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The QueueOct 26, 2023 11:59 am CT

The Queue: I’m sick so this Queue will be all over the place.

It’s the Queue. I have COVID. I apologize in advance for my tenuous grip on coherence.

Well, more tenuous. Anyway, stealing Cory’s bit, I’m listening to Celldweller. I’m also hacking up my lungs but I have no idea how often Cory does that.

Q4tQ: Why are we made out of meat?

Because our ancestors are, and their genes are encoded for the production of said meat, which is made up of water and several organic compounds created through the use of protein chains. As I am not an organic chemist, I can only tell you that said proteins are created on a cellular level and are essentially woven together into our bodies as we grow.

Ultimately, we can see a variety of other options for biological life just on this one planet we have observational details for — fungus, molds, even plants with their variety of options for what you could call their ‘flesh’ if you wanted to sound pretty creepy about it from wood to cellulose structures.

At one point in the evolutionary development of life on earth, our own distant ancestors, the LUCA (last universal common ancestor, the thing from which all life on earth descends) started the ball rolling on speciation by having offspring with different features and now, here we are billions of years later not looking anything like fungus but still more closely related to it than we are microsporidia, which is still more closely related to us than cyanobacteria.

While all of this life was evolving, one ancestor had DNA that encoded for a certain kind of protein based integument and that ancestor branched off from the rest of the Eukaryotes, and we owe our meatiness to it.


Q4MattRossi: What are the best games to play while on a harsh fever?

I don’t know yet, that’s why I asked you guys. To be fair, while my wife has been really suffering and is essentially bedridden, I’ve been relatively fortunate in that the main victim of all of this in my body seems to be my throat and I mostly am coughing a lot and speaking with a sepulchral voice that sounds like Withers from Baldur’s Gate 3 if he was raised by fast talking Italian-Americans from Rhode Island. So my fever isn’t super high, knock on wood.


Q4tRossiQueue: I’ve been playing a ton of Starfield, which has me wanting to give Cyberpunk 2077 a try now that I know I can do FPS games and not be completely horrible at them. What would you recommend for someone completely new to the game and with little knowledge of the setting and mechanics?

  • Start your first playthrough on Normal, because you’re playing as a vulnerable sack of meatless cyberware for the first 10 or so levels and you will need time to learn the ropes. And I would heartily recommend playing all three lifepaths through their intro sections, just to get a feeling for which suits you.
  • Pick out an archetype in your head and aim your efforts at getting the hallmarks of that archetype as soon as possible. Do you want to be a borged out Solo, solving all your problems with physical violence? Then Body and Tech are your friends. If you’re more interested in being a Netrunner, then Intelligence and Cool are solid choices.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 is set in a world that is in many ways fantastic, but while you’ll see AI’s that can do things you’d almost swear had to be magic, there isn’t anything supernatural in the world. Everything you get, you’ll pay for, one way or another.
  • The genre informs the game. Get ready for some really bleak moments that will showcase how Night City is almost a living predatory thing that you need to fight to survive.


Q4tRossieQueue: What is/are the thread(s) that hold Warcraft Lore together?

Remember my answer to 6k? In a very real way, just as we are made of meat because the ancestor of all animal life took a deviating step from its relatives that would go on to become plants, and fungi, and so on, Warcraft and all of its lore derive from the moment Blizzard decided to come up with a unique justification for why Orcs were fighting Humans.

It would have been easy to not bother. The maps could have been made generic, they could have just sanded off the GDW Warhammer IP and called it a day. But in the end, they didn’t do that — while it would be hard to argue that Warcraft started out as a wholly unique, new, original take on the whole fantasy trope of big green monsters versus generically European people it is clear that elements of Warcraft: Orcs and Humans aimed to flesh out who these Orcs and Humans are, what they’re fighting over and why it matters who wins or loses.

The lore of the various games that followed and the expanded Warcraft universe that exists today was all built to meet that need in new ways as new games went in different directions. We have the elaborate edifice of World of Warcraft because players need things to do, and thus, those things need to be created, and they need to make sense to us — they must fit into the framework that’s evolved over the years to justify previous games and why their players were doing what they were doing.

The reason Warcraft Orcs are a complex people with both heroic deeds and vile, evil ones in their past is to justify how each game has made use of them. From Ner’zhul and Gul’dan to Thrall, from the demon blood drinking Horde to the backbone of the modern Horde, Orcs have changed to fit the games that they’ve been in. The same is true for everyone else — we didn’t even have Night Elves before Warcraft 3.

The unifying principle of Warcraft lore is that it is purpose built, that it is derived from what came before, that it will change what came before if it needs to in order to be useful in whatever comes next. It is purpose built.


Bad game idea of the day: I’ve been reading a bit about the WoW Classic Hardcore and then the idea suddenly struck me: Naked Unarmed Hardcore, for the leets of all leets. Are you tough enough!?

I am currently on a drug cocktail that makes my mouth taste as if an Inostrancevia empties its digestive tract in it, a taste I can’t clear or get to go away except by overwriting it with stronger ones to the point where I’m enjoying the taste of Buckley’s cough syrup.

Buckley’s is a uniquely Canadian cough syrup that literally tastes like a Pine Tree did bad things to me. Ordinarily it induces full body shudders. Today? Today it’s preferable to the baseline taste of the inside of my mouth.

I already am on hardcore mode in my day to day. I am neither tough enough nor inclined to make my games any harder than they have to be to be enjoyable.


D&D QftQ:

DM is making noises about Dragonlance as our next campaign.

My recent characters have been:
Human Wizard
Human paladin
Warforged Light Cleric
High Elf Arcane Trickster Rogue
High Elf Mystic (UA psychic caster, abandoned right before they got it right…le sigh….)

I’m completely uninterested in druids or barbarians. Warlocks are deadly dull (“I cast Eldritch Blast!”).

Thoughts or suggestions for a character?

Dragonlance has a lot of weird concepts as Krynn is a weird place, but my favorite character from when I was playing it was a Minotaur Fighter named Nolote Occidere. Unlike most Krynn Minotaurs, Nolo was a personable, fun loving, curious and even friendly (as Minotaurs go) fellow who was one day seized by wanderlust and left his native island of Kothas to explore the world and meet new people.

His name was chosen by him and means I don’t want to murder you in Kothan, the language of most Minotaurs on Krynn. So, basically I’d say find a stock archetype of Krynn — mine was all Minotaurs are racists who view others as lessers and want to wipe them out, yours could be All Gully Dwarves are stupid and cowardly or All Kender steal everything — and deliberately make a character who wholesale rejects it.

Okay, that’s the end of Matthew’s Sickbed Queue, written not from Matthew’s Sickbed because I don’t have a portable computer to do that. Take care, hopefully by next week I will be on the mend.

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Filed Under: Nolote Occidere

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