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The Queue: Riding this joke 'til the tires go bald

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

The Queue is now in order! We all know that Samwise Pandas Club threw a party the other day and not one of us was invited. Now what do you say if we form a new club and call it the ... He-Man Panda Haters Club?

Now I think we oughta have a president. Now, the man we elect must be the worst panda hater of us all. I nominate ... myself. Because I hate pandas.

Gutrot asked:

Alex I think you write the Queue on Monday right? The other writers have speculated about Mists of Panderia but you haven't except for your panda hate. What do you expect to see?

I think Mists of Pandaria is a bit of a red herring. If the expansion is called Mists of Pandaria, I still expect the pandaren to be only one little part of the overall product. Blizzard is working pretty hard to snuff out leaks, but the one leak it always has to deal with is the fact that when it trademarks its game title, information about that title falls into public domain. If it doesn't make the title obscure, it's one big spoiler in advance of BlizzCon. When Wrath of the Lich King shows up as a new trademark filed by Blizzard Entertainment, what do you think the expansion is about? Not the Lich King?

I expect that yes, Mists of Pandaria will have pandaren and Pandaria, but it won't be the narrative focus of the expansion any more than the goblin starting zone is in Cataclysm. Blizzard's trying to hide the narrative, the core of the story, and where we're going to spend most of our time in the next expansion.

Priestess asked:

Has anything more been heard about or seen of the guild transfer service? And with Blizzcon coming up Soon, what are the chances that it appears either before or after that?

Something that you need to keep in mind about things like the guild transfer service is that Blizzard is forced to announce that those features are in the works long before they're ready. If dataminers found the test code for the feature in a PTR client and revealed it to the world before Blizzard announced the feature itself, then everybody would go nuts with speculation. Blizzard would lose its chance to explain what's going on ahead of the chaos.

We have no idea when Blizzard plans on opening up the guild transfer service. It might be released next month. It might be released next year. If it were up to Blizzard and the developers didn't need to worry about datamining, Blizzard most likely wouldn't have even announced that the feature is in the works yet. If your guild is sitting around and holding their breath in anticipation of the feature ... don't.

MagikTrik asked:

When will we get wand specialization back?

I'm assuming your question is for laughs and not for reals, but I'm going to answer it anyway because it touches on one of my game design peeves. When will we get wand specialization back? Probably never. Never ever. Blizzard is more likely to completely remove the ranged slot from the game. Its existence doesn't make a lot of sense, and modern RPGs move away from split ranged/melee slots more and more. Couldn't a caster's primary weapon serve the same function as a wand? Give weapons with caster stats different animations. Let a staff shoot bolts of magic rather than needing a wand. Or just give casters a baseline low mana/no mana spell that doesn't do much damage but regens low amounts of mana and keeps you engaged. Remove the ranged slot for hunters, too.

"Well, what would a hunter do in melee range?" I hear you ask. Just look at modern RPGs like Dragon Age 2 for your answer to that: Guns, bows and crossbows have melee applications. No, you're not going to melee someone to death with a gun, but you can sure as hell clobber someone over the head with the stock of your rifle or crossbow to disorient them while you retreat to range again.

That's my wild statement of the day: Screw the ranged slot. Destroy it.

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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