Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco be your host today.
Happy fifth anniversary, everyone! In honor of such a prestigious age for our young upstart MMO, this edition of the Queue ... has ... well, basically nothing to do with the anniversary at all. I mean, it's not as if you guys asked any anniversary-related questions. So, we're just setting today's Queue to "normal view" and takin' care of business.
How come we can't fly from Darkshore to the Exodar?
Good question! I discovered the reason why back during BC alpha. The answer has to do with how maps are set up in WoW. Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms each have their own map set, with a unique ID. Northrend and Outland both have one, too, and so does every instance in the game.
What makes Exodar and Quel'Thalas different is that they're actually on the Outland map set. They're technically not part of their respective continents, and it's not possible to go from one map set to the other without experiencing a loading screen; for example, if you fly from Ironforge to the isle of Quel'Danas, you actually see a loading screen shortly after you begin the flight. That's also why you can't swim down the coast of Quel'Thalas to get to Silverpine or wherever. You even get one just walking from EPL to Ghostlands, too.
Now, what makes Exodar/Bloodmyst/Azuremyst particularly tricky is that they literally don't exist in Kalimdor's ocean. Even if you could beat fatigue water, the isles just aren't on that map set. That's why you can't fly there from Darkshore, but you can take a boat. Maybe one day they'll add a loading screen and make it possible, though.
Will troll druids get new forms?
In terms of new models for the current druid forms, like cat/bear/moonkin/tree? Blizzard says yes. The redesign of the night elf and tauren bear/cat models was the first step; overhauls for tree and moonkin forms are on their way for the original druids. Troll and worgen druids will also get unique models for their respective cat/bear/moonkin/tree forms.
Will they get, say, raptor form instead of cat form? Probably not. But we'll see. Cataclysm likely still has some surprises left.
The wife wants to know: What is the lore reasons for not being able to use flying mounts in the old world? You know, why can't we mount up in old world, but the second we hit the borders of Outland or Northrend, our mounts are suddenly willing or able to fly?
Simply put, there is none. Game mechanics will always trump lore. It's the same reason why Forsaken players can't understand Common (now, at least). It needed to be done to make a game mechanic fit, and that's all.
It's also the reason why we'll likely be paying for, as the Something Awful forums put it, "Old Weather Flying" come Cataclysm.
Terramon wants to know...
When I see other people lvling after an expansion they normally keep some of their gear for most of the time, sometimes all the way up to the new lvl cap. With the lvl cap of the next expansion being 85 do you think that stats on things lvl 81-85 will have a huge increase?
Also, with the horde changing 2 of their leaders (if the rumors are true) do you think the alliance will get a new leader?
Well, Ghostcrawler says that we'll be a little freaked out by what items will look like in Cataclysm. I'm not sure if that means that the stat growth post-80 we'll see will be a huge jump or whether things will just look a little different. Generally, expansion starting area items have stats meant to be much better than the leveling greens and blues of a person who just finished the last leveling zone in the previous expansion. With that in mind, the items you'll see in the Sunken City of Vashj'ir will likely be considerably better than Icecrown greens, but likely worse than your Tier 10 gear.
As for Alliance leadership, King Genn Greymane of Gilneas appears to be becoming an actual faction leader for the Alliance, which is nice, but I don't think we'll see any shakeups along the lines of what's rumored for the Horde. No Archbishop Benedictus assassination King Wrynn or anything like that. They wouldn't spend five years and a whole expansion bringing Varian back as the Alliance leader just to boot him out again.
I was wondering if you had any guesses as to how the Cataclysm would effect the Tauren Chieftains. Will they convert to a raid group in order to continue representing all races of the Horde, or are they going to continue with the 5-man group and risk snubbing the goblins?
And if they did recruit a goblin, what would they play? Keyboard? Theramin? Bagpipes? Accordian?
As if the Horde can get anything done without a raid.
For the goblin musician, every ridiculous speed-metal band this side of Helsinki worth their salt has a synthesizer, so that would be the next logical step for them.
JayPea just has to know...
Question : Will we ever be shot of those godawful black bars either side of the loading screen on widescreen monitors? Will it take a Cataclysm for the artists at Blizzard to fill the void?
Actually, there are widescreen loading screens coming in Patch 3.3. They're on the PTR right now. That's right -- we've finally moved past 2002, here in the World of Warcraft.
Has Blizzard ever said anything about adding visible armor to the druid shapeshift forms? i really love my druid and the forms are cool looking(especially the updated bear and cats forms) but I'd just like to see my armor sometimes : /
They've talked about it before -- I can't find the blue post now, though -- as something they'd like to try, but they worried about the implementation.
Who knows, though? With all the cosmetic changes happening already, It might be something we see in Cataclysm.
Have you guys heard of any new plans for an updated Battlechest?
It's very likely that we'll get one for Cataclysm. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if we got a complete anthology -- Vanilla, BC, Wrath, and Cataclysm -- when it comes out. Blizzard hasn't said anything officially, but I think we all know what to expect when it comes to Blizzard marketing an expansion.
Question, though more of a curiosity than anything, really: Are there any gay/lesbian/bisexual or even transgender/genderqueer characters in the Warcraft lore?
Officially? I don't think so. There are a few characters that people tend to question in terms of sexuality, though.
Readers point out that Sentinel Sweetspring at Stars' Rest in Dragonblight is flirting openly with another female Sentinel. Skyguard Khatie will also ask your character on a date, regardless of your gender. Even Maiev Shadowsong and her female lieutenant, Naisha, are insinuated to be an item in WarCraft III.
Chromie, the Bronze dragon, had a dragon model in the Culling of Stratholme named Chronormu, which is a male name, but Chromie's mortal form is a female gnome. That model was renamed to just "Chromie" to match the gnome form, though, so the world may never know. I think it was probably just a typo.
It may seem like there's a ton of heterosexual "main" characters (because there is), but remember that the world is populated more by players than NPCs, and players' real-life backgrounds aren't something Blizzard has a real hand in. And even then, we don't know the story behind most NPCs, either.
I'm not sure we'll ever see an "out" main lore character, but times are changing, at least in the real world. We'll see.
Note: My mention of homosexuality does not give commenters the right to act like animals. If you post ignorant or hateful comments, you'll go where animals go -- the doghouse. You've been warned.
Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW.com crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column! Leave your questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em!