Late September or early October.
Will they be allowing you to enter the current scenarios solo at any point?
Yes, there's an NPC that allows you to go into Mists scenarios by yourself.
I know that Blizzard introduced an accelerated path for Blacksmithing recently, as well as for mining and herbalism. Have they done the same for Leatherworking, and if so, where can I get the patterns?
They haven't done it for other professions yet, but we keep hearing that the rest of the professions are going to get a revamp soon. I'm not holding my breath for it, but I suspect that it'll come as the 6.x line of patches rolls out.
i'm not expecting it for the release of Warlords.
QrtQ, Im not sure if its my connectivity or my laptop (which is only 3 years old but still handles Regular WoW and D3 pretty well)but I've been playing the WoD since the beta dropped and ... well, there is a loooooong loading screen, I have finally gotten out of Panderia (of which there were only 2 npc's) got to SW (which was totally deserted) and and now standing on/in the portal in the blasted lands and there is nothing there, at all. Are other people haveing ridiculous load or wait times? I mean, I hear about people in SMV but Im still stuck in Azeroth and there is nothing here, and I cant leave.
It's just the beta. It's that way for me too on all of my machines, and there's nothing that I can do that seems to fix it. I think it's a combination of tons of assets being loaded and just the insane number of people that can be in a zone. Blizzard could also just have a bunch of debugging checks running during the loading process so they can create a detailed debug log if the game crashes -- those debug checks tend to slow things down by quite a bit.
But again, it's just the beta, and you're in a beta -- so this is a prime spot to not expect a finished product.
The combined auction houses, good thing or bad thing?
It's a good thing. I can't think of any other mature game that has separate auction houses. It makes a lot of sense from an economics perspective to widen the population of the auction houses, which will then translate into there being more supply and demand across the board. At the end of the day this should not only make it easier to find those rarer items, but also hold off inflation a bit -- with more people participating in the market, there is going to be less wealth hording and more wealth spending, on a whole. I wouldn't be surprised to see prices actually go down after this change.
And for what it's worth, I think the combined AH's have very little to do with the "Death of WoW." Separate economic systems for each faction has always been a bad idea, in my opinion. Yes, it makes lore sense, but from a practical perspective it was just an artificial and unnecessary socially constructed barrier.
Just look at the Cold War for an example of what separate systems did to nations before and after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Both "factions" entered into major economic prosperity that lasted a good decade. Things haven't improved for Russia as much as the western world, but going from not having any food to having food is a very big economic step up (speaking in just economic terms). The trading of goods and services flowed better, and the lives of people increased across the board. I fully expect the same thing, on a smaller and much less important scale, to happen in WoW.
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