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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Queue: Secondary professions 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.

Happy Monday, all! Enjoy your few days at work until New Year's Eve. Assuming you have a job that gives you a day off for the New Year. I've never had such a thing. I'm pretty sure it's a myth.

DavidBaldock asked:

With cooking recipes again requiring a variety of ingredients, and with being able to potentially learn the recipe by tasting certain foods, has cooking become more or less interesting as a secondary profession since MoP or Wrath?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Sunday Morning Funnies: Countdown

Sara & Kleeyo
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: A lucrative invention. A doubter's paradise. A vegetarian. Baby wearing. Plus: Holiday wishes and reflections.

On the list this week, several comics have posted holiday-themed specials. Gratz has a Christmas special, and Sara & Kleeyo (as partially pictured above) has done a Winter Veil themed comic. Plus, Away From Reality has already posted a New Year's comic!

Gnomeregan Forever has a new extra up, and will return to Shattershore in mid January. Last week, if you missed it, Gnomeregan Forever ran a Christmas special, which is definitely a must-read.

You should also make sure to check out Kibble & Bit, which features something a little different this week.

Finally, Lackinganame posted the answer to last week's trivia question in last week's comments section, so check it out if you were stumped!

Happy holidays, all!

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

WRUP: Holiday cheer edition

For most of us, the holidays mean spending time with family, and perhaps traveling a lot to do so. That sometimes means there's less time for gaming... but sometimes, gaming (and the gift of gaming) is a family tradition (or a getting away from family tradition). Either way, those of us who are still at our computers this holiday season are spending at least some time in WoW.

But what about you? You can catch up on what the WoW Insider team is up to below, and tell us what you're doing in-game this holiday in the comments. But whether in-game or out, have a happy holiday weekend!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Should Warcraft be an Olympic sport?

Professional e-sports exist and can draw in significant interest - people watch streams on Twitch, top players can earn significant money, and we've seen people come out to watch them at places like BlizzCon and the Worldwide Invitational. But is it really a sport, and should we be seeing it in the Olympics? Rob Pardo, former chief creative officer at Blizzard, argues yes in this interview with the BBC.

In the interview, Pardo discusses the physical and mental ability of some of the best players in the world, how many decisions they made in a short period of time, as well as the draw of the games as a spectator sport. To be fair, he's mostly talking about games like Starcraft, but his other point about games and cultural definition as to what is and isn't a sport seems more likely to hamper gaming at an Olympic level than anything else. It's just not very common for an activity that takes place in front of a computer to be seen as a sport.

For the complete interview, head over to the BBC.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

What was under your Winter Veil tree?

Everyone loves loot drops, and for many of us, today is the biggest real-world loot drop of the year. So today seems like the ideal time to talk about holiday gifts: just what did you find under your (real-life) Winter Veil tree this year? Did you snag any great gaming gifts or did you just find lumps of coal (or cheerfully tacky holiday sweaters) in your gift haul this year? And if you're not celebrating (or got a disappointing gift selection), what's the best in-game gift you've gotten this holiday season?

Happy holidays, everyone!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Blizzard opens new dedicated Ashran forum

If you have an opinion about Ashran, now there's a place for you to take it. Blizzard CM Kaivax posted that there's a new forum dedicated solely to Ashran. It's right here, although it doesn't appear to have a counterpart in Europe yet.

Ashran's been a hot topic as of late for problems with queue times and difficulty in balancing it - with some players having used Ashran to gear up it's not not uncommon to see people discussing one faction utterly dominating the zone now. If you're interested in Ashran and possibly in contributing your voice to the discussion (you may have a good suggestion for fixing the issues, or just a perspective that hasn't been considered yet) then head over to the new official forum for the PvP zone and make your voice heard.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Warlords of Draenor

On Professions in Warlords of Draenor


I struggled with how to start this post off -- I didn't want to be negative and rant against professions in Warlords, or be blind and not cover their current state at all. So instead I decided upon a little bit of a meta introductory paragraph that simply says professions are not what we expected. They lack the feel of traditional professions, and seem to exist in a hybrid state of being utterly worthless worthless and slightly annoying.

As the game stands right now, you could never touch professions and you'd miss almost nothing of importance. There is no gear that you need (you may want some of it, but not much, and it is easily substituted with LFR drops), there are no battle pets that are required, and there's nothing but enchanting and inscription that are mildly necessary for a casual player to engage in the game (and at that, all those benefits can be obtained by buying the crafted items off the auction house).

What can be done? Three relatively easy things: more levels of crafted gear, revamping the resource model, and decreasing the reliance on daily cooldowns.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Sunday Morning Funnies: To Migraineland

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

This week, in comics: A protest. A technical term. A baby. An extra in an '80s movie. Pants! Plus: Sparcle is rocking new goggles!

If you missed us last week, you may notice that we have a new comic on the list! It's called Questing Comics, and is relatively new, with fifteen pages up so far. Check it out!

Also on the list this week is an MMO-related comic from Zombie Roomie, submitted by JereHunter, who wasn't sure how I felt about jokes involving long raids and bio breaks (or lack thereof). Bring 'em on.

In other news, Contested Territory is running a Christmas special this week, and putting forth a proposal for 2015. Definitely check it out! Aside from the awesome backgrounds, the fashion, and the fun look at some of the gnome poses, I love the idea, and I love how Trig connected it to Christmas instead of New Year's resolutions.

Finally, Lackinganame has issued a trivia question. Who can guess the reference on Praise the Sun, the second update of Gratz Solace featured last week?

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

WRUP: Hitting up Highmaul edition

Another week has come and gone, which means it's time to sit down and catch up on some games. As the holidays approach, just what are you playing? At Team WoW Insider, we've been exploring Highmaul... but with the holiday season almost upon us, it can get harder to get a guild raid group together, which makes LFR the perfect "quick fix" raid.

But to hear all about the gaming we're doing, read on! And, of course, jump in to the comments and let us know just what you're playing this weekend.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Editorial: I fully support buying gold from Blizzard


Yesterday Blizzard announced intentions to explore trading game time for gold via in-game items that can be purchased with real-world currency. The full statement reads:

Blizzard Entertainment
We're exploring the possibility of giving players a way to buy tradable game-time tokens for the purpose of exchanging them in-game with other players for gold. Our current thought on this is that it would give players a way to use their surplus gold to cover some of their subscription cost, while giving players who might have less play time an option for acquiring gold from other players through a legit and secure system. A few other online games offer a similar option, and players have suggested that they'd be interested in seeing something along those lines in WoW. We agree it could be a good fit for the game, and we look forward to any feedback you have as we continue to look into this feature.


I cheered for joy when I read this. I can't wait to essentially buy gold directly from Blizzard.

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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

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