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The Queue: When is the MoP beta starting?

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

Today's Queue has a question for you, as well as some of my thoughts on the issue. When is the Mists of Pandaria beta starting?

A press tour is happening next month. Some sort of internal alpha testing is going on now, and assuming a mid- to late-summer release, my guess is that the beta test will happen some time in April, which would give three to four months of testing before it's released (July or August).

And that leads directly to the first question in The Queue today ...

Skozz asked:

Any chance that the press event might be the time that Blizzard says, "Hey, it's Mists of Pandaria Beta time!"? Seems like a decent enough reason to not leak information. Something like how, at E3, companies go, "And you can download it TODAY!"

I doubt it. We know Blizzard's got an internal alpha going on that's most likely only accessible within Blizzard HQ, and we know that Mists was in a nicely polished state at BlizzCon 2011. However, that's a long way off from a public beta, especially one that more than 1 million players from the Annual Pass are going to be playing. As I said above, I'd think April (or May at the high end).

Puntable asked:

Why can't all loot be deposited directly into your bags, like it does with loot from bosses?

There are a couple of good reasons.

First, it stops gold farmers and botters from easily farming massive piles of mobs. Of course, computer-aided clicking gets around this, but that kind of behavior is detected a lot easier than one click to loot everything would be.

Second, it provides a natural pause in the gameplay. While you might not like such breaks, the pauses are necessary in order to have a good flow. You want action, then a break, then some action, then a break, and so on ... Without it, you'll get constant killing and play, and that will lead to burnout both in the short and long term. It's to Blizzard's advantage to have some natural low points in the action, and this is one of them. (So are turning in quests, transportation, selling grays.)

Saikoujin asked:

Whatever happened to WoW x64? I know there was a big hullabaloo about it when the patch dropped a few weeks ago, but was it ever *actually* released? I seem to recall it being pulled. Or is it there, but only as a 'use at your own discretion, not yet fully supported' feature? I'd love to use the x64 version, but only once it's been fully vetted.

It's out, but it's just in a beta state. Take a look at our post for the download links. I've been running it constantly, and I'm having no problem. In fact, I've noticed a frame rate increase and overall faster loading times. Quite nice for my raids.

Puntable also asked:

Do you think the portals to the Cata zones will be removed from Stormwind and Orgrimmar when MoP launches?

No. They're necessary to get to the places without having to pull your hair out. Think of trying to get to Vashj'ir on your own, without a portal. I'd rather not, in a big way.

Blizzard removed the other portals from Shat and Dalaran so players wouldn't use them as their home cities anymore. Players are never going to use Vashj'ir as their home base, so there's no real reason to remove them. They'll end up being used in MoP in the same way the portal to the Dark Portal is used now.

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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