World of Warcraft is huge. After nearly fourteen years and seven expansions, there’s no other way to describe it. And while this makes it a wonderful game to lose yourself in, it can also be more than a little overwhelming. Even veteran players returning after a long hiatus know what it’s like to start playing again, only to feel utterly lost.
One place where you can find your feet (or even just keep up-to-date) is YouTube. Here are some of my favourite channels.
This is my favourite WoW YouTube channel. Even my pets are named after these two. They’re filthy casuals – just like me. I mean, not really. Taliesin definitely does raiding, and even though neither of them seem to like it much, they can hold their own in PvP if they need to. Their true focus, though, is on just having fun. Their channel is funny, informative, and very, very positive – which, in a fandom that once actually complained about getting extra bag space, is pleasantly refreshing.
My favourite thing about them? The critical analysis of WoW. Evitel has a degree in art, and it’s something she’s actually used when discussing World of Warcraft. Elsewhere, Taliesin does regular “Taliesin Talks”, where he’ll take something like the BFA intro cinematics and do an in-depth analysis. In fact, his analysis of Jaina’s Warbringers animated short was so good that Doug Alexander, the director of the short, called it “just about as close as anyone could likely get without being inside my head”. As endorsements go, that’s top-shelf.
Bellular has become a brilliantly reliable, highly informative well of WoW knowledge – so much so that Blizzard themselves have gotten him to do a bunch of official guide videos for their own channel. Just in case you think this makes him some sort of Blizzard shill, know that he’s also one of Battle for Azeroth’s most vocal critics.
The thing I like most about him is that his criticism always feels measured, reasonable, and fair. It’s never a case of doom and gloom. He doesn’t make ridiculous, wild statements about the end of WoW. He simply highlights areas that need improvement.
If WoW has a bible, Wowhead is it – but did you know they have a podcast as well? The Wowhead Weekly is first streamed via Twitch, but I usually catch it once it’s been posted on their YouTube channel. It’s usually somewhere between one and two hours long, and it mostly consists of discussions between Perculia, Wowhead’s site director, and streamer AnnieFuchsia.
There are times when things feel a little too Alliance-leaning for my taste (we get it, Annie – you’re for the Alliance), but for the most part, the discussions are both interesting and insightful – enough to ensure I never miss an episode.
While I’ve only recently started watching the previous three channels, I’ve been watching Nobbel’s channel for years. He took me from not being able to tell the difference between Sargeras and Saurfang to being able to argue, in detail, why I believe Tyrande is a tyrant who has yet to answer for her crimes (she murdered hard-working Wardens on a whim, and has that ever been dealt with? No. #JusticeForTheWardens).
So far, Battle for Azeroth is the most story-driven expansion we’ve seen, and if the data mining for 8.1 is anything to go by, this focus on the lore is only going to get more intense. So if ever there was a time to bookmark this loremaster of Warcraft, it’s now.
Before I finish off, there are a few other channels I should mention. Hazelnuttygames does a variety of content, from guides to mount runs. FatbossTV‘s raiding guides are essential viewing for anyone who hopes to do any raids more complicated than LFR. Preach Gaming can be intensely harsh with his criticism, and while I usually need a strong dose of T&E’s positivity after one of his videos, he does tend to focus on his perspective as a mythic raider, which makes his content interesting (especially for a filthy casual like me).
Finally, World of Warcraft’s own channel is always worth keeping an eye on, as this is where Blizzard posts amazing content like the Warbringers shorts, developer Q&As, and narrated short stories. Believe me: if you don’t watch any of that, you’re missing out. Plain and simple.