I don’t know when I first ‘discovered’ WoW Insider. I do know it was somewhere near the beginning of the Wrath beta coverage. I didn’t comment much, if at all, for a long time. I mostly had fun reading articles about how to paladin and inter/intra-guild drama, and couldn’t get enough of Know Your Lore.
It’s been my go-to destination site on the web for more years than I’m happy remembering, supplanting Thottbot as an “alt-tab on a flightpath” choice. WI was, way back then, the reason I was able to come out of my shell enough to join a guild as more than just one of the dudes in the background farming herbs & ore for the “real” players. I became, in my Real Life social circle, the guy who knew what was new in WoW, the person everyone asked ‘what’s coming’ before smartphones put that info at everyone’s fingertips. (I’m just as happy to fade back into the shadows nowadays, honest!)
Later, the Weekly Blog Topics led me to creating this blog… and then with that columns’ lapse, so did my writing. Now we come to another (potential) lapse, that of WoW Insider itself. Nearly-confirmed rumours have spread like wildfire that AOL is going to be shutting down Joystiq and its child/sister sites, including WI.
I honestly don’t know how to process this. I’ve seen blogs that compare it to the ending of a game world, which seems apt. The community built is potentially going to be broken, flung to the winds. Commenters–regulars, drive-bys, Horde, Alliance, even trolls (yes, and Trolls)–have been drawing closer and formalizing friendships as the news spreads. We’ve formed an <of The Queue> guild. Battletags(!) and selfies(!!) are being posted. Twittererers are following and being followed. It’s not the end of *the* world. Just *a* world.
I feel like there’s a mourning process begun before the death has occurred, and that’s jarring. I don’t know what to say, here or in the Queue or on Twitter or …. anywhere. I feel like everything I want to say has been said better by others. Which is okay, because at least the words are out there, right?
Edit: apparently there is an afterlife, to be revealed on Tuesday via Twitter. /squee.