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The QueueSep 28, 2023 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: I am extremely sick

Like, I’m rocketing between extremes in terms of my blood sugar, which means I’m having these moments of twitching, shuddering, and in fact barely being able to function at all. After two days of being a sweaty wreck, I’m hoping my body will just let me sleep at this point.

Anyway, it’s the Queue, I feel like stinky hot garbage, let’s do this.


I dare Blizzardwatch to answer herpetology and only herpetology related questions tomorrow. Become Lizardwatch!

Q4tQ: what is difference between alligator and crocodile?

While both Alligators and Crocodiles are members of the order Crocodilia, they are not the closest relatives within that order. Alligatoridae is the superfamily containing all living animals more closely related to the American Alligator than either the Gharial or the Nile Crocodile and all of their extinct relatives such as Deinosuchus, while Crocodyloidea is the superfamily with all Crocodilians more closely related to the Nile Crocodile and its extinct relatives.

It’s interesting to point out that the Crocodilia are a fairly recent family of Pseud0suchians, first appearing in the Cretaceous, while many of their direct ancestors and relatives date all the way back to the early Triassic. Indeed, Psudosuchians (Ironically, the word means false crocodiles, but the true Crocodiles are part of it) were for a while the odds on favorite to dominate Earth after the Great Dying/End-Permian Extinction Event. Giant predators like the Rauisuchians were the largest terrestrial carnivores on the Earth in the early Triassic, such as Saurosuchus. Indeed, there were several groups of archosaurs that were directly ancestral to modern crocodiles who lived similar lives as aquatic predators, such as the Phytosaurs.

Regardless, the easiest way to tell the difference between Alligators and Crocodiles is that Alligators tend to be smaller and have a different snout configuration. with their teeth hidden behind lips, while Crocodile teeth are visible. The largest reptile predator on Earth today is a Crocodile, after all. It’s also considered to be the largest reptile alive, period.

I didn’t see any other herpetology questions or I would have answered them.


Lore Q4tQ: do you have any story concerns regarding Chris Metzen’s return to WoW?

I wouldn’t say I’m worried, as he talked about the stories in development (see below), but I think WoW’s stories have long been hindered by their tendency to have everything revolve around characters from the original RTS games. Dragonflight is the first expansion with a main story that solely focuses on characters who are original to WoW. I’m concerned that Mr. Metzen’s return will see the story turn back to all the old characters he created and likes to work with.

I mean, he’s been back for almost a year now and I honestly believe Steve Danuser has a vision he’s executing. I’m not overly concerned about Metzen, but I have friends who are and their reasons make sense to me.


QftQ: WoW relies heavily on HP Lovecraft concerning the Old Gods (C’thun, Yog Sarron etc). That’s not a secret. However … In Lovecraft lore, the Old Gods was not the first aliens to colonize earth (or, for the sake of discussion, Azeroth). The first alien race to ‘infest’ the planet was the Elder Ones (Noden being one of them, a fierce enemy of Cthulhu and others). In WoW lore, the First Ones are considered the creators of the Cosmos which begs the questions:

Did the First Ones create the Old Gods and the titans, or is the Old Gods a competing alien race?

I assume that the Titans are created by the First Ones as a weapon against the Old Gods. If not, where did the Titans come from (and what would the First Ones think of them)? When we defeat all of the Old Gods and possibly the Titans, will we find ourselves in a whole lot of trouble with the First Ones? Is there one or more First One’s slumbering in the depths of Azeroth or in the Cosmos, patiently waiting for their enemy to die out so they can lay claim to the jewel of the universe – Azeroth?

I mean, there’s at least ten more x-pacs baked into these questions, so … uh … yeah. I better stop thinking about it.

At no time does Lovecraft describe Nodens as an “Elder One”, and the people who called him an Elder God wrote after Lovecraft was dead. In Lovecraft’s writing, the Elder Ones, also known as the Elder Things and Old Ones (as opposed to the Great Old Ones, who are the more direct inspiration for the Old Gods in WoW) are alien beings who come to Earth and colonize it, leaving behind a grand city — basically, the novel At The Mountains of Madness is all about the mind-altering horror of their abandoned civilization, and the Shoggoths that they created and who destroyed them in turn.

They are not to be confused with The Great Race of Yith, a species that teleported their minds into ancient entities native to Earth and built a civilization there as well. Regardless, even August Derleth never said that Nodens was a member of the Elder Ones, he said he was an Elder God, which is a completely different thing.

Anyway, I don’t know if the First Ones made the Old Gods, but I suspect they made the Void Lords, who made the Old Gods.


Q4tQ For games where “choices matter”, do you prefer the ability to see alternative outcomes within the same playthrough or do you like it better when you have to replay the game to see them?

Well, it’s funny you said that. Because in Starfield there’s a moment where my character has to make a choice and no matter what I choose, someone dies. I of course loaded a save to see if I could in fact make a choice where nobody died, but no, someone dies.

I think I would have preferred it if there was a way I could have seen that without loading a save.


Can someone give me the super-abridged version of why everyone in the Forgotten Realms hate the Drow?
What did they do?

The Drow were originally created as part of the module series Against The Giants as boogeymen to be pulling the strings of the various giants. As a result, the general character of the Drow as sinister, evil, dark skinned Elves was established, and when the Forgotten Realms setting was made into the official campaign setting for D&D back in the 80’s, the Drow were established to be even worse in that setting than they were originally.

More recently people at Wizards of the Coast have started to realize that just dismissing a group of people as inherently evil — not to mention making the way we can tell they’re evil be related to their skin color — is not great. So now there are Lolth worshipping Drow, and Drow who seek to mend fences with their cousins.  But still, most people have only heard of the Drow as sinister underground elves who kidnap and sell people into slavery, sacrifice them to their god Lolth (Lolth/Lloth is a whole deal on her own) and otherwise do bad stuff.

Okay, that’s the Queue for today. I’m hoping I’ll feel better and maybe even get some sleep soon. Take care of yourselves and make sure to ask Liz some questions, and if you want me to write herpetology Queue next week, be sure to ask questions about reptiles and amphibians in next Wednesday’s Queue.

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