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.
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.
Opinions & Editorials
The design evolution of home life in the starting zones Technical and storytelling advances have made it possible to flesh out more fully-realized environments in the starting areas, giving newer players a much better sense of their chosen race's history and culture.
New hints of old gods in Vashj'ir The increasing information on the old gods' influence over Azeroth is more than a little disquieting. So just how far does the rot go?
Officers' Quarters: The guild achievement controversy Upset about the developers' nixing guild experience from achievements? Scott Andrews examined both the immediate and long-term impact.
The problems with Tol Barad and how to fix them It's incredibly difficult to win Tol Barad as an attacker and developers had to grant 1,800 honor for an "attacking win" in order to convince defenders to help throw the match. A comprehensive critique of Tol Barad's problems and suggestions on how they might be fixed.
Knowledge, newbies, and why kindness pays off "The easiest way for a player to get vital information is, and should be, to mess up."
Sexual dimorphism in Cataclysm Now there's a question; why the hell are worgen males so much larger than females given that both started out as humans?
The Lawbringer: Glider's neverending story We doubt we're going to see the end of this for a while.
New Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain's song Warriors of Azeroth Blizzard's in-house rock band, composed of such august personages as Samwise Didier and Mike Morhaime, debut a new song.
WoW Moviewatch: The Go Guy Story The Go Guy is one of the more famous among Wowcrendor's characters. Now we get to see how he got the way he did.
Classes, Raiding, and PvP
Blood Pact: A brief primer for the Cataclysm warlock Read this, and Zach will have you setting people on fire in no time.
The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A Cataclysm 101 guide for DPS Rossi particularly enjoyed writing this outing.
Blood Sport: Season 9 arena team composition predictions Colby tries his hand at precognition.
Totem Talk: Cataclysm 101 for elemental shaman Pewter's comprehensive guide to elemental shamanininining (I know how to spell it, I just don't know when to stop) in Cataclysm.
Shifting Perspectives: The unbearable suckhood of pugging Predictably, the dungeon finder's been a royal mess since the expansion hit, with some players insisting that Cataclysm heroics are too hard and others arguing that poor gear and spec choices are at the root of their problems. My take? Everybody's right and everybody's wrong.
The Art of War(craft): Winning Tol Barad Winning Tol Barad as an attacker is a nuisance at best and impossible at worst. Zach takes you through it.
Raid Rx: A healing retrospective Matticus took a look at some of his favorite posts from the past year and examined how they were representative of late Wrath healing. With a recent post by one of Paragon's druids on the forums concerning 25-man hard modes and a growing imbalance, there's going to be more news on this front soon.
Spiritual Guidance: The calculus of shadow priest hit in Cataclysm Fox got a few surprising -- well, maybe not so much so -- results in front of a heroic training dummy. Stat balance matters, folks.
Scattered Shots: Hunter year in review and predictions for next year Frostheim, like Colby, decided we could all use a crystal ball in our lives, and wrapped up 2010 for hunters with a few musings on what to expect in 2011.
Blood Sport: The 2010 arena recap A comprehensive look at arena and PvP news from this past year.
Odds & Ends
Gold Capped: Why deep undercutting on the auction house works Undercutting is simultaneously one of WoW's most loved and loathed practices; it's great to be the buyer getting a good deal, and it sucks to be the person whose products are suddenly overpriced. Basil looks at the logic behind it, why would-be monopolists are easy to undermine, and why it's not a good idea to think you know more than buyers do.
Thrall, Twilight of the Aspects to be Christie Golden's next novel Let speculation on Thrall as the new Aspect of Earth commence continue!
Know Your Lore: Garrosh Hellscream, part one and part two Garrosh is one of the more loathed additions to Warcraft lore, but this was good reading. Even an jackass has his reasons, I suppose.
The OverAchiever: The good, the bad, the ugly, and the weird So here's the thing about tier 7 raiding achievements -- a lot of them had a somewhat bizarre effect on the game.
Know Your Lore: A history of Gilneas The introduction to the worgen starting area is nice, but to get a really good sense of Gilnean perspective on world events, Horde aggression, and their place within the Alliance, you'll have to read Rossi's article.
All the World's a Stage: So you want to roleplay a goblin A wonderful look at the Ferengi of Azeroth, with a particularly interesting note concerning individual personalities among the goblins: "Goblins as a whole aren't really 'nice' or 'mean' -- they are whatever gets them the best reaction at the time."
15 Minutes of Fame: Player RP campaign inspires goblin NPC More people should know about the origins of Mida, Her Tallness.
Know Your Lore: Kul Tiras and the mystery of Tol Barad If you happen to be on the defending side of a match /dancing in the middle of the map, this makes a great educational read.
Gold Capped: The Undermine Journal may have to close down As mentioned in a previous edition of The Best of WoW Insider 2010, The Undermine Journal is now shuttered due to ongoing technical difficulties. The loss of free, fast, and high-quality information concerning server markets doesn't bode well for AH mavens.
Raid Rx: Reality check for heroic healing Matticus eschews critter-killing in favor of schooling indignant healers on Cataclysm heroics. In short -- they're supposed to be difficult, and they are not intended to be things you can waltz through with indifferent gear, bad strategy, or no forethought.
Gold Capped: Take the Mysterious Fortune Card house advantage "The honest, factual truth is that if you are gambling, someone is making money off you."
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!