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The QueueMar 8, 2024 12:00 pm CT

The Queue is confuse(d)

I’ve spent all week scheduling Breakfast Topics at the wrong time, and now it’s Friday, the week is nearly over without a single success to its name. Well, I suppose there’s always next week. Let’s Queue.


Q4Liz: what is better — a doughnut earned and paid for, a doughnut freely given, or a doughnut stolen?

This is a very confusing question. Why am I stealing a doughnut in the first place? Where are these doughnuts? Are they even good doughnuts that are worth stealing? What’s my motivation?

But after careful consideration, I think in any circumstance a doughnut freely given is the best kind of doughnut, because it means someone cares about you enough to give you a doughnut. The doughnut, while potentially delicious, is a secondary concern in this equation.

Second would be a doughnut earned and paid for, a doughnut that you saw and wanted and fairly compensated its maker for.

However, the equation changes if it’s a bad doughnut.


Q4 – if you could have elite level skill for a mundane task/situation, what would it be (For example, “elite donut stealing skill”)

I would like one point in safely walking down stairs, please. I’m not a very well coordinated person in the first place, and sometimes I think my off-kilter vision — one of my eyes is foggy because of a brain tumor, and I’m missing some peripheral vision — sometimes makes me miss potential hazards, or not react to them in a timely way. This is extra hazardous with stairs, so I take a great deal of caution (usually) with them, to walk down them slowly, watch my feet, and hold something as I go. So, yes, while stealing doughnuts could be a valuable life skill (particularly for sneaking the last out of the box in the breakroom without anyone realizing), I would love the ability to move up and down stairs without occasionally falling on my face.


Q4TQ: What are your thoughts on Hearthstone’s monetization of diamond and signature cards? They currently cost $40 and $50 respectively with a couple packs thrown in for good measure. Seems way off the mark for me but it is the only way to target specific signature cards.

The pricing on some of these cosmetics is pretty over the top. These items are completely optional, with no gameplay impact, but they look really cool. So you want them! But these microtransactions are not so micro. It’s a hard sell to have a neat cosmetic skin that costs as much as a full box game.

Let’s look for example at the Signature of Ra-den Bundle, currently in the shop. It includes a Keeper of Ra-den legendary priest card with a very awesome tarot card style look, and also five Showdown in the Badlands packs. The bundle costs $50 — and with the cash value of the five packs of cards being about $5, that means you’re paying $45 for a single Hearthstone card. You’ll have decks that don’t use Ra-den. You’ll have games you’ll never draw the card. You spent $45 for it.

This is completely nuts, and I say this as someone who has spent money buying transmog in Diablo 4, so the bar for “completely nuts” microtransactions is really high. There are a few signature and diamond cards you can earn through gameplay, but most of them you get by buying them. This isn’t a prestige award, some visual indicator of your mastery of the game. It’s an indicator of the size of your wallet, which will have to be quite large if you buy any of these.

This purchase price is wildly outside of its value, even as a pretty digital bauble to admire. At least when I buy Hearthstone bartenders — I recently spent $5 to buy Tikilord Ragnaros and have no regrets — I have a cosmetic that I see (and in this case, hear) all the time. But spending $45 on a single, individual card? The value you get out of being able to look at pretty card art is minimal, at best.

But the fact that it’s poorly priced and not many people buy it doesn’t mean Blizzard will change it. They’re the only ones who can really do the math on “value” like that.



Which race has the worst emblem/tabard/arms and why is it Gilneas?

From a tabard perspective, specifically, I’ve always thought Forsaken got a bad deal. The sad face works fine on flags and banners, but when you drape it over your chest? Nope. This is a notable design flaw that should be considered whenever picking iconography for your nation: how is this going to look squished over someone’s chestplate? How does it look on women? How does it look on hunched-over Undead and Orcs? The answer is usually not good, but a face on a tabard is particularly not a good look.

Up your game, tabardmakers of Azeroth.


Do you have a favorite article you’ve written here? Least favorite? Why? Same question for off-site (plug your work!!!).

Not really. I write a lot of news stuff, practical stuff. Not like hard-hitting journalism, but like “this is the best MacBook to buy today.” And I edit a lot more than I write, so it’s hard for me to point out my “best” work. I’m here to do work to spec, as well as I can, and some of it’s better and some of it’s worse, but it’s hard to point out anything that’s the best.

I hope it’s all pretty good, though I do have a habit of spotting typos the second I hit publish on anything.


And that’s all for now friends. Take care, have a good weekend, and I’ll see you next week. ❤️

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