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The Queue: Evacuate the dance floor

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.

Stop! This Queue is killin' me!

Vector asked:

Question: I haven't raid-healed since back in vanilla (quit for long, long time) and finally geared enough to get started again. Is Decursive still as crucial as it used to be long ago? Do healers raid without it?

Awesome old-school question. For those not in the know, back in the days of Molten Core when 40-man raiding was in its infancy, there was a little addon called Decursive. Back then, the addon code allowed mods to check for a status on the target and act accordingly. For example: With 40 people in your raid and tons of debuffs flying around ridiculously often on fights like Gehennas, Sulfuron Harbinger, and Chromaggus, Decursive made the decurser's job idiot-simple: spam the button, decurse on every GCD without fail. A similar mod, Healbot, did basically the same thing, only it checked health percentages and cast a heal of appropriate strength.

Obviously, this needed to be nerfed.

So Blizzard removed the UI functionality that let Decursive and Healbot do their magic. But boss encounters, even old ones, were retuned so that there weren't quite as many debuffs being cast on the raid -- and not nearly as often, either. To this day, there hasn't been a debuff-based fight that couldn't be handled with the default UI.

I believe Decursive still has some functionality, but I'm not a healer, so I can't vouch for its current features. Whatever shape it's in, it's definitely not a necessity like it was in MC.

Leigh asked:

How do you at WoW Insider decide what columns/posts are popular? Is it page hits or number of comments? Both of the above or something completely different? Does this popularity make any difference to you guys?

Like most sites, we have traffic tools that help us determine which articles do well and which don't in terms of page views. Those aren't the only metrics we use to determine the strength of an article or feature, though. Some features might not do as well as others in terms of raw page views, but they mean a lot to the community or have a very devoted commenter base. It's important to us that we strike a balance between stuff pretty much everyone who visits the site likes/reads (The Queue) and stuff with niche appeal (like columns for a particular spec) ... much like a certain game you might be familiar with.

TheDoctor2031 asked:

What do hardcore guilds do? Paragon downed Sinestra within 6 weeks of Cata launch, what else is left for them? Sure they can deck themselves out in full 372s and get achievements for their drakes but what than? It feels like the content passes really fast for them and I know their much more hardcore than your average raider but does blizzard design content to be downed THAT fast?

I suppose you'd need to ask someone from Paragon! But from what I understand, they take a break, since world-first races are pretty brutal on the human ecosystem.

As for Blizzard, of course it doesn't design content to be downed "that fast," but bear in mind that Paragon and other guilds like it are part of a very, very small group. It's like being surprised that Michael Johnson won a foot race in record time. Of course he did -- he's Michael Freaking Johnson.

In terms of clearing first-tier raid content, too, six weeks is an awfully long time, especially compared to the amount of time it took the top guilds to totally clear Wrath's first-tier content.

Mar6748 asked:

How many hours a week do you spend actually playing WoW?

All told, I haven't played WoW very much at all since the holiday season. I'm currently in the "total burnout" phase, so I'm doing what I always do when I get burned out: stop playing regularly for a while. It works, and I highly recommend anyone who doesn't feel like playing do the same. Don't feel obligated to stick around because of your guild, or your raid team, or your PvP group, or your transmute cooldowns. Just stop playing. Then, when you want to play again -- because you want to play -- resub and log in.

Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW Insider 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!

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