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The QueueMay 15, 2024 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Pierce Brosnan and Janet Jackson

Irish actor/producer (and famed 007) Pierce Brosnan and American singer/songwriter/actress Janet Jackson were both born on May 16, which means that they celebrate their birthday the day after this Queue goes live.

Let’s talk about feelings.


Q4tQ: What zone in TWW are you most looking forward to explore for its visuals? Which zone are you most intrigued about its story?

Hallowfall is the answer to both of those questions. It’s easily among the most unique zones Blizzard has ever made: besides being underground, the main feature there is the mysterious Light/Void crystal that gives the zone its artificial “day/night cycle” of sorts, which influences not only its ambience, but the actual narrative, with NPCs reacting to it and things like that. It just looks beautiful like nothing else I’ve seen in this game.

Besides, it’s no secret that I like humans in fantasy games — WoW of course included — and the story of the zone features a long lost sect of the Arathi, progenitors of the Human race. I live for that particular lore, and what we’ve seen of it so far is very promising.


Q4tQ: What balancing do you think Hearthstone BGs currently needs?

I really don’t think Rylak Metalhead should be able to be combined with Quilboars. The scaling potential they have is far beyond what any other minion type in the game has right now, and any game that includes Quilboars and Beasts can sometimes boil down to who can make their Blood Gems absolutely ridiculous faster by using Rylak.

My (admittedly inelegant) solution would be simply to give the Rylak effect to a neutral minion, rather than a Beast, and ban it from any game that includes Quilboars. That way we can preserve the card rather than just removing it. But I honestly don’t know if that’s the best option.

At the other end of the power spectrum, Pirates and Murlocs are both a little weak at the moment, and could use some help.

Pirates can make a ton of gold but lack better ways to turn all of that gold into stats to their board. I think that outside of Admiral Eliza Goreblade, they don’t really have many super good Tier 6 minions, so I’d add one that better converts their extra gold into buffs.

And Murlocs seem to have stayed on the same general power level as they had in the previous patch, while nearly ever other minion type got better. I’d simply give some general buffs to some of their key cards — make Bream Counter scale faster, add a few more Venomous effects, etc.

Actors Danny Trejo (from such diverse titles as Machete Kills and Spy Kids) and Megan Fox were also born May 16. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any pictures of them sitting side by side in a talk show.


Q4tQ: What lessons do you think Square Enix will learn from their recent past and apply towards their “Reboot and Awaken” phase? Part of me is a little worried given how companies like Microsoft are axing smaller more creative studios in order to double down on pouring millions into a single game and taking a huge hit if it doesn’t turn into a runaway success. Square should have learned this lesson after 2020’s Marvel’s Avengers, but they still had several games release since then with astronomical budgets that barely broke even or lost money. I am slightly optimistic Square will look at what worked with Octopath / Triangle Strategy and opt to let studios take risks on a moderate budge, in hopes they have a string of games selling a few million, instead of putting all their eggs in one basket and hoping a game sells tens of millions.

This isn’t a lie: last April 1st, Square Enix promoted several of their most successful employees to the position of Executive Officer. The list includes names such as:

  • Naoki Yoshida (also known as Yoshi-P), game director for Critically-Acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy 14 and Final Fantasy 16
  • Naoki Hamaguchi, game director for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
  • Yoshinori Kitase, series producer for the Final Fantasy franchise
  • Yosuke Saito, series producer for the NieR franchise
  • Tomoya Asano, the head of Team Asano — the small team responsible for some of the games you mentioned, like Octopath Traveler and Triangle Strategy.

This round of promotions clearly gratifies developers and producers who worked on very successful titles — no matter how big. It includes behemoths like the Final Fantasies, but follows through with “medium-sized” offerings like NieR all the way to the more niche Team Asano games — which clearly indicates that their good job is being acknowledged. Besides, Final Fantasy 16 and even Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth haven’t sold as well as Square Enix expected, while those smaller titles might be said to have surpassed expectations. Yet they’re all being rewarded for their good work — and not two months before Reboot and Awaken was announced.

It’s hard to predict what’s coming, of course, but this timing seems to indicate that all of those developers are within the company’s plans for the more immediate future and beyond. So I wouldn’t be too worried about Square axing squads like Team Asano to focus on their big name titles — which haven’t been selling as well as the company would like. If anything, I’d think the opposite might happen: the end of those exclusivity deals makes smaller titles far more appealing to take your chances on, I’d say.


With video game shows doing pretty well on streaming services (The Last of Us, Fallout, etc), do you think we’ll see a show from one of Blizzard’s IPs in the future? Do you think there are people at Blizzard already working toward this?

Oh man, I sure hope so — but it might be a while.

We’ve had rumors about a Diablo show on Netflix for at least six years at this point, and Executive Producer for the Diablo franchise Rod Fergusson recently stoked the flames of those rumors again — but a simple “yeah, I guess it could work” doesn’t seem like much when we haven’t heard a peep for such a long time. There were a few rumors about some Overwatch animated series on Netflix as well, but the chances of that happening right now are even lower than the Diablo rumors: “we have discussed it, but our primary focus is the actual game right now” is what’s been said.

So I don’t think they’re actively working toward this at the moment, but I’m absolutely sure they’ve had several meetings about it, and in the case of Diablo, maybe, maaaaybe even started some pre-production. It’s not what we want to hear, I know, but it’s the info we have at the moment. I’d say, give it some time: things are still settling down since the acquisition of Blizzard by Microsoft, and it might be a bit too early to see what their modus operandi is going to be regarding these things.

But one thing is for sure: the more shows like The Last of Us and Fallout (as well as Arcane, Castlevania, and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners) we get, the most likely it is that we eventually get a show about a Blizzard IP.

Here are some nice black-and-white pictures of legendary actor Henry Fonda and bassist Krist Novoselic of the equally legendary band Nirvana. I don’t think they’ve ever met, but I could be wrong.

This has been The Queue, and May 16 is the day we celebrate (or remember) all the aforementioned people, so make sure to send them some well wishes!

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