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Best of November 2009

Allison Robert

November saw the celebration of WoW's fifth anniversary, the introduction of the pet store, and a steady avalanche of news from the patch 3.3 PTR.

Drama Mamas: When a partner wanders astray
: The Drama Mamas answer one of their hardest and most unsettling questions.

Cataclysm: The exhaustive list of old-world changes (so far)
: Sacco goes over all the known information concerning upcoming zone and dungeon changes in Cataclysm with a fine-tooth comb.

Blizzard: Arenas were a mistake
: Blizzard's VP of game design says that arenas as they were implemented were probably not the best idea. Let a thousand comments bloom.

Blizzard launches real-money in-game pet store
: The destination for data-mined pets we'd seen earlier that had never materialized in-game is finally revealed -- Blizzard's selling them. The march to micro-transactions continues apace, and not everyone is happy about it.

Patch 3.3 PTR: Get a pug when you PUG
: The destination for the Perky Pug is also revealed, and players are somewhat happier about that, particularly after finding some of the pug's more interesting animations.

Arcane Brilliance: Mage leveling guide, the thrilling conclusion
: All of our class columnists were asked to update our leveling guides for Wrath, and Christian Belt accomplishes it with his usual aplomb (although, as he notes, six months from his conclusion here, he'll probably be at it again).

Create a account or don't play anymore
: The rollover to is complete this month; Sacco goes bare-bones with the title.

Encrypted Text: Armor penetration and the crit cap demystified
: Chase gets pelted with questions concerning +armor pen for rogues, and goes back on the theorycrafting warpath to unravel and explain one of the most complicated of WoW's current mechanics.

The OverAchiever: Twenty-five tabards
: Tabards are one of the few ways players can directly customize their look in the age of gear consolidation (well, apart from...wearing something different, though raid leaders rarely encourage this). We show you how to get another tabard option by completing the Twenty-Five Tabards achievement.

Scientists study how the brain thinks about personal avatars
: Dartmouth researchers discover what many WoW players already knew -- "You think about your avatar the same way you think about yourself."

Totem Talk: Shaman itemization resists a clever title
: Rossi starts to analyze upcoming gear drops and stat allocation for shamans. Admits, "I hate doing gear lists."

Breakfast Topic: Would you ninja the Onyxia mount?
: Most say no. The rest? Well, now we have their names.

Scrubby McDouche and his army of excuses
: C. Christian Moore has had it with the players he keeps running across in PvP whose unifying characteristic is that nothing is ever their fault.

15 Minutes of Fame: Vive la resistance
: Another fantastic installment of 15 Minutes. Not only was Lisa's talk with Aleksey of US Cho'gall-A a great interview in itself, but it also brought some much-needed attention to the problems created by crushing faction imbalance.

The OverAchiever:
One of our most popular non-holiday OverAchievers, covering the supposedly "past glories of Azeroth" that aren't really past at all.

Ready Check: You're fired
: Solid Ready Check on how to do a very, very difficult thing. Forget L2P -- it's how to manage people competently that distinguishes a great raid leader from a passable one.

Blood Pact: Meet the minions, part 3
: Hobbs has been schooling readers on the many abilities of the different warlock pets, and in this outing players were surprised to learn just how many options are available with a little elbow grease and a few macros.

WoW's 5th anniversary: Our writers' memories
: 5 years of WoW, and for many of our writers, 5 years of memories.

WoW Moviewatch: Among the Badger Men
: One of Moviewatch's best and funniest features all year, indirectly confirming my internal rule that, if anyone from The Grind is involved, it's going to be hilarious.

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!

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