Posted tagged ‘looking back’

WoW Insider… /salute

January 31, 2015

I don’t play or read about WoW these days, but I was saddened when I heard the news about WoW Insider reaching the end of the line. I felt compelled to write something over here.

WoW Insider (intimate readers may call them WI, I decided) has been around since as long as it matters and I think that, over the years, they’ve played a phenomenal role in the WoW community, especially, as one would expect, in the WoW blogging circle that I’ve held so dear. They’ve been through so many staff and editor changes throughout their existence and somehow managed to uphold their standards of good writing (a celebrated rarity in for-profit online content sites!), of accessibility and of sunny relationships with their readers (and, from what I hear, their staff).

Oh, and Blizzcon attendees can testify – they sure as hell know how to throw a party!

On a personal level, in my early days, they were an inspiration to me. I remember that era when I was making the transition from “a few hours a week of relaxing leveling” to “I want to raid well”. I swear I read every article posted on WI, every day. When I started generating WoW content myself, I looked to those names on my screen in awe, wondering how they got to where they were.

Later on, as I became braver with my writing, I was sometimes given the honour of a nod in The Daily Quest, their (last seen in 2012) community link love column. If you’ve ever been a WoW blogger and linked to by WI, you know what it’s like. Your page views spike overnight and your stomach does flips as you hover between giddiness and terror, bracing for the dreaded troll comments. But soon you learn that trolls rarely bother with quiet spaces and that you can enjoy a WoW Insider-fueled page views spike worry-free.

Then I’m not sure exactly when I discovered the WoW Insider Show, but for several months (if not more?) Mike Schramm and Turpster were like household names to me. Even after my interests in the game grew past what WoW Insider could provide, I still eagerly awaited each new episode. I think I cried real tears, really wet ones, when the two hosts moved on to new projects. I’ve refused to listen to the show ever since.

Also sorely missed is Guildwatch, a column dedicated to guild achievements, recruitment and, most popcornably, drama (taken straight from the official forums). Was a short lived column. Shame. If it were still around, I’d probably still be reading it.

More serious favourites were Drama Mamas who has thoughtful and considerate advice for any situation and Officer’s Quarters which always made me feel good about the guilds I was in.

Though, like I mentioned earlier, what WI did best was throw freaking awesome asskicking Blizzcon parties.

WoW Insider Blizzcon parties are where memories are made! I remember spending hours shopping for and putting together cute outfits (I swear, I never put that much effort into outfits. You guys are just SPECIAL.) I remember showing up for the first time and being dizzy with nerves, only to be put at ease within seconds by the nicest 343948573498 people I’ve ever met. I remember sneaking around to get a view of Ghostcrawler because I was too shy to say hi the normal way. I remember spotting familiar faces from The Guild and being all “OMIGOD”. I remember getting cornered into a really awkward conversation with a lady gamer I didn’t know who was trying to convert me to some kind of angry social justice movement (I think it started along the lines of “Hi, I’m *didn’t catch name*. Don’t you ever feel oppressed?” It was so weird.) I remember watching friends meet for the first time with encounters ranging from timid nods to full on lift-hugs. And with awesome and/or hilarious memories like that, I quickly forgot about all the bar line ups!

Looking back, I feel like WoW Insider was so much more than a WoW news site. And while I was never very involved with them (I never applied to write for them – professional writing just isn’t something I aspire to – and I rarely commented), they’ve certainly added a lot of flavour to my WoW and blogging life.

I’ve been away from anything WoW for so long that it would be silly to say I’ll miss WoW Insider, but I can’t deny that the announcement of the end of era makes me nostalgic. I’ll certainly cherish the memories, those I’ve shared here and those I’ve kept to myself. I wish the best for all of WI’s staff (including those who left the site after the last budget cuts) and I sincerely hope they all find new positions worthy of their talent. (Not that I’m too worried – I’m sure they’ll all do just fine!)

/tar WoW Insider
/salute

Shared Topic: Looking Back

January 11, 2010

After what feels like forever, the Shared Topics are back from their holiday vacation! I wonder if I still remember how to do them.

Speaking of remembering, this week’s topic involves looking back to the beginning of Wrath and everything that we felt and thought during that time. It was proposed by Jaedia from the Lazy Sniper and, of course, you can find a link to her take as well as to all the other participants’ takes in the thread on Blog Azeroth.

Looking back to my first memory of Wrath…

The first morning of Wrath I was actually sitting in Blade’s Edge, trying to solo a group quest. Well, I wasn’t sitting there, but my character was. I, the player, in my room, was feeling pretty bummed about my solitude in Blade’s Edge. The rest of clique, my partners in crime, were online. Their locations read Howling Fjord and Borean Tundra. I wasn’t sure where those were, but I was pretty sure they were somewhere I couldn’t get to.

See, I was trying to be good. The fall semester of second year pharmacy school is the brutal one. 7 or 8 difficult courses, over 30 hours of classes a week and more than that in study time…I didn’t have time to obsess about grinding 10 levels. Besides, money was super tight and video games are an expendable luxury. I was worried about passing and about not starving to death.

But I was sitting alone in Outlands with all my friends away in Northrend, happily grouping and laughing and holding hands while prancing gaily through meadows of flowers.

Author's impression

No time or money.

VS

All alone in Outlands.

Two hours later I was installing my copy of Wrath. I would have installed it sooner, but it takes awhile to get to the mall and back.

I remember respeccing to retribution. I remember things dying all around me and squeeling with glee. I mean, me squeeling in glee, not the things dying around me.

I remember being impressed by the quest diversity. Sure, there were the “bring me 3439483 ears” quests, but there were also vehicle quests, cut-scene quests, riding on missiles quests and torture quests. Yeah. Torturing someone with a needle until they passed out was a little, um, you know, but it was pretty original. I can safely say, before that day, I had never tortured someone in WoW with a needle until they passed out before.

My favorite moments, though, involved stepping into the new instances.

See, this was theoretically my first expansion. I started playing long before BC, but the first max level I reached was 70. When I started running dungeons with guildies, it went kind of like this:

“Now you pull this group.”

“Now you turn right.”

“Now you pull that group.”

“Now watch out for the pat.”

Kinda bland, really.

When Wrath came out, suddenly I was allowed to explore instances at my own pace. My friends were just as unfamiliar with them as I was. Together, we discovered the paths through Nexus. Together, we were confused by the Prophet Tharon’ja fight in Drak’Theron Keep. Together, we gasped as we fell a looooong way through the hole in Azjol-Nerub.

There was no one to tell us what to do, what to expect. We had to tell ourselves what to do and see what happened. We compared impressions and laughed at our mistakes.

We learned quickly, so the magic was short lived. Still, looking back, I’d have to say that those first few weeks of Wrath were probably the most enjoyable in my WoW life.

In the end, I didn’t regret buying Wrath. I still passed my semester, paid rent, didn’t starve and had a really good time leveling to 80. Which goes to show that I probably try to be masochistic for no reason.

* * *

On a completely different note, please take notice of the out-of-office sign.

I’ll be away at a conference until next Monday with very limited net access. Seriously, I’m staying at the only hotel in the country that doesn’t have free wi-fi. I’ll try to make a decent post during the week, but if I fail, rest assure that I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth and abandoned my blog.


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