Right now, I believe they're their own deal. It's possible they have a link to the Old Gods (what doesn't in World of Warcraft?), but as far as I know, they're not directly connected to the qiraji, nerubians or aqir. We don't have access to Townlong Steppes or the Dread Wastes yet in the beta, and those are the zones that focus on the mantids, so we may learn otherwise later.
The mantids seem more force of nature than the other insectoid races were. While they're called mantids and certainly have a mantis aesthetic, they're more like hyper-exaggerated cicadas. Mantids have a thousand-year brooding cycle, are a violent nuisance for awhile, then typically go away. In Mists of Pandaria, their brooding cycle has come about a hundred years early, and Pandaria isn't prepared for it.
I just got into beta and noticed that most of my titles are missing, more specifically my server 1st titles. Are they taking these feats away from us?
When you transfer to the PTR or a beta realm, your achievements generally aren't transferred with you. As far as beta realms are concerned, you weren't server-first -- that's still up for grabs over there. When Mists of Pandaria launches on live realms, you'll still have your achievements. Don't worry.
Before we had limited numbers of slots for premade characters in the Beta. Is this still the case since they have updated the system (now that you make the character in the launcher, and not on the battle net site) ?
There are limitations on transferring your characters from live realms, but there are no limitations on premades. You can create as many brand new level 85 characters as you want in game.
What happened to the Beastie Boys reference one of you promised us?
We did that on Saturday.
What the heck are grummles?
Azerothian sherpas. They act as guides in the mountains of Pandaria and oversee a trade route called the Burlap Trail.
What's the correct protocol for referring to WoW Insider bloggers in the comments? Is it preferable to call them by their surnames ("Rossi"), their full names ("Adam Hollisky") or full name with honorific ("Omnipope Fox Van Allen")?
I don't think there's a proper protocol. Personally, I just go with whichever part of the name sounds cooler, usually leaning toward last names. Rossi, Sacco, Gray, McCurley, and so on.
I've always wanted to call Robin Torres but I get the feeling she wouldn't appreciate that, so I've never tried. She's just Robin. Adam is Adam because calling him Holisky just doesn't sound right. Fox is Fox, because what trumps plain ol' Fox? Lisa is Lisa because I had no idea how to pronounce Poisso for about three years. When we had both Dan O'Halloran and Dan Desmond, I wanted to call them Danno and Dandy, but that didn't seem like a very good idea.
Call us whatever your heart desires. We'll cope.
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