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The Queue: Trinket-Palooza 2009


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Allison Robert is your hostess today again (our condolences).

I'm in an autumnal sort of mood, hence today's picture. Yes, I know that Barrens trees always look like that. We got a really interesting question about trinkets the last time around that really caught my attention, so a lot of today's Queue is going to be comprised of an Enjoyable Stroll Down Memory Lane and Into Holy ^$*# Look At That Trinket From AQ40 How Has That Not Been Nerfed Yet.

Starlin asks...

So, what's up with Brewfest this year? Anything new or updated?


Fortunately or us, Kisirani posted on this same question yesterday. To summarize, there are no major changes to the holiday, but Coren Direbrew has been updated to level 80, the mount drop rates haven't changed (nor are they now required for the Brewfest meta-achievement), and no new pets or mounts have been added. You can reasonably expect a beefed-up holiday boss with a new loot table (most likely of ilevel 200 items, possibly 219 if they want to match the gear from heroic Trial of the Champion), but otherwise the same experience as last year. I'll have an OverAchiever for the good folks seeking Brewfest achievements up on the site soon.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Queue

Turn off XP gain for classic raiding

The ability to turn off experience gains is coming in patch 3.2, and is rightly being touted as a feature to enable twinking (to go along with the new battleground experience system).

However, that's not all that turning off XP lets you do. Remember how people have been asking for classic realms with the level cap set at 60 (or 70)? Yeah, here you go. Level a guild of characters to 60, pay 10g to turn off XP gain, and raid the old world to your heart's content.

Nethaera mentioned as much in a blue post yesterday, constituting the first supportive mention of classic only raiding that Blizzard has ever made, as Adam noticed. She does mention that this may change during testing, like everything, but for now: classic content lovers, rejoice! Don't forget to loot your core hound.


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: What if achievements had existed in classic WoW?

One of our readers, Eli, wrote in last night with a suggestion for a Breakfast Topic: if achievements had existed in classic WoW, what would they have been? It provoked some back-channel discussion here with staffers wondering how the game would have been different if beating the boss or dungeon wasn't the only thing on your plate:

Me: What would a hard-mode Ragnaros have been like?

Adam Holisky: Kill Ragnaros using only one tank!

Eliah Hecht: Domo comes back from the dead and starts randomly sheeping raid members in revenge.

Other suggestions included killing Hakkar with all of his priests still up, hearthing with Hakkar's debuffs and infecting at least 500 players with Corrupted Blood (back when this was still possible, of course), killing at least 500 Dwarves without dropping combat in the Lyceum, the Stratholme timed run, and -- as Sacco suggested -- "getting through an UBRS run without (anyone) quitting." Having recently leveled a Shaman through this content, I can tell you that's one achievement I wouldn't have managed.

If you were back in classic WoW again with no chance of advancing beyond level 60 talents and gear, what would make for a worthwhile achievement?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Humor, Achievements

Breakfast Topic: Nostalgia vs. reality -- fight!

There's an interesting post on the forums that's become a catalogue of what old-time players miss most about classic WoW. While it's become a pretty thorough compilation of iconic moments, there are admissions that, well, maybe some of the stuff that's fun to look back on wasn't actually that much fun at the time. The examples include trying to get past a 40-man raid of the opposite faction into Molten Core, the boredom of raiding as little more than a glorified Decurse-bot, the countless guilds who broke up on Vael, and the fun of Tarren Mill/Southshore PvP that had the ancillary effect of making leveling in Hillsbrad such a nightmarish experience.

I'm seeing the first glimmers of such nostalgia for BC content start to emerge, and hearing a Sunwell PuG advertised as a "fun run" the other day left me speechless for a moment. It's equal parts compelling and unnerving; part of me misses the struggle to down bosses in Tiers 4, 5, and 6, but I also remember ugly M'uru wipefests. Everyone likes looking back on the first boss kill, nobody likes remembering the 45-minute trash respawn timer in SSC, and I like to think that as the game has "grown up," it has also gone resolutely forward.

But then, I'm not an old-school WoW player on the level of these forum posters, and I'm also not sure that the nostalgia for BC content will ever approach that for classic content. Is, say, Black Temple going to be looked upon as fondly as its classic counterparts like AQ40 someday, or is the classic "classic" and irretrievable for a reason?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Raiding, Forums

Yes, that 2H mace makes you look fat


Important news for all 20 of you playing female Tauren out there (of whom Robin Torres and I are two, so I guess it's for the other 18); beware the port to Lake Wintergrasp from Dalaran when your faction controls the fortress. Our reader Amalline wrote in to let us know that an unfortunate bug from the beta concerning the room you're ported to has made its way to the live realms. And by "unfortunate bug," I mean "hilarious joke for all those of you not playing female Tauren" -- you can't get out the door.

Those who have played female Tauren since World of Warcraft classic will recognize this as the latest iteration of the old and equally annoying "I can't get into Molten Core!" bug. Now, while I personally have no intention whatsoever of entering Wintergrasp (which, given my previous track record on such resolutions, means that one of my more sadistic friends will make sure I get stuck there within 2 weeks), I realize that there may be people among the remaining 18 worldwide players with an itch to go an ungainly killin' spree. If I were you, I would plan on being solidly part of the defense for the time being.

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Filed under: Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, PvP, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds

Molten Core now available for download

You may remember Blizzard's April Fool's joke this year, a trailer promising the release of a console version of the Molten Core. It was a concept that did so well in the polls, we expected to see it turned into some kind of official mini-game.

An enterprising fan, however, beat them to the punch. The Molten Core ATARI-style game is now available, as posted in the forums. You can download it from Box.net or from Filefront. Design inspiration is credited to Blizzard, of course, but its graphics, programming, and game play are courtesy of Derek Gallant.

With this morning's server restarts, I took the opportunity to fire up this 1 or 2 player raid instance. And, while it probably won't be peeling me away from the zombie invasion, I didn't stop laughing the entire time. Derek's creation allows you to play each of WoW's staple classes, and everything is, indeed, fairly reminiscent of Molten Core. (If you know what you're looking at.)

Good luck!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor, Forums

Onyxia attunement to be lifted


Valnoth announced today that with the return of King Wrynn in Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard will be removing the attunement necessary for Onyxia. In vanilla WoW, Ony was an achievement and many peoples first introduction to raiding in Warcraft. In Burning Crusade it was often ran as a quick way to make a buck or get a nice helmet for an alt.

Ony was one of the last, great old school attunements required in the game. With it gone, only Black Wing Lair and Molten Core remain as attunement required raids. This is a sad day for those of us that enjoyed the quest chain. A friend of mine and I were going to run this through on his Shaman and my up-and-coming Mage. Apparently we'll have to actually kick ourselves into gear and do it soon.

There is no indication if this change will come with WotLK or with patch 3.0.2. However the King returns in 3.0.2, so I would have to assume the attunement will be lifted then. It should be noted however, that Valnoth did say they would attempt to return the chain some day in the future. But we all know how that can go...

Thanks to Jarred for the tip!

Filed under: News items, Quests, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 2.4: Hyjal and Black Temple attunements removed

Blizzard announced the following important four lines in their 2.4 Patch Notes:
  • Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter Hyjal.
  • Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter the Black Temple.
  • Players who have completed the attunement quests for Black Temple and Hyjal will be granted the title of "Hand of A'dal".
  • You may now fight Prince Kael'thas and Lady Vashj without first killing all the other bosses in their respective dungeons.
I have to say, despite the difficulty of Vashj and Kael'Thas, I am quite surprised to find that Blizzard has removed the attunement requirements from Patch 2.4. Naxx, Blackwing Lair, and even Molten Core still require people to become attuned. Now seemingly, two of the hardest and most revered raids do not.

While the removal of the attunement is obviously a way to get more people to see their new raid zone, the Sunwell Plateau, all is not golden. Many, many, many raiding guilds and players who have already made the brutal trek through Vashj and Kael will be quite upset. On the other hand players who are not yet able to, but perhaps ready for, the first few bosses of MH and BT, will undoubtedly rejoice.

What are your opinions of this change? How do you think it will affect the raiding landscape?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Quests, Raiding, The Burning Crusade

40 men on a raid

Kavis wonders if he's the only person who wants 40 man raids back. I'm sure he's not the only person, but I'd bet he's in the minority. Forty man raids may sound super fun in theory, but in practice they are pretty miserable-- it's hell to coordinate the schedules of 40 people on a regular basis, and then it's even worse to actually get them to line up on time and do what needs to be done. I don't know if Kavis ever actually ran Molten Core or BWL or Naxx, but while 40 man raids were fun while they lasted, 10 and 25 man raids are much, much easier on raidleaders and guildies alike.

As Bornakk says, the devs love 25 man raids too-- since 40 man raids could be carried by about 25 good players anyway, it makes things much easier for everyone, in terms of individual contributions.

Now, if Kavis is asking to return to the 40 man content, I'm completely down with that. BWL, AQ, and Naxx were fun to go through when you had a good group rolling (as rare as that was), and the content there shouldn't be abandoned (Naxx, we already know, is likely being repurposed in WotLK). But as for a return to the days of trying to get 40 people together for five hours on a Sunday evening? No thanks.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

The masterminds of WoW on gaming

Have you ever wondered what the names and faces behind WoW do in their off time? In the recent interview 1up had with Shane Dabiri, Rob Pardo, Jeff Kaplan, and Tom Chilton, we get to find out a bit about that -- at least in regards to some of the games that they're playing right now. Two of them were really no surprise to me: Guitar Hero II and God of War. Those two have been all over the gaming media and are a lot of fun to play, so it makes total sense. The two titles that caught me off guard were several mentions of Viva Pinata and Rob saying that he plays the PopCap game, Peggle. They also covered some great background information from their gaming roots, to some ways they think WoW has changed the genre. Check it out!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Interviews

Around Azeroth: Inside Ragnaros


This shot is very old Azeroth, but while I've died a great many times to Ragnaros in the past, I can't say I've seen him from quite this angle before. From reader Shmoobedoobe of Kilrogg comes this screenshot of Ragnaros' oddly hollow interior, which you get a glimpse of if you die in just the wrong spot. Look at that -- you can even see his name floating above his head (obviously equipped with sunroof!).

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com! Or perhaps you'd just like to see more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

Revenge of the Joi of Warcraft

Serial entrepreneur and unofficial World of Warcraft spokesman Joi Ito recently sat down in the studio of Mobuzz.tv for an interview, which you can check out on their site. He touches on many of the most interesting aspects of the game (IMHO) including leadership and guild management, trust and bonding, achievement and value, and the implications of interface design when the current cadre of young players enters the business world and expects great tools to help coordinate personnel in that ever-elusive "real world." As one who sees a lot of parallels between my experiences in game and my "day job" experiences in the virtual office at Weblogs, Inc., I appreciate the way Joi communicates how World of Warcraft can provide inspiration for future leaders in the future office, as well as discussing the value that different and historically undervalued leadership qualities can bring to group coordination and management -- whilst simultaneously conveying the satisfaction and fun of pwning face.

Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Guilds

Lucky you

When I came upon this post in the Raids and Dungeons forum, I had to laugh. The guild Dissension on Bleeding Hollow apparently got three Rejuvenating Gems -- each about a 5 percent drop off the three drakes in Blackwing Lair -- on one run. The funny thing is, the exact same thing happened to my guild this summer before we could even clear BWL. One of our healers thought it was funny and told a real-life friend of his, who happened to be in another raiding guild on our server. That guild would not talk to us for several days, aside from random "I HATE YOU SO MUCH" tells from their druids, priests and shamans. The same thing happened later in the summer, when we killed Nef and got three Ashkandis out of our first four kills.

I did the math on the Rejuv Gem drops and it came out to be about a one in six thousand, five hundred chance occurrence. (Please correct me if I'm wrong -- it's been a long time since I've been in a statistics class.) End of Days on Black Dragonflight reported an even more improbable loot table: four Talismans of Ephemeral Power off the four Molten Core bosses who drop them. This has a chance of happening in one out of every seven hundred and fifty thousand and change Molten Core clears.

Have you ever had a wildly improbable run of loot luck? And not an improbable run of not getting loot -- sorry, there's going to be a lot of guilds out there still waiting for that last Wraith Blade or Bloodfang Chest. People who complain about "it must be our loot seed, we've never seen a Eye of Sulfuras" need to look up the phrase "random" in a dictionary, along with "two percent drop rate."

Filed under: Items, Instances, Raiding

Around Azeroth: Remembering Ragnaros


I remember my first trips to Molten Core, those very first attempts at downing Ragnaros, the thrill of a first kill, and the cheers on Ventrillo when we managed to down him pre-Sons (a feat for which we were promised extra DKP at the time). But before any of us reach raiding success, there's an endless stream of frustrating wipes (practice does make perfect, after all), such as this one, sent in by Brixie of Prelude to Chaos on Guldan. Not that I miss the wipes, but I do feel sort of sorry for people leveling to 60 after the release of the Burning Crusade. Will they ever run Molten Core and challenge Ragnaros?

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth that you'd like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com! You can attach a picture file or send us a link to one -- and don't worry about formatting, we'll take care of that part.

See more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

Filed under: Features, Screenshots, Raiding, Around Azeroth, Bosses

The Burning Crusade: A long path to Mount Hyjal

Without getting too much into the lore, you may recall Mount Hyjal as being a pretty pivotal place in the history of Azeroth. It was there that the Battle of Mount Hyjal was fought at the end of Warcraft III, and the destiny of the night elves was forever changed.

We've known for awhile now that the Burning Crusade will let us access some moments in Azeroth's past, including Hillsbrad, the Dark Portal, and Hyjal. What we weren't really aware of until now, is the apparent gargantuan effort it's going to take individuals to get ready for and attuned to the Battle of Mount Hyjal.

Blizzplanet has a rundown on what you'll need to do in order to be admitted to the Caverns of Time for this epic event. Keep in mind that there will be some spoilers in there, but I believe it's worth the read just to get a grip on what Blizzard has in mind for us to get ready.

This is not like getting attuned for Onyxia or BWL. In fact, this seems like it's a bigger deal than the AQ40 event was, on top of which every single person in your 25-man raid group has to have completed all the steps.

Personally, I think this is pretty cool. Instead of slugging through raid after raid, you get a big build-up to that raid. No more walking into a giant event without some idea of what lead up to it. I think this shows that the Blizzard developers are thinking about the world they're creating, and the lore behind it. This can only be good for the continued success of the game, and I'm sure it works as a nice timesink for the beancounters, too.

What do you think of lengthy prerequisites and jaunts around the world before being let in to a big raid event? Does this encourage you or discourage you from pursuing quest chains and following the lore?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Walkthroughs, Quests, Expansions, Raiding, The Burning Crusade

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