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The QueueFeb 8, 2024 11:59 am CT

The Queue: Disney spent 1.5 billion dollars to get Epic to make a Disney version of Fortnite

We are one step closer to a future where hyperactive AI wearing corporations like armor suits do battle through global media consumption. I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if I live to see us in tanks with wires directly into our brains playing this game Disney and Epic are going to make.

It’s the Queue. I’m terrified of the future.


I was actually very disappointed with the Chronicles books for the very reason mentioned above (in the article). I too, thought “GREAT!! Definitive lore!!” And it was beautiful. I read the first one eagerly, though I didn’t much like that the book presented a bit retcon (as far as I know). That the Tribunal of the Ages, which was supposed to be a big discovery in Wrath, was a big lie. But hey, at least it was DEFINITIVE, right??


Too much retconning shreds the story, making any revelation no longer meaningful, because they can CHANGE it (it was a LIE, or a MISTAKE, or THEY DIDN’T MEAN IT). I know some are probably done as fan-service (bringing Illidan back) and Liam O’Brien’s over-the-top performance in Legion makes it all worth it, but when SO MUCH is retconned so often, can we even believe in the story being told? Should we invest in the lore at all?

The Tribunal of Ages itself was a retcon, which in some ways contradicted what the Discs of Norgannon said about the world back in Vanilla. And it was even the same kind of retcon, in that it didn’t directly contradicted, but by presenting information that was new to us helped to flesh out the setting.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the Tribunal of Ages was always suspect. The actual Discs of Norgannon were down in Uldaman, and we’d already found, accessed, and ascertained what they  had to say about the Titans and their creations on Azeroth. It became clear very quickly that Loken, who was the one in control of Ulduar and its smaller satellite facilities like the Halls of Stone and Lightning.

Just by adventuring around the Storm Peaks we learn that Loken is a liar and a traitor who serves Yogg-Saron. The fact that we took the Tribunal of Ages as accurate doesn’t mean that we should be surprised to discover it was instead a lie created by him, and it doesn’t contradict much of anything in the game’s lore for that reveal to now be established. It’s a retcon purely in the sense that it is retro-actively adding new story, but it’s not one that actually contradicts anything except our assumptions.

I think you and I have vastly different ideas of how long form serialized storytelling should treat the idea of continuity. While I think we would both be likely to agree that continuity in storytelling is what makes this kind of story distinctive, I think there is and has to be room for change in order for a game to grow.

One example is Diablo 4 and the changes they’re making to the area called Torajan in Diablo 2. The new name, Nehantu, is one that the dev team decided to use because Torajan is the name of a real group of people. In Diablo 2, that region is called Torajan, and so in Diablo 4 it’s revealed that the name ‘Torajan’ was what outsiders called the place, and that the people who live there call it Nehantu. This is something that happens often in real life and history — just look at the different names for Germany, for one example.

It’s a retcon, but it’s one that doesn’t contradict but expands what we knew before. Continuity isn’t meant to shackle the people making the story, but to facilitate them, and a retcon that expands upon what we previously believed — even if it contradicts some or all of what we thought we knew — is only as good or bad as the storytelling that comes out of it.

I haven’t seen any complaints that they retconned the city of Stonewind into Stormwind, or that they retconned the origin of the Elves so that some weird purple Elves from a continent nobody in Warcraft 1 or 2 had ever heard of all of a sudden, or that the Orcs weren’t inherently evil, or even that the religion of the Humans in WC2 was no longer worshipping God, but instead the Light. All of these retcons expanded Warcraft as a franchise and Azeroth as a setting, and they all happened well before the Tribunal of Ages was even anything anyone had ever known about.


I don’t believe in the Mandela Effect

In the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds Charles MacKay wrote one of the first books studying the way groups of people think and how their thoughts can influence the thoughts of others and create bizarre public ‘manias’ such as the Tulip Mania of the Dutch Republic. Much of his work studied economic bubbles, where the cost of a commodity would change rapidly for no reason aside from speculation on future profits to be made, and which saw rapid inflation of the value followed by a sharp decline or crash.

The Mandela Effect is basically a public delusion without the accompanying financial bubble effect — if people could somehow make money off of people believing that Sinbad starred as a Genie in a movie named Shazaam to the point where it became a small economic crisis, then it would happen. People collectively remembering things that do not appear to have happened do not have to be experiencing alternate universes, they can just be wrong.


I bought a BW 9th Anniversary t-shirt just now.

Thank you very much.


My gnome warrior does a cute little flip on the trash kicking quest.

I’m just happy that you have a Gnome Warrior, I always thought they were a lot of fun. Here’s mine.


The heck do you mean there’s a Moana 2 being made

That was my exact reaction to the news that Denzel Washington is going to star in Gladiator 2 alongside Pedro Pascal, Connie Nielsen, Derek Jacobi and Djimon Honsou. No, really. Honestly I think Moana is a better fit for a sequel than Gladiator.


Q4tQ: how many features in a game is too many? Asking because I just watched the game features video for FF7Rebirth and holy carp there is so much. >_< I’m sure that, while playing the game, it’ll be introduced slowly and I’ll have time to get used to it, but hearing about a bunch of new systems and minigames and I can’t even remember whatever else all at once was just a lot.

And I just remembered that the game is going to have crafting and weapon upgrading, which the video didn’t even mention. Gah.

I mean, I think it comes down to how much all those features make you feel like you have to do all of them at once, essentially transforming a fun game into a second job. I love Cyberpunk 2077 and with Phantom Liberty the game  now has a ton of features — you can get into run and gun fights in your car or on your bike, clear out gigs for money and street cred, go to air drops in Dogtown and get loot, hunt down Cyberpsychos, right powerful gang lords, steal cars for a fixer in a series of missions, there is a lot.

But I never feel like I have to do any of it. I can play the game at whatever speed feels good to me — pursue romances, run through V’s story quests, take side quests that reveal new details about the world around Night City, and it never feels like a job or a task. Similarly, I loved ACOdyssey and that had so many options but I always felt like I was in control of doing them or not. Kind of interesting that you play a mercenary in both those games.

So from my perspective, if FFVII Rebirth doesn’t make you feel shoehorned into anything, I think all of that potential content is just sauce to be relished with the game’s meal of story.

Okay, that’s the Queue. Talk to y’all soon, I hope.

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