World of Warcraft was the first real MMO I ever played. I’d done quests, gotten rewards, and leveled up in other games, but this was the first time I encountered concepts like stats, gear, and spec. I had no idea what those words meant. When I started playing WoW, I joined a friend’s guild. It was a high-level raiding guild. They had no time to teach a noob how to play. I was completely lost. Eventually I moved to another guild, one full of noobs . We all needed to learn. We all asked stupid questions. We all made silly mistakes, and we laughed at ourselves as we slowly figured out how to play.
However, as they say, WoW is easy to learn but hard to master. While I learned a lot from the noob guild, there was still much I didn’t understand. Some of it I didn’t even know I didn’t understand. That’s where WoW Insider came in.
I don’t remember when I started reading the website or even what led me there. Seems like it had something to do with learning how to use totems properly. I found articles on totems. But as I read through WoW Insider, I found so much more – stories about professions and lore and hidden treasures. WoW Insider filled in the blanks and revealed all the quirky little secrets that make WoW so much fun. The lore articles alone drew me further into the game than learning how to choose the right totems ever could. The WoW Insider writers taught me about BlizzCon, machinima, and the people behind the game, and it introduced me to other players who were just as involved in WoW as I had become. They even posted some of my screenshots in “Around Azeroth” and answered some of my questions in “The Queue”.
WoW Insider certainly is an apt name, for it has made me feel like I have inside information about WoW that non-readers don’t. They’ve missed a lot by not reading the site. They’ve missed the connection that takes WoW from being just another game to being a wild, crazy, imaginative world full of surprises and friends.
I definitely will miss WoW Insider when it’s gone. Where else can you find so many people who understand the inside jokes, who sing along with the machinima, who make WoW crafts and cosplays and write WoW fanfiction? I don’t know if I’ll be able to play the game as well without WoW Insider to keep me updated on who’s getting the nerf bat in the next patch. I’ve made it to the point where I can raid if I choose, but that’s only one small part of the whole Azerothian universe. There’s so much more to it, if you just know where to look. Yet without WoW Insider, with no one place to gather all this information and all these people together, I fear that WoW may go back to being just another game.
Thank you so much, WoW Insider, for being there. I don’t know that anything can ever replace the website and its unique combination of talented writers. It’s been quite a trip, guys, and it has made WoW much more than a game. I wish you all the best of luck.