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The Queue: My thoughts on a WoD release date


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

Some very good questions in the Queue today. Everything from release date predictions to Illidan.

And who doesn't love a little Illidan with their Queue?

Wait. Little Illidan. Blizzard please make a battle pet of Little Illidan. Here, I'll just leave all my money over yonder for you.

@Kutar asked:

when do you think they are planning to release WoD? Usually 10m+ after announce, but they keep talking about expedited content

It's very hard to read between the lines. Let me tell you how the last couple expansions have gone when the staff is talking about release predictions amongst themselves:

  • Cataclysm: Oh my god, this is so polished and so far along. Gotta be released soon. (It wasn't)
  • Mists of Pandaria: Oh my god, this! This one is polished and so far along. Gotta be released soon. (It wasn't)
  • Warlords of Draenor: Damn, they need to get an expansion out if they want to stay relevant. They need to release this soon. Also oh my god, it's so far along.

So there's an echo chamber in the WoW community, and I'm fully aware I'm/we're part of that. As one of the people doing a lot behind the scenes I always try to make sure we tone it down, and don't let ourselves get too caught up in things, but it happens. That's part of our personality, and I'm not going to change that for anyone.

So when I say that I think that it's not a matter of what Blizzard wants to do, but what Blizzard needs to do, I hope you'll take me seriously. They need to release this expansion in the next six to eight months. They need to get a beta out the door by January. If they don't then they're risking the loss of the momentum they built up with BlizzCon.

And let me speak about that momentum for a minute, to qualify why it's so important. WoW Insider is a pretty good barometer of how the game is doing. Our hits and traffic trends nicely with the larger interest in the game. We don't cater to one specific subset of players, instead attracting the entire gamut. When BlizzCon happened last week, we reached our second highest day in hits ever. Our top day happened on the Saturday of the BlizzCon that took place during Wrath, when Cataclysm was announced. The difference between our second highest and our highest day is something that I'd be slapped upside the head about if I complained.

When I say WoW is back, I mean it. The interest in the game is at a fever pitch right now, and Blizzard must take advantage of this. They saved the World of Warcraft, now they need to give all these people looking for a home the grand tour. The beta must happen soon, and the release must happen within six to eight months.

My prediction? No later than July 2014.

Adremalk asked:

Is this all just a device to bring Illidan back? Bizarro-Illidan with a fu manchu, sure, but an Illidan none the less.

Ha. You know I'm not really sure, although the thought has crossed my mind. Chris Metzen does seem to have a man crush on Illidan. They're sorta bros, you know?

I for one wouldn't mind if they brought him back. He's such a great character, and there's a lot more dynamic contrast they could explore in him if given the opportunity. Keep in mind though that Illidan fled by creating a portal to Outland, so in the new timeline, (remember the old one is still there), he wouldn't have an Outland to go to -- hell, he might not even know Draenor exists at that point.

(Now watch everyone jump all over me with how he will return. Lore nerds assemble in 5... 4... 3... 2... wait I love you lore nerd!)

Matthew2 asked:

Hey what's this about who will be the last boss? Didn't that guy at blizzcon reveal it? (shame!) or was he trolling us?

I'm pretty sure Kosak spilled the beans on accident. It's kinda hard to talk about lore without getting into "X happened, which leads to Y, which is why Z got all bent out of shape." And that's pretty much how the slip went down.

That being said, there's been nothing else on it, so it could be a big ol' troll. And also, I'm not repeating it here.

Raizu asked:

From what I've read, primary stats on armor will change based on your spec. Will this impact heirlooms, or just current expansion gear? We currently have tank and dps plate, but not intellect plate for holy paladins. Will I now be able to wear either of my plate sets and heal? Any and all feedback much appreciated

You are correct, primary stats on armor will change based on your spec. However we don't know if this change is going to be at all retroactive, and if it is, to what extent. My gut feeling tells me that Blizzard is only going to do this for WoD content and beyond. It'd be damn near impossible (I'd imagine) to fundamentally change every piece of gear's core functionality. But before anyone says anything, the item squish, while complicated, isn't more than a series of formulas. Removing stats and adding in logic for their operation there in is a lot of work.

As far as wearing any of your plate and heal, yes, that's the idea for WoD gear. There'll probably be some pieces that have better secondary stats for you than others, but still, it'll be much better overall than things are at the moment.

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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