I feel stupid and pretentious doing this.  But I took a blogging pill and lost my sense of shame. Here now are what I think are the best efforts of the year, and good riddance.

January

I had opinions.  I defended damage meters, got to make a B5 reference while commenting on the endless papercuts of an opinionated life, and agitated for more opinions. I got political. I got silly. And I published a huge work on how to succeed in the Glyph market, a document which I have some pride in. 

WoWderata is pretty much my favorite of the bunch, because beneath the silliness is a Zen that really applies to life in WoW, and elsewhere. But the overwhelming (for this blog) response to Walking on Eggshells highlights it as the one that resonated the most with others.

February

More opinions. I poked fun at the odd creature known as a Raider; expressed exasperation at how most raids seem to be holding pens for bad guys and nothing more; and sniped at a well-known purveyor of straw men. I got sucked into a meme1.  I whined about how unattractive all Hunter gear was2 and presented four mogging choices for my other characters, because, that’s how my herd rolls.

Overall, Imma vote for You can’t bluster your way through a heroic because the concept of hairy dwarf monkey babies appeared in the comments. What’s not to like?

March

March was a dry month for me, as my system died the death of hard drives, so what I blogged most about was how sad WoW raiding was at 2fps, and so forth. The only real content published was a piece about my support and appreciation for a fellow blogger, though in retrospect it seems to be a group of words having an uncomfortable alliance rather than a finished piece of prose.

So, no best-of for this month, even though my sentiments for Apple Cider remain unchanged – just poorly expressed.

April

Priest minions get some bad news.  After the relationship between Curse and ElvUI blows up, I elect to replance ElvUI on my machine, and tell you how I did it.  Illume starts talking about frost magery in MoP, which is unfortunate in that that series petered out unfinished.  I related raiding to software development.  Eff the Ineffable achieves 8/8 in Dragon Soul.

While most useful is the how-to on replacing ElvUI, my favorite by far is the vignette from the minion job faire.

May

Illume started a series on glyphs in MoP, which stalled early on and then finished conclusively a few months later once the designs in the beta stabilized. File that under “one more bad idea”. I opined how Diablo 3 was the true “WoW-killer”

But I think that the best of the month was Illume trotting out a program to auto-update your copy of The Undermine Journal with current realm-specific data. I’ve still not gotten around to making a real UI or installer for this one, but I use it every day!

June

June was a quiet month, with only three posts in it. I did manage to get a good rant off, this time against the stupidity of robotic “hacker” signature recognition processes and the ridiculous cloak of secrecy that MMO companies place over how they recognize same.

Best of June, however, I give to my Diablo III Post-mortem, simply because it seems to have captured a lot of people’s attention, most which never commented, but which show up in search hits and page landings3. SOMEBODY was interested enough to look, at least.

July

Another relatively dry month, and mostly fluff. The exception was Illume’s Dead Glyph post, listing all those glyphs that would have no future. What we didn’t realize at the time was discontinued glyphs were mostly getting recycled by Blizz as new glyphs. What I’m saying is that the most significant post of the month was also very, very wrong.

August

August began on a melancholy note, as Ratshag went out in a blaze of glory, and I eulogized in the way I am best suited for – ripping off someone else’s work. I poked fun at raiders. I tried (and totally failed) to relate game design to String Theory.  I wondered (not for the first, or the last, time) why Blizz has trivialized lowbie leveling so much. Illume did research on ink-to-glyph distribution.  We adopted a cat named Jaina.  I got Navispammed, which also involved a bit of drama. I finally sorted out my mog.

While Jaina’s my sentimental favorite, and Navi’s visit very much in contention, I simply must choose my eulogy for Ratshag as my “best”4 for August.

September

This was a big month for Jasra, as she took her first steps back into the healing role after sitting out for the entirety of Cata. Illume tried, and rejected, AdiBags5. Speaking of addons, I complained that they shouldn’t be a necessity – yet, they are.  I cheated Alas. Illume introduced a gear comparison tool (I still use it). I made a case for The Secret World, and judging it on its merits rather than the bluster of the studio’s management. I joined the chorus of people annoyed by the implementation of the Theramore scenario.  And I post-mortem’d Cataclysm.

While it didn’t attract a wide audience, I’m most satisfied with the Theramore post. I feel I put it all out there on that one.

October

Illume overviewed battle pet addons, which is probably terribly out of date. We observed the passing of Blackfallow Ink from relevance. I noticed a slight similarity. Jasra got some storytime. I discussed a terribly difficult subject. I also whined about getting ready for raiding. Jasra noticed that Disco was actually a viable questing spec.

I’m disappointed that the serious pieces didn’t get more play. Either I’ve got some issues in the writing, or got it wrong, or people just didn’t feel like adding anything to it. Still, even if they had gone off like gangbusters, my sentimental favorite is Jasra’s story, for many reasons. It moves her story forward. It fleshes her out a bit.  I’m probably the only person on the planet that appreciates it, so, essentially, I am my own audience. Voices in the head, remember? Smile

November

Eff the Ineffable got our first kill in MoP raiding. Jasra reflects on Disco healing.  I have a few choice words for professional victims. Grimmie’s Angels hits one MILLYUN gold.  I revel in little surprises.   I posted a screed on dailies, something that figures largely in this new game, and which I revisit in the future.

None of these really stand out for me, but if forced to choose, Jasra’s post on healing is probably the best done of the bunch.

December

Gear planning – with charts! Banned from Shattrath! And Illume takes potshots at WoW Insider’s resident “goblin” (again).

Oh, there’s no contest.  Banned from Shattrath was by far the most fun I’ve had with a computer in a long time. I wish I could sing and machinama, I’d be doing this much more justice.

And the winner is …

Of the twelve, I’m narrowing it down thusly.

  • In third place, Banned from Shattrath makes a strong end-of-year showing.
  • In second place, my sentimental favorite, Out of Retirement, in which Jasra steps out into the raiding world once again.
  • But my favorite by far is Our Dearest Blood, my tribute to Ratshag, one of the first bloggers I read, an inspiration to me, an inspiration for a lot of what exists on this blog, and a really great fellow. He still blogs, but now as a battle pet aficionado at press ‘5’ to capture.

Aaaand that’s a wrap for 2012.  Here’s hoping for a great 2013.


  1. Again; I’m a sucker for anyone that actually notices me! []
  2. Words I would eventually eat! []
  3. No, I don’t look at my hit counter all the time. But Google analytics can be an effective tool at times.  Leverage versus obsession. []
  4. For some value of “best”. []
  5. That addon was returned to service later on, after the issues we saw were addressed. It really is quite good. []
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