20 Questions with Anna

 

Every week, Matt gets a chance to sit down with a WoW Blogger chosen this week by his Piccolo of the Flaming Fire. Find out a little more about your favourite bloggers as he tries to get to know them a little more!

This week, Anna of TooManyAnnas ran out of mana  and had time to answer a few questions.

As an avid RPer, how did you come up with the history of your characters and which one would you consider your most favourite or most like you in some way?

Wow. Well, I don’t really have “favourites”, so much as there are specific things that I like about all of my characters. Each one of them has a little bit of me thrown in there — though they’re all different from me as well. Annalira, the human priest, is the one that is most like Anna the real person, and Aleydis, Berylla, and Brietta are could compete for the silliest, but I feel close to all of my characters.

As to how I came up with their histories, well, that’s a little more complicated. Probably some combination of inspiration, random experiments, planning, and pure dumb luck.

Angoleth has changed the most through these last few years because she was my first character and my first real foray into RP. Her personality has been the same for the most part, but after a few failed stories I learned to let her tell me about her history as she wants to come forward with it. Annalira was a bit of an experiment — can I create a character with a happy family and a happy childhood and still have her be believable and real in WoW’s universe. The answer is, of course, yes, and she’s become a very “real” character that’s easy for me to RP with.

Annorah had, by far, the most research before I created her. Draenei lore is rather sparse, so I actually went to out-of-game lore sources, particularly the novels Rise of the Horde and Lord of the Clans, to learn about Draenei and Shaman lore. Even after all that, she doesn’t have a concrete backstory so much as a basic framework of a history, but I had that background set up before I pushed the Create Character button.

I’ll stop now, since I’m pretty sure you don’t want me going on (and on) about my characters — but this is one of those topics I could probably write several pages about!

How did you get suckered into playing World of Warcraft?

I started playing the spring after release — the guy I was dating had just started playing and set me up with the trial account, which I really enjoyed. I was playing, ironically, a human priest and a troll shaman, but on a PVP server. A few weeks later my best friend and her (now) husband told me they were playing on Feathermoon, and I created Angoleth there, and the rest was, as they say, history!

Let’s talk about Resto Shamans for a bit. Brain Heal has often been cited as the spell that will ruin the careers of holy priests, holy paladins and resto druids. In fact, many of the major cities have suffered riots and strikes. How would you respond to people who suggest that brain heal is far too great a weapon to be used alone?

Try to heal a heroic with it without being overgeared (that is: in pre-Kara and Karazhan gear). Chain heal is *incredibly* powerful in a group, but in solo-healing situations, especially where the tank is taking a lot of damage, it falls behind as I go OOM droping max rank healing wave. My Priest does considerably better in those situations because she has more tricks and the Shaman is not built to be a “bomb” style healer, to the point where, until I was healing tier5 geared groups, I would avoid healing heroics because I knew it’d be a huge headache and very stressful.

And the other side of that coin — I could never do the job that the priests in my raid do. Yes, I can keep a group of scrub rogues and warriors and ret pallies alive until kingdom come, but when it comes to tank healing, there are other classes that just do it better. As a Resto shaman, I can do a few things incredibly well. Group healing? You got it. But successful healing is about balance and working as a team, and the strongest healing teams are the ones that utilize ALL the available classes and tools.

You’re not technically in a Guild per se. Rather, you raid with a set group of people from various other Guilds, is that right? How exactly is this different from a normal Guild and what would some of its strengths and weaknesses be?

Totally Raids, Incorporated is a group of roleplayers that got together back in the earlier days of Warcraft when their guilds were too small to raid or weren’t interested in raiding progression. There are members of all different guilds in the group, at all different “levels” of RP — from avid, active, in-game RP to forum writers to people that are in character simply by not acting in a way that is counter to the Warcraft world. As a rule, our /raid chat is in character. Ventrilo is, of course, out of character. And yes, we do get boss fight explanations IC.

In a lot of ways it’s very similar to a guild: we have a leader, officers in charge of various things (healing lead, loot-master, roster setup, etc) and if there’s a problem we have a chain of command. We have an active forum, sign up threads, strategy posts, and a very active in game chat channel.

One of the biggest advantages to this style of raiding is that you get to have your cake and eat it too. You love your guild — they’re awesome, but they’re a small (in this case, most often roleplaying) guild that doesn’t have the manpower or the desire to do the work and set up a raid. *YOU* want to raid, but you don’t want to leave your guild. With Totally Raids — that’s the norm. There are a few of us that are unguilded (like me, though I am trying a new guild with Annalira right now — shhh!), but the vast majority are people from various guilds.

And at the end of the day, if you have a bad night, are angry with someone, and feel like mashing your face into your keyboard repeatedly… when you leave the raid — you leave the raid. Until next week, you don’t have to have any real interaction with the raid group unless you want to; you’re back in your guild doing what you’ve always done.

The disadvantage is, of course, that we rely heavily on a forum to keep everyone coordinated. Fortunately everyone (at this point) is extremely good about signing up from week to week, and the board has our Karazhan, Zul’Aman, and “etc” signups as well. But if you can’t get people to organize in some way, this kind of a raid corps Just. Won’t. Work. Guilds have the advantage of a message of the day and periodic spam — we don’t have that. But we’ve made it work through a combination of active forum participation and an active chat channel (that’s also a really great way to find 5man groups during the week). I could see how, in another situation you might get people who were more loyal to their guilds and not actually loyal to the raid, but by and large our group is very dedicated to the raid as an entity of itself.

How are you enjoying (or hating) 2.4?

Honestly, I’m doing a little bit of both enjoying and hating.

1 second Totem Global Cooldown = Awesomesauce
New Earthshield = can I have the old one back please?
New dailies = Yay money! Yay badge gear! Boo competition. Boo realm crashes. Double boo to griefing asshats.

I know this is going to be very hard for you. But tell me 1 (one) thing that you think all Resto Shamans should know.

Be flexible. While chain heal is incredibly powerful, other classes can heal (ok — so maybe not as well on groups, but the Alliance was quite successful without Shamans for a long time) — but not every class has the ability to so dramatically alter the groups you’re in. Keep your totems handy, keep an eye on the fight, and be situationally aware. Flexibility is what makes a great Shaman — of any flavor, resto or otherwise.

By sheer luck and awesomeness, you’ve been awarded the ability to create a new spell or ability for the Shaman in Wrath of the Lich King. What nefarious idea would you put into play?

If I’m selfish and think only about resto shaman, a HOT spell, deep in the Resto tree. If we’re talking about shaman in general, the ability to summon a spirit wolf pet. Or that HOT spell… that’d be pretty hawt.

Or maybe the ability, since we’re all into the Elements, to fish without fishing skill. I mean seriously — water = element. Fish in the water. Master of the Elements. Instant fish! Heeeeeeere fishy fishy fishy fishy.

Care to tell us a bit more about the blogger behind the gamer? (IE what you do when not playing WoW)

I’m a girl in real life (OMG no gurlz on teh interweb!), married, with two cats and a balcony garden. I love music and history and am quite passionate about both, as well as about teaching in general.

My career is in a bit of a transition because where I live right now doesn’t have a place that I can do my advanced degrees. Eventually I want to be a professor of (medieval) cultural history. In that vein, I’m learning some living-history activities, including calligraphy and illumination — those really cool paintings in medieval books. In the meantime I’m a substitute teacher and getting ready to start on a Masters of Education. Hopefully I’ll either be teaching history or music.

Spare time wise (lol!) I love to cook, read, and knit, though I don’t get as much time for most of these as I’d like. Except cooking. I do a lot of that.

What inspired you to begin blogging?

I stumbled across BigRedKitty one day and was blown away by the idea of someone actually writing about Warcraft — especially hunters! Yay! Followed a long link train and ended up in BlogAzeroth. Curiosity was piqued, and I started a wordpress.com blog that transitioned to Too Many Annas about a month later. Turns out I rather like writing about Warcraft!

Just how many Annas is considered too many?

When I have to take off my shoes and socks so I have enough digits to count them, it’s too many.  For the record, I’ve not reached too many yet (though I’ve been told by others that I have), and I do have characters whose names are *not* Anna. …if they were all Annas, I’d definitely have too many.

Speed Questions

Have you ever found Waldo?

No, but if you find him, let me know. He’s been undercutting me on the AH all week.

Most annoying aspect of World of Warcraft

u wanna join my new riad gild were starting kara and hav a bank and tabard?
u run me thru SM?

Can’t raid without my _____:

Annorah: Chain Heal!
Annalira: Icefin Bluefish, Golden Fishsticks, and Zangarian Sporefish
Angoleth: 24 slot quiver.
TheRealAnna: Something to drink. Depending on the night, adult additives may be necessary.

*Chain* Healing is like ______:

A monkey flinging poo. You never know for sure who it’s going to hit, but so long as you get someone, it’s ok. And it splatters.

Favourite encounter in the game:

Any meeting that leads to an in character conversation, particularly if it’s just two people chatting and going about their daily business.

Any fight where I get to put my full arsenal of abilities to use. Karathress, Tidewalker, and Vashj are coming to mind (though I also hate Vashj with much hating because she refuses to die).

3 pieces of advice for new raiders:

Know your stuff.
Pay attention.
Don’t be a dick.

Favourite in game holiday: 

Hallows End.

What kills you the most?

Going OOM.

Matt needs to ____:

QQ less about shamans. It’s not our fault that the raid encounters have the entire raid taking damage ALL THE TIME. Or that we’re, you know, designed for that kind of healing. (Editor’s note: The QQness will never stop!)

Shout outs to:

  • All the folks at Blog Azeroth, especially the gang in the BA Chat, for keeping me motivated and always being a source of inspiration.

  • My fellow Feathermooninites, for being post fodder for me without complaining… or without knowing about it.

  • Totally Raids, Incorporated, for giving me a chance to raid and being an awesome group of creative people that I love to hang out with even when we’re not raiding.

Thanks again to Anna for participating this week! Don’t forget to subscribe to her blog!

About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

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