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The QueueJul 5, 2022 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Wearing my summer skins

That’s definitely what people call it when you give up and wear a tank top on a 95 degree day, right?

This is The Queue, where you ask us questions and we’ll give you the answers, as long as you don’t mind waiting between gulps of this comically oversized slushie.


Q4tQ: which new talent tree(s) do you want to see next? I’m hoping for mage, as it’s my main, but I’d also like to see paladin, shaman, and/or warrior, to give the BW crew an entire show’s worth of stuff to discuss.

Well, I’m kinda hoping it’s all of them? Because alpha? Of course, they have released things like talent trees — and also, specifically, talent trees — piecemeal in the past, so it’s pretty likely we’ll see alpha launch with the few we’ve been shown with the others added later. But still.

Absent that, I’d really like to see the Evoker trees, not only because they’re the new hotness (heh, fire pun) but also because I feel like the trees may give us a better preview of how they’ll feel to play in practice. For instance, think of an ability like a Shaman’s Flame Shock. By itself it’s a pretty straightforward caster ability: deals damage and applies a DOT. But when you combine that with a talent tree emphasizing DOT damage, it would make the class feel very different from one which would emphasize crit, or if there was an ability deep in the tree with synergy, like Lava Burst. And yeah, I know that’s an ability not a talent, but we’re talking hypotheticals here, and with talent trees of yore, there was frequently that one talent deep in the tree that radically alters things.

So maybe I’m just excited to see Evokers in general. But, also… Hunters. Because, gimme.


Q4TQ: Do you think the guild’s constantly spamming chat with their recruitment message ad are actually any good? I assume they either just take advantage of people to get guild money or have terrible retention problems.

IME, no. I’ve joined a couple of these on a lark, just because I usually play alone these days anyway, and it seemed like a fun experiment — see what you get, like a really inexpensive gatcha. Generally what happens is the guild gets a huge influx of people and then they keep the small handful which actually contribute to the guild in positive ways. Frequently a lot of the people they invite just wash out due to inactivity — most people who are actively playing already have guilds by now, so the people they’re inviting are either alts or super, super casual.


Q4TQ: if you could mashup anyone classes in wow to make one ‘hero class’ which ones would it be and would you make it race exclusive? if so, which ones?

I’d mashup rogue and hunter to make a ranger and i’d make it exclusive to the elves. maybe humans and trolls. definitely not tauren or draenei

I think the best class mashups would be classes which are at completely opposite sides of the playing field. Something like a Rogue-Priest, for instance. Use that shadowy void flavor to have a stealthy manipulator-type class… like a Bard, but more insidious. Bardic Inspiration tends to come from just really promoting the person, giving them that natural hype. A Rogue-Priest would whisper the same thing in your ear, quietly, and you could never be sure if that surge of power is from your own endorphins or if their tendrils wrapped their way around your brainstem. Are you the one stabbing your opponent with those daggers? Do you even use daggers?

So, with that in mind, mashing up almost anything with a Hunter would be freaking hilarious.


Q4tQ: in your opinion, what should a discord server for playing rpgs have in terms of bots, channels, etc? I’m trying to make one for me and my friends and any advice is welcome

It really varies based on your group’s needs. I will say that there aren’t a ton of bots with like, the SRD on them or whatever, just because D&D Beyond is right there. I’ll also add that you may want to look into Guilded over Discord, just because with their baseline chat client they have unique channel types, including Calendar views. Bot support is limited — they released their dev API like 6 months ago or something so it’s slim pickins — but with D&D getting everyone on the same page with a calendar may outweigh everything else.

In the BW staff area of Discord I set up Sidekick to do rolls. They used it for a while, but over time remembering (and correctly using) the commands was kind of clunky, and everyone had IRL dice gathering dust, so now they’re using the “oh, I got a 20, trust me” model. In other groups, they may not be so trusting. Avrae is another good option for a rolling bot, and also includes some integration from either PDF or D&D Beyond.

If you’re using Discord as your whole shebang, I would suggest at least three voice channels — one for just the game, and then a couple more for DM whispers and private knowledge. You may want to admin lock them so people can only join the channel if an admin manually pulls them into it. Again, it depends on how shady your players may be.

On my husband’s D&D server, they have an extra text channel where his DM makes all the players write out a demi-“journal” of their character’s adventures that session. If something completely bananas happens IRL — like if their DM is AFK for a month filming a cooking show — they remember what happened not just last time, but they can scroll back as far as they need to in the channel, or even search it to remember how far back Timmy the Cleric met his untimely end. It’s not as bells-and-whistles as a bot, but it’s pretty genius.

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