Starting tomorrow and lasting through the next week, I get the apartment to myself. Katie, the girlfriend who doesn't really care for WoW, will be visiting some of her extended family up in New York. This means that other than work, I have nearly uninterrupted WoW time. The chance of my gearing up another character to go into ICC: very high.
Today in The Queue, you guessed it: Cataclysm Q&A! Plus I talk a little bit about what it's like to work at WoW.com.
Chillypally asked ...
"Is there any point farming for Frost badges anymore? Tier 10 is iLevel 251 and the first quests rewards are iLevel 272. Looks like we're in for a vanilla to BC transition and not a BC to WotLK one."
Most, if not all, of your 251 gear (which is epic) will not be replaced by Cataclysm's 272 gear (which is green). You will likely replace some of it with dungeon blues, but that's to be expected. Then there are things like trinkets, which are going to last you quite a while.
So is there a point? It's going to make leveling a lot easier. Think if you can kill a mob 10% faster, which might mean (overall) completing quests 5% faster ... That starts to add up. You'll kill stuff faster, die a lot less and generally have a better time. My personal goal is to get my healer alt geared in 251 gear by the time Cataclysm comes out, at which point I'll be able to quickly chain dungeons to level her.
Boom asked ...
"So, if Death Knights start at 55 still - are worgen and goblins going to be available immediately as a death knight? Wouldn't that unbalance world and realm firsts for these two races? If not, I predict a large number of death knights in our future in a race for the 'first' achievements on those two races."
I would be very surprised if worgen and goblin death knights were allowed to get the realm first achievements or if they were allowed to be created on the first day. I'm sure Blizzard has a plan for this. It's a pretty glaring issue.
Hipponaut asked ...
"Why does Blizzard not add level requirements on gems like they did with enchants? It would make low level gems useful again because they would be the only gems you could use while levelling in Outland for example. "
Right now, it's not too much of a problem. You get gear that can use gems at 60, so it's not like your level 30 mage is running around with a +30 stam gem in a piece of gear. With Cataclysm coming out and the gem's stats getting larger, it might come to pass that Blizzard decides it doesn't want +9,000 gems in level 60 gear, at which point it'll put restrictions on them. Obviously the technology is there to do it; it's just not a priority, I'm sure.
Kazeko asked ...
"The Mac beta client for SCII was released much later over the course of the beta period. Is it the same for Cataclysm? Is the Mac client out yet? If not, is there any news on when it will be?"
The Mac client for Cataclysm has been available since day one. Blizzard is one of the best companies around, if not the best, at having great cross-platform software. StarCraft II's beta client is just a different animal, so it needed a bit more internal testing before being made public. Don't let alpha/beta tests be a factor at all in judging a company's Mac support -- Blizzard didn't release the client because it wasn't ready, which is a helluva lot more than most game companies can say.
Thall asked ...
"What is it like working for WoW.com? Do you regularly get together and have board meetings or something like that or is it more like conference calls? I'm not sure how many, if any, of you live near each other so how do you all handle the day-by-day workings of the website?"
There are a lot of different people here at WoW.com. There are a group of folks who are working here as their primary job, who put in 40 hours+ a week; there are some folks here who only write an article a week, and others who are in between. Everyone lives all over the country, so we make very extensive use of online collaborative tools to do our job. There are a lot of times when we're talking about stories and working on content, planning out what we want to do, and all the regular stuff that comes along with being a business.
And then, of course, there's patch day (either beta or live realms), at which time it gets pretty nuts and everyone goes all-out. But no matter what's happening, we're just like any other business -- a lot of talking to each other, a lot of collaboration, and a lot of responsibility for everyone involved. It's a great job, one that I'll write an e-book about someday. (Umm ... just kidding, Liz!)
As for what goes on when we do get together ... what happens in LA, stays in LA.
Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW.com crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column! Leave your questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em!