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The best of WoW Insider: May 2012

Allison Robert

May saw Diablo 3's release on the 15th, the Avengers, a sudden exodus of staffers from their posts, and another avalanche of Mists of Pandaria beta news as the editors dragged people back with a slew of threats and bribes.

The female pandaren dance was also revealed to be the Caramelldansen. Alex posted this. The video in that article's been taken down, so I've helpfully embedded an alternative above.

The best of WoW Insider May 2012

WoW Insider's Weekly Recap, now featuring TradeChat's Panser Bringing Panser onboard to recap our coverage was a no-brainer. The inaugural video recap saw a crush of comments.

Mists of Pandaria: Sunwalker Dezco for Warchief MoP has been blessed with an array of interesting NPCs, and Dezco is among the more popular questgivers. Then again, he might just be the default "sane" pick from an array of increasingly off-the-rail crazies in the Horde, and we're concerned about who's going to lead it next.

Blizzard's Versailles office adorned with infested Kerrigan statue Suck on that, Irvine branch.

Blizzard and Valve settle DOTA dispute, Blizzard DOTA officially Blizzard All-Stars Was this as confusing to you as it was to me? Read Mat's Lawbringer column on the issue and all will be made clear.

Mists of Pandaria: Meet the new faces of SI:7 Alex ventures onto the beta in search of Stormwind's band of cutthroats and assembles a photographic guide to the SI:7 agents accompanying Alliance players to Pandaria. Perhaps most interesting is the addition of the first draenei to the service. Hmm.

Letter from the Editor: Diablo 3 launch coverage Diablo 3 went live at midnight on May 15, and seeing as to how all of our staffers would be abandoning WoW to fight evil in Sanctuary anyway, we felt we'd be doing readers a disservice if we didn't cover it. Knowing that a lot of readers weren't here for Diablo coverage, Alex had all non-Diablo articles specially tagged in the interim for WoW purists so you didn't have to read about world-firsts or anything else.

The best of WoW Insider May 2012
Opinions and Editorials

4 lessons from 5 years of Officers' Quarters Scott's column celebrated its fifth anniversary with notes on what he'd learned writing it. In short:
  1. Lead with an edge.
  2. Loot drama isn't really a big deal.
  3. The smartest thing you can do as an officer is to train your replacement.
  4. You can actually control very little.
When beta taps the life out of affliction Megan hit the PTR to study how the nerfs to warlock self-healing had panned out. This is less a warlock piece than a quiet commentary on why fixing a class' overpowered mechanic may not actually solve the underlying problem, and may in fact make things worse -- much, much worse.

14 alternatives to "clunky" for describing rotations Gray was exasperated with the unimaginative insults hurled at developers' efforts on the forums and went to work with a thesaurus. The Inuits may have 50 words for snow, but gamers now have 14 words for bad.

Fire stolen from heaven, fire stolen from hell We have met the enemy, and they is us.

Now approaching two years of Real ID -- did it work? Kurn had run an interesting post on her decision not to use it, and Anne dug into how people used Real ID, why, and what the system still lacked -- namely, the option to remain invisible.

Expanding endgame choices: How Mists of Pandaria changes everything "If anything, I understated this," said Rossi on the team line. Why design diversity and an array of things you don't have to do is a good thing.

Arts and Entertainment

WoW Moviewatch: Wable 4 How did I not know about this series earlier? A brilliant send-up of all things WoW, and an equally brilliant spoof of dumb romantic comedies and Richard Attenborough-narrated nature documentaries.

WoW Moviewatch: The Panda Exterminator NEW OXHORN. In other words, watch it.

Around Azeroth: A ship in a bubble A bored shaman in Dragon Soul decides to try casting Far Sight off the side of the airship. A very strange but very cool screenshot is the result.

WoW Moviewatch: The day after the Cataclysm ended Myndflame's take on the scenes you don't see after you take your loot and get the hell out of the Maelstrom.

WoW Moviewatch: Night Elf ERP Words fail me.

WoW Moviewatch: Stuff WoW Hipsters Say "If you need addons to raid, you suck. Hey, can you link the DPS for that fight?" We also liked Slightly Impressive's Loading screen tips that should have been.

The best of WoW Insider May 2012
Classes, Raiding, and PvP

Scattered Shots: Hunter transmogrification inspiration An absolutely stellar guide to making your hunter look as cool as possible. Granted, you'd look cooler if you just rolled a druid, but you know ... baby steps.

Reddit user wins AV like a real champion Is it sad that so many of us thought this was newsworthy?

Arcane Brilliance: Going back to the future with Alter Time "If you cast the spell before jumping off a ledge, 6 seconds later, you'll find yourself right back up on that same ledge ... if you're still alive, of course. The spell cannot rez you. Being dead negates your ability to travel through time -- which is the same reason the Terminator had to dress up in Arnold Schwarzeneggar's skin before it could try to kill Sarah Connor."

Keys to PvP: Keybinding, movement, and clicking An excellent column by Olivia on what's probably the single most serious impediment to success in PvP. Take the time to train yourself into doing this, folks. Your lifespan in battlegrounds and arena will thank you.

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The fury of Diablo 3 The Diablo barbarian isn't a half-bad model for its WoW counterpart, the warrior. How about a little judicious stealing? Chase wound up coming to the same conclusion about rogues' learning a trick or two from the Diablo monk.

Shifting Perspectives: Honey cat don't give a ... "Take a look at your cat. Now look at me. Now back at your cat. Now back at me. Sadly, your cat isn't me, but if you stopped playing that silly rogue and switched to feral, you could have a cat that looked like me. Look down, back up -- where are you? You're on a boat with an armored cat, the cat your cat could look like. What's in your hand? Back at me. I have it -- it's a clam with patch notes declaring ferals to be epic. Look again; the notes are now the tears of all the classes who wish they could look like me. Anything is possible when you roll feral. Forget horses; I'm a stag."

Blood Pact: Those who are not afraid to wield power Megan takes the opportunity to issue a public service announcement to warlock players everywhere: You're not a nice person, goddammit.

Encrypted Text: Should all rogues use daggers? Chase didn't think so, but he had to admit the argument had its attractions.

Level 90 druid talents take a level in badass: Shapeshifting breaks roots again "So compared to other classes, level 90 is not an exciting time to be a druid. The first two choices make you better at stuff you aren't doing, and the third is like going to a car dealership and paying extra to get a radio installed while death knights are tooling around the lot shouting, "Hey baby!" from a Bugatti Veyron."

The best of WoW Insider May 2012
Odds and Ends

Know Your Lore: A look at the lore of Diablo If you're new to Sanctuary and don't know who you're slaughtering or why, Rossi has you covered.

Avengers Assemble! Transmogrify your own superhero team The Avengers had had its U.S. release roughly a week before, and when we finally rousted staffers out of the local movie theater, we chained Anne to a laptop and told her to come up with transmogrification sets for Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, and Captain America.

WoW meets League of Legends: Transmogrify your hunter into an AD carry Dawn, too, was on another transmog kick in May, and wrote a guide to costuming your character as Graves or Ashe.

5 hidden hangouts for roleplayers in Mists of Pandaria Admit it -- you didn't know about all of these places even now. Oh, and if you're looking for less enclosed spaces, try these.

The Azeroth Ethicist: Cheating (or not cheating) the roll system WoW plays host to some weird rationalization at times, and never more so than when loot is involved. I think almost everyone has encountered the issue in this article, and it was interesting to watch gangs of players in the Raid Finder rolling for items just to keep them away from people they thought didn't deserve them. Blizzard creates systems: Players find the holes.

Drama Mamas: When marital troubles are played out ingame "The entire situation here is a nest of whispering, of implications, of passive-aggressive nitpicking and tiptoeing around feelings. That must all stop." Whenever I read Drama Mamas columns, it's impossible not to be reminded that the overwhelming majority of your ingame problems have nothing to do with the game itself.

The OverAchiever: Which feats of strength can you still get? The past glories of Azeroth, still very much in the present!

How I learned to love tanking again "By tanking," said Rossi.

A veritable Zarhym of references in Diablo 3 We were amused at the array of Blizzard-related injokes, including the ready-for-slaughter bunch of Dataminers.

If you enjoyed this article, you might get a kick out of our Best of 2009, Best of 2010, and Best of 2011 series.

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!

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