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The QueueFeb 28, 2024 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Twas the Night Before Leap Day

Tomorrow is February 29 aka Leap Day. It feels like it should be notable in some way, but it really isn’t (unless you were born that day). Heck, “Leap” feels wrong too — it’s more of a Padding Day to keep the calendar aligned with the seasons. Maybe if February 29 was the norm and every four years we skipped it we could use the term Leap Year, but it’s honestly more a step back than a jump forward.

Julius Caesar is given credit for implementing Leap Day and frankly he does deserve it even if the math behind it wasn’t his own. What a lot of people don’t know is that 46 BC was actually 445 days to get the calendar fixed first — the Romans were off by almost three months in their festival timing before this was done. Forget being born on February 29 — can you imagine being born on one of those extra days? You’d never celebrate your birthday again!

In any case February gets an extra day this year so be sure to spend it with your loved ones.


Q4TQ: Do you think retail WoW will do a Winds of Wisdom buff before The War Within? If so, when?

I do! For those who don’t remember, previous versions of the Winds of Wisdom buff provided a 50% experience gain so players who were bored with their mains could level alts while waiting for Dragonflight to arrive. Of course there ended up being an experience squish after it ended anyway, but by then you’re ready to get back to your main.

I expect a similar timing — after Season 4 has been sufficiently experienced the Winds of Wisdom buff will return, perhaps alongside patch 10.2.7. While we don’t have any firm dates for the next few patches, it seems most likely we won’t see it until May at the earliest.


Q4tQ: Why does anyone think that, with her powers, Azshara wouldn’t dump the undersea format as quickly as she could? Naga could rock legs and snake tails or something. Problem solved.


I’m not sure if Azshara actually has the power to radically alter the form of all her Naga subjects, but even if she did — why would she? Naga are completely amphibious, able to move well on both land and in water. The only advantage legs would have would be increased land speed, but there’s magic and chariots to overcome that. Sure your collection of decorative anklets and boots is woefully thin, but there’s still plenty of opportunity for fashion with a long tail.

It’s also been ten thousand years, and I reckon most subjects have no memory of a bipedal existence. You’re asking your people to become taller murlocs and I don’t see them thinking that’s an upgrade.


Q4tQ: Did they remove the Season cap for Crests?

They did! You no longer need to worry about doing too much in game.

To be honest, I think it’s pretty silly to have a cap on any but the Heroic or Mythic-equivalent crests, but they never ask my opinion on these matters.


Aren’t there supposed to be two promotions today? I see the Frost Tabard from Prime gaming, but what’s the other one?

Only one new promotion today: the Tabard of Frost is free from Prime Gaming as you mentioned. There are going to be two new promotions on Friday to coincide with the start of March and a new Trading Post, and I’d be willing to bet those are new collectibles from the Online Store, i.e. not free. That said, it is weird to list two of them if they’re both from the shop, so it’s possible will get something new on the shop and a Twitch Drop or similar as well.


Are you picking up Shashingo? I know you and Red are on the Learning Japanese shinkansen.

While this looks cute I’m not really sure when I’d have time to actually learn Japanese this way. My brain is exceedingly slippery, and what I like about Duolingo is that it’s convenient to use (and that owl won’t leave you alone if you miss a day) so I’m using it frequently. With Shasingo I don’t think I’d get as much out of it because of all the peripheral activities within the game plus the fact I don’t sit in front of my PC every day. I did add it to my Wish List though, just in case I change my mind.


Q4TQ: what’s your opinion on Hero Talents? It seems like the community as a whole was really hyped about them when they were first announced, but the sentiment seems to have turned around as Blizzard has been revealing the trees. People are concerned about a new Covenant situation, where players are “forced” to pick the “best” Hero Spec rather than the one with the fantasy (or gameplay) they prefer. What do you think?

My opinion is: How is anyone surprised by this anymore? This has happened every single expansion! Flavor is always sacrificed for utility or power by the larger World of Warcraft community. ALWAYS.

At this point the only way I would be shocked is if the developers introduced a new feature with no choices and a note saying “we give up.” The task is Sisyphean and I do not envy them.

Red also wondered how I’d fix it and the answer is pretty straightforward: stop adding new optional talents and instead add new specs that are talent-free. You want choices? Ok, you can choose to be Arcane, Frost, Fire, Frostburn, or Laserburn spec. When the next expansion comes out we’ll add the Icylight spec. Expansion after that? Chronoblast. Each spec would have a different playstyle and set of animations, and the rotation/priority would be essentially fixed.

Then all they’d have to do is direct balance specs. They wouldn’t have to worry about whether the choice of Talent A or Talent B in combination with Spec X or Spec Y impacts a person’s place on a raid team. It would make everyone’s job easier.

Of course a large number of the current community would hate this, but I feel this is where we’re at now. Despite the fact that the vast majority of the playerbase shouldn’t care about min-maxing, it’s so ingrained in the personality of the game that it’s unavoidable. And yes, there will always be a “top spec” but at least the number of choices everyone has to worry about would be reduced to one.


I recently saw a screenshot from the preface of the first Chronicle where Metzen wrote “in the wake of all this… history…” which makes it sound as though it was intended to be ambiguous from the start, can you confirm?

Not that it excuses the marketing around it, but I had forgotten that, if it’s real

The full quote is:

It’s from this top-down view that we can more clearly see the dangerous yet glorious horizons ahead. And even in the face of all this … history … I’m fairly certain that the adventure is only just beginning!

The italicization of “history” is a callback to this earlier comment:

At the core of it all lies a real sense of … history. The overarching story of Warcraft is a vast, intertwining patchwork of myths, legends, and world-shaking events that ultimately contextualize the players’ heroic efforts in the ever-expanding world they share.

Others might disagree with me, but I don’t think this is suggesting the current “just one perspective” of Chronicles — in fact, I see the opposite. Because if the point is to contextualize the adventure, a shifting perspective undermines that.

Not that I have a problem with the modern approach, I just don’t see evidence that it was intended from the start.


Q4TQ: Fix mythic+ by deleting the on “death” affix row (Bursting, Bolstering, Raging, Sanguine, Spiteful) and replace it with a kiss-curse seasonal affix? We keep Fortified/Tyrannical and the gameplay altering affix (Afflicted, Entangling, Incorporeal, Storming, Volcanic).

Sure, why not?

That’s all the time and space we have for questions and answers today! Be sure to ask plenty of Leap Day questions for Matt, and don’t forget to put out salad and garum tonight for when Julius Caesar comes down your chimney!

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