Ever since I started playing WoW on one of the last 4 servers ever created I have fought as best I can to promote the sense of community. It was there when I first started playing in 2009, more than 5 years ago. Initially everyone was there to help each other. We all had nothing, no massive stock piles of gold, no army’s of max level alt’s to swap to what ever we felt like playing. Having a good name for yourself had meaning, being a part of a guild no matter how big or small had meaning. When many who came to our new server got their opening the gates event done, they departed, but prior we, the newer players, were subjected to months of comments that we were a bunch of Wrath babies, we didn’t know what real WoW was, Vanilla WoW was best, BC was hard, all we wanted was to be carried. The comments stung, and I did my best to stay calm and worked as hard as I could to help all I could. By running out to zones to help lower level people with a quest, by responding to a World Defense announcement that an area was under attack, we lost many new people, we lost many veteran players, but we also gained. We were never a top 10 realm, at the end of Wrath we were 312th I believe. Dungeon finder did not kill our server, we all still grouped for daily runs, we all still looked for groups in general chat. We still grow to this day, we still are climbing in the ranks, first in the mid 100’s in Cataclysm, to top 100 in Mists, we are a dark horse, the realm many recall spending some time in, to have left, but always have fond memories. Gone are majority of the haters, those of us left stay here because we have found a sense of community.
While there may be times we will argue, taunt, and tease each other, we will rally to fight off those that pop in to make fun of us. We know those of us that have been around for years, we recognize those that work to keep our realm together. More and more the game is leaning to solo play, and less responsibility for behavior, Garrisons are pushing us out of cities into the world, but in the end we are still in a city of our own making, but what I see are people letting all know they are dropping Blingtron outside the Garrison walls, I see dozens run out for a time, only to run back, and say Thank you. You see, even alone in our Garrison with all of the NPC’s roaming about, we still desire contact with others, we still need a community. I can guarantee that if you stuck a few rings outside the Garrison for people to duel, they would be out there in a heartbeat. Playing the game may be a large part of the WoW experience, but the sense of belonging to a community is what makes it special. I will always do everything I can to not only help preserve the community we have, but to help it grow. So if you have in your mindset a long term plan to eventually have it as a solo game you play with others, prepare yourselves for a fight. I will be there on the front lines defending that part of the gaming experience that I feel is what has lead to its success. You did so well in Mists with having the CM’s interact with the player base on Twitter, you should consider taking it to a new level, interacting with people in their Garrisons, allow Game Masters, and Community Managers the ability to pop in to visit, personally I feel this will pay off 100 fold in good feelings that players will feel they do matter, that they are more than a $15 a month sub.