The QueueJan 1, 2017 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: The view from here

Welcome back to The Queue, our daily Q&A feature for all of Blizzard’s games! Have a question for the Blizzard Watch staff? Leave it in the comments!

You might think this trio of wizards are looking at the Broken Isles in the above image, but you’d be wrong. No, they gaze upon the vast, violet expanse of 2017, struck silent by its ponderous hills and valleys that have yet to be explored. At this time, they have no knowledge of whether it will be better or worse than the years that came before it. But they are keenly aware of one striking fact — it is purple. It’s super purple, guys.

Happy New Year! Let’s get to your questions.


Q4tQ: Here’s something that just occurred to me… what do you think the chances are that, as the level cap goes up in future expansions, we’re still scaled to 110 in the broken isles and legion related content? I wanna say “no way,” because capping artifact appearance unlocks for the wardrobe at “the legion era only” kinda acknowledges that we will indeed have the power to come back and brute force things, and therefore that disclaims that said eventual brute force won’t help us unlock artifact appearances… but it would also extend the same idea of “the legion era only” to… pretty much everything in the expansion, since people are unlikely to form serious groups for transmog stuff and other cosmetic fluff bits when tier 40 (or whatever) is current.

Do you think that’s the intent? Or is the promise of “you can solo farm it 2 expansions later, don’t worry” too much an unwritten contract in WoW to take it that far?

I’d say that’s…doubtful. I suspect — and mind you, I’m not familiar with the tech involved here at all — that all mobs will scale to level 110, and then…simply stop scaling. So when we go back at level 115 or 120 or wherever we end up next, we’ll be higher level, but everything on the Broken Isles will still be 110. We’re used to going back and farming old content for stuff — Blizzard has quietly acknowledged this by retroactively putting battle pets, music scrolls and other things in old raids. They know we’d like to go back eventually, I doubt they’d deliberate stick something in place to make it more difficult for us to do that.


Q4tQ: Can we get the shoulders that Lord Maxwell Tyrosus is wearing in paladin class hall? Because fire breathing cat heads are just awesome.

Absolutely, but only if you’re a Paladin to begin with! The shoulders can be obtained with a Shoulders of the Shadowy Conqueror token — it drops from Lei Shi in Terrace of Endless Spring on Normal difficulty. His entire outfit is Paladin Tier 14, the White Tiger Vestments set — minus the helm, of course. Maxwell is wearing an eyepatch that definitely isn’t plate. The only plate eyepatch out there (to my knowledge) is still the Crimson Beholder Eye.


So I have something of a noob question, dealing with terms commonly used and understood specifically within the WoW and MMO community. We use terms like “retcon” to talk about changes to the already established story, and about weapons or trinkets having “procs” when they do something of themselves in combat (Paladin Seals used to work this way as well, I believe). I’ve heard them used often over the last decade or so.

I understand what they mean through their usage and through constant repetition, but where did the terms originate? Are they short for something, and if so, what? Thanks!

Good question! The term “retcon” is short for “retroactive continuity.” It’s when new story information is revealed — information which drastically alters story elements that were already firmly established in canon lore. This information may seen contradictory to what was already established, but for most purposes, retcons just fill in the blanks. It doesn’t necessarily undo anything that came before it, it just clarifies what we’ve been shown. Like if we see a character die, but suddenly come back to life — a retcon doesn’t take away the fact that that character died, it simply points out “Well, you thought they died, but here’s what really happened.”

There are, however, instances where a retcon is made simply to strike something from canon lore — there’s usually good reasons for this. In the case of Warcraft, information presented in the Warcraft RPG books was declared non-canonical, for instance. More recently, it was stated that Med’an was never actually a Guardian as presented in the Warcraft comics — the comics themselves are still canon, but Med’an being Guardian…not so much.

As for proc, I don’t think anyone has ever pinpointed the actual origin for the term. Some people say it’s shorthand for “Programmed Random OCcurence,” others say it’s simply shorthand for “process” or even “spec_proc” (more shorthand, this time for “special process”). Wowpedia has more information on the history of the term as well.


Q4tQ: Any chance Blizzard will allow essences to drop from LFR Nightmare? I’m halfway and my raid group is moving on to Trial, with an eye towards the Nighthold.

That is highly doubtful. The essences are specifically for a cosmetic reward. This was clarified a bit by a blue post:

Originally Posted by Ornyx (Official Post)

It is intentional that the quests “In Nightmares” and “Essence of Power” cannot be completed on Raid Finder difficulty. That quest chain is intended to provide a cosmetic reward for participating in organized, non-matchmade content. As such, we wanted to keep this step in line with the previous steps in the chain, which require completing Mythic Dungeons.

This restriction is specific to this quest chain, which has a cosmetic-only reward. Other quest chains, such as “The Stuff of Dreams” from the Suramar campaign, will be completable through Raid Finder. We’ll be making some additional changes in Patch 7.1 to more clearly communicate when and where these restrictions apply.

If you’re still trying to get those essences before the expansion is out, you may want to check out the Group Finder to see if there are any groups still doing Emerald Nightmare. Or hey, you could always start your own group and mention in the description that you’re specifically looking to farm essences for the quest — there are probably plenty of people out there looking to do the same!


Q4TQ — 1. Is there a separate elemental plane for every planet in the Warcraft universe, or do all planets share the same Fire Realm/etc?
2. Related to #1: Are elemental planes like the Burning Legion (one through all timelines), or are their an infinite number of elemental planes to match an infinite number of timelines?

The root of these questions is Shaman vis a vis Doomhammer and Draenor/Outland:
3. Why would Draenor/Outland elements be summonable on Azeroth or in the Twisting Nether or elsewhere, or even care to be summoned to another world they’re not bound to?

So here’s the deal with the Elemental Plane — it’s unique to Azeroth. It was created by Highkeeper Ra and Helya for the express purpose of containing Azeroth’s native elementals and preventing them from doing further harm to the world. Within the Elemental Plane there are four sections, one for each type of elemental. Confined to the Elemental Plane, the elements were free to fight with each other, without affecting Azeroth in the process.

While Azeroth’s elements are super chaotic, that’s not the case for other worlds. Azeroth’s elements leaned that way because the world-soul consumed a lot of Spirit — the fifth element that’s supposed to keep the other four in balance. On Draenor, the world has plenty of Spirit to keep the elements balanced out. So the elements of Draenor not only tend to work together, but they’re also a lot more likely to work with friendly mortal Shaman as well.

This was discussed in detail in Chronicle Vol. 1, which I highly recommend picking up if you want to know more about the Elements, Elemental Planes, Elemental Lords, and all that fun stuff.

That’s it for today’s Queue — if you have any questions you’d like to see answered, be sure to leave them in the comments below!

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