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The Queue: I am cow, hear me roar

Allison Robert

Welcome back to The Queue,'s daily Q&A column where the team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Allison Robert is your host today, because Alex and Adam are off fighting Romulan time-travelers while she is on academic probation pending an investigation from Starfleet. It's a cruel world out there for creative problem-solvers.

Yes! I am going to break the cycle of YouTube videos with a silly picture. A few PvP-related questions today, which I believe is karmic payback for stealing the column, because I loathe PvP. Oy!

Elry asks...

Is there any hint that anytime in the future Blizzard will implement a harsher sentence than no honor points on high level players ganking much lower ones?

Something like this was actually part of the classic game in the form of the Dishonorable Kill, which went the way of the dinosaur in Patch 2.0.1. You can argue that the problems with Dishonorable Kills arose entirely from execution rather than concept, and the implementation of a Dishonorable-Killesque punishment on gankers is a pretty common request. Let's be frank -- nobody really defends ganking, Blizzard included. But, as any GM could tell you, as long as there's a "PvP solution" (read: getting your own faction's players to hunt down the jerk who's camping you) to your problems, there's not much they can or will do unless the player concerned is definitely griefing.

So has there been any hint?
Not really.

But is it still the proverbial Frequently Asked Question?

Would it kill world PvP? I suspect the answer to this is at least a partial yes, because the overwhelming majority of old-world Azeroth PvP is either ganking (although a player one-shotting another is not exactly PvP in the sense of the word) or provoked by ganking. Same or similar-level players are notably more averse to starting brawls with each other unless one has a clear advantage.

Keleron asks...

Is it possible that blizz will finally create a way that BG lovers can get current season level pvp gear with out having to suffer through arena?

Lower-level PvP gear is of course available with honor/BG tokens or badges, but as you correctly note, the truly up-to-date stuff is arena-only. This is an irritating state of affairs for people who either hate arenas or play a class and spec with dismal performance therein. Blizzard's often talked about trying to overhaul the reward system for battlegrounds, but their problem lies in the attempt to reward what is often unquantifiable behavior. It's often the least glitzy actions that win battlegrounds -- defending a node, healing, suicide-harassing enemies in order to distract them while your team caps, etc. -- and there's no truly accurate means of scoring how these contributed to a win. For example, you can look at the healing and damage meters at the end of the match, but there's no way to pick out who made the kill that turned the tide of an offensive push, or who tossed a clutch heal on the flag runner when it mattered the most.

So the problem isn't that Blizz is uninterested in improving the rewards from battleground participation; it's that the format doesn't easily lend itself to gauging individual player contributions all that accurately. If Blizzard can figure out a way to do this, you might reasonably expect to see more and better rewards from battlegrounds.

Prophet asks...

Why are there not more weekend raiding guilds?

In my experience, it's difficult to convince people to spend their weekends raiding, particularly if they raid at all during the week. Tuesday through Thursday, it's easy to say to yourself, "OK, I'm working 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, then I'm raiding 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm." Most people can manage something like this because they realistically expect to be home after work anyway. But even if they don't raid or even play much during the week, people are a lot more likely to be out of the house for family, social, or civic events on the weekends. Most resent having this time co-opted by a raid, and I have to admit I'm among them.

Weekend raiding guilds are perfectly capable of success -- there's at least one 25-man and two 10-man weekend raiding guilds on my own server -- but it's an uphill battle. You need a sufficiently large pool of people whose schedules are more conducive to raiding weekends, and that prejudices weekend raiders toward high-pop realms, so I'd suggest looking there.

Kay asks...

I have a slew of flame caps sitting in my bag leftover from outlands that increase damage of my fire spells for a minute. Which spells for a druid are fire spells?

None of them. The vast majority of Druid spells belong to the Nature school, with a few Balance spells (e.g. Starfire, Moonfire, Starfall) belonging to the Arcane school. Lore-wise that's an interesting state of affairs for a class so closely tied to the Night Elves and their hatred of all things Arcane. Actually, unless I'm mistaken, Druid Balance spells are the only Arcane abilities of any kind (besides Arcane Shot) that any Night Elf can cast.

Furry asks...

Armor penetration: Does the %reduction apply to the amount of armor my enemy has before or after the sunders are applied? For example, if some mob has 10000 armor and has been sundered 5 times, i would (before ArP) be attacking against 7500 armor. If I had 15% reduction, would it reduce the effective armor by 1500 or by 1125?

The % reduction applies to the armor your enemy has after armor-reduction abilities are used. Taking the example of a mob with 10,000 armor here, you are indeed attacking a mob with 7,500 armor assuming that 5 stacks of Sunder Armor and Faerie Fire are both up (these effects are additive). To my knowledge, Blizzard hasn't released exact details on boss armor, but most theorycrafting sites agree that the average Wrath-era boss is rocking 13,083 armor. If your raid has FF and 5 Sunders up, your Armor Penetration should thus be calculated on a boss with 9,812 armor (or 25% reduction).

With that said, you are never going to get as much effectiveness from your own Armor Penetration as you see on the tooltip. The math here gets a little more complicated, but Less QQ, More Pew Pew has a great post here on the post-3.1 world of armor penetration and how to figure out exactly how much benefit you'll get from your own rating.

Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The 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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