Making his mark among those commenters is long-time reader Revynn, noted again and again by WI writers themselves for the insightful profile of comments he's built across the site.
"I think I'm going on four years now," Revynn says of his longevity as a WoW Insider reader. "I stumbled across WoW Insider during Wrath when I was trying to get to the official World of Warcraft site and just typed in 'wow.com.' When I finally decided to stop lurking and start actually saying things, it was under a different username that I abandoned when I changed mains at the end of ICC."
"It's easy to look back and be surprised at how much time I've dedicated to a website that I don't own or receive any compensation from, but it's a lot like WoW in that respect," he continues. "I can think 'I've really wasted a lot of time here,' or I can reflect fondly on the good people and good conversations that have come and gone over the years. People like Krotzer, Cutaia, Draknfyre, Pyro, Grovin, Ravyncat, Killik, Jeff and many, many others are what make WI such a fantastic place to come to for information or just to hang out."
Guild and realm Impending Sorrow, Area 52 (US)
WoW Insider: Internet comments and frequent commenters have a pretty bad rep in general. What keeps you coming back to the WoW Insider comments for more?
Revynn: The community, without a doubt. We've all seen the vitriol that gets thrown around in places like YouTube or other WoW sites (I'm told Blizzard's own Facebook page is absolute garbage), but that's never been the case here. People are friendly and helpful, funny and insightful. Any site or blog can do a post on the newest world first or tell you how you should be optimizing your gear, and many do that quite well, but there's an special camaraderie here and I love it.
Now, that's not to say that WoW Insider is "just like any other website," either. You have a track record and a reputation in the Warcraft community that speaks for itself. I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, but as a reader, it's clear that everyone involved truly cares about the content on the site, and it shows.
What are your WI must-reads?
Being a warlock, I'm required by dark powers and darker contracts to read Megan's Blood Pact posts every week and, of course, The Queue is a daily adventure. In general, I try to stop by the class columns for every alt I'm playing at the time, but there are a few that I always make a point to read simply because they're so consistently entertaining. Frostheim and Allison are prime examples. Being an addon and UI customization junkie, I almost always stop by Olivia's AddOn Spotlight and Reader UI of the Week.
The usuals. Wowhead, MMO Champion and Elitist Jerks or Icy Veins. I also have a couple WoW channels in my YouTube subscriptions such as FatBoss, TankSpot and WowCrendor. All of the class-specific channels or blogs that I've followed at one point or another have been abandoned, which is too bad and seems to be a growing trend. Several of the prominent bloggers/YouTubers/theorycrafters for various classes are closing up shop with no one to really take their place. I suppose it's just a fact of life that, at some point, these people who have been playing for years and years will eventually grow tired of the game and move on, but I find the fact that no one is stepping up to take the reins and be "that guy" or "that girl" a bit disheartening. [Editor's note: Take a look at one player who stepped up to strengthen the shadowpriest/priest community.]
That's another part of the reason I started CoE. I have an odd enjoyment of writing guides for people, including things like boss-specific tips for the current raid tier for my guild or a general "how to warlock" type thing. I figured that since the warlock community doesn't really have someone like Theck, Landsoul or Binkenstein (that I know of), there's no reason why I can't be that guy. I know I may never get to that point and that's OK, but at least I'm doing what I can to help my dark brethren and having some fun in the process.
Sounds like raiding is central to your game. Is that how you'd describe your playstyle?
I suppose you could say it's a little bit of everything. While progression raiding has always been my primary passion in the game and what drives most of my in-game decisions, I also take my "me time" pretty seriously and make sure that I'm still having fun with the game rather than just treating it like a job. Often, this means that I'm bouncing around on my (many) alts to level, do pet battles, finish off achievements, hit old raids for transmog gear, PvP or whatever I feel like doing at the time. The only activity that I've never gotten too heavily invested in is RP, but I hope to change that soon.
My first and only "real" MMO experience before WoW was actually in the recently buried City of Heroes franchise. I started playing that one at the recommendation of a friend early in its life cycle and quickly fell in love. The idea of running around as a superhero and beating up bad guys to keep the streets of Paragon City safe struck a chord with my inner X-Men fan, the kid inside that still wants to fly over the city and shoot lasers from his eyes. Though the concept of "raiding" in CoH was a pale imitation of what we see in WoW or other games before it, it was enough to give me a taste and show me how much fun it can be to min-max my character, practice my rotation and push my abilities to their limits.
As time went on and content for level-capped players became increasingly stale, I found myself looking over a friend's shoulder at the internet cafe to watch him raid Molten Core bits at a time. I bought a copy shortly thereafter and rolled my first character, a night elf druid, on his server. All I knew at the time was that the purple chick in the intro video turned into a cat (a freaking cat!), and I wanted to do that as well.
I've tried a handful of other games that have come and gone in the past (GW2, SW:G, EQ2, SWTOR, etc.), but none have ever stuck like WoW and CoH did.
You're not only a frequent commenter at WoW Insider, but you maintain your own WoW blog, Curse of Exhaustion.
Curse is mostly a side project for me, a way to exercise my love for writing in a fashion that is both low-pressure and free-form. I love to write, something I also discovered while playing City of Heroes as I created backstories for my characters, even to the point of considering it as a career path. However, it's also something that I've never pursued heavily, and having an outlet like a blog allows me to practice, refine my style and work under a schedule, even if it's a self-imposed one. I've really only been at it for a couple months; my earliest posts included a series on felguard weapons that Megan was kind enough to link in her Blood Pact article on a similar topic.
Originally, the intent was to be very warlock-focused and maybe do some general WoW or raiding stuff in the process, and I still try to stick to that idea. Any guides or gear lists I do will be warlock-centered, but I also have some stuff that isn't really class-specific at all. This weekend, I'll be taking my first real steps on a new series that I'm calling "Diary of a New Roleplayer."
Hehe, yeah. I have what some might call an unnatural obsession with legendary weapons. I honestly don't know why I've become so fascinated with them. Maybe it's the exclusivity, the lore behind the weapons themselves, the thrill of the hunt or just the fact that they're all so darn pretty, but I'm completely enamored with orange text.
I make weekly trips into Molten Core for Bindings or an Eye of Sulfuras, and I try to get into places like Black Temple or Sunwell as often as I can to throw the dice one more time. The goal is to get every equippable legendary for every one of my characters, but that will certainly take some time. So far, I've farmed up Dragonwrath once (my first while it was relevant), Thor'idal once, the Warglaives twice, Sulfuras three times and Thunderfury three times. I also have three characters on the Shadowmourne quests, so I'm hoping to finish at least one Shadowmourne and one Val'anyr before the end of the expansion as well as whatever I can get through the RNG of vanilla/BC raids.
If nothing else, it gives me something to do during the end-of-tier doldrums.
Ugh, doldrums. So how do you avoid those? When you're not playing, reading about or writing about WoW, what are you doing?
My family owns a manufacturing facility in Southern California where we make steel doors and frames for commercial applications like hospitals, schools or industrial buildings. We're actually working on a contract job right now for the new San Francisco 49ers stadium. I'm there in the mornings helping to run the shipping department and generate or monitor production schedules. It's very much a family affair, but we're not quite "mom and pop" anymore. I believe the last count I heard was something in the neighborhood of 200 employees. My wife could tell you more since she does all our payroll and health insurance stuff.
Gaming has been a big part of my life and who I am since I was a kid, but I've also done my share of outside stuff. I met my wife while doing missionary work in Florida, and I spent most of my pre-adult life on motorcycles, in boats or other sorts of madness that I have no idea how my parents paid for at the time.
Before my son was born a couple years ago, I was doing a lot of drifting with my dad on the weekends. We'd bought an '86 Z28 Camaro and started carving it apart to turn it from a beater that had been abandoned in a Las Vegas field to a legitimate race car. The general consensus in that community is that you're supposed to use a Japanese car like the very popular Nissan 240SX, but that's just not our style. My dad is an old muscle car guy that's had his hands under the hood of a Chevy since he was old enough to reach in, and I've always had a fascination with their F-Body cars. It was different and we got a lot of wierd looks, but that was half the fun.
A lot of those things have fallen to the wayside lately, though. As my kids get older and more expensive, it gets harder to justify taking off to spend the weekend at the race track. That's OK, though. They're great kids and spending time at home with them or taking them to the aquarium by the beach can be just as much of an adventure as sliding a car around a turn or taking a youth group to Brazil.
Concerning Mists itself, it's hard to say. I've largely enjoyed the expansion so far and I feel like this is one of Blizzard's best raiding tiers, but the early grind to get to 90 and geared followed by a gated rep system that felt more like a job than a game has me a bit burned out at the moment. I still love the game and I don't plan to leave it any time soon, but the idea of going into LFR, grinding heroics or questing through Jade Forest again makes me a bit nauseous.
My guild is the biggest factor why I keep playing right now. Not only are they a skilled and talented bunch of players, but they're also some of the friendliest and most fun-loving people I've ever had the pleasure of being associated with in this game. Tempers don't flare when we're beating our heads against a progression wall; instead, we argue about whether or not Ruthers is really such a bad yak or if Derpy is the best pony (she isn't). At the same time, we know how to put our noses down and get things done when we need to. It's a rare balance of progression and social interaction that I haven't seen in another guild since Ulduar.
When he's not at WoW Insider in the comments, find Revynn at Curse of Exhaustion.
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org.