Question for the Queue: I have been looking at the new talent trees and it seems like balancing of talents is going to be very difficult, especially for the hybrid talents. My hunter main is pretty happy with all the talents, but from a paladin and druid perspective, it seems like there are way too many specilizations to make the talents as balanced for each spec as hunters are. It feels like a lot of the choices have much less benefit for one spec and it kind of makes the talents feel ill fitting for the hybrids. I know this is only our first preview of it, but how do you think they will change this?
I feel the complete opposite about this. Having talents that exist cross spec means that they can balance talents based on each other, not each spec. Whereas before you would have to balance an ability and deal with its ripple effect through the entire spec, now you just balance the talent against the two others in its tier. We also have no experience playing with these talents in game, nor have we seen the final talents. It's too early to call. However, the whole point of hybrid talents is to make your class as a whole feel cooler or more specialized in something, not your spec. Talents are class-wide now. I think the new talent system is going to be fine as is.
Since the focus of this expac seems to be moving away from the epic lore figure as a end boss, who or what is the considered the end of this new expac as far as PvE goes?
It's not so much the case that big lore figures won't be big bads of the expansion, it's that Blizzard didn't want to put one on the box. For three expansions, we've gotten focused villains that detracted greatly from the overall story between these two factions. There was always some point where we worked together, blah blah blah, and while that was compelling most of the time, it was still not focused on the Horde and the Alliance. Will we fight Azshara? Maybe. But the expansion is not called Tides of Azshara.
Is my impression correct that Pandaria will have only one starting zone?
If that's so, won't that just crowd all the players into one area to compete for the same quest items and mobs to kill? And isn't that why both Wrath and Cataclysm each had two starting zones--because Hellfire Peninsula was so crowded in Burning Crusade? Even with the split zones and semi-intelligent respawn rates, I occasionally got annoyed at all the other players crowding Vash'jir, so I don't want to compete with twice as many.
The only reason starting zones historically have been too crowded at the beginning of an expansion was that their layout and size made it such. Hellfire Peninsula is the biggest culprit, being small-ish in size and scope for the linear questing experience you had to go through. People were funneled, and not in a good way. Wrath opened it up to two zones, and that worked fine. Cataclysm as well. Mists of Pandaria's starting zone is enormous, so I think the problem will be averted with the sheer size of the zone and the nature of questing in the new age of WoW, with more places for people to go in the original zone.
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!