BlizzCon, BlizzCon, BlizzCon! October revolved around the events and revelations of the annual Blizzard convention ... not that there were a lot of revelations this year. Oh well, we still had fun. This was another month with a ton of articles devoted to straight news reporting, but patch 4.0.1 and the annual Hallow's End holiday also went live. Unfortunately for players, so did a nasty little bug related to the holiday boss.
Otherwise, this was also a great month for Blood Sport and WoW Moviewatch.
Cataclysm: New 600 member hard cap imposed on guilds This was a problem for many guilds -- our own <It Came From the Blog> on Zangarmarsh (US-H) among them.
Official 4.0.1 patch notes It begins.
World of Warcraft reaches 12 million players WoW officially reached 12 million players -- and that's not all-time, that's current subscribers. Adam observes, "That's a lot of Deadmines runs."
BlizzCon 2010: Cataclysm will be available for digital download The sound you heard was that of geeks everywhere without access to a midnight launch screaming for joy.
New Tree of Life model datamined The brand-new Tree of Life model went live on the beta shortly after this article was published and was greeted by ... well, mixed reactions. Mike Gray had some PhotoShop fun with it.
BlizzCon 2010: Update on injured man from dance contest We caught up with the guy injured during the dance contest and were relieved to discover he was okay.
BlizzCon 2010: Scarlet blouse gentleman receives NPC for fact-checking efforts Scarlet Blouse Gentleman -- or Red Shirt Guy, as he's more commonly known -- is now e-famous for catching the developers in a lore mistake during the BlizzCon 2010 Quests and Lore Panel. Blizzard thought this was pretty cool and rewarded him with an in-game nod.
Headless Horseman pumpkin shrine crashes game It's kind of a serious problem when you can't even mouse over an item needed to summon a holiday boss ... Fortunately, players provided a way to get around it.
Opinions and editorials
Officers' Quarters: Raiding addons aren't optional When you've got a key player refusing to download otherwise required addons due to fear of viruses -- and the guy is equally adamant about not getting an authenticator -- you've run into Scott Andrews' Golden Rule of Raiding (GRR): "Don't waste other people's time."
Drama Mamas: Transgender bullying The most commented-upon Drama Mamas of the past year, this article delved into a number of different social issues. I was surprised (though perhaps I shouldn't have been) to see it linked by a number of sites.
All the World's a Stage: Top 10 RP hot spots in Cataclysm A trip around the Cataclysm beta produced a wonderful catalogue of potential RP sites and Azeroth's most interesting places.
Arts and entertainment
WoW Moviewatch: Acting with certainty This one has to be seen to be believed.
WoW Insider reviews The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm by Christie Golden Sacco reviewed The Shattering and gave it a thumbs-up. Behind the scenes here at WoW Insider, staffers also praised the story and were pleased to see it become Golden and Blizzard's second New York Times best seller. As for the review itself, it was a stark reminder that all politics is personal, even in Azeroth.
BlizzCon 2010: WoW Insider interviews author Christie Golden and BlizzCon 2010: WoW Insider interviews author Richard A. Knaak Anne snagged what turned out to be excellent interviews with the two most prominent WoW novelists.
WoW Moviewatch: The Day that Deathwing Came Possibly the most talked-about quest series in Cataclysm.
WoW Moviewatch: A Crit(t)ical Incident The third-place runner-up in this year's machinima contest at BlizzCon.
WoW Moviewatch: I am Forsaken The second-place runner-up, RedEye Lobine's I Am Forsaken, is a fabulous bit of story-telling and voice acting and a quiet reminder of the personal stories underlining the harsh political realities of Azeroth.
15 Minutes of Fame: Laura Shigihara, voice of WoW's singing sunflower Laura Shigihara of Plants vs. Zombies fame turned out to be a WoW player. Blizzard, just as addicted as we are to the music (and music video) of PvZ, dragooned her to voice a new noncombat pet for Cataclysm. Volleying back, she wanted blood elf druids for the trouble.
Classes, raiding, and PvP
Blood Sport: Rank one Gladiator PvP secrets, part one and part two As an indifferent battlegrounds player, I never knew any of this stuff. It's a revealing look at the work that goes into being a Gladiator.
Blood Sport: Rank one Gladiator PvP secrets: Illegal and immoral edition And here's a look at the more underhanded tactics -- not that we (or Colby) endorse them.
Raid Rx: The limits of cognitive bandwidth for healers Absorbing, processing, and acting on information as quickly as possible is the hallmark of a good healer (more so these days, when you have to make strategic decisions on what spell to use and when). Matticus wonders at what point an encounter is just too much to deal with.
Blood Pact: Warlock soloing instance bosses for fun and profit Adam Panshin, our newest warlock columnist (a position since termed "The Defense Against the Dark Arts job at WoW Insider") takes a spin through instances traditionally soloed by other classes.
Blood Sport: Not every good PvPer is a Gladiator Moore had a few cogent observations for the more elitist-minded among us.
Encrypted Text: Finding combat's missing damage Post-4.0.1, combat rogue DPS took a nosedive. Chase couldn't help but notice that the spec's mastery bonus didn't play well with the rogue's most basic mechanics.
Odds and ends
Know Your Lore: Cairne Bloodhoof "Farewell, old bull."
Gold Capped: Sleazy auctioneers and giving away trade secrets As in real life, so in WoW; some people have an uneasy relationship with money and an even uneasier relationship with those who make a lot of it. "It's not auctioneers that are hurting you; it's demand and supply not agreeing on a price you find satisfactory."
Know Your Lore: Zul'jin and the Amani The history of a very old race and the far-reaching effects it's had on even the modern world.
Know Your Lore: The tinfoil hat worgen edition Rossi observed, "This actually ended up terrifyingly close to what the comic book would say a month or so later."
All the World's a Stage: The limits of your character's knowledge A point often overlooked by roleplayers; you almost certainly know more about what's happening in Azeroth than your character does.
2010'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 Insider!