The Queue: Back in my day

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.

Time for an almost completely irrelevant history lesson, kids!

EWOKinLA asked:

I wonder how long it will take the playerbase to realize that without dalies, a significant source of gold making is gone from the game?

People also need to realize that daily quests are the biggest cause of gold inflation in the game. Early in WoW's lifetime, the economy created something of an arms race between gold sellers and the developers. Back in vanilla, gold was earned almost entirely through the auction house, pure supply and demand. Instead of running daily quests, you'd pick something to farm for income. Some people farmed Elemental Fire, needed in copious amounts in endgame. Others farmed herbs, ore, whatever. The economy was very much driven by player-to-player transactions.

Unfortunately, in came the gold farmers, who turned out to be much more efficient at farming and making gold than the players were. They drove prices on hot items down, down, down, and it became much harder for players to make their own gold. Players turned to purchasing gold for real money, a very big no-no. People who didn't have the time or inclination to go farming did this, too. In response, the daily quests came along: an easy way to get gold that didn't require scrounging up materials. More fun than farming, too.

The gold sellers realized very quickly that this made manually farming up their gold a great big waste of time. Prices for things in the game also skyrocketed, because everyone had thousands upon thousands of disposable gold all of a sudden. The gold sellers turned to account theft to make their job quicker and easier. The arms race then escalated to releasing the physical account authenticators most of us use now, adding a layer of security. Daily quests remained the go-to way of earning gold.

At each expansion release, gold rewarded by daily quests needed to go up, or else they didn't feel rewarding enough. Players started getting gold at an insane rate and the developers needed a way to draw some of that gold out of the economy. That's why you now see mounts that cost thousands upon thousands of gold and things like the Black Market Auction House.

The way all of this played out, it seems inevitable that it would play out that way. And perhaps it must stay that way. Still, when you look at the history of it, the reason we need so much gold is because we get so much gold. If daily quests went away, you can be fairly confident it wouldn't continue to cost you 200g to repair after every dungeon. But then we might be competing with professional gold farmers for our Elemental Fire.

CRtheMighty asked:

I just realized, after all this time of MoP being out, I haven't actually rolled a Pandaren. Since I am a big lore nerd, this seems an egregious oversight. Now, the question is, after the Wandering Isle stuff, which faction should that Panda pick for the best lore? Or is it all the same stuff for every race after that? Secondary question, if that Panda were a Monk (like ya do, since I haven't one of those either), what spec would be best?

After the Wandering Isle and the quest where you choose your faction, there's nothing different in quests/lore between playing a pandaren and playing anything else. The pandaren-exclusive content ends there. I'm assuming you've played everything else on both factions already, but if not, a pandaren is a good excuse to check out the faction you haven't already played.

If you're playing a monk, go with the DPS spec unless you plan on leveling heavily through dungeons. If dungeons are your thing, tanking or healing seems logical.

Mitch asked Hearthstone questions:

1. Why do I get a new daily at 8 PM? It's such an award time. I know I don't have to do it every day because I can get up to three, but at the moment I am eager for every drop of gold and waiting all day for the quest is annoying.

I have no idea why dailies come out when they do. It feels like I get mine at a different time every day and it's never there right when I sit down. I have to play awhile for it to pop up. Definitely annoying, because while I play a little every day, rarely do I play at the same time each day. Sometimes my quest is there. Sometimes it isn't. If you got your quest in the morning, I would know I'd have it when I sit down, rather than puttering around until it shows up.

2. I've heard from a lot of players that you need to spend money on cards to build a decent deck and I'm wondering what caused that prevailing opinion. I've gotten a total of 4 packs from gold and built a paly deck that's gotten me to plat 3. Sure I can't build a large variety of decks, but the basic cards seemed varied and powerful enough that a solid deck can be constructed for any class.

The Queue Back in my day

You certainly can make a deck that works with basic cards and do pretty well with it, but relative card strength is often determined by its rarity in Hearthstone. If you're running a basic deck and run up against someone who dropped a few hundred bucks on the game, it's extremely likely you're going to lose, even if you built the best possible deck you could with basic cards. You'll be completely overwhelmed. There is nothing in the basic deck that can compete with someone busting out Tirion Fordring and Gruul back-to-back. Luckily, matchmaking should generally pit you up against people with the same relative strength you have, but it's still demoralizing to get stomped by someone with a heap o' legendaries when you don't even have one to your name, let alone in your deck.

Speaking personally, I also didn't find Hearthstone fun at all until I spent my first $20. The basic decks were boring, boring, boring to me. I spent some cash to give myself a few more deckbuilding options. Once I could do some real customization, the game became a blast. If I hadn't done that, I probably would have stopped playing before I was able to really experience it. (Still hate mages, though.)

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!