So, things have settled down for me again, and I’d like to take a little time now to look back at the site for 2011. (I’ll do some looking ahead to 2012 in a future post.)
People were excited to finally dig into Cataclysm content, and it showed. The site had a huge spike in popularity, going from ~50k monthly views in Nov/Dec to ~150k in January, then slowly fell back to the 50-60k level. (Of course, we also had a lot less to talk about in the later half of the year.) Subscribers to the RSS feed (as measured by FeedBurner) jumped from 500ish to about 800 in January, and are now hovering around 1k. I don’t have good stats for the forums, but we’re up over 6k total posts, so obviously something’s going right there. :)
- January: The gearlists, obviously. We discussed Unheeded Warning quite a bit, as well as the 4.0.6 patch notes; most notably, the loss of our free root/snare break, which had everyone predicting the death of ferals in arena.
- February: My 4.0.6 trinket list was big news (short version: UW sucked, then was great, but see below). My post discussing my negative outlook for the feral class also made the rounds and got LOTS of comments. :)
- March: My posting started to fall off here. No super-popular posts this month, but I really liked Syl’s UI post; lots of great information.
- April-June: Swipe damage was doubled for 4.1, taking us from near-worst in AoE situations to near-first. We had our first glance at the FIREKITTY. 4.2 re-nerfed Swipe a bit, but buffed a few more abilities. My 4.2 gear list was popular, but I forgot to link it on the front page until after 4.3, making it somewhat useless. :)
- July-September: Not too much happened. UW finally got nerfed, as we had all predicted.
- October-December: Some cool stuff came out at Blizzcon. 4.3 buffed us a bit; things look pretty decent in normal gear, though the final verdict is still fairly mediocre at the heroic gear level. (That said, sub rogues/UH DKs’/Enh at the top, arcane and mut rogues at the bottom…Neo says whoa.)
WoW Insider offered me a columnist slot back in January, which I accepted (first column for WOWI). Admittedly, the timing wasn’t the greatest: I completed my training in Georgia in February (CISSP passed! Yay!) and moved to Texas in March to deploy to Iraq in April. Whew. Sylvaneart, Qbear, Tinderhoof, and Leafkiller did an excellent job filling in with guest posts while I was occupied, and they of course continue to contribute in forum discussion, which I am slowly dipping my toe back into. Due to a highly unlikely set of coincidences, I was actually able to keep raiding in Iraq, even though I had to wake up at 0330 to make the 8PM CST start time. Due to a lack of healers and low FPS, I ended up raiding as Resto.
September saw me leaving Iraq for Kuwait; no more incoming fire (good) but, ironically, worse Internet and housing arrangements meant no more raiding. Yay. I wrote a story for the Blizzard writing contest, which didn’t win anything. I’ll post it, in case anyone is interested in reading my first attempt to write fiction since high school. (TLDR: Not very good.)
Now that I’m home, I’m playing through all the great games I missed (got Portal 2 on my 360, with Arkham City waiting as soon as I finish Arkham Asylum on the PC). Raid Finder is cool, but ultimately boring in the lack of difficulty. I feel like I’m cheating somehow; I’ve still got a lot of 359 gear, but I’m hitting top 5 on the DPS meters for every fight. (UPDATE: Wow, Happy Winterveil: I’ve done RF twice now, both parts, and come away with 3 pieces of T13, Kiril’s, and the Wrath trinket. I actually topped the DPS meters on Ultraxion.) I may come back to normal raiding, but I’m not ready to commit time to a schedule yet. We’ll see on that one.
Anyway, enough navel-gazing. (At least till my next post, where I discuss where I want to take TFD for 2012.) What’s your favorite moment of 2011?