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Matthew Rossi

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Matthew Rossi is not a figment of your imagination. Matthew Rossi does not live in Edmonton, AB, in the cold and storied northlands of Canada. Matthew Rossi is not a large silithid. It's possible that this bio is not entirely accurate.

Beta raid testing rescheduled to Monday

According to Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas, the Warlords of Draenor beta raid test that was planned for today, has been rescheduled for Monday.
Raid Testing Schedule - July 25 (CANCELED)
So, sometimes things literally catch fire.

We were hoping we could get the servers up in time for the scheduled raid test, but that's looking unlikely. Servers should be up today, but I'd rather not speculate while everyone is waiting on the off-chance that testing will happen.

I'll post a new schedule for Monday testing, in a short while.


It's really unfortunate that the raid test had to be delayed - I was hoping to get a look at some of the new mechanics, get a feel for how raiding is going to work in Warlords, but I'll admit to understanding the motivation for postponing it. It's not likely that the servers will be as stable as one would hope, and sitting around waiting for them to be up doesn't make for a good, focused group to really test the content.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Pandaren, Tanaan, Gundrak's mystery tail

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.

In today's Queue, I am probably going to outright anger some of you. Try and keep it civil in the comments, as I will when I give the answer that will anger you.

Angerfork asks:
What is your take on Tanaan coming out in a future content patch & how it was communicated?

In case you're wondering, this is how it was communicated - by a tweet from Community Manager Lore.
If you're curious, my take on it is it's his job to do exactly this - answer player questions. He did so in a clear, concise and not at all disrespectful or antagonistic way. If you then look at the responses to his tweet, they're rude, condescending, and boorishly aggressive for the most part. Quite frankly, they're not worth responding to. Lore did his job, and there's no reason to be upset with him for how he did it. The argument that we should have known this sooner and it shows a lack of transparency from Blizzard doesn't work for me either - it's not like with Karabor or Bladespire, where we were told 'these will be capitals' and then later 'they won't be, sorry'.

As for the idea of Tanaan coming out in a later content patch, frankly, I don't see the problem. We already knew Farahlon would be similarly released after the expansion - we'll get to see Tanaan when we come through the Dark Portal, then start our leveling process in one of the two starting zones, and then have Gorgrond, Talador, Spires of Arak, and Nagrand to level through, so a total of six zones available at launch, five per faction. Considering how huge the zones are, it's not like we're going to be starving for content - each zone so far has had subzones within it with special level 100 content.

Basically, I find the idea that everything Blizzard says is greeted with extreme cynicism and doomsaying to be getting crazy old. Does Blizzard make mistakes? Sure they do. All the damn time. Having Mists of Pandaria last this long was a huge mistake, for instance. Do they do things each and every one of us might find questionable? Of course. But when a CM can't even make a simple post clarifying when a zone will be available without enduring sneering contempt, we need to dial it back. Especially when considering that CM's don't design the game. Getting angry with a CM over what he or she tells you is as pointless as flipping out at the guy behind the counter at Starbucks for the company's policy on how it treats small coffee farmers. (This is just an example, for all I know Starbucks has a great policy towards the independent coffer grower.)

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Relaxing about the beta

I don't know why but I find the beta period incredibly chill. There are no worries. If stuff is broken, I report it. If the content feels weak, I make a forum post saying so. I don't worry about the level ranges for expansion zones, I didn't even get all that worked up over the change to the faction capitals (although I personally didn't like the idea, it didn't work me up). One of the reasons I think I am this way is because, to me, the beta is supposed to be a place where boxes attack me and bears come up out of the ground like sharks to assault me. I expect madness and broken quests and bugginess in my beta experience. It's what the beta is - not just a place where testing can determine what quests are broken, but also a place to roll out content and examine how the experience works.

I don't know. Lately it feels like the forums and twitter have just blown up with ludicrous, over the top negativity for no reason, to the point where a simple tweet about when Tanaan will be released drives players crazy. Yes, stuff is going to change, break, not work right, and not be what you expected. It's the beta. That's how it goes. That's how it's always gone.


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Please do a Warcraft cartoon

Why yes, that is Clancy "The Kurgan" Brown as Thrall. The trailer is from the never completed Warcraft Adventures game, and it's always gotten me thinking that the Warcraft setting would have made an excellent cartoon. You could see it working in several styles - a Bruce Timm or Greg Weisman style ensemble show ala Justice League or Young Justice, an homage to Filmation style shows like He-Man or Tarzan (I'm probably the only person alive who really liked the Filmation Tarzan) - I just think, with a Warcraft movie coming out that a cartoon could work.

And man, get Clancy Brown to just do everyone. Especially Jaina. No, not especially Jaina, I actually think Laura Bailey does an excellent Jaina. But I would laugh hysterically at Clancy Brown's version.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Warcraft movie logo, props revealed

It's that time of year again - the San Diego Comic Con is in full swing, and with it, news about the upcoming Warcraft movie directed by Duncan Jones. While we still have to wait for Legendary's panel on Saturday for any really juicy details, we do now have the logo for the movie (seen above) and pictures of the Doomhammer and a Stormwind-themed sword and shield set.

I admit, I'm not much for movies adapting game properties, but that's one heck of a Doomhammer, and the Stormwind sword/shield set - I'd like those in game. Considering Travis Fimmel's in this thing and we know Ben Foster is playing Medivh in it, I'm hopeful we'll get to see Anduin Lothar up in this.

Thanks to Craig Everson for the tip

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Lore

Breakfast Topic: The Good of BlizzCon

Believe it or not, I do attempt to be fair. I'm not perfect, I have my biases, but when I wrote yesterday about BlizzCon, I did so knowing that for a lot of people it's been a positive experience. It wasn't my intention then to try and remove that experience for anyone. So, in the spirit of equal time, let me ask you this - have you been to BlizzCon? Have you had a positive experience there?

In years past a lot of my friends, coworkers and guildmates have gone to BlizzCon and enjoyed their experiences. Some have forged long friendships there. All have gotten to play Blizzard games (including various WoW expansions), hang out with people and be social while discussing things they loved, and that's all pretty great from my perspective. I'm not much of a con-goer (I dislike crowds) but I think that's all pretty worthwhile, and is worth mentioning.

So now it's your turn. What's the good of BlizzCon? Do you enjoy lore panels, Q&A sessions, systems discussions? Were you filled with joy when reforging was removed? Share your good times please.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

A plethora of World of Warcraft mysteries

Well, actually the article from Kotaku mentions ten, but I feel strongly that ten is a plethora. The video from the DDG guides covers various commenters questions about what that snake in Gundrak is, what the dwarves dug up in Bael Modan, what happened to Neptulon after he got snatched out of Throne of the Tides, and where Tyr went after he abandoned his Temple in Northrend.

It's pretty neat stuff all told, so go watch it already. Number one is pretty interesting, at least I think so. I go there from time to time via the Stratholme dungeon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

Is BlizzCon bad for World of Warcraft?

Okay, I'm sure with a headline like "Is BlizzCon bad for World of Warcraft?" you're already thinking this is it. Rossi has finally snapped. But hear me out for a second. We've had BlizzCons since 2005, before The Burning Crusade was even released. While they haven't happened every year (there was no BlizzCon 2006 and no BlizzCon 2012) it's been fairly regular since its introduction. Last year, Warlords of Draenor was previewed at BlizzCon 2013 - for many of us it's the source of pretty much every opinion we have on the expansion.

That, in fact, is exactly what got me thinking that it's possible that BlizzCon itself is bad for the game, for the game community at large, and for the future of the franchise. BlizzCon, by its very nature, is a hype machine. It's where we learn details about the expansion - its name, its features, its setting and goals - before they are even close to being ready for players. People play demos. Developers give talks about the games. In many ways it's very exciting. I've never been myself, but most of my coworkers and a lot of my in-game friends have. So my argument isn't that BlizzCon itself is bad.

But looking over the past year or so, in terms of Warlords of Draenor and player interaction with it, I start to wonder if having the big reveal at the convention does more harm than good, overall. Expectations are set at the convention - looking at the recent player reaction to the news that Karabor and Bladespire wouldn't be capital cities in Draenor, the issue can in part be traced back to the fact that we were told they would be at BlizzCon. Players (like myself) had months to get excited about the idea of Karabor as a capital city. Then, suddenly, we were told (almost as an afterthought) that no, the capitals were moved to Ashran.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Do you want to keep your old face?

In my extremely accurate and scientific polling (I read some twitter) I have discovered that one of Blizzard's biggest fears for the new character models seems to have been pretty accurate. Even though they've said (multiple times) that the faces on the new models are still a work in progress, I keep seeing the same reaction over and over again - "I really like the new models but my character's face has changed and now it's not as good/not my character." If you remember back to 2009, when the when are they going to update character models talk started being bandied about, you'll remember that being one of Blizzard's biggest arguments against doing it - people get very attached to their characters and think of them in a way that makes them very dangerous to tinker with.

So far it seems like people have a Not My Character's Face policy towards the revamp - they like how the new models are more detailed and are in general much more fluid and animated, but they still don't like it when the faces change.

So how about you? How attached to your character's face?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: We destroy whatever we touch

I was having a discussion on twitter about the previous WoW expansions and someone made the point that in terms of our affect on the places we go, the 'heroes' of World of Warcraft (namely, us) are more like a horde of powerfully equipped locusts. We come in, smash everything, destroy everything and leave with everything in ruins.

Take the Cataclysm expansion. Sure, Deathwing broke most of that stuff. But after our major battle with him, the results of his rampage remained. Mists of Pandaria is even worse - the destruction of the Jade Forest and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms can be laid directly at our feet, really - we're the ones who brought the Horde and Alliance to Pandaria and fought to get them a foothold. Now we're heading to Draenor, and we're leaving Pandaria in a shambles - he might be a massive jerk who fails to grasp the bigger picture, but Taran Zhu is right about one thing. It was us outsiders that destroyed his paradise.

On the other hand, if not for us, Deathwing would have destroyed Azeroth entirely and Pandaria would still be ultimately ruled by the sha, so to my eyes it's kind of balanced out. Can't save a planet without breaking some stuff.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics