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Matthew Rossi

Matthew Rossi @MatthewWRossi — Matthew Rossi is a synapsid, perhaps descended from Cynognathus. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and grew up there before leaving to see the world and be mistaken for a sasquatch and/or minor singing celebrity in various locales. He currently lives and writes in Edmonton alongside his amazing and beautiful wife and their cats. He’s written three collections of speculative fiction, Things That Never Were, Bottled Demon and At Last, Atlantis. He loves playing warriors in World of Warcraft, barbarians in Diablo III, and he’s beginning to notice a pattern here.

The Queue: Maldraxxus is not my thing

Okay, so here’s the thing — I’m not saying it’s bad, or poorly designed, it’s clearly an excellent zone. But all the Wow, Maldraxxus is awesome hype had me really thinking I might love it, but then I got there, and it’s just slime and crap everywhere and corpses littering the ground and a lot of it grosses me out or turns my stomach. I’m also never a fan of ruthless Darwinism and while I appreciate the idea of Maldraxxus as the home of the Shadowlands’ defense force, it’s not really getting past all the stuff I’m not fond of.

Still, I’m level 57 now. Maybe I’ll start playing one of my alts on nights my wife is occupied. Don’t think I’ll ever join the Necrolords, though. Just on an aesthetic level, it’s not my bag.

The Queue: Are we lost?

So yeah, my wife and I finally got to run around in Bastion and even got some Maldraxxus in last night, and we’re both level 55 heading towards the final stretch. Leveling definitely feels less painful this time around, which I think is an excellent thing — I expect when I get to my alts, I might just level them through the questing again, it’s been fun.

Some actual lines from our time playing together include “She’s awfully proud of her job as Death’s mall cop” and “Who would ever want to come here? No one. No one wants to come here, but we’re stuck here so we might as well make the best of the blasted, undead choked hellscape.”

How do you feel about the linear leveling experience in Shadowlands?

It's been a while since we had a linear leveling experience in World of Warcraft, where the game's story took you from Zone A to Zone B with no decision on your part. Warlords of Draenor had a single starting zone for each faction, but you could more or less decide which zone to go to next after that, while Legion and Battle for Azeroth both allowed you to pick and choose which zone you wanted to run.

The Queue: The Holidaze

I will be writing the Queue for the next three days. Letting the American writers have the holiday.

Honestly, even when I was living in the US, I never much cared for Thanksgiving. My mom died when I was 19, and I haven’t really seen any of my family on either side since 2000, and the last conversation I had with my father was back in 2006. I’m sure they’re all fine, and even if they aren’t, the decision was made that I wasn’t really a necessary part of their lives a long time ago. So the idea of travelling all that way to spend a day of thanks with them… not really my thing.

So if you’re an American who doesn’t really have a family for the holiday, I get it. I’m very grateful for my wife and the family she’s made for me up here in Canada, but either way, the last Thursday in November is always just a day for me. But on the plus side, I get to spend it with you all.

It’s the Queue. What’re y’all up to?

How fast should you be able to level in a new expansion?

There's no question that the 50 to 60 leveling curve is pretty relaxed in Shadowlands, as some players managed to get to max level within three hours of the expansion's release, and even pokey players like me hit level 52 in a couple of hours of gameplay. World of Warcraft has probably never been easier to level in than it is in Shadowlands, and I'm curious what you think of that fact -- are you happy to be getting to max level relatively quickly, or at least to be able to do so, even if you're taking your time?

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