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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.

Breakfast Topic: What 6.0 means

I suspect it's different for everyone. For me, the last month of any expansion is always kind of melancholy. My wife and I were discussing saudade last night, a concept I wasn't familiar with, and while it's not that intense I do always feel that small pang for what's lost when an expansion rolls around. Sure, I'm excited for new content, new levels, new dungeons and raids and zones. But at the same time, Pandaria had been my home for two years now. I've explored it, seen the magnificent vistas, done battle with a host of foes and monsters. And now, it all comes to an end. That last month, we don't really even see the content anymore - in our minds we're long past it already, exploring Draenor.

So for me, patch 6.0 is bitter with the sweet - it's full of an awareness of its own mortality, of the world growing autumnal. Yes, we're still there in Pandaria, still running the same raids and dungeons, doing the same daily quests, exploring the same Timeless Isle - but we're already gone, and the world grows colder and prepares to be abandoned. I feel that longing for when it was all new, that now vanished world we first stepped into years ago. But its time is done. And here we are, in its waning weeks, finally aware of how transient it always was.

So enjoy patch 6.0, by all means, and prepare for Draenor. But give Pandaria its last month, and enjoy it for what it was, and will never be again.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blizzard on eSports: WoW is kind of hard to watch

I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that one of the reasons World of Warcraft hasn't made as big a splash in the world of eSports as games like League of Legends is because, simply put, you can't really watch it as well as other games. Blizzard itself isn't unaware of this. According to Kim Phan, Blizzard's Sr. Manager of eSports, one of the issues they're looking at is the fact that WoW simply wasn't designed to be something people watched the way bigger eSports games are.

"I can definitely say that WoW 3v3 Arena right now is kind of hard to watch, in the form that it is," he told PCGamesN. "And so there are things that we want to evaluate."

"World of Warcraft was obviously created well before eSports blew up to the way it is now. It is taking a game that was out before all of this happened, and then figuring out how to enhance it and support it . . . What makes something an eSport really depends on what people want to see."

It's a sticky problem, to be sure - how do you promote WoW as an eSport when it's kind of hard for anyone to really watch it? I think she's dead on the mark there. Spectator mode's a nice idea, but I think we need to consider how to make stuff like Rated Battlegrounds attractive as a competitive eSport as well - larger teams would make it something relatively few such games do.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP

The Queue: Pandaria CRZ, a whole lot of nonsense, class/race combos

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.

So I got asked a huge set of questions and that's kind of taking up the majority of this installment of The Queue, so let's get on with things, shall we? Let's do.

MichaelVakian asks:
Q4TQ: Any thoughts on if 6.0 will drop on a Tuesday or a Thursday? I know generally Tuesdays are the magic day, but there has been something about them terrible Thursdays that keep pricking the hairs on the back of my neck.

My default assumption is a Tuesday until I hear differently, which has not been the case so far.

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: My LFR phobia

I have many alts. Many of them are warriors, because, well, come on it's me you can't pretend you're surprised at this point it's been seven years. Anyway, I've been playing one of these alts quite a bit lately, gotten his gear up from a 470 to a 528 through playing the AH, using the Timeless Isle and an heirloom 2h axe from Garrosh. The problem is, there's one easy way to get better gear than I currently have - run LFR. Even just running Throne of Thunder on LFR would help because it would get me rep I could use to get a new necklace. There's just one problem - I absolutely can't bring myself to do it. At all. Not even a little bit.

I managed to force myself to run the first wing of SoO this week, got the last two bosses, and after about six wipes apiece (filled with racial epithets, trash talk, constant ragequitting, and other behavior) I just can't bring myself to do it again for the first two. It's a shame, because I miss raiding - a lot - but I can't commit to a regular raid schedule at this point. LFR, with its bite sized, raid when you havethe time approach is tailor made for the kind of schedule I have nowadays. But the behavior is so toxic that I just can't make myself try it again.

So I'm asking, because I have no idea - what could we possibly do to improve LFR as an experience?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: The Dark Portal

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.

The Dark Portal is the symbol of the Warcraft universe. It was the loading screen for the original game, for the Burning Crusade expansion, and it will be again for the new Warlords of Draenor expansion as well. When we think of the orcish Horde pouring into Azeroth to murder and plunder, it's the Dark Portal they used to get there - when the Alliance Expedition returned the favor and took the fight to Draenor, it was the Dark Portal that allowed them to do so. The Dark Portal nearly destroyed Azeroth when Ner'zhul ripped Draenor apart into Outland, and we used it to travel to that same Outland to do battle with Illidan Stormrage.

Yet for all we know about it, there's much we don't - was it Medivh or his dark corrupter Sargeras who actually instructed Gul'dan on how to build it? How does it function, what magics sustain it, and how does Warlords tease us with the possibility that there could be many methods to power such a doorway between worlds? Why did Ner'zhul's attempt to open more portals like it destroy his Draenor, and could the same fate befall the one we're traveling to - or worse, our own Azeroth? How dangerous is it to tamper with space and, now, time in this way?

Let us pursue the history of the Dark Portal for some answers. There will be spoilers for Warlords of Draenor in the post to follow.

Read more →

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

Blizzard presents Behind the Scenes on Lords of War

If you were wondering how they came up with the idea to do the Lords of War series, Blizzard has a pretty awesome video for you to watch, up on IGN now. This behind the scenes look into the development process of the Lords of War series is interesting for what you find out you didn't get as much as for what you did. I also loved finding out that Maraad is voiced by Crispin Freeman, aka Red Arrow from Young Justice. It's very cool to get to see him explaining what he's up to in the story, and in general I liked getting to see what went into the making of this video series.

You should definitely check it out. It's up on IGN right now.

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

The Queue: Release the Kraken!

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.

Surprise! It's me! Writing the Queue the way I do sometimes. I decided to release a kraken today, I haven't done that in a while and I got to missing it. Besides, all these krakens piling up around the house, it's crazy, I can't get anything done.

Snitch76 asks:
Is there likely to be any more beta patches before 6.0, or any changes between the last patch and 6.0? I'm really hoping for a few last minute changes to my class(es) of choice!

They did one last night. They'll keep doing beta patches until they're satisfied with balance, so you really can't be sure they're done until they outright say they're done.

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: It should have been a raid

Every single time I go through the Well of Eternity dungeon, I keep thinking to myself that they really missed an opportunity. It was such a huge, sprawling dungeon with plenty of space for more than the three boss fights it contained - it could easily have been a five or six boss raid with minimal adjustment. Seeing the familiar night elf architecture but with painted, colored walls and the sweeping glass ramp to Azshara's platform always made me wish we'd gotten more of it.

But there are quite a few dungeons in the game that could have made excellent raids. Wrath of the Lich King had Utgarde Pinnacle, which was originally designed as a raid, and Mists of Pandaria had Mogu'shan Palace, which feels to this day to be unexplored due to the sheer scope of the place. We've had old raids come back as dungeons before - Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman come to mind - but if you ask me, I'd like to see some of these dungeons come back as full fledged raids.

So I'll ask you - what five player dunegon do you think would work as a raid?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Yes, Molten Core LFR will grant Hydraxian Waterlords reputation

I'm pretty excited about the upcoming 10th Anniversary Molten Core LFR, but I have to admit, of all the reasons I have to be excited about that, the idea that it would be a way to gather Hydraxian Waterlords reputation would have been absolutely on the bottom of the list. However, some of you apparently care about this, and now it's official - Crithto has confirmed that yes, Virginia, there is a Hydraxian Waterlords Reputation Santa Claus. So there you have it.

Now, when I ran Molten Core, back in the day, you needed that rep to get the Aqual Quintessence you needed to douse the runes. And you needed one Quintessence per rune, so several people in your raid had to be gathering rep with them in order to get enough to complete the raid! You kids today, you don't even need to march 40 people through Blackrock Depths to get them to the Raid entrance inside the very base of the dungeon! Now (well, soon) you just queue up in LFR and get all the sweet Hydraxian Waterlords reputation you want, and you don't even need it for anything!

I'll be over here in my rocking chair.

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

Patch 6.0: Treasure room keys removed

If you're trying to get the achievement In The Hall Of The Thunder King, get working on it not, because as soon as Patch 6.0 drops the achievement becomes a Feat of Strength, and the key will no longer drop. That's the word from Kaivax on the forums.

Kaivax - Treasure Room Achievement -> Feat of Strength
n WoW Patch 6.0.2, we will be retiring the Achievement In The Hall Of The Thunder King, as the treasure room will no longer be accessible. That achievement will become a Feat of Strength, and Elder Charm of Good Fortune will drop in place of the key to the room.


I admit I don't understand the reasoning behind this. First the legendary cloak, then the Brawler's Guild, and now the Treasure Room, all effectively removed in a few weeks. Seems strange to see so much content going inaccessible like this. But you've been warned, so if you're working on this, get a move on.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria