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The QueueJun 17, 2022 2:36 pm CT

The Queue: What day is it again (again)?

Well, it’s Friday… again. I just don’t know how this keeps happening.


Q4tQ Do you think Diablo Immortal’s reputation is salvageable like D3’s was after the RMAH fiasco, or do you think it’ll be left to linger as is?

I think any reputation is salvageable. The question is whether Diablo Immortal intends to salvage it.

There are two problems here: perception of the situation and reality of the situation. The perception side of things is pretty bad, to the point where I think it’s actually worse than the reality. There’s widespread media reporting the game is pay to win, that it will cost $50,000 to max out a character, and that there are hidden caps that prevent you from progressing without spending. It feels to me like the media jumped to a final conclusion quickly here, and went for the grabbiest headlines about the game. And the “hidden caps” coverage, which has seen play in publications as big as Forbes, comes from a single video where one person says there are hidden progression caps. Both Matt and I have spent time looking and haven’t found a single source saying the same. But the result is that public perception of the game is as bad as it can be.

That’s not to say that Diablo Immortal is good, but I think the player impression is a lot worse than the reality. It’s a game with a lot of microtransactions and some of those microtransactions make the game much easier. But you can play the game start to finish without difficulty without spending anything. On a scale of games with predatory microtransactions, I’d rate Immortal a 4/10. (Hearthstone Mercenaries, on the other hand, is at least an 7/10.)

However the game is pushy about its microtransactions, and constantly encourages you to go back to the store — you even have to open the store to claim your “free” daily reward, all of which encourages more purchases. It’s not the most aggressive game I’ve played, but there are a lot of useful to buy and the game isn’t shy about telling you so.

Combine that with the bad impression the game gave from day 1 when it was announced, and players started out with a negative impression of the game which has been fanned on by negative media coverage. And if you log on to the game, it pushes the store in your face. Even though you don’t need to buy, it feels like you have to.

A reputation problem that big is going to take a lot of work to overcome. But d espite mainstream media’s cries of “pay to win” and review-bombing on Metacritic, the game is a success. It’s gotten a ton of downloads and I’m sure it’s making money by the bucketful… so does Blizzard really care about the game’s reputation? Will it try to salvage it?

If Blizzard wants to repair the game’s reputation, it will  have to move mountains. It won’t be enough to just take reasonable steps to balance things out. The game also has to overcome the player perception that it’s unfair and pay-to-win, so any course correction will have to be more than fair, it will have very generous in order to turn that tide.

I hope Blizzard tries to address it. I think it’s a good game and it should be played and enjoyed. But it will be a long road.


Idea to fix Diablo Immortals microtransactions: consolidate all the orbs / crests / currencies into one thing, perhaps leaf tickets, and have them sold by a cheeky yet lovable raccoon.

My God, you’ve done it! The answer was right there all along!


Q4Liz: what do you think about the move from loot boxes to a battle pass in OW2? Loot boxes are the worst, but battle passes aren’t great either

What I hate about loot boxes — and Hearthstone card packs, which are the same thing — is that you have no idea what you’re getting. Will you need to buy one box to get what you want? Twenty boxes? Fifty boxes?

Battle Pass systems are straightforward and predictable. You know what you’re going to get, what you need to do to get it, and you get rewards on a consistent schedule. And for the rest, Overwatch will have a store so you can buy exactly what you want. No mystery required, no RNG in sight. Both of these things are great!

But we still don’t know what’s on the Battle Pass. Will it be anything good, or will all the good stuff be relegated to the pay-for “enhanced” Battle Pass? Will you be able to earn currency to spend in the store, or will it be cash-only? Without those details, we can’t fully evaluate the system.

In a free to play game, I still think Battle Pass style systems are better… but it’s possible for a Battle Pass system to be terrible, too. We’ll have to wait and see which side of the fence Overwatch 2 is on.


How goes Lords progression?

I think it’s going okay, but my guild is like “couldn’t you just respec and heal more while also staying out of melee?”

Note: there are no other Paladins raiding in my guild.

So I’m feeling disheartened. Warcraftlogs says Holy Paladins are way behind on healing this tier, which is my experience as well. I feel like I’m healing better than I’ve ever been, but my numbers pale in comparison to my Druid and Shaman co-healers. Most Holydins are playing the Maraad’s Dying Breath build, which I’ve tried and done poorly with — it makes my health is spiky and my healing numbers aren’t any better. But we haven’t killed anything past Anduin, so maybe’ Liz’s build is the problem.

I feel it’s more likely that Liz is the problem, because despite efforts to improve I don’t feel like I’m performing on par.

For Lords of Dread, I can often get trapped on the wrong side of sleep clouds, that cage in the melee, which makes it difficult to get rid of the green plague clouds which I need to run out for — and sometimes it’s a long run from melee. Solution? Stay out of melee! Except no matter the build, I’ll lose some significant effectiveness out of melee. Going out to range will mean less holy power generation, more difficult AOE utilization and lower healing because my mastery is stronger on nearby targets. But maybe I should just respec, say the non-Paladins.

So I was feeling okay about things when we left them our last raid night, but now I’m feeling more discouraged than ever.


I want to know if I’m dooming the universe if I kill off Ashley in Mass Effect. She gotta go

Nothing is doomed by your choice of Ashley or Kaidan, but I think Ashley is the far more interesting character in Mass Effect 3. On the other hand, I find Kaidan the more useful squamate in Mass Effect 3, but your mileage may vary.

Given the choices, I let Kaidan die. He has some weird issues with women. He calls looking at Liara “art appreciation,” and in his Mass Effect 1 dialog is very confused as to why a girl didn’t totally fall for him after he killed someone for her. He’s a character with a lot of potential, and an interesting backstory… but the result is real awkward, particularly if you play a female Shepard whom he assumes is in love with him if she talks to him, and gets really upset with you if you ever point out that we’re just having a conversation, this is not love.

And that’s all for today, friends. Be sure to pet your dogs (or cats, or hamsters, or children) and tell your love ones that you love them. Life is short, so take some time out of your day and make sure everybody knows how you feel about them.

But especially your dogs.

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