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Since the start of the Mists of Pandaria contest, we've had to clarify that not only does a question have to be tagged , but also has to be related to Mists of Pandaria. As a user who's primary gaming interest is World of Warcraft, I will probably end up littering this list of questions with some non-MoP questions here and there.

I propose that we add a tag for Mists of Pandaria questions. This will both aid the contest when determining what questions and answers are eligible, and it will also help help draw the distinction between MoP questions and non-MoP questions. Generally, it can be assumed that all World of Warcraft questions are regarding the same expansion. However, at this point in time, our questions will be primarily split between two expansions.

This is where it gets hairy.

In a previous meta post, I realized that the reason that we only have one main tag for WoW instead of recognizing separate expansions is that:

  • Expansions generally just date the question, which is accomplished easily with the actual date of the question
  • While there is reason to follow tags for upcoming expansions, there is very little reason to follow the tags for outdated expansions
  • The distinction between major versions and expansions (eg. 4.x and Cataclysm) can be fairly nitpicky

The last point is the one that most makes me second-guess this proposal. Technically speaking, the expansion pack is the content and the major version release, while timed with the expansion, is just part of the base game. This distinction is made in-game by what features are available to players who have not bought an expansion as opposed to those who have. So, for example, talent trees are part of the base game, but the Firelands raid is part of the Cataclysm expansion.

The problem lies in knowing what will and will not be a part of the base game when Mists of Pandaria is released. As of now, we can assume that most new content (questing zones, Pandaren race, dungeon and raid content, etc.) is going to be expansion-only content. However, Blizzard has stated that pet battles are a part of the base game, not Mists of Pandaria. The only problem with this is that it classifies pet battles as a part of WoW 5.0, not a part of WoW: MoP.

However, that's only if we use Blizzard's distinction of what is a part of and what is a part of rather than our own. If we were open to defining ourselves what counts and what doesn't, then the last part would be a non-issue and would allow the tag to be used for the contest.

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Maybe we should wait for the contest organizers to ask for help before adding a tag that will just get torn down in October.

If I want to ask a Monk question in October, how should that question be tagged? Is there any benefit to tagging it wow-mists-of-pandaria?


Let's look at past examples, instead of "speculating" about the future. In my view:

  • It is not helpful to "expansion tag" questions about Death Knights as even though that expansion is required for that class.
  • It is not helpful to "expansion tag" questions about the Archeology skill, even though Cataclysm is required for it to be trained.
  • It is unclear how to "expansion tag" a question about Arcane Blast, and probably best to not expansion tag it at all (it once required burning crusade, but it is now available without expansion purchase).
  • It is unclear how to "expansion tag" a question about Nourish, probably best not to (it once required wotlk, now available without expansion purchase).
  • It could be confusing to "expansion tag" Naxxramas questions, which was available in the base game but now requires purchase of wotlk.
  • While the contest would get a direct benefit from having an MoP tag, the proposal doesn't entail tearing it down in October: if we're going to do that, we might as well just forget the whole thing. Assuming we allow expansion-specific tags, tagging Monk questions wow-mists-of-pandaria is fine and useful for at least the foreseeable future as people come back and want to focus on the new stuff, but I think there's also a case to be made we should introduce class-specific tags like we did with Diablo III. – user3389 Aug 5 '12 at 3:08
  • You've made very valid points against adding in tags for previous expansions. However, it does still stand that a distinction between Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria would be very helpful. It is my personal opinion that the tag should only "last" until Mists of Pandaria is released, and then be merged into the world-of-warcraft tag. But until then, the distinction would be welcome. – KOVIKO Aug 6 '12 at 17:29
  • To your edit: (a) your first two points say it's "not helpful": why is not helpful? What harm is there in categorizing expansion-only content with an expansion tag? (b) points three and four are about class changes available to all, and should not get an expansion tag. (c) your last point is speculation, but it's moot: we don't have any questions about the pre-WotLK Naxxramas, as the site launched after that change. If someone asks about the historical Naxxramas and it gets mistagged, we can correct/clarify that by editing. – user3389 Aug 6 '12 at 18:46
  • @MarkTrapp it adds a burden to the (typical) asker, who has purchased all the expansions and may not be aware if their question is an expansion purchased feature today or may be confused about whether it is a purchased feature or not. Almost certainly pet-battle questions will be tagged MoP. Almost certainly class rotation questions will be tagged MoP (which they should if they are for level 90 right? - because you can't get there without MoP purchase). – Amy B Aug 6 '12 at 19:02
  • @DavidB Questions are not set in stone once asked, and the community shares the burden of making sure questions are the best they can be (including having the right tags, among other things like being on-topic or being copyedited) by editing. Regarding what counts for the tag, I argue there's an objective metric: do you need to buy the expansion or not to get it? If yes, tag it. Otherwise, no. If the situation changes later on, we can retag the questions that are affected. – user3389 Aug 6 '12 at 19:06
  • @MarkTrapp that's certainly objective, but almost pedantically so. It could work. I think through this conversation I've learned that I really don't care at all about tags, just answers. I hope that I've contributed to the discussion in terms of helping people make up their own minds about how they feel about this. I'm out. – Amy B Aug 6 '12 at 19:14
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I'm for re-intrroducing (and the other expansion tags), but I think we should stick to Blizzard's distinction between major patch-related changes and expansion-only content, because it is a well-defined, easily verifiable metric that's most importantly not defined by us and not left up to us to determine what counts and what doesn't. Anyone who is an active WoW player following a Blue tracker or the official site will be able to determine what is, and isn't, tag-worthy.

This means pet battles would be tag-less, as would the talent overhaul, class rebalancing, and whatever else Blizzard plans to give away as part of 5.0.

Because of the value of having a clear, objectively-defined test for what should and shouldn't be part of the expansion, I made a suggestion for the contest to clarify that it's for any MoP-specific or 5.0.x-specific content.

To address some of the objections I've read regarding the use of expansion tags:

Objection 1

We don't know what will count and what doesn't, nor will new users.

The possibility of mistagging or undertagging is undermined by the community's ability to edit. It doesn't matter if one person gets it wrong as long as it's easily fixable. Having a clear, straightfoward test of "do you need to buy the expansion?" is something that can easily be applied by new users and veterans alike.

But Blizzard has been relatively straightforward about what will require the expansion and what won't; I'd bet a dozen trappbucks that given any feature someone wants to talk about regarding MoP-related content, we can find an official source explaining whether you need the expansion for it (much more so for released expansions).

Finally, we can help mitigate mistagging by adding a useful tag wiki excerpt. Something like,


For questions about World of Warcraft features that require the purchase of the Mists of Pandaria expansion.

Objection 2

When an expansion comes out, it supersedes the old game: you can't play WoW without it.

Expansions don't supersede the old game, and you can definitely play the game without an expansion. Expansions, with the exception of possibly The Burning Crusade (because they stopped selling WoW without it), are completely optional.

What isn't optional are the x.0 patches that add a ton of new features and rebalance game mechanics a few weeks before expansions hit. Rightfully, the contents of these patches should not get the expansion tag: they are just part of the base game.

Objection 3

Nobody is going to care about an expansion-less WoW after an expansion is released.

The purpose of a tag isn't to encapsulate how we think people should play a game; their purpose is to group a meaningful set of questions into something someone would follow in its own right. If we have questions that are clearly about an expansion and people are interested in finding expansion-specific content, we should have a tag for it. Mists of Pandaria (and all the expansions) meet that criterion, and we have demonstrable proof of that in the MoP contest.

Objection 4

Users will see the expansion tag and see it as an opportunity or license to ask duplicate questions scoped to the expansion (e.g., "What is the MoP rotation for affliction warlocks?").

Like I mentioned above, mistagged questions and duplicate questions can be handled by community editing and moderation. The existence of expansion specific tags, like our other game tags that have expansion tags, does not relax or modify the rules regarding duplicates or updating out-of-date answers. If someone wants an up-to-date answer for a question that hasn't been touched in an expansion, they should offer a bounty or improve the existing question.

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The problem here is how to identify questions for the contest and not a need to differentiate by expansion. I suggest perhaps or some other MoP tag where the wiki explicitly makes it clear, this will be merged into WoW tag in future.

This should also include any other changes that are arriving together with MoP; unless these are to be excluded from contest for some reason. Pets may be in the base game, if they are being tested in the MoP beta I'd argue they are fair game for contest questions.

  • Like I mentioned on David B's answer, if the intent is to create a contest-specific tag or a temporary tag to help with the contest, we might as well just forget the whole thing. Tags on the main site should be—as much as is possible—meaningful, lasting ways to organize content. – user3389 Aug 6 '12 at 18:48
  • @MarkTrapp I agree with you; but I also don't see how else to resolve the needs of the contest, this seems like the most expedient way – Alok Aug 6 '12 at 18:59
  • @MarkTrapp Whether we should've had a contest on beta content is another question altogether, I'm not addressing that here ;) – Alok Aug 6 '12 at 19:00
  • it's pretty easy to identify on a per-question basis what counts for the contest, and I've created a list to manually track them. – user3389 Aug 6 '12 at 19:02

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