One of the hottest reads in the World of Warcraft communityright now is Shawn Holmes's Eight Years in Azeroth. Old-school players chuckle along with details that today's players wouldn't recognize as coming from WoW. Guild leaders nod in agreement at scenarios that replay over and over in guilds throughout WoW. New players gawk at raiding conventions and gameplay that feels entirely different from the game we know today.
"It was 'slaying internet dragons' mixed liberally with a crash course in leadership and team management," Holmes told WoW Insider. "I went from a player who barely understood the necessity of officer-only forums and a guild bank to dealing with the complexities of interpersonal conflict, player politics, the psychological effects of the social ladder, and keeping players both motivated and loyal in the constantly changing landscape of WoW."
As Holmes blogs his way through his eight years of blood, sweat, and tears in Azeroth, has he come to any realizations along the way?
"Staying true to a moral compass is one thing; keeping an entire guild aligned with those ideals is hard work," he observes. "It's a battle I both won and lost, repeatedly."