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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Queue: Invasions, work orders, and more

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.

Yes, more garrison questions. What can you do?

loli.gigis asked:

How long after you get an invasion quest does it go away? Is it with the reset or after 7 days?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Select pets and mounts 50% off until January 5th

Well, it's Christmas (or Winter Veil if you're Azerothian) and it seems like Blizzard's taking the opportunity to hook into your last minute gift buying impulse with this holiday sale. Selected mounts and pets (you can see which by looking at this page) are available for half price. And worry not, European players, you haven't been left out. So yay for everyone who can finally snag that pet or mount they wanted, whether as a gift or just buying it for yourself.

I'm considering finally getting that Enchanted Fey Dragon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Know Your Lore: Breakout Characters of 2014, Part One

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.

Since 2014 saw the end of one expansion and the beginning of another, it's actually got quite a list of characters that got an expanded role in the lore. Some of these are fairly predictable, and others less so. Since I like to talk about lore (it's what the column is about) I decided to round up some of the ones I found the most interesting. I've set myself a few arbitrary rules for this. One, Mists of Pandaria characters are fair game. I know the last patch was in 2013, I don't care. Secondly, they had to do something in terms of story. Sorry, Varian, but you really didn't do much at all in Siege and you haven't done much in Warlords, either.

This isn't listed by priority - the last character we talk about isn't more or less important than the first. So let's get down to brass tacks - who do I think broke out in the past year? (If somehow you still haven't had any exposure to Warlords of Draenor's story, be warned, Here Are Spoilers.)

Vol'jin
This one is kind of borderline for me - while he certainly took a big role in the end of Mists of Pandaria, he hasn't done a whole lot yet in Warlords. But I think it's an indisputable fact that Vol'jin's mere presence as a non-orc (a troll, even) atop the Horde power structure is a very significant change in terms of what it means for the Horde going forward. Before Vol'jin's rise to power, there had only been four warchiefs, two from the old Horde and two for the new, and all were orcs - the institution of warchief itself was an orcish one, brought over from Draenor when the Horde invaded.

No other change in the history of the Horde has done more to draw a strong line of demarcation between past and present. The ascension of Vol'jin says to the world of Azeroth (and beyond it) that the Horde is no longer Orcs and their Amazing Friends, but instead a collective of races banded together for mutual survival, and one where no particular race predominates (at least in theory). We have yet to see how successful Vol'jin is in the role, but he definitely changes the status quo dramatically for the Horde.

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

The Deserter Debuff is a good thing

We talked yesterday about dungeons. Today, while crawling the blue tweets, I came upon this exchange between community manager Lore and a player who doesn't like the deserter debuff. Only Lore's side of the twitter exchange remains, for whatever reason, but it's worth reading.

The disparity between tank/healer and DPS queues for heroics has always been there, and it's likely going to remain for the future. It's simply a matter of math - for every tank and healer in a dungeon, you need three DPS, but the actual number of DPS per tank and healer is much closer to what we see in LFR. And even LFR doesn't pop instantly or even close to it.

But the deserter debuff isn't just implemented to control tanks and healers and keep them from dropping group at the first sign of trouble, knowing they'll immediately get a new one. It also exists to try and curb the mentality that any perceived or real failure is immediately grounds for bad behavior - because dungeons are and are supposed to be a group activity, and using the dungeon finder is essentially partaking in a social matchmaking system that breaks down is such behavior isn't penalized in some fashion. The deserter debuff exists not necessarily to punish, but rather to serve as an incentive - it is as much carrot as it is stick.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

The Feast of Winter Veil begins tomorrow, December 16th

Every year, Greatfather Winter brings treats to all the good boys and girls of Azeroth, and this year is no exception. From December 16th until January 2nd, the Feast of Winter Veil teaches us all the true meaning of Winter Veil with a cavalcade of gifts and other fun things like toys. A variety of seasonal pets, achievements, and hats are yours for the taking, including the brand new Rotten Little Helper.

For the complete skinny on what you can get and what you can do, Wowhead has this helpful guide. If you're looking for one of those toys for your toybox, a rare pet, or a hat from one of the bosses (with several new Draenor bosses as well) then you have until January 2nd to get started. May Greatfather Winter watch over you.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Azerothian tobacco

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.

Gallywix, you need to see a dentist.

Lenneth asked:

So I'm wondering how do players who haven't gone hardcore into professions/get lucky with auctioning boes make decent gold in WoD? I had a lot of success with mining before the IoT was introduced, then I capitalized on on the mats from the troll rares. Aside from maybe a small handful of gold from garrison missions I'm not amassing any wealth and that really hurts my serious mount collecting efforts.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Sunday Morning Funnies: The panda thing

Daily Quests
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: Wee snacks. Holiday wishes. A trap. A dark wind. Plus: You might need a new tank.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Daily Quests is back! And if you somehow missed this gem the last time around, you should check it out from the beginning.

There is also a brand new comic to add to the list, thanks to a tip from solidus, called Questing Comics. There are fourteen pages so far, and I have linked to the first page this week. You can also read plenty about the comic and its creator, Emily, on its about page. Questing Comics will update Mondays.

In other news, Russell of Experience Boost is... still sick. However, his medicine has allowed him to resume his three-post-a-week schedule, so there are several updates to enjoy this week. In fact, there are four, so we even get a bonus. Plus, apparently, this week marked the end of what Russell "would call the first book ... were there to be books." Congratulations, Russell, and I hope things continue to look up from here for you.

Contested Territory also has an update this week, which I know has been eagerly anticipated. Maiu is still pretty busy, but she isn't going anywhere, and we've even been promised a holiday treat for the end of the month!

Finally, GU Comics has several WoW-related comics on the list this week, so don't miss them!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

WRUP: WoW vs. Dragon Age edition

What are RPG fans to do with a new WoW expansion and a new Dragon Age game coming out at almost the same time? After hitting level 100 -- and some of the new-game shine wearing off of Warlords of Draenor -- a lot of us jumped ship for BioWare's latest... but we'll no doubt be back when DA:I similarly loses its new-ness.

Still, plenty of us are playing WoW this weekend -- and to find out what we're up to (in WoW or out), read on. This week we've also been thinking about our biggest WoW annoyances (which may or may not have driven us to other games). Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments -- and tell us what you're playing this weekend, too.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Sunday Morning Funnies: Montage time

Guilded Age
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: Mike is getting some sleep. Thizzible needs some time for herself. Richard needs to make a change. Lissa finds blueprints. Plus: We're killing baddies! Well, most of us are.

Gratz celebrated its second-year anniversary last week! To celebrate, there's a bonus page up, with some interesting data at the bottom, like how Lackinganame estimates that he put in about 954 hours of work into Gratz this past year alone. So congratulations, Lackinganame, and thanks for devoting your free time to enriching ours!

I'd also like to emphasize how much Gratz has changed, and how much Lackinganame has grown in his style and skills. Watching artists and their comics develop and change has always been one of my favorite parts of following these comics week after week, year after year. Why not take a look back at Page 1, and then pop to the first digitally created page, and then check out this week's pages?

In other news, NPC has one more WoW standalone this week (which had me laughing), plus a new storyline related both to Christmas and to WoW. Fox Rain has posted the cover art for Chapter 5: The Sacrifice, which will start next week. Dark Legacy Comics is about garrison follower missions this week, and definitely shouldn't be missed. Finally, the latest Q&A on Kibble & Bit is a must-read!

Finally, for our news regarding absent comics. Best in Slot is not on the list this week, due to it being a busy season and, of course, the expansion. It may also be a bit late through the end of December, however, it will definitely update periodically! Experience Boost is back, but Russell is still sick, which makes it bittersweet. Get well soon, Russell!

Unfortunately, I also have to announce that Surviving Azeroth is closing back down. You can read why in Zuulzilla's own words. Good luck Zuulzilla; I will miss SA, but I wish you the best!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

WRUP: We have a lot of feelings about professions edition

Another weekend is upon us, which means it's time once again for WRUP! The journey through Warlords continues on, and as we've explored more of the game, a common complaint amongst the team has been about the game's profession changes. While Blizzard has worked to streamline professions, not all of us (or, really, any of us) are quite happy with the end result. So just what's wrong with professions? A lot.

If you want to see what we're doing in game this week -- plus a laundry-list of professions complaints -- read on. And, of course, leave us a comment to say just what you're playing this weekend... and let us know what you think about the state of professions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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

Sunday Morning Funnies: Fort business

From Draenor With Love
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: Sleep is for the weak. Putting a dragon in a purse. A curse (maybe). A nightmare. Plus: The tears of a million complaints.

We have a few comics missing from our list this week. Hopefully, this is due to creators having some fun with the expansion and enjoying the holidays. The list of the missing includes: Surviving Azeroth, Guardians of the Garrison (which is definitely missing due to John spending time in Draenor!), Contested Territory, Teh Gladiators, The Warcraft Hero and Experience Boost.

But there's still plenty to read! Trigonometry Comics recently started a new chapter, and the Shattershore storyline on Gnomeregan Forever is really worth checking out if you haven't yet. Gratz Solace is also progressing, and this week, there is a bit of a style change in the first update that is quite effective, and does a great job at enhancing the next two updates.

In addition to most of our regular roster, Kibble & Bit posted a comic that starts a new storyline, plus a Thanksgiving/Pilgrim's Bounty special. Sara & Kleeyo has a new comic available as well, as it typically updates fortnightly. Plus, NPC is still doing WoW standalones, and Guilded Age is back to its regular output of five pages plus Ask an Adventurer.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

WRUP: It's all about Garrisons

Diving in to Warlords of Draenor has meant diving in to garrisons in a big way. Though most of us have long since hit level 100, we're still working on perfecting our garrison design and unlocking all of those level 3 buildings. (Even dog, above, seems to be trying something new with his unconventional sitting style.) But over this holiday weekend, some of us have more free time than usual to dive into our favorite hobby, while for others the holidays means spending more time outside the game world. But it's not all about World of Warcraft, as Dragon Age's recent release has definitely lured away some of the team.

Want to know what we're playing this weekend -- and tell us what you're up to in game? Read on for more and feel free to leave us a comment!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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

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.

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

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