The Queue: We are always ready for a nap on Friday
Every time I’m writing the Queue, it’s either late at night or early in the morning so I can get it done before the day gets going, and I often would rather be napping. Fridays, after all, are the slide into the weekend where you can catch up with all the sleep you’ve missed out on over the week. So it should be nap time… but I have to get get this done first.
So let’s answer some questions, and then we can all have a nice Friday nap. Yeah! Let’s Queue!
Q4TQ: How do you feel about the new Hearthstone expansion
redacted? What about the Year of the Redacted? What are you looking forward to?
While we still don’t have info about the coming year of Hearthstone (yet) we do know about the next expansion: Voyage to the Sunken City. I really dig something about this theme, diving into the bottom of the of the ocean. The art looks great, the new keyword Dredge seems like it might inspire interesting new gameplay, and the Colossal multi-minions look like they might be really interesting. It’s a cool theme, it has rad art, and great music. I dig it.
Liquid’s best pull on Anduin so far is 56.7%. Does he survive the reset? (Specifically asking Mitch, since he can tell the future.)
Okay, I am not Mitch but I don’t think I need to be able to see into the future to answer this question, because Liquid made a lot of progress between you asking this question and me answering this question.
When the team stopped for the day it had gotten Anduin down to 9.4%. It’s a very challenging fight, but that’s a lot of progress. The whole raid won’t be cleared before the reset, but Anduin isn’t going to survive the weekend. I strongly suspect Liquid will get the kill on Friday.
As I’m writing this, Echo only has Anduin down to 47.6% — not close, but getting there. With the amount of progress we’ve seen Liquid make, though, I bet Echo isn’t going to be very far behind them. My prediction is that we’re going to see both Liquid and Echo working on Lords of Dread or Rygelon (which can be tackled in any order) this weekend.
I had really hoped we’d left the days of three-person story quests far, far behind us.
If you’re talking about the quest I have in mind — the Zereth Mortis quest that eventually unlocks mount crafting — I actually soloed it a couple of days ago, though it was a little dicy in places. (And it would have been much dicier if I weren’t as well-geared.) Hilariously, I did this only a couple of hours after helping someone else do this quest, because I hadn’t done the initial quests yet to realize we were on the same chain.
So the question you didn’t quite ask is does WoW really need group story quests?
After all, it slows you down as you go, putting a wall in front of you when you can’t find other players to help you out. And if you play at odd hours, sometimes it can be very hard to find players, even if you try. If the content is current, you’re likely to be able to run into someone who can help, but if it’s older, you’re increasingly unlikely to find other players. For example, earlier this week I had to start a group and wait for players to show up to kill the Shadowlands World Boss. Its gear is well outdated, so fewer people are eager to kill it — but I wanted the chunk of anima it dropped, so here I was, waiting to gather up a raid group of players.
And even that was probably simpler than doing a quest out in the world after many players have leapfrogged over it. I think WoW wants to be a team game, a multiplayer game. That’s its essential nature. But requiring groups for everything makes the game less accessible, puts walls in front of individual player progress. So I think group quests need to be carefully considered. Is this going to be a fun adventure for players, pitting them against more challenging content in an exciting way? Or does it just put a brick wall in front of them while they’re out playing on their own?
I think that question is a fine line, and the answer is probably different for all of us as to when it suits to have a group quest. I enjoyed having something that was a little challenging, that required me to think about things rather than just randomly keysmashing until the quest mobs around me died. But it also did stop me in my tracks… for long enough that I helped someone else do the quest before realizing we were on the same quest chain, because my first instinct was to ignore this quest because it was a group quest.
That’s not an ideal reaction to a quest, to push it to the side and ignore it because you don’t think you can do it on your own. So this is a pretty good example a place you probably didn’t need a group quest.
So I re-upped.
And I am a little confused.
QftQ: The keepers could summon the Arbiter’s sigil this entire time? WHY THE HELL WERE WE SITTING HERE WAITING?
Well, Eno said this was “a classic question to ask Liz,” and I honestly don’t know what you mean. Are you trying to stymie me??
I’m not the lore expert over here, but as an ordinary human person I can say that the plot doesn’t always seem to hold together very well. You hit places and you just wonder why are we even here? Couldn’t we have finished this up a month ago and taken a nap? (As you can see, I am very pro-nap.) I still don’t know exactly why Sylvanas ever thought working with the Jailer was a good idea that would lead to anything positive, except that Sylvanas was the thread that led into the entire expansion, so she needed to be working with the bad guy (and equally needed to turn away from the bad guy). Sometimes it seems like narrative necessity — or game necessity — drives the story more than an actual plot.
But also, I just don’t think MMOs are a good storytelling medium. Here’s another example from this expansion: I was wondering what the heck happened to Helya, who made a dramatic appearance way back in the beginning of the expansion when we were first making our way through the Maw. And one of my guildmates told me that the story had been resolved back in the 9.1 quest chain where we gained the ability to mount in the Maw on our way to Korthia and the Sanctum of Domination. I didn’t remember Helya’s part in that at all.
Sure, some of that’s on me. But also some of it’s on the fact that this story has stretched on for well over a year. And you can rewatch cinematics if you want to brush up on what’s going on, but you can’t replay quests. You could level a new alt or you could go to Wowhead and read quest text for the whole chain, but once you’ve done a quest, that quest is gone for your character forever. So the story very much relies on you remembering what the heck is going on, and tracking details that you learned months apart. And that’s not easy. Even if WoW had an absolutely stunning, completely perfect narrative, spacing the story out over such long periods of time makes it harder to track, harder to know why we’re doing anything.
As you’ve come back recently, you’ve probably rushed through multiple patches worth of quests at once — so that “why have we been waiting??” reaction has to be pretty strong. But for people who have played throughout, there have been multi-month story breaks between what happened in Korthia and Sanctum and what’s happening in Zereth Mortis now. Was there a reason we’ve waited this long, other than narrative necessity? I don’t know, because it was months ago that I left the Primus at the end of the 9.1 quest chain. I’m sure he had some kind of reason. We needed to gather strength? We needed to beat the Jailer in Sanctum? I’m sure it was something like that but it’s been long enough that I don’t know exactly where we left things. So you kind of assume there’s a reason and carry on. The massive time gaps, and the inability to “rewatch” the game’s story like you might do with a book or a TV show, make it exceptionally difficult to keep track of everything going on.
So why are we here? What have we been waiting for?
We’ve been waiting for the game. We’ve been waiting for the next patch. If there’s a solid narrative reason, it’s been lost in time, dozens of story quests quests and six months ago.
QtfQ: Have any dragons disguised themselves as Trolls as their main avatar?
Dragons seem heavily biased towards Humans and Elves for some reason. Obviously we have Chromie as a Gnome and Ebyssian as a Highmountain Tauren, but they’re the exception rather than the rule.
You would think that more of these ancient creatures would have broadened their horizons and tried out forms beyond the everyday Human. Azeroth is full of such glorious diversity. With all of these choices why just be Human all the time? I know that if I had the choice of being anything I’d mix it up every now and then.
And that’s all for now. Be sure to pet your pets, hug your friends, and tell your loved ones you love them. Have a good weekend and I’ll see you again next week.
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