This was a news-heavy month due to patch 4.1's dropping in late April and the quick arrival of patch 4.2 on the Public Test Realm. However, it was also a vibrant month for the arts scene, and WoW Archivist was en fuego in May. Did you know that Molten Core shipped with a third legendary? Don't lie.
Does WoW ever creep you out?
NoYou Read trade for more than 20 seconds and you can make a strong case against evolution.
CloakedDrifter The Goldshire inn on Moon Guard. *shudder*
MattKrotzer It creeps me out that one of the quest writers has such a fascination with poop, and making us sift through it.
Posts with tag best-of-wow-insider
Afrozombie: At least we know why it took so long for them to release (the new version of Zul'Gurub). They were stuck waiting for (Bloodlord Mandokir) to finally find and solve his sword, Zin'rokh, Destroyer of Worlds.
You know all that editorializing and back-and-forth discussion you saw in January and February over the Dungeon Finder and how much work Blizzard did to improve a slow-moving DPS queue? Things came to a head in April with the announcement of the Call to Arms system, a still-controversial decision that provoked wide-ranging debate. Are tanking and healing just too difficult and stressful for PUGs these days? Is it really fair to functionally deny DPS a shot at the Satchel of Exotic Mysteries? And why haven't I gotten any rare pets or mounts out of it yet?
Weirdly, the other issue that kept cropping up in April discussion was that of Horde leadership and whether Garrosh was fit to be within 50 miles of it. Part of me wonders if it's simply because new raid content wasn't on the horizon for a few months, and lore concerns tend to be popular topics whenever that's the case. The other part of me points out that Portal 2 went live on April 19, and it's kind of a miracle that anything got written at all on this site afterwards.
In marked contrast to February, this was a fabulous time for the arts and WoW Moviewatch. However, what jumps out at me most about March are the number of things that, with the benefit of hindsight, we realized Blizzard was already thinking about for Mists of Pandaria. Stat scaling, tank design, and cryptic responses in the developer Q&As from March all make reappearances later in the year.
Rai Yer a wizard, Harrypotterarthasdk.
You won't see quite so many editorials this time around, as most of our writers were too busy getting pasted in the revamped troll dungeons (or, as Sacco referred to them, Zul'Again) on the patch 4.1 PTR.
Oh, and Adam introduced us all to Rebecca Black's Friday.
%&* you, Adam.
Croe We even had a tank go to the first boss in Stonecore for farming a mount, and dropped immediately afterwards.
Snuzzle He's gonna be joining and dropping Stonecore for a while then, 'cause the mount drops from the second boss.
This was a relatively slow month for WoW Moviewatch, although there were a few sterling exceptions. I suspect most machinimators were still too busy leveling or gearing toons to crank out a lot of new material. However, that didn't stop other players from offering a wealth of opinions on how to fix an ongoing rash of issues with the Dungeon Finder, and I think February is really the month where frustration with the number of players trying to beat the system reached its peak.
And -- oops -- Blizzard finally fixed a bug that had unintentionally been adding to everyone's misery in 5-mans.
Revrant: (What's the best new quest of the expansion?) The Bears Up There. Climb a tree, grab bear cubs, throw them screaming through the air, and they explode if you miss.Good gravy -- this is the third year I've written a Best of the Year series for WoW Insider! Longtime readers will probably know the drill, but if you don't, from today through Dec. 31, you'll find an article each day recapping the best and most representative articles published on WoW Insider for a given month. Depending on the month, the collection of articles you'll find numbers between 5% and 15% of what we published. We've tried hard to pick the stuff that best captured WoW's fast-changing zeitgeist.
Cataclysm was still a fresh expansion in January 2011, with the attendant problems and pleasures that new expansions bring. The trend that's most apparent here as I look through our January articles is the amount of discussion over the problems with the Dungeon Finder, leveling, and Tol Barad. Suffice it to say that January was an incredibly prolific month for our editorialists.
Yeah, that's a lie. As an aside, we wanted to thank our readers for hanging with us this past year -- for the comments, the tweets, the emails, and just being around. This site is nothing without its readership. It's been a great year, and tonight we'll toast to another one. Happy New Year, everyone!
Interestingly, December's been a great month for the Gold Capped and Know Your Lore columns. And, for the sake of accuracy, the "I broke your world!" image doesn't belong to December but to the series of bug posts from (I think) patch 4.0.3. Oh well.
Cataclysm launches in Europe, servers currently down "In what may be the least surprising event of the year, Europe's World of Warcraft servers have gone down almost immediately after the expansion's launch in that region."
Cataclysm is the fastest-selling PC game of all time so far So what poor game was the one that lost to its record to Cataclysm this year? A little expansion by the name of Wrath of the Lich King.
Guild experience no longer earned via guild achievements When guild experience became unobtainable from guild achievements, a lot of players who'd made extensive preparations were left out in the cold.
Blizzard debuts the World of Warcraft game guide The Game Guide that Blizzard published on the still-new Battle.net got high marks from staffers and readers.
Ghostcrawler talks tanks and threat Tanks and DPS are eying each other with no small amount of distrust in the new Cataclysm heroics. Great discussion in the comments.
Alex Afrasiabi discusses new zones and upcoming content on G4 Already bored with the expansion (if you are, seek help)? We've got a look at patch 4.1 for you here.
The cataclysm went live in the form of patch 4.0.3a. We thought that was pretty cool. Also, Orgrimmar got the equivalent of a raid boss. That was also pretty cool. Oddly, on top of all the news that came rushing in this November, it was another great month for the arts scene.
Ghostcrawler shares DPS spec design philosophy for Cataclysm The entire article is worth a read, but there's one particularly stand-out point here: "Players are much more tolerant of huge, sweeping changes between expansions than they are in between patches."
Ghostcrawler on the evolution of rotation complexity One of the things you start to wonder about when points like this are made is whether the bevy of fan sites out there lecturing players on spec and rotation choice is ultimately doing more harm than good for the game.
Cataclysm: Gamon, legendary villain of Orgrimmar, made even more elite The usual target of bored Hordies parked in Orgrimmar, Gamon was made a level 85 elite for Cataclysm. On my own server, a pile of skeletons testified to the number of players who thought that taking an idle swing at him was still in the cards.
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.
Otherwise, the march of Cataclysm news continued in September, and with it came a few startling announcements that didn't go over too well with players. Who knew portals would be such a hot-button topic?
Also, the news of Blizzard having to monitor Goldshire on Moon Guard (US-RP) will never not be funny.
Cataclysm beta: Thrall receives a new model Mirroring similar updates to high-profile faction leaders during the Wrath beta, Thrall finally got a makeover and shed Orgrim Doomhammer's armor in favor of more shamanistic regalia. He also looks quite a bit older, but as our commenter Shiro_Shishi wrote, "If I had to deal with Garrosh every day for weeks, I would age faster too."
Blizzard to patrol Moon Guard's Goldshire for harassment, erotic role playing Words fail me.
China is finally getting Wrath of the Lich King It took absolute ages for Wrath of the Lich King to reach Chinese players. If you're curious about why the process was so arduous, Sacco broke it down.
Cataclysm beta: Login screen music The Cataclysm login music is greeted by widespread approval, though players worried about the possible return of the "login dragon."
July was defined by the latest iteration of an old meta-game, Blizzard versus Players. The community had an almost universally hostile reaction to Blizzard's announcement that the use of one's real name would be required for posting on the Battle.net forums, and the controversy raged to newspapers, magazines, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), and third-party sites very quickly. Predictably, it only took 4chan about 10 minutes to publish the names, addresses, phone numbers, profiles, blood types, and favorite movies of every prominent Blizzard employee it could find.
The sad thing is, the issue may not even be over despite Blizzard's backing down; the best that players could get from the company was language indicating it could be a temporary reprieve at best. Quoth the dime-store movie villain, this isn't over -- and it's not going to be, as long as Facebook's making serious bank.
On the lighter side, the above scene from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (NSFW due to language and violence) started circulating among several WoW communities during the controversy as proof that the loss of online privacy didn't have to be a bad thing, as long as you were the one capitalizing on it.
World of Warcraft patch 3.3.5 notes Patch 3.3.5 went live, and with it the Ruby Sanctum -- Wrath's last raid.
Patch 3.3.5: Changes to vote kick incoming The vote kick system for the dungeon finder was tinkered with to reward players who kick less often. I've often wondered what my own statistics on this look like; as the tank, I seem to end up with the responsibility to initiate a vote kick on disconnected or AFK players much more frequently than when I'm healing.
Cataclysm beta: Cataclysm will bring dwarf and troll warlocks This was a sudden announcement that nobody really anticipated, and I've always wondered if it had anything to do with Blizzard's desire to shore up the population of pure DPS classes.
That quote'll come in handy for understanding May. The Cataclysm alpha was released and stayed private for all of about five minutes before appearing online, leading to a flurry of cease-and-desist letters (we assume) and probably some angst on Blizzard's end on the odds of keeping anything secret anymore. On the other hand, if you were looking for amazing new art, peeks at the soon-to-be-revamped-again talent trees, or Garrosh's new model, May was a great month for you.The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. -- John Gilmore
Hunter beats Wrath of the Lich King I didn't think it was possible for someone to get every achievement point in the game, though Basil insisted, "This just proves the superiority of the hunter class."
Patch 3.3.5: PTR Battle.net Real ID system This was the first any of us had seen of the soon-to-come Real ID feature, and we thought it was a nifty feature as long as you knew a person in real life. "(Obviously), this is not something you want to do with someone you've only ever known in game," Gregg observed. Famous last words.
Battle.net will integrate with Facebook Maybe we should've seen this fiasco coming.
Jace Hall tackles media coverage of WoW addiction The frequent but often unacknowledged bugaboo of the WoW subculture -- the specter of addiction -- isn't always treated fairly or accurately by the media. Jace Hall took a frank look.
Blizzard to break the AVR mod in patch 3.3.5 AVR had popped up on the scene not long before, and most players only thought of it as a funny little mod that let you draw penises on the game world. More enterprising players quickly figured out that it could also be used to pinpoint the exact damage area of Malleable Goo on Putricide, and things snowballed from there. Developers cried foul.
Eyonix leaving Blizzard A sad day for many of us who had waited religiously for his posts.
Rage normalization in Cataclysm Hot on the heels of Rossi's argument that rage was broken (see past the cut), Blizzard announced an upcoming effort to "normalize rage" again for Cataclysm. I glossed the previous effort to normalize rage (in the beginning of The Burning Crusade) as follows:
No no no no no no no no! Lil' XT was plagued by a bug that vastly increased the range at which you could hear his emotes and vocalizations. Blizzard wound up having to disable them before more players threw themselves off cliffs in an effort to escape.Blizzard: We're normalizing rage.
Warriors: What does that mean?
Blizzard: It means that normally, you won't have any.
Warriors: ... oh.
Blizzard bans 320,000 Warcraft 3 and Diablo 2 players Blizzard started "cleaning house" (as Gregg termed it) on Battle.net in preparation for the release of Starcraft 2.
Cataclysm stat and system changes revealed The first sign of things to come.
Operation Gnomeregan: Transcript and details and Operation Echo Isles: Transcripts and details The Operation: Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall events were datamined long before they ever went live, and Gregg did the legwork to figure out what was going on.
Goon Squad downs Tirion Fordring Really, Goon Squad? Really? Though, as Sacco observes, there's a term for this you might as well start getting used to hearing -- "emergent gameplay."
WoW Insider's guide to WoW resources We decided to put together as comprehensive a listing of fan sites and WoW blogs as we could manage.
World of Warcraft Patch 3.3.3 release notes Patch 3.3.3 went live, and with it, the "greed only" policy on frost orbs that Mat had written about the previous month. PUG players everywhere breathed a sigh of relief.
Cataclysm earthquake mobs visible in Stormwind "Shaker" mobs were visible on several servers, a precursor to the earthquakes yet to come.
Paragon scores world-first heroic Lich King It took almost two months for a guild to get the heroic 25-man Lich King down.