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The Queue: Merely a setback

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) has invaded the Queue today.

Just when I thought I'd finally gotten rid of him, Millhouse Manastorm has shown his face again, this time casually dining upstairs in my garrison's inn on the beta. Apparently being eaten by a giant mutant crystal worm was merely a setback. ... at least he isn't trying to summon Kil'jaeden or anything, I guess?

JordanPhillips asked:

q4tq: if UBRS is being revamped to be max level, what happens to LBRS? If I recall correctly, both UBRS/LBRS utilize the same starting entrance area.

They are actually two separate instances, now! The main entryway when you zone in right now is un-instanced on the beta, and the once-locked door to UBRS is now an instance portal. There's a portal to LBRS under the bridge. I sort of wish I still had my UBRS key now, because as of 6.0.2, it's a completely useless relic of a bygone era.

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: Blackhand the Destroyer

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 no spoilers for Warlords of Draenor here, because we're not talking about that Blackhand. No, the Blackhand we're going to talk about today is the original, the first Warchief of the Horde, the leader of the Blackrock orcs. A raider of the Sythegore Arm and a feared wolf-rider, Blackhand was both tactically brilliant and overly fond of flattery - he rose to the position of Warchief because he possessed both the ruthless cunning necessary to lead the Horde and the ego and vanity that Gul'dan used to manipulate him. It was this strange mix in his personality, his bloodlust and desire for power yet gullibility and willingness to be misled that led him to the position of Warchief, led him onto an alien world, and ultimately led him to his death.

Blackhand was first in command of the Blackrock clan. He had three children with his mate Urukal, Griselda, Rend and Maim. Griselda's fate shows us that not all orc clans were as egalitarian as the Frostwolves. But before all of that, before he sold his children to warlock magic to make adults from them before their time, before he was Warchief, before he drank the demon blood after Grom Hellscream, Blackhand was an ambitious, cruel, and eager warrior who sought glory in battle, and his own aggrandizement.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Fandral Ewing

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 answering all kinds of questions today.

After reading all the comments on yesterday's Queue, only a scant few of you guys seemed to recognize the Dallas reference. So I figured Bobby Ewing would make yet another return from the dead in today's Queue. You're welcome.

As an aside, I vaguely, vaguely recall when this episode of Dallas aired, mostly because my mother was so incredibly ticked off that she almost chucked the remote control across the room. It was also the last episode of Dallas she ever watched.

lib.feathers asked:

And just where would Fandral Staghelm be taking said shower? You can't leave out important details like that!

The bathroom. ... where else?

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Gold, mountains of it

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 answering all kinds of questions today.

I still think it's weird that David Ogden Stiers essentially sings a duet with himself here. But besides the weirdness of one man playing both villain and sidekick, this video is pretty relevant today. Let's jump into the questions, shall we?

Darkwraith asked:

Q4tQ: with the deploy of 6.0, does anyone know if our Valor will simply be scrapped away or it will be converted to Lesser Charms of Good Fortune?

Gold. Mountains of it. (What did I tell you? Relevant.)

Well, maybe not mountains. But you're still getting gold.

robertjamesftw asked:

Q4tQ: I know Rossi tweeted this question to Dave Kosak, but I didn't see an answer: Who is the voice actor for Maraad in the Lords of War series?

That would be Crispin Freeman. He's also done the voice work for Thalen Songweaver and Commander Lindon.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Spinosaurus was aquatic

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.

That's right, more dinosaurs. Why? Because I love dinosaurs, and also because we have news about Spinosaurus, one of the most famous predatory dinosaurs and also one of the largest predators. Specifically, a new skeletal reconstruction based on fossils found in Morocco in 2008. This is a big deal because before that, we didn't have much at all for Spinosaurus, since the original fossils were destroyed during World War II by Allied bombing. The idea that the Spinosaurus was aquatic isn't a new one - the shape of its teeth and molecular analysis of the fossils suggested a marine diet - but the skeletal reconstruction gives new, physical evidence to support the idea.

At up to twenty tons, Spinosaurus is definitely one of if not the largest predatory dinosaur ever, and it's suggested that it survived by hunting and eating sharks. With teeth like the ones it had (conical, for catching fish) it definitely specialized in fish eating. Fifteen meters long, twenty tons, this was a massive animal all told.

Jpec07 asks:
How likely is it that the in-game face re-customization feature will make it to live from beta?

I only ask because some forum posts have been met with skepticism.

Pretty likely, all told. Pretty darn likely. It's coded, it's in the beta, at this point taking it out is reversing a solid amount of work that served to include it. It's possible, but not very likely, that they would do that. Also, we have the following from Rygarius.


So I'd say that's pretty much a done deal. I'm 95% sure.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Honor, Molten Core iLevel, valor achievements, bugs, and shoulders


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.

Thrall. I think this game needs more Thrall.

Don't you agree? They should make an entire expansion about Thrall.

Zuhani asked:

Will it still be possible to get honor points without PvPing, as it is now? I don't mean getting like 16 points when killing something in VoA, more like being able to "buy" honor like you currently do with JP?

I would use this honor to buy old PvP gear for transmogging. Or will old PvP gear be available for gold in the future?

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: Lantresor of the Burning Blade

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.

He is not the result of Gul'dan's breeding experiments.

He is not orc, nor is he draenei. No, he is Lantresor, and he is a half-orc blademaster of draenei descent. Formerly one of the Burning Blade, his story straddles two worlds, and in its wake embodies both the glories and the foibles of the world of his birth. Not welcome among either of his peoples, he sought his own path, his own destiny. And we have seen it unfold in different ways, at different times.

Lantresor of the Blade is a blademaster. This is his story.

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Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: iGold, iTickets, iBrawlers, iClass


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.

I'm going to be honest here.

I have a few hundred dollars waiting to buy an iWatch.

Hype.

Arthur asked:

With the three auction houses merging into one with 6.0, is there still a good reason to restrict players from trading items and gold between factions on the same server?

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: Mists of Pandaria in review

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.

With the introduction of the Warlords of Draenor cinematic, short story Hellscream, and the Lords of War animated shorts, we can pretty much tack an official "The End" on Mists of Pandaria. All tie in material has been or is in the process of being released, and all new and upcoming content seems to be focusing on the expansion ahead. Although Warlords of Draenor won't launch until November, we can pretty much consider Mists of Pandaria over and done with, story-wise.

Which means it's time to do one of my favorite things to do -- head back and review the expansion in its entirety. It's not really fair to review a book based solely on one chapter, after all. Mists of Pandaria might have seemed like a fairly simple concept from the announcement of the expansion, but it actually played out into a reasonably complex story over the course of four content patches. So how does the story of Mists hold up against its predecessors?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Orc pattern baldness

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 answering all kinds of questions today.

Apparently Thrall has also been under an undue amount of stress lately. Either that or he just forgot to put in his extensions before heading to Draenor.

jabrone77 asked:

QfortheQ: Are the Lords of War series about our respective orcs or alt Draenor? The comments in yesterdays post about Grom seem to overwhelming point to that being OUR Groms story, but I thought the series was about alt Draenors orcs. Which is it, and if it was ours, why no baby Garrosh?

It has been stated that the histories shown in Lords of War are applicable to the alternate timeline versions of the orc warlords -- the orcs we'll be seeing in Warlords of Draenor. Theoretically. This makes my brain hurt, but I think in this case, we should probably just let it slide and focus more on the history being shown, less on Maraad's knowledge of the subject and where he obtained that knowledge. Because timeline-hiccup-induced migraines are horrible.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: What a Drag

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 answering all kinds of questions today.

Do you guys remember when the Drag in Orgrimmar used to be dark? I mean, there was a distinct delineation between the rest of bright and sun-baked Orgrimmar and the Drag. It was dark in there, and it didn't matter what time of day it happened to be. I miss that a lot -- it broke up what was otherwise a fairly monotonous red and orange color palette. I kind of wish it would come back again.

ElPrede asked:

Q4tQ: what is the one villain you would have rather seen as an ally? Either faction or neutral, doesn't matter

Fandral Staghelm. I think he still ranks highest on my list of "characters with fascinating back stories that could have been developed into so much more but I guess they needed to fill a raid boss quota." The guy had a ton of potential, particularly as a foil/counter-view for Tyrande, something that she just doesn't get with Malfurion at all.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Dreadnoughtus fears nothing

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.

Haven't done a dinosaur queue in a while. And well, they named it Dreadnoughtus schrani. I mean, come on. It's a dinosaur that weighed 65 tons, it's one of the most complete Titanosaur skeletons ever found, and it has a name that immediately made me think of one of the cooler of all warrior sets. So yeah, the video above explains how amazing this find was, how it's changing what we know about these truly massive dinosaurs, and most importantly it weighed more than a 737. Just think about that for a second. A full grown Dreadnoughtus could squash an elephant under one foot and barely notice it. The heaviest estimate for Giganotosaurus is 13.8 tons, which means it would be like a moose getting attacked by a house cat.

Anyway, let's get on with the questions.

SintraEdrien asks:
Why do people think that they deserve (or you owe them) your Battle-tag just because you've been polite and friendly in guild or chat or where-ever? I try to be that all the time, but I'm not comfortable giving out my Blizzard identity (what Battle-tags essentially are) to others whom I don't really know.

With the rise of addons like oQueue, people have gotten used to just handing their Battletags out. It's an essential part of cross-server random group forming in order to PuG content like Siege of Orgrimmar or the August Celestials/Ordos. As a result, for many people, the Battletag has become essentially just the same as being friended in game, and they don't really consider how it extends to other Blizzard games - such as Starcraft 2 or Diablo III or Hearthstone. There are all sorts of privacy concerns that not every player is comfortable with when dealing with the Battletag system.

I only accept Battletag exchange requests from people I know I like playing with enough to be grouped with them multiple times, so I relate to your discomfort. Not all players understand how personal this can feel to us, however. For people who've grown comfortable with random cross-realm grouping, it may not even seem like an issue.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: The dawn of the Horde

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 Horde as a factional entity has without question seen the most push in terms of story development -- but that's not necessarily something that could be considered an advantage when it comes to World of Warcraft. Sure, story is all well and good, and the advancement of plot is something that's always fun to see. But in the case of the Horde, that plot and story has had some of the most tumultuous conflicts we've seen, including full out inter-factional warfare in Mists of Pandaria.

And now we stand at the cusp of new expansion, one that is turning away from the factional conflicts of Azeroth, and instead setting its sights on the distant world of Draenor and the evil schemes of the Iron Horde. Again, the advancement of story is all well and good, here. And given what happened in Mists of Pandaria, perhaps it's for the best that we depart the stormy shores of Durotar and turn our focus elsewhere ... because right now, the Horde is at its weakest. What is the future of the Horde? That's a pretty good question -- one that likely began to plague Warchief Vol'jin the moment we stepped out of Siege.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: The Phantom Queue

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 answering all kinds of questions today.

You guys seemed to appreciate the music in yesterday's Queue, so have an amazingly well done, remastered version. I promise I will not suplex this Queue when I am done answering questions.*

Tschekt asked:

Q4tQ: With the Dark Portal being redirected to Draenor, what happens to all the Alliance and Horde forces left in Outland? Are they forever stranded with no way of returning home? Or is there some way to rewire the Dark Portal to reconnect it with Outland and rescue them?

Both the portal in Stormwind's mage tower and the portal in the Cleft of Shadow originally teleported players to just outside the Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands. In beta, they now teleport players directly to Hellfire Peninsula. In Hellfire, there are portals that go directly back to Stormwind and Orgrimmar. So there really isn't a problem there at all -- nobody is stranded in Outland, it's business as usual.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: The Rogue Queue

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 answering all kinds of questions today.

I got so many rogue question yesterday, thank you guys! I'm calling today the rogue Queue, because there are quite a few rogue questions to be answered -- but I've also mixed it up a little for those of you that have no love for the sneaky sneak stabbing class. I had so many questions there was no way to address them all -- if your question wasn't answered today, check back tomorrow. I may answer more from yesterday's Queue at that point, depending on how many questions come in today. Speaking of questions ... let's get right to them.

C.H. asked:

Do you think the WOD train level will be more like the train level in Goldeneye or Shadows of the Empire?

I'm hoping for the Phantom Train sequence from FF6. It was the best. And I'm not just saying this on the off chance that we'll be able to suplex the train.*

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Filed under: The Queue

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