With more players reaching the Lich King and "finishing" the expansion (although I wouldn't have suggested saying that to anyone toiling on the Icecrown Citadel drakes), the community turned a little more of its attention to the future. The community's appetite for all things Cataclysm was in no way sated by the trickle of expansion information in this period, and more and more of our writers began to speculate on possible changes.
Is there a place for MMO magazines? Zach had subscribed to the World of Warcraft magazine but hadn't failed to notice the constant delays in its arrival -- or the disadvantage of print media in an increasingly digital world.
What happened to Tour Guide? "There have been many addon stories that will live through World of Warcraft's history and beyond, as cautionary tales, expressions of visions or the refinement of a segment of the MMO genre that, rapidly, is becoming the norm in most games. Tekkub's TourGuide is going to be, if it is not already, one of those stories."
Raid Rx: A history of organizational healing Relatively new players are often unaware of the hijinks pulled in older raids that allowed healers to beat the content. Shifting Perspectives: Tanks and the barrier to entry An examination of why tanks queue and why they don't. I almost wish I'd saved this topic for the Cataclysm launch given the flood of complaints related to astronomical queues in the dungeon finder. "Some of the (tank shortage problems) are the result of deliberate design choices on Blizzard's part, but the larger share is the consequence of a playerbase that needs tanks but is (ironically) hostile to beginners ... Be kind to your newbie tanks, my fellow players. At some point down the line, the time you save may be your own."
Blood Pact: Be a raider, not a robot "If you do pull aggro and have the boss come over to you, try and shatter while stood next to a mage. It may not help prevent a wipe but nobody will really mind as the hilarity will make it all worthwhile."
Odds & Ends Know Your Lore: The Netherwing With Deathwing's reemergence, it pays to know about some of his loose ends in Outland. The Netherwing have a surprisingly affecting history. If you've got one of the mounts, this will make you appreciate it all the more. Sociologists using WoW to predict the future of human civilization William Bainbridge's The Warcraft Civilization was published by MIT Press in March. The author had an interesting interview in which he noted that the Holy Light was understood by players to be a fantasy but "necessary to appreciate the game" -- and that this may be a model for humanity in a post-religious future. WoW Rookie: Essential WoW terminology in other languages A fabulous idea, particularly for those of us who play on realms or battlegroups with a significant population of players speaking different languages: How do you say "Let the tank pull" in Czech, Spanish, or Korean? Drama Mamas: Suicide threats A very serious Drama Mamas concerning an issue only tangentially affected by the game itself. Is it fair to have to deal with life-and-death issues raised by someone you barely know? No. But is it something you should realistically expect to do at some point in your life? Yes. 15 Minutes of Fame: Beating WoW is in sight for world-class achiever You'll be hearing from this player again in two months ... Breakfast Topic: Suffer, mortals, as your pathetic eardrums betray you Anne Stickney nails why Sindragosa quickly rose among the ranks of WoW boss memes, which is unusual given her capacity to betraaaAAAAaaaAAAAaaaAAAAaaaaAAAAaaaaAAAAaaaay 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!