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The QueueApr 3, 2024 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: People die and Valeera dances

“Why won’t she stop dancing?” wonders A. F. Kay amidst her studies, before taking a bite of her sandwich and a sip of her coffee. A study-appropriate version of Daughter of the Sea begins to play on her [Gnomish Ear-Covering Ensmallened Soundblasters 7000-X]. “Why?”


Q4TQ: Do you think Plunderstorm ends with season four launch?

It’s possible. There are two likely dates for Plunderstorm to be shut down: the launch of Dragonflight Season 4 — April 23rd — and the release of patch 10.2.7, which we guess will be early May. Either of those dates would give a reasonable amount of time for players to try out the mode and earn the rewards (though the latter would be better, obviously).

However, even if that’s the case, the game mode might return in the future. In a recent interview, General Manager for the Warcraft Franchise John Hight stated that “if [they] get (to) a point where [they] can see the players want a new event or engagement, [they] can fire up a Plunderstorm or [they] can fire up some other event. And [they] are planning a lot of different kinds of events like that.”

I find it highly unlikely that Plunderstorm — with all the work that went into it, and even the mere fact that it takes place in a completely separate area from the Retail and Classic servers — will be just this one-time thing. It’ll come back, and if I had to guess, it’ll have some brand-new rewards when it does.


What is the best Hearthstone standard and battlegrounds hero portraits?

For Standard: Diao Chan Valeera. It’s a pretty old one at this point, but it’s beautiful. I still haven’t found one I liked more (though a couple of the Aranna ones like Felfirework and Emo-Rock came close).

For Battlegrounds: Study Kay — a Legendary skin in which Mage extraordinaire A. F. Kay does her best Lofi Girl impression — is literally perfect. Literally. I wish I could use it more, but sadly there are too many heroes in Battlegrounds, so you don’t get to use specific skins that often.


What part of 10.2.7 are you most looking forward to?

Since we have no idea what Pandamonium is, I’m gonna go with the Draenei heritage armor. But I’m simultaneously excited and worried.

I really, really hope they take inspiration from Draenei concept art and design something that encompasses their shamanistic side — rather than yet another paladin-like white and gold armor with purple crystals (seriously, we have enough of those already). Give me something that references one of the biggest appeals the Draenei race originally had; something that bridges the gap between the Draenei and the Broken, something fresh and unique to celebrate the race.


What’s your favorite item on the April trading post?

There’s not much I want in there this month, but I do feel the need to resub in order to collect my Tendies and get the Gossamer Emerald Gown. I love that dress model; I never expected Blizzard to add HD versions of it to the game one day, but they did, and I’ve been happily collecting them — this is gonna be the fourth one, after the yellow , magenta, and teal versions.


How’s Unicorn Overlord so far?

Great! The game starts out a bit basic, but about 8-10 hours in you’ll be presented with a certain story battle that clearly marks the end of the tutorial and the start of the “real game.” That battle has very important story implications and it’s simply much more epic in scale than anything up to that point. Not only does it give you a taste of the true potential of the game, it opens up the story and world a lot.

Since reaching that point, the game has definitely become pretty compelling, and I can’t wait to play more.


Q4tQ: do you have a favorite Final Fantasy game? Because this is mine, and also, I’m old.

You’re not that old.

For the longest time, I considered mine to be Queue-favorite Final Fantasy 6 as well. But as of late, I’ve noticed that I find myself more compelled by the narrative, general theme, and characters of Final Fantasy 7.

Granted, it’s not exactly a fair comparison. FF6 was made in the ‘90s and stayed pretty much untouched since then, while FF7 kept getting new material over the following decades — which means more story, more depth to its events, more nuance to its characters. If FF6 had received the same treatment, perhaps the two games could stand side-by-side in terms of just how much breadth and depth each one has for us to judge them. But as things are, even a dumb FF7 character like Cait Sith can get new story development and become more interesting and compelling — whereas FF6 is stuck with the same original one-note Umaro as it was in 1994.

However, while there’s this debate between the two, and FF7 probably wins in characters and theme, while FF6 certainly wins in music — it has my favorite soundtrack on any game ever — my favorite Final Fantasy game is actually Final Fantasy Tactics.


“Valeera won’t stop dancing. Not until Sargeras is gone,” concluded Kay, closing her notes. Then, she had a cupcake.

It was a good cupcake. Conjured Mana Cupcakes vanish in your stomach after a few minutes. “All of the taste, none of the calories! I’m really smart,” she thought with a satisfied smirk.

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Filed Under: A. F. Kay, Valeera

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