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The QueueMar 16, 2021 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Look at that view

A few weeks ago, No Man’s Sky released a free patch containing companion animals (including a whole slew of mechanics like breeding) and I’ve never been more glad I’ve put off buying a game in my life. After the initial buzz was wildly, wildly negative, I was really wary, but the exploration aspects alone are incredible. This screenshot was taken on a world which was labelled as “rapidly disintegrating,” signified on the ground by a lot of volcanic activity and high temperatures. I spent a lot of time here mining and trying to save wildlife, bringing them back to my base on a Paradise planet. The ones that adapted to the volcanic activity aren’t happy about it.

This is The Queue, where you ask us questions, and the WoW servers are down for extended maintenance so we may as well answer.


Q4tQ: inspired by a discussion below, what removed/reworked/nerfed ability from the past do you miss the most?

I have two. The first is the old style of Combustion – it combined all your fire mage’s DoTs into one super-DoT that ticked along with the rest of them. I had an addon that told me when to use it, and not only did it feel good to know I was doing it right, the spell cast with this very satisfying “BOOM” sound. The current one isn’t bad, and might even be more fitting for the fire mage’s instant cast-heavy playstyle. I just felt like I screwed it up every time. >_<

The other is being able to store up instant Pyroblasts so I could fire off two of them in a row. Ye gods, I miss that. I don’t think I even need to explain why.

True rolling Ignites, for sure. When people were pugging end game dungeons as mini-raids, if you had just one more Mage with you, that stuff got silly.

Way back when — or really, currently in WoW Classic, in any raid beyond BWL with the huge amounts of fire resist — Mages that wanted to go out in an actual blaze of glory would go for a very crit-heavy Fire build revolving around Ignite. Ignite applied a DoT to your target when you crit. If you crit again while the Ignite was active, the DoT timer would reset back to full, and the new damage would be stacked on top of the old. And then if you or another Mage crit again, it would roll back to full duration, and the damage from both previous crits would stack again. And again. And again.

tl;dr: haha fire mage go brrrrrrrr

Furthermore, there was only one Ignite stack for the full group, so if you had three Mages, the first Mage to crit would “own” the Ignite stack, and as the mages continued to crit that Ignite would get bigger and bigger, until that Mage went splat. The Ignite would continue to roll as the other Mages cast their fire crit spells. Of course, the raid lead could call out to let the stack fall and then start the cycle again to preserve your mages, but what’s the fun in that?


Q4tQ: Do you pay any attention to the recommended ilvls for Torghast?

There are recommended ilvls for Torghast?


Had to comment on imgur: “As a kid, I did enjoy a nice Christmas playing Final Fantasy 6 for the first time while it was snowing outside.” I’m no writer but still, good memories!

How would you romanticize your time playing video games?

Roughly the same as reading, honestly.

My favorite reading condition is during a mid-afternoon summer thunderstorm, in a dark room, in bed, with the window open, reading Gothic fiction. Frankenstein, Rebecca, Turn of the Screw, or even more modern Gothic-themed stories in a similar vein like Interview with a Vampire just work better like that, both in terms of comfort level and slightly spooky ambiance.

My favorite gaming condition is roughly similar. I love games that are slightly creepy and atmospheric, and if it’s raining, with the windows open, and I’m either snuggled on the couch or in my computer chair, wrapped in a fluffy blanket? That’s just a good time. I do have a few good shock protectors, but I’ll forego the lightning bit anyway. This doesn’t just go for the outright horror games, like Resident Evil, but also games with just a bit of mystery and a slightly spooky atmosphere — something like Gone Home, for instance, which has a “what happened here, exactly” mystery at its core, but not the explicitly supernatural or gory one you’d usually get from an airquotes “spooky game.”


What’s your best guess on when the TBC (CLASSIC) Beta will start?

I’d say probably next week, Thursday March 25 if I had to pin it down.

However, if I were at Blizzard and really wanted to field a lot of complaints? I’d make it the Thursday after that — April 1.

Just thinking about it makes me snort out loud. From a corporate perspective, or if I actually worked at Blizzard I doubt I’d have the mental fortitude to actually put up with it. But come on man, that’s funny.


Q4tQ: How often should a forthcoming game have an update? It seems weird to me that Dark Alliance was announced with a trailer back in December 2019, had exactly one update in November 2020 saying the game was coming in 2021, and that’s it. I’m not saying I expect a weekly update or anything, but sheesh.

idk what you’re talking about, they literally just posted this:

Anyway, Kal’s new weird superpower aside, in general I’d expect a larger company, or one working to develop in concert with a larger company, to have a lot more general updates, but accompanied by other social media outreach. A smaller company will likely have fewer, and more nebulous timetables, because Chris had to help his mom move and Jenny’s dog was sick, so that’s the whole art department, which pushes things back a week (and because it’s a small company, they actually care about those people). Most of the smaller indie companies I follow tend to push content their single-person marketing or PR team can schedule in advance, like question of the day prompts, #fanartfridays, or quotations overlaid on game art, whereas bigger companies can pay a dedicated social media person to jump into the replies and chase trending topics.

Especially now, not having a ton of dedicated timetable updates is ok, I think, as long as they do show some degree of proof-of-life. Maybe I’m just used to the indie companies, and maybe I’ve had my perspective shifted become way too understanding with COVID, but my general attitude on the whole thing tends to skew much more toward “when it’s ready” than needing solid dates when it’s still a bit too early to be able to tell.

I’m still a little salty about my phone upgrade, though.

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