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The Queue: The Alpha has landed

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.

I've got Hangar 18 by Megadeth playing, I have my bottle of water, and I have the Queue. Let's do this.

StevenThomas asks:

So given the Patchnotes and publicly announced Alpha and the 91-99 Expansion boosts, do you have enough news to last, and who was afk when they dropped?

Adam was doing his taxes when they dropped. Alex was feeling somewhat ill. As for enough news to last... is there ever really enough news? But we have stuff to talk about for a while.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Why not Zoidberg?

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) had a Slinky once, but she straightened it.

Adam decided to leave the Queue to me today. Perhaps he will be asking himself the question featured above. Hopefully, in as close to that particular voice as possible! We can only dream.

Chrth asked:

Q4TQ/Comments: So if I'm farming the Fragments of Valanyr, I can start a raid via oq or whatever and make myself Master Looter - Legendary and then I can assign the Fragments to myself and everyone else gets to roll on other loot, right? Or is Legendary not an allowed Master Looter setting?

I briefly checked this out in game, and it appears that the highest threshold for the Master Looter setting is epic quality. So yes, you could set it to epic and assign the shards to yourself, but you'd also have to assign every other piece of epic loot while you were at it. Blue and green items would be normal roll, however.

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: Warriors of Azeroth and beyond Part 1

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.

Okay, this week, I'm going to do something massively nerdy and more than a little ridiculous. I'm going to rank the best warriors from across the World of Warcraft, according to my own subjective criteria for what 'best' means. It's not just who would win in a fight (that's in there, but it's not all of it) and unfortunately, some races are going to get shafted here just because they don't have as much representation. I'm trying to keep the list somewhat representative, but there are some races that just dominate it - orcs and humans get big representation, while other races like draenei just don't have an established lore warrior as of the time of this writing. I'm sure there are draenei warriors (I play one, even) but we tend to see paladins from the boys in blue. It's a sad lack.

Some of these are kind of iffy because Blizzard does weird things sometimes - some of these characters have abilities you'll never see a warrior use in game - but none of them will be specifically mentioned members of another class. No demon hunters, paladins or rogues on this list. Sorry, Garona fans.

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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: Hearthsteed, new content, and Zoidberg


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.

Today's questions are a bit short, but if you want some more -- just ask! A lot of debate in the comments yesterday was about a fool of an April. We'll keep in mind not to talk about such things in the Queue anymore, right along side puppies and bacon.

Chris Wunch asked:

Do you think the Hearthsteed is a temporary thing, or do you think it won't go away after a while

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Warcraft RTS, April Fools is dumb, boost to 90 zone, and the holy grail


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.

This Queue is dedicated to my amazing staff that dropped in Diablo 3 over the weekend. I got it in adventure mode on level Torment 1. So great, and so over powered.

My wizard > yours.

AzerProf asked:

I feel like Warlords of Draenor is bringing us back to the roots of the Warcraft franchise - which I love. But it makes me miss WC1-3. What, in your opinion, is the likelihood of the original RTS'(RTSes?) getting some 20th anniversary love in the form of a re-release? I expect something, and have already committed to buying whatever Blizzard decides to release.

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Filed under: The Queue

How to stop clicking

Before we get started, let's make one thing very clear. I'm not saying there's anything inherently wrong with clicking. If you want to click, that's just fine, this article isn't for you. If you're someone who clicks and is perfectly happy about it, then skip over all this and tell me about it in the comments. But, if you are a clicker who wants to change, then read on. As an aside, now's a great time to make the switch, we've got a while without new content...

So what is a clicker?

Without this key piece of information, the above won't be that relevant. A clicker is a term for someone who uses mouse-clicks to hit their abilities rather than keybinding them. There is an assumption made that people who are clicking their abilities are also using their keyboard to move. Their mouse is tied up with moving around the screen to hit abilities, and therefore only occasionally has the time to move their character. It's not necessarily true, but it seems a reasonable position.

Why does clicking get a bad reputation? Well, a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's slower. It is slower to move your mouse across your screen and hit different abilities than it is to move your hand across a keyboard. If you don't believe me, here's an experiment: head over to this keyboard site, and type a simple sentence by clicking the keys. Now try it with your keyboard. Unless there's something else at play, the latter should be faster. What's more, turn a full circle on the spot with your keyboard, and do the same with your mouse. One's a lot faster than the other.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, WoW Rookie

Know Your Lore: Gul'dan, the soul of evil

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.

Every villain in the Warcraft universe has a story behind why exactly they're a villain. For some, it was the corruption of the Old Gods that slowly drove them mad. For others, it was the promise of great power by agents of the Burning Legion. But it's rare that we see a villain that is simply a villain without any kind of outside influence. Garrosh Hellscream is one of the better villains in Warcraft solely because he does evil things, but doesn't believe that they are evil -- instead, he believes that they are simply the right thing to do.

But before Garrosh Hellscream was an orc who pretty much represented pure, unmitigated evil in its most concentrated form. He knew the corruption of his entire race was at stake, and he went ahead and traded it for the one thing he craved above all else -- power. Gul'dan may not have come from bloodlines that boasted glory, but he was ridiculously intelligent, cunning, and cruel. To Gul'dan, it wasn't about performing evil deeds. It was about amassing as much power and prestige as he could -- and the rest of the world could burn, for all he cared.

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

Stats 201: Getting your secondary stats just right

Though we did an article covering the game's basic stats that will guide you through leveling any character, once you hit level 90 you need to start considering your secondary stats. These stats, like hit and expertise, become more important when you stop leveling through content and gear to stop at top-tier content. Unfortunately, figuring out what these stats are, what they do, and what you need isn't exactly self-explanatory -- sometimes even requiring you to consult an addon or website to figure out whether a new piece of gear is really an upgrade.

Fortunately, Blizzard is working on simplifying the system with Warlords of Draenor, removing a some secondary stats and the ability to reforge gear -- which will make it a lot easier to tell what gear is an upgrade and start using it immediately. Unfortunately, if you're a new 90 or you've just boosted a new character to 90, you still have to deal with the current system, so we'll lay out just what the secondary stats on your gear mean -- and how to tweak them to your liking with reforging so you're ready to hop into LFR or whatever else you want to do.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

The Queue: Pink Zeal

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.

Magenta...the color of righteousness!

Drewbob asked:

Agree or disagree: group quests are okay for current expansion content, and should be returned to the game.

While I think that it's okay, mostly, that former group quests in wrath era content and prior have been made solo-able, I think the lack of these quests in the open world definitely take something of the spirit of it being an MMO with a community away from the experience. As I was leveling my eleventy-billionth toon in Zinth'alor the other day (and cursing the developers for not retuning respawn rates), I remembered back when it was elite, and you needed at least a couple other party members to make it to the top. While I don't think the rewards offered for that were ever quite commensurate with the effort, I think that that's easy to remedy, and having more opportunities in the world to take down moderately more difficult quest and zone content beyond world bosses would be awesome.


I think that the open tagging system is a good compromise between group questing and soloing. You don't necessarily need to assemble a group for it, but anybody can pop over and participate if they're on it too (and especially early in an expansion, other people will be on it).

I do kind of miss group quests -- there's something about putting a team together and tackling a tough mob -- but boy was it a pain. I don't know if it was the same for everyone, but there were quests I simply never got to do in vanilla because I could never find a group and they were literally impossible to solo.

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The Queue: Mildstar

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 got into the WildStar beta after...what, three years of waiting? I've really been looking forward to it, but under all the (admittedly lovely) art and animation, it's...just another kill-ten-rats MMO. I wonder if I'm outgrowing this genre.

DeanofWhoopass asked:

Is there any announced "catch up" mechanism for WoD? If they truly do get rid of valor/justice gear, getting alts up to speed will be a royal pain. I shudder to think how many weeks of LFR it would take to slowly get geared up enough to viably raid current normal/heroic raids.

Expect there to be mid-expansion dungeons this time; beyond that, we haven't had any concrete information on catch-up mechanisms yet. It's likely something we won't hear about until it becomes relevant.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Back in the saddle again

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.

Just got my computer back. Let's celebrate with some classic Aerosmith.

Scott Leyes asks:

With ESO releasing on Sunday, what are the odds of Blizz doing a major news dump on Friday/tomorrow?

Man, I don't even know anymore. I'd like there to be one, but I'm not going to hold my breath in anticipation of it. If it happens, great, and if not we'll just have to keep waiting. It's kind of like when T.H. Huxley debated Samuel Wilberforce over evolution - the day before it happened, Huxley had no idea he was even going to be there. We'll get the info dump when we get it.

This is how I keep from falling down and weeping all the time. Blind, ludicrous optimism.

I will say, though, I don't think Blizzard had a counter-punch for TESO. They released Reaper of Souls this week, and if that's not it, then there probably isn't one. They're almost certainly not going to release a beta this weekend, and that'd be the only real counter-punch release they could realistically use aside from RoS.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Tauren at the end of Mists

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.

There are an awful lot of loose threads around the tauren right now. The Grimtotem are scattered, making temporary pacts with the Alliance in Stonetalon, besieging the night elves in Feralas, and their greatest leader was last seen claiming an artifact of elemental power. In the wake of Cairne's death, Baine Bloodhoof chose to allow Garrosh to rule uncontested - but that position clearly changed over time, and Baine led tauren troops to the support of Vol'jin's rebellion against the Warchief, rather than simply challenging him as his father did. Ironically, this choice shows a certain political maturity - recognizing that trial by personal combat might not be the best means to effect regime change in the Horde - while it also shows a bit of a break with the old ways of both the Horde, and the tauren people.

Baine's father Cairne chose to live, and die, by the older ways of ritual and honor. Betrayed by Magatha, he died from poison on Garrosh Hellscream's axe and with him seems to have died the last vestiges of the tauren ways of the past. Baine led an expulsion of those Grimtotem that would not swear allegiance to him over Magatha that culminated in a battle against their last leaders in Mulgore, and at the end of that battle, Baine ruled the shu'halo as undisputed chieftain of all. But in doing so, he also led his people into their last break with the past, and following the defeat of Garrosh and the ascension of Vol'jin to the seat of power as Warchief, one must ask - what role do the tauren fill in the Horde to come, and where will Baine's current choices lead them in the future?

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

The Queue: It's been so long!

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) really likes betas. Hint hint, Blizzard?

Look at those little talking birdies. Just ... look at them. Oh hey, Warcraft questions!

JediExcel asked:

So re reading Rise of the Horde again, and was struck by a thought. In the real world, Nerzhul was tricked and Guldan was a willing participant in the turning the orcs against the draenei. Now Garrosh shows the alternate time line orcs of their corruption, and thwarts the burning legion by preventing them from drinking the blood of Mannoroth. But the war is still going on in this alternate time line. Unless I missed something, this seems to show the orcs are still a bunch of d- er, determined jerks. Thoughts?

That's kind of a tricky situation. We don't know exactly when Garrosh went back in time to -- just that it was at some point before the orcs were offered the Blood of Mannoroth. Keep in mind that the orcs and draenei had been fighting each other relentlessly up until that point -- Mannoroth's blood was given to the orcs just before they attacked Shattrath City. But every other major city had been utterly destroyed by then. So it's entirely likely Garrosh may have arrived in the middle of this war between draenei and orc, and didn't bother trying to stop that. Why would he, when the draenei make excellent opponents to train the Iron Horde's killing skills on before they head to Azeroth?

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Missing the little things, faster expansions, models, and circular goats


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.

So how many of you were up late and got your Diablo 3 wizard (best class, if you disagree you're plain wrong) to 70?

Chris asked:

Q for the Queue: Does anyone else miss the "Little things"? Now I'm talking about I just today was looking forward to April Fools day, but then I realized Blizzard didn't do anything last year for it. I got quite sad. Did you also know we have had (as of now) two summer olympics and three winter olympics, yet only one time was The Spirit of Competition and the Tabard of Competition available? I'm aware that all of these things are content, and they are constantly working on things to bring out expansions, but these "little things" are the things that make the difference, in my opinion anyway. I'm not sure there is a question anymore, but your thoughts?

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: Shattrath City and the Lost

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.

Standing in Outland as a sanctuary capital shared by both Alliance and Horde, Shattrath City isn't exactly much to look at. The city is divided into several different sections, housing a variety of occupants from draenei to arakkoa to everything in between -- refugees, for the most part. In Warlords of Draenor, we'll finally see Shattrath as it was in its glory days. A coastal city, a museum metropolis, described as an architectural marvel. Unfortunately, the city will also be occupied by the Iron Horde.

The events that turned Shattrath from shining capital of the draenei to the ruins we're familiar with today are steeped in tragedy that still affects the draenei race to this day. Certainly there was sorrow to be found in the fall of the city -- but its fall, and the fall of the other draenei cities scattered around Draenor, were also directly responsible for the evolution of the draenei race as we know it.

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

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