Wowhead's 2018 Year in Review and Happy New Year
2018 for the Wowhead team was a busy year with the launch of Battle for Azeroth and our Classic WoW site. Here's a look back at what we're particularly proud of on our site in the past year. Happy New Year, and we look forward to another year of datamining, site features, and guides in 2019!
Curious about major in-game milestones for
? Check out
our Warcraft Year In Review Post
The biggest update on Wowhead this year was the
launch of Classic Wowhead
! This was a monumental effort on the part of the entire team to launch a site mere days after Blizzard made the data available through the BlizzCon demo. We launched with a Classic talent calculator, model viewer, guide system, and basic database. Several weeks later, we released another major update to the site--
. Our work is far from done on Classic Wowhead, as we're actively working on a Thottbot skin and another secret tool, but we're proud of the work completed in 2018. Many of the Wowhead team started playing back in Classic and we're thrilled as players to develop an awesome resource with our years of experience.
Today in WoW
saw a number of updates with the launch of Battle for Azeroth and new content to track in Patch 8.1. Over the course of the year, we added tracking for the Warfront cycles, Warfront contributions, Faction Assaults, BFA Emissaries, BFA World Quests, Seafarer Dubloons, and Islands.
continued to grow, surpassing 75,000 users! We also refactored the
to publish the news even faster and we're now installed in 12,000 servers.
Following the success of Allied Races in the Dressing Room in late 2017, we went all-out in 2018, adding the option to preview and dress up any
unavailable to players. Now you can dress up Vulpera, High Elves, and Thin Humans! Pepe also joined the Dressing Room with a new option to
toggle Pepe to sit on your head
. We added this feature on April Fool's as a joke and it was so popular, we kept it around! We also added Kul Tiras, Zandalari Trolls, and Upright Orcs to the
Our guides continued to level up with awesome features provided by the community. On several class pages across Wowhead, you'll find
ranking Azerite Traits and other information, distilling all the information from sims into a user-friendly chart. In 2017, we added the ability to display top builds and trinkets, powered by
, and in 2018 we added the ability to embed this information in our new
raid tips for all specs
. We've also continued to work with
, displaying information on the World First Mythic Race, as well as top classes and party composition in Mythic+.
We've long had various ways to track quests on Wowhead, including the Profiler and Completion Progress in filters, but with the new
Quest Completion Tool
and UI we are happy to present a centralized resource dedicated to tracking Loremaster progress. In addition to seeing how many remaining quests you have in a zone, this tool emphasizes how many important story chapters remain for quest achievements. Battle for Azeroth saw a general round of tracking tool updates as well, such as the
for Allied Race requirements.
One of our best-received features this year wasn't even on the site! We launched the
Wowhead Twitch Extension
, providing information on streamer talent builds, gear, azerite traits, and appearances at a glance. Wowhead tooltips also powered similar Blizzard Esports extensions for the MDI and Arena Tournaments, watched by hundreds of thousands of players.
Datamining in 2018 kept us busy with Battle for Azeroth and Patch 8.1. We had so much fun each week highlighting new models, juicy spoilers from broadcast text, and combing through the spells for new hints on Allied Races. We topped our one-day record for news traffic at the start of the Battle for Azeroth alpha, then broke it again at the start of Patch 8.1!
Some beta/PTR highlights include speculating on
Kul Tiras Druids
and then datamining their
Yrel was back
in the Mag'har Orc story, and piecing together the
story of the return of Xal'atath
In 2017, we expanded our news team to keep up with the concurrent Live and PTR game updates. In 2018, we strove to refine our output, not just providing timely updates on the live game and PTR but also diving into the analysis--whether that's reaching out to members of the community for their opinion on a change, or analyzing the visuals of a new cinematic.
We also continued to expand our news platform, using it to highlight notable discussions in the community. Leading up to the launch of Battle for Azeroth, we published a class review every week, compiling concerns of Class Discords and Theorycrafters...and then amped it up with
thirty-six class feedback articles
, one for every specialization, over the period of one month! 2018 also marked the debut of
Jdotb's spirited Mythic+ articles
, in which he answers community questions and ranks the best/worst dungeons to complete each week.
We always try to support community efforts, not only sites but also creators on Twitch and YouTube. In 2018 we partnered with new several shows and content creators to better-highlight talent and personalities! You may have caught
Twitch shows on Wowhead's front page, or articles highlighting YouTube videos by
. We continue to enjoy working with
on his economy wrap-ups and streams, as well as
on their written and video raid guides,
on the cooking streams, and
on the monthly lore collaborations. We also welcomed
as our new Wowhead Weekly host in 2018 and have loved the warmth and kindness she and Luna bring to the community! Thank you to all the participants in our
Battle for Azeroth Streaming Event
, and the
We were very proud to be a sponsor of
Method's World First Race for Uldir
, a historic event with
. We stepped up our game with our coverage, providing frequent updates and analyzing the traits and class compositions chosen across top guilds. Following the World First race, as part of our partnership, we worked together with Method to bring you weekly videos, ranging from
to recaps of the
Uldir World First Race
. Usually sponsors of events tend to be products instead of websites, and we're really excited to write our own rules and forge our own path as a site that supports events.
With the end of Legion and launch of Battle for Azeroth, guides were essential for new and returning players. Here are some of the highlights:
Our Class Guide Writers were kept busy in 2018! Even before Battle for Azeroth, our writers were updating and perfecting their guides to the
Mage Tower Challenges
--extremely popular content at the end of Legion. When the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch hit, we went more in-depth than ever before on our
, with sections devoted to
ways to improve
. We included data from sites such as Bloodmallet and Warcraft Logs to enhance our explanations, on pages such as Azerite Traits and raid tips.
While we're thrilled by the reception of our class guides and datamining in Battle for Azeroth, we can't forget our roots--players sharing information on curious funny things they've found around Azeroth. The spirit of this is manifested in the
WoW Secret Finding Discord
, a community that works together to solve the secrets of Azeroth. The Discord team published their
Hivemind Guide on Wowhead
, and earlier in the year, the Wowhead team published a series of guides to
hidden secrets from all expansions
With the launch of a new expansion, new player guides are key. We created a series of "
If you Quit in X
" guides for every expansion, so you can get right up to speed and hopefully feel less lost!
A new expansion also means new types of guides to write! Battle for Azeroth saw the launch of our
The community creates many sophisticated addons and tools, designed to help players get even better at WoW. Throughout 2018, we created a number of guides to these player-created tools, such as
, and set up a new
Addons and Tools category
to house all these guides.
With the constant messages of support for guides, we revamped both the guide homepages as well as
search results for guides
. We hope that with both UI updates, the site provides you with more-targeted suggestions for the content you want to see, instead of being presented with hundreds of options!
You can see which guides were the most popular in 2018 in
. We appreciate all the efforts our writers have made in the last year--whether you're writing about the most popular content or something niche, we appreciate your passion for the game and attention to detail and quality!
Wowhead at BlizzCon
BlizzCon is always a busy time for Wowhead with the Wowhead Party. While there wasn't a new expansion to cover, we covered
all the panels
to the best of our ability and saw an increase in readers and traffic this year over last BlizzCon (which previously set a record for us)! For a period of time during BlizzCon, the panel replays were unavailable to players, so we pushed ourselves to deliver the best possible coverage so players could learn about the events even if they missed the panels. Liveblogging BlizzCon is incredibly stressful and rewarding, and we thank you for choosing Wowhead as your source for BlizzCon information.
With your support, we continued to grow the
in 2018, with more signees at our autograph booth, prizes, and attendees! This year also marked several firsts for the party--a stage show with organized panels focused on community topics, as well as the debut of
, available to purchase at the party or in advance. Special thanks to
for organizing the autograph signing and stage show this year and all the content creators that joined in for the
stage show and autographs
While not every BlizzCon announcement was a resounding success, the Wowhead team gave it our all to be as detailed and quick as possible in our coverage--not just for Battle for Azeroth updates, but Warcraft III and Classic WoW. We even had a Warcraft III interview scheduled during the Battle for Azeroth What's Next panel! Some coverage we're particularly proud of includes the
WoW What's Next Panel
BlizzCon 2018 Interview with Ion Hazzikostas and Chris Robinson
Classic WoW Will Have Staged Content Unlocks
Wowhead would not be possible without the support of our users! The staff works hard to provide high-quality features and guides to inspire our users to share even cooler things.
We are grateful to our users who leave helpful comments on everything from mobs in caves to buggy quests, go the extra mile writing epic stickied comments or full-blow guides, or use the Client to power Today in WoW. We appreciate everyone's support whether you attended the Wowhead party, highlighted an article you enjoyed in a stream or Discord, used the model viewer to make a Garrosh Holyscream meme for Reddit. Every little action adds up to create an amazing community!
Wowhead Team Messages
We wanted to close out our year in review with messages from some of the Wowhead team!
Anshlun (News and Guides)
And another year has passed. What a crazy year 2018 was, from the end of Legion and BFA alpha to the launch of patch 8.1, it was a rollercoaster.
I'd like to thank everyone for their support throughout the year, everything we do here is to provide the best possible content and the latest news for you, and we wouldn't be here if it weren't for your continuing support.
This year we were able to launch our more
in-depth class guides
for BFA, and I'm very pleased with the results that hundreds of hours of hard work turned into. For 2019 we already have many new improvements and additions to those guides, so stay tuned!
I'd also like to thank all our partners and writers, it was amazing working together with everyone, and I'm delighted with the content we were able to deliver this year. Hopefully, we can do even better in 2019!
May everyone, their families, and friends have a happy New Year, may 2019 be the best possible year for you!
Dirtside (Gnomish Engineer)
Dirtside has not been seen or heard from recently due to his grand adventure in the depths of Wowhead's gnomish innards. We all wish for his safe return and hope he doesn't get transformed into a penguin.
Erorus (Goblin Engineer)
Hello again! I had to take a short break from Azeroth, and even from Wowhead, just after patch 7.1.5. Fortunately, I logged out at an inn, and was able to come back well rested just in time for patch 8.0.1. In our time apart, both myself and the Wowhead team continued to learn and grow, and I've never been more proud to be a part of our entire team bringing Wowhead to you. We have a wide variety of skills across site development as well as handling WoW data, and plans for lots of great things ahead.
was a huge project for us, and while I'm impressed with all the updates we've made, we have lots more to do in the coming year. Maintaining a completely separate set of game rules and data, while continuing to offer our vast resources of comments, guides, screenshots, and more from the Live site is a crossover that's similar to, but different from, our PTR and Beta support. There are some unique challenges and diving into some pretty old code to make everything work. :) And I can't forget our efforts to bring back Thottbot comments for Wowhead Classic, which was a new challenge with huge scale as well. Also, we're planning on supporting localized game data for Classic (of course), which we haven't had to do anywhere but Live before. Looking forward to working on more Wowhead Classic stuff in 2019!
It's also been my privilege to build exciting tools for the WoW community. Some of it is behind-the-scenes maintenance, like moving all of our Battle.net API calls to Blizzard's new API system. Some of it involves updates to our existing tools, like keeping the
tools up-to-date. Some work involves updating some older tools with BFA mechanics, like the Warfront and Faction Assault tracking on Today in WoW. But some of the most satisfying stuff to work on is releasing brand new tools, like the
Quest Completion Tracker
Azerite Power Finder
, and one more new thing that I can't yet mention but is so close to done!
Finally, while I'm here, let me remind you about this goblin's favorite bug reporting format. When something blows up (and, with Goblin Engineering, it's always
..), I like to see "When I do X, I expect to get Y, instead I get Z." All 3 parts help get things back together again. "When I use
空间撕裂器 - 52区
, I expect to go to the transporter pad in Area 52, instead I'm 250 yards
Jerek (Lead Developer)
As always I'm grateful to the users who leave comments and screenshots to help their fellow Azerothians, or even those who just visit the site looking for an answer to that confusing quest. But in particular I want to say a thank you to all the users who
help contribute data
! Battle for Azeroth is just kicking off and sending data for the site helps greatly, especially with the popular Today in WoW section on the homepage. We couldn't do it without you!
Nery (News and Guides)
I would like to thank the community for such an incredible year working at Wowhead. Although I was already working with articles since last year, I officially joined the news team in March of this year, and this has been so exciting to cover - going from datamining the BfA Alpha and Beta to covering many of the secrets within the expansion, it was definitely an experience that I will cherish.
My favorite content to cover was definitely one of the most recent ones, the hunt for
! I've always been drawn to secrets and exploration in all games I play, and WoW is no exception. I would like to extend my special thanks to the
WoW Secret Finding Discord
staff team, including
and everyone else - Working with you guys has been a blessing, and I can't wait to engage in uncovering more secrets with you and the community in 2019!
I would also like to thank everyone that I have personally interacted with this year - both in-game, on social media or Discord. WoW has one of the most passionate communities out there, and I love receiving all your feedback and ways to improve our news posts and guides.
And lastly, my final thank you goes to our content team - Perculia, Anshlun, Archimtiros, Ketsuki, Squishei and Stiven. Thanks to you guys, I've found a place to belong and work with all of my passion and drive on something I really love. I will never be able to repay all that you have done to me. Thank you, thank you so much.
I'm definitely looking forward to bring the community even more content in 2019. Have an awesome and safe new year!
Perculia (Site Director)
Thanks to all of our readers and supporters for making 2018 great on Wowhead even through all of Azeroth's ups and downs!
Our dev team has done a fabulous job of keeping the site current to best-serve player interests, and I'm especially proud of the Wowhead Twitch Extension Overlay and Quest Completion Tracker. Expect to see more tracking tools in that style in 2019! Classic Wowhead is another project many of us on the team feel passionately about, and we can't wait to develop in further in 2019. (Plus, we're all excited there are no Classic PTR updates.) We've also adjusted to the breakneck PTR pace introduced in Legion--I'm proud of how we've balanced PTR updates with new features, site improvements, and managing un-fun things like technical debt. It was great getting to tour Blizzard with the whole team earlier this year, especially getting an impromptu picture by the Orc statue with Mike Morhaime.
Here's a fun datamining story: During our annual staff meet-up, an important Battle for Azeroth build hit, one with new Allied Race druid forms. We headed to a small meeting room to datamine in person, yelling updates across the room as we progressively overheated with a bunch of high-powered laptops processing the build. It was a great bonding experience and we learned that the voice communication was extremely helpful, shaving off minutes of the build process! So now for every PTR build we hop on a group call. Hearing the wisecracks and reactions to data updates is priceless (Stiven always says the funniest things when he discovers a new model) and something I look forward to every week now. (We then had a repeat at BlizzCon, when we
datamined a build in a car
I've really enjoyed working with the content team this year, expanding our team so all of us have time to focus on our passion projects, bringing unique and detailed content to Wowhead. In my case, I really enjoy writing about literary and visual references in the Battle for Azeroth story. Some of the articles I had fun with include
Warbringers: Azshara Cinematic Analysis - N'Zoth, Ny'alotha, Circle of Stars, Old God Whispers
Analysis of the Jaina Visions Cinematic Including Warcraft III References
Sylvanas' Motivation and Parallels to Arthas in the BFA Pre-Patch
. I was also extremely honored to be sent an advance copy of the Battle for Azeroth Collector's Edition, collaborating with Nobbel on a
series of lore articles
on the novellas "A Good War" and "Elegy." These sorts of articles wouldn't be possible with a smaller team if I constantly had to stop to post hotfixes or update guides.
A special welcome to Nery, who joined the news team in the spring after writing Nostalgia articles in 2017, Dderserei for managing our new PvP guide section, and Archimtiros, whom we threw in the deep end live-blogging at BlizzCon 2018. I also want to thank Ketsuki for her efforts in constantly innovating the site, through setting up new partnerships like INTO THE AM or our BFA stream event!
A special thanks goes to all the sites that use
, whether you cover sims or cute pets. We offer the tooltips as a free service across multiple languages, and try to add as many features as possible from community requests. It was also very cool seeing Wowhead tooltips used as part of the Blizzard Twitch Extensions for MDI and Arena (even if it took us by surprise the first time, temporarily melting the site as we worked to handle the load).
I also want to give a shout-out to all of our contributors and collaborators, both new and old. I know I recapped many collaborators in the earlier part of this blog, but I just wanted to state it again. When I first started at Wowhead, we didn't even have a homepage, let alone creators reaching out to collaborate with us. Thank you for choosing Wowhead as your home for sharing information.
Happy new year from Perc, Pepe, and Brightpaw, who is currently
destroying Sas' home
, being babysat by Sas!
PigeonD (Datamining Team)
2018 is my first full year on the Wowhead team and it's been amazing. It was a pleasure working with everyone on the team. I'm very glad to have worked on not only the Legion to Battle of Azeroth transition of the site, but also the first release of the Classic site. On top of that it was also the first time I got to meet (almost?) everyone else on the Wowhead core team in person and it was awesome that we visited the Blizzard campus together too.
Looking forward to 2019 and all the new upcoming patches, expansions and spoilers :)
Sas (Community Manager)
Hello again Wowheaders (I may have just now coined this term)! If you're not already aware, and I certainly hope you are, 2018 has come to an end. This year brought us Battle for Azeroth and a renewed excitement for the game, not to mention solid information about Classic WoW coming in 2019! It's still an exciting time for WoW and I can't imagine using my talents on anything else. Wowhead has been such a great home and I'm so glad to be able to continue thanks to all of the millions of you who continue to support us.
In 2018 it has been great fun continuing to help users with any of their site issues and helping our entire team to ensure we continue to bring you the latest news, features and giveaways. This year brought us the
! This took a lot of effort and I personally oversee fulfillment of each and every order containing our
or pins. We even released several pieces of apparel and accessories through
Design by Humans
and I worked with
to create a new collectible pin for several of the major holidays in WoW, including
(artist rendering, work in progress),
Midsummer Fire Festival
. In 2019 we hope to introduce a Love is in the Air version as well. I appreciate everyone's continued enthusiasm and support for our collector's guides:
Cute but Deadly
! It can be a challenge keeping these updates, especially with the rapid release of Overwatch merchandise, but it's all worth it especially when multiple users send personal thanks for the effort.
This year also brought us
to Wowhead Weekly, and she's such a delight to work with, we're lucky to have her! It was great fun meeting her at this past BlizzCon.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful contractors and volunteers for all their efforts in ensuring our forums, and Discord, are properly moderated. It's a thankless job and our users benefit greatly from their efforts. Translating our site into several other languages, sifting through tens of thousands of screenshots, video submissions and moderator reports each year are just some examples of the effort that goes into making Wowhead so great:
I want to directly thank
for her leadership on this site. I mean this truly when I say the site would not be where it is without her persistent and unwavering efforts. Thank you! That also goes for each and every one of my fellow employees. This is genuinely a team effort, we all play our parts, and the end result is what each of you use practically daily.
Wowhead Party at BlizzCon
this year was another success. We had the highest attendance ever, and introduced paid packages for merchandise and other perks for those who can and desire to further support the site. The party is a year long effort and it's a TON of work (and I mean that literally, several tons of literal merchandise, equipment and intangible efforts). It's probably one of the most exciting things we do all year, and getting to meet so many of you in person is always a joy! My role in the party has expanded more and more each year and I hope to continue to be a positive influence.
Without all of your continued support and patronage we wouldn't be here, so the biggest thank you of all goes to you. Yes, YOU, and YOU, and YOUUUUUU! THANK YOU!
From my growing family to yours, have a Happy New Year and I hope 2019 proves to be a fantastic year for all of us!
Squishei (News and Guides)
Thank you to all the readers and users who have made 2018 another fantastic year.
At the beginning of this year we got the Battle for Azeroth Beta. It was an exciting time for many players and I had a blast writing news articles on new content and changing systems. I also got to work with many members of the WoW community to begin the Community Opinions series, which I'm very happy with, so an additional thank you to all the readers who took time to read those articles.
And of course, we had Battle for Azeroth launch. It was great working with FatbossTV on their amazing BFA Dungeon and Raid guides. This year also had the Uldir Mythic race as well with Method streaming the race for the first time which was exciting to watch.
It's been an exciting year for Wowhead and World of Warcraft and look forward to what's in store for 2019!
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