A Retrospective Look at World of Warcraft in 2009
In the past year weÂve seen three major patches for World of Warcraft. They included the introduction of Ulduar, the Argent Tournament grounds and subsequent raid, and Icecrown Citadel itself. This has been one of the most successful and amazing years in WoW and weÂre heading straight into a new year that promises the death of the Lich King, a major boss who has persisted for more than 5 years and a new expansion which will return the focus back to the original story Â the battle between Orcs and Humans.
Let us take a look back into the previous year and see what major changes happened on a month by month basis:
January started off with patch 3.0.8 which introduced a ton of class changes. The most popular among the changes were the removal of the ÂShield WallÂ spells from the global cooldown, racial restrictions were removed from mounts, faster spirit forms, the ability to create new Death Knights on any realm once you hit 55, and some achievement mix-ups. The Loremaster achievement was nerfed and even better, there were a bajillion changes made to each class which included changing everything up, fixing stuff, and a lot of buffs.
Of course, 3.0.8 was also a really awful patch at the same time. Wintergrasp was taking down servers, Human females looked stupid with their hats on, Ritual of Summoning was broken, tooltips were wrong, and a ton of other things. Thankfully, patch 3.0.8a fixed most of it along with some hotfixes too.
January also brought about the major concerns for the SteelSeries mouse, namely how it could violate the ToS, not to mention the massive amount of either really positive or really negative reviews it received. Youplayorwepay also began its rapid descent into closure, which wouldnÂt complete until April 15th when Blizzard threatened legal action.
January also was the month that Blizzard had gold selling ads on their official forums for a day, before they took an aggressive approach on purging them from their ad servers.
Ah, 3.0.9, another excitingly fun patch. Except 3.1 was looming on the horizon. Flintlocke, the comic by Gamespy, ended because GamespyÂs co-founder and Flintlocke comic artist Dave Kosak went to work for Blizzard. Blizzcon 2009 was announced which later in the year sold out within seconds AGAIN. Tigole left Blizzard in February as well.
Ulduar hit the PTR in February and dominated the WoW news for a long, long time.
A guy assaulted a girl het met in WoW which sent the ÂGAMES ARE BAD 4 UÂÂ crew into full swing. Meanwhile, the Death Knight exploit was making headlines everywhere. If you didnÂt know, for a time you could Death Grip someone while on the Booty Bay boat and send them to the ghost ship under Alterac Mountains (the infamous one where everyone whose ever had travel issues get stuck). If you did it while standing on the dock then you too got to have a fun little trip as you traveled under the world to the boat.
March was full of patch 3.1 testing while legions of players foamed at the mouth to get into Ulduar. Naxxramas by this time was on farm for everyone and their brother. Those who had failed the 25 man version went and did the amazingly easy 10 man version instead while farming for badge loot.
The WoW Mountain Dew was announced around March. I tried some of it. It was alright, wish it came in diet though. Overall I think March was pretty boring though since it was that down spot. YouÂve done ALL of the content so youÂre just kind of stuck going hrm, what to do now?
The Blizzard Dance Battle System, forum RP, and the ÂP1mp My MountÂÂ were just a few of the things Blizzard gave us for April Fools. Compared to previous years they werenÂt that funny to me, but your own mileage may vary.
Of course, Patch 3.1 came out in April as well. It gave us the Argent Tournament, Ulduar, a ton of new class changes (as usual), and the realization of the new welfare system. Before, if you werenÂt a ground floor raider then you were pretty much screwed. With the new system any player at any skill level could easily get into the previous tier of loot without much trouble. This secured raiding as the endgame activity which has more or less lasted until the present.
Ensidia, like always, got the first Rusted Proto Drake. The WoW Pod and this How to Ghost Ride Flame Leviathan video were running their circuits in the WTF department. The 62*80 project started (the dude who was going to have 62 level 80s), but that seemed to have failed somewhere along the way.
Patch 3.2 news began to rumble in June with discussion of the Argent Tournament and epic gems. The PTR launched and everyone was going insane trying to find out what was next after Ulduar. Of course, even now guilds still canÂt get past the keepers, but when you hit that personal ceiling there is nothing left for you to do.
The expansion, now known as Cataclysm, was leaked in July and caused a big ruckus about what was true and what wasnÂt.
August started off with patch 3.2 opening up the Trial of the Champion and Trial of the Crusader instances. This also introduced Triumph badges, with all of the normal heroics dropping Valor badges, and a raid you could farm four times in one week if you were able to do heroics. ToC 25 gave us a no trash, no joke, and no BS instance where you face off against each boss and do your best to beat them. The gear that dropped was progressive enough that many guilds were able to get further in Ulduar than they were able to before while others quit Ulduar all together to stay where the good purps were.
BlizzCon also happened in August and introduced us to Cataclysm! That was about it from BlizzCon this year.
3.2.2 was released which gave us a revamped Onyxia - more dots, more dots, and well more dots! You can read our guide to WoW memes to learn more about the more dots thing, if you ever wondered. The patch 3.3 PTR also snuck into the scene.
Patch 3.3 was on the PTR and the entire month was devoted to nothing but data mining, patch note reading, and more.
October also brought us the three moon Worgen shirt from Jinx. HallowÂs End was also pretty cool this year because you could get ilvl 200 rings that were pretty OK-ish, though not as good as the Brewfest trinkets for casuals.
Who's the tank?
The PTR was the only big news in November. Shadowmourne was announced along with the Lich King chase event, weapon models and more which were showcased as the pinnacle of the WotLK expansion. The playerbase, now bored with patch 3.2, were eating up every bit of PTR news they could to help hold them over until its release.
Rumors about BlizzCon in Las Vegas were disproved by Blizzard, causing many players to ponder if there is any truth to it or not.
December gave us patch 3.3, four long months after patch 3.2 came out. Patch 3.3 brought us a lot of changes, including the dungeon finder and the nearly month long wait for the next wing of Icecrown Citadel to open up. Winter Veil this year gave us a neat BB Gun as well, which was a nice treat.
ThatÂsÂ the recap of World of Warcraft in 2009. Now we wait and see what 2010 brings us. Join us throughout this year as we continue to cover all of the WoW news and bring you the guides you want and need for WoW.