Posts with tag year-in-review
Our staffers and columnists went into overdrive preparing for patch 5.0.4 and the eventual release of Mists, so opinion/editorial work took a backseat to class preparation. However, we did find time for haikus, Tides of War, the MoP cinematic, and a little shopping.
MusedMoose: I stood in fire. / Everyone stood in fire. / It's an achievement.
TristanLeonard: No one remembers / Yor'sahj's name in my guild. / We call him "Skittles."
JeffLaBowski: Thank you, Olivia. / Now I'm counting all my words. / I ran out of beer.
metaphyzxx: I'm glad to be done / With this stupid expansion. / Bring on the pandas.
Docteurmi: Less QQ, more haiku.
Beta. Beta. Beta. And, weirdly enough, a lot of really good observational pieces on a very diverse set of subjects.
Nathanyel Warcraft: Moon Guard. Would rake in way more cash than that other Warcraft-inspired movie ...
Also, Olivia largely spent this month giving us no excuse whatsoever for ingame poverty.
Another busy, busy month. June 2012 was equal parts restrospective work on what Cataclysm had brought to the table, and looking ahead to Mists of Pandaria to see what would change.
This was also a period when real-life concerns intruded on the game world in a fairly unpleasant manner. You'll see what I mean past the cut.
The female pandaren dance was also revealed to be the Caramelldansen. Alex posted this. The video in that article's been taken down, so I've helpfully embedded an alternative above.
Beta, beta, and more beta ... and for some reason, an awful lot of completely random stuff this month. Seriously, there's no rhyme or reason to the array of one-off articles we wrote in April.
bim.shield.spec Cross-faction romance! They are star-crossed lovers, for certain ... Oh wait, never mind. Method is faction-changing to Horde.
Also, we got a new comment system. We thought that was pretty cool.
Mass Effect 3 was released on the 6th, which was just enough time for people to finish it and be really pissed off in time for the Mists of Pandaria beta, which hit on the 21st. Not surprisingly, beta coverage absolutely dominated everything else we did in this month. Rather than overload readers with an endless parade of it, I've tried to centralize our MoP coverage in our omnibus guide.
Ellyndia: Whenever I need to do something that might be scary or a little intimidating, I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and say to myself: "Time's up, let's do this." I have gotten a job using this method.
jazz.panther: My success with that method is only about 33.33% ... repeating of course.
After a few times around the block, the general "feel" of months like February 2012 becomes pretty familiar. The combination of aging raid content, an approaching expansion, and a lot of stuff going on with the business end of WoW combined for several weeks' worth of commentary on the meta-game and what was going on with Blizzard HQ. This was a month with a lot of interesting news, and it also turned out to be a fabulous time for Moviewatch and the arts scene.
Matt Rossi: I'm starting to think Neltharion was the tank for the dragon aspects' regular 5-man group.
For anyone out there who's new to the site, at the end of every year we run a retrospective series examining the last 12 months and the articles that best captured the zeitgeist of the player community. You'll find one of these published every day through the end of 2012, assuming we don't all vanish into the nether on Dec. 21 (which I am inclined to doubt, as bills are due and nobody's that lucky).
Marthazon: World of Warcraft is sort of like the French Foreign Legion of games when it comes to age. As long as you can do your part, it's rare for someone to ask "How old are you?"
2012 felt like a very introspective year for the game. Between the lack of a 2012 BlizzCon, Cataclysm's winding down, and the 9-month wait for Mists of Pandaria, players used the extra time to argue and probe into systems that most needed improvement. January was no exception, and this was a very chatty month for our staffers.
Happy New Year 2012, shadow priests! I rather love the holiday. Not necessarily because it gives my friends the opportunity to slap me in the face five times over the course of 30 minutes -- which this year, it absolutely did. It's because I love to reminisce. And now that 2011 is officially in the history books, I can finally look back at a really awesome year for shadow priests.
When we were standing here almost exactly one year ago doing our 2010 shadow priest year in review, there was a lot to talk about. We'd seen one expansion end and another expansion begin. But don't think that just because we "only had Cataclysm" that 2011 was a boring year. We learned a lot. For starters, we all learned:
- We learned that after a long period of neglect throughout Wrath, shadow priests not only did competitive damage in Cataclysm but, in multiple raid fights, were a chart-topping DPS spec.
- We learned that Tyler Caraway's crippling sense of neediness would lead him to move halfway across the country to literally live down the street from America's favorite shadow priest.
- We learned that we'd be getting pandas. Shadow pandas.
Sadly, I do not have a cool poem for this past year. 2011 was not a particularly poetic experience, and not just because I spent like two weeks of it without power or with trees on my house or with a new Maine Coon kitten that literally bit through my headphone wires, occasioning a small crisis on my end before I realized they were the cheap ones I got for like five bucks on sale somewhere. But still. If you're new to this tradition (four years running!), I spend the last few weeks of every year catching various illnesses from my relatives, mainlining cough syrup, and then stumbling to a computer to write a year in review column that the editors have to publish because they don't have anything else in the site queue.
So now, dear readers, I will take you on a small tour through the year that was. The other alternative is I take everyone on a run through Zul'Aman, but you'd be safer next to a Cub Scout with matches and poor impulse control, so we're not going to do that.
Oh, and if you care about this sort of thing:
- The druid of 2008 The first year I got sick and unwisely decided that a surfeit of cough syrup would allow me to finish a column on time.
- The druid of 2009 "The ridiculously-popular death knight was, in many ways, designed to counter the restoration druid, although I am hedging this somewhat by saying in many ways instead of definitely, and counter instead of annihilate."
- The druid of 2010 Letitia, the official fashion consultant and Snark Passenger to the Shifting Perspectives column, makes her second appearance to remind me that I am not a shirtless Christian Bale.
As I looked forward to this year last December, I wasn't sure holy paladins were going to survive 2011 in one piece. We were just learning to adapt to the three-heal model and figuring out how to manage our holy power properly, and I had serious doubts about our AoE healing and mastery bonus. Luckily, I was wrong, and we have thrived in Cataclysm. We started by focusing on our specialty, powerful tank healing, and then expanded to take over the raid healing role as the year progressed.
While holy power and the new healing model were the big topics of early 2011, AoE healing has clearly been the topic that defined this era in holy paladin history. Holy Radiance's first beta version, Healing Hands, was loudly trumpeted when the Cataclysm NDA was lifted. Light of Dawn's struggle to find a place in our arsenal has caused more lines of paladin patch notes than any other ability. Learning to AoE heal has been our biggest challenge this year but also our greatest success.
Just like last year, this December brings both new beginnings and endings. A new raid, with new toys, but the end of an expansion, with likely no significant changes to mechanics until the release of Mists of Pandaria. As we sit around the fire with mugs of cider, enjoying (or loathing) our new sweaters, let's take a moment to look back at the events of 2011. Those of you who have already set them on fire, feel free to follow along from outside. (Bad cat! Bad cat!)
Patch 4.0 blues
Let's face it: Life was not so hot in early Cataclysm for us ferals. It's long enough ago that it's hard to remember, but our AoE damage was just pathetic. Swipe hit so weakly that our best AoE strategies revolved around multiDoTing, which was quite difficult and even then wasn't very powerful. Heroic Maloriak really brought this out; feral was consistently the lowest DPS spec, a good 10% below the next spec and almost 50% below our fellow balance druids. While most of the balance issues are typically ironed out quickly, this one persisted for quite a while.Thankfully, our single-target damage was passable, but only just.
After patch 4.3 went live in late November, class columnists and commenters busied themselves with the new 5-mans and Dragon Soul raid. I think it's safe to say that Raid Finder problems have dominated December commentary. Players loved it as a feature, but they hated the various cheats that guilds used to get themselves to a four-piece tier bonus as quickly as possible, and they especially hated the outbreak of loot greed. More on this past the cut.
Bearheals: (on archaeology) The smallest distance between two points is a bunch of erratic zigzags.
That wraps up our look back at 2011, and I'm looking forward to a bright, happy, and hopefully less trees-falling-on-my-house-filled 2012, even if the world is apparently scheduled to come to a crashing halt next December. Happy New Year, everyone, and if you're out partying tonight, stay safe.
As with all BlizzCon-related months, October was jam-packed and probably the busiest month of 2011 for the site.
However, this bit of news belongs in a special category all its own: Hello and Goodbye. Dan O'Halloran, our fearless editor-in-chief and a mysterious figure who communicated largely through a series of lolcats, left to head up Tecca, and Alex Ziebart took the reins. Goodbye, farewell, and amen, Dan. By the way, the image you see above is Fox's response to Dan's email earlier this year about restarting the About the Bloggers series.