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World of Warcraft community rallies for the creator of a beloved mod

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World of Warcraft’s most essential mod is maintained by one man

A spellwing and Khadgar prepare the path to a Legion raid in World of Warcraft
Blizzard Entertainment

Raiding in World of Warcraft, no matter what level of difficulty you choose, is challenging. Even the Looking for Raid difficulty, which is meant to be conquerable by any player, requires some degree of coordination and effort. Once you get up to Mythic, everyone needs to know the strategy and be ready to execute it. Actively raiding with Blizzard’s default UI is considered to be a hindrance; the base game doesn’t include damage meters or a way to gauge your success, and you rely on in-game voice cues and animations for telegraphed abilities.

Here’s where Deadly Boss Mods enters in. It’s a one-man operation that shows everything you could need: timers, abilities, rotations, warnings and more. The mod provides audio cues and turns opaque encounters into clear problems to be solved. It’s an amazing tool, and the World of Warcraft community recently rallied when it became clear Deadly Boss Mods’ developer was unable to continue working on it.

On Sept. 16, developer Adam Williams, who posts under the name MysticalOS, shared a lengthy update on his current life circumstances via the Deadly Boss Mods dev blog. He wrote that he works on DBM full time while living with his disabled mother as her caretaker. Williams had also been updating content for Battle for Azeroth while playing on a PC that could barely handle the latest boss fights. His situation is compounded by health issues, which he opened up about in his post.

I have health issues because I can’t afford medical insurance or to have dental surgery I need. I take fish antibiotics to manage an abscess tooth I’ve had since Legion pre-expansion event. Unfortunately, as my body has gotten more resistant to antibiotics, the infection has spread to 2 other teeth and even begun to spread to parts of my jaw now and if I don’t have it treated soon, it could escalate into a blood infection. I’ve delayed it as long as I could with self-medicating to try and save up money to get treatment.

Again, I don’t want either of above to sound like I’m asking for anything. This isn’t a huge plea for money either, I still hate asking. Merely trying to explain the stresses that have been upon me for a while now and brought me so low some days and made me doubt my work and myself and consider giving up. Any time I’d think about that though, I’d realize I can’t do that for two reasons. I’m not comfortable spending 8-12 hours a day working in field and no one watching over mother, which in the last 2 years alone has had two heart attack scares. I need to be at home. The second reason I can’t give up is that I just love working on DBM too much and I firmly believe that as long as there is a WoW, there should be a DBM.

World of Warcraft players work together to clear an encounter. Blizzard Entertainment

The situation was further complicated by the fact that previous issues with Patreon failing to process donations had kneecapped Williams’ monthly support. In a Patreon post, he wrote:

December was a hard month for DBM. Patreon ran off a lot of supporters with a proposed change that they later reverted but not until damage was done. Support has dropped significantly.

Williams’ health and life updates were distributed through social media sites and on World of Warcraft news pages. Each topic had Williams’ Patreon and PayPal accounts linked, with moderators and writers encouraging the community to support him. The community left thousands of messages of support, with most users noting that they had used Deadly Boss Mods continuously throughout their World of Warcraft careers. The mod, which has been active since vanilla World of Warcraft and became Williams’ full-time pursuit during Mists of Pandaria, had become a natural extension of the game for many users. Many commenters noted that they were shocked there was just one person behind the mod; they had simply assumed there was a team hard at work.

Since Williams’ post and the ensuing community support, he has reached the top donation goal on his Patreon, which he marks as an amount where “I honestly don’t need to worry about anything anymore,” and “Don’t reach this goal. You’ve exceeded all my goals and more.” In a more tangible sense, Williams notes that, with this level of Patreon support, he will be able to hire a second developer if necessary.

Most importantly, Williams will be able to seek immediate care for his teeth.

World of Warcraft has been around for 14 years, and raiding and dungeons have continually been one of the most important features of the game. Without Deadly Boss Mods, the entire scene would likely be less well developed. With competitive guild Method’s streamed World First race through the recently released raid Uldir, it doesn’t seem like raid hype will die down any time soon. The next raid, which will restart the race for World First records, is 8.1’s Siege of Zuldazar. Hopefully, with the initial success of Battle for Azeroth, and the increased interest in raiding that came along with the chase to down G’huun first, we’ll continue to see Williams remain comfortable and able to work on his passion projects. That goes for mod makers of all kinds.