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Alex Ziebart

Milwaukee, WI -

When not writing for or his personal projects, Alex is most often found playing WoW Alliance-side on the Cenarion Circle server.

The Queue: Lumbershelly

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.

Everyone thank Adam for covering for me yesterday. And now I'm taking his place today!

Bugboy asked:

I'm sure this has been asked and answered, but...well, my apologies for not taking note before. For the legendary quest, do we need to collect and keep 4986 apexis crystals, or can we spend them along the way?

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Filed under: The Queue

Hearthstone's Goblins vs Gnomes now live

Hearthstone's first expansion, Goblins vs Gnomes, is now live. In celebration of the launch, all players who log into the game before December 19 will receive three Goblins vs Gnomes card packs free of charge. In addition, success in the arena will grant Goblins vs Gnomes card packs as rewards. Classic card packs will no longer be available through the arena, but they are still available of purchase with gold.

Of course, this being a Blizzard launch, the Hearthstone servers have been suffering from instability today. Many players have been unable to connect to the game (and other Blizzard titles) this evening. The draw of new cards is strong.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

World of Warcraft Annual now available in the UK

Blizzard EU has announced the World of Warcraft Annual, published by Pedigree Books Limited, is now available via Pedigree's website or Amazon UK. For a limited time, the book is available 50% off -- £3.99 via Pedigree. The World of Warcraft Annual is an activity book full of quizzes, crosswords, puzzles, and more. This product is a UK exclusive -- unless you can find someone to ship it overseas, you aren't getting it at all.

As an American, I found the product itself puzzling. A hardcover activity book? That's a bit fancy for something you're going to chop up and scribble in, isn't it? Apparently annuals like these are a popular Christmas gift in the UK. Where Americans make activity books in paperback with the expectation that they ought to be disposable after children tear them to pieces, they're made to last overseas where they often become an heirloom of sorts, kept for a lifetime alongside baby's first crayon doodles. Let's be real, though: the vast majority of these will end up on grown adults' bookshelves, right?

Filed under: News items

Hotfixes for December 4

Another day, another round of hotfixes. Today's highlights include:
  • Player pets should now correctly rejoin the player after taking a flight path or using a vehicle.
  • Battleground Flag Carriers should now correctly have a 45-second delay before their location is revealed to the enemy team (was incorrectly revealing their location immediately).
  • Recruit-a-Friend characters should now be correctly receiving a 300% bonus to the experience awarded for completing a Dungeon (was incorrectly awarding 900% instead).
The full hotfixes can be found below. There are a few class balance hotfixes there, so don't miss them!

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Filed under: Hotfixes

World of Warcraft developer AMA highlights

Last night, World of Warcraft developers Tom Chilton, Ion Hazzikostas, Cory Stockton, and Brian Holinka held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the /r/wow subreddit along with the occasional responses from community managers Jonathan Brown (Zarhym), Micah Whipple (Bashiok), Josh Allen (Lore), and Randy Jordan (Kaivax). Over the course of the AMA, the developers answered questions pertaining to class balance, Warlords features, garrisons, character models, and slight teasers for future content. We'll pull out a few highlights here, but we suggest heading over to /r/wow to read everything. Subreddit moderator aphoenix compiled a handy summary of the AMA to make finding the developers' responses quick and easy -- but remember to read the developers' full responses rather than take the summary as direct quotes.

Flight in Warlords of Draenor
Aedeus asked:
What's the deal currently with your stance on flying, any new developments, or insights?

Ion Hazzikostas: Overall, we're happy with how ground travel in Draenor has played out thus far, and we've heard a lot of feedback to that effect as well, though we of course recognize that there are players who feel differently. We'll have more to announce about our 6.1 patch plans in the very near future, but as the focus of our endgame outdoor content remains in the main Draenor zones, our reasons for disallowing flight in 6.0 continue to apply in 6.1. Whether you're navigating your way to Orumo the Observer in Shattrath Rise, trying to reach a treasure cache atop a column in Spires, or working your way around the ledges encircling The Pit, you're engaging in gameplay that simply would not exist in a world with unfettered flight. It was never our intent to make large-scale navigation of the world inconvenient, and in 6.1 we're going to be improving our flight path system to always take the most direct route between two points, even if you have not discovered some of the intermediate nodes. Please keep the feedback coming – if you're unhappy with the design, some of the most helpful feedback would be specific examples of situations or systems that feel frustrating without being able to fly in Draenor.

Follow along for a few more highlights.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Get an early taste of Goblins vs Gnomes in the Hearthstone arena

Though Hearthstone's Goblins vs Gnomes doesn't officially launch until December 8, the new cards are already active -- in the Hearthstone arena. In addition, if you log in between today and December 8, you'll receive one free run at the arena. If you want an early look at Goblins vs Gnomes cards in action, now is your chance.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hotfixes for December 3

Another significant round of hotfixes have gone live for Warlords of Draenor. This bunch includes numerous fixes to garrisons, classes, and the newly released Highmaul and world bosses. Some highlights include:
  • Iron Horde Invasion: Made a number of adjustments to make Gold Victory more obtainable.
  • Borrok the Devourer should now drop a Devourer's Gutstone that allows more than one player to loot it.
  • Tarlna the Ageless' Genesis ability now summons a maximum of 15 Giant Lashers and has a increased duration of 12 seconds (up from 6 seconds).
It's worth noting that though there has not been concrete confirmation, there's speculation that Tarlna the Ageless summoning far too many lashers contributed to server instability Tuesday evening.

The full list of hotfixes can be found below.

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Filed under: Hotfixes, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Garrisons, Socrethar, and disgusting toes

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.

Good news! Today isn't completely about garrisons. Only mostly.

Hallowspite asked:

how the heck do I use follower enhancement items? I'm in the mission table follower screen in front of a level 100 follower who's neither assigned to a building nor out on a mission, but nothing is working.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Hearthstone's Goblins vs Gnomes launches December 8

Hearthstone's Goblins vs Gnomes, which was announced at BlizzCon, has been slowly trickling out new information about the expansion, such as a selection of its new cards. Today, Blizzard has announced that Goblins vs Gnomes will go live December 8 -- a little less than a week from today. Those in Europe, Korea, Taiwan, and China will need to wait until December 9, however.

Goblins vs Gnomes cards will be acquired through new in-game card packs available for purchase with real money or the in-game gold currency. Goblins vs Gnomes cards can also be crafted with dust like any other card or won via the arena.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Maintenance extended until 1 p.m. PST [UPDATE: 3 p.m.]

The launch of a new expansion is fraught with extended maintenance -- Warlords of Draenor being no exception. Today's maintenance, which was already a rather large window, has been extended until 1 p.m. PST.

We'll keep you posted on any developments.

Update: Blizzard's Customer Service team now states realms will be down for an additional two hours. The new ETA is 3 p.m. PST.

Filed under: News items

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