April rolled around, and so did patch 3.1 and Ulduar -- a huge, all-encompassing raid experience that pitted you against Titanic creations and Yogg-Saron, distant cousin of C'thun. Later in the month, a revamped Noblegarden went live to howls of protest from players who found all of their egg spawns camped, and we got some unsettling news that someone was one-shotting Ulduar bosses.
A video guide to Grid: Grid is one of the best all-around mods you can use, but fairly intimidating to configure. Paxxz of Feathermoon walks you through it with a great video guide.
BRK fans post a good-bye: In the early part of the year, we lost both Phaelia and Big Red Kitty to RL demands. BRK fans put together a good-bye video for everyone's favorite Dwarf hunter. /salute BRK.
Are we being teased about the next expansion?: Swing and a hit!
Why we should expect an expansion announcement at BlizzCon: Another swing and a hit!
Officers' Quarters: Want loot? Buy us a server: Bribery -- the thinking-man's way to get ahead. Or not.
PETA to hold WoW rally to protest seal slaughter: PETA makes inroads into WoW. Players are not sure what this is meant to accomplish with ingame animals respawning like clockwork.
Official Ulduar cinematic revealed: This may or may not have been described as "so stuffed with win that pieces of win are dribbling out of it into little win puddles and spilling over into the Sewer of Awesome." Now with new, non-craptastic looks for major faction leaders! Player base wonders if this courtesy can be extended to their own characters.
Classy dual specs guide: Each of our class columnists wrote a guide to dual-speccing your own toon and the merits of particular combinations.
Varian Wrynn is right: Fantastic lore piece by Daniel Whitcomb on why the long-vanished king of Stormwind is so misunderstood. We generally think it's a bad idea to confine so much character motivation and backstory to comics and books more players will never see.
Activision-Blizzard is not Blizzard: Sacco brings some much-needed sanity to the discussion surrounding the corporate entity now known as Activision-Blizzard, and also lent a valuable insider's view of how the changeover impacted the people actually working for Blizzard.
Player receives developer item in the mail, one-shots Ulduar: We weren't sure what to make of this story about a player using a developer item to roflstomp Ulduar (then spanking new raid content) when we first started getting tips about it, but after some detective work on Alex's part, it became apparent it was true. Alex also figured out how it probably happened, and Lesley Smith interviewed the player at the center of it all.
15 Minutes of Fame: Dislocated but not disconnected (part 1) and (part 2): Lisa's 2-part interview with Lileya of EU-Lightbringer, a player who has to work through the myriad problems created by Ehlers-Danlos syndrome in order to play, struck a chord with many of readers.
Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect: "People are relentlessly rational...(and they) are quick to notice, evaluate, and adopt the most efficient means of character advancement." Given that Blizzard's design decisions have such an impact on social interaction ingame, how do they get the results they want?
2009's drawing to a close, and we're wrapping up the most interesting articles we've published all year, one day at a time. Join us every day for the next twelve days with this year's best of WoW.com!