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The QueueMar 20, 2024 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: A ninja at the jinja

Pirates are cool and all, but ninjas are where it’s at.

SPENCE (スペンス)

So what’s everyone think about keeping Plunderstorm a secret until release? Do you think it’s going to go over well overall, or did keeping it under wraps completely and letting people build it up in their heads backfire?

I’m not interested in the event personally, but I’m also not really upset that it’s not for me, since I managed to leave hype trains behind awhile ago. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say I’m much too old to keep up with them anymore and they blew past me.

All this really means for me is that WoW won’t interfere with playing Princess Peach: Showtime on Friday, and then finally getting around to 13 Sentinels since I finished Unicorn Overlord.

A lot of people are unwilling to even try PVP modes — something I can’t blame them for, honestly. We don’t have any concrete or official numbers, but empirical evidence seems to indicate that the majority of the playerbase focuses on PVE more than PVP. It’s true that Plunderstorm has some PVE elements — and the developers have stated that it’s possible to acquire plunder and earn the rewards even by sticking mostly to the PVE parts of the mode, though we don’t know as of yet how effective that will be. But the core experience of PVP — which invariably involves meeting hostile players and being forced to engage in fight or flight — is still there, meaning that anyone who wants no part in that will probably have a hard time enjoying this event.

Therefore, keeping this mode fully under wraps for months may have backfired a little. Even if the developers claim that they created no hype, and that the hype for this “secret patch” was community-made, the fact is that giving out no information and then spending months teasing the playerbase with pirate flags on social media will inevitably get people talking, speculating, and creating expectations. And what happens when a community that is far more focused on PVE than PVP creates expectations about a new, “secret” patch? Well, they clearly don’t think (or hope) it’ll end up being a big PVP mode.

As a result, we’re seeing some excitement, but also a lot of negativity mixed in with some indifference. Thankfully, some people who aren’t big on PVP are still willing to give this mode the benefit of the doubt and at least try it; but there’s also a contingent of players who have already taken to not only swearing it off without even giving it a chance, but actually making sure to spread that negativity as much as possible — almost as if Blizzard had “promised” them something that didn’t end up fitting the expectations they created for themselves.

MOVEWOW (ムーブワウ)

Q4TQ: What do you think about opening up Plunderstorm to anyone that wants to play it without a WoW subscription? It might be good for WoW. It would allow a lot of people to play it and maybe some of them might stay around. It might even get a much younger group of people interested in WoW. That is as long as they stay off of my lawn! :D

I think that’s a fantastic idea, and it’s honestly a huge mistake that they didn’t do it that way. Especially considering that this is a temporary mode (at least as of now), it would work kind of like when they have special weekends where players can try their other games (like Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2) for free.

It would attract players who absolutely wouldn’t be playing the game otherwise — and if even a small percentage of those players actually enjoyed it and end up deciding to stick with it? That’s a win for Blizzard. So yes, I absolutely agree with you that that’s how they should have handled it.

ENO (エノ)

If Heroes of the Storm were to include new pirate uniform skins for all their characters, which one would you most want to see being a sea rover?

D.Va. Her mech would be all black with a huge Jolly Roger, and details that resembled sails. And baby D.Va would, of course, be dressed like a pirate, with an eyepatch and a cutlass and a hook hand. It’s perfect; you get the pirate and you get the ship. And you get a cute D.Va skin. Perfect!

KALCHEUS (カルキアス)

Q4tQ What are your thoughts on the rewards for the Whizbang’s Workshop Battle Pass?

As of writing this, I’ve played exactly two games since the expansion launched — one of Constructed and one of Battlegrounds — and I’ve already unlocked the Porcelain Scarlet skin. We interrupt this showcase of cool ninjas to showcase this cool Death Knight:

I’m pretty happy so far.

SJHAWK (エスジェイホーク)

What is this “Pirate Survivors” concept you’ve been speaking of lately?

Last November, two lines were datamined within the WoW client for patch 10.2.5 that read as such:

  • 10.2.5 – Vampire Survivors Mode – Game Mode – Client Scene (OJF)
  • 10.2.5 – Vampire Survivor Mode – Data – Creatures

This was around the time that the whole pirate flag speculation began. So some people figured that the pirate flag could refer to this Vampire Survivors-like mode in WoW — featuring pirates instead of vampires.

And I inhaled copious amounts of hopium, because I love Vampire Survivors. As a wise man once said about it: “This game rules so hard. I wish Italians were real.”

GLOWING METEOR CARROT (グローイング・メテオ・カロット)

Is there a lore reason the game ends when a Persona MC dies surrounded by his friends who could easily revive him?

This is in reference to the fact that when your allies fall in battle in Persona games, they lie there unconscious, and you can use an item or a spell to revive them; but if your main character’s HP hits zero, you get an instant game over; you don’t have the option to have a different party member use an item or spell to revive your protagonist.

I think it’s mostly a game mechanic rather than something with lore relevance. It’s a way for the game to ensure that the player focuses on their main character — protecting them, giving them the best items, and just making them stronger than everyone else in general — while simultaneously working as a way to increase immersion. This design decision makes the player feel like the character they’re playing as absolutely can’t fall in battle; otherwise, they’ll have to at best start the current battle over, or at worst lose some progress since the last time they saved the game.

It works. It makes you more careful when playing, which in turn puts you more into your protagonist’s shoes without even realizing it.

Beneath the jinja’s midnight shroud,
A lone ninja, in silence, bowed,
Her presence found.

With fiery locks, a ginger mane,
Despite her hurt, she bore no pain,
Not a whisper, not a sound.

This mysterious intruder
Held no malice, no ill humor,
In peace she was bound.

In the hallowed halls, solace flew,
Only there, her spirit grew,
Within that sacred ground.

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