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The Queue: Shark Attack

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

When I was a kid, my brother and sister and I all wanted the Shark Attack game for Christmas because the commercial made it look so incredibly fun. But that idyllic little slice of life shown in that commercial was far, far from the truth, friends. There was no giggling and happy shouting with this game. Oh no. The commercial has it all wrong. Picture if you will three children frantically shrieking bloody murder at each other to roll the dice whilst edging ever closer to that invisible line in which we start using the profanity we've heard our parents use off and on again for years, throw in a few tears of desperation and you've got a much better idea of the experience.

Oddly enough, most of the card games my siblings and I now play as adults during holiday gatherings involve much the same thing. Our family gatherings are things to be treasured. Let's answer some Warcraft questions!

Maelzrael asked:

Q4tQ: What would be, in your opinion, the most likely new system or feature in the next expansion? I would say this xpac it's obviously Garrisons followed by New Model Updates.

Most likely would probably be the overhaul to the transmogrification feature and/or the tabard and heirloom storage tabs. Both of those have been bandied about as being in progress or at least still being thought about, so they seem like they'd be the most likely selections.

Or, you know, the Dance Studio.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Revisiting the question of flight

The developers' decision to remove flight from Warlords of Draenor zones was controversial to say the least -- some were fans of the decision and others were decidedly not. We've been without it for awhile now. After having experienced Draenor without it, how do you feel?

Personally, I was a fan of removing flight. Getting my first flying mount back in Burning Crusade was a magical moment, I'll admit. Over time, though, I felt its inclusion detracted from World of Warcraft have a cohesive, meaningful world. It's often said that if you don't like flight, you don't have to use it. While that's true, players are going to use all of the tools available in a video game, myself included. I didn't like flight, but the game had flight, so I wasn't going to intentionally make my experience more difficult than that of everyone else. I stand by that. In general, I'm a fan of a no-flying Warlords of Draenor and continue to be.

There is one exception: Nagrand. Treasure hunting in Nagrand proved frustrating. Those treasures felt like the developers created a zone intended for flying mounts prior to removing them. Trying to use the Steamwheedle gliders only infuriated me more -- I couldn't even see half of the treasures in the game world to know where to aim even though they were on my map. The glider moved too fast for me to look around and spot it. It's entirely possible (and likely) that I am just bad at navigation with those things, but I gave up on getting those treasures and most of them still lay unclaimed. Trying to get them made me rage more than a little, and for the first time, I wished flight was still a thing. I'm also perplexed why they added an item such as Aviana's Feather in the expansion in which they took a stand against flight. With its relatively short 10 minute cooldown, I can use it to get wherever I want to go without partaking in the actual world whatsoever, much like a flying mount. A glider-on-demand is apparently okay, but flying mounts are not. Bizarre, I think.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Should Warcraft be an Olympic sport?

Professional e-sports exist and can draw in significant interest - people watch streams on Twitch, top players can earn significant money, and we've seen people come out to watch them at places like BlizzCon and the Worldwide Invitational. But is it really a sport, and should we be seeing it in the Olympics? Rob Pardo, former chief creative officer at Blizzard, argues yes in this interview with the BBC.

In the interview, Pardo discusses the physical and mental ability of some of the best players in the world, how many decisions they made in a short period of time, as well as the draw of the games as a spectator sport. To be fair, he's mostly talking about games like Starcraft, but his other point about games and cultural definition as to what is and isn't a sport seems more likely to hamper gaming at an Olympic level than anything else. It's just not very common for an activity that takes place in front of a computer to be seen as a sport.

For the complete interview, head over to the BBC.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

The Snowy Owl arrives with winter

The northern hemisphere observed the winter solstice earlier this week -- which is relevant to World of Warcraft for one reason: the Snowy Owl. The Snowy Owl battle pet can only be caught during the winter season, which officially began on December 21. If you're looking to get your hands on it, head out to Winterspring.

The Snowy Owl's summer equivalent, the Qiraji Guardling, will be unavailable until June 20. At that point, the Snowy Owl will go back into hibernation.

Filed under: News items

Around Azeroth: Loves me like a rock

Ah, crap. My bad, guys. I honestly thought I'd clicked off the Odd Polished Stone buff before the boss fight. Okay, we can salvage this. Does anyone have an empty plot in their garrison and really want a souvenir of this victory? I figure we can get a couple of warriors to chip away at this thing like a pinata until we can reach our loot. It should only take a couple of months. Oh, come on, a /gkick? That's a little excessive. Everybody makes mistakes. (Thanks to submitter Corvinna of alea iacta est dignitas on Earthen Ring (US-H) for the screenshot!)

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

The Queue: Boxing Day, Warcraft novels, Did Thrall cheat?

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.

Today's first question is about Boxing Day. I didn't see that coming when I wrote today's Breakfast Topic.

JeffLaBowski asks:
Canadians: What is boxing day like? Do people have nice meals and exchange gifts? Are stores closed? Do you go to church? Any fun traditions?
Non-Canadians: Do you have any day after X-mas traditions? I usually like to head out to a store or two (in the afternoon), if I got a gift card I wanted to use. Might go see the new Hobbit movie.


I already talked about this in today's Breakfast Topic, but basically, around here at least (here being Edmonton) Boxing Day isn't very dissimilar from Black Friday - there are a lot of big sales and special deals and stores open early to accommodate people coming in to make exchanges or spend Christmas money. It differs from Black Friday mainly in that there's a lot fewer stories of people trampling each other on Boxing Day.

I happen to be non-Canadian, despite living in Canada, and so I could theoretically answer the second part of the question. But frankly, I don't have any fun traditions.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: WoW needs a Boxing Day

If y'all don't know what Boxing Day is (I didn't until I moved up here) it's basically pretty awesome. It started out as a day where the people who ended up having to work on Christmas (people like servants of nobles or tradesfolk) would still get something from the people they worked for. It goes at least as far back as the 1600s, and might actually date back further. Nowadays, it's mostly an excuse for sales as companies try and shift their unsold stock and people bring presents they didn't want in to be exchanged.

What with folks trying so hard to get that specific present under the tree yesterday (and it not always working out for them) I think it would be cool if there was a Boxing Day which allowed us to go exchange stuff we didn't want for stuff we did. But I guess that depends -- did it work out as you intended? Do you wish you could make a switch? Or did you get what you were looking for?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Moviewatch: Frozey the Snowman


Wowcrendor is definitely having a great Winter Veil with his 10 Days of Winter Veil countdown and a new machinima every day. We're half-way through the countdown now with Frozey the Snowman, an appropriately Azerothian take on on the Frosty the Snowman story.

So just how do you make Frosty the Snowman into a uniquely Warcraft creation? Well, I'd hate to give away the ending, but maybe bringing a random snowman to life just isn't the best thing you could do with a magical hat. Maybe.
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.


What was under your Winter Veil tree?

Everyone loves loot drops, and for many of us, today is the biggest real-world loot drop of the year. So today seems like the ideal time to talk about holiday gifts: just what did you find under your (real-life) Winter Veil tree this year? Did you snag any great gaming gifts or did you just find lumps of coal (or cheerfully tacky holiday sweaters) in your gift haul this year? And if you're not celebrating (or got a disappointing gift selection), what's the best in-game gift you've gotten this holiday season?

Happy holidays, everyone!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Around Azeroth: Peace on Draenor and good will towards birds

Submitter Aibelle of BloodOath on Ravencrest (US-A) noticed that her Pepe was getting lonely in her garrison. Also, she was becoming a little tired of constantly cleaning bird mess out of her hairdo. So she was rather pleased when she built her new stables and noticed Sky'reen had taken up residence. Now Pepe has another avian friend, and Aibelle can explore coiffure options beyond "basic night elf ponytail."

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

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