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The Queue: 580firelands.jpg

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

The title image above is saved in my header images collection folder as 580firelands.jpg. This image is used for a decent number of Firelands patch 4.2 posts, Firelands news items, and the occasional Queue where I explain to WoW Insider readers the phenomenally interesting way that my files and headers are stored. 580firelands.jpg lives between two other images, 580dealwithitlion.jpg and 580garroshpizza.jpg. You've seen them both before -- can you find them again?

Devout and dedicated Mat McCurley fans will also recognize 580paymaster.jpg, but we can keep that as our little inside joke.
puffcake asked:

I have a question for the Queue: If you leave a guild after reaching exalted and purchasing guild perks like pets and mounts, do those items carry over with you or are they locked out/lost upon guild exit? I'm sure this has been asked before, I'm just not sure where to find info about it. Thanks!

If you've bought it, it is yours and it is usable. Case in point: Before I moved my warrior to the new server, I was exalted with my guild and purchased my Reins of the Dark Phoenix. After I left the guild, I was still able to use that guild reward while in the new guild at neutral reputation. However, I could not purchase guild-related rewards until I was honored, like the heirlooms cloaks and hats.

Rhylon asked:

I remember reading somewhere about a title being added for players who did a certain amount of stuff with Hyjal before 4.2 comes out, but I haven't seen anything about it lately. Did it ever actually exist, or did it just mysteriously disappear, or am I just missing something?

There is indeed a new title coming with patch 4.2 -- Your Name, Avenger of Hyjal. It is going to work like the "of the Ashen Verdict" title and be rewarded upon reaching exalted with the Avengers of Hyjal, the new raid-level reputation in the Firelands. On the PTR, it is currently messed up and being rewarded to players for gaining exalted with a different faction (I believe it might even be the Ashen Verdict), but will be fixed come patch day.

Cynwise asked:

Which was the worst Ask The Devs, and why?

Rather than answer in the negative (because I am such a cheery, happy, and positive person), I would rather discuss what makes an Ask the Devs blog informative and satisfying.

Players want transparency and information, but we understand and account for the fact that we won't get everything up front. It is the nature of the game, to an extent, that a lot of it remain hidden for various reasons. The best Ask the Devs are sets of questions that blend game mechanic explanations and player intrigue with a healthy dose of information and a sense that we're getting a real answer to a real question. People are smart, and we are turned off by cagey answers. I would rather have five great questions answered by the devs to the best of their abilities rather than 10 questions that have five cagey answers of "Oh, you'll see soon!"

The Ask the Devs blogs are also questions from the community that get voted on to be answered, so therein lies another iffy issue when dealing with the information players want. It turns out most of the time that even the players don't know what they want, and the questions they ask and up-vote have no foreseeable good answer from the people in charge. That's what makes a great interviewer a master of his craft -- he knows what to ask a subject that will actually get an answer versus what not to ask a subject because you will be bogged down in a non-answer. I much prefer the Dev Watercooler columns to the Ask the Dev (not that I do not love the Ask the Devs as well), but with a focused column like Dev Watercooler, Blizzard decides what questions to answer, giving us answers to a question that we might not have thought to ask.

HeroPing asked:

Will Blizz ever make 5-man top tier? Organisation vs player skill. Organisation is shown in big groups (25) and skill in smaller (5/10).

I do not believe that skill and player organization are mutually exclusive in this way. 10- and 25-man content has its rewards in organizational aspects, but 25-man raiding requires the same amount of skill as 10-man raiding, to be sure. 10-man raids are easier to put together because of the nature of the number of raiders; it is logistically easier to get 10 people to do something opposed to 25 people. 25-man raids are rewarded for their organizational efforts not with easier encounters but with faster and potentially more forgiving loot distribution.

Heroic modes are a novelty issue. The problem most 10-man raiding groups had been having trouble in heroic raids was a combination of group stacking issues and gear. 10-mans get gear more slowly, especially at the heroic level, and thus were lagging behind the curve in terms of numbers. Now, things are evening out, but there are still issues with having certain classes and specs necessary to make the heroic raid game easier for both size raids.

5-man groups are the "ideal" group because of the proportions it represents: one tank, one healer, and the rest DPS. Raids are a different beast and should be treated as such because of, again, the nature of the current accepted form of MMO endgame. Basically, I don't believe that skill is an issue at all between the two raiding sizes and is more of a preference than anything. Do I think we will see 5-man raids? No. Getting 5 people together is even easier than 10, and raiding has a built-in component of player organization that is a necessary part of raiding.

Cynwise ALSO asked:

Is the best way to deal with the problem of Vigilance in 5-man to take off your pants? When is pantless tanking a good idea?

I don't condone pantsless tanking unless you are one of a very few, select character races. I'll let you figure out whom I deem appropriate.

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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