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The Queue: The Alpha has landed

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

I've got Hangar 18 by Megadeth playing, I have my bottle of water, and I have the Queue. Let's do this.

StevenThomas asks:

So given the Patchnotes and publicly announced Alpha and the 91-99 Expansion boosts, do you have enough news to last, and who was afk when they dropped?

Adam was doing his taxes when they dropped. Alex was feeling somewhat ill. As for enough news to last... is there ever really enough news? But we have stuff to talk about for a while.
EmberDione asks:

I get ability bloat, but why remove abilities EVERYONE uses? *cries over AotD*

Flash back to 2005. I'm tanking my first Molten Core run. The raid leader is giving out instructions to the raid, and he makes a special point of saying 'Everyone, remember to wait for three sunders before you open up on Garr.' This became the benchmark for every vanilla raid - it was the standard for all DPS to know now is the time to open up and even when paladins and druids, and later death knights and monks became tanks. the concept was enshrined in the lexicon of WoW. As recently as last month, I heard someone say 'count sunders in your head before you cut loose' in a flex run.

And now that's gone.

Change can be scary, it can be offputting, it can be hard to understand. In order for these changes to be meaningful ones - in order for them to have an actual affect on the game and on us, at least some of them must be significant. Making it so only Blood DK's can use Army of the Dead is one such change, just as taking Whirlwind away from arms warriors or removing Berserker Stance or taking Arcane Shot away from marksmanship hunters is a big change. If they didn't make changes to abilities people use, then there wouldn't be any real impact to trying to trim down the ability bloat.

By making specific abilities spec only, or even just plain gone in some cases, you make things matter. AoTD becomes a spec specific ability. Berserker Stance, an appendix of the old days of stance design, goes the way of the dodo. What remains is more important for it.

Fraug asks:

Programming question - Would changing the file format for WoW potentially be a leading cause for the slower-than-expected release? I know very little about programming on a large scale like WoW, but that kind of change seems like a biggie.

I, also, know very little about programming on any scale. I assume the development of the new file format didn't directly impact the speed of the expansion's progress, mainly because I assume that it was done separately. However, based on the claims for the new file format, I could be wrong about that. From the Alpha announcement post yesterday, this format is the one being used for the Heroes of the Storm alpha test, and I can attest that it works beautifully there, so I'm excited to see how WoW converts to it.

dms614 asks:

Before the expansion is released is there hope of:

A) Flex scaling for normal and heroic mode

B) Loot lock rather than boss lock (So I can tank for two raid groups!)

We will be getting A in patch 6.0 for sure. (It'll be called normal and heroic, it'll be equivalent to what we call flex and normal today). Mythic raiding will also debut at that time. As for how loot will be handled, I haven't heard any news about that since BlizzCon, and the Alpha notes didn't cover raiding changes.

JeffLabowski asks:

Q4tQ:

Do you think Crystal of Insanity will be nerfed with the stat squish? 500 increase to all stats might be pretty crazy if not.

Depends on what you mean by nerfed. I expect it will be squished along with everything else, but that doesn't necessarily equate to a nerf - if all things are squished, then they're all relatively the same as they were before the squish. On the other hand, it may still be overly strong after the squish, in which case it may be further reduced in power or given one of those 'doesn't work after X level' modifiers.

Orkchop asks:

Why is there no mention of tamable snakes? When do we get our tamable snakes?!

Someday I'll understand why people keep asking me this question.

So that's the Queue for today. Yes, we'll absolutely be talking more about the patch notes. Believe 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!

Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

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