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Posts with tag 2009

WoW, Casually: Looking backward and forward

Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

The problem with writing these year end posts for WoW is the tendency for Blizzard to make huge changes at the end of the year, altering everything. Whether it's a new expansion like Wrath of the Lich King or Patch 3.3, it's hard to remember what the game was like the previous 3/4 of the year. It's not that we didn't have a good time before the big year end events, but the game becomes so different, what we did before is irrelevant.

This year, hopefully by or during the summer, we'll be getting another expansion -- only this will literally change everything. It's like we'll be getting WoW II, only without having to give up our stuff/contacts/accounts and start fresh in a new game. So let's take a look backward and forward at some of the main aspects of the game as it affects those of us with limited playtime, like we were the two-faced god this month is named after.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

The Art of War(craft): 2009 was a banner year for the Battlegrounds


Zach is a Battlegrounds junkie. Even when he's hocking up asthma-generated globules of radioactive phlegm, he still manages to squeeze in a little slaughtering time.

Happy New Year, folks. I hope all of you had a good 2009 and are reading this without a lingering hangover or, like me, some form of bronchial complication stemming from the smog generated by all the festivities' firecrackers. We're kicking off 2010 with a quick look at the year that just passed, and boy, was it ever a good one.

More than any other year in the World of Warcraft, 2009 was a fantastic year for the Battlegrounds. Some very significant changes implemented that year renewed their relevance; furthermore, Battleground enthusiasts also received a verbal commitment from Blizzard developers that that aspect of the game would receive more focus and attention. The year began with the effects of Wrath spilling over from 2008, with the new and exciting Wintergrasp giving new life (and lag) to the world PvP experience. The first important change, however, was to come later with patch 3.1 in April 2009.

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

Lichborne: 2009 in review for death knights


Welcome to Lichborne, where Daniel Whitcomb has decided that Boom Boom Pow is our class anthem for the new year, if only because those chickens are totally jackin' our style.

So here we are, at the end of 2009. This marks the first full year of the Death Knight class, and it's definitely been an eventful year as Blizzard's balanced and rebalanced our class to help us fit into the ranks of the more established classes. We've been called flavor of the month and overpowered. I dislike the former label on philosophical grounds but grudgingly admit that the latter label has probably been correctly applied at certain points in time. Still, overall we've definitely had the ride of our lives over the last year as the devs have worked on a patch by patch basis to get us all figured out and settled in. Lets look at each tree and look back at the highlights and lowlights.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Spiritual Guidance: The Priest of 2009


Every week (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a UI and addons blog for WoW.

I'm going to cheat.

I'm going to dip back slightly into 2008 to the point where Wrath of the Lich King came out. Priests everywhere had high hopes for their class. We were coming off an expansion where Circle of Healing Priests and Resto Shamans were the king. Since then, the other healing classes have been improved where they could hold their own in raids and compete.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

The Light and How to Swing It: The Paladin of 2009


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown. This week we're taking a look back at 2009 and the ups and downs we've felt as paladins.

Well, it's after Christmas and another year is almost behind us. Two-double-zero-nine was a particularly frustrating year for paladins, because we felt we were either at the top of the pile or the bottom and it changed from day to day. The development team has even been quoted as saying that paladins have been the hardest class in Wrath to balance even when taking death knights into consideration. Let's walk down memory lane and see where we were and where we're going.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The Warrior of 2009

The Care and Feeding of Warriors is WoW.com's column about aromatic essential oils for use in baths and to spruce up the house. Unfortunately I don't know anything about those so I'm going to have to talk about playing a warrior in World of Warcraft instead. My hands are tied, I'm afraid.

Wow, that was a year, huh? From the dizzying highs of fury spec in Naxxramas to the somewhat less dizzying highs of Ulduar, arms' constant evolution and protection spec's astonishing makeover as the expansion launched, 2009 was a year that saw warriors sway from top DPS and solid tanks as if in some kind of gale force wind. Armor Penetration went from a stat we'd take if we had to and is now one of our top DPS stats, Block got a makeover that led to changes in how abilities like Shield Block and Shield Slam calculate, and in general we saw the effects of stat inflation on gear really have an effect on us and how we stack up to other classes as tanks and DPS. If you were a tanking warrior in Naxx on January 1st. 2009, for example, you may have had upwards of 35k health. (To be honest, it's hard for me to remember, it may have gotten up to 38k if you stacked stamina.) Now, a geared TotGC tank walking into ICC can pretty easily hit 54 to 55k health fully raid buffed.

And it's only going up from here. Icecrown Citadel promises much improved itemization as well as crazy old school procs that should have warriors, be they DPS or tanks, salivating.

Warriors have definitely had their ups and downs this year, but I think we can say we're ending the year on a fairly high note. Fury DPS has managed to get back to a competitive place with the new weapons, arms still lags behind but has solid PvP and PvE uses, and protection is quite possibly the single strongest tanking class by virtue of sheer flexibility: other tanks may have more health, more armor, or more AoE threat, but protection's suite of abilities includes standouts like Shockwave, Vigilance, Spell Reflection and Warbringer, making it possibly #2 in every single tanking category when no class can claim to be #1 in them all. Let's look at some changes and how they shook out for warriors.

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW in the running for Game of the Decade

2009 is coming to a close, and with it, "the aughts," which means we're about to get flooded with list after list of the best of the decade. It's been a raucous ten years for gaming (some, including me, might call it the best ten years in gaming so far), and Crispy Gamer is the first to step up and try to pick the best games we've seen so far. In their Game of the Decade showdown, World of Warcraft is still in the running, up against Bioware's legendary Knights of the Old Republic RPG, as the latest post has readers trying to pick the final four choices. If you think our game is more deserving than KotOR (note that this isn't the MMO, it's the old RPG with your friendly meatbag hater droid, HK-47), you can vote for WoW over on this page until Tuesday at 6pm.

KotOR is a great game, but as a decade-defining game, I'd have to think WoW will pull that one off. After that, though, there's some tough competition: BioShock and Half-Life 2 are up against each other, Halo and Left 4 Dead are facing off in another bracket, and Super Smash Brothers Melee and Shadow of the Colossus (which I guess I need to go play now) are the challengers in the third. I have to say -- as a "Game of the Decade," BioShock and Half-Life 2 are definitely in competition, but if you want to pick a game which has really defined both the online and casual gaming movements of the last ten years? We'll have to see what the readers choose, but I'd have to think World of Warcraft is your game.

[ via BlizzPlanet and kyleorl ]

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends

All the World's a Stage: 2008, year of the living roleplayer

So there I was, celebrating the New Year, when I realized just how long All the World's a Stage has been around. It's grown from an idea in the back of my head, to a pet project, into a full-fledged resource for roleplayers -- and it's still growing! Even after 68 weeks-worth of content, there's still so much to write about! It goes to show, if there's a topic you love, you should really write about it, because doing so makes you love it even more.

Now, looking back on this year of writing, it strikes me that some things have changed, while other things have stayed the same. Some articles seem just important and relevant to today's concerns as they were when they were written, and many feel like they could use a bit of updating.

Just about a year ago, for instance, All the World's a Stage took a look at "The past, present, and future of roleplaying," which addressed the popular conception at that time that "RP is dead." We don't hear that so much anymore, do we? It seems many of the roleplayers have gradually been shifting around since then, grouping up into small communities on their old servers, or else transferring to a very few realms with a good reputation for roleplaying. Recently, I just transferred over to a new server and was thrilled to see how many roleplayers were hanging around the streets of Dalaran. RP isn't dead at all -- it's just got itself together now instead of being scattered all over everywhere. Congealed, as it were.

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

Lichborne: The 2008 Death Knight year in review


Welcome to first 2009 installment of Lichborne, the WoW Insider Death Knight column.

Welcome to 2009, which I am, completely arbitrarily, declaring the year of the Death Knight. Sure, Death Knights were first announced back in 2007, but 2008 was when they took shape and showed up in playable form, and 2009 will be the first full year that they've been on the live servers. Let's look back then, at 2008, and see some of the milestones in the creation of my favorite new class and yours.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

New Year's Eve in Azeroth tonight


Yes it's the end of another year, and it's time to celebrate! Just in case you're not out and about partying this evening, Azeroth is enjoying New Year's Eve as well, and the good news is that you can drink all you want with no hangover at all! This evening in the capital cities, there'll be kegs and holiday food to eat, and fireworks will light up the sky every hour (starting around 6pm server time, if this year is the same as years past). Plus, all the guards in Booty Bay are taking their annual night off, so there'll be PvP aplenty down there. And there are two quests in the game, one for each faction.

Enjoy the holiday and stay safe, whether you're in the World of Warcraft or elsewhere tonight. From all of us at WoW Insider to all of you, thanks for making 2008 great, and here's to an even better 2009.

Filed under: Events, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Blizzard, PvP, NPCs

Arthas novel to be released April 2009


Author Christie Golden has posted a little more information about the Arthas novel coming next year -- she lists the release date as April of 2009 (Arthas will probably still be alive then -- if "alive" is what he is now), and says that it'll be a nice hardback edition, which should be cool to see. She also says that while they were considering throwing a sample chapter in the BlizzCon goodie bag, all they were able to get in is a little postcard art of the book's cover. Too bad -- it would have been fun reading a little preview of the book while waiting in line to play, say, Diablo III.

And for the Starcraft fans, she's also got a Dark Templar book coming out a month after that, in May 2009. It was supposed to be out sooner, but apparently Arthas' book got pushed forward, and she had to switch up schedules a bit. So two good pieces of extended universe fiction for Blizzard's games to look forward to next year.

[via Blizzplanet]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Lore, NPCs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW TCG 2007 reviewed, 2008 previewed

Our friends over at Upper Deck's WoW TCG site have been running a little review of their biggest stories from 2007 over the last week (including this terrific piece about the Lady Kath card), so if you haven't been keeping up over there all year, or just want to look back at what happened in the trading card game, go check them out.

They've also posted two pieces looking forward as well. The first is a look at what the Organized Play schedule looks like for 2008-- they're going to have a new award to honor the Player of the Year, starting with the just-finished World Championships, and they're also going to have a Group Championships tournament as well. They're also looking for names for both events, so if you'd like to win a Wraith Scythe card, check the bottom of that page.

And there's a preview of what's coming in 2008 as well-- an art book is due out soon, and the Magtheridon's Lair raid deck is coming out soon also. We'll keep an eye on what else they've got planned over there-- while the online game is headed to the Sunwell, they've only just scratched the surface of possibilities on Burning Crusade content.

Filed under: Expansions, NPCs, WoW TCG

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