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WoW Insider is logging off

WoW Insider began operations on November 23, 2005. On Tuesday, February 3, 2015, WoW Insider operations will cease. I'm finding it difficult to say much more than that; eloquence fails at a time like this. We certainly weren't expecting it.

Barb Dybwad personally launched the site that evolved into the one we know and love. Elizabeth Harper later took the helm as Editor-in-Chief, ushering the site from infancy to adolescence, and from there the helm passed from Liz, to Dan O'Halloran, then eventually to me in October of 2011. It's a tough job steering this ship. The winds are fierce and the waters choppy. It's a bit dramatic to say something like heavy lies the crown, but I suppose I need to take the opportunity while I have it. Though, I don't think sea captains wear crowns.

What a terrible metaphor.

I meant to segue all of that into a discussion of our merry crew, our beautiful band of staffers, the WoW Insider personalities we've all come to love in the years, but I suppose you already know them. How couldn't you? Just imagine Matthew Rossi singing a sea shanty. We wrote by shanty, you know. Audio conference call on the high seas all day, every day. Honest truth. Cross my heart.

In our final hours, however, I want this to be about us. Not just us, the staff. You, too. Our readers. We did what we did, and what we do, for all of you and with all of you. We've always done our very best to embrace the World of Warcraft community. We worked to ensure all were welcome. It didn't matter who you were or how you played, how casual or hardcore, we wanted you to know you had a place. It wasn't about being first to the news -- it was about ensuring everyone had the context and information necessary to understand it. Through features like The Queue, and through you, we tried to pinpoint exactly what the players needed and how to deliver it. It was about giving praise where it was due -- and criticism, too. We pushed to make the game better, and a better place, whenever we could and wherever we could. We couldn't have done any of it with you.

In the end, we were friends. I can think of no other way to put it. Staff, audience, community. We were friends.

This is the end of WoW Insider, but it isn't the end of us. Friendship lives on. What comes next for our intrepid crew? You'll find out soon, but not here. Follow us on Twitter and keep that date, February 3, close in mind. You don't know what our Twitter handles are, you say? Let me help: Give me a shanty, lads and ladies. Onward until dawn!

Filed under: WoW Insider Business

Tournament of Champions returns with more 3v3 PvP

If you're looking for PvP opportunities beyond the usual battleground and arena scene, the upcoming Tournament of Champions 2.0 may be a perfect fit. This player-run PvP tournament is 3v3, single-elimination style (with double-elimination in the semi-final rounds). If you want to enjoy the fun -- and have a current rating over 2200 -- you can sign up through February 15th with the tournament tentatively scheduled to start on the 21st and last for two to three days.

Just interested in watching some great 3v3 teams compete? The tournament will be streamed on Twitch for everyone to enjoy. For full details hop over to the forums.

Filed under: News items, PvP

The Queue: Dinosaurs, Twitter Questions, and a hug

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

I don't really have a favorite dinosaur. Or it's more like I have so many favorite dinosaurs I can't pick one. And to be honest when I do sit down and think about my favorite dinosaurs, my opinion changes with the research to a degree. At the moment, I'm fond of Deinocheirus with those massive arms. But a lot of people ask me what's the deal with all the dinosaurs, like there's a proper age to like them, and I'm way, way over the limit. So I'll try, just this once, to explain what the deal is with the dinosaurs.

They were our superiors.

They were better suited to life on Earth than the mammals. This is indisputable. They first arose 231 million years ago during the Triassic, at a time where our own therapsid ancestors were recovering from a mass extinction that nearly wiped out all life on Earth, just as the mammals were starting to evolve. Our ancestors. Us, in potential. And our ancestors, with their highly evolved teeth, with the start of the mammalian body plan that we see today in everything from tigers to dogs to sheep to cattle, lost the competition with the archosaurian dinosaur clans. It's just that simple. For over one hundred and thirty five million years, mammals went head to head against dinosaurs in the evolutionary arms race. And in all that time no mammal larger than a modern housecat thrived. The dinosaurs won. Their dominion was so total that even after the extinction at the end of the Cretaceous, it was birds that first evolved into truly massive predators feeding on our mammal ancestors.

So that's it. Dinosaurs are proven winners. They lasted for one hundred and thirty five million years, and they still exist today in the form of birds. And you'll notice that no mammal has managed to push birds out of their aerial niches. So yeah, I like dinosaurs, and I see no reason not to keep liking them for the rest of my life. I realize this was a huge digression, but to be honest, it simply wouldn't have been right for me not to talk about dinosaurs in this edition of The Queue.

This edition of the Queue will likely be very, very long. I got quite a few questions on Twitter, and there's 981 comments, so we're going to try and get through as many of those as we can.

Sean Boyle asks:

Here's one for you Rossi. Why haven't we seen any Naga or Ethereals on Draenor?

Naga are native to Azeroth. The ones we saw on Outland were part of Lady Vashj's contingent, pledged to Illidan's service. Etherals are also not native to Draenor, but were cosmic exiles whose native world of K'aresh was destroyed by Dimensius the All-Devouring, and in the process of trying to save their people from his arcane devastation the Ethereals lost their corporeal forms. Neither group was on Draenor thirty five years ago in our timeline, and as a result, they aren't on the alternate Draenor we now explore.

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth: Meat for the meat god

Are you ready for some football? This weekend features a certain game that cannot be named without paying the NFL approximately eleventy billion dollars, starring Short Religious Quarterback, Tall Handsome Quarterback, Running Back Who Won't Talk, Cornerback Who Won't Stop Talking, Frozen Caveman Tight End, and Coach Hoodie. Submitter Gizmoto of Gnomeregan Forever on Wyrmrest Accord (US-A) started his game preparation a little early, and now has to figure out how to keep a thousand pounds of meat fresh until Sunday night. Time to call in an ice mage!

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: My first character

That's my first character ever, Marketh the warrior from Azjol-Nerub. That's him in his hideous mismatched DPS gear (I was tanking back then, in the Naxx 10/25 days)

He's been through several race changes, faction switches, and realm transfers, but he's still around, and I still log on and go on rampages through older content for transmog gear, or a dungeon run or two. And that seems very important today.

Are you still playing your first character? Is she or he a main or an alt? And how long have you been playing her or him?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Moviewatch: That's the World of Warcraft That You Play

In our revisiting of classic WoW machinima, we couldn't skip Ian Beckman's Weird Al parody, That's the World of Warcraft That You Play. Beckman's made two versions of this, and while the original (from the dark ages of 2006) holds a special place in the nostalgia center of our hearts, this updated version (from the less dark ages of 2013) includes commentary on all of the game's current classes. Despite their age, however, both videos are still surprisingly relevant to gamers today... but, hey, that's just the World of Warcraft that we all play.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

WoW Archivist: 10 years, 10 amazing moments, part 2

Red dragonflight purges the plague
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Reflecting back on 10 years of WoW, I find it hard not to smile and shake my head in disbelief. If someone had told me early in 2004 that a game would be released that year and I'd still be playing it week in, week out in 2015, I never would have believed it.

If you missed part 1, I covered world PvP near Uldaman, founding a guild, getting lost in Gnomeregan, earning my Rhok'delar bow, and my first night in Outland. Here are five more amazing moments.

6. The Wrathgate. In the weeks after Wrath of the Lich King launched, one achievement got instant attention in your guild chat: Veteran of the Wrathgate. Those who had already experienced the awesomeness congratulated the player who earned it. Those who hadn't waited in anticipation of that moment (and hopefully remained unspoiled until they did). And those who had just earned the achievement were left saying, simply, "whoa."

It's a quest line that deserves its own Archivist column someday, so I won't go into detail about the lead-up to this incredible event. Once you completed it, the cinematic began.

Going into it, we thought we knew what Wrath was all about. We thought it would be straightforward: The Lich King attacked us, so the Horde and Alliance would put aside their differences to take him down. No mess, no fuss. Four and a half minutes later, the champion of each faction was (apparently) dead, the Forsaken were in open rebellion, everything was on fire, and we realized that this story would be far messier and more interesting than we thought.

Afterward, we gazed over the charred remains on the battlefield and listened to the screams of the dying, shellshocked from this devastating moment. It was over, or so it seemed. But Blizzard had another surprise in store for us a few quests later: the Battle for the Undercity.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

The Queue: Archaeology, specs, and a personal note about this column

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

A few days ago I was trying to reflect on what my favorite Queue of all time was -- and I think it's the one where I announced my engagement to my wife. First, it was the initial time that I thought to myself, "I really love the community we have here. They're a whole lot better than a lot of the other junk on the internet." Secondly, the post marked such a momentous occasion in my life, and one that I will always hold close to my heart, that it has some major sentimental connotations.

Let's jump into the questions, going loudly into that good night.

Pvpscrub asked:

QFTQ: Is there a catchup mechanism for Archaeology?

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth: Things we lost in the fire

"Wandering around Stormwind during the wee hours of the weekend mornings means you run into the most ... ah ... interesting people," writes submitter Arugadh of The Brotherhood of Iron on Wyrmrest Accord (US-A). "Or trees, in this case. Self-immolating druids, actually, protesting the non-existent AH markets due to the over-abundance of materials. Or maybe they were just drunk and dancing and not noticing they were on fire. You never can tell with druids."

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: Your favorite (WoW) things

Though we may all be playing World of Warcraft together, we're not all necessarily playing for the same reasons. Some of us are into PvP, others are only interested in raids, some might love the game's lore, some might only want to collect everything the game offers, and some are just here for the in-game community. Whatever your reasons for playing, whether you're brand new or you've been here since the beginning, they're probably different from your nearest WoW neighbor.

Today, let's talk about the reasons we all play. What's your favorite WoW thing, the part of the game that keeps you logging on day after day (and year after year)?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics