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The Queue: Ink Spots

Alex Ziebart

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

I've run out of quirky ways to kick off The Queue on a day of pure miscellany. I had you guys vote on what I'm eating for dinner far too recently, so I can't use that one again. I'm going to fall back on another reliable tool instead: Music! The music video embedded above is the soundtrack for today's edition of The Queue. I didn't even like Fallout 3, but it helped me find the name of this song, and for that I will give it credit. Enjoy.

Maxpowr asked...

"Do you know if Blizzard plans on upgrading the Kirin Tor rings again for 3.3? I'm assuming the same sort of things would apply (1k gold and old ring turnin). I tried looking for something but no luck."

There aren't any new rings on the PTR yet, but I suspect patch 3.3 will be there for a good, long time yet. So I'd say there's still a chance they'll show up, considering both patch 3.1 and patch 3.2 saw an upgrade to them.

industria asked...

"Why does everyone hate Dire Maul so much? There's nothing but contempt for the place on my server, and being someone who came into WoW halfway through Burning Crusade I've never really gotten to experience the place. I've gone in with my girlfriend a few times to do the book quests and just look around, but it's not the same as a full fledged run.

It seems like a really interesting and fun zone to me, not to mention pretty, and seemingly very lore heavy. Lots of bosses, unique elements to get to the bosses and several different sections of the instance itself. I'd love to see it revamped so I could experience the real thing."

You know, I have no idea why people hate it! Personally, its one of my favorite Vanilla WoW instances, right next to Stratholme and, to a lesser extent, Blackrock Depths. I'm a big fan of the "connected, but separate" way those instances were done. They were winged instances, but you could move seamlessly between them, and it felt like a true city. For some reason, just having a hallway that connects two instances together makes the experience more immersive than needing to backtrack, step out the portal, and step into a different one right next to it. Sneaking through the little hallways to move between Dire Maul North and Dire Maul West was more interesting than walking out of Botanica, and flying over to Mechanar. It was a fun design, and I'm sad they abandoned it for the very much separated instances they do now.

It also came at a time when Blizzard was learning a lot about encounter design. There are a lot of great mechanics in there that were refined later on. Dire Maul is definitely a cool instance, and I'd like to see more dungeons like that in Cataclysm than the short, isolated romps we have now.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against instances that only take 30 minutes or so. I only wish the dungeons weren't so isolated these days. Take, for example, Stratholme. Most groups probably only ran Undead Stratholme or Scarlet Stratholme, right? A single hour long run. But if you wanted to you could move seamlessly right over to the other side of the city and storm that, too. That was cool. I want more of that.

JR asked a pair of questions, but I'm only going to answer one because I have no idea what's up with us wearing Saronite all day long. He asked...

"Who the hell are Talandra and Adder?"

In the case of Adder, an adder is a snake. So the herb Adder's Tongue is basically Snake's Tongue, probably named that way because of the shape of the plant. In the case of Talandra, I'm not really sure where that name comes from. It might be a play on the name of a real plant, and if that's the case, hopefully somebody will tell us. What do I look like, a plantologist? If it's not a play on a real flower's name, I'd say it's probably either named after somebody with Blizzard connections or it's a pop culture reference.

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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