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The QueueNov 21, 2023 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Potpourri

One of my favorite things about The Queue is how completely random y’all can get sometimes.

This is The Queue, the daily column where you have a lot of off-the-wall questions and we’re just trying to keep up, man.


Q4tQ: How do you feel about all of the max-level-only end zones we seem to get with each new expansion? How do you think the devs feel about working so hard on them and then seeing them abandoned with each new expansion? Certainly I feel mixed. It’s a nice thing to have new zones to explore (although maybe not as quickly as they’ve been recently). But it’s kind of sad that I’ll probably never go back. If I create a new alt, I hit the current expansion as soon as I can which means skipping all those previously max-level areas. It would be really cool if those zones could be included in the leveling experience some how once an expansion is left behind. I never plan to go back to SL, but I might if I could level in Zereth Mortis.

For my two cents, I really enjoy the overarching idea they used in Legion and BfA, where we kept revisiting the expansion’s lowbie levels. I’ve always felt that levels gated solely to max level feel a little bit like a waste. Though, on the flip side, if a zone is completely deserted once the curve levels past it, maybe it’s the leveling zones which were a waste of resources.

In any case, slowly moving on and leaving zones behind is just kinda how WoW operates. It’s not like other games (Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm), where you’re kind of expected to have a deep knowledge of the specific maps. If you don’t know that there’s a weird cave in Duskwood with a bunch of Worgen in it or whatever, it’s not like not knowing you can just go up this one corridor and have free shots at the healers in the backline.


Q4tQ: what’s your favourite trope in books? The thing that no matter how many times you read it you always love it.

Same question but also with tv! I love a good “oh he’s right behind me isn’t he…”

When a character gets something they weren’t allowed to want. This cuts across all media. I love it every single time.

It pops up a lot in LGBTQ+ media — Brokeback Mountain is a great example. It also shows up a lot in early feminist media, like Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour,” when a woman’s husband dies, and although she’s a little sad about it — their marriage was okay, he wasn’t abusive or anything — she realizes that her husband dying actually affords her some kind of freedom. I even enjoy Stanzi Potenza’s NSFW (tiktoks? reels? whatever) about 19th century lesbians who have to pretend to be sad their husbands died. Shoot this trope directly into my veins.

Of course, this is also very negative at times — see also by Kate Chopin, “The Storm,” where a woman is conflicted between the persona of motherhood and wifehood, and a torrid one night stand where she’s realized as something more than those identities. Even in the cases where the participants are objectively horrible people doing horrible things, the outcomes of those ideas are always deeply interesting to read. There are lots of affairs in literature like that, which leads to a sort of Awakening — also the title of a novella by Kate Chopin.

Maybe I just really like Kate Chopin.


Q4TQ: I wonder, in an expansion about unity and harmony, will we get a surprise Pandaren heritage questline in .7 or .9? I feel like it would fit.

On the one hand, narratively, I’m totally on board with this. But on the other hand heritage armor and questlines tend to be something they lead with, because they tend to be very popular across a few different interest groups of the playing population.

I kinda feel like if they were going to pull a sneaky heritage armor out of their uh, hats, they would’ve already dropped a few (real) hints.


QfyourQ: Are you still harvesting any vegetables from your garden, or has it gone dormant for the winter? If so, what? If not, what are you planning for spring?

I have one black cherry tomato plant that hasn’t fully succumbed to frost yet, so I’m letting it just do its thing before I yank it, and I’m overwintering a datil pepper plant indoors — currently in the basement next to my christmas cactus — but other than that, I’m “done” for the season. Last weekend I dragged all the pots and planters to the back patio, raked up a whole bunch of leaves, and shoved them into the pots. This week I’m working on cutting back the bushes and all that for winter and also covering over the beds with raked leaves. Pretty soon: compost time.

I’m still trying to decide what I’m doing next spring! I got my (free, they won’t stop sending it) Baker Creek catalogue last week, so that was fun to leaf through, but I can’t fully commit until I do a bit more research. I’m in a very humid, hot little slice of 8a/8b, so a lot of the things that other gardeners usually rave about shrivel and die real hard in my summer temps. I need varietals that are very resistant to mildew, and I have to be extremely vigilant about rotating to prevent blight. Seminole pumpkins are definitely on my list as a result, as are a couple types of sweet peppers. Even if everything else croaks, those should thrive. I’m currently researching cucumber varieties, and Biet Alpha looks like a winner. I’m thinking about doing peanuts and carrots in my tomato planters from this year, but I may get a little kooky and go with chamomile. I’m also thinking about getting some glass gem corn, because popcorn is like, the one thing I can count on everyone in my family trying at least once, but I’m not sure I want to dedicate that much square footage. My son loved the spoon tomatoes last year, but my goal is to find a good, blight-resistant mid-size slicer. The huge ones tend to get way too big and break my plants, especially the indeterminates.

I always plant zinnias, marigolds, and nasturtiums as companions. I did lavender, wild mix bee balm, and some milkweed last year, and those are perennial in my zone, so those’ll hopefully come back too. My son has been asking about doing sunflowers, but I know if I do those, they’re going to be a volunteer forever, so I’m still torn.


With the notion of a bullet heaven like Vampire Survivors turning into a game mode within WoW, what other games do you want to see pop up?

This is a throwback and a half, but there was an incredibly popular addon that was unceremoniously and swiftly axed during Vanilla that is prime for a comeback. There used to be an addon that allowed you to play poker in a few different rulesets with people in close proximity to your character — i. e., with your raid members while you were hanging out between pulls.

As I recall it was yoinked because this was back when player-run quote-unquote “casinos” were becoming popular, so it was swept up in an anti-gambling, something something, you have to state odds for things in certain jurisdictions, etc, wave of putting the kibosh on these. The player casinos were basically just a new way to scam players, so I get it. But I truly miss having some kind of collaborative minigame to play in short bursts with my raiding buddies.


Q4tQ What is your favorite “obscure” Christmas song? Mine is “Christmas Time Again” by Extreme

I’m not sure how obscure it is, but even finding a decent recording on YouTube is proving to be a pain, so I’m counting it. The harmonies of The Holly And The Ivy are among my favorite, especially the “running” countermelody in the altos and baritones during the chorus. The lyrics also point very slyly at the pagan origins of Christmas traditions, explaining painstakingly verse by verse that no, no, the blossoms on the holly are because Mary, or something! It’s not because of sympathetic magic worked near the solstice or its reputation as an herb of protection against the dangers of the dark of winter! You can still do that stuff, but now it’s about Jesus, dang it!

I do still love it as a Christmas carol, but Anglicans are so unintentionally hilarious sometimes.

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