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The Queue: Pandaren, Tanaan, Gundrak's mystery tail

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

In today's Queue, I am probably going to outright anger some of you. Try and keep it civil in the comments, as I will when I give the answer that will anger you.

Angerfork asks:
What is your take on Tanaan coming out in a future content patch & how it was communicated?

In case you're wondering, this is how it was communicated - by a tweet from Community Manager Lore.
If you're curious, my take on it is it's his job to do exactly this - answer player questions. He did so in a clear, concise and not at all disrespectful or antagonistic way. If you then look at the responses to his tweet, they're rude, condescending, and boorishly aggressive for the most part. Quite frankly, they're not worth responding to. Lore did his job, and there's no reason to be upset with him for how he did it. The argument that we should have known this sooner and it shows a lack of transparency from Blizzard doesn't work for me either - it's not like with Karabor or Bladespire, where we were told 'these will be capitals' and then later 'they won't be, sorry'.

As for the idea of Tanaan coming out in a later content patch, frankly, I don't see the problem. We already knew Farahlon would be similarly released after the expansion - we'll get to see Tanaan when we come through the Dark Portal, then start our leveling process in one of the two starting zones, and then have Gorgrond, Talador, Spires of Arak, and Nagrand to level through, so a total of six zones available at launch, five per faction. Considering how huge the zones are, it's not like we're going to be starving for content - each zone so far has had subzones within it with special level 100 content.

Basically, I find the idea that everything Blizzard says is greeted with extreme cynicism and doomsaying to be getting crazy old. Does Blizzard make mistakes? Sure they do. All the damn time. Having Mists of Pandaria last this long was a huge mistake, for instance. Do they do things each and every one of us might find questionable? Of course. But when a CM can't even make a simple post clarifying when a zone will be available without enduring sneering contempt, we need to dial it back. Especially when considering that CM's don't design the game. Getting angry with a CM over what he or she tells you is as pointless as flipping out at the guy behind the counter at Starbucks for the company's policy on how it treats small coffee farmers. (This is just an example, for all I know Starbucks has a great policy towards the independent coffer grower.)

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Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth: Purple haze

The stats on the legendary cloaks might become outdated once Warlords of Draenor drops, but I'm willing to bet that they'll be a stable in transmog sets for years to come. Submitter Lynorah of Gquit on Earthen Ring (US-H) combined her Xing-Ho cloak, Tyrael's Charger and our old friend Shadowform to create this lovely screenshot. She needs to be careful, though -- the tendrils from her cloak and mount look like they could get caught on an outcropping and cause a nasty crash.

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: Relaxing about the beta

I don't know why but I find the beta period incredibly chill. There are no worries. If stuff is broken, I report it. If the content feels weak, I make a forum post saying so. I don't worry about the level ranges for expansion zones, I didn't even get all that worked up over the change to the faction capitals (although I personally didn't like the idea, it didn't work me up). One of the reasons I think I am this way is because, to me, the beta is supposed to be a place where boxes attack me and bears come up out of the ground like sharks to assault me. I expect madness and broken quests and bugginess in my beta experience. It's what the beta is - not just a place where testing can determine what quests are broken, but also a place to roll out content and examine how the experience works.

I don't know. Lately it feels like the forums and twitter have just blown up with ludicrous, over the top negativity for no reason, to the point where a simple tweet about when Tanaan will be released drives players crazy. Yes, stuff is going to change, break, not work right, and not be what you expected. It's the beta. That's how it goes. That's how it's always gone.


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Moviewatch: Westfall Pumpkins

Westfall Pumpkins is a tale of not-so-friendly competition between two determined farmers entering into a pumpkin-growing contest. Like any good rivalry, the pair are in no way content to let the other do their thing, and just can't bear to be outdone. In Azeroth, though, we know that nobody is content to let nature simply take its course, and so alchemy, magic, and an impressive judging panel rule the day in this entertaining tale of gardening gone wrong. Whose pumpkin will take home the blue ribbon? You'll have to watch to find out.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Hearthstone: Arachnid Quarter guide


Curse of Naxxramas' initial wing launched on Tuesday, much to the delight of eager fans. The Arachnid Quarter features exactly what Warcraft veterans should expect, that being a lot of spiders. Anub'Rekhan, Grand Widow Faerlina and Maexxna serve as the first trials thrown at adventurers looking to fight their way to the nefarious lich Kel'thuzad. Today, we'll go over a bit about what these baddies do, and how best to crush them.

Anub'Rekhan

The Traitor King boasts a couple of unique mechanics that are worth making note of. His hero power Skitter allows him to summon a 3/1 Nerubian for two mana. On heroic mode, it's a 4/4 Nerubian for two, which is pretty brutal. Anub'Rekhan also has access to a unique card called Anub'ar Swarm, which can really just ruin your day if you don't expect it. It costs a whopping seven mana, but does three damage to all of your minions and heals Anub'Rekhan for three health. Definitely prepare yourself for that, come turn seven. Beyond that, this fight's not too difficult. Anub'Rekhan has access to the rogue specific Curse of Naxxramas card Anub'ar Ambusher, and while 5/5's nothing to scoff at, destroying it will force another random minion on the board back into his hand, assuming there's anything he has anything else in play. It doesn't permanently deal with the threat, but it does buy you time to develop your board in response. Also of note, expect a strange blend of warlock and mage spells, specifically Shadow Bolt, Mortal Coil and Frostbolt.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Latest Warlords beta build opens new zones, increases level cap

The beta forums are abuzz with discussion of an upcoming beta build -- the servers are down for maintenance this afternoon. Two new zones, Nagrand and Spires of Arak, will be open for testing, and the level cap is increasing to 100. The leveling portion of the beta is moving along at a steady clip now. Though there are still many major bugs with fixes in progress, nearly every leveling zone will now be open for testing.

In addition, the new beta build will be renaming beta realms for clarity. They will lose their unique names, and instead be given names that are simple descriptors.
  • Lost Isles (PvE) is being renamed to Beta Leveling Realm 01
  • Gilneas (PvP) is being renamed to Beta Leveling Realm 02
  • Mekkatorque (PvP) is being renamed to Level 100 PvP
While these clear descriptions are far more useful than their old names, I'll miss having the ability to personify Lost Isles. Cursing its name aloud each time it crashed was cathartic. Screaming Beta Leveling Realm 01 to the heavens doesn't quite have the same effect.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Garrisons to allow for weapon enchant transmog


Starting in Warlords of Draenor, you'll be able to change your weapon enchantments or hide them entirely via the Enchanter Building in your Garrison. This is really nothing but great news for those of us obsessed with transmog. Personally, every weapon I own will now get the level 60 Fiery Weapon Enchant. End of story, end of game. I just beat the World of Warcraft, thank you, Jonathan LeCraft.


There's no indication on how much this will cost, and LeCraft said a "maybe" when asked if Death Knight runes will be included in this feature.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

New female tauren model

Female Tauren
The latest artcraft post has been released on the WoW official website, and it previews nothing less than the new female tauren model. This model update in particular has been highly anticipated, because the old female tauren models are...well, they're not all that expressive, are they? Fortunately, their blank bovine stares are all set to be a thing of the past. The new models take full advantage of newer texture-rendering capabilities, featuring gorgeous detail in the fur, a full range of facial expressions, and far more natural-looking hair. In addition, their hands have also been scaled-down, as Senior Art Director Chris Robinson notes that female tauren hands were particularly huge, even by WoW standards.

Head on over to the official site for the full preview, it's well worth your time.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Voices, Curse of Naxxramas, and more

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

If you didn't see our pre-Queue dance party, you missed out. Dubs were stepped.

Jalamenos asked:

Has there been any word from Blizzard about putting npc voices in a separate volume slider than the effects volume? As it is right now I can't hear most of what the bosses are saying without being deafened by all the sounds of us killing it. Feels like this is something they should have added a while ago especially since more and more of the game is getting voice cast.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Around Azeroth: Metamorphosis is dead, long live Metamorphosis

"Okay, demon hunting didn't really work for tanking after all," writes submitter Demonmoose of The Outcast on The Maelstrom (EU-A). "It took me a few weeks to get a rez. Never use trash souls for self-preservation. Despite doing everything to find a purpose for it other then leveling, I failed. and now it's dead. I guess Illidan was right after all: We were not prepared."

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth