Regional FlagA grieving Mom gives Thanks: Let me introduce you to my son Dane Jay ShieldsSource
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#1 - 2019/08/23 04:52:41 PM

August 22, 2019
Dear Blizzard, (World of Warcraft Devs in particular)

I want to tell you what your game has meant to me and my family, over many years. The reason I am contacting you is in deed bitterly sad, but nonetheless I want you to know. Because it has also been joyous!

I’m going to take you back many years. To a time when my son Dane Jay Shields, was just a wee teen. He had a friend who was playing your ‘game’ at the time and decided he too wanted to play. Knowing my son it was most likely to become better at the game than his friend, lol. I noticed him playing in his room, OFTEN! As in it was pretty much mostly all he was doing! He still rode his motorcycles and raced BMX at the time. He was always an active kid and usually got to the top pretty quickly. He was gifted in this department. He was also gifted with a huge IQ that lots of times got him in trouble!

Nothing major mind you, just ‘hard to teach’ as one brilliant minded teacher explained to me. He was above and beyond ‘most’ kids. Tests proved it. But he chose not to ‘apply’ himself, which was also common according to this teacher. Life went on. Dane could often times be an a**hole, but he was MY a **hole. And I say this as a loving parent. I also say this as a loving friend of my son. I was lucky and apparently ‘cool’ enough to be both over his lifetime.

Dane would play World of Warcraft for hours. Often times I would come in and sit down and watch him. I literally enjoyed my evenings watching him play. We laughed our butts off most times. He was a sneaky Rogue and honestly to this date, was one of the best I have ever seen play. His fun at this time was hanging out in Goldshire, ganking anyone he could there. He was the King of climbing up on the roof of the Blacksmiths Building there and he’d tuck himself up in the roof area. Then he would use those little deathly bunnies on unsuspecting low-level characters hanging around. The best time and biggest laugh was one I will never forget. We have talked about it often! There were 3 people hanging around in the perfect triangle (of death!). My son set that little bunny down… Wait for it… wait for it and… BLAM! All 3 people dropped dead! We literally were in stitches over this! It was a moment of greatness! Him using the ‘mind control cap’ was also a story to behold. I can’t tell you the funny things I’ve seen him do!
I will cherish these moments for the rest of my life.

He also came to my aid as a newer player. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Watching him play was greatness. Then came a weekend where he was going to be staying at his buddies house for the weekend. That evening I was lost! Bored! What to do?! He had convinced me prior to him leaving that I should make an account and try it. That I would ‘get’ it. That I could play with him instead of watching him. And you know what? That’s exactly what I did! I created a ‘toon’ and started to play. And that was many, many years ago. My son and I played together over many years. He also got his sister to play. The 3 of us played for HOURS some times. There were nights where we actually greeted the sun coming up! ‘Take things in moderation, even World of Warcraft’ my a**! We dove into it and LOVED every single minute of it. We played with people all over the world. All over the United States, military guys in Iraq… You name it! All of this because of my son’s introduction.

My son LOVED your ‘game’. We all have over this entire span of playing. Through many hardships we have endured and still managed to find a way to play. Even when we lost our home (due to a brutal divorce) we played low level characters because at the very least we got to play.

I still play. I love that World. Because it was always and IS always there for me. Even during the most painful hardships one can imagine, it has been there. Like now.

I lost my beautiful son on the 8th of this month. It was a ‘normal’ day here on the lake. He was 28 years old.

We had finally found a ‘place’ of our own. This came after living out of Motel 6 for 7 months, then living out of an RV for a year and a half… and then FINALLY…. What seemed like a ‘fake’ ad for a house on the lake was in actuality a real deal… we moved here and have been here for the last 16 months, living on the water. It is VERY rural and miles from the nearest town… unless you take a Ferry across the lake to the ‘big’ city.
But it has been our little piece of paradise. We had all started to heal!

Although internet SUCKS here… I purchased a MiFi specifically so we could play the game. And I had to share my ‘toons’ with my son and my daughter using my laptop. They both created their own characters to play and have enjoyed it. Although we haven’t been able to play together as a team, we still sit and watch each other play. Mount runs have become their latest thing…. Or it was. ….

My son was killed here on the lake. It seemed like any other day here.
My son and daughter walked out the sliding glass door with friends… the usual jet ski day. Leave right out the backyard to go ride. Dane being the daredevil that he ALWAYS has been, loves to Cliff Jump. His latest ‘yaw-yaw’ as we call it has been riding over to the (big) bridge in the evening, ditching his jet ski quickly, running up the stairs to the bridge and jumping off… swimming back as quick as he can to his jet ski and then flying out of the channel to head across the lake back home! Laughing his butt off the entire time as to not being caught. That’s my Dane!

In a moment my entire life has been stripped. Stripped of all the what could have been, should have been moments. My son is no longer here.

Waiting for Classic to launch has been on the works here. We have been striving to purchase laptops so that he and my daughter could both play. We would be a team! We were figuring out the best situation for ‘toons’. I love playing my Shadow Priest. Dane has been the best Rogue (Xii, Yogamoth, Yoshixi, to name a few), and I mean it when I say it. He was REALLY GOOD.…. My daughter also loves Rogues but she is also pretty good at a Hunter. My daughter and I both played Hunters for YEARS together (Nookie and Ammethysst)… We have debated on who should be what and how we can do it. Hot-spotting off of our phones works well enough to play. We have literally been counting down the moments to this launch. My son has ALWAYS talked about how amazing and hard it ‘was’ pre BC. For years he wished he could go back. The old Talent Trees were always a conversation here between us. We’d reminisce about having to ‘Thottbot’ certain quests after trying and trying without success! Many discussions have taken place over the years… Calling out between our rooms. It was common for my daughter Maddie to be in her room playing, the next room was Dane playing, then was my office with me playing and behind me at times would be my now ex-husband playing. This was a fairly typical Friday night in my household. Heck, it was MOST nights!
While parents were freaking out about their kids doing all sorts of stupid s**t…. I was home playing World of Warcraft with mine… enjoying every single minute of it! Zero regrets ever!

So I just want to Thank You! Thank you for so many beautiful and fun memories. Moments where my son was being such a goof-ball in the game and moments where he came to my rescue in Halaa one time (this one just stands out) …. He killed 3 characters over and over for ganking me! Did I mention that they were much higher levels than him? Yep, when I say my son was great…. He was GREAT!

He made a Demon Hunter just a short while ago on my account…… and LOVED IT! He says he actually loved it a bit more than a Rogue, which I thought I would NEVER EVER hear him say!
And I just thought you should know that.
He loved your ‘creation’… and he shared that love with me, his Mom… and also with his sister. And he wasn’t an overly ‘share’ type of person, lol. He could be quite an a**hole. But as his friends have put it best and I have also said it myself many times…. “Yeah, but he’s my [our] a **hole!”

Rest in beautiful peace my son…

……actually… I hope you are not resting at all!.. I hope you are on the most exciting adventure one could ever imagine. The adventure of a lifetime!

Again to all of you, my deepest gratitude.

Sharon Shields, Dane Jay’s Mom

I love you my son. Always!

Community Manager
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#37 - 2019/08/25 12:22:16 AM

Thank you Sharon for sharing this truly heartfelt story with us. You have our deepest condolences and many of us are at a complete loss for words. We also want to directly apologize for what happened to your account on the forums, we messed up and we hope you can forgive us.

To read your personal story and some of your favorite memories with your son around the game is nothing short of inspirational for us. We are forever grateful that you shared this with us.

Rest in peace Dane.

Blizzard Entertainment and the World of Warcraft Team