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A peek inside The Insiders with WoW Insider

A peek inside The Insiders with WoW Insider
Just like this headline, there's a lot to get inside of in this particular feature -- in particular, the WoW Insider family of guilds, which loosely connect our website with readers and fans in game. While a handful of WoW Insider staffers have ended up in the same raiding guild after this many years, most are just like you and me, following friends, family or changing raiding opportunities to different realms and different guilds. There is a place, though, where WI writers, editors and readers come together to enjoy in-game holidays, meet and greet events where readers can chat with WI staffers, and a year-round home for casual players: the WI family of guilds on Zangarmarsh (US-Horde).

This loose collective comprises It Came from the Blog, an open group for anyone who'd like to run holiday events with a gang of other WI readers; My Other Guild is Full, an overflow guild for alts; and The Insiders, a casual guild of players who enjoyed the atmosphere in ICftB so much that they stuck around with their mains. In the thick of all that activity is Kijani, a once-alt who's become an officer with The Insiders, helping an enthusiastic team of other "blog lords" build a group that's offering more and more to its huge group of members.

"Kijiani exemplifies what is great about the members of The Insiders (as well as It came from the Blog)," says WoW Insider's Robin Torres, who leads It Came from the Blog special events. "He helps make guildchat and group activities fun. While he is enthusiastic, he's also relaxed. I'm happy he's representing such a wonderful guild."

KijaniMain character Kijani
Guild The Insiders
Realm Zangarmarsh (US-Horde)

WoW Insider: I'll be cheating a bit with some of these questions, since of course I've had a character in It Came from the Blog -- although it's tough to stay tagged there permanently because the guild gets so full! There's been a lot of scrabbling to keep the guilds manageable in size, isn't that right?

Kijani: You can totally say that again! I believe our smallest guild is our newest one, My Other Guild is Full, and that has around 135 toons in it. It Came from the Blog has over 460 toons, and The Insiders has almost 810 toons in it!

So what made you join the WI family of guilds originally?

I fully intended to join It Came from the Blog only as a place to hold this alt goblin warrior. I ran into the toon limit on my (well, I guess now you can say old) realm and really wanted to experience the goblin storyline, so the day Cata dropped, I created Kijani and asked to join ICftB. After 50 or so levels, I was transferred to The Insiders and just kept leveling. Before I knew it, I was level 85 and doing fun run raids.

Little did I know that in this time period, my old guild on my other realm fell apart, and I really didn't want to play alone, as I was having way too much fun with these new people.

Recently, we (The Insiders) have taken up the challenge of running current Cata content in addition to older fun run raids, and I guess some time between being talked into tanking again and setting up our Mumble server and running a weekly Blackwing Lair transmog run, I was promoted to an officer -- which honestly gave me a bit of a chuckle thinking about it, because almost two years ago, Kijani was "just an alt".

When you joined up, what did you hope to find in the guild? What were you interested in doing?

To be honest, I only joined the guild because I didn't want to level an alt on a brand new server in silence and not knowing anyone. I figured that while I may not "know" these people, we all have at least one thing in common, reading WoW Insider, and I figured they would be somewhat active. I honestly wasn't looking for anything other than some active guild chat!

The Insiders in action
And so what's kept you around for these past two years?

The people. The people in these guild are amazing. I have been in several other guilds that were "active" that even though they did things, they weren't fun because the people weren't fun. I know whenever I log in, I'm going to have a good time, and even if nothing is on the calendar someone is going to suggest something to do -- and it will be a blast!

Readers have probably guessed that although a handful of them have ended up as guildmates, like most players, WI writers play in many different guilds across many different realms. What's the actual level of interaction with WoW Insider staff here?

To be honest, other than seeing Robin occasionally, we really do not have any interaction with the WoW Insider staff -- which is a shame, because I think they would have a blast! I mean, wouldn't it be cool to see the column writers in action with their fans doing raids and dungeons? Maybe this can convince a few to roll an alt or two ... Just saying.

[Editor's note: WoW Insider has brought staffers to these guilds regularly via Choose My Adventure (now on hiatus) and ICftB holiday events.]

The Insiders in action
So tell us a little about the most recent ICftB event!

It was actually May 30th, in fact. It started off with our weekly Fun Run raids (OS Drake run, followed by ICC-10 meta mount run, as voted by our members). Then came a meet and greet with a few of the WoW Insider staff [Megan O'Neill as Poneria, Dawn Moore as Aurorarun, Matt Low as Matticus, Anne Stickney as Annephora, Elizabeth Wachowski as Moocowski, and Robin Torres as Roblinator]; they answered questions and chatted with us -- it was a nice time. And finally, Robin held a scavenger hunt in Silvermoon and the surrounding area, where people had to hunt down a list of 20 things for gold and prizes. First place won 10,000 gold!

That's a pretty full night! How can readers get involved?

The best way? Create an alt and join one of our guilds. Someone is always on and willing to talk and invite, or join us for one of the It Came from the Blog events that Robin posts about. There is something for everyone, even level 1s, so come out and join us if it sounds like something you'd be interested in!

Visit It Came from the Blog online or in game on the Horde side on Zangarmarsh (US), and watch WoW Insider for posts about future holiday events.

"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- and neither did we, until we talked with Game of Thrones' Hodor (Kristian Nairn) ... a blind ex-serviceman and the guildmates who keep him raiding as a regular ... and a 70-year-old grandma who tops her raid's DPS charts as its legendary-wielding GM. Send your nominations to lisa@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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