In case you've lived underneath a rock for most your life, Leeroy Jenkins is the name of a WoW character who famously screamed out his name before charging into battle in a blazing display of unabashed recklessness, only to end up getting his entire team killed in epically ignorant fashion.
Blizzard stepped up and recognized Leeroy's fabled shamelessness several times by rewarding him an official trading card, mini figurine, and even named an achievement after him. See below.
Who might be the man behind this storied moment in WoW gaming history? Meet Ben Schulz, a Denver-based gamer who initially filmed the video with some buddies from college, never thinking it'd go anywhere. Oh, if only you'd known Schulz, if only. After the video had been online for a couple years, Schulz was formally invited to give the keynote speech at ROFLCon (been invited to speak at for three years now). Check out Schulz speaking at Blizzcon below:
Jenkins continues to find his way into various pop culture moments, even truck advertisements. Check out four such instances below. You've probably, definitely seen at least one of 'em before.
And of course, perhaps the pinnacle of Leeroy's widespread fame thus far--The Daily Show mention...Oh Leeroy, we love ya man.
Without Metzen games like Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, and Overwatch simply wouldn't be what they are today. The man played an indispensable role in molding the lore, the vision for massively enjoyed video game worlds, and he no doubt inspired so many of both the aspiring, and the established professionals of the video game industry today. Read up on his post he left us with after announcing his retirement, below:
I had just turned twenty years old when I started working at Blizzard. Seems like a lifetime ago. Guess it was. Those first few years were the start of a very grand adventure for me, one that would take me around the world, introduce me to thousands of wonderful geeks just like me—and ultimately shape the course of my adult life.Of course when I started, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I had no idea how to make games or build entertainment products.…But I had an insatiable passion for ideas. For stories. For heroes.My only real training before joining Blizzard was the long-running D&D campaign I had with my closest friends—Sam, Mike P., Daniel, and Mikey C. (you know who you are, boys…HAMRO!). Building ideas—vast worldscapes, characters, and plotlines with my friends was my first great love. I lived for it. It was a safe space amid the tension and change of some rough teenage years. The grand refuge of D&D was a glorious meeting of minds and imaginations where I felt I truly belonged. It was a space where friendship and imagination were inextricably linked. The sharing of ideas on the fly, the crazy, unexpected turns other players would take—it stretched our imaginations in ways we’d never have dreamt of on our own. I loved how roleplaying through adventures taught us so much about each other—and, more often than not, ourselves. Imagining together helped us make sense of the crazy world we were growing up in. It made us stronger together. I wouldn’t really understand the depth of it for many years, but I had learned an important truth from my friends back then: Creativity is relational. Looking back at my years at Blizzard, I see now how profoundly this idea has shaped my career. I see how profoundly my friends and coworkers at Blizzard have shaped me as a person. For nearly twenty-three years I’ve had the very distinct privilege of shaping worlds and building games with the brightest creative minds in entertainment. I’ve walked with giants (and stood on some giants’ shoulders, too). In short, I’ve had the time of my life. I pretty much had the coolest job ever—but the truth is, sometimes it was really hard. Building games with dozens of brilliant, passionate alpha-geeks with their own red-hot instincts and perspectives can be pretty tricky. Coming to consensus about certain design decisions, story motifs, or courses of art direction takes a lot of communication, patience, and “give and take.” It stretches you. Sometimes it wasn’t all that pretty. But engaging with your teammates and collaborating through the potential quagmire of all that creative tension is where the real magic happens. It’s not just the decisions you come to—or even the final shape of the product you craft.… It’s bigger than that—and infinitely more important. True collaboration builds trust—and trust is the basis of all lasting relationships. With trust you build more than just a great product. You build a TRIBE…that can build anything. A family of craftsmen.That’s what Blizzard has been for me. My second family, through all of life’s ups and downs, it’s always been there. The great, geeky backdrop of my life. I don’t just mean “the job” or even the creative mission—but the people. The people who over and over lifted me up, believed in me—and pushed me to find my potential as both an artist and as
The Nostalrius debate reached its head a while ago when a sh*toload of Vanilla server martyrs banded together in a wild mob to throw themselves off a cliff in a staged outcry of unrest over Blizzard's decision to shut down Nostalrius. See video:
Well, Blizzard, expectedly so, is busy making final preparations with Legion; but that didn't stop them from putting aside some time to play through a dungeon on Nostalrius. Here's what the WoW team of execs had to say about their experience:
“We got to play on the server for a little while,” he divulges. “It's really cool, they did an incredible job of building an experience that feels classic and authentic and that's incredibly hard to do. The painstaking effort it takes to research old videos to try and figure out what the data was because it doesn't exist anymore so you have to pull it out of the nether to put that experience together.
“The leadership team got together and we did a Stratholme run. John Hight [production director on WoW] was a Hunter and had a level eight pet and pulled half the instance, wiped us a few times. It was like, ‘why is the whole instance pulling? Oh it's your level eight pet!’ J [Allen Brack, VP and executive producer] was our priest, he’s like [casting buffs] and then sit and drink for 45 seconds, cast again, sit and drink,” he chuckles. “It's funny, we laugh at all that but it was a very moving experience because it's nostalgic and we all have very fond memories of playing that, that's when we were hardcore and all that stuff.”
Game director Tom Chilton also went on to offer up his take on Legacy servers:
“I think it's something that interests Blizzard and we've always had the thought that it would cool to do a classic server or a Burning Crusade server or a Lich King server or whatever.
“It's difficult to pull off and the real cost in terms of our ability to do stuff for the existing game or our ability to do other new projects would be meaningfully affected if we decided to put our resources behind that. Unfortunately, it's not just the push of a button.”