The Queue: The one where Fox tells you about all the [REDACTED]

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The Queue: The one where Fox tells you about all the [REDACTED]
Welcome to your daily dose of The Queue. With your usual hosts suffering from post-BlizzCon fatigue, The Queue was left unguarded and once again captured by Fox Van Allen. All members of the Van Allen faction shall enjoy a 5 percent buff to damage and experience for the 24-hour duration, and Spirit Shards may now be collected.

The powers than be here at WoW Insider are still licking their BlizzCon-inflicted wounds, so they requested I once again write The Queue. And since Holisky, Sacco, et al. probably won't even have the energy to edit this, I'm spilling the beans on what happened at BlizzCon 2010. Not the boring stuff. The awesome, seedy stuff that could get everyone fired.

First of all, I cannot believe what happened after [REDACTED] ended. [REDACTED] stayed a little bit after, and once we all got a few photos, all of us took turns [REDACTED]ing in the [REDACTED]. You know how [REDACTED] seemed awful friendly during the [REDACTED]? Yeah, you guessed it, he was totally [REDACTED]. Like, really [REDACTED].

On a somewhat related note, I'd really appreciate it if those of you who were taking the pictures of me when I was [REDACTED]ing [REDACTED] would stop uploading them to Facebook. Or at least stop tagging me in them. I mean, my grandmother can see that stuff. Come on.

Oh, and P.S.: [REDACTED]'s hair smelled exactly the way you'd have expected it to -- like [REDACTED].

[Nice try, Fox. – Ed.]

Dark Finch asked:

Does WoW Insider plan to redo the "(Place Spec Here) 101" articles to match the current talent trees and abilities? If so, will you do this before or after
Cataclysm launches?

The good news is that you shouldn't see a whole heck of a lot of major changes for individual specs when Cataclysm is launched -- almost all of that was a part of patch 4.0.1. There's no reason why you can't start planning for that now. In fact, most of the info you're going to be looking for is currently available on the site. (Cue a plug for the patch 4.0.1 guide I wrote for shadow priests in Spiritual Guidance two weeks ago.)

WoW Insider has an awful lot of neat stuff planned for the Cataclysm launch (Tuesday, Dec. 7). Class-specific information will definitely play a part, so don't worry about that.

Donny J. Canup asked:

Is Mount Hyjal supposed to be phased when you finish all the quests in the zone as you have actually made a difference in that zone once you are done with it?

I think you've hit upon on of the main things I found lacking with quests in vanilla -- there was seldom a real sense of accomplishment doing them. You're supposedly doing a lot of cool stuff (in between stints of collecting wolf pelts in exchange for two pieces of silver, of course), but the in-game world never appreciates it. Or, in the case of opening the AQ gates, you participate in a massive world event and have an epic experience ... all at the expense of those who follow you and join the game later, totally missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime event.

In Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard started doing some experimentation with phasing, especially in Icecrown. The developers took the feedback they got, which I presume was almost entirely comprised of variations of, "I love feeling like I made a difference but where did all my friends go," and put it to work in Cataclysm. And what you get, ultimately, are areas like Vashj'ir and Mount Hyjal.

As you progress, you're asked to do quests. Some are standard busy work (kill eight [x] and four [y]), but many have you actively participating in saving the zone (and indirectly, the world). And the world around you changes to reflect that. When you start Vashj'ir, for example, you're given this feeling of totally being alone ... until you start finding some survivors. They tell you about other survivors, and all of a sudden, you've got a makeshift "hideout" populated with quest givers and merchants that didn't exist before you started. This continues throughout the zone, significantly blurring the line between MMORPG and a standard console RPG.

Questing in Cataclysm is a great feeling unique to the expansion. The only downside is that "but where did all my friends go" part didn't go away -- it only got worst. On the bright side, though, there's an icon next to your party members' names in Cataclysm to indicate which ones are stuck in a different phase.

Gravity13 asked:

Will the levels of Scholomance, Stratholme and other old world instances be changed in 4.0.3 or Cataclysm?

Yes, though the changes are far more epic than just having the enemy levels changed. The instances and the associated quests have changed to reflect what's been going on in the world since Cataclysm hit.

I don't want to spoil too much of the story, but you'll be working with the Argent Crusade to sweep through the instance and reclaim it from the Scourge. With the Lich King fallen, the Scarlet Crusade is no longer a factor in the instance ... unless you count their reanimated corpses, which are now controlled by Balnazzar. It seems fitting that they've suffered what they feared the most.

Not that you asked, but my favorite redone-for-4.0.3 instance is probably Stockades. Then again, I'm the type who eats /facepalm moments up like they were candy. Forest ... merely ... setback!

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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