Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

To celebrate Thanksgiving, along with scarfing down my body weight in turkey, I decided to put together a short list of some of the World of Warcraft related things we all have had to be thankful for this past year. Enjoy the list and have a wonderful holiday!

New Onyxia

To celebrate World of Warcraft's fifth anniversary, Blizzard treated Azeroth's inhabitants with the re-release of an epic classic encounter: Onyxia's Lair. Not only was the encounter tweaked for level 80 play, but the designers went the extra mile and retooled the Brood Mother's loot table with updated versions of her classic drops. Dripping with nostalgia for long time players and presenting a living piece of Warcraft's history for new recruits, the new Onyxia's Lair is definitely something to be thankful for.


In patch 3.1, Blizzard opened up the whole of the Titan facility Ulduar for exploration. Azeroth's adventurers were treated to a massive raid dungeon with fourteen entirely distinct boss encounters. When one considers the 10, 25, and heroic versions of many of these battles the amount of content crammed into the instance is staggering.

It is not just the size of Ulduar, however, that makes it one of the past years highlights. The innovation demonstrated within the instance's walls is also cause for celebration. Each of the boss encounters is challenging and unique, presenting interesting hurdles to even the most hardy of adventurers. Further, tweaks such as teleporters and progressive heroic modes changed the face of World of Warcraft raiding forever. Ulduar is certainly worth our thanks.

The Argent Tournament

Aside from a new five player dungeon, a new raid, tons of quests, and unique, enjoyable rewards, the Argent Tournament has gone a long way to relight the fires of animosity between the factions while simultaneously bringing the factions in close proximity to one another. Though players are constantly representing their faction, it has rarely been so clear or grand as within the context of the Argent Tournament. Whether you like or hate jousting, there is still much to be thankful for resting atop (and beneath) the Argent Tournament Grounds.

Isle of Conquest

With an expansive map, complex resource system, and tons of explosions, the Isle of Conquest Battle Ground is clearly a spiritual successor to Alterac Valley. It is hard not to smile as you parachute from a massive airship, drop a bomb at your enemy's gate, or charge into the opposing faction's keep. Isle of Conquest increased the scope of what is possible in a World of Warcraft Battleground and I am certainly thankful for that.

Dual Specs

Rarely has a new feature added as much to the average player's quality of experience as the addition of Dual Specs. Even if you have not dumped the thousand gold to unlock your second talent tree, if you have ever grouped with someone who is running as their "off spec," you owe this feature some gratitude. Obviously, talent point allocation should be a commitment and I would argue that it still is. With Dual Specs, however, a player can PvP and PvE or fill two different group rolls without the incredible hassle and minor expense of relearning talents. I love this feature.

Updated Druid Forms

It was a long time coming, but during the past year Druid's finally got updated Feral Form models. Not only do the new models look great, but they are also tied to your characters appearance giving a sense of personality to your Druid even when in Feral Forms. Here is hoping next year we can be thankful for new Moonkin and Tree Form models.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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