Matt Rossi: I'm starting to think Neltharion was the tank for the dragon aspects' regular 5-man group.
After a few times around the block, the general "feel" of months like February 2012 becomes pretty familiar. The combination of aging raid content, an approaching expansion, and a lot of stuff going on with the business end of WoW combined for several weeks' worth of commentary on the meta-game and what was going on with Blizzard HQ. This was a month with a lot of interesting news, and it also turned out to be a fabulous time for Moviewatch and the arts scene.
Blizzard laying off 600 staff globally (updated) Blizzard cut 600 positions, most of them non-development and none of them related to World of Warcraft. Commenters speculate that the company's astronomical growth over a relatively short period of time led to bloat in management and support staff. We hope everyone landed on their feet.
Opinions and Editorials
Ol' Grumpy and the specter of pointless elitism The beginning of this article is so good that I'll repeat it: "(I) have a bit of a problem. (I've) started tanking for pickup groups lately. I guess technically that means I have two problems, but doctors probably can prescribe some medication or something for white-hot eruptions of seething rage. I'm starting to think Neltharion was the tank for the dragon aspects' regular 5-man group."
What I want to see from Mists of Pandaria PvP The developers had advertised a major return to inter-faction hostility in MoP, and Olivia was going to hold them to it. If PvP's going to be a central focus of an expansion, she points out, it shouldn't be among the least efficient ways to level and gear a character.
A priest's guide to class romance Dawn and Frostheim had kicked around the idea of doing a class horoscope column, but never got around to it. Dawn cannibalized the material and went for broke. Notable for its advice that dating fellow priests is essentially a form of incest, that mages can easily be exploited for portals, and that hunters may feign more than death.
Scattered Shots: 5 things other classes can learn from hunters "Whether it's your mouse or the keyboard of a voice-activated "GTFO of the fire!" command, the most powerful damage reduction ability in the game is to suck it up and just move out of the way, even if that means interrupting a cast (which, admittedly, we don't have to do -- ever)."
Dragon Soul nerfs There was a lot of disagreement even among staffers as to whether Blizzard's nerfs to Dragon Soul were good for the game. Adam thought so: Desmond wasn't so sure.
Encrypted Text: No'Kaled makes its claim for the throne The three rogue specs didn't get equal use from Fangs of the Father, and combat players found themselves in the middle of a lot of complicated math to figure out which version of which weapon would do them the most good. Chase walks you through it, but admits, "I hate that there are weapons that are even in the same ballpark as the legendary daggers."
I write about dragons on the internet, Dad Anne's lovely piece on explaining WoW and her WoW Insider gig to her family mirrors the experience a lot of our staffers have had. As Sacco once said, sometimes it's just easiest to say you're a journalist and omit that the subject matter is elves. Josh runs with the theme and argues that the admission of being a gamer bears a few similarities to coming out as gay. How to transmogrify your clothie into High Inquisitor Whitemane Transmogrification was still pretty new in February, and we couldn't help but notice that plate-wearers (with access to every armor class in the game) had things a little easier than others. Dawn decided to rectify this with a guide to looking like one of the game's most popular NPCs.
Addons that you wish were still around The comment section is a pretty instructive look at the weird emotional attachments we tend to form with little bits of code. Oh, and people really miss Mazzle, AVR, and Cartographer, even if elements of them have migrated elsewhere.
2012'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!