It's somewhat ironic that the very earliest group profiled on 15 Minutes of Fame to have responded to this year's for "Where are they now?" updates remains one of the most vibrant guilds making a name for itself in today's game. Spectacular Death from Llane (US-Alliance) just keeps running "the stuff you wish your guild did," tempting players in search of an active, engaged, relaxed and somewhat silly group of gaming friends. (Full disclosure: They tempted me into the fold, too.)
The spectacular attraction of Spectacular Death "As we head into our seventh year of existence, I guess that sort of makes us an 'elder' guild, in terms of longevity," muses GM Gimmlette. "(You kids get off our lawn and leave the flamingos and the garden gnomes alone.) Our core mission is still the same as it was when we started, to see all and do all but in a casual fashion.
"It's not a race, it's a journey, and that journey is generally filled with hilarity and looking at the game from a slight skewed perspective. We're the guild who revels in trying to skewer ourselves on the steeple of the church in Stormwind as well as working through SoO in flex mode. Elephant parades in Ironforge, naked runs of Molten Core, raft races in Krasarang, jumping off of Dalaran -- yeah, we've done all of that, and more.
"We're still going strong and I don't foresee us closing up shop any time soon," she continued. "I asked tonight why people stay in the guild and was told: 'The dental plan means I keep all my teeth in raids,' 'the 401(k),' 'I was promised a pony,' 'Oompaloompas,' 'tasty cookies,' 'beer,' and 'earworm night' ... um, yeah."
What are the other 15 Minutes of Fame's WoW personalities of 2008 through 2012 doing today?
Remember, for full information on any of these WoW personalities, click the link on the subheader introducing each person.
Twinkie for life PvP twink Suul is exclusively playing PvP with a 90 warrior, rogue and monk and what he calls the "always interesting" level 20-24 bracket, which he notes has been permanently altered by scaling enchantments. "Got my Bloodthirsty title!" he reports.
Elder statesman of the arcane Mage theorycrafter Lhivera is still playing WoW, albeit casually. "Flex gave me the opportunity to re-enter raids with my guild, which I've enjoyed," he writes, "but I also bought a century-old house, so I haven't had as much time to do that as I'd like." Find Lhivera on Twitter as @Lhivera and at Lhivera's Library.
The origins of mana Anthropologist Alex Golub has finished his book on World of Warcraft ("almost ancient history: the pre-Cata days when you had to wait for days for the privilege of wiping repeatedly on a boss") and is searching for a publisher. He's also begun a new project tracing the origins of mana. "It's a term that comes from the Pacific, but how did it make its way into WoW?" he writes. "I've been digging through the history of tabletop roleplaying games and the counterculture of the 1960s to find the answer. An article about this will be coming out in theappendix.net in the spring."
The heroine of education WoW-savvy educator Peggy Sheehy is back in the classroom this year teaching sixth-grade humanities. "Since New York has adopted the Expeditionary Learning modules to assist teachers in the transition to instruct according to the Common Core Learning Standards ... I'm dancing as fast as I can, translating all of the CCLS modules into quests into my own quest-based modules that bring the kids into Azeroth!" she writes. "Using 3D Game Lab and the foundation of the WoWinSchool curriculum, we are rocking The Hero's Journey!"
"In October I brought 51 new heroes onto the Sister of Elune server, and they have joined The Legacy Guild," she continues. "The educators' (adult) guild, Cognitive Dissonance, is going strong and our sister guild Inevitable Betrayal (Horde) is rocking the education world by producing tons of resources -- machinima, MOOCS, Google Hangouts and in-game events for any and all interested parties!"
Quadriplegic endgame raiding The inspiring gamer Quadilious is still "running hard" at endgame heroics with his characteristic aplomb and wit. "My wife and I celebrated our 20-year since our first date by running a raid in the same room but not the same raid, LOL," he writes. "Happy holidays, everyone!"
WoW as Child's Play "It's been an incredible year for Child's Play," reports Kristin Lindsay of Child's Play charity. "Not only are we celebrating record numbers for both donations and participating partner hospitals, but this year our domestic violence assistance project was launched. Child's Play has placed fully-loaded gaming carts in 10 pilot shelters, with plans to expand." Get involved at Child's Play, or follow Kristin at @Peeardee.
PvP like a Ferengi "I have been playing Hearthstone a lot, and I really look forward to the actual release of the game," writes Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Aron "Nog" Eisenberg. "But lately I have been back to my usual PvP game, focusing on my 'lock and priest, then mage then rogue. I have also begun leveling a druid, and I have been enjoying that too!"
The filmmaker John Keating, one of the two filmmakers responsible for the World of Warcraft documentary Race to World First, is at it again. John and his partner Zachary Henderson have begun filming their next documentary, Game Changer, the largest documentary about e-sports to date. "Some of the best players in the world will be featured," John writes. Follow the production's progress on Facebook or Twitter at @LFGProduction.
From RP to RL Six years strong, the Templars of the Rose RP guild has crowdsourced two real-life events in 2013, a Terry Pratchett play directed and supported by guildmates and a board game, VICI: The Die is Cast, which hits shelves next year. In WoW, the Templars enjoyed a naval campaign called Echoes of Theramore and launched a War Effort supply drive.
On hiatus with heteromation Anthropologist Bonnie Nardi is on hiatus from WoW but still using her WoW-related research data as she works on a concept called heteromation. "It's something like crowdsourcing, but the work of heteromation is carried out by (unpaid) end users and is not instigated algorithmically or organizationally," she explains. "I first noticed heteromation in video gaming ... Imagine WoW without all the forums, guides, blogs, YouTube videos, and so on!" She says she's eager to return to WoW; until then, find Bonnie at her website.
From Singing Sunflower to storybook tale Plants v. Zombies soundtrack composer Laura Shigihara is still playing WoW. She's preparing to release her game Rakuen. "It's an adventure about a little boy who, after getting bored of living in the hospital, asks his mother if she'll escort him to the fantasy world from his favorite storybook," she writes.
Composing for a new age David Arkenstone, composer of many of WoW's favorite soundtrack themes, has scored the new game Starlight Inception, released earlier this month. Be on the lookout for David Arkenstone's Symphonic Adventure, a multimedia concert event set to tour in 2014-'15. For the latest news and concert dates, check DavidArkenstone.com, or follow David on Facebook and @davidarkenstone on Twitter.
Still playing casually WoW launched Candace McCarty into voiceover work, and today she's still playing casually and working in voiceover part time. "I don't write about video games anymore," she explains. "I have been doing a lot on the crafting and DIY circuit. That includes a how-to book on crochet that's expected to be out at the beginning of 2014." Find Candace on Twitter at @CandaceMcCarty.
Old Salty "Honored to find Salty El fishing the waters of Pandaria," writes El of El's Extreme Anglin'. "And not a little overwhelmed by the community response. Encounters with 'my other me' certainly make one think." He continues: "Lots of fishing was to be found through the Mists of Pandaria, but the profession remains a bit of a backwater, evidently struggling to regain anglers lost to the Cataclysm." Find El at El's Extreme Anglin'.
The long journey from yesterday Bill Craig continues to enjoy WoW as part of his life with Alzheimer's disease. "I'm depending a lot more on the GM's these days and I consider them the unsung heroes of the game," he writes. "I contact them so much they now know me by my toon's name, with which I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I'm flattered, but on the other, I feel guilty for contacting them when it may be a trivial matter. They are always super-friendly, and I leave comments in the questionnaire instead of just hitting the 'agree/very satisfied' buttons.
"Outside of the game, I am still active as an Alzheimer's advocate (I'm in stage IV and therefore still able to communicate), and my cards are in many of the doctor's offices here in Carroll County," he continues. "The good news about Stage IV is that my neuro-shrink thinks I've stabilized at this stage. I also still write my blog, which also serves as my memoirs and there are some humorous as well as serious biographical stories there."
Where everybody knows your name "AFK Tavern is going strong," reports proprietor Kayla Graves of the gaming-themed pub, "and we're opening a second location south of us in Renton called AFK Elixirs & Eatery. I'm tanking Heroic SoO on my death knight named Xyonjia with my guild Dissonance on Stormrage."
An artist's approach Gaming artist Liz Danforth has been raiding with her mage Winter and finally leveling archaeology ("AKA 'land fishing'"). "I continue to work on the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls reboot, coming along nicely," she reports. "The Gathering art book I contributed to is scheduled to be arriving in people's mail by the beginning of the year -- my favorite and thus-far best painting ever."
Politically speaking "The Wreck List, the guild for political liberals, is cruising along," reports GM Dkosmama of the Daily Kos-affiliated guild. "Our roster continues to hover right around the membership cap and our three raid teams are tearing up the new content -- always in the top ten on Garrosh. In addition we now have two auxiliary guilds, Too Big to Fail for banking alts and Wrecked List for crafting alts." Find the guild at Wreck List.
Seeing clearly "Guide dog" Davidian, the player who guided his blind teammate to guild raid victories, is still playing actively. "I am still the same old DK Davidian on the same server of Chamber of Aspects and still in Die Safe my other family," he reports. "We are still raiding away, making a steady progress through Heroic SoO. Other than WoW I just casually play my way through other games and work, really, living my quiet life in my little village." Find Davidian on Twitter at @DavidianCOA.
Another year under her belt Septaguenarian raiding guild leader Marthazon is still in the thick of World of Warcraft. "I'm captivated by the genius of Blizzard; the story lines, the call-outs to our real world, and the interaction in game between real people around the real world," she writes. "Our guild, Spartans, remains strong with players that willingly work hard to balance their real-life obligations while being dedicated to 25-man raiding." Marthazon's also enjoyed discovering and researching a Polish line of her genealogical line the family had feared lost since 1907. "For me, the challenge of both WoW and genealogy continues to keep my days wonderfully entertaining," she finishes.
The master craftsman Master craftsman and crafting specialist Daen is still adding new recipes to his Emporium on an almost daily basis. "I'm still helping others out, both by action and example," he reports with pride. "I'm looking forward to the changes and updates associated with Warlords of Draenor and hope to have something more substantial for everyone out there by the time it releases." Visit Daen's Crafting Emporium and look for Daen's new Behind the Curtain section.
All druids, all the time The all-druid guild Druids of the Beast is still going strong, flexing its way through the first two parts of Siege of Orgrimmar. Find them at Druids of the Beast or on Twitter at @thedruidguild.
Nearly 300 gnomes strong All-gnome guild Gnomeregan Forever celebrated its third anniversary in September "like a boss," in the worlds of GM Forbidra. "Speaking of bosses, our runty raiders cut many down to size this year! We've also been experimenting with PvP! Are you ready for all-gnome arena and BG teams?? For Gnomeregan!!" Find the guild at www.gnome4ever.shivtr.com or on Twitter at @Gnomeregan4ever.
The Insiders The WoW Insider-affiliated guild The Insiders are nearly done with SoO on flex and hoping to move to normal mode when that's complete. Visit The Insiders' sister guild It Came From the Blog for more details about getting involved.
Any time, anywhere "The Anytime, Anywhere Messenger Service is still serving the community of Cenarion Circle, despite the minor setback of closing down our Orgrimmar office for safety reasons until this business with Garrosh Hellscream is concluded," writes Derscha Kettlebomb, GM of cross-faction courier group. "Some of our craziness has been featured on Around Azeroth this past year. Derscha is still CEO, but we've a new Horde Branch Manager, Braedorialai, who actually moved to CC after reading about the AAMS on WoW Insider. So thank you for providing me with one of my most valuable officers!" Find the group at AAMS.
In the stacks WoW-playing librarian Ellen Forsyth reports: "I have had to take a break to fit in work on Teen Games Rule, which I coedited with Julie Scordato. We have set up a Tumblr where people can add their ideas about teenagers games and libraries, #teengamesrule."
Easing through the holidays "This time of the year can be particularly rough for a lot of our members," writes Cantafrond of Swords for Everyone, a guild for players with social anxiety, "but the guild is doing well. We've been working on perfecting our weekly clears of Siege of Orgrimmar and helping new recruits get comfortable in a guild environment. Outside of WoW, we've been battling some fierce Hearthstone addictions and doing our part to raise awareness about mental health through gaming." Contact the group at Swords of Everyone.
Breathing easy Blizzard forums GM Alona has been taking a breather from WoW. "I haven't been playing as much because I'm really interested in the changes WoD will bring," she writes. Find Alona at @GloriaBoboria on Twitter or blogging about WoW at CorgiIsland.
The largest VoiP on Earth "I continue to play WoW as well as host the Rath Strat AV's for fans and friends when time permits," writes PvP premade kingpin Rathamus. "I also continue to manage the World of Warcraft Public Vent that I founded nearly 7 years ago. Used by almost 300,000 unique players in the last year, it is the largest and most active VoiP server on Earth."
That's life! First comes WoW-inspired love, then comes WoW-inspired marriage, then comes a WoW-inspired baby! "We are still playing WoW; my hubby came back after a hiatus although we are definitely not playing as much since the baby was born," writes Lilyia of the wonderful WoW-themed wedding. "We actually wound up naming her Lily, after my main toon in WoW. She loves watching my hubby play video games and squeals when she sees his goblin. I think we have a little Hordie on our hands." See Lilyia's arts and crafts at DeviantArt.
How to priest "I was raiding with the best guild in the world, Arch Druid, back in July but decided to take a bit of a break," reports HowToPriest.com's creator Veiled. "I still play the occasional Hearthstone and Diablo 3 and will likely be around for Warlords! HowToPriest.com is still running full steam and the whole team has been fantastic this expansion."
Pen to paper Rachel Gold, author of transgender-themed YA novel Being Emily, which uses World of Warcraft as a unifying element, just finished getting her legendary cloak. "The Being Emily sequel is in the works and slated to come out sometime in the second half of 2014," she reports. "It will include a significant gaming element and hopefully much of what readers enjoyed in Being Emily." Visit Rachel at RachelGold.com and Being Emily.
Next week: Where are they now? The WoW personalities of 2013
"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- and neither did we, until we talked with Game of Thrones' Hodor (Kristian Nairn) or 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.