Number 1: Patch 3.2
Of all of the big stories in 2009, it was patch 3.2 that reigned supreme. The Argent Tourney and its related instances and quests weren't expected at all before this year, and yet, at the end of the year, this is probably where most players ended up spending most of their time. 3.2 brought us a new 5-man and four versions of a new raid -- both normal and heroic modes for 10 and 25 people. It introduced the Isle of Conquest, a brand new battleground to fight in. This patch changed the mount levels, and perhaps most importantly for the future, it showed how Blizzard would update the Emblem system -- by providing us options to trade the various currencies for older levels of gear, as well as rewarding us with Emblems even just for running 5-man dungeons. And course it brought druids something they'd been hoping for since the beginning of the game: new forms.

In the end, it probably wasn't the best patch of 2009 -- lots of people wondered why we were fighting each other when Arthas was right there, and while lots of players ran Trial of the Crusader, it probably won't win any popularity contests against Ulduar or Icecrown Citadel. But nevertheless, it was a huge update to the game, with lots and lots of player interest, and coming as it did right in the middle of August, it was the biggest story of the year for us.

What will 2010 hold? Cataclysm is expected, and it'll definitely shake up the World of Warcraft. If the hints we've seen are any indication, Blizzard may hold another convention, and it might not even be in Anaheim. And as always, we'll definitely see some surprises. As the new class changes for the next expansion unfold, and new features are unveiled for the game (and players find their way to the end of Arthas' story), we can be sure to expect one thing in 2010: the unexpected.


This article was originally published on WoW Insider.

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