May 30th, 2007: The Phoenix mount is indeed in-game... with Ezra!
A little while before this post, we'd posted the story of Ezra Chatterton, a boy dealing with cancer who'd been to Blizzard headquarters with the Make-a-Wish foundation, and while there, had gotten outfitted in epics, and had gotten to create his own character, questline, and even provide some voiceover for it. Through the course of that story, our writer Krystalle Voecks got in touch with Micah, Ezra's father, and a little while after that, Micah came to us with a request.
While at Blizzard, Ezra had been given one of the coolest items in game thus far: a rumored epic flying Phoenix mount. Kael'thas hadn't been dropped yet at that point, so we had no idea where it would come from, but Ezra had been given the very first one, and he was worried that if he took it out on the realms, people would judge him or be jealous of him for having gotten such a special item from Blizzard, even before the world first guilds and hardcore raiders. So with Micah's permission, we broke the exclusive story, and Krystalle wrote a great post explaining what the Phoenix mount meant to Ezra, and that he was the first to get it in the game. And players responded, of course, with nothing but generosity and kindness.
As we reported earlier this year, Ezra sadly passed away. But Micah shared that to the end, the WoW community meant everything to them, and of course we are extremely proud to have our top story ever be the one where we were exclusively able to announce Ezra's gift from Blizzard to the world.
It's been a wild three years, and of course, we've covered many, many more stories than these, from Tseric's departure from Blizzard, to the Burning Crusade and Wrath midnight releases, to the BlizzCon ticket chaos and all of the other craziness from the World of Warcraft and the gigantic community surrounding it. We're glad you've been along for the ride for the past three years -- here's to many more!
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