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The Queue: Prelude to drunken frivolity edition

Allison Robert

Welcome to The Queue,'s daily Q&A column where the team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Allison Robert is your hostess today.

I think the title is fairly self-explanatory, n'est-ce pas?

Radioted asks...

With the recent implementation of faction change thinning the walls between Horde and Alliance all the more, has there been any talking bubbling up of implementing cross-faction mail, even if only fore stuff like heirlooms? 2.0 will allow cross-faction chat, but we haven't heard anything concrete concerning cross-faction mail. Wryxian has mentioned that it's something they'd like to do, however. Heirloom items do transfer with your character if you switch them from Horde to Alliance and vice versa, and right now that's the only way to get an heirloom to your cross-faction toons.

Freak Mojo asks...

If my name gets reported as offensive and I change it, will it be removed from my buddy's Friends List?

Nope. As long as someone has you friended, you'll still show up there regardless of what your name is. Actually, adding someone to your friends list is a time-honored means of tracking ninjas who steal an important drop and then change their names in an attempt to avoid repercussions. There's a well-known ninja on my server who's pulled that stunt at least 3 times so far and hasn't figured out how people always know it's him (shhhhhh). The only way to get yourself off someone's friends list is to transfer servers (and even then, people can often figure out who you are by using sites like Mep's achievement tracker) or -- I would assume -- change factions.

Incidentally, name-changing will also change the name that appears on crafted works. One of the guildies who'd made most of our Night's End cloaks for Black Temple changed his name, and we noticed that the name that appeared on mouseover was his new name rather than the old one.

Efrain asks...

When we are able to fly virtually everywhere what purpose will land mounts serve?

I always assumed that things like Talbuk steak existed for just this reason.

Spencer asks...

(Re: Focus Magic) When will (DPS players) start caring less about recount and more about the tank's survivability?

There are two different issues here, so we'll deal with them one by one, although the question of Focus Magic going to a Discipline Priest is one I'm not sure I can really answer. Whether your raid gets more out of Focus Magic going to a Mage or a high-crit healer is one that ultimately depends on your raid composition and the content you're doing. There are certain encounters (e.g. Gormok's Impale on the tanks, and then Faction Champs in heroic ToC) where DPS matters a lot less than survivability. There are also encounters (e.g. Patchwerk or things like Stokin' the Furnace) where DPS matters a lot. Then there's also the issue of whether the Mage casting Focus Magic wants as much +crit uptime for him/herself as possible, or just wants to slap it on whoever will get the most from it (which is not necessarily the same as giving it to the person who needs it the most), and how many Mages are in the raid anyway.

Ideally the Mage is on the lookout for someone who is: a). casting as much as possible, and: b). critting a lot. That's automatically a strike against healers, because healers should only be casting when they absolutely have to, and that plays a role in why Focus Magic will usually do more for the raid going to a DPS. But let's be frank -- if you've got a global cooldown to spare as a healer while doing hard-modes, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din. That's one of the reasons I'm waffling a bit and saying it's got something to do with the content you're on.

Mathematically speaking, FM going to a Fire Mage, and secondarily to a FFB Mage, Balance Druid, or Destruction Warlock seems to be the best of all possible worlds and will do the most for the raid under most circumstances (while FM going to an Elemental Shaman represents the best +crit uptime for the casting Mage him/herself, because the Ele is guaranteed a Lava Burst crit assuming a normal rotation and thus "wastes" FM on a significant part of their rotation, the raid DPS will usually be higher if FM is cast on another class. My math is also somewhat shaky on exactly how much Destro Warlocks will get from Focus Magic versus a Moonkin. The Destro, assuming an equal level of skill and gear, will be doing more overall DPS, but most Warlock damage spells have lower crit modifiers -- to my knowledge -- than Starfire and Wrath, both of which are also needed for Eclipse).

Where was I? Eh. I tend toward the belief that things like Focus Magic should generally go to DPS because the buff is oriented more towards them, but there are still situations where hideous tank damage that can't be healed through is going to end an encounter regardless of how good your DPS is. Focus Magic going to a Holy Paladin or Discipline Priest on a heroic Gormok isn't going to go to waste, and it's very easy for someone who hasn't played anything other than a DPS class to underestimate how much tanks and healers struggle to get raids through hard-mode content.

The second issue -- player selfishness, not-uncommon DPS obliviousness to anything other than damage meters, and the resentment this can breed -- is well taken, but something I'd rather address in a different article. I see a lot of it as someone playing a Druid dual-specced into tanking and healing, but the sad fact is that meters tend to incentivize selfish play, and we don't really have a way to accurately measure what someone really contributed to a group outside of more experience with said player. As I wrote on an earlier Queue, you can see who did the most damage in a battleground at the end of a match, but there's no way to untangle who killed the player who was killing someone healing the flag carrier, etc.

Fatamorgana asks...

Is there a comprehensive list somewhere of fun quest reward items?

Not that I've seen, but I've been steadily adding to an article on quests and achievements you'd want to get done before Cataclysm hits. I'll keep an eye out for fun quest rewards too, although that would probably wind up being an entirely different article.

Orkchop asks...

Do you have any tips for running WoW on Windows Vista?

I have only have experience with Macs and WoW myself, but I think a few people on staff play WoW with Vista, and I forwarded the question to the team line, and hope to have an answer for you soon. Commenters are also most welcome to make suggestions.

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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