World of Warcraft: We Slew Dragons

With World of Warcraft set to return into the collective pop culture consciousness in the traditional form of an expansion (rather than the highly polarizing movie that came out earlier this year), it’s about time to sit back and reflect on the incredibly long way this game has come. The MMO that had been used as a synonym for the entire gaming world in the late 2000s has since been pushed out of the Blizzard spotlight, first by Hearthstone, and now by Overwatch, but is still the incumbent champion in the MMORPG arena (although whether that’s more due to the stagnation of the whole genre than an indication of the game’s excellence is debatable).

And what better way to celebrate its history than to relive it all through the eyes of someone who was at the heart of it from the days of Vanilla. Shawn Holmes was the guild leader of Descendants of Draenor, a hardcore raiding guild on Deathwing-US for eight years straight, and has recently wrapped up a four-year long writing project about his experiences.

The blog reads like a well-written book and reveals two aspects of the game even those who have dipped their toes into Azeroth for longer than the trial subscription period might not know much about, that is, raiding and being in charge of a guild full of extremely dedicated, hardcore players.

When I had the WoW bug during The Burning Crusade era, I was a mere casual, deriving most of my fun from questing, gathering herbs while exploring the game’s expansive terrain and diving into its lore. Suffice it to say that Shawn’s blog was a major revelation about the other side I had never experienced and his writing is so good and non-formulaic that even seasoned veterans are sure to find it interesting.

So whether you’re someone who only knows about WoW from that one South Park episode, a gamer who was always curious, but never dared to try and break into its ridiculously complicated world, or someone who once in a while still ruminates on the good old days when this game was the only thing everyone talked about, Shawn’s blog is just the thing to sink your weekend into.

[H/T Eight Years in Azeroth]