The Queue: Hard mode is hard

Alex Ziebart
A. Ziebart|03.06.09

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The Queue: Hard mode is hard

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Good afternoon, ladies and gents! Before we get started today I just want to thank everyone for participating in my Hawaiian Pizza poll. It was a silly, spur of the moment sort of thing, and it really made my day to see it creep up to around 11,000 votes! Thank you all very much for humoring me.

Again, there are a few Ulduar spoilers in this post, but only minor. Be warned. Also, vote Alex.

Adrexani asked...

This has always puzzled me, Arthas is a Death Knight, Death Knights are dead, yet no where in lore do I see that Arthas died, so did he die or is he still alive?

Well, Arthas doesn't have a heart anymore, so... he's pretty dead unless he installed a roboheart. It is true that there wasn't really a death scene for him when he first became a Death Knight, though. Personally, I don't think that Death Knights must die to become what they are, but they can. They just get to the point where it doesn't matter whether they're alive or dead. They're Undead. Neither here nor there. That's my thought, anyway. Arthas definitely is dead now, though.

Shabina asked...

So, based solely on what we know so far, what do you think is minimum gear requirements for Ulduar without hard modes? While I'm primarily interested in 10-man, this question applies equally to 25-man.

Well, one big issue with this question is that not all of the bosses are fully implemented, and even the bosses we've tested are going to be tweaked before they go live. But since you've asked 'based on what we know so far' I'll try to answer it anyway.

Simply, it's going to depend on the boss. Some of them work off of gimmick, just killing them in a different, more complicated way. Then there are hard modes like Freya. Freya seems to use the same sort of stacking-mobs mechanic that Sartharion uses, and Sartharion3D currently requires some of the best gear you can get your hands on in your raid bracket along with some heavy coordination. Freya is likely going to be about the same. Instead of Drake adds, Freya has Ancients.

The hard modes are going to vary wildly in difficulty, I think. There will be a couple that you can do right away, and then there will be a few you won't be able to do for awhile. Then, of course, there's Algalon the Raid Destroyer that you can't even fight until you've beaten Freya, Thorim, and Hodir on Hard Mode. That should be... fun.

Edit: Durrrr, I read your question completely wrong. You said 'without hard modes' and I read it as 'with hard modes.' Sorry! The first bosses in Ulduar seem very simple and straightforward unless they buff things like the Flame Leviathan and Ignis before they go live. You will probably want some Naxxramas gear, but I don't think you need to be completely epics'd out for the intro bosses. The later bosses, you definitely want to be in Naxx/Heroic purples to get started on them. The intro bosses seem to be loot pinatas to let you get into Ulduar a little earlier, and the interior bosses will be much less forgiving.

Fox asked...

What's the best enchant for a cat druid? Mongoose, massacre, or Berserking?

I can't find Allison to confirm this, but I asked around and from what I hear... Berserking is the best of them, but it's only a minor advantage over Mongoose or Major Agility, which will cost you much less. If you want to min-max your heart out, Berserking is the way to go.

If I'm wrong on that, hopefully Allison will bop in to correct me.

Briory asked...

To what extent do you think ethics should be a part of WoW or more specifically guild decisions? I am not necessarily referring to ninjaing, although it could be considered. For example, say you are a guild leader and someone brings to your attention that a guild member has done something unethical in real life. Examples: theft, had an affair, or is a murderer.

As the GM of a guild that's been around over four years now, the answer is... it depends. I'm obviously not going to keep a serial killer in my guild. I kind of hope that I would never invite someone with those tendencies into my guild to begin with, but if that magically happened and I somehow found out about it before the authorities, the authorities would know very quickly.

If there's RL drama between two people in my guild, like marriage issues, I'm going to get my Officer team (who have proven themselves to be very good at dealing with peoples' RL drama) on that and try to smooth things out. It's unlikely that we can fix someone's marriage, but we can at least try to fix the situation so the two of them can handle being around each other in-game

There's very rarely black and white in the decisions I make as a GM or the decisions my officer corps make. Ethics absolutely plays a role in how I run my guild, but part of that is talking to people, finding out the situation, and making a proper judgment call. I'm not going to /gkick someone for having relationship issues. I will /gkick someone if they're having relationship issues and using that to make their significant other's gaming time in my guild hellish if they don't cut the crap when I bring it up with them.

It all depends on the situation, it all depends on the person. I've never /gkicked someone from my guild without trying to get the big picture. Some things are best left in the past (been in prison), some things need to be handled with a little more immediacy (serial killer). Make sense? I think I have a spectacularly well-behaved guild, but I think I've only gkicked five, maybe six people over the last four years. I try to talk problems out with people as much as possible. I've had a few people GQuit on me for approaching them over these issues, but overall, it's worked out really well for us.

Jordyn asked...

Has Blizzard mentioned anything about adding new kinds of heirloom items, like pants or gloves?

We still haven't heard anything about this. When we know, you'll 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!
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