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The QueueMar 21, 2023 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Last Frost Date

This is a joke, right? We had days in February where I was considering putting the electric blankets and thick coats into storage for the year, and now that I’m at my last frost date, it’s literally freezing outside? I could not be more over it.

This is The Queue, where you ask us questions and we’ll make a cup of hot cocoa before we answer because our fingers are too cold to type yet.


Q4tQ: have you ever tried playing WoW when it’s not fully installed? Asking because I’m installing it right now, and the Battle.net app told me it was ready to play, and it also said there was upwards of eighty gigs left to download. So I’m wondering just what kind of experience I would have had if I’d started playing.

Yep, pretty frequently in the case of PTRs and betas.

My experience is that it installs the basic backbones of how stuff “works” first, then the less crucial mechanical stuff, and then finally the higher res textures, particle effects, and other visual elements as you go. So if you have a fresh install and load into Dalaran, it’ll make sure it knows how and where your character is standing (ie, that you won’t instantly fall to your death), then it adds stuff like NPC skeletons, then protocols, and then finally you’ll get brick textures popping in. The game will also start by loading the textures and models of things close to you, so if you hearth or take a portal somewhere else, your load time will be longer and you’ll get that same texture-by-texture pop in.


One for the HSBG players – is there a hero with a buddy that you’d like to be able to play well with, but it never seems to pan out for you?

I seem to be having issues with heroes with buddies which are kind of made for a couple specific tribes, where I don’t draw those tribes. I’m not talking the designated ones, like how you can’t get Fungalmaster without Murlocs, but the ones which have really good synergy with certain tribes and not others.

I keep being offered Van Cleef with his buddy that gets its stats boosted when you play new minions in lobbies when the APM tribes like Pirates and even Elementals are banned. I just want to get a couple Hoggers and live my best life with my new friend, but instead I’m trying to make things work with Quilboars or Demons or a crummy Battlecry menagerie Blazing Skyfin situation.

But then, that was frequently the case before, so I can’t get too terribly mad about it. I can just pine.


Q4tQ: How has the D4 beta been so far? Do you think there is enough there to hook someone who mostly played Diablo 2 and 3 for the story?

What I’m hearing is that the story is leaps and bounds better than anything we’ve seen in past Diablos. I don’t want to spoil the story, but it seems like things are slightly more explained and make a little more sense than in the previous incarnations, and the motivations of your character is a little more spelled out than, “hell bad. Kill demon pls.”

The other thing that I’ve heard time and again from everyone — from the slightly squeamish newbies to the seasoned Diablo veterans — is that this latest incarnation is incredibly, wildly gory. We expected that from Lilith’s placenta cape in the trailer, of course, but there’s expecting and then there’s experiencing what it actually is. I’m not saying that gore is bad, especially in a series like this, but the fact that even the Diablo diehards are commenting that wow, am I being showered in viscera, it’s really worth noting.

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