In what I consider the biggest warcraft news to come in a while, yes bigger than a new raid coming in a few days and a new patch coming shortly after most likely, wow insider will stop posting new articles as of February 3rd.
Alex made the official post of what has been rumored for a short time confirming that indeed the end was upon us for this warcraft mainstay news, blog and community portal that had played such a large part in many players stays in azeroth.
Some might ask why I consider this bigger news than a new raid tier or a new content patch coming soon and to those that would ask it I only have one thing to say, if you have to ask, you would never understand even if I tried to explain. But I will anyway.
WoW insider was never really on the forefront of breaking news, it never pushed the boundaries of elite game play, it never pressed its luck with the blizzard brass, it just posted articles. Articles that people liked to read.
I first recall stumbling upon the insider before I even had my own blog. Maybe, in part, it was one of the reasons I started to write along with awesome BRK and Frost over at the WHU. It shared information in a way I liked. Small articles that were great for break time reading, or bathroom breaks, if that is your thing. But they were never fluff filler articles and even the ones that sometimes were fluff, but not filler, were fluff with heart which is a pretty hard balance to create so credit the writers there.
Not so long ago they cut their staff and shut many of my favorite articles down. Of course I was a fan of the hunter column scattered shots, but I read them all. The mage one, the rogue one, the warrior one, you name it. I could never seem to get enough of the class columns. They were always so carefully written in a way that even if you did not play the class there was some sort of information you could gleen from them. Sure there were some writers over the years I did not like their style of writing, but that is just natural, there are people that hate my writing style. Can you imagine that? ;)
It was not just the class articles that kept me coming back. Drama mamas often answered questions that people wrote in that I would have or could have asked myself. Officers quarters was a god send when I first was appointed raid leader in late wrath because I was thrown the lead with no idea what to do and it really helped me ease my way into it. The posts about the history of the game intrigued me and I always looked forward to the archivist. The lore posts could, and have, kept me entertained for hours on end as well as educated me on the in game lore. If anything the reason I really got into the lore of the game was because after reading those I saw the game was so much deeper than I had imagined if I just took the time to put the pieces together, and it taught me that, which allowed me to greater enjoy the game.
The daily articles like the queue were always entertaining and the comments were so much better sometimes. The breakfast topic inspired many a post from me here as myself and many others took to those topics as a community topic. Moviewatch introduced me to so many videos I might have never seen if it were not for them showing me they were there.
I could go on and on but I don't think I would ever stop. Long articles, short ones, hot topics, fluff pieces, news bits and personal moments, they all worked so well together to create a certain community there from writer down to the reader that never even replied. We were all a family and now our family is going away and that is why I think this is huge news for the warcraft community.
In the world of the internet when so many communities seems to eat themselves apart the community there never gave off that impression of warcraft and the people that play it. Even with the occasional trolls and the doom bringers around here and there the community was always great. There are so many people there who had quit playing the game but still came to read up on it. It gave them a glimpse in the window of what was going on, allowed them to still be part of the community even if they were not playing it, and dare I say it, even bring people back when they saw something worth visiting azeroth for once again.
And this is what the loss of wow insider means in part. That community, that great community, the one where even people that had not played in years still came to visit will be gone. The window they used to look into the game with is shuttered down. Perhaps those people will now never return. Who is to say for sure but there is one thing I do know for sure, there are no other online communities quite as welcoming as the one at the insider, and that was its greatest asset. Not to take anything from the excellent writers, but it was the readers and the community they had there that kept people coming back day in and day out. It is what kept me coming back even after they cancelled most of my favorite articles. I would spend more time reading the comments of the queue or the latest lore articles than it took to read the article itself.
Wow insider will be missed by this elf for what it has meant to me over the years as a player. But that is not the only reason I will miss it, I will also miss it because it was responsible for one of my most exciting moments as a blogger in general.
I've written about so many things over the years for better or worse, happy or grumpy, you name it, and I always did it for myself. It was how I think things out, by writing them. Then one day something amazing happened. I went from my normal few hundred unique views per day to over 10,000 instantly. How did that happen? It seems one of my topics was picked up by wow insider and back linked, so they could talk about it there. Suddenly I no longer had this obscure blog in the middle of nowhere that I only wrote for myself, my topic was being discussed by thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands. Over the years wow insider linked back to me many times and each time I saw that it always bought a smile to my face.
I had applied to work as a writer for wow insider before, I wanted to write for them. I did not even know it was a paying job. I would have done it for free. You do not need to pay me to write about the game I love, seriously now. I never did get the job, or sadly even a reply to my application, as you might have noticed because if I had gotten the job I surely would have mentioned it at some point, but I did not apply because I wanted page views. I did not apply because I wanted to feel like a special snowflake. I applied because wow insider felt like a place to belong, a place I could belong.
That was always its greatest strength. Casual or hard core, part time player or long time subscriber, good or bad player, everyone was welcome at wow insider and we were all the same. Isn't it human nature to want to find a place to belong, a place where you feel safe?
Losing wow insider is like losing a place to belong, a place to feel safe, a place where we as a community put our differences aside and just shared in our love for the game. It was the only site I have ever bookmarked on my cell phone. Yes, honest. And now, come February 3rd my bookmarks are empty, the community is gone, and I lost one of the places I always felt like I belonged. And that my friends, is why I will miss it.
Godspeed on wherever your adventures take you Alex and the rest of the crew at wow insider. Thank you for letting me join along for a great ride as a loyal reader, you will be greatly missed.