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WRUP: It's the end of the world as we know it edition

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So what is team WoW Insider playing this weekend? Since this is the last time we'll be asking (and answering) this question, we went in search of long-lost team members we haven't had the pleasure of seeing around the virtual water cooler lately. That means this last edition of WRUP is super-sized, with answers from WoW Insider staff both current and past. And since we are nearing the end of our time together, we also asked everyone what's kept them playing WoW over the years -- after all, a decade is a long time to spend in any game.

So join us, won't you, for a nostalgia-fueled trip through our favorite game. And if you're playing WoW this weekend, jump into the comments to tell us what you're up to -- and why you've stuck around the game for so long.

Adam Holisky (@AdamHolisky) I've been battling respiratory influenza the last few days, and I'll be taking it easy with WoW -- probably just running LFR and farming (forever, it seems) Ashes of Al'ar. Eventually I will get the mount, it will be mine! Once I'm better I want to dive back into Heroes of the Storm a bit; I haven't had much time to play it lately and I've been wanting to get back into it. But alas, now isn't the time. Although HBO GO has been keeping me entertained as I catch up with watching Game of Thrones.

Adam Koebel (@BendakWoW) I partially leveled a couple of alts right after launch to establish garrisons and now I'm going to begin getting them up to 100. The nice thing is they've already had level 100 followers for a while so they've got tons of gear waiting for them via garrison missions.

What's kept me playing WoW all this time? You mean besides the hunter class? There's no singular thing. WoW is greater than the sum of its parts. That's the best way I know how to put it. Also, it's the people. I've been in several different guilds over the years, and most of my best WoW memories are centered around the people in those guilds. Second to all that is just how invested I am in my main character. It was literally the first toon I ever rolled 10 years ago and I'm still playing it. So much collected. So much history. I can't imagine not playing the game in some form. How long is WoW going to last? Whatever the answer is, it seems like that's how much longer I'll be playing.

Alex Ziebart (@AlexZiebart) This weekend I'll be finishing The Banner Saga, preparing for Blackrock Foundry, and watching reactions to my book with fingers crossed. I anticipate playing WoW with crossed fingers will be difficult, but worth it.

The community of World of Warcraft is what has kept me playing this long. In a way, I feel like that's a cheap answer, but it's absolutely true. The only reason I continued to play back in 2004 and 2005 is the vast circle of friends I made in-game. Though the game was fun, that wasn't necessarily why I logged in. I logged in to hang out with cool people. When I got the WoW Insider gig, that ring of people grew exponentially, including both staff and readers. The people I worked with became some of my closest friends and I won't forget the time we've spent together so far. I hope we can keep that going. Not here, but somewhere.

Allison Robert (@AllisonRobert) I haven't been able to play WoW since mid-December owing to a crush of work and pet health issues that have stubbornly persisted since the holidays. I've dipped back into Diablo III as a result, as I can just about manage a rift or two before collapsing in bed at night. However, I'm looking forward to running Blackrock Foundry and mythics with my guild later. What's kept me playing? People. I have been so very blessed with the people who've come into my life because of WoW, both inside the game and out. I've been playing with some of them for eight years and working with others for seven. The vast majority of the people you'll meet through WoW are awesome (and whenever they weren't, you could turn 'em into articles).

Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) I'll be spending the weekend writing, possibly getting some around the house projects done, and working on some art projects that have gone by the wayside, and trying to figure out what to replace my stables with once I'm done with the last of the training quests. Cashed in on the free mounts, now it's time for something else! What's kept me playing WoW? Honestly, it's a combination of the story and the community -- I love Warcraft's story. I'm pretty sure I'll always love Warcraft's story, it's an endless one. But I also really love that this game has introduced me to so many new friends - sure, it's had its ups and downs, but I have a wolf statue on my bookshelf that says the ups have always, always outweighed the downs.

Chase Christian (@madsushi) My guild is taking the weekend off of WoW to watch the Super Bowl and to celebrate our first Heroic Imperator kill at literally the last moment possible before Blackrock Foundry's release.

Downing the final boss of a tier with your guildmates beside you is what WoW is all about for me. Players working together, learning strategies, bettering themselves, and accomplishing a major goal. I don't do dailies, I don't collect pets or mounts, and my transmog game has been described as "incredibly weak" by the fashion savvy. I play WoW to hear my friends and family shouting and cheering when our teamwork causes a boss to fall over dead. Those same qualities are what I loved about writing at WoW Insider: collaborating on articles, in-depth discussions and research, and camaraderie (online and at BlizzCon). I play WoW to interact with the players that make up this amazing community. Thanks for being part of it.

Chase Hasbrouck (@alarondruid) I just got a 3DS for Christmas, so I'm working my way through all the games everyone else on Twitter loved years ago. Tune in to my Twitter to see me excitedly talking about my Fire Emblem: Awakening pairings! As for WoW, the game itself has had ups and downs, but what has kept me coming back was a passionate group of developers committed to making it better at every turn, and an amazing collection of people who were willing to discuss it with me. While WoW Insider may be shutting down, I still have the friendships it sparked, and I am a happier person because of it.

(Okay, that last sentence was totally sappy but whatever.) :)

Dan O'Halloran (@danoh) More Highmaul farming for Abrogator's Stones for the legendary ring on my druid and monk healers. And finishing Nagrand quest lines. No, really, I mean it this time. Don't look at me like that. New content and old friends keep me coming back. I tend to drift away after I get through the new content of an expansion as I'm not a fan of daily faction grinds, PvP or the other repeatable content meant to keep us busy between patches. When I do come back, I immediately check in with my friends online. I've been playing MMOs with the same group since that fateful day in early 2000 when we found ourselves in a pick up group at the Estate of Unrest in vanilla EverQuest and realized we had the same philosophy when it comes to playing (casual and fun and no pressure.) Fourteen years later we've seen each other through multiple marriages, divorces, kids and new MMOs. And every time I drift away and return to a game, they always greet me with open arms. Does it get any better than that, people? No, it does not.

Daniel Whitcomb (@danielwhitcomb) I'm playing Guild Wars 2 this weekend. I picked it up in last week's big sale and I'm having a lot of fun. My Norn Ranger lady uses a long bow and dual axes and is already in her mid-60s. Her personal story has been at turns awesome and heartbreaking, I already love most of the major lore characters I've encountered, and I get to fight lots of pirates and evil vikings. What's not to love? In non-gaming news, I'm also really looking forward to reading Alex Ziebart's new Neva Cora novel. I have a Super Bowl party on Sunday too. I'm not so much into the football, but I get to hang out with some cool people I haven't hung out with in a while.

As to what kept me playing WoW? In some part, it was, I believe, the best MMO out there. A UI that wasn't too complicated, a large variety of classes that were easy to learn but still took some work to master, a solid loot system, and lots of stuff to do regardless of whether I was feeling casual or hardcore. Of course, the other major thing was the people. I had a good guild the whole time. Northrend Commonwealth underwent a few mutations during my time in WoW, but at its heart it was always a guild full of good people who enjoyed doing fun stuff together and supporting each other. Beyond that, there's also the very excellent WoW community at large, especially at WoW Insider. I miss hanging out in Campfire, I miss winding down at a random hotel bar after a hard day covering BlizzCon, and I miss seeing my guides and articles distributed and talked about and debated by a bunch of cool people who like video games as much as I do.

It's been a good trip. I won't say Goodbye because I am still here on twitter, and even if I don't play WoW or write for WoW Insider, there are still plenty of things we can probably geek about together. So. Follow me. Say Hi. Let's keep having fun together.

Dawn Moore (@dawnwow) I suspect my gaming will be restricted to board games this weekend since I've been invited to two parties which I'm obligated to attend. I just acquired the card game Once Upon A Time though, and am looking forward to subjecting my friends to it. It's a storytelling game that's kind of like a competitive version of bump, but with improved rules and fantasy flair.

There are three reasons I've continued to play WoW after all these years. The first is that I think the game just keeps getting better. I'm of the opinion that class design and raid encounter design are the best they've ever been. If all I did was quest and level I'd probably have quit in Wrath, but seeing the raid fights get harder and the class gameplay get more complex has kept the game enjoyable for me.

The second reason I keep playing, and possibly the main reason, is the people. I have so many friends (and one really amazing boyfriend) who I've met through PUGs, guilds, the community, and WoW Insider who I hold in the same esteem as my IRL buddies. Through the years, these people are what kept the game entertaining and dynamic, and they're the only reason farm content is even remotely bearable to me. If I were to go back and tell all my favorite stories from over the years, you'd see pretty quickly that they're all just human interaction stories with the game as the backdrop.

The third reason is yaks. Magnificent, beautiful yaks.

Eliah Hecht (@eliah) Playing: Magic: the Gathering. I'm not currently subscribed to WoW, but what's kept me coming back (I've played at least some of every expansion) has been the friends I've made in the game.

Elizabeth Harper (@faience) I started writing for WoW Insider in February 2006, so this really feels like the end of an era. I feel a bit too disheartened to want to play WoW at all right now, but I'll no doubt jump in at some point this weekend to continue my ongoing battle pet collecting quest. I'm just one pet shy of Kalimdor Safari (curse you Minfernal!), a couple away from Outland Safari, and I need a bunch of Pandaria pets. However, I'm more looking forward to Grim Fandango, a game that I have very fond memories of but haven't played in many years. With the remastered edition, I can now enjoy it on my PS4 and big screen TV.

As to what's kept me around... it's definitely the people I've met along the way. I've hopped from guild to guild during my time in Azeroth, but it's always the people I've played with who have kept me logging on -- and it was when I found a new guild to settle in that I really started taking the game seriously after a post-Cataclysm break. To everyone I've played with over the years: it's been fun and I'll see you on the other side.

Elizabeth Wachowski (@leeatwaterlives) I'm not feeling in the mood for WoW, for obvious reasons, so I'll be working on Dragon Age: Inquisition and Skyrim.

Fox Van Allen (@foxvanallen) I'll likely be playing Super Smash Bros. this weekend on the Wii U. I'll be the guy switching between the Koopa Kids, shirtless Shulk and Duck Hunt. If you'd like to play with me or against me online, my Nintendo ID is foxvana11en. (Yes, there's an eleven in there. Nintendo thinks my name is obscene without it.)

Sadly, I haven't played WoW in at least a year. But I still try my best to keep in touch with all the people who made playing the game such a pleasure. Last year, I celebrated Mat McCurley's birthday by walking the beach and grabbing In N Out with him out in Santa Monica. I went to BlizzCon and played beer pong against Dave Kosak (and schmoozed with his beautiful wife Crystal). I went to a lodge in the Rocky Mountains with Anne Stickney, ate my first elk burger, and discussed plans to launch a new podcast. I went to Queen Michele Morrow's birthday party at a Los Angeles barcade and met some of her weird new Hollywood friends. I visited former "FOXLER" team member Tyler Caraway in Boston, shared a burger, and called him "dummy." And I can't forget former WoW Insider Editor in Chief Dan O'Halloran, whom I work with every single day over at Techlicious.

World of Warcraft is a lot of fun, and I have so many great memories about playing it. But it's the people who I played with that made the game truly great. The same goes for the crew at WoW Insider, both past and present. The staff are some of the most talented and passionate people you'll ever meet (and read). I can't wait to see what's next from each and every one of them. Love you guys.

Gregg Reece (@undeadfish) With any luck, I'll be playing the new, remastered version of Grim Fandango this weekend. I still have an original copy of the game, but it's difficult to get it running on a modern machine. What's not to love about Humphrey Bogart film noir-style storytelling in a world based on El Dia de los Muertos? The writing in it is brilliant. The story is fascinating. The characters are so alive (well, dead).

As for WoW, I occasionally buy a couple months of game time. However, just after I do that the world usually jumps up and blocks any chance of getting to play anything. I still greatly miss tanking for my friends, all of the chaotic fun that came with a guild raid, and the old bridge battles in Alterac Valley. For the Horde!

Jessica "Lassirra" Klein (@lassirra) Playing WoW still, working on heroic Highmaul progression with my guild (Roadhouse, Illidan-US horde), also playing Diablo 3, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm with a bit of EVE Online for flavor.

Jennie Lees (@jennielees) This weekend, I plan to head to the stars (or, more likely, repeatedly crash into the ground) with Kerbal Space Program, drop in on the LoL LCS stream, as well as play a few real-life games of fetch with my dog. I'll probably also swing by Azeroth -- after a five year break prompted by an international move, your former raid strategist is hanging out with the LFR casuals and having a pretty good time doing so.

I kept playing WoW for the community, the awesome storylines, the epic encounters and that amazing sense of accomplishment when you finally got the boss, though missing out on a couple of world firsts was bittersweet. Rerolling internationally and playing casually, I mostly came back just to see the content -- the level 90 boost helped make up for the lack of international server transfers.

Joe Perez (@lodurzj​) WoW, GW2 and some Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. I've been playing games in some capacity for most of my life, but what keeps me playing WoW after all this time? Well, it's not mechanics or class balance. Hell, it's not even content or raiding. It all boils down to one word: Community.

Over the last decade of time spent in this game, I can't even begin to recount how much the people who I have met through it have meant to me. Whether former readers here from the site turned into good friends, co-workers from the sites and blogs and podcasts, or guildies and fellow players that became family, it is those people more than any other factor that keeps me logging in to WoW.

The community was there when my home burned down, many years ago. They helped me rebuild a life. The community was there when I was battling crippling depression and falling apart in real life. They helped to keep me propped up and moving forward. The community was there for every happy moment, for every triumph, for every failure, for every experiment. Every time I shouted "FOR SCIENCE" and ran careening into a boss fight. Those people I count as family and friends who share the hair brained schemes like killing Dark Shaman on the Rooftops of Orgrimmar because we could, or staying with me through over 400 and more days of trying for the Dark Shaman Transmog, and rejoicing with me when I finally got it.

WoW has filled a role that no other game has before, and I'm not sure it will since. It has marked so many milestones in my life, that it seems almost insane. The game may age, it may become outdated, but as long as there are friends and people to share the highs and the lows with, I will always love it. As long as the community is there helping each other and goofing around together and having a good time, I'll keep logging in until the servers go dark.

Kristin Marshall (@kristin) My gaming plans for this weekend include a Highmaul achievement run, working on CMs, raiding, and a weekly DnD night with friends. Many gaming things. I'd have to say two things have kept me playing WoW for ten years. One, the people. It always comes back to that. I've made so many memories and relationships with people I've met in Azeroth. Two, the escape. WoW has helped me through many tough times in my life. It's a place I can escape to... even for a little while.

Lisa Poisso (@lisapoisso) I won't be WRUPing much of anything this weekend; work calls, and I have manuscripts to edit. But I can surely answer this week's WRUP highlight question about what kept me playing WoW through the years: the people. Gaming ain't no fun if you ain't got good people to game with. I did-my fellow staffers here at WoW Insider, our readers, the many guilds I've been a member from (from the spectacular to the monosyllabic). It was a great run, folks. See you somewhere in Azeroth!

Mark Crump (@crumpy) I'm playing Bioshock Infinite and Arkham Horror. What kept me playing WoW was the handful of great friends I've made that I continue to play with. I've tried almost every other MMO out there, but WoW keeps drawing me back with the lore and sense of humor throughout the game.

Matthew Rossi (@MatthewWRossi) All I'm going to be doing is playing the 'Desperately Seeking Employment' game. It's hard not to see this as a judgement on my personal worth -- but I'm not going to do that. I'm going to keep looking, applying anywhere I can think of, trying my best to get myself some regular income so that my wife doesn't have to shoulder the burden for our entire family. I played WoW for ten years because I like warriors. That's pretty much it. And partially, I played because I had this job, with these people, and I wanted it to keep going.

Matt "Matticus" Low (@Matticus) Oh man, getting the gang back together one more time. Heroes of Might and Magic 3 has been re-released on Steam and tablets so I'll be picking that up soon to play. I just love those turn based strategy games. Aside from that, I've been logging some big hours in on Heroes of the Storm. If you're interested in playing (or just want the bonus XP to playing with people on your friends list), drop me a line! It's now an activity we do after a raid night where we decompress. Currently maining as Jaina.

Why I still play WoW? I really don't know. Maybe it's the new content. Or maybe it's just the people. Yeah, it's probably the people. I keep asking myself what would it take for me to completely cease playing and participating in Warcraft, and I just don't know. It's been a major part of my life and professional career. It's hard to walk away from something with that kind of influence. It's not an addiction in the sense that I play it every day for hours on end (or that I get the shakes if I stop). Hard to explain, really.

Megan "Poneria" O'Neil (@_poneria) I've been diving back into GW2 as my non-WoW game while I wait for D3's Season 2 to begin. While I do have an 80 necromancer (warlock 4 lyfe), I'm enjoying leveling a mesmer based off an old D&D bard of mine. In WoW, I'm working on my Horde warlock and my mainest alt, my bearcat druid.

It's been said so many times, so many ways, merry chr-- wait, no, not that. The people. Yes. The people, both in my guild and in the general blogging community, are what keep me coming back to WoW every night. I may find escape sometimes in other games, but I always come back to WoW because I want to play with someone here in Azeroth/Draenor.

Michael Gray (@writegray) This weekend I am finally getting the final edit for Throgg and Swift: World's Police if it kills me. Also, the new shielding is eating like a beast, so I'll probably spend some time getting her kibble.

Olivia Grace (@oliviadgrace) I'll be working on getting my mage up to level 100. She's my crafter, and I really need her to make my paladin some higher item level gear. I've had a break from raiding, thanks to being in the UK, as I now live and raid in the USA. I'll also be working cheerfully through some skirmishes, a feature I've loved in Warlords, and collecting up some broken bones to fund my escapades via my Gladiator's Sanctum.

What's kept me playing WoW? People. It's always been the people for me. Such diversity, such different approaches, so many different walks of life brought together by one game. It never ceases to amaze me, and while we may have our ups and downs and falling outs from time to time, I'll keep coming back to WoW as long as there's anyone else out there to play it with.

Rafe Brox (@etcet) World of Tanks for Xbox 360 and, on very rare occasions, Rock Band. On the PC, about all I play these days Diablo 3 for like an hour a week. I'm laaaaaaaaame. I tried Planetary Annihilation and 7 Days to Die on Steam, and sucked profoundly at Battlefield 3 and 4, but nothing grabbed me. In WoW, I only lasted through WotLK, and tried the brief demo when Cataclysm came out, but after my old guild went raiding rather than casual, the game lost traction for me and the folks with whom I was tightest.

Rich Maloy (@stoneybaby) Single player RPG's, especially Dragon Age: Inquisition, anxiously anticipating Witcher 3, and FTL. I kept playing WoW because of the wonderful people in @bigcrits. I formed long lasting friendships through the guild, and still stay in touch with many of the raiders.

Robin Torres (@cosmiclaurel) I'll be keeping up with my garrisons on my four WoD characters and hopefully getting my second 100. I'll also be playing Disney Infinity 2.0 with The Spawn. We've got to level up Stitch and Yondu! And I'll be watching the Super Bowl, though I don't really care who wins. My team got eliminated earlier on in the month and then promptly imploded. Ah well, maybe next year.

I actually took a break from WoW for a while last year and came back in December to try out WoD. Every time a new expansion comes out, Blizzard improves the leveling experience. I just love the pacing and my involvement in the story in Draenor and am enjoying leveling up multiple characters through it. Every time I play another MMO, I come back to WoW for how they handle questing in particular. And of course there's my attachment to the characters I've played for so long. They are like old friends.

Sarah Nichol (@decodingdragons) This weekend I'm most likely to be playing the Boardgame Eldritch Horror. Ultimately what I loved most, and what kept me coming back for so long, was the people, and the satisfaction of achieving something with my friends. Whether that was getting involved in Totemspot back in the day, helping my guild master build a happy, stable guild, downing a boss, or finally getting my articles submitted at WoW Insider. I learned a lot, and WoW gave me the confidence and springboard to make some awesome changes. I don't play anymore, but I remember the game and people with fondness. Goodbye WoW Insider, it isn't going to be the same without you.

Sarah Pine (@ilaniel) I don't know if my schedule will allow me to play anything this weekend, but I'm hoping I have the chance to at least play around in my garrison. What's kept me in the game so long? The friends I've made, absolutely. All the people I've met either through the game itself, through WoW communities, through Blizzard, through BlizzCon... you name it, I've met great people all the way through. All of my closest friends have come to me through WoW. That's pretty amazing, and the chance to share a virtual space with so many folks I love and adore is absolutely what keeps me logging in.

Sean Forsgren (@rhygaar) I'm playing H1Z1 and Planetside 2 this weekend. I keep coming back to WoW because it's such a beautiful, compelling game to play with friends, and every expansion just keeps getting better!
The weekend is the perfect time to kick back, relax and enjoy some game time. Are you an achievement junkie? Can't get enough raiding? Rolling a new alt? Considering taking the leap into roleplaying? Whatever your favorite way to play World of Warcraft, let us know in the comments what you're playing this weekend!

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