Wowhead's 2019 Year in Review and Happy New Year
2019 for the Wowhead team was very rewarding and busy with the launch of Classic WoW as well as major BFA updates like Rise of Azshara! This was the first year we supported two different games on Wowhead and it was quite the fun challenge.
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 2020--as well as our 15th anniversary!
Curious about major in-game milestones for
? Check out
our Warcraft Year In Review Post
The Wowhead dev team did an impressive job launching
and continuing to deliver top-notch datamining and features. Obviously, the biggest feature of the year was creating
. While this technically went live in 2018, the bulk of development and site improvements took place in 2019, especially ramping up when the Classic beta started. We added dozens of filters to our Classic items database, provided data support for many languages, and didn't let the lack of a Blizzard API stop us from creating tools like the
Classic Gear Planner
Quest Completion Tracker
. We also imported thousands of comments from Thottbot and Allakhazam, created a
for extra nostalgia, and continued to
improve upon the Talent Calculator
With Wowhead expanding in coverage, we also expanded our
to not just have separate categories for Classic vs Retail, but also options for PTR coverage and other games like Warcraft III! We then created a
Discord Tooltips Bot
so you can search for tooltips easily on Discord. We'd also like to thank our loyal Discord community, now over 80k strong!
2019 was also big year for the Wowhead model viewer--perfect timing with the emphasis on character customization in Shadowlands! In
we added full particle effect support, billboards for bones, animation fixes for bones and textures, and better meshes sorting. Then in
, we improved particle effects on our Classic site just in time for the launch. Finally,
we published another retail update including support for animations to items like Challenge Mode sets and improving the display of tattoos such as Nightborne customization options! We've also tried to optimize the speed at which we post models and have expanded our model coverage to
Retail WoW also kept us on our toes, as we added support for the Essence system in 8.2 and now the Corruption system in 8.3, launched the
Mount Collection Tracker
Battle Pet Collection Tracker
, and continued to update Today in WoW and the
trackers for the latest updates.
Wowhead news continued to grow in 2019 as we juggled datamining, theorycrafting, Classic updates, and retail discoveries...along with unexpected
blogs! We continue to strive for improvement in our news section, balancing quality with quantity so you can enjoy breaking-news updates and analytical pieces side-by-side.
Our most-hectic news day by far was October 7th, when Blizzard dropped a
Patch 8.3 developer preview
and brand-new PTR without warning. October and November in general was pretty bonkers, as we kept breaking our all-time news records, reaching a new high on November 1st, BlizzCon Friday. We also had fun times datamining in cars, breaking the news at 1am that Essences would not be account wide in 8.3, and rushing through all the BFA raids to be the first to discover the raid cinematics.
Here's some fun details on Wowhead news in 2019:
Our most-viewed news articles during BlizzCon 2019 were:
Shadowlands Level Squish
Shadowlands Expansion Revealed
Shadowlands Pre-Order Bonuses
New Character Customizations
Shadowlands What's Next Liveblog
Our most-viewed retail news articles were:
WoW's 15th Anniversary - Rag Statue and Deathwing Mount
Mount Equipment in Rise of Azshara
Battle for Azeroth Pathfinder Requirements in Rise of Azshara
Removed Portal Locations in Patch 8.1.5
Updates to Mythic+ in Season 2
Our most-viewed Classic news articles were:
Best Addons for WoW Classic
Classic WoW Realm Population Report
Classic Server Queue Times
WoW Classic Leveling Guides and Recommended Zones
Artisan Profession Locations
Our favorite newspost of the year was
8.2 PTR Build 30401: Lightbound Undead Allied Race, Void-Touched Customizations, Pepe Goggles
, featuring a completely made-up Allied Race that miraculously worked in our Dressing Room for April 1st! Also fun fact: our top newspost the day after BlizzCon, surprising everyone, was the
Diablo Immortal Update
We also had a lot of fun trying out a new style of post with the daily "Today in Nazjatar..." series and hopefully we can do something similar in Patch 8.3!
Finally, we experimented with datamining streams in 2019 and they were such a success, we're discussing how to do them more frequently with more production polish in 2020!
2019 was a busy time on Wowhead for guides as we grew our Classic guide section from scratch and spent many hours researching all the secrets in Rise of Azshara! Here are some of the highlights:
Classic Class Guides
launched, covering talents, rotation, consumables, enchants, and more, including the wildly-popular
Best in Slot lists
We also published a series of popular
, improving them after launch to go into greater detail on popular builds, such as the
Mage AoE Leveling Guide
We then launched a series of
PvP Class Guides
as well as detailed guides to the
. Even though Classic PvP turned into an AV Zerg, we had fun writing the detailed guides!
Professions are important in WoW Classic, so we wrote a detailed series of guides to level
, as well as the locations of all recipe vendors and how to farm popular reagents like
We also saw great success across our other Classic guide categories, such as
(expect even more in 2020!),
especially guides to completing quests!
While retail WoW did not have a new expansion this year, Patch 8.2
Rise of Azshara
was filled with secrets leading to massive
guides, not to mention the surprisingly-popular
legendary pet battle guides
Speaking of secrets, following the success of the
in 2018, we partnered with the
WoW Secret Finding Discord
to bring you guides to other popular secrets and rare mounts in Azeroth, such as the
Time-Lost Proto Drake
Currently we're busy at work writing our Patch 8.3
Visions of N'Zoth
guides, which we can't wait to share with you! Some of the guides are already live, such as the
which you should definitely check out as it's a brand-new gear system in the patch.
With all these new guides on Wowhead, we also
improved the layout of our guides
to make the content shine more. The aim of this update was to improve readability by reducing clutter, allowing the headers and important information to stand out. This was an issue especially on smaller devices, such as older laptops with small screens. We also restructured the navigation menu on the side, as that greatly contributed to the guides looking cramped.
Wowhead at BlizzCon
BlizzCon is always a busy time for Wowhead and even though we've been covering it for many years, 2019 was still a year of many firsts. This was our first year partnering with
Con Before the Storm
for the Wowhead Party, our first year covering
in detail, and a new record for
! We're so grateful to everyone who chooses Wowhead as your source for BlizzCon information, whether you were following along with our liveblogs, checking Twitter, or reading our recaps in the week after.
The Wowhead Party this year partnered with Con Before the Storm which was incredibly exciting. We had more party space, autograph signings, and panels than ever before, and by working together, incorporated fan-favorite parts from past CBTS like the Art Gallery and craft corner. We're looking forward to working together again in 2020 and making the event even more epic.
While we are dedicated to
World of Warcraft
coverage at BlizzCon 2019, we noticed that people
coverage from the opening ceremony, so we scrambled to amp up our coverage, liveblogging all the panels, highlighting art, and creating detailed guides following BlizzCon. People seemed to love our coverage, as the top article the day after BlizzCon was Diablo, not WoW! And of course, covering Shadowlands was very intense but rewarding as players were excited to read about the unpruning, more Death Knights, and the level squish.
Wowhead would not be possible without the support of our users! The staff works hard to provide unique 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. This year the Client uploads were especially helpful as we heavily relied on them for our Classic data. As the Classic beta never hit max level, we couldn't gather level 45-60 data in advance so the speed-levelers uploading data were invaluable.
Wowhead Team Messages
We wanted to close out our year in review with messages from some of the Wowhead team!
Anshlun (News and Guides)
Thanks to all our readers, supporters, and writers for another year with us!
2019 was a pretty exciting year for us with the launch of Classic. From setting up the website to work with a completely different database, to importing comments from Thottbot and Allakhazam, to having a whole new set of Class Guides and Writers, it was a hectic, but rewarding year. The best part of the year was to watch our initially small Classic content grow exponentially over the weeks, with some weeks adding over 40 new guides about everything that players could find in Classic.
Working with Classic this year proved to be completely different than working with retail, since a lot of knowledge about the game had been already accrued over the last 15 years, the main challenge of it was how to present it properly.
Sadly with all the Classic hype that existed over the year, our good ol' retail WoW hasn't seen as much as it saw in 2018, but hopefully, 2020 will be more exciting, with new challenges (and expansion) to come to it!
A happy new year to everyone and their families, may 2020 be a wonderful year for you and your close ones!
Dirtside (Gnomish Engineer)
After spending last winter in the icy depths of the Northrend IKEA (motto: "Sir, you're making a scene"), I'm disappointed to report that despite my best efforts I have indeed not been turned into a pengling. But fear not: this year I've hired a frost mage, a drunken necromancer, and a squad of gnomish circus performers to assist me. Ninth time's the charm, so they say!
Erorus (Goblin Engineer)
I want to thank the Wowhead community for giving me the privilege of working on WoW tools for all of you throughout 2019. I've had the opportunity to work on a lot of new and interesting projects this year.
I was really glad we could integrate Classic character data into tools like the
Quest Completion Tracker
, so you can find stuff relevant to your character even without Blizzard's Armory.
I also worked on our
Discord Tooltips Bot
so you can easily search for items, spells, achievements, or almost
, on Retail or Classic, all from within your favorite Discord servers, and get a tooltip back with a link to the site. It makes checking stats or just linking to things within Discord so much easier. There is some interesting tech behind building (and scaling!) a Discord bot and making those tooltip images automatically.
Speaking of which, I was happy to work with our model team on making some improvements to the model images we use on the site. Look forward to seeing those in your "Same model as" tabs and
Dressing Room item pickers
There were also some challenges, most recently with handling Blizzard's API changes and new data protection regulations. And there's also always ongoing site performance improvements and legacy code cleanup. But it's all good. We have a great team here at Wowhead, and the site is getting better all the time. Except when it blows up. Which happens. Occasionally. Briefly. Goblin engineering, after all.
When I'm not writing code, I'll be running around Azeroth in Classic on some caster or another. Probably waving my hands about keeping people alive while everyone else does the hard work. But
looks amazing, and that'll pull me back to Retail. It's so nice to be able to play in the past and look towards the future. See you in 2020.
Ketsuki (Assistant Site Producer)
Another year has come and gone and it still feels like yesterday that I joined the Wowhead Team.
Not a day goes by that I am not eternally grateful to do something that I truly love everyday, as well as work alongside wonderful people and be part of a game community that I treasure.
I'd like to thank my co-workers, who through thick or thin, rain or shine, ups and downs, work tirelessly and passionately everyday. We all strive to improve not only ourselves but Wowhead as a whole every year.
I'd also like to thank the community and content creators who work alongside us to help deliver news, content, guides, and much more.
And a special thank you to our class guide writers who call me mom still, you all have a special place in my heart.
This year flew by in a flash for me. I had many ups and downs, but I made wonderful memories this year at Wowhead, and I hope to make many more next year and bring forth more exciting new projects!
Neryssa (News and Guides)
I would like to once more thank the Wowhead readers for such an incredible 2019!
Battle for Azeroth
is coming to an end sometime next year, and what a long journey has it been, from the tall peaks of Drustvar and Zuldazar to the depths of Nazjatar.
Speaking of Nazjatar, for me at least in 2019 the most rewarding experience has been writing the
Comprehensive Nazjatar Guide
. Many hours were spent in there on both the PTR and live servers, researching every small inch of the zone to ensure everyone has a smooth experience there! There isn't a zone quite like it in 8.3, but I can't wait to continue sharing my adventures in the form of guides that can help everyone.
With that said, the Shadowlands are looming over us, and I can't wait for the Alpha/Beta to start so we get to explore the new zones and bring all the new features for you! BlizzCon 2019 was, at least for me, by far the year where we had the most to do. I could barely enjoy the convention itself but knowing we shared so much information to lots of people that could not attend the convention or watch the panels in real time is more than enough reward for me!
2019 was a very busy year for Wowhead, and we cannot wait to see what 2020 and the new expansion has in store for us. I hope everyone reading this has an amazing New Year and a fantastic 2020!
Perculia (Site Director)
2019 was an exciting year with the launch of WoW Classic! Expanding Wowhead to cover both Retail and Classic at the same level of detail was a massive challenge as the person overseeing all the projects on the site. I worked on leveling up my management skills, calmly putting fires out, and helping grow the site to cover more content than ever before. Classic was a blast to work on because without modern systems like Titanforging, some of the original features on Wowhead like filters and the Talent Calculator flourished once again. But we could also apply lessons learned from Retail Wowhead, and bring our elaborate guide system over to Classic--the best of both worlds.
While I manage dozens of freelancers in addition to a wild assortment of Goblin and Gnomish developers, I also made an effort to set more time aside to write longreads. Ages ago, before Wowhead, I worked a bunch of odd jobs in museums and academia, and it's been nice to swap back to analytical mode, writing about the lore of the game in articles such as
Sylvanas in Shadowlands - Edge of Night, Jailer of the Damned, and Vol'jin's Mystery
Wrathion's Journal and His Plan to Defeat N'Zoth
. While I started writing these in 2018, I set a regular schedule in 2019 and I'm happy with the increased frequency of them. It should be exciting to continue writing these articles with all the tasty
reveals and broadcast text! I've also helped others on the site to pursue niche projects they truly enjoy, and hopefully that's been reflected in the variety of deep-dives published in 2019.
One of the high points of 2019 for me was starting up our datamining streams. For every PTR build, the team hops on a call to coordinate breaking news and react to the new models. In late 2019 we decided we were confident enough to stream our datamining and the reaction has been great with thousands of concurrent viewers tuning in to see Wrathion and Calia, so we are actively working on improvements to consistently stream the
beta! Personally I am working on a way to make Brightpaw sit still so we can have the cat reacting to the datamining on the stream too.
I'm really proud of the team at BlizzCon 2019. Every year we expand the team and plan more coverage in advance, but our goals get bigger so it's just as hectic! This year was notable not only for the
reveal but also the overwhelming interest in
--both IV and Immortal--on Wowhead. I personally handled the liveblogging on Twitter, as well as assisting with articles, images, and staff assignments from our Mission Central at the Hilton which featured a pile of snacks and five Pepes.
In 2020 we'll be celebrating Wowhead's 15th birthday--thank you to everyone who has chosen Wowhead as your home for sharing information. It's rare for any type of site to thrive for so long, especially one dedicated to a niche topic. When I first started here at Wowhead, I spent my holidays including Christmas soloing the feedback inbox, and now re-reading this post, I'm reminded that with your support I've been able to expand our wonderful team. A special thanks and warm welcome to all of the Classic writers who joined us in 2019.
Happy new year from Perc, Brightpaw, and Santa Pepe (freed from the 8.3 PTR)! Looking forward to
and hopefully justice for Teldrassil!
PigeonD (Datamining Team)
2019 has been a busy and amazing year. It has been great to work with both Battle of Azeroth and Classic. I started playing Wow during Burning Crusade, so it's nice to have the chance to get into the Vanilla experience. Being on the data team it's been interesting to learn about all the tiny details and subtle differences between Classic and the current Wow, and to see how things have changed and evolved in the past 15 years. It's not often you get to work on a project and software that has so much history with it.
As always, it's been a pleasure to work with everyone in the Wowhead team. I'm also very grateful to everyone in the community. It's fascinating to see how quick the smallest bug get found and reported.
9.0 is going to be challenging, but I'm sure it will be very rewarding to work on too. Looking forward to another year of new data, spoilers, bugs and 3am wake up call ;).
See you all in the Shadowlands!
Sas (Community Manager)
Hello again Wowheaders! This year brought us Classic WoW, including the nostalgia it brought to those of us who experienced it first hand and a new experience for those who joined up later on. Our team worked diligently to ensure this new (old?) version of WoW was covered here with a database, news posts, and even tools (despite no API being available). We even managed to add a Thottbot theme for those who preferred it when viewing the Classic subdomain! An exciting year I gotta say.
Annual shout out to all of our volunteers and contractors who help to translate and moderate our site, Discord and other platforms. Without them things would be quite messy in some parts of the site and their work is often unseen, but trust me when I say it's an important. Thank you to all of you (in no particular order):
As for me... another year, more additions to the family. Please welcome my first niece Amelia and our newest pet Arya, an Indian Ringneck parrot:
My nephews are also getting older (and bigger):
Let's not forget Brightpaw, Perc's kitty that is with me a few months out of the year while she's traveling:
Have a Happy New Year everyone. Thank you again for all your support in 2019 and for the many years to come! <3
Mad Hatter's (Gin &) Tea Party
with Perculia, myself, a couple friends and my husband Nathan
Squishei (News and Guides)
2019 was a fantastic year for
World of Warcraft
This year, I started streaming on the raid dates as we pushed to get the Raid Ending cinematics as fast as possible. With success in Battle of Dazar'alor and Eternal Palace, it was an amazing experience to watch the cinematics live with the WoW community before they were put up on Wowhead. I hope to continue this trend for Ny'alotha and
in the future and hope you had fun watching alongside me and will continue to do so!
2019 was also a year in which I did a lot more for the site, between organizing in-depth community articles, researching new systems and releasing some breaking news, both good and...
. I researched and explained Reaping, Beguiling, the upcoming Corruption System, Mythic+ changes and much more. My goal is to keep players up to date on
World of Warcraft
, so thank you to everyone who read any or all of our guides, articles and content and I hope that it helped.
It's been an exciting year for Wowhead and I look forward to 8.3, Shadowlands and beyond!
Stiven (Datamining Team)
This year was great for me, as we managed to reach
100k Youtube subscribers
. This was one of my goals when I joined the Wowhead family, and with your help, I reached my achievement.
This year was also filled with many great improvements I had a chance to be involved with.
Battle of Azeroth
datamining was much more challenging than past expansions, and it made me think ahead to get ready for
in 2020! We also had many model viewer improvements including shaders, particle effects, and ribbons so the models look and render as they are in-game. We started to work on the Wowhead studio app for our
datamining Twitch Streams
, which will be upgraded and improved throughout 2020, so that you will be able to see and hear how we work on datamining patches, getting sneak peeks of cool models before the news is published on Wowhead.
Warcraft III Reforged was the next big thing that I enjoyed datamining, working to display all those models on Wowhead!
The new year is going to be big for us. We can't wait to datamine all cool stuff that will come in
Warcraft III: Reforged
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
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