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The Queue: Azathoth Choppers

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

Vote for which motorcycle you want in the game: the cosmic horror bike, or the seething nuclear chaos bike! Also, despair!

BrianLuzovich asked:

do you think we will eventually see hearthstone for cell phones? and would there an offline play mode?

There are definitely Android and iPhone versions of Hearthstone coming; Blizzard announced it not too long ago. As for offline mode, I highly doubt it. It appears to be an online-only game and all of its systems tie into that.

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Sunday Morning Funnies: Better than gold

WoW, eh?
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: Sailor Moon (sort of)! Linola tries out a new companion. Tax season is afoot. Plus, there's a lucky worgen.

The comic news this week is light, as is typical of a week leading up to a holiday, let alone a week that included tax deadlines. There are a few notable absences, including Experience Boost and The Trolling of Azeroth. Contested Territory is scheduled to return to this list next week, however.

In the meantime, Gratz has posted an Easter comic. WoW, eh? is back with a new, not depressing, even kind of sparkly update! It's nice to see Cadi happy again. And although our list is a bit short this week, Trigonometry came through with two installments of the Trigonometry interview (on Gnomeregan Forever).

As always, we are accepting suggestions for inclusions on this list, as well as tips relating to WoW comics. If you have a tip, drop it into the comments section.

And of course, enjoy your holidays!

This week's WoW-related comics from around the web:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Breakfast Topic: Are you participating in Noblegarden this year?

It's that time of the year again -- tomorrow marks the beginning of Noblegarden, that week-long in game event that sends players out to fetch chocolate, fancy clothes, and much more. The event hasn't really had a facelift in years, although it had a few new items added in 2012 -- both black and pink versions of the Spring Circlet, and the Swift Springstrider mount, which requires a whopping 500 Noblegarden Chocolates to purchase. And of course there are the usual lengthy round of achievements to complete. This is all well and good. But it's not why I participate in Noblegarden every year.

It's the Blossoming Branches. I can't help it. They only cost 10 Noblegarden Chocolates, and there is nothing quite as entertaining as turning your stalwart giant beefy tank into a fluffy bunny at some point way down the road in the middle of September. Or staging impromptu bunny invasions on capital cities, a stampede of wiggly nosed little critters laying tiny little colored eggs and happily hopping down a bunny trail of carnage right through the opposing faction. You can attack while you're a bunny. Fan of Knives is a hysterical miniature circle of knife death delivered with doe eyes, whiskers, and fuzzy cotton tail. Have you ever seen a hunter Feign Death while in bunny form? You should.

And that's why I'll participate at least a little in Noblegarden this year, and the next, and the next, for however many years they continue the holiday. I don't really care what else they add, as long as those Blossoming Branches stay put. Are you planning on participating in Noblegarden this year? What's your favorite part of the holiday? Do you save costume items like Blossoming Branches to use at unexpected and possibly inappropriate moments?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WRUP: Breaking Gnome

This week saw the premiere episode of Azeroth Choppers, a new webseries featuring Paul Jr. from American Chopper. Two teams, Alliance and Horde, are being challenged to construct the ultimate chopper for the faction they represent -- and both bikes will be put up to player vote, with the most popular chopper being given a model in World of Warcraft itself. Sure, it might sound kind of silly, but it was also pretty fun -- and in the spirit of fun, we decided to ask our staff not only what they are playing this weekend, but what television spoof they would like to see next?

Alex Ziebart (@AlexZiebart) I'm going to be doing more Heroes of the Storm this weekend. I genuinely expected we'd have the Warlords alpha/beta by this point, so I don't have much to do in WoW for the time being. I want an Azerothian version of Hoarders. They can start with Anne and Rossi's banks and void storage. Puns that combine hoard and Horde need not apply.

Touché, Alex ... touché.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Warlords of Draenor: Combat resurrection system overhaul

Combat resurrection is one of those mechanics in World of Warcraft that seems to change far more than others. Personally, I remember in vanilla WoW where it was possible for a player to remain out of combat on a raid boss, and you could designate a paladin to resurrect your raid members indefinitely as they died. Of course, no one considered that legitimate gameplay, only a ... creative use of game mechanics. Those days are long gone. We moved from there to a system where legitimate combat resurrections were able to be used without limit, and every expansion (and many content patches) afterwards, the number you were allowed to use in any given fight changed often. Now Warlords is bringing another overhaul.

Warlords of Draenor is not only refining the number of combat resurrections able to be used in any given boss fight, it's also bringing some transparency to the process. The relevant excerpt from the patch notes is below.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Itemization changes on the way

According to the latest round of alpha patch notes from patch 6.0, we're in for some major itemization changes in Warlords of Draenor. While we've had bits and pieces of information regarding itemization and stat changes in the upcoming expansion, we didn't really have a lot of clarification or detail on exactly what those changes are going to be. The latest iteration of patch notes has cleared that up considerably, and expanded on what little we knew.

Hit and Expertise are both gone, replaced instead with a universally useful secondary stat. Three new secondary stats have been added -- Bonus Armor, which simply increases armor; Multistrike, which grants attacks and abilities a chance to fire an additional time for 30% effectiveness; and Readiness, which reduces the cooldown of several class abilities with long cooldowns. Multistrike works for both damage and healing abilities, making it useful for all classes and specializations. In addition, the amount of role-specific stats is being reduced. Tanks will use Armor, which replaces both Dodge and Parry, and Spirit will be useful only to healers.

But it's the changes to items themselves that sound absolutely intriguing.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Four ideas Hearthstone should borrow from Magic

Faceless manipulator card art
I've been playing Magic for almost 20 years. In all that time, Hearthstone is the only other collectible card game that has ever really won me over. Hearthstone is a very different game from Magic, despite some obvious similarities. I want Hearthstone to remain a very different game. Even as wildly successful as Hearthstone has been, however, Magic and other card games have some great ideas that I think Blizzard should borrow to make their own game even better.

1. Format variants

Magic has many fun variants, most of them multiplayer: free-for-all, Commander, Two-Headed Giant, Star (or Color Wheel), Planechase, etc. Some of these were invented by players and later adopted and supported by Wizards of the Coast. One of the joys of Magic is how flexible its formats can be.

Compared to that, the single format of one-on-one battles in Hearthstone is less exciting. (Of course, Hearthstone is limited by its technology in a way that real cards aren't.) Sure, we're getting a raid in Curse of Naxxramas, which could shape up to be a fantastic single-player variant. But an online game like Hearthstone, with millions of available players, begs for multiplayer formats. They could be competitive or cooperative, playing against other teams or "bosses."

A Planechase variant could be adapted quite easily by using the different game boards, once Blizzard adds a few more. Multiplayer variants will be more tricky due to the game's current layout, but I have faith that the developers can make it work.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

The Queue: Tonari no Garrosh

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

Do you think Garrosh would've been better adjusted if he had a big magical friend as a kid?

bcf_80 asked:

Here's a newbie question, but how do you get to the Isle of Giants? Is this the same thing as the Isle of Thunder (and how do you get to that if they're different)? I've been away for too long :)

It's north of Kun-Lai. You can fly or swim there, but be careful if you're flying -- the island is a no-fly zone and you'll get dismounted when you get close. Once there, you can grab a flight path and you won't need to manually fly there again. Unless you want to, of course.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Did you keep your Pandaria toys?

I'm a sucker for cool stuff. Toys immediately fall into that category -- and in Mists of Pandaria, we received an overwhelming amount of them over the course of leveling and beyond. Rares scattered all over Pandaria and the Timeless Isle drop fun, useful, and downright weird items that don't need to be equipped, but take up an inventory slot all the same. Unfortunately, bank space is at a premium as far as I'm concerned -- the introduction of transmogrification back in Cataclysm exacerbated my storage space woes to the point that my bank and void storage are completely crammed full.

However, that didn't really stop me from keeping most of the toys. Sure, the items that drop from rares are expendable -- after all, you can always go back and farm them again. But quest reward items, like my beloved Puntable Marmot, can't really be obtained twice. With the introduction of the Toy Box feature in Warlords, I'll suddenly have a lot more space, and maybe I'll go back and farm the useless toys from Pandaria's rares once I have someplace non-bank related to keep them. Until then, I'll hang onto my favorite things. After all, there's nothing like punting a wee little marmot to vent one's frustrations. Have you kept your toys from Pandaria? Are you looking forward to the Toy Box feature that should, theoretically, free up a lot of bag space? Have you farmed the rares of Pandaria looking for a particularly fun item? Or did you simply toss all your toys in favor of more bank and bag space?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Warlords of Draenor Alpha Patch notes for April 17

A new round of updates have been released for the alpha client of Warlords of Draenor. Included in the patch notes are new sections covering changes and adjustments with Itemization, Movement Speed, Raid Utility Balance, Reforging, and Combat Resurrection. There have also been updates to existing sections as well - many class sections have received a lot of updates and adjustments, as expected for such an early build.
  • Haste % and Crit % bonuses have been streamlined -- no more spell/melee/ranged, it's a universal Haste and Crit % bonus for all.
  • Druids, rejoice -- Ravage no longer requires you to be behind the target.
  • Many glyphs have been removed, and a lot of new glyphs have been added, with some glyphs now being exclusive to a specialization.
  • Movement speed enchants now increase Movement Speed by 10% -- up from 8%.
  • Hunters, there has been a comprehensive sweep over pet abilities -- it's a major list!
  • Paladins, there have been some major tweaks to both Holy and Protection specs.
For the full list of updates, check out the official Battle.net site for all the details. New updates are denoted in red for easy reading.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

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