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The Queue: Patching syndrome


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.

I'm submitting a new disease to the books. It's called "Patching Syndrome." It's where people think something has changed because of the patch even though it hasn't.

That hair style you just discovered last night? It's always been there. Patch 3.3.5 had nothing to do with it.

Pwnzoar asked ...

"Originally, back before Burning Crusade, I remember them announcing that there were going to be racial flying mounts, similar to how we have racial ground mounts. Coupled with that, I remember pictures of an undead dragon that was going to be the Undead flying mount, and it looked epic. Why did they decide to switch that out and go with flying mounts for faction?"

Things like this get shelved during development for one reason or another. Remember what those preview lists actually are: previews of potential features. They're not set in stone and things often change during development. Just like the dance studio, and Path of the Titans, and flying combat...

As for why this particular thing got changed, no idea.

Task asked ...

"If I was to get a paid name change, would any of the crafted gear that I've made have the "made by name" changed as well?"

Yes, the "made by" part will change to reflect your new name.

Chris asked ...

"How much a month do think Blizzard will charge once they know that WoW is no longer the top MMORPG on the web, and has maybe a few hundred thousand still playing? (I foresee its player base eroding next year, and I am pretty good at detecting these things.)"

Threeve Dollars.

But really... I don't think WoW will get down to a few hundred thousand next year, or any year in the near future at all. We know that the player base has plateaued at 11.5 million. If Star Wars is lucky (I'm assuming you're referring to that in your 'forethought') they'll launch with a couple million by years' end; and assuming all of those players cancel their WoW accounts (which is very unlikely to happen), WoW would still have 9.5 million players, well ahead of all of their competition combined.

This has been said a lot, but it requires repeating: The only WoW killer will be WoW itself. All of the executives in the industry know this, and the smart ones (of which BioWare has several) know that it's pointless to try to compete directly against WoW. Instead, they're focused on making the best game possible and will just let the chips fall where they may. If BioWare does a good job, the MMO community will respond to that and rally around them. Will Star Wars ever get to WoW numbers? We don't know -- WoW is the first communal game to reach this level, and the social dynamics of a virtual population of millions of dedicated players has only begun to be studied.

So would Blizzard lower the price in such a catastrophic situation? I don't think they've even thought about it yet. There's no data to suggest they need to.

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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