happiest so we can play together.

I usually play solo because I have an erratic schedule and a tendency to get distracted and wander AFK. Basically I’m bad at coordinating.

But if I were, I don’t think I’d worry so much about Covenants, because we’ll still be able to do all of our leveling stuff together — it’s just at the end we’ll have some different quests. I don’t think that’s all that bad.

That’s all for today, people. Remember to tell your loved ones you love them and wear a mask if you go out. I feel like both of these are common sense at this point, but some common sense deserves to be repeated.

Enjoy your weekend and I’ll probably see you in the Shadowlands when Monday rolls around.

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