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The Queue: Shadowmourne way too late

Matthew Rossi

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

So I was a tank in Wrath of the Lich King, and not a DK tank, either, so Shadowmourne wasn't really a priority for me. Oh, I wanted it, of course. But with so many DPS warriors, paladins and DK's (we had two of each) I simply was way, way down on the priority order, and it didn't help that I didn't get Blood Infusion done until very late simply because I was always tanking Blood Queen. By the time I started collecting my first shards, Cataclysm was about to drop and we were basically done raiding. I ended up switching guilds due to a server move I didn't want to make, and so it was late Cataclysm before I really got started on shards again.

Cut to the last couple of months, when my current awesome guild started helping me blow through Heroic ICC 25, and now I have my bright, shiny new orange axe that I'll never use for anything. I went up to kill the Lich King with 49 shards, so I'll have to go back one more time to get the quest done, but in the meantime I has an axe, and I'm happy.

Anyway, y'all asked a bunch of WoW questions yesterday. Let's talk about some answers.

lackinganame asks:
one of the ideas with MoP was to get people back out into the world. this was done with mix results. what would you do to bring people out into the world?

Put more stuff in it. More open world content, more world PvP zones that aren't horribly isolated. I think the Isle of Giants and the Krasarang PvP/PvE questing areas worked really well to get people out and about. I think there's plenty of room to put stuff in the world, doesn't have to be daily quest hubs (but those are good too - I really liked Operation Shieldwall/Dominance Offensive) but things as varied as the Timeless Isle's explorable content to the Isle of Giants and its grindable mobs.

If you want people to go out into the world, give them stuff to do when they get there. Different things for different regions - we've seen people hunt for rare mounts and battle pets like the Unborn Valkyr. Stick a big sword in a stone with a clickwheel, and let people try and work out how to pull it out. Go nuts.

The Queue Shadowmourne way too late
Puntable1 asks:
How does the lockout for Flex work if my guild is adding in new characters during the raid, and these characters have already done some Flex bosses earlier in the week?

As far as I understand it, the last information we had indicated that, as long as anyone in the new flex raid hasn't killed a boss, the boss will still spawn. So if you invite 2 players to your flex raid and they've killed the first two bosses, but the other 16 players haven't killed any bosses, those two bosses will still spawn and the two players who already killed them won't be eligible for loot, just valor points.

Jere asks:
Q4tQ: Do you think they'll ever allow SoH to become BoA? Kind of like what they did with the Chaos Orbs? cept in 5.4 or a possible unhinted 5.5?

I figure Spirits of Harmony may go BoA or BoE in the next pre-expansion patch. Another possibility is that the motes will go BoE or BoA.

Astalnar asks:
Sha, as we know are physical manifestations of negative emotions. They emerged when Alliance and Horde made first step on shores of Pandaria. Or so we are told. Did Sha emerge from Alliance and Horde? Or are they product of Pandaren? I mean, Pandaren were bottling up their emotions and covering them under the mask of tranquility for ten thousand years. It doesn't seem fair to just blame it on the new guys. Alliance and Horde hated, despaired, and feared long before they even knew for Pandaria. With all the vehemence imaginable, Yet Sha never bothered with them anywhere but Pandaria.

Well, to make a long story extremely short, the Sha are the result of killing an Old God. Y'shaarj, the Old God in question, was defeated by a Titan (as detailed here) but in so doing, the seven Sha primes were released onto Pandaria, feeding on and manifesting the negative emotions of her people. Unable or unwilling to attempt to destroy the Heart of Y'shaarj, the Titans imprisoned it in a vault beneath the Vale of Eternal Blossoms watched over by Norushen, a Titan watcher who looks to be of the same design as the original mogu. While the Heart was imprisoned, the Sha themselves as pure manifestations of negative emotion were free to spread their malign influence through the land, and did so until finally six of the seven were defeated by Emperor Shaohao. Over the years since Shaohao's 'departure' the pandaren have developed a culture that minimizes negative emotions, so that the only group that ever really allows themselves to feel them is the Shado-Pan who use these same negative emotions to fight the Sha, fighting fire with fire so to speak. In essence, the men and women of the Shado-Pan made sacrifices of their very hearts so that the rest of Pandaria could live in peace, free of the Sha.

With the arrival of the Horde and Alliance, the Sha were suddenly inundated with powerful unchecked emotions, so strong that they burst forth from the confinements wrought by Emperor Shaohao. Thus, while it's fair to say that the Sha are a problem that is native to Pandaria, it is the Alliance/Horde conflict that empowered them this time around. The reason that the Sha never appeared anywhere else is because Pandaria is where Y'shaarj died, and Pandaria is where the Sha were born. They're linked to the land.

melvyl asks:
Anyone else fondly remember Wintergrasp Commendations? They were a great way to help out an Alt.

Yes, I remember them - I even told people to use them to speed up leveling for alts back at the time, because man they were really a godsend. I used to dump my honor into those things constantly, and they made leveling up an alt even easier. I miss those things. Considering Blizzard's stance on having to play a character to progress it, I don't expect they'll ever make a comeback.

WalterAnderson asks:
Q4TQ: Is Thrall secretly being controlled by the Old Gods? He is a Sha-Man, that not only listens the the elements (the same ones who are notoriously close friends with the Old Gods), but actually asks them for their personal advice on anything.

The elements aren't friendly with the Old Gods. The Old Gods know powerful magic that allows them to compel (that is, force or bind) elemental spirits to their will. The four Elemental Lords weren't all on board with the Old God's agenda in Cataclysm, for instance - Ragnaros was because he just wanted to destroy everything in flames, and Al'akir wanted to be on the winning side, but Neptulon outright warred with the Naga servitors of the Old Gods and Therazane wasn't at all down with Deathwing's plan or his Old God masters. The magic used by Gul'dan to raise a fel volcano in Shadowmoon Valley and call a Firelord to his service is probably a similar spell, the Cipher of Damnation - it may also be the magic that the Dark Iron Dwarves originally used to summon Ragnaros to Azeroth.

It's pretty obvious when an elemental is being controlled by binding magic, so it's unlikely that Thrall is directly influenced by the Old Gods. That doesn't mean they couldn't indirectly influence him, but for now, he seems far more concerned with balance and harmony than their servitors usually are.

DespicableBrad asks:
I'm a bit behind the times on the 5.4 notes (largely because there's so much coming I feel a bit overwhelmed and not sure where to start), but I've heard mention there'll be 496 gear easily available. My alts are happy to hear this, as they're pretty much in level 90 profession/crafted gear at this point, with maybe one or two pieces off Galleon.
So my Q4tQ: Where will the 496 gear be available and how will we get it? Is it earned with the new coins/currency, valor/justice points, or can we buy it with gold?

Blizzard has a guide to gearing up in Patch 5.4 available right here that explains how the Timeless Cache's work, but to summarize for you, you can get Timeless Cache's for completing a quest, buy them with Timeless Coins you earn by exploring, or find Timeless armor tokens by killing monsters randomly.
The Queue Shadowmourne way too late
Yeah, I know. It took me three years to get the thing, I wanted to show it off one more time. Join us tomorrow for more Queue questions and answers. If you really want to know about the Green Children, buy my book cause I'm not explaining that mess in anything less than five thousand words.

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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