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The QueueMar 14, 2023 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: It’s cold and I’m grumpy.

What it says on the tin.

This is The Queue, where you ask us questions and between this and daylight savings time we are just OVER IT.


Q4TQ: What is your best prediction about what Hearthstone is teasing here? I think new expansion is going to be weird

The one thing I really and truly appreciate about the Hearthstone team is that they’ve been unerringly on time with their new content. They’ve only barely varied in their April/July/December release schedule, and each time it’s been to release the new stuff early. This isn’t a pointed statement, but it’s nice to be able to expect things to land well in advance. It makes teasers like this more a pleasant surprise that actually piques my interest and less a “what fresh hell is this” blindsiding pop-up development.

As such, even with only being engaged in Battlegrounds in terms of play, it looks like this is a teaser for the next expansion. There’s obviously some kind of music aspect — and pop/rock performance, at that. A “battle of the bands” expansion, with both the older Level Whatever-they-are-now ETC gimmick and a few other competitors. With zero advance knowledge except how much the Hearthstone team loves puns, I’d guess we’ll see a few  Legendaries themed around mashed up famous musicians and Warcraft concepts. “Tailor Swift,” who makes her own enchanted clothes very quickly (Battlecry?) comes to mind. Maybe a “Lady Mgrgaga” who can transform and re-enter your deck on Deathrattle?

Maybe there’s a big Coachella-style concert going on, or maybe I’m completely off base and it’s The Hunger Games. All I know for sure is that it’s almost April so we’re about due.


Q4tQ: how much have you played evoker and what do you think of it so far? Asking because I got mine to 65 tonight and playing it feels like a chore. >_< It’s way too squishy for a mail class, I feel like things take a long time to kill, and the fact that the class’s basic heal is also its basic attack is not good because it makes using it to heal yourself while in combat very difficult.

Apart from beta stuff for articles, I’ve barely played any Evoker. I don’t think I even have one rolled on my live account. And that is exactly why.

Every expansion I tell myself I should level something other than my Hunter first, because Hunters are dead easy to level, bordering on brainless. Every expansion I try to accumulate a bunch of shows to watch on my second monitor, I get everything prepped on another character — one which will benefit from active learning-level PUGs, one with gathering trade skills to make bank off the early mats grind. And then every expansion I immediately pick up my Hunter and make Rutherford go brrrrr, and every other character feels like utter drudgery. The only other characters I can stand soloing much with are my Monk, which is slow but constantly effective in Tank spec, and my Rogue simply because the stealth minigame is very compelling to me.

I’m not sure whether Evokers are particularly tricky to deal with, or if it’s just me being used to Hunters, but I’m not feeling it.


Remember when people begged Blizzard for hardcore mode/servers and they repeatedly said they’d never do that?

It’s weird. A lot of the time when Blizzard makes definitive statements, it’s for two reasons. One is because it’s a technological boondoggle. Looking beneath the hood of certain aspects of the game is an exercise in spaghetti code horror, and several times when they’ve said things like “we won’t increase the size of the backpack,” it’s due to something like this. I’ve found that when it’s a pretty obvious suggestion from the outside that they’ve repeatedly said no to, it’s because of stuff like this.

The other reason is because they want to save the playerbase from themselves, and more importantly, they realize that sometimes when people say they want something they want the idea of it but might not actually be behind the reality of it. This is where WoW Classic in general lies. Hardcore servers in WoW Classic sounds like, to me, an exercise in absolute Sisyphean lunacy. I don’t doubt they’d be popular if Blizzard implemented them, and I don’t doubt that there’s a section of the playerbase who really wants hardcore servers — especially as informed by the existence of things like the Ironman Challenge and third party addons to keep track of this.

To me, it seems like, in part, the Classic team has kinda taken a step back from saying that this kind of behavior is unhealthy and washed their hands of it. As long as there are people willing to populate the servers, hey, knock yourselves out. But that doesn’t make it any less baffling in practice. But hey, at least that guy in your raid team will only forget his Onyxia Scale Cloak once.

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