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The QueueJan 21, 2022 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: The music in Mass Effect 2 was the best

Whether it’s the Suicide Mission music from the suicide mission at the end of the game, or the music from the Overlord DLC, or even the music from the final confrontation with the Shadow BrokerMass Effect 2 had by leaps and bounds the best music in the series and possibly one of the best scores of any video game. It just manages to perfectly encapsulate the emotion of the scenes you’re playing through. Honestly, I’m almost enjoying listening to the game as much if not more than I am playing it. One of the best things about it is the way certain themes and motifs come back in different ways throughout the score, and I’m finding new ones as I listen to it.

Anyway, it’s Queue time. It’s very dramatic from my end due to the music, so imagine yourself as an action hero as I answer your question.


QftQ: How long do you think it will take to circle through all possible Queue title puns until someone uses Barbie-Queue?

A while, because I’m certainly not going to do it. Then again, Cory is doing Monday, so who knows?


Too much D&D happening now … maybe an idea for the Tavern Watch Podcast. I know you folks talked a bit about adapting other game system settings from one game system to anonther, maybe a discussion about what the strengths and weaknesses of some of the more well known systems are? And maybe some favorite quirks?

My favorite quirk was in the Traveler RPG, your character could die during character creation, which I’ve had happen. You’d think it would be frustrating, but it actually inspired another character’s backstory based on the first character’s death during creation.

I mean, how deep do you want to go? One of the things I loved and hated in equal measure about Champions/Hero System was how weird and broken you could make it, which players often took wild advantage of — I remember one player in a Champions game who sat down with a 125 points and using the vehicle rules made a character who had something like sixty four different battlesuits and the kind of wealth that would make Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne jealous. The use of frameworks like Ultimate Power Pools or Multi-Powers could absolutely break the game in the hands of a clever player.

Meanwhile, in the old TSR Marvel Super Heroes game, one of the ways you could make a character was to sit down with the Ultimate Powers Book and just random roll one up. So in one campaign I was a player in, we all sat down and did exactly that, and we ended up with a street level brawler themed around a praying mantis — I think her name was Mantis Girl — a martial artist who could walk through walls, a tech character in a suit of turtle themed armor, and my character, who didn’t roll a single score below Monstrous and had Unearthly Fighting, Strength, Endurance and Psyche, plus ten separate powers that put him on the level where he could successfully fight the Hulk or Thor and stand a chance of winning.

It was like if the Defenders TV show had Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Kal-El of Krypton. We’d go on street level gang adventures and I’d literally just melt buildings with my eye lasers. And it was amazing.

I definitely hope we talk about this on the next Tavern Watch, but just in case we don’t you get a little snippet of my thinking about it here.


Q4aThing (not sure if this has been asked before): if WoW made it so that every class had a spec for dps, tanking, and healing, which existing specs would you change to those roles? Druid, Paladin, Monk already have them but what about the other classes?

I mean, some classes really don’t have a spec that would work for that, but I’m game to try and shoehorn it in. Here are three ideas.

Fury Warriors could gain an Inspiring Presence kind of heal/buff, where they inspire everyone around them to ignore their wounds and fight harder by bludgeoning, chopping or stabbing enemies to death. You’d want it to be rooted in their melee role — they heal their allies by killing their enemies, and their group heal is an area of effect zone around the Warrior that converts damage into healing. So if a boss has a big AoE attack, the Warrior can do their Scream of Indomitable Power and everyone within 30 yards of them takes the damage of the attack as healing instead. Maybe it doesn’t literally do the entire damage as healing — some AoE attacks are crazy OP and would do bonkers amounts of overhealing — but just making it so that a big AoE doesn’t damage anyone would make it a big salvation to melee DPS everywhere.

Warlocks using Demonology could literally link souls together and share health between them, drain the vitality from their enemies and channel it to their allies, and infuse targets with Demonic Vitality, using the chaotic power of the Fel to warp and thicken mortal flesh in disturbing but powerful ways. Their minions could benefit this as well — a big Doomguard could be summoned, and instead of the tank taking that massive attack that requires a cooldown, the demon takes the attack instead, dies, and can be resummoned in a couple of minutes.

Arcane Mages tap into their power over time and use it to give their allies effective regeneration — think Time Warp but localized and internal, affecting the target’s natural healing instead of their speed in combat. They could also rewind a wounded character back to just before they took the damage, or even alter the immediate past so that the attack missed instead of hitting. You could do a lot of cool time themed powers that would essentially just be heal over time, damage shield, or even damage immunity mechanics.


Q4Q: Do you think that the mount that is potentially dropped the Jailer will be able to top the absolute perfection that is the Shackled Ur’zul?

The best you did it in time mount WoW has is the Uncorrupted Voidwing.


Microsoft buying Blizzard is analogous to Removing Factions in Wow. Disqus!

I don’t agree.

I mean, I’m simultaneously interested in what will happen, a bit worried about a big corporation getting even bigger and potentially becoming a monopoly, glad Bobby Kotick will probably be gone, angry that he’ll be rich as heck (like, this may catapult him to billionaire status, which feels like rewarding him for being a terrible person), worried that Activision Blizzard employees need to unionize now before Microsoft gets to work busting up any prayer of a union, interested to see if a Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura sequel or remake can get made now that the guys who ran Troika are now working for a company owned by Microsoft and the company that bought Sierra (the publisher of Arcanum) will be purchased by Microsoft.

I’m not sure any of that is analogous to removing factions in WoW, which I feel would just be a good thing.


QftQ: If Illidan was able to destroy Xe’ra – a naaru prime, which I assume is a very powerful being – with naught but eye lazors and the sheer love of his scars, why didn’t he use said eye lazors on us when we were fighting him atop the Black Temple?

I’m just saying, he probably could have demolished us all with that.

What makes you assume Xe’ra was all that powerful in terms of offense?

I mean, O’ros got killed by one demon. He didn’t even put up much of a fight. And Xe’ra was literally torn apart when we get to Argus and rebuild her, so while she might have been powerful in her full dudgeon,  clearly she wasn’t doing all that great or she would likely not have been a jigsaw puzzle when we get there.

For that matter, Xe’ra’s power might have been less combat oriented and more about influence, getting others to believe in and follow her. She assembled the Army of the Light, after all, she didn’t just go from world to world blowing up the Legion by her lonesome.

Xe’ra might have been a fairly easy kill, all things considered.

Okay, that’s this Friday Queue done. I’m going to be over here listening to Mass Effect 2‘s Lair of the Shadow Broker music on repeat.

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