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The Queue: Somebody buy me an iPad


Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mathew McCurley (@gomatgo) will be your host today.

It's, uh ... for work. I swear.

I'll take one of the old ones -- that's totally fine. Not the old old one, though. Only one old ago.

Jamie asked:

How long do you think it'll be before we'll be able to buy a previous expansion level capped character from Blizzard?

Technically, you can do it now with the Scroll of Resurrection, if you have a second account that you've deactivated for some reason. Might I remind all of you out there who RAF'd for Swift Zhevras or X-53 rockets and have an account lying around that it would be perfect for resurrecting, granting a level 80 character, and then transferring that character back to your main account? That's essentially purchasing a level 80 character, no?

As for whether you will be purchasing already-leveled characters from Blizzard, the answer is most likely no. However, I could see Blizzard setting up something like Diablo III's character sales on the Auction House. Who knows? Maybe one day, you could buy new characters with your Blizzard wallet from other players. The bottom line is that I think Blizzard likes the idea of player-on-player transactions for game/power-related items, which I'm fine with.

Grovinofdarkhour asked:

Do you think Blizzard will ever let us "downshift" our gear? I'd like to be able to push a button and make old raids/zones challenging again.

No, I do not believe that this feature is coming any time soon. Personally, the last thing that I want is to have the old instances and raids to be challenging again in any fathomable way. In fact, I like those places because of how easy and fun it is to farm at my heart's content. Sure, the allure of old-school raiding and having to pay attention to Molten Core bosses sounds fun now, but no one in their right minds wants to devalue their power in game. I just don't see the need for the feature.

If you want to complete raids at raid-level-appropriate gear and levels, you can do so by turning off experience and gearing up your characters like it's 2005 all over again. Here's the secret -- no one wants it to be 2005.

Challenge modes, like Cutaia said in the comments, are the closest thing to the type of system you envision. There, players can meet and defeat challenges that will normalize your gear, preventing you from ever outgearing the challenge. Challenge modes will be offering cool cosmetic transmog rewards, titles, and more. The item normalization keeps things fair.

calaf asked:

I'm pretty sure the answer is "NO" but is there a way to remove the authenticator for mobile AH only I like it for game access but its a pain to use when i am logging on with my phone or (gasp) at work.

No, your authenticator is account-wide.

Kadamon asked:

Does anyone know if there's been any thought given to server merges? I'm sitting in Thorium Brotherhood right now and there's only 32 people online in Orgrimmar, one person in TB, no one in UC...

Also, if there is anyone that knows, anything, where can I find this information? Or maybe we could convince Blizz to merge some of the lower pop servers...

Blizzard has explicitly said that it is working on a radical fix to the server population issues that are present on many servers right now. We have no idea what Blizzard is planning, however, so your guess is as good as mine. I think there will be massive server migrations and merges in the future, but we won't see it. It will all happen behind the scenes. We will still log in to our servers, but there will suddenly be a bunch of new people around. It'll be weird, sure, but more people is good people.

The exact quote from Blizzard:

Low-population discussion
Yesterday we discussed low-population and faction-imbalanced realms with our developers. They have some pretty bold and spectacular plans for addressing this in anticipation of implementing some of the features we plan to in Mists. I just don't have a lot of information to share with you at this stage of programming and development.

I realize that this is not what some of you want to hear, that you want something a little more immediate and tangible, but unfortunately there is not much I can say right now to address that. Hopefully you are aware that we are not just ignoring the issue, and that it is a matter that we take quite seriously.

@WowExlucis on Twitter asked:

it's early to tell I realize but how effective do you think the new SoR will be at bringing people back? My guild has had a few

Timing is very, very important with the next few World of Warcraft product releases in order to retain the most subscribers and pull in new players. You'll see the success of the Scroll of Resurrection program in the number of old players who will purchase Mists of Pandaria. The setup and timing is thus: You, as a current player, have the incentive to bring old players back because you get rewards. Old players are incentivized to come back because they will receive up to Cataclysm, no matter what version of WoW they had, which puts them in perfect purchasing range for Mists of Pandaria.

It's early to tell, but the initial reaction to the program has been fairly positive. I'm going to be inviting my friend back to the game so that he can check out the stuff he's missed, especially since the game is so casual-friendly these days. Will people stay after a month or so? Who knows? But there is a whole bunch of content for them to check out while they wait for the next expansion.

Now that Blizzard's got these old account holders back, it can offer them the free Diablo III for a year commitment and it's held another player until the expansion drops. For what it's worth, I think you'll see big numbers from the new Scrolls program.

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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