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The Queue: WoD being late, undead, fun with portals, ignore

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Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

You know one of the things that bug me about WoW? Is how low resolution the grass, flowers, and trees are. I don't know why it bugs me so much, but it does.

Smartz asked:

Will Blizzard ever come out and say why WoD came out so late? I definitely don't think they'd talk about it before WoD launches, but I could see them talking about it afterwards.

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Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth: A delightful distraction

Aaaah, look at the adorable pugs, all dressed up and out on a date! See how she nuzzles his neck with her soft jiggly-wiggly velvet face! Surely there could be nothing sinister in such a display, could there? Of course not. That feeling of a rogue behind you about to steal your gold before sliding a knife between your ribs is just a paranoid delusion. Just keep looking at the puppies and no one has to get hurt ... more than necessary, that is. (Thanks to submitters Zendara and Scourgehoof of Assume the Position on Zul'jin [US-H] for the screenshot!)

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: Please let it never rise again

An eldritch abomination, a horror that cannot be borne. I'm talking about the Horde side Onyxia attunement quest chain. To this day I can't think of a single quest chain or attunement as bad, not even the ridiculously labyrinthine series of attunements required in The Burning Crusade, because the Horde attunement had the added difficulty of a turn-in NPC who moved around. Rexxar's daily wander up and down the road from Desolance to the top of Feralas and back made finding him for this quest absolutely nightmarish in the time before flight. All you could do was ride up and down hoping to find him, and doubly hoping a group of Alliance hadn't killed him on their way to or from something like a Dragon of Nightmare (one spawned in northern Feralas at the time). It was seriously quite insanely irritating.

So yes, it must never be brought back in any shape or form. To do so would be abominable.

What's your biggest "Let this never happen again" moment in WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Watch out for Warlords of Draenor phishing scams

With another expansion looming on the horizon, there's another round of phishing scams and emails designed to trick you into giving up your account information. With this kind of scam, you get an email or visit a website that's so much like Blizzard's that you wind up typing in your login information, which the scammers then use to pick your account clean. Though you may think this is the sort of thing people only fall pray to when they aren't paying attention, phishing scams get more sophisticated -- and harder to recognize -- every day, so you need to keep your guard up.

Take this Warlords of Draenor phishing scam reported by Malwarebytes as an example. It starts off with an email that's formatted like a message from Blizzard saying you've won a free copy of Warlords -- which is really where you should get suspicious. Once you click on the link in the email, you're sent to a perfect copy of the Battle.net login screen where you're asked to enter your login information as well as your secret question and answer before you can redeem your free copy... but of course the scammers just run off with your info without giving you a thing.

To avoid being had, always check the header to see where an email has come from -- Blizzard emails will only come from an @blizzard.com address -- and if an offer sounds too good to be true, contact Blizzard directly to ask about it. For more tips on avoiding phishing, check out the support page on phishing scams.

Filed under: Account Security, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Flight path reassurance

Community Manager Bashiok has posted on the official forums in an attempt to calm players' fears about the enforced dependence on flight-paths that will come with Warlords of Draenor.

Bashiok
We're going to be making sure flight paths and other forms of travel are quick and efficient, with a goal of getting you to the places you want to go. Flight paths in the past have always been "the scenic route", lazily listing from side to side and around waterfalls to the intended oohs-and-aahs of the transportee. The flight paths in Draenor are not going to be loop-de-loop sightseeing tours, and we're going to be looking to our beta testers to let us know if any are less than tip-top.

The key to his point here is the directness. Especially in Mists, flight paths were gratuitously looping and indirect. The Horde shrine from the PvP vendor, for example, does a series of completely arbitrary tours around the shrine before actually landing. Hopefully this will not be the case in Warlords.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

WoW Moviewatch: The Oscars in Azeroth

Slightly Impressive never ceases to amuse me. This week, he's put together a look at the Oscars, Azeroth-style. Complete with the traditional red carpet interviews regarding fashion and the subsequent nominees and awards, The Oscars in Azeroth is a funny, well put together parody that hits all the right marks. For those that have been following Slightly Impressive's videos for a while, there's even a throwback to an earlier video with a rap battle that refuses to be forgotten. While I enjoyed the video, I have to say I disagreed the final winner of the evening -- the Paragons of the Klaxxi were robbed, I tell you. Robbed.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

The World as Story: Emergent storytelling in World of Warcraft

How does storytelling function in World of Warcraft? What are its limits? Does it have to unfold solely via quest text, or can it be told via other means? I ask this in part due to a developing discussion on the scale and scope of how the world we interact with as we play reveals the story elements. Back when I first started playing WoW, game story was almost exclusively revealed via quest text. When it wasn't, it was often revealed via in-game books. I remembered being floored with the pre-fight scene between Majordomo Executus and Ragnaros because it was a bit of story happening entirely in front of my eyes via dialogue and scene.

Over the years World of Warcraft has added a host of tools to its story delivery options - cutscenes, scenarios, events like Battle for Undercity, open-ended exploration, and quest integration with each of these kinds of vectors for story. It's not all just text anymore - we have in-game cinematics, cut-scenes rendered and played through using totally in game scenes, dialogue (the end of the Isle of Thunder, when Jaina and Lor'themar confronted one another was entirely realized through in-game dialogue), scenarios like A Little Patience and Dagger in the Dark, and even more complex combinations of all of them. The Dominance Offensive/Operation Shieldwall story in particular was unveiled through all of these techniques, using every arrow in the quiver to drive the story points home.

I'm bringing this up because of the recent revelation that not all secondary objectives in Warlords of Draenor will have quest text. The discussion led to a series of tweets from Dave Kosak that I think definitely are worth discussing. How do we get story in an MMO? Can the world we encounter be the story itself? As we move through it, how can it be best presented to us?

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

Know Your Lore: Look back in Draenei

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 draenei have a lot of unresolved issues.

For starters, they're stranded on a strange planet called Azeroth, after having just barely escaped Outland. They lived on Outland (back when it was called Draenor) for a few hundred years, time enough to start thinking of the place as home. Then it was taken from them, and their people nearly totally exterminated. Their escape to Azeroth was an accident, crashing here because their ship was sabotaged by blood elf servants of Kael'thas Sunstrider.

So let's look over things. In the past few decades the draenei have seen formerly amicable neighbors turn bloodthirsty, demon-addicted monsters. They endured the near-total extinction of their people, hiding in swamps and bedraggled refugee settlements, seeing many of the survivors mutate and lose their connection with the Holy Light. They saw roads made out of the bones of their people. They only escaped by stealing back a dimensional ship from people they'd never really seen or heard of who still helped try and kill them. And as soon as they arrived on this new planet they found out that the Burning Legion (the very same force that is trying to exterminate them) has already been here.

This is a condensed list, of course.

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

Hearthstone officially launches in US app stores

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now available to download in the US for iPad. The fast-paced card game was released earlier this month in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, but players looking for it in the US had to wait. The wait is over, and you can get your copy of the game for absolutely free and level up while waiting for Curse of Naxxramas, the new adventure-mode expansion for the game that's set to release this summer. Android and Windows tablet users, never fear -- a version of the game for those platforms should be coming out some time later this year.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Legendary East strikes deal over Warcraft film distribution

Tauren and night elf
You're probably familiar with the Burbank-based company Legendary Entertainment, at least because they're the powerhouse behind the "Warcraft" film. Their affiliate, Legendary East, has recently announced that the largest film distributor in China, China Film Co., has made an eight-figure investment in two of Legendary's upcoming films--"Seventh Son" and, you guessed it, "Warcraft." If either film gets released in China, China Film Co. will be the one to distribute it.

This is an interesting development because until 2012 China capped the number of foreign films allowed into the country every year at 20. The current limit is 34. It does make sense that Chinese film distributors would be very interested in having the Warcraft movie be one of those 34 allowed films, because World of Warcraft is hugely popular in China. Legendary Entertainment currently lists the Warcraft movie as being scheduled for release on March 11th, 2016.

Filed under: News items, Warcraft Movie

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