My guild managed to kill Spoils of Pandaria 25-heroic for the first time yesterday, and even made it a one-shot on top of that! Unfortunately, I neglected to hit my print screen button when we were all lined up for a screenshot, so you'll have to make do with the screenshot above. ... the fight was kind of like that, anyway. On to the questions!
Why do you think Blizzard encouraged the comparison between Garrisons and player housing? They are obviously nothing like player housing, but rather like the bases in the Warcraft RTS games. Aren't they just confusing the players?
Not at all! Garrisons are basically the Warcraft version of what they would like player housing to be. It's not just someplace you go with your character to sit and do nothing, it's a fully interactive base -- which is pretty Warcraft appropriate. Blizzard has been saying all along that if they introduce a new feature, they want that feature to be a part of the in-game world, not something that removes players from that world entirely. We got a small taste of what that kind of feature could be with the farm. Even though the farm was phased from the rest of the world, the quests and items you could get from the farm worked directly with that world. It may not be the traditional version of what player housing should be, but it's the Warcraft version of it.
I was running Coilfang Resevoir raid last night for the pets, and a thought struck me. Why are there murlocks in Outland? Aren't they a native Azeorth race? Did Illidan/the naga bring them through the portal?
There is a lot we don't know about the murloc race. However, we do know they aren't particularly loved by the naga -- if you head out and do the quests in the Blasted Lands, you'll get a first-hand look at exactly how the naga treat murlocs. It's entirely likely that Lady Vashj and the naga brought murloc slaves from Azeroth. And then of course there's this guy.
Has anyone noticed the giant wind serpent skeleton in the dead and dried up part of zangarmarsh, along with a snake statue sticking out of the mud with no real story behind it?
Sometimes stuff gets added just to add to the flavor of the zone, with no real explanation behind it. We might see more about the giant wind serpent or the statue if we go exploring in the sea in Warlords, or we might not. Since the Zangar Sea isn't really going to be a questable zone as far as we know, I doubt we'll see any huge explanations for oddities in Zangarmarsh architecture.
Since Garrosh only arrived at Draenor a couple years before the drinking of Mannoroth's blood, that means Durotan and Orgrim did become guests of Velen and his Draenei when kids. Could that mean that Doomhammer will "betray" Blackhand once again and, this time, turn the Old Horde against Garrosh?
Durotan and the Frostwolves are likely going to be working with us -- the promotional material and information released at BlizzCon stated that Durotan and his clan rejected the idea of the Iron Horde's unity altogether. I imagine Garrosh isn't very happy about that, but I'm glad that Durotan seems to have taken the kind of stand he wanted to in Rise of the Horde, but couldn't. As for Doomhammer, we really don't know whether we'll see much of him or not this expansion -- the developers said he'll be there, but he won't really be a focus, since Blackhand is still the leader of the Blackrock Clan at that time.
Also keep in mind that when Orgrim overthrew Blackhand, he wasn't just overthrowing the leader of the Blackrock -- he was overthrowing the leader of the Horde itself. It wasn't because he was a guest of the draenei or regretted that particular decision, it was because Doomhammer finally realized that Blackhand was nothing more than Gul'dan's puppet, and hoped that with Blackhand's death, he himself could lead the orcs away from the dark path they'd taken.
So the short answer is no, I don't think we'll see Doomhammer overthrow anything. But hey, it would be ridiculously fun if he did, wouldn't it?
Why can't a DK use a iLvl 476 PvP Shoulder from the Warrior set just for the stats (no set bonus) if it's better than what he currently has? The game does not allow it.
For the same reason that my rogue can't go back and equip old druid sets, or use them for transmog, even if they're feral sets and have the agility/stamina that my rogue can use. They're class restricted sets. Is it irritating? Yes, and my rogue will never be able to flounce around in those pretty, nature-themed bits of leather. Is it unexpected? Nope, not at all. We've had class-restricted sets since the original dungeon sets all the way back in vanilla.
Q4TQ: What exactly are the Atal'mai crystals and how come there is NO lore on them on any of the major sites?
I'm assuming you're talking about the Ata'mal crystals, the draenei artifacts? Way back on Argus, there was only one Ata'mal crystal, a sacred artifact that only Kil'jaeden, Archimonde, and Velen could access. When Sargeras showed up and offered the eredar power in exchange for their loyalty, Velen sensed that something was wrong -- and he was contacted by K'ure, the naaru. K'ure told him to travel to the tallest mountain on Argus on the longest day of the year and wait there with the crystal.
Kil'jaeden and Archimonde caught wind of Velen's plans, and they sent forces to prevent Velen's escape. In the ensuing battle, the crystal was shattered into seven shards. These are the Ata'mal crystals that we've heard reference to. The locations of all of the shards have been lost over time, but we do know where some of them currently reside. There's a good entry on Wowpedia about the Ata'mal crystal and its fragments, if you're looking for more information.
Since the PVP season is ending soon, that leads to a big hint that the next patch is soon upon us. With the new level 90 boost featured in the next patch, does this mean we'll be able to buy level 90 boosts before WoD is released?
We've been told that we'll be able to get access to the level 90 boost feature when we preorder Warlords. So we'll have access to that feature before the game is technically released, yes. Whether or not the store version of the service will go live, or when, is still up in the air as far as we know.
Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW Insider 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!