Welcome! You probably noticed I skipped yesterday. Why? Because I felt like it. Yeah, how do you like them apples? I sure showed you! You got owned, y'all.
Uh, anyway. Alexran asked...
Why exactly did Blizzard skip out on the Pandaren as a playable race? I remember hearing something about racism or that the Chinese government would invade Blizzard's HQ. Whats the deal?
It's a completely baseless rumor, one that Blizzard themselves shot down at BlizzCon 08. China doesn't care if there are Pandaren in the game. Now, there are some things that have been censored due to regional laws or restrictions, but it's typically done specifically in that region.
Germany doesn't want red blood, so they don't have it. The9 altered many Undead models to pass a Chinese censorship review. Forsaken have elbows in China. When you die you leave behind a tombstone instead of a skeleton. Abominations aren't spilling their guts all over. It's not a crazy mystical thing. It's just tighter censorship on specific things.
The Pandaren started as an April Fool's joke, and Blizzard has included little nods to them here and there for fan service purposes. Just like all of their pop culture nods. I don't think we're ever going to see playable Pandaren or visit Pandaria for that reason, not because of a rumor/myth about China.
Awhile ago, I thought I read a post that mentioned land mounts would be able to swim after an upcoming patch. Was that just a rumor, or was it confirmed? And if the latter, do we know if/when it's still happening?
This is true, it's something I forgot about a couple of days ago when I answered the question about upcoming patch 3.1 features. Water won't dismount you anymore, according to the developers at BlizzCon. There's always a chance this could get delayed for some reason, but it's one of the few things that has a solid ETA.
Okay what's the deal with Riding Crop? I just actually read it again, when did they make it only affect characters 70 or below? As in needing to be level 69 to use it, and isn't it the most USELESS trinket in game?
Yes, as we've been saying since the Wrath beta, they're making the Riding Crop obsolete on purpose. It was a clunky mechanic and they weren't fond of the implementation, so they threw it out completely.
Originally they had made the item a single-use enchantment for your mounts, which was working alright (though more expensive). Then they changed mounts over to our current system, where you learn them as spells. The enchantment thing wouldn't work there, and the new system was just as much of a pain. Every time you get a new mount, you'd need to enchant it. Nobody wants that.
They threw them out. Whatevs!
Are there any quests that lead into the 10-man raids? I've got a couple of group quests in Icecrown left in my quest log and am wondering if they will eventually point me toward The Obsidian Sanctum or Naxxramas. My guild is about to start running Naxx and I want to know if I need to get these group quests done so I can complete Naxx quests while we're running it.
There really aren't any quests for the 10-man raids at all. There are quests that tell you the story behind some of them, like Naxxramas and Eye of Eternity, but there isn't a Kill Kel'thuzad quest or a Kill Sartharion quest, for example. There is a Kill Malygos quest, but you get it by killing Sapphiron in Naxx. He drops an item that starts the quest. Only one person can loot it, so be aware of that in case your raid thinks anybody can get it and it gets accidentally ninja'd or something.