The Queue: I see only darkness before me

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) is answering all kinds of questions today!

The first time my raid guild killed Arthas and this cinematic popped up is also one of the few times in memory that everyone in the guild, including the raid leader, shushed anyone who dared speak up in vent. Someone tried to say something and was immediately silenced. It was pretty cool, actually, given that most of them weren't really anywhere near into the lore as myself. Arthas was just that iconic, I think. Speaking of Arthas, time to answer some questions!

Drindaar_Lightkeeper asked:

Q4tQ: Do you think Blizzard will ever return to the scourge and Lich King storyline? I know Arthas is dead, but there are still plenty of scourge out there and a new Lich King is sitting on the throne. I feel like there is still a major threat there.

We're done with that particular chapter of the story, for now. Bolvar's holding everything in check presumably -- he was the only one with the will to resist the Lich King, even in his deep-fried state. It takes a powerful kind of hero to do that successfully. If, at some point, Bolvar should falter, then we'd have a problem. But I don't think that's really going to be explored anytime soon, there are too many other directions to explore first.

Cyrael asked:

QftQ: Have you ever poured a ridiculous amount of time and/or resources into something in-game that is purely aesthetic? Mounts and/or pets could be easy answers here; anything else?

I have The Postmaster set on my rogue. I got in in Burning Crusade. For those that started playing late in the game, obtaining this set required repeatedly killing Postmaster Malown in Stratholme. In order to summon the boss, you had to kill a mob called the Stratholme Courier to obtain three keys. These three keys opened specific mailboxes scattered in Strathome itself. Opening each mailbox spawned three elites. The third and final mailbox spawned Malown and three elites, and you had to defeat them all and loot Malown to see if he would give you one of the five pieces of the set -- preferably a piece you didn't already have.

So on my rogue at level 70, I had to stealth in, carefully clear trash packs, kill the courier, loot the keys and hope I didn't have any duplicates, figure out where the mailboxes for said keys were at, stealth to those areas, carefully clear trash packs, solo two separate three packs of elites, then solo Malown and his three elite adds, just for a chance at a set item. It took me ... I want to say a good 4-5 months of soloing the instance before I finally got the last piece I needed for the set. This was well before transmog was available -- and I can't even transmog the set now. It's cloth.

I did make an awful lot of gold selling off all the junk I didn't need, though!

jpec07 asked:

Q4tQ: Does anyone else feel forced to have the barn if you want to advance your character's crafted gear? Even with the changes to the PTR, it doesn't seem like it's going to be enough, and that the bloods (and thereby the upgrades) will continue to be too expensive to justify.

I wouldn't say I feel forced to have the barn -- in between all of my buildings and my mine and herb garden, I get a lot of Primal Spirits, which I can use to purchase Savage Blood. It takes 50 of the things to purchase one Blood however, and I think that's a little steep. 25 would be more reasonable. I don't feel particularly compelled to get the Barn, but I'm not really doing any heavy raiding or min\maxing this expansion -- if I were still raiding, I would definitely have the Barn, no questions asked.

IronAerin asked:

QftQ: There are drakes and dragons all over Outland, from Shadowmoon Valley to Blade's Edge Mountains. Where are the dragons in Draenor? Apart from Kairoz and Chromie, there don't seem to be that many around.

There are no dragons on Draenor -- the dragons we see on Outland all originated from eggs that Deathwing brought to Draenor during the Second War. The netherwing are actually the product of black dragon eggs that were altered by the energies released when Draenor was torn apart and became Outland.

ScottGould asked:

Thought experiment: what would happen if DPS meters went away overnight? Alternate universe, Blizz kills that part of the API, newly discovered Federal bylaw, whatever. How would the game, and the players, change, without any formal insight into those numbers?

That is actually a really interesting question. I think, if there weren't a numerical ruler to measure a person's performance in a raid, people might begin looking more at how a player behaved in a raid, whether or not they were following directions, staying out of fire, and getting along with other people. I've seen more than one instance of people being kept in raid guilds because, despite their terrible disposition and their penchant for arguing, they still pulled in amazing numbers on the DPS charts. I think there might also be a shift in how people played -- it wouldn't be so much about how many imaginary numbers you were pumping out, the focus would instead be on getting out of mechanics and executing the correct strategy.

On the other hand though, it might lead to people preferring certain classes over others for buffs or abilities, or the general assumption that one class was better at dealing damage than another. We kind of saw this a little bit in vanilla -- certain classes, despite having both damage and healing, or damage and tanking specs, were expected to either heal or tank, and never DPS. It was kind of weird. It was also really early on in the game, when building a set of resist gear was far more important than min/maxing.

dethrix asked:

QFTQ: I don't have a salvage yard on either of my main two toons. Have I made a huge mistake?

Not at all! It's a good thing to have around, but it's certainly not required. I had storage in my garrison for quite a while until I decided to build the Salvage Yard instead. It's become a good source of income, and it's also helped boost the ilvl of my followers considerably -- they're pretty much all prepped for 6.1 now. If you're making enough gold from other resources, or aren't really concerned with follower missions and follower upgrades, you don't really need it. If you'd like a boost in upgrading your followers, and some additional income on the side, throw one in.

zadji asked:

Let's assume we do see a Legion-themed expansion. What is the best way to link existing WoD content for a good flow into the next expansion? A raid? A new dungeon? Or something open to all of the player-base, such as a handful of new quests, a solo scenario or two, etc.?

In an ideal world, I'd like to see the final tier of raiding ending not with the Iron Horde's downfall, but some sort of massive assault on Shattrath City. We'd end up defeating whatever major boss happened to show up (Kil'jaeden would be a good prospect for this, given that his plans have been foiled, Archimonde's getting fed up with him, and he needs to make some kind of major move if he doesn't want to end up in the doghouse), and we're treated to a final cutscene.

The boss falls, disintegrating as all Legion demons do, but instead of crying out in despair, they begin to laugh. Wildly, maniacally, gleefully. As we look on in what should read as utter confusion, they have only one thing to say: "Enjoy your victory here." And Shattrath City, unlike the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, is restored to what it was before the Iron Horde and Legion got there -- we get a new dual faction capital city out of the deal. Everyone is kind of happy about this, but also kind of left a little puzzled.

Until we go to make that leap back to Azeroth. In the pre-patch for the next expansion, we're treated to a cutscene of our characters emerging triumphant from the Dark Portal, only to be greeted with an apocalyptic landscape, the skies torn open and bleeding fel energy.

That's when Khadgar turns on us and begins to laugh. Wildly, maniacally, gleefully -- just before he disappears.

And then throw in a quest chain that takes us to Karazhan to figure out what the heck just happened.

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!