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The Queue: Dinomancers

Anne Stickney

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) watched way, way too many cartoons when she was a kid.

True story: When I was a kid, I thought one of the lyrics to the Flintstones theme song was Tip the/Family car with a side of beef. Because, you know, the whole bit with the restaurant at the end, right? Right?

Look, I never said I was a normal kid.

@andrefmt asked via Twitter:

If you could choose any animal to be your in-game mount, what would it be?

You see that video up there? I want a brontosaurus. I want one very, very badly, and I want to dismount it by surfing down its tail. Seriously, we've got a triceratops mount this expansion, it could totally happen!

In my wildest dreams, anyway ...

Alexey asked:

Are hunters doomed to keep wearing heads of random enemies?

Well uh ... probably? I mean, you could probably equate it to showing off the latest kill, so to speak. Rather than mounting a dead animal head on a wall, you wear it as a hat. That's far more intimidating. Well, that and it might help you blend in with the local wildlife so you can hunt better or something.

Hunters are kinda weird.

zombull asked:

Are druids supposed to be terrifying?

I'm pretty sure if a giant rotund bipedal chicken suddenly appeared and started summoning bursts of light from the sky and murdering things, I'd find that pretty terrifying.

HobMeadows asked:

When patch 5.2 drops, will the current, starting raids become unavailable through the raid finder?

I don't know for certain really, but I'd be surprised if that happened. You might find it a little less easy to get a group, though, because more people will likely move on to other raids. This is the first time we've had the raid finder available from the start of an expansion, so I'm not sure how they're going to handle that aspect of it -- we'll have to wait and see!

@shamanrongar asked via Twitter:

With Vent, Mumble, etc. being used, is WoW voice chat even still a game feature? I heard a while ago that Blizzard wanted enhance the built-in voice chat feature. Are there any updates?

The Voice Chat feature is still in game, yes -- although I don't know anyone that actually uses it! Blizzard mentioned wanting to improve the feature back in March of 2011. So far, we've heard nothing else on the matter. Since everyone seems perfectly happy to use Mumble or Ventrilo or other outside services, there really hasn't been a pressing need to put that on the top of the to-do list, I suspect.

@Dmikulasr asked via Twitter:

Will daily quests ever go out of style?

That is incredibly unlikely. Blizzard likes to offer a variety of end-game content for players to do. Daily quests are one of those end-game options. If they didn't exist, your options would be limited to running heroics until you're blue in the face, raiding, or PvP. Players like more variety than that.

I think the problem with daily quests lies somewhere in the fact that you can only do a limited number of them per day, and they get repetitive. Now dailies have improved on the second part of that statement by introducing chunks of story along with the dailies -- it makes completing the daily quests far more tolerable if they have some sort of little story or quest reward while you're working on them.

But you can't remove that per-day limit. The problem with designing a game like WoW is that players will happily consume everything you put down in front of them as quickly as possible. They want to complete everything now-now-now. But once they've completed all of that stuff, they quickly get bored and have nothing else to keep their interest. With nothing to keep that interest, they've got no reason to keep playing.

So there has to be a daily limit, for two reasons. First, it means that players won't run out of things to do as quickly. Second and perhaps more importantly, it puts everything into small digestible chunks that even those with a schedule that doesn't allow hours of play can manage. You know how there are people that will level to max as quickly as possible the second an expansion launches? As a designer, you're trying to prevent that.

You don't want people to sit in front of a computer for hours on end until they're "done." In fact, with an MMO you really don't want there ever to be a point where a player feels like they're "done," because part of that MMO experience is continual play. There is no "the end" in an MMO, there's just more game to play. Daily quests and the limits they have help to fill out that space where a player might feel like they've finished everything, and keep them interested.

It's a careful balance between giving a player just enough to do so that they feel occupied, but not so much that they feel overwhelmed or obligated to complete everything. There's still work to be done on the obligation side of things, but I think Blizzard's doing a marvelous job at giving everyone, from hardcore raiders to PvP players to casual players, loads of stuff to do this expansion, and on a timeline that feels a lot more streamlined than any before it.

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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