bengeibe: As a fan of metal, I can't fathom what could possibly be offputting about the imagery in this video. All I see is pure awesome.
AleisterHyde: As not a fan of metal, my ears hurt.
Another busy, busy month. June 2012 was equal parts restrospective work on what Cataclysm had brought to the table, and looking ahead to Mists of Pandaria to see what would change.
This was also a period when real-life concerns intruded on the game world in a fairly unpleasant manner. You'll see what I mean past the cut.
Mat McCurley and Kelly Aarons say goodbye to WoW Insider /salute to both, who are sorely missed. This is Mat's final Lawbringer, and this is Kelly's final comic. I've had to cheat a bit by bumping the final Safe Passage to our June 2012 article rather than April when it originally ran. I still hold out hope of finding out what happened with Ash'gor's story.
Google maps reaches WoW, part one and part two A surprisingly addictive set of sites and projects has sprung up mapping Azeroth using Google's API. Don't click these unless you've got some time on your hands.
Cross-realm play and the rise of the funsucker Robin points out that cross-realm zones replicate the most problematic element of the Dungeon Finder, which is the total lack of accountability on the part of "fun-sucking" players who can simply disappear back to their own servers.
The bounty of Cataclysm Rossi wasn't convinced the Cataclysm naysayers, and argued that the expansion did a lot more for players than they're typically willing to credit. Personally, I think Cataclysm needs to be seen as a "transitional" expansion and something that Blizzard arguably had to do at some point during WoW's lifespan.
What exactly is up with women in Warcraft lore? A sobering analysis of the relative lack of compelling female figures in the Warcraft mythos. It's not that they're not there -- it's that the women who are present in the lore are almost always poorly developed or wind up becoming "barnacle" characters for their male counterparts. Jaina seems to be the exception to this (for now), but it's a disturbing trend. And, as a legion of readers yell in the comments, can we get rid of bikini armor while we're at it?
The 5 best raid encounters in Cataclysm With Dragon Soul now soundly beaten, this was an inevitable question, and Chase opines that Cataclysm's best boss fights are (with perhaps one exception) all in tier 11 and 12. The comments section is notable for a lengthy series of disagreements on exactly where Ragnaros and Alysrazor belong on the list, if they belong at all. It's a vivid reminder that not every class and spec will have the same experience on a fight, although those of us on pheromone duty with Garalon right now already know that.
And naturally, if you're gonna talk about the best encounters, you have to talk about --
The 5 worst raid encounters in Cataclysm Dragon Soul features more prominently here. There's bad RNG and good RNG, Chase writes, and DS had a lot of the former. And, as a disgruntled PaulWatkins argues, "Al'Akir comes from the Malygos school of Stupidly Different Final Phases That Might as Well be Two Separate Fights."
WoW Moviewatch: I Am the Warlock This is basically a trailer for the warlock class. Might be a good idea to re-run this sometime soon given the class' continuing population concerns, actually ...
Classes, Raiding, and PvP
So you want to play a windweaver, brewmaster, or mistweaver monk? Damn, Chase was busy this month. I'm cheating here as the mistweaver article was published in July, but the full series was among the community's earliest and most comprehensive looks at what the monk class brought to the table and how its mechanics different from existing classes.
Lichborne: Fixes death knights need for Mists of Pandaria, part one and part two Death knights are a well-designed class overall, but they'd been plagued by a number of nagging issues throughout Cataclysm that didn't seem to budge despite Blizzard's tinkering.
Blood Pact: Warlock tanks are void where prohibited Remember the huge dust-up about warlock tanks? It started in June and reached hysterical levels over the summer as tanks feared being pushed out of 5-man jobs. Megan and Matticus pottered around with the Dark Apotheosis on the MoP beta and came to the conclusion that traditional tanks didn't have much to fear.
Blood Pact: The problems haunting affliction Megan had previously written about affliction's problems with the self-healing nerf, and returned in June to examine the spec in minute detail. As Marsico9 notes in the comments, the risk versus return on the class feels off, and maybe that's the reason for its population issues.
I met the critter guy Dawn relates a story about meeting Blizzard's "critter guy" at the previous year's BlizzCon. A very sweet article about the power of human connection as exemplified by ingame skunk spawns. No, really.
WoW Archivist: Massacre at the Crossroads Newer players may never have experienced this, but the Crossroads was once the site of major interfaction battles for control of a key Horde quest hub. An excellent piece that I suspect will make experienced players think about their own days in that blood-soaked and oddly enjoyable bit of hell.
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!