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The Queue: Live, from Hollywood, it's the Fox Van Allen show

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

I'm sure some of you are already familiar with my travels, but I've been in California since Tuesday. The last few days, I've been checking in at the Venice Beach offices of Tecca (my new day job), and yesterday afternoon, I went down to Irvine to get lunch with Mike Sacco.

Of course, no trip to southern California would ever be complete without a trip to The Price is Right. I met up with actress Michele Morrow in Hollywood, and after a few mimosas, an afternoon of pricing games, and a cocktail at lunch, we went back and recorded a brief vlog. (What a terrible word that is. Vlog.) Enjoy.

Oh, wait -- what's that? I have to answer your questions today, too? What nonsense is this? I'm supposed to be vacationing.

Darren asked:

Do you think Blizzard will take a few minutes while working on Mists and reduce the level requirement for the Outland cooking and fishing dailies? Its kinda dumb that they arent available until you character is already in Northrend.



I'm far from an expert at the down-and-dirty coding details of World of Warcraft quests. That said, changing the level requirements on quests likely isn't that difficult a change to make. The way I figure it, the only thing keeping Blizzard from making these quests available sooner is the lack of people asking that these quests be available sooner.

So, how about it, Blizzard? Want to make the Outland cooking and fishing dailies available sooner?

Medivahl asked:

Do you think with the removal of resistances that Blizzard will be giving different racial buffs to compensate for the lost racial?

The racials being removed are largely worthless as they currently stand. None of them stack with effects like Mark of the Wild or Shadow Resistance. So, honestly, I'm not sure it's worth the game developers' time to mess around with new racials, especially when they'll need to be as weak, underpowered, and uninteresting as the once they're replacing.

@jamesrbuk asked:

If you could explain what the "item squish" people seem to go on about is, that'd be grand...

As your character levels in World of Warcraft, he gets stronger. Spells start doing more damage. Max health for tanks starts getting higher. It's a natural part of every RPG.

Once characters get to the endgame, though, their characters can't gain any more levels. To keep things interesting, new bosses introduced between expansions need to be stronger than the last set. And to make it feel like you're being adequately rewarded for beating these bosses, new weapons and armor needs to be stronger as well. This results in some pretty strong levels of gear inflation during each expansion's endgame. To wit: The staff Ti'tahk that drops off Deathwing has 2,946 spellpower on it. Chelley's Staff of Dark Mending, an epic staff for level 85 characters from the beginning of Cataclysm, only has 1,955 spellpower on it. And that 1,955 looks grotesque when measured against a level 60 epic staff with only 41 spellpower.

If game developers did nothing, by the end of the next expansion, stats would be absurd. One weapon would need tens of thousands of points of spellpower. A tank might have 1,000,000 health. We're getting so strong that the numbers aren't making sense anymore -- and that's a problem.

To combat this inflation, Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street came up with a concept known as item squish. The concept is simple: Eliminate the gear inflation that was needed in the past for progression at levels 60, 70, and 80. Essentially, Blizzard would be slashing stats across the board.

This is a pretty controversial concept, because it's impossible to do an item squish without its looking like you're getting nerfed. You'll have less health. You'll do less damage. And even though enemies at levels 70, 80, and 85 are going to be nerfed right along with you, players are more likely to focus on their own nerfs and feel slighted.

For more on the subject, I recommend you read Ghostcrawler's Dev Watercooler on the subject.

@nighttimeapp asked:

@foxvanallen @WoWInsider Q4tQ: If you were going to add any new mini-game2 to the Darkmoon Faire, what would they be?

They call me Gato
I have metal joints
Beat me up
And earn 15 Darkmoon Points


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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