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Posts with tag 2007-year-in-review

The Art of War(craft): A rambling year in review


In last week's column, where I went over the World PvP objectives in the Outlands, some players expressed indignation at how Blizzard supposedly "forces" PvE players into playing PvP. There are different views on this, such as Massively's Craig Withers, who wrote about a distaste for impersonal PvP in WoW and thus avoids it like the plague, and well, myself, who would actually like to see more PvP-oriented goals implemented in the game. As the shadow of the aptly-named WAR, or Warhammer Online -- which trumpets a supposedly rich PvP and RvR (Realm vs. Realm) experience -- looms, World of Warcraft appears increasingly lacking in PvP content. More and more, suspicion arises that WoW PvP is flawed by design. In his article, David points to reader Aviel's well-ordered thoughts on the matter -- that PvP's basic flaw is that it is an Honor grind, Honor being the currency for gear. As long as it is currency, Aviel says, people will find ways to earn it in the quickest manner possible (e.g. AFKing).

For the most part, I agree with that statement. Blizzard has designed WoW PvP to be a task/reward system that is vulnerable to abuse. The simple fact, however, is that the entire game is a huge task/reward system, from the very existence of mobs (including bosses), which award loot when killed; to quests, which give rewards for completing certain tasks. Without that mechanic in place, the entire game would break. Players do daily quests not out of sheer enjoyment -- although some can be fun -- but because it's a reliable method for earning gold. When Patch 2.4 eventually hits, players can earn upwards of 300g by doing daily quests. I am willing to be that people will be doing daily quests not (just) because they're fun but because most players need gold.

In its current iteration, Honor is a currency, making it a prime candidate for farming. This design is largely due to the fact that WoW PvP has mostly been an afterthought. Actual PvP objectives and rewards, i.e. the Honor system, didn't come into the game until Patch 1.4, about five months after the game's release. The first Battlegrounds came out a month later in a subsequent patch. Because PvP isn't deeply interwoven into the world, the Honor system feels tacked on, distinctly separated from other currencies or means of acquiring loot, or reward. What matters, however, is that Blizzard recognized the need for PvP and managed to find a way to incorporate it. Blizzard Vice-President of Game Design Rob Pardo, in his 2006 AGC keynote speech said, "Early on we really didn't know how the honor system was going to work, we didn't know if we were going to have titles and achievements but we knew we had to have PvP and we knew that it had to be fun."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

WoW, Casually: The year of the casual


Each week, Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has 2 hours or less to play at a time.

For the purposes of this column, I am defining a casual WoW player as someone who has 2 hours or less to play at a time. If you spend 2 hours playing solitaire, then you are considered a hardcore solitaire player, but for the World of Warcraft, a couple hours really isn't very much time. There are a lot of people who have more time to play that consider themselves casuals and there are casual raiders and there are hardcore raiders and, well, these categories really don't work very well. But there are definitely also hardcore raider elitist types and many of them are bellyaching that Blizzard spent last year making the game easier for the casual players. I think that Blizzard made the game easier and more fun for everybody and while casuals got a whole lot of benefit from last year's development, raiders got some goodies specifically for them as well.

But this column isn't for the raiders, it's for those of us who don't have enough time to raid on a regular basis and have to squeeze as much fun and value out of our playtime as possible. And regardless of who else it helped, Blizzard did a lot for us:

Getting from 60 to 70:
If you've played the original EQ, you may have expected (like I did) that getting to 70 when Burning Crusade came out would take as long as getting from 1 to 60. But that was not the case. Getting from 60 to 70 was easier for me than getting from 40 to 50 and from 50 to 60. It was fast, fun, full of quests and easily soloable.

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Filed under: Cooking, Analysis / Opinion, Events, PvP, The Burning Crusade, WoW, Casually, Battlegrounds

Totem Talk: We were not prepared



Totem Talk is the column for Shamans. This week, Matthew Rossi takes us on a roller coaster ride back through 2007, the year that had a lot of surprises in store for shaman players. I know I didn't see dual wielding coming, much less that it would become the primary damage spec for enhancement.

2007 is over and we're smack dab in the middle of the first month of 2008. So, with all the wisdom that hindsight provides, let us look back at 2007. In the past I've tried to maintain a sense of detachment and decorum over the state of shamans today. But it can't be denied that shamans have been angry this year. Despite the introduction of shamans to the Alliance, they're still the least played class in the game. So what happened with shamans, formerly touted by just about everyone else in the game as the most OP (before Warlocks stole the title) to bring them to such a state of discontent?

Well, let's look at the year patch by patch and see what we can puzzle out.

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Filed under: Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Shaman) Totem Talk

The Light and How to Swing It: Year in Review


Wow. I don't know about you, but 2007 just flew by for me. It seems like only yesterday I was standing in line at midnight to grab my copy of Burning Crusade, and now it's almost a year later. While the new year has already started, it's not too late to look back on some of the changes the Paladin class has seen in '07.

So this week on The Light and How to Swing It, I'm doing just that -- going through this past year and reminiscing about the good (and the bad) changes that paladins have experienced. If you've got any left over champagne feel free to break it out and join me as we toast this past year, and look forward to the year ahead!

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Filed under: (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Spiritual Guidance: Mind Vision of 2007


Every Sunday, Eliah or Elizabeth will bring you their thoughts on the Priest class with Spiritual Guidance. Whether it's keeping your fellow players alive or melting their faces, you can read about it here! One of the first things you'll notice is I'm neither Eliah or Elizabeth. My name doesn't even begin with "E". It's probably not even be Sunday, either. Crazy? Yep, but that's how we roll.

It's been quite the year for Priests, just like most other classes. About this time last January, the big ol' Burning Crusade expansion rolled out, essentially taking WoW's most loved clothies (ok, maybe just mine) and turning them on their ears. Been a while since you thought about BC: The Early Months? Let's take a stroll down memory lane...

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Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Listen to the WoW Insider Show live!


The WoW Insider Show is back for another week! We're broadcasting live this afternoon on WoW Radio at 3:30 PM EST (8:30 PM GMT). This week you'll be getting a double dose of Elizabeths with Elizabeth Harper and Elizabeth Wachowski as well as druid extrodinare John Patricelli and fan favorite Turpster. Being as it's the first podcast of 2008, we'll be reviewing what the past year has brought to the World of Warcraft as well as touching on the past week's biggest news.

So join us, won't you? You can even participate by joining us on IRC at irc.wowirc.com in channel #wowradio. And if you have something to say, but can't make the live show, feel free to e-mail your comments or questions to theshow@wow.com!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, WoW Insider Business

WoW Insider Weekly

We're five days into the new year-- feel different yet? Here's your weekly look at our features from the past week. Many of them took a look at WoW in 2007, so here's one last chance to see the year that was before we move on to the year that will be.

Sunday Morning Funnies: What's cooking?
The best of the week in WoW comics.

All the World's a Stage: The past, present, and future of roleplaying
David takes a look back and forward at RPing.

Officers' Quarters: When your mate is a member
Dealing with relationships in a guild setting.

Encrypted Text: A stealthy year in review
The year in Rogues and roguery.

WoW Insider Show Episode 18: New Year's resolutions
Our weekly podcast covers all the news that fits in an hour of audio.

Two Bosses Enter: Kel'Thuzad vs. Archimonde
Shadow and ice-- tell us who would win.

The Light and How to Swing It: Your Epic mount quest-- for the Horde!
Getting the pally pony, Hordeside.

Shifting Perspectives: New Druid leveling 6-10
The most fun levels you've ever played as a Druid-- at least until you hit 20.

Raid Rx: Healing assignments
Assignments for trash? If Marcie says so, it must be true.

Guildwatch: Too much holiday cheer
A little less cheer, a little more drama, thanks.

Tales from the Lion's Pride Inn: The Sentinel
Byron might not be as concerned as he should be.

Blood Pact: Looking back at locks
The year of the nerf?

World of WarCrafts: Healthstone
How to make your own Healthstone soap! Clean and magical.

Totem Talk: Personally
Ever stand over a main tank and scream "WHY!?!!?" into the sky? This column is for you.

Blood Sport: Arena nostalgia
It's wild to me that when this year started, Arenas didn't even exist, and now they're a huge part of the game.

Gamers on the Street: This year, I resolve...
We speak directly with some of you to find out what's in store for 2008.

WoW, Casually: Darkmoon Faire profiteering, and Arathi Basin revisited
How to take advantage of that traveling faire, and how to run AB.

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: This is the year that was
Warriors in 2007: both roistering and boistering.

Insider Trader: A year in the making (err, crafting)
Lisa looks back at the year in making stuff.

Phat Loot Phriday: Dory's Embrace
Was it really named after Kaplan's girlfriend? We may never know.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Insider Business, Blizzard, Features

Insider Trader: A year in the making (err, crafting)

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.


I'm a details girl – and I think that's why I enjoy crafting. I actually enjoy the process of researching where to find recipes, making shopping lists and traveling to collect ingredients. I'm intrigued by the idea of crafting failures and more complex crafting systems seen in some other games, and I definitely believe that player-made products should be a vital part of a vibrant game economy.

That said, sometimes I get so caught up in minutiae that I lose track of the flow of time. (My husband can tell you the month and year any remarkable event took place, while I can't even remember how many years we've been married. /blush) What I can say for sure is that crafting has changed over the past year, morphing from the everyman's tool for making money and filling holes in gear to a means to an end for end-game players to gain access to BoP crafted items. Oh, there's a bustling market out there for certain enchantments and potions, odd and ends, to be sure ... But the face of professions across most servers looks radically different at the dawn of 2008 than it did one year ago.

This week, Insider Trader looks not at a timeline of changes during 2007 -- but rather, a review of trends and notable changes that are turning the tide of where crafting is headed in today's World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Fishing, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, First Aid, Jewelcrafting, The Burning Crusade, Insider Trader (Professions)

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: This is the year that was



The Care and Feeding of Warriors strides forth like a colossus, possibly my favorite X-Man because he's the team tank (I also kind of like Cyclops because he can shoot people with his eyes, which is just cool) to present you, the reader, with an overview of the year in warrioring. No, warrioring isn't a word. Yes, Matthew Rossi knows he can't just make up words whenever he feels like it.

Ah, 2007. A roistering, boistering year. What? No, I'm pretty sure boistering is a word. You can't find it in the OED, you say? Look again, I'm sure it's in there.

So what can we say about what's gone on the past year for warriors? The big changes (to my admittedly jaundiced eye) were the total overhaul of the honor system, the addition of the Arenas, allowing Thunderclap in defensive stance (a tacit admission that warriors were deficient multi-mob tanks compared to druids and paladins), the nerf to Thunderfury's aggro (okay, not so much important as just kinda sad), and rage normalization.

The change to the honor system (taking place in December of 2006) caused a flood of poorly geared warriors, my tauren among them, to flood the BG's looking to improve their gear. I know at the time I was fed up with running instances for marginal upgrades and then losing the rolls on those items (items I'd already collected twice on two previous 70 warriors) over and over again. While the old system forced you to grind for ranks on a ladder week in, week out, the new system simply allowed you to collect honor and marks . While a lot of long time PvPers protested seeing the same gear they'd sweated for suddenly available to more people, in general it was a positive change allowing a lot of players to step through the Dark Portal with better gear than they otherwise would have had. In the time between 2.0.1 and the actually release of The Burning Crusade, I managed to get a whole set of PvP blues and a couple of epics, and I wasn't really running the battlegrounds all that much.

Rage normalization, on the other hand, was a giant kick in the teeth. I'm still angry about it a year later. To me, rage normalization was the biggest change of 2007, the earliest screw up in the class balance, and is still felt the most almost a year later.

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Filed under: Warrior, Blacksmithing, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Battlegrounds, Arena

Blood Sport: Arena nostalgia


Every Thursday, V'Ming - who thinks that gnome warlocks are travesties of nature and need to be KOSed - shares thoughts and ideas on becoming deadlier at the Arenas. He also dabbles in the dark arts in Blood Pact.

Keeping in the theme of my Warlock column, let's take a look back at one of the most important additions introduced in 2007 with The Burning Crusade - Arena PvP.

You can say that Arena PvP is a mini-game of sorts, tied to the main game via gear, and vanity tokens (titles, mount). WoW gear is, in itself, a progression system - particularly for endgame players who don't have new levels or abilities to look forward to. Arena gear is desirable, in both performance and appearance, being recolored versions of top tier gear from PvE. So good that even the most dedicated PvE raiders are dipping into Arenas to gain access to "easy" upgrades.

If "welfare epics" is the theme of 2007, then Arena PvP is one of main ways that they are dispensed. Never have there been more toons running around with purples than 2007, and this is a casual-friendly trend that WoW and other MMOs have been moving with.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Blood Pact: Looking back at Locks

Between Arenas, V'Ming spends his time as a lock laughing ominously in AV, tanking Olm with his own minions and pondering troll fashion from Zul'Aman.

What? It's the new year already? Obviously so ... judging by the sheer barrage of weight-loss ads on TV. They make reaching for my next fistful of buttered popcorn a journey in guilt, even though I'm considered somewhat undernourished in my household.

Here we are in the first week of 2008 - an opportune time to look back on the past year, when memories of being fear-dotted to death are still vivid. If warlocks owned 2006 since skillcoil, then 2007 was the year that warlocks became just so OP with every nerf.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Encrypted Text: A stealthy year in review

Ah, New Year's Eve. At midnight tonight, we'll drink champagne, kiss our loved ones, and bid 2007 a fond farewell. Or alternatively, we'll sit in our bedrooms, accidentally spill Pabst Blue Ribbon all over our keyboards, and prepare to hibernate through the presidential primaries.

Whatever your New Year's plans, we can all agree on one thing -- it's been a year of changes in WoW, both for the game in general and the rogue class in particular. From the Burning Crusade to Wrath of the Lich King to Vanish STILL NOT WORKING, here's the lowdown on 2007 for Azeroth's rogues.

January

Early January: Rogues playing the Burning Crusade beta begin complaining about the amount of cleave and AOE attacks in raids and dungeons. Everyone else playing the Burning Crusade beta begins complaining about Cloak of Shadows in PvP. This will continue until ... forever.

January 15: Ashamed rogues stealth through the mall to wait in line for Burning Crusade's midnight release.

January 16, 12:01 AM: The race to the Dark Portal culminates in huge, bloody battles on nearly every server. Attempts to sneak through are foiled by mages spamming Arcane Explosion.

January 16: Hundreds of thousands of rogues walk into Outlands and immediately begin looking for a Ramparts tank.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

WoW Insider's top ten WoW stories of 2007

We had a gigantic year at WoW Insider-- from January 1st to December 31st, we've posted over 4,500 stories here on this very site, about nearly every facet of the World of Warcraft (and you guys didn't slouch, either-- we had over 150,000 comments on the site in 2007). We've reported on everything from hearthstone soaps to Norweigan mooses, and everything from Arena PvP to Zul'Aman. We've posted guides, rumors, insights, jokes, and everything else we could find connected to this game that we all play (17 hours a week on average).

And seeing as 2007 is just about to end, we figured it would be fun to take a look at the year behind us, and list the top ten stories that we reported on during that time. From comedic to controversial, these ten stories run the gamut, and they also comprise the most important news that happened in the World of Warcraft this year. As a staff, we collected all of the biggest stories of the year, and then rated them from one to ten.

So click the link below to finish out this year, and check out WoW Insider's Top Ten WoW Stories of 2007. Before the year ends, let's take a look back at what happened in Azeroth and the culture surrounding it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Insider Business, Blizzard, Features, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

All the World's a Stage: The past, present and future of roleplaying

All the World's a Stage is a roleplaying column for thoughtful minds, published on Sunday evenings.

"David and his ilk are the last of a dying species!" cry out the Scrooges of WoW, "soon the creature 'Homo Sapiens Theatricalus,' more commonly known as a 'WoW Roleplayer' will go the way of the dodo, only to be spoken of in the annals of gaming history! Roleplaying is dead! Long live cynicism!"

Thus you may have heard -- but fear not: these rumors of roleplaying's demise have been greatly exaggerated. They're just reflections of a negative attitude on the part of people who don't really know what roleplaying is all about. Yet many roleplayers still get genuinely frustrated these days. "Things used to be so much better," they can be heard to say, "Back in the day, RP servers were just full of people roleplaying with everyone else... but now... <sigh>... it's just not the same." Indeed, Blizzard originally set up special realms specifically for roleplaying with their own special rules of conduct, and in the beginning these same roleplayers used to stand up for themselves when they saw others ignoring the rules that made their environment so special.

But then the WoW population doubled, tripled, and again quadrupled. It's been good for Blizzard's business, but not so good for the RP community, who thrived on their tight-knit system of knowledge and interaction. Nowadays, some players who might hope to give roleplaying a try start a character on an RP server only to find that no one seems to be roleplaying there. "Where did all the roleplayers go?" they ask. "What ever happened to those roleplaying rules? And how can I find people to roleplay with now?"

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Filed under: RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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