In this month, everybody died. Then they rezzed and kept playing. October 2012 was pretty lockstep with the pattern we've already seen in major patch or expansion releases, which is that staffers largely abandon whatever editorials they were working on in favor of, uh, playing the game.
dngreene: Man, when Blizzard wants to get players out into the world, they get players out into the world ... or else.
atanae: Meanwhile, four stalwart players who have no lives are killing boars ...
shrikesnest: Yes, WoW got hacked, and that sucks. I wish it didn't happen. But I can at least take some consolation in the fact that this is the funniest comment thread on WoW Insider in a long time.
PhilDGiles: Does anybody think "SPARE US GOD" might fall into that same list of infamous WoW quotes as "LEEEEEROY JENKINS" now?
As you might expect, lots of great news this month, and an unbroken string of comments and pokes at the wonderful random stuff that kept popping out of Pandaria.
Entire cities dead on some World of Warcraft realms A weird exploit allowed a group of hackers to kill players and NPCs, friendly or otherwise, with a simple click. Inevitably, mass death was the result. Don't worry -- Blizzard figured out a hotfix soon enough.
Get exalted with the Lorewalkers in an hour or less One of the most popular posts of the year. Fly on, you crazy discs.
Interview: Maine Senate candidates tells why gamer shaming bodes ill for the future Colleen Lachowicz, a candidate for the Maine state senate, had been attacked by her opponents, not only for playing WoW, but for her character, an orcish assassination rogue. Apparently rogues are lucky, because she went on to win the race in November.
World of Warcraft population swells over 10 million, Mists of Pandaria sells 2.7 million We take it the expansion was a success?
Quartermasters and where to find them I had this bookmarked for the better part of two months.
This is a very, VERY fast mount The amount of totally off-the-wall, random stuff in Pandaria is an endless delight ... until you run a 300% speed goat off a cliff.
12 new pets added to vanilla raids in 5.1 Pets: When you want to make everyone care deeply about older content!
Patch 5.1: Vol'jin gets a new model And also a book deal, as we found out around the time Tides of War was released. Hmmm. Oh, and he wasn't the only new model.
Patch 5.1: Grand Commendations boost alt reputation By this point in October, players were heartily sick of doing endless dailies for reputation, and the idea of doing it all over again on another set of toons made people quail. Suffice it to say that this was welcome news.
People live in Pandaria: Or, or house in the middle of the sea "There are more buildings in Jade Forest than in several old-world zones on our own planet combined, and most importantly, they make sense. There are orchards and wharfs and farms where the pandaren work and play. We know that because we can see them do it! ... People live in Pandaria. And I want to help keep it that way." An excellent editorial by Sacco on Blizzard's stratospheric talent for creating such an immersive environment. For what it's worth, I'm in 100% agreement that it's the little moments that make it, and not the big stuff.
Reputation in review: The Tillers The Tillers are probably among the first people you'll get exalted with in Pandaria, not least because farming is a lot of fun and there's a really compelling story with Farmer Yoon to pursue.
How to keep world bosses away from the pesky Horde (or Alliance) "Back in the old days, there was generally an unspoken etiquette among competing raids looking to take down a world boss. But this generation? Not a chance!" This outing of Around Azeroth is a brief visual gloss on the madness.
Pandaria, the greatest threat Taran Zhu wastes no time in informing newly-arrived players to Pandaria that the land may be more dangerous to them than they are to it. Rossi concurs.
Officers' Quarters: 9 suggestions for a new guild leader Too many people start guilds without realizing what it really entails. Scott won't let you walk unprepared into the jaws of responsibility.
WoW Moviewatch: Family As others have written, it's difficult to summarize this and do a good job. An excellent machinima; please watch it. Ben.seeberger in the comments has an interesting lore point concerning an odd quirk related to Forsaken and night elf lifespans.
WoW Moviewatch: The Luckdo Rap Kind of a departure for Wowcrendor, but a guaranteed earworm.
Around Azeroth: Disapproving turnip darkly dreaming You'll see it below. A great shot of the Terrible Turnip and some unusual, but convenient, placement.
Blizzard features Sylvanas Windrunner cosplay Absolutely amazing.
WoW Moviewatch: Mists of Pandaria machinima trailer An expertly-crafted and beautifully done video that's essentially a micro-story about the mindset of the pandaren in the weeks before the Alliance and Horde arrive.
Around Azeroth: A night at the head museum Noticed anything unusual about the revamped Scholomance?
WoW Moviewatch: Stuff WoW players don't say "There's a really intelligent discussion about politics and religion going on in trade chat right now" was where I lost it.
Around Azeroth: Collison course Perfect shot!
Classes, Raiding, and PvP
Scattered Shots: Don't anger the tank or she will make you cry "When you're running Dungeon Finder you do not want to piss off the tank: she has all the power. You annoy her enough and she'll initiate a vote kick. No one else wants to be on the tank's bad side so they'll vote to boot your sorry ass. But not until the tank calls you names until you cry like a sissy little elf." It wouldn't be a year at WoW Insider without Frostheim's insulting the non-dwarf population.
The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The redundancy of hit and expertise Having two different stats that affect whether you can hit something at all does seem a little counterintuitive. As Rossi points out, that they're not the same thing in theory doesn't prevent them from being the same thing in practice.
Patch 5.1 PTR: My first night in Brawler's Guild No one was too sure what to expect from the Brawler's Guild, so Olivia threw herself on that grenade and wrote an extensive guide. First up? Finding the damn place.
Heroic dungeon bosses in 5 seconds Sometimes we don't need a dissertation-length explanation of what a boss does and why. Sometimes we just need a quick macro for party chat so someone else doesn't kill us.
Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: The dark secrets of the mogu The mogu obviously aren't the nicest people on the planet, but remember -- we've only got one side of the story. A really thought-provoking article on the gaps in WoW's historical record, and another creepy reminder that the Titans may not be a fundamentally benign presence in the universe.
How to choose between the same pets, but different stats You know what this made me think of? The nigh-unbeatable advantage conferred by speed in the first generation of Pokemon games. Is WoW's pet battling going to develop the same way?
The Data Guy: Meet the Dev behind The Undermine Journal, Realm Pop, and more The Undermine Journal is essentially the Wall Street Journal of WoW (and it was intended to be), and its creator Erorus, a web application developer on his day job, has 5 projects going at once. Why? Because when he doesn't find an easy way to get information, or it's presented poorly, he programs an easier way to get it himself. He, too, thinks that the ability to post buy orders to the AH would be a great step forward.
Shared Topic: What is your WoW headcanon? "Getting inside the heads of the Forsaken is one of my favorite creative activities." As for me, I can't get Travels through Azeroth and Outland out of my head whenever I'm playing.
Transmogrify your monk (or leather wearer) into a member of the Shado-Pan An enormously popular article -- let's face it, the Shado-Pan look cool as hell -- but can non-monks get a belt like the Red Belt of Gentle Persuasion sometime soon?
How do I cook that? Let me count the Ways Possibly the only WoW Insider post in which plagiarizing from Elizabeth Barrett Browning is an appropriate segue to the content.
The roll club Commenters chime in with their own recommendations as to music picks for the achievement. I had a good laugh at the Kenny Loggings suggestion.
WoW Archivist: WoW's most terrifying secrets Join us for a trip down Creepy Memory Lane!
Pet battles are magic with the Nether Faerie Dragon You can have Alex's sparkledragon when you pry it from his cold, dead hands.
Know Your Lore: 5 frequently asked Mists lore questions I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, but there's something awfully compelling about the Klaxxi. Perhaps it's just the knowledge of how quickly our relationship with them will change once they think we're not needed anymore.
Pandaria's great oppressed In which Rossi writes a half-funny, half Fridge Horror post concerning the virmen and the specter of their oppression at the hands of the larger vegetable-eating races. Responds Suzanne1 in the comments: "Dang, I didn't know there was a virmen pet. Time to go get one!" I never remembered to ask him about it, but it's possible that Rossi had Griffter's Violence Against Virmin in mind.
The Sha of Happiness One of the funnier forum threads we've seen in a while, with a classic response from Rygarius.
If you enjoyed this article, you might get a kick out of our Best of 2009, Best of 2010, and Best of 2011 series.