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The Queue: The Three Draeneimigos, I'm a mutant, Leyara was right

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 very very much want to see the new draenei male in action. Human male, I get that's next, but as soon as possible please. Still, Vindicator Maraad's rocking that hammer. If transmog is working properly the next time the Alpha's up, I may match up with him.

gazaa07 asks:
Rossi posted on twitter this little gem, which implies (to me at least) he's been playing a Warrior for so long that he's started picking up warrior talents IRL.

My Q4tQ: if you could pick from WoW (as of 5.4.8) any spell, ability, talent, glyph or shapeshift and have it as your singular Super-Power, what would you have and why?

Titan's Grip. Or do I not get one because we've decided I have Second Wind already? Well, if I could pick, I'd pick Titan's Grip. Carrying around two gigantic buster swords would be awesome.



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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

What Blizzard needs to keep casuals playing in Warlords

Being called a casual in World of Warcraft is sometimes -- okay, often -- tossed out as an insult, but let's face it: a lot of the gamers fall under the casual banner. They have jobs, they have families, they have kids, and they can't necessarily afford to spend countless hours a week focused on a single game. It's not that casuals want free epics or need to learn to play, it's that MMOs can demand a lot more time than the average adult has available for gaming. No matter how much we love Warcraft, spending time with family and working enough to pay the bills has to come first. (After all, if we can't pay the bills, we can't play in the first place.)

This is especially true in World of Warcraft which is approaching its 10-year anniversary. Players who started playing in their early teens are now college graduates working for a living, while players who started playing during college may be starting (or growing) their own families. Demands like that just don't leave a lot of time to game -- and they definitely don't leave time for a game that forces you to sink a lot of hours in before you can start having fun. Even those of us who enjoyed doing 40-man raids back in the vanilla days -- complete with the grinding for repair money, resist gear, potions, flasks, and everything else you were expected to do to be part of a raiding guild -- might have trouble making the time these days.

World of Warcraft is more casual-friendly than it used to be, and by necessity: many of the playerbase are more casual than they used to be. But while it's more friendly to casual players, there are still plenty of things the game could do to keep the casuals around from level 90 and beyond -- so let's talk about what Warlords of Draenor needs to keep new and casual players in the game.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: The Watchers of the kaldorei

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.

Kaldorei society and rank has always been complex. Queen Azshara had her court, the Highborne represented the upper reaches of society, and those chosen Highborne were magic users of particular skill and prowess. On the other end of the spectrum were the Sisters of Elune, kaldorei priestesses who were dedicated to the worship of the moon goddess Elune. And somewhere in between were the druids, primarily male kaldorei who followed Malfurion Stormrage after the War of the Ancients and Sundering were over, eventually founding the Cenarion Circle.

In between them all were the Watchers, a group established after the War of the Ancients that survives to this day. Not only has it survived, it's apparently thriving enough that some of these Watchers will be making an appearance in Warlords of Draenor. While the depth of their appearance and how much they will be contributing to the new expansion's story remains to be seen, it's worth it to take a look at this organization, how it came to be, and perhaps the most notorious Watcher of them all -- Maiev Shadowsong.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Many questions, handle them

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.

We had a lot of questions today, so let's just get right to them!

gazaa07 asked:

Q4tQ: Which model do you predict we will see after the male human one?

I'd kind of like to see either the female troll, or the male night elf. Preferably female troll, because I'd like to see them finally, at long last, blink. We'll have to wait and see what they decide to show us after the human male, though.

jabrone77 asked:

QfortheQ: Why on earth would Thrall leave the trade prince in control of the goblins? He enslaved his own people TWICE. I understand the gameplay aspect of it, you can't have a player in charge, but the lore "why" escapes me. Wouldn't Thrall out of everyone on Azeroth be against that?

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Filed under: The Queue

Guide to the Midsummer Fire Festival 2014

The Midsummer Fire Festival will run from Saturday, June 21 to Saturday, July 5 this year. As always, check your ingame calendar to determine the exact start and stop times for your server. While there aren't actually a lot of achievements associated with the Festival (the meta consists of only six), three of them require serious travel time, and one also requires a set of dangerous trips to enemy capitals. For the trouble, Alliance players are awarded the Flame Warden title, and Horde players Flame Keeper.

If you're starting from scratch, this is definitely one of the more work-intensive holidays necessary for the completion of What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been. However, even a fresh character can afford to get all the rewards from holiday vendors if you're diligent about hitting all the holiday's fires, quests, and dailies.

The basics of the holiday involve "honoring" or "desecrating" a series of fires across Azeroth and Outland. For convenience, we've listed all of the fires on each continent in a specific direction so you can reach them as efficiently as possible.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

The Queue: Space 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. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

Shadowmoon Valley opened very briefly on the alpha client yesterday. As soon as it went live, the starting area was immediately hit with a flood of alpha testers. Unfortunately, the servers were brought down a short time after, and will remain down for the weekend to address technical issues. The stampede should commence again in earnest come Monday.

Digsu asked:

Question: Baine has soundfiles in the game that have him shouting "Open the gate!", "I will not let a single human step past me into Mulgore! My people will not be harmed!" and "Sound the drums of war! For Taurajo!". Where are these from?

Those are not actually a part of the game proper -- although from listening to them, they seem to be indicative that at one point in time or another, there was supposed to be some sort of event at the gates that block Mulgore from the rest of the Barrens. Likely whatever was planned for that was cut. It definitely wouldn't be the first time that voice files that were never used made their way into the game files.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Why no new class/race, new content now, why stances?

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.

Talking about WoW, as we do here.

What is this strange sensation? Is it... can it be... joy?

Gendou Knepper asks:
Q4Q: Do you think Warlords is setting up for disappointment as the first expansion with no new class or race? I understand that the new character models are taking a lot of resources and that a new class might not be needed. But there's still seems to be a subjective feeling that this expansion is *lacking* something, and I'm not sure why.

New classes/races are easy to put on a box and point to as something new. It's hard to convey "Instead of new leveling content for a new race, we're putting that development time into new content for people to go through on their way to level 100." Same thing with a new class (especially one like a death knight, which got its own leveling zone - monks kind of got a hub and some specific monkish quests). I don't think Warlords is setting us up for anything, I think it's more human nature to ignore nuance in favor of broad strokes. New race or class = new content, whereas just going straight to new content isn't as easily grasped, because expansions offer that anyway.

On the other hand, new classes and races offer that 'new play experience smell' - they do new things, look new, it's easy to feel like you're getting something with them. In the end, I think Warlords is offering a lot more than just new character models - there's tons of quests, whole new kinds of encounters, the garrison, and huge, sweeping class revamps to go along with stat squishing, dungeons, a new raid structure, etc etc.

Ultimately, the lack of a new race or class is pretty meaningless, and if people are disappointed for that alone, I'd argue it was more on them than on Blizzard.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Mages

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.

Mages are the purest spellcasters, in a way. They do not entreat or bargain with elemental spirits (yet they can summon elemental power, after a fashion), they do not invoke the Holy Light or the Shadow that opposes it, and the fel magic that drives warlocks does not interest them. Mages seek the purity of absolute arcane knowledge - knowledge untainted by dark pacts or the promise of a glory gained if one follows the precepts of an unknown and unknowable philosophical force. Mages don't bargain, they don't plead, and they don't even compel - mages understand.


Magic is a tool, some would even say a gift. But you should never forget its fundamental nature. Arcane magic twists the boundaries of our world. It weakens the laws of this realm to allow the impossible to happen, if only for a moment. That single moment is all a demon needs to wreak havoc. The Burning Legion has watched us for millenia, always waiting for the smallest rift to slip through, the smallest stirring to whisper from. Remember this, young ones. Every spell you cast, no matter how minor, cuts both ways. This is why sorcery must never be used frivolously.
- Vestia Moonspear


Now, this obsession with arcane power and knowledge isn't always for the good - many lore figures like Archimonde and Kil'jaeden began as mages before turning to the dark and corrupt path of the warlock. Azshara, queen of the Kaldorei, was (and likely still is) a mage of enormous power, and we need look no further than the recent Nexus war to understand that mages and the magic they seek to understand can have devastating consequences for all. Azeroth, for better and for worse, has been shaped and defined by arcane magic.

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

The Queue: Dinosaurs!

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 has been way too long since I nerded out about dinosaurs in an edition of the Queue. Let's all welcome Mercuriceratops gemini, a very cool looking ceratopsian dinosaur. I don't know why NBC decided to cover this as 'weird science' because there's nothing weird about it -- just a very distinctive ceratopsian with a particularly interesting frill. Hopefully, the next time we get dinosaurs in WoW (and I have hopes for Gorgrond and Farahlon)) we'll get a winged ceratopsian.

Anyway, it's time for questions, and the answers therein.

CaptainCakewalk asks:
Q4tQ: I have noticed this for many years now, from the first months of playing WoW back in TBC actually, that we don't have very many doors in Azeroth. So, it got me thinking will Garrison buildings have doors? I know this a really weird question but it's always irked me that the rest of Azeroth, especially humans and Dwarves, don't seem to understand the quality of a door. Think of the drafts up yer kilts!

So far my Horde garrison on the alpha is absolutely devoid of doors. So far as I can tell, they don't even have a fur draped across the entrance to keep out the Frostfire chill. Apparently we're all just really freaking hardy. On the one hand, I don't want to have to open a door every time I go in or out of my buildings, but you'd think a few would be around.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Other MMOs hating on WoW, one server, salty comments


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.

A few good questions today. Let's keep 'em coming!

Rode asked:

Know what is grinding my gears (and also makes me depress). I've been enjoying Wildstar these past few days but each time i do bring out that i still play WoW and i am looking forward for WoD... i am met with hostility. And i mean big hostility... I got denied, in a jokingly matter, a dungeon run unless i admit WoW is crap, i feel like the last mast standing when i talk in Zone chat and don't get me started on the guildies, all rolling their eyes and calling me the WoW fanboy in front of my face and i am guessing behind my back. I now learn to shut my mouth so i won't cause drama and to just put in smiley faces in guild chat when someone brings out "Vanilla wow was best wow". I can't remember the number of time i bit my cheeks when people say that with a straight face...

Are people really playing Wildstar cause they are having a grudge against WoW? Like they think this is proving their point? For me it's two separate game that both community can enjoy but no... people want to draw a line on the sand. And frankly, it is making me sad, literally :( . Cause i really don't want to just pick one cause people are discouraging me to have fun of the other. I hope this will die down the coming months but i seriously hope this will stop from happening at every new MMO launch.

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore: The Shadow Council

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.

Where others may have quailed from the looming threat of darkness, they embraced it. Where others reviled the blatant corruption of the Burning Legion, they not only accepted it, they went looking for more. And where others may have listened to common sense and turned from the face of evil, they saw evil for what it was, took its measure and took what it had to give, gladly. It wasn't about corruption, it was never about corruption -- it was about power.

And for the Shadow Council, power was everything.

Formed long before the creation of the Dark Portal and the first invasion of Azeroth, the Shadow Council managed to survive the death of its leader. In fact, it thrived in his absence, and despite the supposed extermination of this dark society, it still thrives today, albeit in lesser numbers than before. But though its direction and leaders may have altered, its purpose has never really changed -- devotion to the Legion, at whatever costs that may entail.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Dad dad dad dad

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.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there today!

Fizzl asked:

Q4TQ: how likely is it Draenor won't actually be the focus of the whole expansion? In other words, what's the chance that halfway through the expansion we finish what we needed to in Draenor and return home only to find the Legion in full force. The rest of the expansion takes place outside of Draenor fighting non-Orc baddies.

I think we're going to be on Draenor for the whole expansion -- I don't think we're going to make a sudden rush back to Azeroth, not with so much invested in garrisons and outposts on Draenor. However, I think that Draenor potentially has far worse to offer than a bunch of amped up orc warlords, and I'm guessing we're going to get into that later in the expansion.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: Got your goat

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.

Goats are very talented creatures. Here you see some goats on backup vocals for One Direction. Aren't they the most majestic things you've ever seen?

gazaa07 asked:

Q4tQ: Now that we are going back to Draenor (granted, a Draenor that wasn't shattered by Demons / Ner'Zhul) do you think we will end up in tier sets that resemble the best that Outland had to offer (T6 FTW)?

It's an alternate reality kind of Draenor, and in that case man I hope we see something like that -- alternate re-imagined versions of those tier sets would be pretty neat. At the very least, we do know that we'll be seeing some gear that definitely has an orcish or draenic influence in its design, which I like.

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Filed under: The Queue

The Queue: A whole new (old) world

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 managed to transfer one of my own tauren warriors to the Alpha servers and take a look at what he'd look like in current gear with the new model. I'm frankly pretty damn happy with it - he's a big white bull on live and he's the same on Alpha, just improved. I'm overall very impressed. One of the things I keep doing is riding around and exploring, which led me at one point to ride right into a village full of level 100 and 100 elite mobs. I died a lot as a result - this picture is me waiting out res sickness after realizing I was not getting my body back otherwise.

So what I'm saying is, if you want that feeling of danger we used to get in the old days, keep riding around the north of Frostfire Ridge until you run into level 100 ogres, they will give it to you in spades. You will die. A lot.

Lagowatu asks:
Is Blizzard done with the button bloat trimming, or do you think they might make more cuts yet? I ask because cat druid still has all three very short duration cooldowns I wanted to get rid of or merge: Tiger's Fury, Savage Roar, and Berserk.

Shaman just saw a bunch of stuff get trimmed, so no, they're not done yet. Don't make that mistake. They'll be done when the Beta (and not the Alpha) is done.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: War Eternal

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.

So if you're not down for growly scream-metal, probably don't watch that video. I've been into the band for the past couple of months, though, and just got their new album. So for those of you who like growly sceam-metal, there you go.

Let's do some Queue. Let's rhyme less.

morvackthemountmimic asks:
What were your "good ol' days" of playing wow? For me, it was wrath. I was with a small family owned (not my family) raiding guild. We were able to form an alliance with a few other guilds on our server (odd sense we were horde), and get some pretty respectable gear. I was doing 6500 dps as a balance druid.

It would have to be vanilla, to be honest. I was raiding in the most progressed Alliance guild on my servers (Azjol-Nerub and then Norgannon) and I pretty much saw everything up to Naxxramas 40 (we didn't kill Sapph or KT back then). It's not that I think the game was better then -- I really do not -- but it's when I first started playing and when my first memories of it were formed. And it's when I learned that people will never stop and loot things. Core hounds going unlooted, mass hysterics, anarchy.

It's funny how I still compare raid mechanics to places like Blackwing Lair and Molten Core. Fights have gotten far more complex, and I've been raiding pretty much since those days so I've seen a lot of them, but for me it's where I learned how the game works, and even with all the changes over the years it's a very strong memory.

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Filed under: The Queue

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