Opinions and editorials
Officers' Quarters: In defense of guild talents
Blizzard had just announced the cancellation of Path of the Titans and the guild talent system. Scott -- someone who'd seen soul- and guild-destroying drama bots like Immortal
, rare drop raid mounts, and the 5 > 10 > 25 raid progression of The Burning Crusade
-- wasn't entirely sure that the stated reasons for the scrapping of the talent system are valid.
Wrath retrospective: Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader, part one
and Wrath retrospective: Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader, part two
Mat looked at the good and bad developments of WoW
's patch 3.1 and 3.2 raid content. Ulduar got very high marks from players, but ToC got a somewhat middling reaction.
Wrath retrospective: Lore and the art of storytelling
Anne, one of our resident lore columnists, turned a critical eye to what worked and what didn't with Blizzard's efforts to make the game a more immersive experience.
Wrath retrospective: What we learned from death knights
Tyler went through the death knight class with a fine-toothed comb, examining the class' impact on tanking, DPS, and PvP. He offered what I thought was particularly cogent commentary on the difficulty of balancing a class designed to tank from any of its three talent trees, and it's not surprising that Blizzard wound up abandoning the idea.
The Lawbringer: Why you'll never buy gold from Blizzard
There are a number of commonsense reasons for Blizzard not to sell gold, but Mat dug into some of the legal and financial realities of gold acquiring value in the real world.
The Lawbringer: The history of Blizzard and MDY (Glider)
and The Lawbringer: MDY vs. Blizzard Q&A
Amy took readers from the beginning of the Glider (a botting program specifically designed to bypass Blizzard's Warden software) controversy through its end, answering questions on why the lawsuit happened and what Glider had cost Blizzard for the years it had battled to get the botting program shut down.
Arts and entertainment
WoW Moviewatch: Avatar Days
The intensely thoughtful trailer to the documentary Avatar Days
with a particularly moving end. As we've observed on WoW Insider previously, how you think about your character tends to reflect how you think about yourself.
15 Minutes of Fame: Film pros shoot raiding lifestyle documentary
Blood Legion is still on the warpath for a world-first in Cataclysm
. This story has by no means ended.
Classes, raiding, and PvP
Raid Rx: Is addon-less healing possible?
Addons have long been a sore point with healers, who've observed that the default Blizzard raid frames aren't great for the role. Matticus broke it down by what you need and where you need it. Blizzard would later revamp the default raid frames for Cataclysm
, incorporating a few features seen in addons like Grid and Vuhdo.
Spiritual Guidance: Soloing 5-man content the shadow priest way
Tanks? We don't need no stinkin' tanks. Fox attempts to prove that shadow priests are as awesome "as five other players put together."
Spiritual Guidance: For the love of Lightwell
Lightwell was one of the most routinely mocked talents in the game, and even in June, as many as 83 percent of holy priests didn't take the talent. Dawn argued that players weren't thinking hard enough about the contexts in which it could be used. Also, sandwiches.
Shifting Perspectives: Fun with race choice
Allie press-ganged a more fashion-conscious friend to comment on the druidic possibilities of some decidedly non-druidic races. Features commentary on woodland animal gunshot wounds, Stalinist realism, and "the hippie orc movement," as Lissanna of Restokin termed it.
The Art of War(craft): Surviving battleground PUGs
Zach, our resident battleground junkie, has always been an excellent source of advice for even the newbiest of newbies encountering their first bits of PvP. An incomparable guide to surviving that perennial source of endless frustration -- the battleground PUG.
WoW Rookie: Popping for Power
This was something I always thought more useful than it might outwardly appear. When and how to use Bloodlust/Heroism to its best advantage isn't just determined by fight conditions -- how to get the most out of it is a question with no consistent answer across different classes and specs.
Drama Mamas: The curious case of That Guy vs. the spineless jellyfish
Most people have had this happen at least once or twice if they've played for any length of time. It's another reminder that raid leading's difficulty doesn't primarily lie in the encounters themselves, but how you develop, empower, and deal with people.
Blood Sport: Griefers in arena
There is no end to humanity's inventiveness when guns, gold, or glory is on the line -- or in WoW
's case, just bragging rights.
Odds and ends
All the World's a Stage: Four ways to know you've jumped the shark
Not just for Fonzie anymore!
Gold Capped: GDKP raiding for fun and profit
One of the more interesting sociological trends during Wrath
was the growth of the GDKP -- or "gold bid" -- raids. While a common practice on Asian servers for years, it's only just begun to make inroads into Western servers.
Know Your Lore: The vrykul
The ancestors of humanity, in vivid and exquisitely violent life.
2010'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 Insider!