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The Queue: The one with goombas

Alex Ziebart

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Today is a very special treat. We have your standard-length Queue, plus I answer a very exciting bonus trivia question that has nothing at all to do with World of Warcraft! But you will love it, my gamer pals. You will.

Camero asked:

In the past week, I've recieved four emails from "Blizzard" all asking me to do something in order to get a Winged Guardian License. I just wanted to confirm that's not true.

It isn't true. It's just another very well done phishing scam. A good rule is that you should never, ever click links in an email that looks like it's from Blizzard, whether it really is or not. If you're being offered some sort of promotion, go straight to If you've been given a code to redeem in the email, you'll find the place to redeem it somewhere on If you haven't been given a code to redeem and the email tells you to click through to activate some offer, don't do it. It's a lie.

TY asked:

On mmo champion it showed videos for the new firelands Herioc kills, but didnt say who got world first. Who got world first? And do you think firelands heriocs are easier than launch Raid since it was done in two weeks?

Which boss? Not all of heroic Firelands has been cleared yet. The bosses that have been killed on hard mode are as follows:

  • Shannox Premonition
  • Beth'tilac Method
  • Lord Rhyolith Premonition
  • Alysrazor Method
  • Baleroc Method
  • Majordomo Staghelm Paragon
So as you can see, heroic Ragnaros has not actually been killed yet. Whether that's due to difficulty or bugs is going to be debated, as has been the case with every raid tier's end boss since the Ragnaros came around the first time. It's way too early to jump to conclusions about things being too easy or easier than the previous tier of raiding. The raids downing these bosses are the best of the best. The skill (and dedication) gap between those players and the vast majority of the playerbase is huge. You shouldn't base difficulty on what they can accomplish at all.

Looking at World of Logs, the 25-man heroic version of Majordomo Staghelm has a grand total of 1,286 total recorded pulls of the boss. Of those 1,286 pulls, only 12 of them resulted in a kill. When there are only 12 publicly recorded kills of a boss on hard mode, I don't think you can make an accurate judgement call on its difficulty -- especially in a raid tier that has half as many bosses in it as the previous one.

Note: If the listed world firsts are incorrect, I apologize. Various sources display different lists of first, and I haven' been following the world first race close enough to know off-hand. I will look into it more deeply for the inevitable Ragnaros world first announcement.

themightysven asked:

How long does a PvP Season usually last?

As long as a tier of raiding. Every tier of raiding brings a new arena season. Based on Blizzard's release schedule ... about six months between raid tiers, unless it's the last raid tier of an expansion -- then you'll be stuck in there for a year.

Zenotho asked:

Is there a chance that Blizz's new MMO Titan project will actualy be a WoW2, perhaps from the perspective of the Titans?


poophead asked:

Super Mario Bros 2 seems as if it takes place in a whole different reality than the rest of the series. Different villains, different gameplay, vastly different storyline. Whats the deal?

I probably shouldn't answer this one, since this is a World of Warcraft site, not a Mario or general gaming site ... but what the hell. I'm too big a dork to resist it.

The Super Mario Bros. 2 that we received in the United States (and some other regions) is not the actual Super Mario Bros. 2 that Japan received. The real Super Mario Bros. 2 used the exact same engine as the first Super Mario Bros. game, but with new, more difficult levels. When it came time to localize the game, the folks at Nintendo thought to themselves, "You know, Americans don't really like games to be as hard as we like them in Japan, and they probably won't like the fact that the second game is built on the exact same engine. We need to figure out something else for the Americans."

The perception that Americans don't like difficult games is one that still exists today, and considering the differences between the western MMO market and the eastern MMO market, there is probably quite a bit of truth to it. Western players generally expect to have the ability to play at their own pace, be very relaxed while at the controller/keyboard, and be able to advance on their own terms. Eastern MMOs generally have a much higher emphasis on group play, and in general, solo advancement is not a thing that exists. You buckle down, really master your gaming skills, and you do it in a group setting, not alone. But back to the topic at hand ...

While Nintendo was hemming and hawing over the localization of Super Mario Bros. 2, Shigeru Miyamoto, the mastermind behind Mario, had created another platforming game. Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (translation: Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic -- "doki doki" is Japanese onomatopoeia for a beating heart) was released in Japan in 1987. It was proof of concept that a vertical scroller could work just as well as a horizontal scroller. Vertical scrolling elements didn't exist in the Mario series, and the Doki Doki Panic developers wanted to take that for a spin. The vertical scrolling actually didn't work well enough to support a whole game, so they struck a balance and included both vertical and horizontal sequences.

The fact that Shigeru Miyamoto was involved in the creation of Doki Doki Panic is clear; the original characters from Doki Doki Panic were already reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. characters in terms of silhouette (making a Mario reskin a fairly simple affair), and select powerups such as the invincibility star and POW! Blocks were carried over into Doki Doki Panic from Super Mario Bros.

Nintendo decided to take care of two birds with one stone: If the American audience won't like Super Mario Bros. 2, let's reskin this other game from Shigeru Miyamoto, do a localization pass for political correctness, and there you go! Americans noticed it was very different from the first Super Mario Bros. game, for sure, but that didn't stop Super Mario Bros. 2 from becoming the third best-selling game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It ended up selling 10 million copies, behind Super Mario Bros. 3's 18 million copies and Super Mario Bros.' 40 million.

It gave Nintendo an excuse to re-release Doki Doki Panic in Japan, too. It released the American Super Mario Bros. 2 as Super Mario USA, which also sold respectably. Japan's Super Mario Bros. 2 eventually made it to American markets on the compilation SNES cartridge Super Mario All-Stars under the name Super Mario Bros.: Lost Levels.

It's an interesting thought that if Nintendo hadn't made that decision, many iconic enemies and figures we've come to love in Mario may not have ever happened. The delightfully creepy Shy Guys and Snifits are almost as instantly recognizable as Mario figures as the Goombas are, Super Mario World chestnut-related mutation of the latter aside. If Nintendo hadn't decided Americans were a bunch of whiny baby gamers, Shy Guys may never have made it into the Mario mythos at all.

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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