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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

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

The Queue: Sometimes I use music to wake up


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.

Sometimes you wake up and you need to get your brain moving immediately. This has been one of those days.

This is the Queue. I'm filling in. Let's answer some questions.

rovingbandit211 said:

So everything the Blizz Devs have been saying about the Garrisons being an integral and mandatory part of questing and game play is actually wrong? This will be interesting. I bet you another hat you are wrong here Holisky.

Well, I'm no Holisky, but I have these tweets from Jeremy Feasel (@Muffinus) to back up that you can entirely skip the Garrisons while leveling if you want to and still go back and get the rewards. Without actually seeing how they will be integrated, we just have to wait and see. But there's evidence that, while they're certainly more integrated than the farm was, they're not 'mandatory'. I'm aware that saying this doesn't mean they're not mandatory or integrated for questing - Scott Andrews went to PAX East and got a lot of insight about them, and it seems like they will certainly be involved in how we quest. We'll find out. Since I have never made any promises to eat anything for you, I come out ahead either way.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Rookie guide updated with upcoming content info

There's a lot of new content for World of Warcraft on the horizon, but if you're a new or more casual player it can be dizzying to keep up all of the announcements, blue posts, and data mined info. That's why we've just added a section about new content to our Rookie Guide, so that those of you who don't keep up with the day to day news can still know what's important about the next expansion. So why wait? Head over to the Rookie Guide and get caught up on Warlords of Draenor now.

Have new player questions we haven't answered yet? Or maybe you're looking for something you can't find in the rookie guide? Drop us a note and we'll look into covering it for a future WoW Rookie!
Just because you're a newbie doesn't mean you can't bring your A-game to World of Warcraft! Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from the seven things every newbie ought to know to how to get started as a healer or as a tank.

Filed under: WoW Rookie

Know Your Lore: The immeasurable sorrow of Jaina Proudmoore

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.

What do you do when you've lost everything -- your friends, your family, your home, even the essence of what made you ... well, you? Jaina Proudmoore has undergone this transformation in Mists of Pandaria, and come out the other side a drastically changed woman as a result. After the successful defeat of Deathwing in Cataclysm, Jaina and her coastal city were the unfortunate target of the very faction she's spent years of her life trying to unsuccessfully champion. In the end, Jaina lost everything.

But where does that leave a leader, a diplomat, an advisor, a friend? It's an arguably dark place, but it's also arguable that this was just the character development Jaina needed. As a character, Jaina hadn't really had a lot of progression in her personality since she was introduced all the way back in Warcraft III. Wrath of the Lich King saw the beginnings of what would ultimately be a push into a dark place from which no one, not even a Proudmoore, could emerge unscathed.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Pick up the pieces

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

I spent many hours today cutting, gluing, and assembling pieces for my board game prototype (again).

Amarettosourz asked:

Is there such thing as an allotted RNG luck for drops? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of RNG itself?

Well, "true random" means you could possibly go forever without seeing a single drop you could use. That's not very fun. It certainly brings high highs, but also very, very low lows. There are safeguards for many types of loot, from bonus loot coins to Garrosh heirlooms, to make sure that you do get something given enough time. Diablo 3 has a similar system in place now if it detects that you've gone quite a while without seeing a legendary drop. I'd rather my chances get a nudge in the right direction than rely on "true randomness".

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: The questions we share

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

Hello WoW Insider. How are you? I am fine. Please enjoy these questions, as well as their answers.

waitwut asked:

I keep hearing how "savage" being used when talking about WoD. Where did this come from?

The devs used the word a lot when describing Draenor and WoD in general at BlizzCon. It's sort of the expansion's keyword. And a running joke, now.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Torvosaurus, the offical dinosaur of Warlords of Draenor

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.

It's been a hideous month for me so far. So much bad crap happened, you don't know. Anyway, to take my mind off of all of that, I tanked heroic Siege of Orgrimmar last night up to Malkorok, and then sat down to find a perfect subject for today's Queue header. Something that would scream "Rossi wrote today's Queue". Something perfect. And I found it in Torvosaurus.

Why is Torvosaurus the perfect dinosaur to be in today's Queue? Why did I so boldly declare Torvosaurus to be the official dinosaur of Warlords of Draenor? Because, my friends, the name Torvosaurus means 'Savage Lizard' and that's all we need. Sure, he was an impressive ten meter long carnivore, a megalosaurid, among the largest predatory dinosaurs ever found in Europe, and that's all great. But really, he had me at savage lizard. I demand that Torvosaurus get brought into World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor and I demand that it happen as soon as possible, because a savage expansion without this savage lizard simply isn't savage enough.

I know that's not a particularly savage picture of Torvosaurus, above. Hey, it's still a ten meter long carnivore with teeth like steak knives. Even if it is snuggling with its babies.

Benjamin Seeburger asks:

What do you think is the chance Blizzard will release a fourth spec (like for druids) for every class in the game (eventually)? If you could have a fourth spec for your class, what would it be and why?

I'd pick a hunter melee spec, that had all of my basic ranged attacks replaced by melee attacks that do roughly the same damage with the same focus usage (except being melee), but with an upped percentage to my armor.

What about you?

I think the chances are very, very slim. Druids got the fourth spec because, essentially, they'd always had it - feral was a confusing hodgepodge talent tree before Cataclysm, and it just made sense in Mists to break it apart into Feral and Guardian. So no, I don't expect it to happen.

However, I do love speculating. So if warriors got a fourth spec and I was the one in charge of it, I would basically break Fury up into two specs, one a fast spec that uses two 1h weapons and another being a spec using two 2h weapons. They would get different mechanics, the 1h spec (I'd call them Berserkers) being all about weapon speed and fast, rapid attacks of attrition while the 2h spec (Destroyers) would be about crushing through enemy defenses and bringing raw power to bear.

Either that, or I'd finally make that warrior healing spec where you yell at people until they stop being dead.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

What is data mining and why is everyone talking about it?

The recent release of the alpha client for Warlords of Draenor means that there's a lot of talk about data mining that's going around the community. But if you aren't up on your tech jargon, this might not mean much to you -- and Googling the term will send you to a Wikipedia page that tells you data mining aims "to extract information from a data set and transform it into an understandable structure for further use." Even if you are up on your tech jargon, you might not grasp what that means, especially in the context of World of Warcraft.

So let's start with a straightforward definition: data mining is the process of digging through WoW's data files and looking for information like maps, graphics, models, or sounds. It's not hacking or exploiting the game, just looking at the game files -- often, but not always, files that are publicly available -- to see what's there. These files can be from the current game client or come from a PTR or beta build, any of which could have new content that players can't access in the game world. Similar to looking up filming photos from a favorite TV show or movie, data mining gives you a sneak peek at game content that hasn't been publicly released, which can range from hints at the next patch to hints to the next expansion. Hungry for information, plenty of players turn to data mining for answers -- but because Blizzard can change, remove, or expand on unreleased content without any warning, anything data mined needs to be taken with a pretty big grain of salt.

So should you be paying attention to data mined info? In the end, the choice is up to you -- but we'll give you some background on just what WoW data mining might tell you.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

The Queue: Squish, models, warlocks, and datamining


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.

Let's hop into the Queue talking about our favorite subject: the item squish.

Pvpscrub asked:

Come WoD's stat squish, how close are our weapons going to be, to be more specific is it worth getting 550 iLvl weapons for a lesser played alt or just stick with 522? If they're going to be within 1 level of each other come WOD then maybe its better to just pass.

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: Warriors of Azeroth and beyond, Part 2

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.

Second verse, same as the first - we're talking warriors of lore and story in the Warcraft universe. What does it take to get on either of these lists?
  1. Don't obviously be a member of another class. I skirted the edge of this one for last week's list, but not this week - these are the warriors. No Bolvars, no Turalyons, no Rexxars or the like. If you cast spells or skulk in the shadows or are a death knight, you're not on this list. Sorry, Highlord Alexandros Mograine, but you were a paladin, and you don't count. Maiev Shadowsong definitely uses stealth, she's out.
  2. You have to be somehow more iconic than the badasses on last week's list. That means, in my opinion, you're more important in terms of lore than Muradin Bronzebeard, Baine Bloodhoof, and Broxigar the Red. That's not an easy bar to jump over.
  3. Those are my criteria. I just think lists with less than three points on them look weird.
Let's get started on the list.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: The Iron Horde Skunk Works

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.

The Warlords of Draenor alpha has been datamined and we're seeing things like new models, and some of those have been item models. And frankly, these models have me curious about how the Iron Horde weapon development process works. So far, there seems to be three or four camps - there's the recycle broken weapons (like you can see above and with this sword, which frankly I don't believe for a second would actually work twice), the stick a jawbone on it model, multiple varieties of trees. There are rocks on sticks, there's this thing which I think is supposed to be an enormous horn or tooth tied to a stick, and so far none of it requires Garrosh Hellscream to step through a dimensional portal to give you the secrets of this miraculous technology.

I flash to two orcs bent over a blueprint, brows furrowed in concentration. "What if... we tied a fang... to a rock... and then made it an axe?"

"You're a genius, Gruulthak. This is the pinnacle of Iron Horde weapons technology!"

LarGand asks:

Any news on whether or not we are going to see a real update on the Draenei female model, or was that whole thing supposed to be funny? I got the joke on the first, but they had made a statement that there would be an update available to see and they have not really done so.


Yes, they are working on an update for the draenei female model.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Warlords lore, spoilers and you

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.

It's about that time again. The time in which an expansion is waning towards its inevitable end, and a new one sits on the horizon. The time when that expansion isn't quite available for play, but is now the subject of copious amounts of clever datamining to pluck out all those interesting details before they've even had a chance to fully see the light of day.

For most players, it's incredibly fun to see the details as they are released, particularly since Blizzard has been so careful this time around to clarify any changes that may appear a little weird. For fans of the lore, it means one of two things -- a ton of delicious tidbits in regards to story information, or the inevitable launch of a minefield of spoilers that will have to be dodged for the next several months until the expansion is in hand. But is it really worth it to give them a look? Is it worth it to discuss them?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: It's almost on

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is a fan of the Pikachu.

Yes I'm still stuck on Game of Thrones. Look, I've been waiting for a long time here. Cut me some slack. On to the questions!

CRtheMighty asked:

Speaking of GoT (woo!), let me ask this of yon Queue: Who from WoW do you think would actually make it in Westeros? In a machination/political way, I mean, as setting a high level mage or a sapient dragon on people who don't even believe in magic is cheating. Much as it pains me to say it, I think Gul'dan would do well. He was all about sucking up while backstabbing and working purely for his own gain. He'd make Littlefinger go "whoa man, too much". Alternatively, Wrathion, because you have no idea what he's after.

Both of your choices are excellent ones. I think Deathwing would have gone really, really far -- in his days as Prestor, he was incredibly devious and cunning. Garrosh is strong, but honestly, some clever thinking (of which there is plenty in Westeros) would see his armies quickly overrun. And of course the Lich King is a pretty obvious choice. Hello, white walkers? Meet the Scourge. And then join them.

Now there's a terrifying thought.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Games and thrones and questions

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) sends her regards.

You guys Game of Thrones season four starts tomorrow and I am so ridiculously excited about that so have a metal cover of the theme song. Yes. Questions!

wrathofkublahkan asked:

Am I right in thinking that the less focus on cooldowns and procs of spells (and simply fewer spells) will allow for wider and crazier raid design? Eyes off the keyboard and on the encounter.

Obviously we don't know the answer to that just yet, but I'd like to think it's a yes. Right now a lot of the raid game (for me anyway) is keep your eyes locked to your feet and, if you happen to have one, the addon that tracks your cooldowns. As a raider, it often feels like the hardest encounters are the ones that have a million different things happening at once that you have to do on top of keeping track of all of those cooldowns -- and it's not a matter of encounter difficulty so much as it is difficulty in keeping track of too many things at the same time. That ... doesn't really make for a lot of fun factor.

What I'm hoping for is that with this streamlining process, we'll see a lot more variety in raid design that pushes the limits of what the encounter itself can do, not necessarily what the player can keep track of. So it's more of a game about the encounter itself, and less about paying attention to addons. We can hope, anyway! I'm optimistic.

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Filed under: The Queue

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