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The QueueJan 16, 2024 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Appreciating the Bangles edition

I very rarely follow a Cory queue, so I don’t often get an earworm. I did switch with Anna this week — but I’m still not following a Cory queue because the divine Liz P was up yesterday. Fortunately(?) she replicated Cory’s earworm formula and so I’ll be writing this queue by a crystal blue Italian stream. Unfortunately the weather forecast is:

Look aroundLeaves are brownAnd the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Oh wait, that’s a different Bangles song. Fun facts: Manic Monday was written by Prince, and A Hazy Shade of Winter was originally a Paul Simon song performed by Simon & Garfunkel. If I had to pick just one Bangles song, though, it would be In Your Room which while a top 5 at the time is largely ignored now. Probably because Walk Like an Egyptian is just as iconic of the band as Manic Monday so those two get all the airtime.

Long story short, they should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside the Go-Go’s and Pat Benatar. Hopefully they’ll be 2024 nominees.

Anyway, while I clearly have an eternal flame for the Bangles, let’s actually answer some questions!


Currently noon-ish, and -3 degrees fahrenheit. Warmest daytime temp in like a week. Which means I should go play a character in Northrend, right?

In those conditions I’d be more likely to play in Tanaris or Stranglethorn Vale to keep warm. When it’s cold outside in the real world I’m not as interested in the northern climes as I am typically.



1) if you could add any new animals/beasts to the game for your hunters to tame, what would you add?

2) if you could allow Hunters to tame a new minion type through a new Tome, which would you choose?

3) what are your favorite pets you’ve ever tamed?

1) Koalas. But I want them to go full “drop bear” and actually attack from above. Also, while some of the Shadowlands creatures are tamable via undead taming, not all of them are. I’d like to be able to tame the model that looks like a Balrog beast.

2) If it’s going to be a tome minion, I’m thinking there needs to a new set of “Elemental” minions. While they would still be bestial in appearance (obviously) they would be composed entirely of elemental energy. A wolf of pure flame would be great, as would a scalehide of rock. It would allow Hunters to have a more elemental flair to their stable.

3) Besides my first boar Baldrick who I’ve written about before, I have to say my favorite pet is Deesa. If you read the comments on Wowhead you’ll see the same concerns that I had about her being left behind after the Survival artifact quest chain — so I tamed a similar model to name Deesa and headcanon that my Highmountain Tauren survival hunter brought her back with him.


So what’s Gilneas being reclaimed from anyway?

The ravages of time.

But seriously, the enemy that our players will be facing off against are one many players will be familiar with from previous expansions (I’m being deliberately vague for those who don’t want to be spoiled). To be honest it’s an odd choice and I’m interested into why they were chosen. Hopefully it’ll be for real narrative reasons and not just because they’ve been punching bags in the past.


Q4tQ: At max level, should Blizz let us use rested exp for rep grinds? Sure it isn’t the perfect fix, but it would be better than nothing when you return from a long break or go back to farm rep from several expansions ago, so make certain rep / renown grinds more tolerable.

That’s an excellent idea but I’ll be honest I sincerely doubt it’s something the system has been programmed to handle. The mechanics would be particularly awkward since different reputations have different scales and requirements (would the buff fall off after you’ve earned X rep in total across all reputations, or would it be each reputation is considered separately? What happens when you do the initial Frenzyheart/Oracle quests with their fluctuating reputation rewards?). It would thus likely require an entire extra layer of data to manage and oh look Warbands are coming and it could feasibly be programmed into them.

That said, the developers probably already feel the Warband system is enough of a fix to the grind that more isn’t necessary, but yeah, that would be a nice additional touch.


1) What rare drops in WoW are you still chasing?

2) How would you retool the WoW hunter class if it was going to be added to Diablo IV?

3) What are you reading?

1) Right now the only thing I’m actively trying to get is the Fyrakk Legendary by sending a toon to kill him in LFR each week. There’s other stuff I want — the Sylvanas Legendary bow at the top of the list — but in most cases I’ve gotten bored of farming the item or am waiting for it to be a lot easier to farm. Of course, patch 10.2.5 drops today so I’m sure there will be something new and shiny I want.

2) I’m honestly not sure the Hunter class would be appropriate for D4. It would end up being some amalgamation of Witch Doctor and Demon Hunter/Rogue that wouldn’t stand out enough on its own to justify being a separate class (in my opinion).

3) Just finished a run of manga titles so I hope to get back to the books that Goodreads says I’m “currently reading” even though I haven’t opened them for awhile. Those titles are:

  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  • Beers and Beards #1: An Adventure Brewing by JollyJupiter
  • What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher


QftQ – What MMO would you make single player, and conversely, what single player game would you make a MMO?

Many MMOs have been “single playering” their games for awhile now. Final Fantasy 14 has made it so that you can complete the entire story across all expansions solo, and World of Warcraft is adding Follower Dungeons this week to make things easier for players who prefer not to group with others. I think at this point in the MMO industry lifecycle is certainly makes sense to diminish the multiplayer requirement of MMOs and I expect all of them to move in that direction. World of Warcraft has a long way to go, though, so they’re my answer here.

As for a converting a single player game to an MMO I feel there’s one obvious choice: Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. This game would be an excellent setting for an MMO. Alas there’s no sign of a single player sequel so an MMO is likely a pipe dream.



If the hints about AI automation are true and Hair Under Hats is a possibility, does being used for something probably popular make it OK, or do you fear the Slippery Slope?

Because frankly, I think we need to go John Connor Resistance on AI while we still can :D

Prefacing my answer with a disclaimer: I am not an expert (or even an amateur) when it comes to AI and/or art programming.

That said, I don’t understand what makes Hair Under Hats any more of an “AI” feature than the ability to remove people from images automatically via photoshop. Back in the day if you wanted a picture of the Taj Mahal with no tourists you had to painstakingly remove every one from the image. Nowadays photoshop will do it for you automatically if you take pictures of it over an extended period of time.

I’m also seeing commercials where phone cameras can choose the best face of each individual in the group to create a composite shot. It seems to me that this technology is the same as what people are hyping/deploring as “AI”: the ability to craft a new image using reference images. If there is a slippery slope, we’ve been on it for awhile.

Obviously I’m against AI stealing other people’s legitimate work to craft final products derived from them without credit or recompense, but in-house use to render new images based on previous images you created? I don’t honestly see an issue.

That’s all the time I have for questions today. Here’s a boopable picture of Marshmallow the Shark to hopefully bring you all Vault Luck!

Have a great day, enjoy patch 10.2.5, and be sure to ask Anna plenty of questions!

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