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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.

Know Your Lore: Breakout Characters of 2014, Part Two

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

When last I was writing about this, we covered some characters that got their chance at the spotlight in 2014. Real life then conspired to interrupt me, but I'm finally back, almost a month into 2015, to talk some more about 2014. Timely!

Anyway, I don't think my choices are going to be groundbreaking or shocking for anyone. We all know my biases, but you may be surprised by some choices anyway, because sometimes, I actually try and ignore my biases and be fair. Sometimes.


Straight up - I expected to hate Ga'nar. When you first meet him, he's your typical blustering orc, going on about murdering Iron Horde with his shovel (granted, they had him digging out latrines, I'd be pretty upset too) and posturing at Hellscream as you retreat from Tanaan. But something happened on the way through Frostfire Ridge. He started to grow on me. He was arrogant and hotheaded, yes, but also brave and well, such an orc about everything. And when he challenged Durotan, he showed a quality I hadn't expected in him - as Durotan refused to even fight him, declaring that he would stand and let Ga'nar kill him if necessary, Ga'nar backed down.

The final confrontation with Fenris Wolfbrother (and the revelation that Fenris was the eldest son of Garad and Geyah) ultimately revealed Ga'nar's true self to the player. I'm a sucker for heroic sacrifices. Always have been. And this was a heck of a heroic sacrifice, all told - after dispatching their wicked elder brother, Ga'nar refuses to allow Durotan to die, instead hurling himself, a lone orc (say it in Muradin Bronzebeard's voice) against the forces of the Iron Horde, and his death buys victory for his people. I'm sorry, but as much as I often bag on orcs, this was an excellent heroes' death for Ga'nar, and it won my affection.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Looking for...

When I first started playing World of Warcraft some ten years ago, if you'd told me one day I could simply queue for dungeons, raids, even open world content, I'd have looked confused because I barely understood how to run dungeons with a group of friends at that point, much less all this talk of 'queueing' for anything.

Thinking about this the other day I started wondering if we were at maximum inclusion, if there was any kind of content that could exist that would use the queue system. You can queue for PvP and PvE, you can queue for random BG's, dungeons and raids, world bosses and I'm wondering what could possibly be left. I'd say scenarios, but we had those in Mists.

Have we achieved peak Group Finder? Or am I missing something? For that matter, could an entirely new form of content be introduced? Flex dungeons? One of the reasons I love this job is that I know you'll come up with something that completely eludes me.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Patch 6.0.3 Hotfixes for January 12

Yes, more hotfixes. What do they entail, you ask? Well, I'm glad you did. Here's just a few highlights from this latest round of hotfixes. There are quite a few class changes, some of which I highly approve of (the ones that buff warriors) and other changes as well.
  • Death Knights see Blood Boil's damage reduced by 33.3%
  • Sacred Duty, formerly granting 5% additional haste from all sources, is heavily buffed and now grants 30% haste from all sources.
  • For you enhancement shaman, Stormstrike sees an 11.1% damage buff.
  • Gladiator Stance now only increases damage by 5%, down from 20%, but just about all damaging abilities for protection warriors see buffs - Thunder Clap, Deep Wounds and Revenge were buffed by 40%, while Devastate and Shield Slam both got 20% buffs.
There's a lot more, so head on over to the official site and take a look for yourself. Just about every class but monks saw some adjustment.

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Hotfixes, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1 PTR: A Legendary follower for your garrison

The 6.1 PTR isn't even live yet, but datamining continues apace, and the folks at Wowhead have certainly dug up a doozy for us. Apparently as part of the legendary questline, we'll be getting the first ever legendary follower, namely Garona Halforcen, the infamous Shadow Council assassin. If you're curious about what a legendary follower gets, it's impressive.

It's very interesting to see the quest open up in this way, really . It broadens the idea of the kinds of rewards you can get from a legendary chain, and it also makes me hope that we might see other such followers. Perhaps my hope that Maraad can make a comeback isn't entirely unwarranted.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Your Dream Legendary

Once upon a time, the only legendary items were weapons, or means to create weapons. (I'm ignoring the Talisman of Binding Shard, okay?) But with the introduction of the Legendary Cloak in Mists of Pandaria, and now the Ring and Follower in Warlords of Draenor, we're experiencing an entirely new phenomenon, whole new kinds of legendary items, even an outright legendary person. This has gotten me wondering - what new kinds of legendaries would you like to see in World of Warcraft?

A legendary shield? Legendary offhand items? A legendary mount or pet? A legendary toybox item? Or could we get even weirder? The legendary cloak made it possible to fight a world boss, perhaps we could actually summon a legendary version of a boss with entirely different loot? The sky's the limit. What should be legendary?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Queue: Dancing gifs, dinosaurs, bulky plate armor

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.

Let's talk about the Maniraptora. For one thing, the Maniraptora is a very large clade, including various subgroups, one of which is the birds - this means that the Maniraptora is the only surviving clade of dinosaurs, since all bird species are included within it. In addition to birds, the segnosaurs, the various raptor species (Dromaeosauridae) and the Oviraptorosauria were all members of the Maniraptora. It's almost certain that all members of the Maniraptora (indeed, possibly all Coelurosauria) were feathered, with body plans and bone structures we would find convincingly bird-like.

In case you are wondering this is why I'm so bloody annoyed that in 2015 we're going to have another Jurassic Park sequel with featherless raptors. Similarly, WoW raptors just irk me now. Put some damn feathers on them! They had feathers. I get that people refuse to accept that T-Rex had feathers (although it did) but the Maniraptora were even more ludicrously birdlike than that, because they literally are birds and all dinosaurs closely related to birds. If your movie has any member of the Dromaeosauridae in it, and they're not feathered, your movie is wrong. Same for games, same for any media. They had feathers.

HemttTanker asks:
Two questions: Does the 2 week timer for Highmaul follower missions start when the mission first becomes available or when the mission is attempted?

If I have a Highmaul follower mission sitting in my queue and I go kill enough raid bosses to quality for the next tier of reward, does the mission I have upgrade or does that only apply to the next one two weeks later?

As far as I'm aware it acts like any timer, it resets based on server time. If you keep that follower mission sitting in your queue and then unlock another tier of reward, it'll apply when the mission resets in two weeks. I admit that I may be misunderstanding how this timer works, but this is my current understanding.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: All Hail Maraad

If I had to list the one character in Warlords of Draenor who already existed, but who improved the most in this expansion, my choice would absolutely be Vindicator Maraad. Before this expansion, all we ever got to see from him was his appearances in the comic book, a brief cameo in Northrend, and his appearance in the Prophet's Lesson short story (which was pretty cool). The first hint we got that he was going to be a big part of Warlords was his appearance in a Pandaria short story, and that hint was confirmed by his appearance in the Lords of War shorts, then his role in the Warlords of Draenor cinematics and as you level through the game.

So I ask you - who was your favorite established NPC in Warlords? Was it Cho'gall? Teron'gor? Thrall? Velen? Garrosh? Let me know.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Queue: Emergency Rossi Edition

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.

There's been a slight calamity, and so the glass has been broken and the emergency Rossi has been brought forth to write this edition of The Queue for you. Think of me as a helpful, somewhat hairy, denizen of the frozen north. A helper sasquatch, if you will. Since I have a cat named Sasquatch, here's a picture of him being helpful.

At least he thought so, anyway.

Morte asks:
Q4TQ: Can you do the Tanaan Jungle intro quests with a friend or is it a solo experience?

I know that a guildmate of mine did it grouped with his wife and they both completed it together.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Do you like alts?

I've lost my taste for alts this expansion. With the Garrison being so important it feels like I'd be wasting effort to level another character, even though I could theoretically end up with a lot more materials that way. It just seems like a lot of time and effort spent leveling which I could be using on follower missions and so on. But on the other hand, I could very well set my stuff on my main then switch over to an alt, so maybe I'm wrong.

This is complicated by the fact that I've never really been a big altoholic - I mean, I play a lot of warriors, but that was mostly because of a neurological disorder I have. Most people wouldn't do that. So I'm stuck on the fence. What do you think? Do you like alts? Is Warlords the wrong time to experiment with the idea of starting up a host of them? Let us know. Let me know. I need help to make this decision.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Patch 6.0.3 Hotfixes for January 7th

Hotfixes, piping hot. And what's in those hotfixes, you may ask? Well, I'm glad you did. Because if you hadn't, rhetorical reader, I wouldn't be able to inform you that, in addition to the trap stealing hotfix we mentioned earlier:
  • Spawn rates for Direfang Alpha, Ironhide Bull, and Wetland Trampler has increased slightly. This change requires a realm restart.
  • Alliance and Horde PvP vendors in Ashran now have collision boxes, so it should be easier for players to buy stuff.
  • Hand of Protection should now interrupt players that are in the process of capturing a point in the Battlegrounds.
  • A whole host of class fixes and changes.
Come with us under the shadow of this small jump to see what's going on.

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