I’d really like to know what happened to El’s Anglin’.
If you’re not familiar (and if you started playing during Warlords, you may very well not be) El’s was a Warcraft fan site dedicated to all things fishing. It was the best – and only – place to go for anything you could ever need to know about fishing: what to catch, where to catch it, how to obtain the fishing achievements, all the insider tips and tricks of the trade, guides for every fishing pet, gear guides…and an entire community dedicated to helping each other learn to fish.
I have used the site for years, but last time I decided I needed some fishing guidance I was met with a complete lack of website. No “sorry, we’ll be back soon” on the home page – just flat no home page. The site vanished, and with it its creator.
I thought it was odd and didn’t think much else of it. General consensus around the web was that there was some sort of technical issue with the server coupled with a bit of trouble in the creator’s home life. People assumed the site would be back shortly.
It’s been a year.
If “technical issues” are behind the site’s disappearance, then they must be really damn severe. Today while at work (when I should have been, you know, working) I decided to do some half-assed internet sleuthing, and this is what I discovered.
El’s last tweet was on February 26, 2015. Not a peep out of him since. The website went down around the same time, and queries from concerned folks started popping up around March 2015. There are threads on reddit, MMO-Champ, and the official WoW forums of folks asking where El went, and why the website went with him.
Some people who claim to know the mastermind behind El’s say that he was having real life issues, but don’t elaborate (really, it’s not anyone’s business, but the community was concerned about the guy.) There is no way for these folks to prove they actually do know El other than El himself coming forward, so the veracity of these claims must be taken at face value. If true, however, I find a few things concerning.
First, there was no notice placed on the website. No heads up. No “things are rough at home and I need to take a break to focus on my life” sort of deal, that 98% of internet personalities seem to post when they have to take a break from their website. El was a huge figure in the WoW community, so much so that he has his own in-game NPC. It strikes me as weird that he wouldn’t drop a quick note to let people know he would be taking a leave of absence. If he couldn’t do it on the website, why not Twitter?
Second, the site vanished. If El really did just step away to take care of real life issues, why did the site (and others managed by him) need to go down completely? Perhaps he’s massively strapped for cash, but as far as I could find out, domain names don’t really cost a whole lot. As a rough estimate, Go Daddy is asking about 4 bucks a month for a domain name. I imagine there are other costs involved in hosting a site as big as El’s, and since I don’t pay a dime for my crappy little corner of WordPress I can’t speak to the real costs of running that sort of website. I just find it curious that the website was taken down, not simply left in the care of an admin or trusted friend.
The guy has been nothing but radio silence for almost a year. That’s bad news. I did a bit more digging, and uncovered an obituary someone found and posted in the official forums. It’s for someone with the same name as the guy who runs El’s. And it’s for September 2015, not too long after he went silent online. The link is here.
However, there’s good news. Folks who played with and claim to have known El say that obituary isn’t for him. They claim El is most certainly not a grandpa, and a bit of poking around seems to support that. Judging from El’s personal website and his Facebook (neither of which appear to have been updated in years) he’s a young man probably not much older than I am. He could be 30ish in his photos, which sort of removes the possibility of him being a grandfather (unless those photos are 30+ years old, but they do not look like it). So he is unlikely to be dead, thank goodness. But where the heck did he go?
Further sleuthing turns up someone of the same name working for Blizzard. And wouldn’t you know, they started there in 2015, only a few months after El’s last updates. I would say it would have to be a hell of a coincidence for this to be an entirely separate person unrelated to the missing El, so I’d put money on the idea that that’s him. He’s alive. He works for Blizzard.
So why the hell didn’t he say something? Did Blizzard make him sign some sort of scary legal contract stating that he is no longer allowed to interact with anyone on the web? That seems unlikely. Why no updates on Twitter exclaiming his new job? Surely he’d find the opportunity to work at Blizzard worth crowing about. Why take down an entire website that had become the cornerstone of the fishing community without any notice? Surely no one at Blizzard told him, “Hey, I know you have this really awesome site and lots of people who adore you and your work, but it has to be deleted and no, you can’t tell them why.” It doesn’t make any sense for the guy to just…vanish. Why delete an entire website and community? Why remove that resource from the web? Why not leave it up, even if it no longer updates, so people can access what was obviously a lot of work and effort for the guy?
I hope I’m right and that El is happily employed by Blizzard (though I do believe he hails from Scotland, so how he manages a job based in California is beyond me). I hope he’s doing well. I’m glad he’s probably not dead. But I would really, really like El’s back online 😦