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Posts with tag year-in-review

The Best of WoW Insider: September 2011

Curulan: Pigeon raid boss. I love it. GET ON THIS, BLIZZARD.

September was pretty much all patch 4.3, all the time. The PTR didn't actually go live until close to the end of the month, but we definitely made up for lost time when it did. Transmogrification thoughts still dominated the site's more idle discussion -- who doesn't love cool-looking gear? -- but art-related talk kicked into high gear once everyone saw the visual proc off the new rogue legendary. That would go on to provide one of December's better jokes.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: August 2011

Candida: Knitting Grandmas would be an awesome guild name.


Money, money, money, money. Money! August saw an avalanche of money and gold-related discussion as Blizzard announced that Diablo 3 would feature a real-money Auction House. Oh, and Blizzard registered Mists of Pandaria as a trademark, spurring an endless series of fights on what the hell was going on with that. And then it announced transmogrification and void storage, and we all forgot about pandas for a bit in the interest of farming old raids for some sweet-looking gear.

And holy mother of God, Drama Mamas was on a roll this month.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: July 2011

Rekon13: To make you look at other gearing options, we've decided to remove other gearing options.

July was a very busy month for the site. Patch 4.2 hit in late June and with it, the Molten Front, Firelands, and a slew of mechanics and policy changes for the game. The latter is something you'll see pop up in our news coverage quite a bit -- but for my money, the best news item from July 2011 concerned a theme park in China that was just too troublesome to license.

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The Best of WoW Insider: June 2011

Merry Christmas to all those of you who celebrate! June 2011 was a pretty patch-oriented month. 4.2 was still on the PTR, and we slowly wound our way through the content there, writing as we went. As with patch 4.1, it was a late entrant in the month it debuted, so you'll see most of our commentary from the live servers in July.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: May 2011

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.

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.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: April 2011

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.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: March 2011

Rai Yer a wizard, Harrypotterarthasdk.

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.

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.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: February 2011

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.

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

The Best of WoW Insider: January 2011

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.

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

Spiritual Guidance: The shadow priest of 2010 ... and 2011

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. With the shadow-specced Fox Van Allen once again in control of Spiritual Guidance, it's time for some New Year's resolutions. That means three things: spending more time at the gym, eating only low-fat gnomes, and destroying his holy-specced nemesis Dawn Moore once and for all.

Anyone who's read Spiritual Guidance knows I'm a sucker for nostalgia. And for someone who loves nostalgia, New Year's is the best time of the year. From Joel McHale to Joan Rivers, everyone gets a solid 30 minutes (21 minutes with commercials) to sum up an entire year in a series of tiny snippets.

Why? Because it's a great way to recap a year.

If you'll allow me a moment to reflect, here are a few of the things I learned in 2010:
  • Running out of mana is not fun, no matter how much Blizzard tries to convince us otherwise.
  • I talked about this a little around BlizzCon 2010, but it bears repeating: I have the most awesome fans. I'm talking about people like Leigh, who gave me a huge hug. And a T-shirt. And a subscription to her website.
  • Blizzard developers don't really get shadow priests 100%, but that doesn't mean they don't love us.
Don't believe that last point? Well then, today's column is for you. Shadow priests slowly evolved through 2010, transitioning from the proverbial red-headed step child of the Ulduar and ToTC days to something today that's -- dare I say -- pretty awesome. And there's some evidence that our best days aren't behind us. They're yet to come.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

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.

News

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.

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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.
News

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.

News

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.

News

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

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