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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.

The Queue: Pressure pushing down on me

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.

My birthday is in six days. What did you get me? You didn't get me anything, did you? This is my sad face. You can't see it, of course, because it's just that sad. And also because I didn't actually take a picture of it. Let's all just listen to my favorite David Bowie song, which also happens to be my favorite Queen song.

PhantomQuasar asks:
How would you like to see the Garrison evolve in the next expansion? What could be done to improve this concept even more?

The three ideas I've seen for Garrisons that I've liked so far are as follows:
  • Warcraft style Garrison PvP, where you and your followers (acting as hero units ala Warcraft 3) do battle against another player and his followers.
  • Mobile Garrisons - maybe an airship like the Skybreaker or Orgrim's Hammer, or gigantic naval craft, or if we go up against the Burning Legion maybe something like a Naaru dimension ship. Heck, maybe we can get our hands on Tempest Keer. And maybe it can transform into a giant robot. Yeah, I like Macross so what?
  • Dance Studio. Just make it happen already.
I don't necessarily think it should be the same Garrison, or even called a Garrison next time, but if we're going to evolve the concept, I love the idea of a mobile base that takes you from zone to zone. Kind of a quest hub that follows you around.

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Highmaul opens

So today's the day - Highmaul opens, and with it, the start of raiding in Warlords of Draenor. I've personally been so sick I've barely even played the past week, so I'm woefully unprepared (some dude with a bandana tied over his eyes keeps telling me) but that's my own fault - well, my fault for having a fragile human body made of flesh. But what about y'all? Are you ready for Highmaul? Will you be diving back into raiding this week?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

My Garrison of Discontent

Is it possible to admire something as well designed, a really excellent piece of game design, yet resent that it exists? Because I feel that way about the Garrison.

Keep in mind, I'm not saying the Garrison is bad, because I honestly believe it's one of the most intriguing things World of Warcraft has ever done. Instead of something like player housing, they've made you the head of a base, a forward war camp on hostile alien terrain. In essence, your Garrison is the tip of the Horde or Alliance spear onto Draenor. It's brilliantly executed. The feature, with its outposts and the follower minigame and the buildings that grant specific benefits all ties together, and feels organic - it makes sense that your base of operations, cut off as it is from home (at least in terms of story) would do as much as it could to become a self-sufficient entity. Frankly, although we have Warspear and Stormshield over on Ashran, the Garrison feels more like the official Horde or Alliance capital, at least to me.

And yet I've grown to hate my Garrison in some ways.

Perhaps it's simply that the Garrison is too good at hooking into the rat brain and making it dance. There's always some reason to be concerned about it - if you want to make use of your Garrison to its fullest extent, there's ore to be mined or plants to be gathered or missions to send your followers on, resources to be collected, buildings to be upgraded. It feels like I'm never allowed not to be thinking about my Garrison.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor launch woes featured on BBC's Watchdog

We all remember the launch. Even Blizzard admits it wasn't the smoothest, to the point where we were offered five days off our subs and an apology from J. Allen Brack. That's not something Blizzard does very often anymore, and it signifies that yes, this was a pretty big deal in terms of launch screwups. Ironically, for some of us (like myself) it was a pretty smooth launch overall. But for some of us it was so bad that they complained to the BBC, as the above clip showcases.

Incgamers has a long article about the show Watchdogs on the BBC that goes into detail about the piece and its conclusions for the Warlords launch. I feel forced to agree that Watchdogs doesn't seem to have tried very hard here - their example of someone not being able to play WoW is someone on an ancient computer running around Ashran, and he's level 100, so... he played sometime. It's definitely an interesting time to be a World of Warcraft player, as the ten year old MMO seems to regaining cultural relevance with a vengeance lately. I don't think anybody's surprised that the launch troubles have been a highly discussed issue, but this seems like a new extreme to me.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: What's up with Gorehowl?

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.

Those of you who had a holiday yesterday, I hope it was festive. Those that didn't, I still hope it was festive. I hope you had random festivities just happen because you're cool and you should get to be festive all the time.

Now let's talk about World of Warcraft. Our first question is one I've mused about before.

ChaosInHyrule asks:
do both Garrosh and Grom wield Gorehowl? if so, did Grom ever notice?

Yes, and yes, sort of. When Garrosh was transported to Draenor, he didn't have Gorehowl - he left that behind in the chamber the Heart of Y'shaarj was discovered in and where the forces of the Alliance and Horde faced the Sha of Pride. When Garrosh informed Grommash of what Gul'dan's offer would mean, the elder Hellscream wielded Gorehowl in the fight against Mannoroth. But when Garrosh took Grommash's place as Warlord of the Warsong Clan from Garroshar in Nagrand, he was using Gorehowl, and when we see Grommash in flashback scenes like the one in Shadowmoon Valley, he isn't using Gorehowl, which implies that he entrusted it to Garrosh along with the responsibility of leading the Warsong. So, since it seems that Grommash let Garrosh use Gorehowl, he probably did notice that Garrosh was using it.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Have you tried Ashran?

First off, let me complain that I have a terribly hard time calling it Ashran - I always correct it in my head to Ashram, because, well, ashrams are real things. Anyway, Ashran is a really rather sophisticated mix of elements, a development in terms of PvP that reminds me of Wintergrasp, of the old days of Tarren Mill and Southshore, and of ancient never-ending Alterac Valley matches, but better than that sounds.

I've really only gotten my feet wet in Ashran so far, haven't had a chance to really throw myself into it. So I'm asking you guys - have you tried Ashran? What did you think of it? Did you like it, did you hate it, do you wish you could move there? Give me the head's up before I start getting serious on PvP again.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: Ner'zhul and the breaking of the pact

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.

This is one of those times when we're talking about the Warlords version of a character, and not the original. This is not the Ner'zhul we know - this is not the elder shaman who united the orc clans while being manipulated by Kil'jaeden. Although this Ner'zhul is certainly a respected shaman and the leader of the Shadowmoon Clan, he's not the same as the orc we know - he hasn't made the same choices. And yet, he is Nerzhul. The deathspeaker, the shaman who watched the stars and listened to the stories they told him.

On the Draenor we now explore, history has unfolded differently. Some things are the same - Ner'zhul's student turned on his master and sold his soul for demonic power, and attempted to lead the orc clans as a whole into slavery and a genocidal war against the Draenei. But on this world, Ner'zhul wasn't so easily deceived. There are differences between the worlds even before Garrosh Hellscream's arrival - and those differences, great and small, have led to a different Ner'zhul, who made different decisions, and brought about a dark destiny for the Shadowmoon Clan. Was it worse than the rise of the Old Horde? In some ways, of course it couldn't be - at least the orcish clans of Draenor still own their own souls.

All, perhaps, except Ner'zhul and the Shadowmoon.

Read more →

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

Breakfast Topic: Happy Thursday

I'd say it's just Thursday for those of us living outside the US, but for me it will be Thanksgiving because my wife and mother in law have decided to celebrate American Thanksgiving in Canada, possibly to be nice to me, possibly because hey nobody hates a chance at another turkey. But either way it's still Pilgrim's Bounty, it's still the Anniversary event, and it's still Warlords of Draenor, the most popular World of Warcraft expansion in years and years. There can be no escape.

So let's make it simple. If you're in the US, how are you going to evade your family and play this fine day? And if you're not in the US, how are you going to ignore how Americans (including myself) seem to forget the other six billion people on the planet don't celebrate our holidays? Will you involve Warlords of Draenor in this?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topics: What Building do you think Garrisons need?

I was just wondering about what I'd put in my Garrison if I could - I still think the idea of a Tony Start style armory where all your various transmog sets were on display would be cool, but then I really got to thinking about it - maybe an airstrip to allow you to fly between various points in Draenor (or perhaps that could be how we learn flying when it comes in, via the airstrip?) or perhaps a variety of race specific buildings could be added? Something like an elaborate orrery for blood elves, a crystalline tower for draenei, a clockwork robot lab for gnomes, a stump for orcs.

Honestly, I'm dead curious. What would you add if you could add anything?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Who's your favorite follower?

So far the Garrison seems to be a hit. This got me curious as to which Garrison follower people enjoy the most. Is it a rare or elite you like because they cleave through missions, or perhaps simply a sentimental choice like my favorite, who is a spoiler heavy choice because he went through so much along side us, from Cataclysm to this expansion.

There's a lot of potential followers to consider. So who is it for you? Can you tell us, or are you still farming her, him or it?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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