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Posts with tag endofyear-2008

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)

WoW, Casually: Top 5 casual improvements in 2008


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime.

2007 truly was the year of the casual, but 2008 continued the trend of Blizzard developers to make more content accessible for those of us with limited playtime. The biggest patches for us (and everyone else) were 2.4 and 3.0.2. And there was that little expansion that happened. Overall, there is more for us to do in less time. Here is my list of the top 5 WoW improvements for us this past year.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW, Casually, Achievements

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The Year 2008


At this time last year, I wrote about the launch of The Burning Crusade and rage normalization as the big, defining change in the warrior class. Let there be no mistake. Even two years later I am still furious at rage normalization. I was so angry then that I picked normalization over expertise as the big change to the class, which in a way was fair, as it wasn't clear yet just how important expertise would be for both DPS and tanking warriors. At this point last year, I was a tanking warrior finishing up 10 man content and moving into 25 mans: I had just completed my first full ZA clear the week before, if I remember correctly.

Fast forward a year: I've gained 10 levels, I'm DPS, we've cleared all 10 and 25 man content and are waiting for Ulduar. The game has changed and I've changed substantially with it, my role, my play time, even my guild is different than it was a year ago. Rather than do what I did last year and focus on one change, let's take some time to look at 8 changes (yes, in honor of the year) that have really changed the warrior class. None of these changes is meant to be any more or less important. The first one I list isn't the ultimate change and neither is the last (well, technically yes, the last is the ultimate because that's what ultimate means, last, but you understand the colloquial meaning of the word) these are just eight very important (to my eyes, at least) changes to warriors that took place in the past year.

Now that we've stomped that explanation into the ground, let us discuss warriors in 2008.

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

Scattered Shots: New Year's Resolutions for Hunters and for Blizzard


Welcome to Scattered Shots! This week, your author has managed to take a break from lamenting that the stores about to stop selling eggnog to make a few Hunter-specific resolutions.

The New Year is considered by many people to be the time for a fresh start, a time to wipe the slate clean of past missteps, or just to make some changes to your life to make it even better. In that spirit, I'd like to propose some Hunter-related resolutions for both Blizzard and for Hunters in the spirit of promoting peace, harmony, and understanding in the new year for all Survivalists, Marksmen, and Beastmasters.


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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

15 Minutes of Fame: Where are they now?


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" – and neither did we, until we talked with these players. 15 Minutes of Fame profiled a whole host of World of Warcraft players last year, from multiboxers to disabled players and even people with the patience to build a Booty Bay entirely out of Legos.

So how have a year's time and a new expansion been treating our subjects? Some dove into Northrend with gusto. Many reported inspiring new developments and directions, stemming from the publicity they received here on 15 Minutes of Fame. Other players have stopped playing entirely.

We caught up with all but a handful of this year's interviewees for fresh updates. Click into our gallery, just below, to find out what they're doing today.

Filed under: Virtual selves, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Totem Talk: 2008, a Shaman Odyssey

Right now, as I type this I'm imagining Conan O'Brien's old "In the Year 2000" bit, which they kept doing way past 2000. This really has nothing to do with the shaman class, except that it's funny to imagine an orc in Earthshatter holding a searing totem to his face and doing it. Hey, it's New Years, I was up late, you're going to have to accept that my already tenuous grip on reality is a trifle frayed today.

2008 was an interesting year for shamans. When we covered 2007 for shamans, the general consensus for the class was that it needed some work. Now, a day into 2009, did it get the work it needed? Wrath of the Lich King has really only been out for over a month, but it (and the patch preceding it) more or less dominated the year for every class, shamans included. However, the year started off with another big content patch which more or less dominated everything up until the release of Wrath, namely Fury of the Sunwell. It's fair to say that most shamans didn't get to raid Sunwell (although they were in demand for Sunwell raiding guilds, which we'll discuss) but almost any shaman who was level 70 could do the various Sunwell dailies, get to exalted and pick up a nice necklace or three as well as various other pieces for your offsets.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider's predictions for 2009

Another year has come and gone, and we're on the verge of WoW's fifth year of existence. So it's time once again to look into the crystal ball, and pull out some predictions. Some of these are surefire (we're definitely going to hear more about the content patches for Wrath this year), some are tossups depending on who you ask (will we see another expansion in the works?), and some are just random guesses. But we're guaranteed one thing: 2009 is going to be a wild year, so if you want our very first insight on what might happen, here you go.

These are compiled from the WoW Insider staff -- we differed in a few places, and where we did, I've pointed out who thought what. Keep in mind that no one can predict the future, of course, so these are predictions, and that's all. By now we should all know that Blizzard will do all they can to keep us guessing. And feel free to put your own predictions (or just respond to ours in the comments below. Happy New Year -- here's to a great 2009!

Update: Also be sure to check out Big Download's PC predictions for 2009 -- they've got something to say about Blizzard's next expansion, too.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Classes, BlizzCon, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Encrypted Text: From brute to assassin, 2008 in review

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. In this special edition, we cover the top 10 changes of 2008.

We've been through a lot in 2008. I hit 70 on my current Rogue last January, and so I have paid keen attention to the patch notes and blue posts right alongside many of you. I was excited to reach the level cap on my blood elf; Rogues were at the height of their power. Season 3 and Season 4 of the arena season saw us demolishing every non-healing class in representation. None even dared to consider rivaling a Rogue with a pair of Glaives in any DPS contest.

However, due to Blizzard's hesitance to drastically change any balance issues before WotLK's release, we essentially had one PvE spec (20/41/0 Combat) and one PvP spec (20/0/41 Shadowstep). While there were always Rogues experimenting on the fringe with new specs, 90% of Rogues fell into one of these two buckets.

Both were brute force builds, designed to smash things with very slow maces or swords; and not even very creatively with that. We excelled in the arena due to our mobility and infinite energy pool, we ruled in PvE due to the overbudgeted weapons and leather in the Tier 6 dungeons. There was no finesse, no grace, no elegance outside of flashy moves (like vanishing a Death Coil). We were around to spam Sinister Strike until the boss died and spam Hemorrhage until the Druid finally ran out of mana.

WotLK has fixed all that. Read on as we cover the top 10 changes that helped us move from mindless button smashers into the deadly swans we have become.

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Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Classes, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Wrath of the Lich King

The Light and How to Swing It: Shine on! A 2008 review


What a great year 2008 has been for Paladins. While 3.0 overhauled the game in general, the class was retooled throughout the year, particularly Retribution, and became one of the most fun classes to play. In fact, Paladin popularity, while never a problem, rose incredibly. Even as I mourn the decline of Warlocks, I shudder at all the Paladins coming out of the woodwork like roaches. No, really, all the Paladins who have now specced Retribution because it's viable but can't break 1,400 DPS even with an epic 2-hander make me want to kick little kittens.

But never mind how I feel about that. The truth is that this is all good for the class, if not necessarily the game. I mean, did we ever dare dream that people would actually look for Retribution Paladins in trade or general chat? When you say you're a Retribution Paladin nowadays, nobody flinches. Nobody laughs. Nobody says, "haha, lolret." Or if they do, you Divine Storm their ignorant butts to kingdom come. Seriously, the most badass character in all of Wrath of the Lich King -- the one guy who spanked Arthas' sorry Death Knight butt -- is a Paladin. That feels pretty good. So, 2008. One heck of a year, wasn't it?

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Wrath of the Lich King

Blood Pact: How the mighty have fallen, 2008 in review


I wasn't kidding the last time I wrote about the decline of Warlocks in the game. It's pretty palpable in major cities like Dalaran, walking around and seeing a glut of Death Knights crowding the mailbox and only the occasional Warlock summoning her Dreadsteed to cruise the cobblestone streets. It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy (or sulfuric and crackly, you know) whenever I read an emote from Necrosis. I think it should be a point of pride. The class has fallen off the radar, and the sad part is -- nobody misses us.

How did we get here, though? What happened between the class' popularity or should I say notoriety, from early this year to now? I mean, 3.0 happened, right? Blizzard buffed the class, with all three specs having a unique feel and playstyle. The class has never been more viable... on paper. I mean, Warlock DPS is competitive in PvE and that's the plain truth. It's a different game now. All classes can DPS in Wrath, and if they're played right, they'll do incredibly well. This means that playing a Warlock is now seriously hard work.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Wrath of the Lich King

Priests: 2008 the year of change

That year flew by really quick, didn't it? Last year, I remember I was working my way through Tempest Keep (Kael'Thas even). 2008 brought in a complete set of additions and changes for the Priest class across all 3 specs.

So, shall we get down to Priest class changes? Ranked in no particular order, we'll go over a few of the changes and the impact they had on the current game.

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Undead, Trolls, Priest, Draenei, Blood Elves

BigRedKitty: Hunter-loot awards for 2008

Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.

2008 was the first year of "no Azeroth-raiding". No Molten Core, no Blackwing Lair, just Karazhan and beyond. Then Wrath of the Lich King came and gave us, not necessarily a new universe like Burning Crusade did, but an expanded and enhanced version of that which we all already knew.

And the hunter-loot flowed.

Say it with a very long O. Flooooowed.

By definition, Hunter-loot is just about everything in the game, except maces and plate armor. And sometimes we'll try to ninja that stuff too, just out of ignorance/spite/revenge/insanity. But no matter how you look at it, Zin'rokh the Destroyer of Worlds and Axe of the Gronn Lords aren't in this hunter-loot wheel-house discussion, if you catch what we mean.

Please join us in a rundown of the best pieces of honest-to-Elune hunter-loot of 2008. The loot doesn't need to be epic or powerful to make the list, but it does have to have some Significance.

What defines Significance? For our purpose, we're going to define it as: How much the gear affected our -- i.e, all hunters' -- lives. For example, very few hunters obtained the legendary bow from Sunwell, but that thing affected us all, didn't it.

So let the arguing and scoffing commence; here's the BigRedKitty awards for 2008 Hunter-loot.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Big Red Kitty

Shifting Perspectives: The Druid of 2008


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, our author is completely spaced out on cold medication, and is somewhat concerned that her raid performance has improved under the circumstances.

The time has come (the Allie said)
To talk of many things.
Of Roots and Bash and Travel Form,
And Strength (which scales with Kings).
Why Tauren cat form sucks so hard,
And whether trees have wings!

And, yes, before anyone asks, I'm tripping on too much cough syrup and ibuprofen after receiving a belated viral Christmas gift from a relative. So I'll just put this out there right now; this column's probably on the weird side. I took a long look at all three Druid specs over 2008 and saw a few sad things, a few happy things, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants, and now I'm channeling the famous Mary Tyler Moore episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust," and that has to stop because I do not believe Mary Tyler Moore ever played a Druid.

If you're completely uninterested in reading an account of any spec that's not your own -- although that would make me weep into my little cup of generic label cough syrup -- here's a set of quick links to each:

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, The Burning Crusade, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

World of Warcraft's top five political contributions of 2008


With World of Warcraft having the combined worldwide population of a small country, and the combined US population of a small state, people have been finding various ways to infuse their politics into the game. This can only be seen as a natural occurrence – people will naturally want to bring their out of game ideals into the game to express themselves.

We've covered various politically and socially minded groups in the past here and there. And with the end of the political season we've seen an increase in the number of political expressions in WoW.

Let's take a look back at the top five politically and socially relevant WoW thing-a-ma-jigs on the net in 2008.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

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