Wow.com has always been a wow news source in a light entertainment style format. It’s shtick is to get as many articles up as it can to generate high amounts of traffic, and seeing that it is owned by AoL that makes business sense. Even if a good many of those articles are complete fluff, that’s okay if it generates the hits. There are also some good writers that work there, pounding away on the keyboard as they feeverishly work to come up with something new. I’ve had issues with them in the past. My review of their podcast was fairly scathing, (since then, the host Mike Schramm has left but if anything it has gotten worse,) and I have been known to get my knickers in a knot about things that have been written over there. But lately things are changing over at wow.com, and for the worse. They now seem to be taking themselves seriously, which is not good as they are merely a glorified blog. The first inkling of this change in attitude that I picked up on was when Adam Holisky attempted to tell us all that we were being mean to Ghostcrawler and should stop, which I wrote about here. The only thing worse than taking yourself too seriously is believeing your own bullshit, and Holisky seems to have a mouthful. But now he is also underestimating his readership, specifically those people who read wow.com but also blog themselves.
The thing is, it seems that most bloggers who write about WoW would gnaw their own leg off at the chance to write for wow.com. And recently they put out the call for some new writers, one of which was the Holy Paladin spot. Kurn of Kurn’s Corner put in a detailed application but ultimately lost out to a writer that they already have who does their rogue column, Chase Christian. It seems highly strange to me that they would advertise such a position, make people go to all the trouble to put in detailed applications, and then give it to one of their in-house team. It looks like a cycnical ploy to drum up interest when they already knew who they were going to give it to. But in this case they might have done better to not put out the call to applicants in the first place and just install Chase as the writer, because in Kurn they have found someone willing to take the time to dig a little deeper. Her excellent post is here and I recommend that you give it a look. To sum it up, she emailed Holisky asking why she didn’t get it and Chase did. Holisky blew her off with a lie and Kurn did some digging and discovered the lie for what it was. Holisky with egg on his face? Nope, because he just doesn’t seem to give a shit.
Chase himself has been in the news recently with his latest article which is titled, ‘The art of the gank.’ I didn’t read it when it came out as I figured that he couldn’t find anything to write about for his column and had just come up with some filler nonsense to get through another week. Unfortunately there has been a fair bit of uproar about his encouragement of the ganking of low level players, (which he attempted to deny in the comments section but was scornfully ridiculed). Rogues Diary and Azure Shadows have written about this already so I won’t go into detail here, but I will say that it is a disappointing read from a writer that the general rogue community sees as somewhat of a guiding point. Also in the last week, Jaded Alt has taken serious issue with the Scattered Shots column on wow.com, as has the rest of the online hunter community apparently.
So we should just ignore wow.com then? Give it a big miss? Well sure, we could do that, but this isn’t the point. 11 million people play WoW of which a very tiny minority reads WoW information online. Of that very tiny minority a large number will take wow.com at face value, particularly the newer players. With the quality of their articles going down faster than a nymphomaniac on speed, it’s not a good situation for the general online WoW community. Not only is the quality of their information dropping, but their comments section on each article is a joke, with almost every comment that disagrees with their content being ‘voted down’ so you can barely read it. If I was a new player then I could imagine finding myself believing the wrong information. Is there anything that we can do as bloggers? Keep calling them out on their mistakes as is starting to happen now. It won’t effect readership or anything but it might catch a person who was believing their hype. And I wouldn’t be so quick to jump at the opportunity to write for them in the future as I don’t know that being assciated with wow.com is going to continue to be seen in a positive light.
My thanks to The Cranky Healer for putting me on to some of those links.