6 Signs You Masturbate Too Much

We all do it at some point, but we all deny it. Yet we do it because it brings us pleasure and sometimes we have to hide it from other people. Obviously as this is a WoW based blog, I am referring to WoW masturbation. It can be incredibly unhealthy for you. If you start noticing the following signs, start looking for help right away.

Tired

1: Extreme Fatigue

You start feeling tired throughout the day. Why? Because you have been up all night again playing with your toons. Your eyes are nearly blood shot. When you go to bed, your hands are shaking incessantly from the surge of Red Bull and coffee. But you still do it anyway because it’s only one more attempt. Then two. And it slowly snowballs after that. Before you know it, it’s 3 AM and you have to get up at 5.

2: Self-Admiration

So you got yourself some nice shiny purples and you are spending most of your time checking yourself out and showing yourself off to everyone you know. Damn, man! Go and do something with all that gear and make yourself useful, eh?

3: Obsession

You have to fire it up every day because you can’t seem to get satisfied.
You have to finish every quest.
You have to get the best possible gear.
You need to farm as much gold as possible in case the economy crashes.

Hell, you ARE the economy!

4: Can no longer perform

You just can’t keep it up anymore when you’re depended on. Your marks are slowly dropping away. You’re blowing off important emails from Bob in accounting while you’re busy reading up on your favourite blog. Your productivity in life is slowly withering away top the point where you can’t seem to look yourself in the mirror anymore.

5: Losing touch with people

Your friends don’t even bother inviting you to Friday night poker because they know Friday’s a raid night for you (sniff). But that’s okay, because you need the money that you would have lost to pay off your WoW bills. Your boyfriend or girlfriend has to buy the game just to speak with you and hold a conversation. Normally I would suggest watching TV, but with the writer’s strike happening…

6: Physical pain

This one applies to me. My back hurts. It’s probably due to sitting down in one position for too long. It pays to get up once in a while and walk around the house. In fact, I’ve made a conscious effort to get out of my room and my house at times to grab some coffee. Most of my blog posts are being written via pen and paper initially before being typed on my computer. During long raids, I like to fix myself something to drink. If your joints start feeling sore and your limbs are feeling cramped, change your posture or consider playing standing up for a few minutes. Learn some Yoga.

Here’s an idea I’ve been thinking about: Everytime you wipe, do 10 push ups.

Hopefully these telltale signs will be noticed by you in time for you to act upon them. If you think you have a problem, seek help immediately. There’s actually an Online Gamers Anonymous. Consider seeking counseling or other extreme forms of treatment. If you think you have the will, then you might be able to quit WoW cold turkey by uninstalling the game in order to get your life back on track. Video game addiction is being considered for the DSM. Let’s not forget that people have died from WoW.

Remember, WoW is only healthy in moderation!

Ask Matt: Raid help?

It just occurred to me. I’ve spending so much time writing about Guild theory and blogging that I’ve started to deviate from my primary focus: help you heal your raid. Right now, the trend from some of the other bloggers I’ve seen is trouble with Kael’Thas. I’m working on a fairly mammoth sized project that involves covering healing for the entire encounter which includes recommended healers, methods, phase-by-phase breakdown for healers, and so on and so forth. There’s no way I can squeeze that into a post. I wouldn’t dream of doing it like that because it’s too much information to absorb visually.

Grr, it’s too hard for me to explain right now. You’ll have a better idea when you see it.

In any case, any problems with any boss encounters from the healing end that anyone has? I can only offer my experience and wisdom on bosses I’ve done. Sorry T6 Priests/Healers!

Things You Should Know About Blogging

I added another part to my WoW blogging bible. It concerns some introspection on your part about who you are and why you want to blog. If you’re tempted about starting a blog for WoW or even for anything else, check it out first before committing yourself.

There’s even a little bit there about me and my motives for my blog. If you’ve ever wondered why I started this blog, now you know =).

3 Approaches to Guild Progression

Progression

Does this sound familiar? Your raiding Guild has been at the same boss for a while and you’ve reached a wall. Night after night your Guild continues to throw themselves at the boss to no avail (Does 40 raids and 40 wipes sound familiar?). Some of your raiders begin to show signs of frustrations to the point of threatening to leave if there are no additional signs of progress.

Some players are so inherently selfish and don’t seem to understand what progression truly means.

The Definition of Progression

My Guild has been stuck on Kael’Thas for the past several weeks dating back to early December. I know I’m not the only one that had problems with him. But we killed him and that’s the bottom line.

Or is it? Are boss kills the only way to measure progression?

That’s the first thing that needs to get changed. Your perception of what progress means has to change. As boss encounters become more complex, the measuring stick must also become more complex.

Progression used to be measured in boss kills a week. Some Guilds and players still follow this old school belief.

It’s time to change it. By changing your approach to progression, then you will a suitable way to benchmark your Guild and set realistic targets . Consider looking at progression in 3 different ways.

Percentage

Last week, you took Lurker down to 80%. This week, you brought him down to 50%!

Congratulations! That’s progress!

Players appear to be a lot more negative lately from what I’ve been noting. It’s either “kill” or “wipe” and nothing in between. Thinking like that is poisonous and dangerous.

The bottom line is that your Guild knocked a progression boss down by 30%. Don’t let the naysayers get you down by saying “but oh we didn’t kill him this week!”

Use that criticism as motivation to edge him down another 10%. Start thinking glass is half full and not half empty. By chipping away slowly at the boss, you’ll eventually kill him

Phases

Bosses like Lady Vashj and Al’ar within the encounter. There are different steps to take during each phase in order to reach the goal of downing a boss. I like to think of them as mini bosses similar to the last boss in Arcatraz.

Think back to your days in school when you were assigned to write a large paper. Instead of rushing from start to finish, the boss fight should be broken up into chunks.

Your progression can be measured by how far you get through these stages. You beat down Lady Vashj phase 1 and now you’re working on getting the cores to the generator to shut down her shield. Think of each successful core as an individual step along the way. Last week, you got down 1 core successfully. This week, you were able to get 3 down.

That is progress.

Player Survival

As a healer, I have always preached about this in my blog:

I don’t care how much spell damage or healing you have. If you’re dead, you’re useless to the raid.

The longer people stay alive, the easier the encounter is. Simple concept right? This can also be applied in the Zen of progression. What’s the difference between having 3 DPS dead and 3 DPS alive between the transitions from phase 3 to phase 4 on Kael’Thas? They represent 12% more player activity. Sure you can easily get to phase 4 with only 3 players dead. But if you have them alive, it sows confidence that yes your Guild can this with the healers you have available.

I measure my personal progression how many players I can keep alive until the raid buckles.

To Summarize
  • Don’t be a downer
  • Look at the bright side of the raid
  • Progress in any shape or form is good

How to Get Started Blogging: Parts 1 and 3

WoW Blogging 101

Since my University is on a mountain and it’s snowing like crazy in BC, my classes were canceled due to treacherous road conditions. Over at the Blog Azeroth forums, Rhoeyln asked a series of questions about blogging:

Hi, all. I’m going to follow past precedent and make a little request, here. I’m very new to the blogosphere, but I’ve been wanting an avenue in which to collect my long list of WoW thoughts. I want to start writing a blog. However, I feel like a very fat fish in very shallow waters. I don’t know how to move or breathe.

Could someone put together a list of steps to get started? What do you need? What should you have prepared before you publish? What does a successful schedule have to hold to keep the readers interested? What did you have put in place before you got started with the meaty-meat of writing?

Advice or resources to get the ball rolling would really be useful. Also, if anyone has thoughts about what the blogosphere hates or loves, needs or absolutely doesn’t need, I’d love to hear those, too.

Thank you,
~Rhoelyn

I started writing up a large response but then I realized it would be a lot larger then a simple forum post. With that in mind, I’m going to start writing a series of posts on WoW Blogging 101.

It will cover:

  • Part 1: Before You Start
  • Elements of a WoW Blog (features and such)
  • Part 3: How I Write my Posts
  • Writing and ideas in general
  • Promoting your blog
  • Commenting etiquette and ethics
  • Statistics
  • Extra resources and reading
  • Conclusions and Final Thoughts

I don’t know when I’ll finish. But knowing me and my work ethic, I’ll probably finish within the week. Yes, I’m also aware I wrote this out of order. It’s how I roll! =)

Gearing Your Fresh 70 Feral Druid Tank

Photo by thadz courtesy of sxc.

Matticus’ Note: This is a guest post from a friend of who has no blogging experience whatsoever but still did a great job nonetheless. This will be a great reference for me on my Druid. Thanks Masato!

After seeing the great responses to my first guest post, Matticus told me I should keep writing. So, to see whether it was a fluke or not, here is another.

Well, I’ve seen Matticus’ posts on pre-raid heal gear for Priests and Shamans, so I will do one of my own based on my experiences, but for the one of the other needed roles in any instance: the Tank. Feral tanks do very well in most situations, as they have incredible amounts of armor, tons of HP and dodge. They are seen as a somewhat easier type of tank to heal because they tend to take more consistent damage, rather than unpredictable spiky damage shield wearing tanks take. Druids may be a bit more of a mana sponge in this case, but it’s usually less stressful on the healer to keep heals running, rather than having to react to sudden spikes (this is more adamant on raid boss fights, but still mostly applicable in 5 mans).

Druid tanks are quite easy to gear up to have very decent stats without setting foot in a raid, and not even a single heroic. I’m building this list towards the PvE type person, but if you are the type that likes to PvP, most of those epics are slight upgrades to the ones I’ve listed. It takes a bit of farming, questing and rep grinding, but afterwards, you’ll end up being geared well enough to main tank at least the first half of Karazhan, and more likely than not, offtank the second half. There have probably been other posts with very similar lists, but I’ll write my own version here for you all. For the most part, bears want to look for Armor>Stamina>Agility. It is also important to have 415 defense skill (or 2.6% crit reduction BEFORE talents) so that you cannot be crit by level 73 bosses.

I will also discuss a proper feral spec later on in the article.

Working from the top to the bottom:

Head:
Stylin’ Purple Hat
BoE LW crafted: Pattern: Stylin’ Purple Hat.

This helm is very easy to get a hold of, nice stats, and is your best bet until you hit some heroics.

Neck:
Necklace of the Deep
BoE JC crafted: 3 Motes of Water, 10 Jaggal Pearls, 1 Black Pearl.
This neck is amazing not only because it is ridiculously easy to get, but it has 2 Red gem sockets. Pop in a couple of Shifting Nightseyes and you have a piece that will last you a long time. Not only is it great, but you can equip it at level 65!

Shoulders:
Shoulderpads of Assassination
Assuming you don’t have any rogues in the group to fight you for these, they work decently if you don’t want to PvP for gear. They drop off the last boss in normal Sethekk Halls. They also have 2 Yellow sockets to boot.

Cloak:
Thoriumweave Cloak
Pretty much the second best druid tanking cloak out there (until you hit the armor cap at least), and you can get it from the first boss in regular mode Mechanar. Super easy to farm, and it is awesome.

Chest:
Heavy Clefthoof Vest
BoE LW crafted: Pattern: Heavy Clefthoof Vest
This chest has 2 Yellow and 1 Red Socket, and is not difficult to get.

Jerkin of the Untamed Spirit
You can get this chest piece from an easy 2 person quest in Hellfire at level 58! Incredible stats, and will last you from then until level 70 when you have your Heavy Clefthoof Vest made.

Wrist:
Umberhowl’s Collar
Quite a lengthy quest chain out in Shadowmoon, but well worth it.

Hands:
Verdant Gloves
Another lengthy quest chain for these out in Shadowmoon.

Waist:
Manimal’s Cinch
Another Shadowmoon quest, but this is a VERY nice belt, even though it’s a green.

Legs:
Heavy Clefthoof Leggings
BoE LW crafted: Pattern: Heavy Clefthoof Leggings
2 Blue and 1 Yellow gem sockets, straightforward materials.

Feet:
Heavy Clefthoof Boots
BoE LW crafted: Pattern: Heavy Clefthoof Boots
Blue and Yellow sockets, and again, not bad mats.

Rings:
There isn’t much you can do here without Kara/heroics. The Violet Signet of Defense (Kara Rep) and Ring of Unyielding Force (25 Heroic Badges) are the best here until 25 mans, and even then, they’re still good.

But until then…

Iron Band of the Unbreakable
Normal Mode Old Hillsbrad.

Delicate Eternium Ring
BoE JC crafted: Design: Delicate Eternium Ring

Trinkets:
Badge of Tenacity
It is a random BoE drop in Blade’s Edge Plateau, or else costs about 1000g depending on your server. However, it is VERY much worth the pain to get it, especially with its 2 min cooldown 150 Agi for 20 seconds use.

Darkmoon Card: Vengeance
Will cost you a hefty sum of money, but lots of stam, and a proc that adds to your aggro generation.

Commander’s Badge
A nice chunk of Stamina if you feel so inclined to reach Revered with the Netherwing.

Engineering also has 2 similar BoP trinkets, the Gnomish Poultryizer, and Goblin Rocket Launcher.

Weapons:
Earthwarden
This is THE tanking weapon until you get into SSC and hope for a random trash drop. Well worth the grind to Exalted with Cenarion. A MUST have.

Braxxis’ Staff of Slumber
Pretty much a lazy man’s Earthwarden. A decent BoE that you should be able to find on the AH for around 50g (depending on your server). Use this until you’re Exalted with Cenarion.

Enchants:
Throw Agi chants on everything that will take them (cloak, gloves, boots, weapon), and +stats on the others (bracers, chest). Why agi over stam you ask? In my opinion, having avoidance and mitigation is better than just being a sponge. Plus, more agi = more crit which means more threat generation. Also, the agi/stats enchants are overall cheaper than the stamina one.

For the helm glyph, Glyph of the Defender until you’re crit immune, then go to Glyph of Ferocity.

Shoulders: Inscription of the Knight or Inscription of Warding (or the greater ones if you have the rep). Like the helm, use these until you’re safely over the crit cap and switch to Inscription of the Blade or Inscription of Vengeance.

Legs: Clefthide Leg Armor. No point really in getting Nethercleft Leg Armor until you get some nice epics, or you have the extra money to spend.

For gems, there is a lot of debate between druids. Some go Solid Star of Elune in EVERY socket. For starting off, this is probably your best bet, since you’re getting a nice bit of Agi just from the enchants. This isn’t exactly a bad choice, but I personally like balanced stats, once you start getting better gear. I prefer to put Shifting Nightseye‘s in my red/blue sockets, and if there is a bonus that is helpful, I’ll put in Glinting Noble Topaz for the yellow sockets. Why those and not, say, Enduring Talasite? It is because hit means you don’t miss, and when you don’t miss that means you generate more threat. Also, defense rating is next to useless once you’re crit immune.

Use your own discretion though when enchanting/gemming. Gem and enchant to what stats you think you lack or if you’re short a tiny bit from being crit immune.

So what do your stats look like with this gear? For these calculations I used 2 Shifting Nightseye in the neck piece, and 2 Enduring Talasite in the Shoulders to hit the crit cap. The rest of the gems are all Solid Star of Elune regardless of socket color, and all enchants are Agility or Stats. The exalted Scryer shoulder inscription and epic leg armor are used in these calcs, so your stats may vary slightly, and if you’re Aldor, you may need to swap in another Enduring Talasite to stay at/above 2.6% crit reduction. Stats also assume Survival of the Fittest and Thick Hide.

Final Numbers

Armor: 23995
HP: 13558 (Night Elf)
14256 (Tauren)
Dodge: 32.93% (Night Elf)
31.16% (Tauren)
Crit Reduction: 2.62%**

** Also, resilience stacks on top of this as well, so if you have some PvP items, just add up what the tooltip says for the resilience and defense, and if it’s at 2.60% or more, you’re golden.

Now, these are very good stats, especially for not even having to step foot inside a heroic! Also, aside from a couple of drops, these are all rep/quest/crafted items, so you don’t have to worry about the dice for most of your gear. If you look at Matt’s Kara Requirements for bear tanks:
415 def with 3/3 Survival of the Fittest, 12000 hp, 30% Dodge, 20k armor
You’re over the mark with this gear setup. Not too shabby. Now, that Survival of the Fittest comment brings us to spec.

Speccing Your Feral Druid for Endgame

Survival of the Fittest (SotF) is the only mandatory talent, while there are many that are strongly suggested to have, and others that are strongly suggested not to have. Why is SotF mandatory? Because with 3/3 you reduce your chance to be crit by 3%. Seeing as level 73 bosses have a 5.6% chance to crit, this means you only need 2.6% from gear. Also, the added 3% to all stats is a nice thing to have as well. Hopping over to the resto tree, 5/5 Furor for extra rage at the beginning of pulls, 5/5 Naturalist for 10% extra damage, and Omen of Clarity for rage free attacks every now and then.

As for talents you shouldn’t get, Feral Aggressions is pretty much useless. Nurturing Instinct is more than useless as well. Shredding Attacks is nice if you plan to be kitty in groups a bit, but if you don’t plan on it, skip it. The rest of the feral tree is pretty much a must have. That means you have 1-3 extra talent points that you can put wherever. Natural Shapeshifter is nice, or Nature’s Grasp if you plan on some PvP. Yeah, it may sound like I’m telling you how to spec, but honestly, look at any feral druid that has at least cleared Kara, and their spec probably follows these guidelines.

Well, I hope you made it through my long post (I honestly didn’t think I had that much to say!) and hopefully helps get you started on your way towards druid tankage. If people find this helpful, I may be so inclined to make a resto version of this guide.

Masato
Feral one day, Resto the next.

Matt’s note: Make a comment and persuade him to make a resto guide. If he does that, then I can finish up my Paladin gear list and I’ll have all four bases covered =).

Guest Post: Synergies Between a Priest and a Hunter

This is a guest post from Trackhoof. Check out his blog at Survival Hunters Anonymous.

Well, Matticus wanted a nice little guest post, so’s he’s gonna get one!

I felt it’d be appropriate, as he plays a priest, and I play a hunter, and I used to play a priest, to talk about the awesome, ass-kicking synergy the two classes have for each other.

We’re talking Tango and Cash, Mick and Keef, Jay and Silent Bob, Glenn Tipton and K.K Downing, Jet Li’s left foot and Jet Li’s right foot; some seriously awesome kind of teamwork that creates things that are truly awesome.

First off, you have Hunter + Healy-Priest. This is still a solid combination, but more Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston than Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone. The priest does their job, keeps everybody in good health, and makes sure they’ve all got plenty of team spirit.

The Duty of a Hunter

The Hunter, on the other hand, is the wrangler. If possible, assign a hunter to protect a priest, or any other healer, all the time; they’re amazing DPS, but even better at peeling loose mobs off healers and sending them back to the tank. While boss strategies may require a different approach than most trash pulls, if possible, have a hunter protect each healer.

Hunters have lots of high-threat abilities, but even more importantly, the ability to re-direct threat to where it needs to go; so that rogue add who’s about to smack down your priest will get popsicle’d and sent back to your sword-and-boardsman in the space of ten seconds. Priests do have Fade, and while that DOES help with aggro, it won’t help as much as a good hunter will.

By the time you have them in raids, Hunters should understand the basics of their class, but also understand their dual role as an assist; they are the kings of emergency crowd control.

If they have pets, even better. If they’re Beastmastery, you have something even better than regular crowd control; crowd control with teeth. Intimidation, Growl, and threat-building abilities will make a mob’s head spin faster than a merry-go-round with a jet engine.

Marksmen should be masters of the Scatter-trap, and Survivalists have the almighty trapping skills. Wyvern sting is not something I’d recommend for this if you need more time to bring the tank over, but if you slap a Misdirect and unload on the sucker immediately, it’ll more than do the job.

Discipline Priests

Now, second, we have Discipline priests. They have great survivability, but above rules apply. Hunter = bodyguard. But it’s like giving a bodyguard to somebody that can fend pretty well on their own, but still needs the help anyway. Like assigning Chuck Lidell to be Jean-Claude Van Damme’s bodyguard.

Shadow Priests

Finally, we have the most synergistic of the combinations: Shadow Priests and Hunters.

This is what I’m talkin’ about!

First off, Shadow Priests take less physical damage, and can still use Power Word: Shield. Score! That makes life easier for any Hunter providing emergency CC.

Secondly, they have Mind Flay. It slows the target down, and makes them easier to intercept. Psychic Scream is another good one.

Thirdly, and most crucially, they have Vampiric Touch, on top of massive amounts of pew pew. I havent done any straight-up number crunching on the subject, but trust me, the proportion of Hunters who want Shadow Priests in their raid groups for this very reason is staggering.

We, as Hunters, are mana hogs. We are the SUV’s of mana conservation. Pairing us with Shadow Priests is like driving along and having somebody fill up our tank while we’re driving. If we happen to be Survival Hunters, then that SUV just became a Hybrid.

So, in summation – Holy Priests, come with us if you want to live. Discipline Priests, we respect your crazy asses, we’re here to help. Shadow Priests, don’t waste mana. Raid with a Hunter today.

-Track

Finally: The Kael’Thas Death Story

Kael'Thas down

I was debating between that title or 40 Raids and 40 Wipes.

But he’s dead. What a thrill! =)

We started him at 4:00 and killed him about 40 minutes later. First attempt of the night! That gives us about 4 hours to play with Mount Hyjal. Whoo hoo! Expect a Priest primer on Kael in the coming days and how to assign healers to the various assignments.

Anyways, can’t blog much right now. We’re heading into Hyjal.

Weekly Digest: Blog Azeroth, Zul’Jin Dead, Gold Sellers on Blogs

What’s Happening in WoW

I have a very ambitious goal in 2008. I want my Paladin to eventually become a force to be reckoned with. Last night, she’s started taking the necessary steps to do it by going into Karazhan for the first time.

We’re making progress! It’s going slowly but surely. Carnage’s finest got Kael down to 57%. On Sunday, nearly 6 hours will be allocated to him in the hopes we can finally polish him off. We’ll see how that works out.

Oh and I killed Zul’Jin for the first time!

What’s Happening with the Blog

If you’re one of the few individuals who actually look at my Affiliates on the side, you’ll notice I’ve partnered up with Jinx! They’re a game clothing company. If you’re interested in showing off your Geekiness, head over and check out their offerings.

My Blogroll has continued to plague me for quite some time. One of the measures I’ve taken is displaying a list of random blogs. You can find them on the side beneath the polls. I’m experimenting with the idea of having a “surprise” web link where it will take you to another blog on my list completely at random.

Latest Blog Posts

Here are the posts from this week:

20 Questions by Matticus

This week I had a chance to sit down with Phaelia of Resto4Life.

Past Hits

Past columns I have written that still hold true to this day.

Trends in the WoW Blogosphere

Blog Azeroth is a new community which virtually sprouted over night. It’s an online forum where both veteran and new bloggers can go to share ideas and learn more from each other. If you’re a blogger or if you’ve ever thought about blogging, Blog Azeroth is a great place to start interacting with some of your favourite bloggers (like me =D).

Blog Spotlight

4 Haelz – If I had a copper everytime I ran into a Druid blog, I would never have to worry about repairs again. She offers a fresh pair of eyes from the shape shifting professions although she is primarily a Resto Druid.

Matt likes: Encouraging Bad Habits with Good Healing

Three Druid Noob – Okay, this is the last Druid blog (this week anyway). He’s an Australian blogger that has three (3) Druids with each one specced differently. He even has a few stories to share about his dualboxing (tri boxing now, I think). This begs the question of what’s worse: Having 3 druids or having 3 healers?

Matt likes: Adventures in Dual Boxing

Critical QQ – This sharp, Troll Fire Mage certainly has a feisty approach to blogging. Euripedes has been on my reading list and blogroll for quite some time and I never show any mages any love.

Matt likes: Confessions of a Magi

20 Questions with Phaelia (Resto4Life)

20 Questions by Matticus

Every week, Matt gets a chance to sit down with a WoW Blogger chosen from a hat. Find out a little more about your favourite bloggers as he tries to get to know them a little more!

To kick off this weekly feature, Phaelia of Resto4Life was gracious enough to set aside some time in her schedule to answer a few questions.

Image of Phaelia from her About page

1: Where did the name Phaelia come from?

When I was much, much younger I started a fantasy book. “Phaelia” was the name of its main character. I later used the name when I created my Ranger in EverQuest I, but I don’t think I was aware where I’d pulled it from. It was only years later that I found an old 3.5″ floppy with the aforementioned book on it that I realized where I’d originally used the name.

2: You picked a Druid as your class. How come?

So, why a druid?

I originally created a Hunter in the first phase of the open beta since it was the class that most closely corresponded with the Ranger from EverQuest. But then Mr. Phae decided that he wanted to play a Hunter as his main. Knowing how much he’d end up “showing me up” if we played the same class, I chose the “next best” thing, the Druid. The Druid also had a strong affiliation with nature, and the video where the beautiful Night Elf shapeshifts into a sleek purple panther didn’t hurt either. Little did I know I would NOT be playing Feral.

Phaelia was my first real healing character, and I was fortunate enough to have the leisure to spec Restoration since I was levelling with my husband’s Retribution-specced Paladin. I’ve since discovered a real love for it and think I’ve found my calling. I doubt I could play any other role long-term and be as happy.

3: How did you get your start in World of Warcraft or gaming in general?

Like many, I’ve been gaming since the early days of the NES. I used to watch my older brother play Mario Brothers and get so excited that I’d kick the Reset button on the front of the console. He’d subsequently ban me from his room for the morning/afternoon.

I started playing EverQuest when I was in college, initially atracted to the pretty picture of Firiona Vie on the box cover. I had an extremely hard time levelling up and spent an inordinate amount of time in zones that were far too low for me for fear of dying. I had the opportunity to experience all aspects of the game over the course of 5 years: guild leadership, RPing, in-game marriages, and finally a raiding guild lead by a certain female High Elf Enchanter. I remember being so disappointed to find out that “she” was actually a “he.” I eventually got over it, though, and the two of us are approaching our 3-year anniversary this July.

4: Aside from WoW and blogging, what’re your other interests and hobbies?

As if I have time for other hobbies! =) I’ve been a long-time fan of X-Men comics, especially the two characters Rogue and Gambit. I also enjoy web design and development, movies, tabletop roleplaying, and cooking. I am the quintessential geeky girl.

5: If you could shape shift into ANY other form or animal, what would it be and why?

A unicorn … no, a pegasus. No, a PEGACORN!! Scratch that. I’ll take a Pegacorn and shift into a bunny rabbit instead. They’re sooooo cute. Druids definitely need an ambient form.

6: If you could change or add an ability to your class what would it be?

Out of combat resurrection. The lack makes me angry enough to spit tree sap.

7: Let’s hypothetically assume Blizzard goes out of business and decides to shut down their servers and WoW for good. You have 5 hours before the server shutdown is permanent. What would you do in 5 hours?

First of all, I’d port to Moonglade and purchase the Formal Dangui dress I’ve been eyeing since beta (it’s 50 GOLD!). Then I’d go buy a hippogryph from Cenarion Expedition and fly around fishing in far off, dangerous places until the world (of Warcraft) came to an end.

8: Blog Azeroth: Success or not quite there yet?

Success!! Lots of people have commended me on how well it’s doing, but — as my husband has pointed out — what did I expect would happen when I put together 100+ people who like to write on the Internet?

9: What’s in store for 2008 in terms of Resto4life?

I’ve been resistant to doing an HEP analysis (one that allows you to break down every item in terms of the raw +Healing it provides), but it would be pretty useful. So that’s a big project I’m looking at doing long term. I also have some plans to create Restoration Druid-based t-shirts and even have an artist friend who’s interested in splitting profits with me. I’m really hoping that can help offset some of the cost of hosting so that this becomes more of a recreational hobby than an additional expense! Other than that, I just hope that I can continue to grow my readership by delivering quality content that is either easily applied to everyday gaming or just consumed for its entertainment value.

And now for the speed questions.

10: Coffee or energy drinks?

Coffee. Red bull tastes like liquid sweet tarts mixed with cough medicine.

11: Raiding or blogging?

Blogging while I raid.

12: Overpowered: Rogues or Warlocks?

Oh, tough call. I’d have said Warlocks, but from what I understand of Season 3, Rogues are pretty much the bane of a Restoration Druid.

13: The White Tree of Gondor or the Tree of Nordrassil?

If you’re asking if I prefer the Lore of Warcraft to the Lore of Middle Earth, I’d have to go with Middle Earth. My knowledge of Azerothian lore is disappointly lacking.

14: If I weren’t a Druid, I would’ve rolled:

Priest without a doubt. I’ve actually played a Priest to 60 before and, while I didn’t enjoy their style of healing nearly as much as that of a Druid, I know I’d have to play a healer and they DO get the best looking armor sets in the game. /jealous

15: Mining, Skinning, or Tailoring?

Tailoring!! Without a doubt, tailoring is the most enjoyable tradeskill I’ve ever levelled. And I’ve done so on three different characters.

16: Aldor Rise needs an escalator: Agree or disagree?

I have insta-cast flight form. My favorite thing in the world is to run past someone waiting patiently for the elevator, flip off the edge, pop birdie form, and laugh at the /whisper of “!” NO ESCALATOR!

17: Given the opportunity, you would rather write a WoW blog for: WoW Insider or NY Times

I’d not like to write for anyone, really. I enjoy my freedom of expression and design. But if I had to choose, I’d go with WoW Insider; the audience there seems much more appropriate.

18: The road to success is paved with:

Well, I’m guessing it isn’t “Chardonnay” but it should be. Let’s go with “Passion”. The most successful and HAPPY (more important) people are those who are passionate about what it is they do.

19: Matthew Perry, Matthew McConaughey, or Matt Damon?

Matt Damon; he seems to me to be the most intelligent of the three.

20: Thanks for the interview. Shouts to?

Mr. Phae for all his support and help; Valenna for his friendship; Kestrel for his kindness; Vonya, Amanna, and Kirk for the inspiration; and to all the Druid authors out there that make our mini-blogosphere such a wonderful, welcoming, and warm place to be!