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The Queue: In which Adam will surely upset the vocal minority, again


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

A good question from Babaloo leads off The Queue today, one that I had fun answering. And then, how do you pronounce draenei?

Babaloo asked:

"Why are so many people pessimistic about Wrath's raid design? Everyone says that the raids don't feel the same as they did in other expansions, usually not being as developed and such. So my question is; what is it that separates Wrath from older raids from BC and Vanilla?"

Great question, and one that I'm sure a lot of people will be able to chime in on.

First, people don't like how the raids feel when compared to the raids in the past, particularly with regards to size, difficulty, and gearing requirements. This game has evolved significantly from the 40-man Molten Core raids of 2004 to the 10-man raids of Icecrown Citadel. The raids are nothing like they were. I doubt many ICC raiders today would be able to go back and do Ragnaros at level 60 in level 60 blues and epics. This isn't to say that old school raiders are better than current raiders; it's just to illustrate how different the game is.

This difference brings us down to a fundamental fact of human nature: change is hard, and people will resist change whenever possible. People resisted the raiding changes in BC, they've resisted them in Wrath, and they'll resist them in Cataclysm as well. However that resistance (or lack thereof) isn't the measure of success that Blizzard judges its raiding plan by -- they look at how many people are playing in their raid instances, and that's a helluva lot more today than it was five and a half years ago.

Secondly, there's been more outright communication about design intent and upcoming changes. This has lead to a lot of second guessing of Blizzard and the folks in Ghostcrawler's team. Because of this second guessing, everyone and their mother has a better way to design the raiding system. This leads to a lot of great and fruitful discussion (we've had plenty here on, but it also leads to a sense that things are wrong, when in reality things are only wrong to a slight few...which leads me to my final point.

The number of people complaining are just a vocal minority -- albeit at times a very loud vocal minority. Most WoW players are okay with where the raids in Wrath have headed. Sure everyone can think of something they'd like done differently, but overall people like it. The players that don't spend a lot of time online complaining about it, posting about it, QQing, etc... That's not to say that their concerns are not valid (they are), but just that things need to be put in perspective. Ghostcrawler (WoW's lead system designer) and Zarhym (a community manager) do a particularly great job of this.

So while there are many reasons people are pessimistic, I don't think it's as widespread as your question assumes. You're just hearing what the very vocal people on this anonymous internet have to say. Taking raiding stats and participation as a whole (which is what Blizzard does), and the picture will look very different.

MDrules asked:

"I've heard that Blizzard is going to remove the rusted proto-drake in patch 3.3.5, but I have not found anything official saying so. Can someone confirm with a citation as to if this is going away 'soon'."

Blizzard has said they'll give us a month's notice before taking away a reward like the drake, and we haven't heard anything yet. So I'll go with this being unconfirmed until we hear otherwise.

Noah asked:

"What is the correct pronunciation of draenei?"

According to WoWWiki it's pronounced Dran-eye or drahn-eye, depending on where you put the stress.

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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