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Posts with tag wow-insider-2010-best-stories

The Best of WoW Insider: December 2010

The expansion went live, and in short order became the fastest-selling PC game of all time. We were too busy playing it to write anything, though.

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 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.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: November 2010

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.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: October 2010

BlizzCon, BlizzCon, BlizzCon! October revolved around the events and revelations of the annual Blizzard convention ... not that there were a lot of revelations this year. Oh well, we still had fun. This was another month with a ton of articles devoted to straight news reporting, but patch 4.0.1 and the annual Hallow's End holiday also went live. Unfortunately for players, so did a nasty little bug related to the holiday boss.

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.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: September 2010

While drafting this outing of The Best of WoW Insider 2010, I realized that Chase's The Light and How to Swing it: Why is the mana gone? was accidentally slapped into the May 2010 edition. Whoops. It's really supposed to be here, so I've engaged in a little cut-and-paste.

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?

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

The Best of WoW Insider: August 2010

Beta news started to come in at the approximate pace of an avalanche this month, so we devoted a lot of time to straight news reporting that'll probably feel a bit dated now that the expansion's gone live. We've selected the more timely bits.

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."

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

The Best of WoW Insider: July 2010

Two words: Real ID.

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 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.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: June 2010

A Merry Christmas to all those of you who celebrate! Today we're going to tackle June 2010, which was a relatively slow month for us. The Cataclysm beta was in full swing at that point, but most of our staffers didn't yet have keys. Raid content on the live servers got a slight boost with the introduction of the Ruby Sanctum, but apart from that, this was largely a month's worth of waiting on beta news and examining what Wrath's legacy would be to the game. Incidentally, it was a great month for The Lawbringer column.


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.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: May 2010

The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. -- John Gilmore
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.


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 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. 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.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: April 2010

April was another busy month here. An increasing number of players finished Icecrown Citadel, and Cataclysm news sped from a trickle to ... well, I'm not sure I'd describe it as a gush, but we saw the earliest planned class changes and a series of announcements on altered mechanics. Oh, and we also briefly turned the site into Twilight Insider for April Fool's, and Blizzard debuted the famous "sparkle pony."


Eyonix leaving Blizzard
A sad day for many of us who had waited religiously for his posts.

Rage normalization in
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:
Blizzard: We're normalizing rage.
Warriors: What does that mean?
Blizzard: It means that normally, you won't have any.
Warriors: ... oh.
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 bans 320,000 Warcraft 3 and Diablo 2 players
Blizzard started "cleaning house" (as Gregg termed it) on in preparation for the release of Starcraft 2.

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

The best of WoW Insider: March 2010

With more players reaching the Lich King and "finishing" the expansion (although I wouldn't have suggested saying that to anyone toiling on the Icecrown Citadel drakes), the community turned a little more of its attention to the future. The community's appetite for all things Cataclysm was in no way sated by the trickle of expansion information in this period, and more and more of our writers began to speculate on possible changes.


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.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: February 2010

January was a busy month for us, but February was still busier. Players were getting deeper into Icecrown CItadel, the Lich King encounter became available, and controversy swirled over who really got the world first.


Ensidia scores world-first 25-man Lich King kill
As expected, Ensidia got the world-first 25-man Lich King kill -- and then a 72-hour ban for the use of saronite bombs. Turns out the bombs were bugging the encounter and rendering the val'kyr spawns a non-issue by causing the outer portion of the Frozen Throne's platform to reassemble. "It is a longstanding tradition for end bosses to be exploited in the most hilariously awful of ways," Alex shrugs.

Debunking another hacked authenticator story
An article surfaces on The Consumerist claiming that a hacker removed an authenticator from an account. Robin doubts this assertion can be taken at face value.

Man-in-the-middle attacks circumventing authenticators
Account security woes continued with yet another trick by hackers to bypass the layers of security surrounding a WoW account.

How to tell if a GM is whispering you Robin's war against the scammers continues with an instructive piece on how to avoid one of the newer phishing scams that sent players to bogus websites over a fake GM's whisper.

Winter Olympics 2010: Ghostcrawler promised me a moose
The "Ghostcrawler promised me a (X)" meme kicked into high gear after an attendee at the Stephen Colbert rally in Vancouver made his presence felt. WoW players (and Blizzard) were amused.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: January 2010

As with last year, our editors have asked us to put together a list of what we considered the year's best stories. As of now, there are 12 days until the end of the year, so we thought it'd be fun to do another end-of-year countdown showcasing a different month each day. We hope you'll enjoy a selection of WoW Insider's best and most insightful, funny, and thoughtful stories from 2010. We also took the liberty of including articles that best captured the zeitgeist of Wrath of the Lich King in its waning arc.

January 2010 wasn't a quiet month for us. Players were just about a month into Icecrown Citadel, and the still-new dungeon finder was keeping even non-raiders thoroughly occupied. Patch 3.3 had been enthusiastically received ("Great patch or greatest patch?" as we asked at the time), but we were seeing the first glimmer of social changes wrought by the dungeon finder and continuing problems with account security.


Man forced to choose between his wife and his orc Really, this is the sort of philosophical conundrum that might have occupied Aristotle in an earlier age.

Blizzard giving serious consideration to mandatory authenticators The number of hacked characters seemed to peak in late 2009/early 2010, and Blizzard had a few ways to deal with it -- including giving players the option of not actually restoring a hacked character. Alex wrote a counterpoint article with a few observations concerning the sheer scale of the problem.

Beware of WoW Armory phishing scams Robin had spent much of the previous year battling scammers and had no intention of stopping.

Bobby Kotick didn't think Blizzard was worth 7 million in 1996 Oh, how swiftly things change. Though, as commenters pointed out, he may not really have been wrong at the time.

Help! My account has been hacked We received so many complaints about hacking, phishing, and scamming that Robin wrote a straightforward article on how to handle it if you were among the unfortunate victims. In 8 months, Blizzard wound up automating the process.

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

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