BlizzCon, BlizzCon, BlizzCon! That's pretty much what August was all about -- well, that and patch 3.2. Because this month was mostly crammed full of pure, unadulterated news about the upcoming convention and Cataclysm, there weren't quite as many one-off features this time around.
All the World's a Stage: Reflections on the passing of a roleplayer's mom: This isn't a very easy article to summarize. All I can say is -- please read it. One of David Bowers' most elegant and introspective pieces: "WoW is not an escape from life, it is a reflection of it."
WoW.com's Patch 3.2 Guide and content for the day: Patch 3.2 went live on August 4th and was (oddly enough) one of the top stories for the year. In hindsight, it probably wasn't that surprising -- it had been a while since Ulduar had gone live, and the Argent Tournament patch heralded the introduction of a slew of new pets, mounts, titles, and new druid forms. Huzzah!
Playing WoW for charity: Interview with the WoWathon team: Three college students managed to raise $5,000 for Child's Play with a marathon WoW session coupled with "dramatic readings of bad fanfiction."
Researchers study WoW to see how gangs form and fade: A UC-Irvine team has been studying guild and group formation ingame for data on "group ecology." As Schramm observed, "Listen, guys, all you have to do to break up gangs is ensure there's not enough loot to go around."
The lost art of crowd control: Both the emblems change in 3.2 and the emblems/Dungeon Finder changes in 3.3 have sent masses of people back to heroics, and we're not the only people to notice that crowd control's all but disappeared. Blizzard's answer (5 months later)? Heroic Halls of Reflection.
Felicia Day unleashes geeky pop single: So it turns out The Guild cast has both musical talent, the ability to reach #1 on the iTunes music video charts, and a sense of humor concerning their source material. We're shocked.
BlizzCon 2009: Don't forget to look for us: We decided to deploy special Zach Yonzon-designed t-shirts on the convention floor so that readers could pick us out easily.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm announced: "All haters, disbelievers, skeptics, muggers, druggers, post-modernists, and trolls, we are graciously willing to accept your apologies. Line forms to the left, people. No pushing! And mister, I hope you brought enough gum for everybody."
BlizzCon round-up -- Day 1 and Day 2: Rather than make this article a huge list of all the reporting we did from BlizzCon, I'll shorten it to these.
Grunty vs. Zergling battle video: The Grunty pet from BlizzCon has an...interesting interaction with the zergling pet. Robin films for us, her kid provides audio, site traffic quadruples.
A discussion in defense of new race/class combinations: The team banded together to discuss the lore behind the new race/class combinations we knew were going live in Cataclysm, and speculated on the possible racial advantages/disadvantages that would result.
Around Azeroth: In loving memory: This got my vote as the best Around Azeroth of the year.
Raid Rx: Raid bosses that brought healers to their knees (part 1) and (part 2): I loved reading Matt Low's list of nightmare raid bosses for healers. For some time I've been meaning to do an equivalent list for tanks, but will probably wait until we've seen all of the ICC raid bosses and hard modes to make a call on it.
Why am I suddenly so popular?: Tank population has ebbed and flowed over the course of the year. Rossi finds himself in high demand in the "ebbed" portion.
Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm will reshape guilds: Scott Andrews goes through the news from BlizzCon concerning upcoming guild improvements with a fine-tooth comb.
2009's drawing to a close, and we're wrapping up the most interesting articles we've published all year, one day at a time. Join us every day for the next twelve days with this year's best of WoW.com!