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The QueueDec 5, 2023 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Peppermint Mocha

There comes a time every holiday season when I’m tired and really need to force myself into being jolly and bright. This is that time.

This is The Queue, the daily column where you ask us questions and we’ll answer while thoughtfully sampling a candy cane sharpened into a convenient shiv.


Q4tQ: What event today are you most excited for: new season for HSBG, new season for OW2, or the opening of the Abattoir of Zir in D4?

I’m actually pumped for the new season of HSBGs. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the anomalies. When I got one of the milder ones, like “everyone starts on tavern 2” or whatever, it was fine, but the ones which were truly game-altering were just plain annoying after a while. I would support a couple weeks with lobbies of “Oops All…” anomalies while I figure out which cards I’m rolling for every game got the axe, but beyond that I found them un-fun fairly quickly, so I’m glad for the change.

As a non-tank player, OW2‘s new season is more of the same, really, especially since all the holiday event stuff is sort of on its new rotation. New map to learn, and I may dink around with the new Hero trials, but the looming start of a new season in OW2 is just making me feel kinda tired. Considering everything I have going on IRL for the next couple months contributing to that exhausted feeling, I’m definitely not buying the enhanced battle pass this season, so I’m not even looking forward to the new stuff there. Even if I weren’t, the season theme is a little strange for this point in the year.

And continuing in the spirit of holiday honesty, I completely checked out of D4 when season 1 dropped. I was a bit behind the curve, since the game launched in the middle of summer, when I’m trying my hardest to come up with activities to force my kids to do something other than play video games inside all day. I finally finished the narrative campaign just in time for season 1 to launch, and it was so demoralizing I honestly don’t think I’ve booted up the game since then, beyond quick editorial fact checking. Abattoir of Zir seems cool and I’m happy for y’all, but it is so far at the bottom of the list I’m about to send Reno to find it.


Unofficial Q4tQ: How are repeat questions generally viewed? I wanted to ask the same question to each writer this week (I’m a day behind), but I’ve been curious whether the writers like these, or if people reading get annoyed by them.
Follow up Q4tQ: With the Game Awards on Thursday, what is your game of the year?

Keep on asking! And if you have a question we didn’t answer, keep asking those, too. What’s the worst that could happen? We don’t answer? You might as well.

I actually haven’t played it because I know it’ll consume my life as I know it, but just having consumed content about it secondhand, it’s absolutely Baldur’s Gate 3. There’s no question. Every other IP released this year is fighting amongst themselves for second place. Baldur’s Gate 3 is beyond massive in its scope for romance options alone. The gameplay can leave something to be desired if you want something more hack-n-slash, especially if you’re playing on console with a controller. However, every other aspect of this game is so masterfully done, it’s an experience unto itself.

I am, in some ways, hopeful that Baldur’s Gate 3 will spur some degree of change in the current trajectory of game development. It’s very much an old-school narrative RPG in a time when narrative RPGs are seen as lumbering dinosaurs not worth the cost of development. Unfortunately, I’m not sure whether having awards and clout and a universally declared good freakin game can balance out the sheer amount of cash to be made off cosmetics in live service games, but as someone who absolutely loves a skillful narrative, I do hope so. Maybe a little?


Q4tQ What game(s) were you hoping to play in 2023 that you just haven’t had time to?

Baldur’s Gate 3 and Starfield. Like I said, I know these games will consume my entire life. Similarly, as soon as House Flipper 2 releases I’m going to be all in on that for a while.

I really can’t justify buying a whole bunch of games right now, though. I’m in the middle of a cycle where I’m trying to pare down the list of games I already have and just haven’t gotten around to playing. I recently finished Amnesia: Rebirth, and Call of Cthulhu, but there are so many more games just waiting to be played. Unfortunately a lot of the ones I’m interested in right now don’t truly have endpoints, like Salt 2, or Graveyard Keeper. And I keep intending to play more Vampire Survivors, but there isn’t much of an endpoint there, either.

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