Wynthea’s Tales from Blizzcon: Part 2

….Continued from Part 1

Here’s the thing about an event like Blizzcon – there is SO MUCH going on that it overwhelms your senses and strips you of your faculties. You may have all the best intentions of blogging about every little detail, but what you end up coming away with is a jumble of emotions mixed with images…. and ringing in your ears if you stayed for Ozzy.

If you want coverage of Cataclysm, specific panels, or any other information, you can find the info on the official site, WoW.com, and even You Tube. If you want to hear about this Troll’s experience, keep reading!

Day 2 – a.m

We left the hotel at around 8:30 – plenty of time, so we thought, to beat the line to get in the doors when they opened at 10 a.m. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAaaaaaaaa…… right. Since it was obviously going to be a long wait no matter what we did, we instead got a cup of coffee with Matticus and Lodur. In the same place, for the first time, EVER!!! (I brought Matt his shirt, but forgot to bring Lodur’s with me that morning…)

Good lookin’ bunch, if I do say so myself. Syd, unfortunately, couldn’t join us this year. (But I’ll be shipping her souvenir WoM Blizzcon ‘09 shirts!!) I’d also like to take a second here to thank our sponsor, Byte Me Gaming, for such amazing shirts. They have been so kind to our team, and we really appreciate their support!

Since we’d eaten breakfast and had a chance to wake up, we decided to go get in line for the door… It was about 9 at this point, and the doors were supposed to open at 10 for the Opening Ceremony. The line snaked from the door, around the convention center, and wound its way around in a parking lot before looping back onto itself. There was a kind of snarky camaraderie among the con-goers, comparing notes about the game, their guilds, the line, the weather (we Texans insisted that standing in the sun in 75 degree weather was a joyous experience, while the Canadian contingent insisted it was almost UNBEARABLY hot. Canadians are advised to never, ever, ever visit Texas in the summer.)

This is the line in the parking lot:

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But, you know what? I think these people have put on a Con or two before, because that long, long, long line kept moving. And we made it inside for the start of the Opening Ceremony. We didn’t make it in time for SEATS, of course, but that didn’t matter – there were massive screens throughout the convention center to broadcast whatever seemed to be the most popular panel. You could walk around, check out the exhibits, play with the toys… and not miss a single thing.

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Sorry that one’s a bit blurry, but you can see the screens that were all over the place. I’m not sure how many of you have been to convention center expos, but usually the overhead lighting is fluorescent and harsh – Blizzcon is dark, and dramatically lit by colored, flashing track lights. Vendors are handing out glowsticks and necklaces, and it really helps keep the entire place cool, even with 25,000+ bodies inside. There were so many cool exhibits and vendors to check out, but they kept as much floorspace open as possible – the layout was sheer genius, with plenty of space for groups of people to walk through without bashing into each other. The stars of the con, though, were the people in costume – but more on that, later.

Okay, so I’m inside now. I have no idea where Lodur got to, Matticus has run off to watch the Opening, my boyfriend yelled something over his shoulder as he sprinted towards the Starcraft II playable area, (True facts: He stood in line and played Starcraft II something like 5 times over the course of the two days. When that game comes out, I don’t think I’m going to see him again for a few months.) and… the opening ceremony is standing-room only. So I wander off by myself, watching on the screens, listening to the welcome, and other announcements…. when I notice another bank of computers, like the ones set up for Starcraft II and Diablo III. But these are all shut off. The signs are all covered in black crepe. What game could possibly need to be demo’d and played by con-goers, but have no signage? Perhaps the UNANNOUNCED EXPANSION?!?!  I roll them dice, and hop over the chains set up to corral a non-existent line.

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At this point, I frantically call Matticus and tell him he has to come get in line with me, because if I’m right, this is about to become the longest line at the convention.

The conversation went something like this:

Wyn – “Matt, I found a bunch of computers at the other end of the center, I think it’s going to be the xpac, come get in line.”

Matt – “Not now, Wyn, I’m watching stuff.”

Wyn – “So am I, nerd, there’s screens here, too. COME GET YOUR DWARVEN BUTT IN LINE!!!”

So He did. And we waited. And waited, and watched the rest of the opening…. and then, Chris Metzen said it. CATACLYSM. The coverings were ripped off the signs, and…. well, look who was right. Matt and I are now 15th or so in line to play the expansion. (You’re welcome, Matt.)

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That’s his “I hate it when she’s right” face. And he should hate it. Because I like to gloat. A Lot.

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The computers are all turned on, and we file in as quickly as we can so we can snag as much playtime as possible. They limited us to 20 minutes, and we could play either Worgen or Goblin. They started us at level 6, and content was ready up to level 10. (If you could get there in 20 minutes.) As incentive for players to complete quests, rather than just run amok, quests that offered an item (as opposed to just money) as a reward ALSO gave a “Red Blizzcon Bag” which, when opened, might contain a nice green item, or something that translates into a real-world win of a poster or video card. As soon as the guy in charge of our section mentioned this, I won a poster! “The first one of the Con!!” He told me. I rarely win anything, so I was beyond excited, but I didn’t look at it much – I just wanted to get my 20 minutes worth. Matt played Goblin, and I chose Worgen. A few of you may remember that I started out as Alliance on a Human Priest… and the Worgen are amazing enough that I may dabble back on that side.

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One of the things I love best about WoW is the obvious attention to detail and story – and this new race is no different. The starting zone has a decidedly gothic, almost steampunk feel to it, but manages to be nothing like Duskwood or Undercity. It borrows from previous human elements in the game, but the time that Gilneas has spent isolated is obvious – in everything from architecture to NPC costumes. (They wear tophats!!!)  It reminds me of the first time I stepped into Howling Fjord, and saw the new take on the Undead look and feel. This has a similarly awesome twist on new/familiar themes, and is breathtaking. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see or play with any of the old world as transformed by the cataclysm, but I plan on hurrying a bit more to finish my Loremaster title!!!

As for the poster I won; I found out later that it was supposed to look like this:

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Mine looks like this:

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I haven’t yet figured out who all of the signatures belong to, but it looks like the entire development team. I asked one of the guys working the Cataclysm demo about it the next day, but he hadn’t heard anything about a fully signed poster at all – and guessed it was special because it was the first one. It’s sitting in a poster tube right now, until I can find a frame for it to go in my living room, over my computer.

Another small misadventure happened where in the excitement, I left my phone next to my demo computer. I’d like to give a huge THANK YOU to the staff at Blizzcon who found it, turned it in, and even walked with me to the lost and found when I didn’t know where it was. My experiences with everyone working, both for Blizzard and for the Anaheim Center were absolutely top notch – It’s no wonder Blizzcon is in the same place every year, the venue is fantastic.

At this point, my boyfriend and I both had goodies we didn’t want to carry around the convention, so we headed back to the hotel room and grabbed a quick lunch before coming back.

To Be Continued…..

Luv,
Wyn

Wynthea’s Tales from Blizzcon: Part 1

Here’s the thing about an event like Blizzcon – there is SO MUCH going on that it overwhelms your senses and strips you of your faculties. You may have all the best intentions of blogging about every little detail, but what you end up coming away with is a jumble of emotions mixed with images…. and ringing in your ears if you stayed for Ozzy.

If you want coverage of Cataclysm, specific panels, or any other information, you can find the info on the official site, WoW.com, and even You Tube. If you want to hear about this Troll’s experience, keep reading!

Day 1 – p.m.

My plane lands, we get our gear, and walk out the airport. My boyfriend and I hadn’t really come up with a solid plan for getting to the hotel, but there in the California afternoon sun was a gigantic bus with DISNEY on the side. We looked at each other, giggled, and got on board. One of the neatest things about iPhones is the built-in GPS, so we figured out that we could get dropped off at the Disney hotel, walk past the convention center to pick up our goodie bags and badges, then head on to our real hotel. 

This worked out rather well, since the line for badges had mostly dissipated by the time we got there. Here’s what it looked like:

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That took about an hour – they kept it moving as fast as possible. Meanwhile, I was on the phone nonstop, texting Lodur, Matticus, and my Guildmates. Turns out my GM was in line behind me, and I got to meet him in person for the first time, along with a couple of my other guildies!

The guild went out for dinner afterwards – we had about 10 people all together. In typical fashion, I was the only Lady. That’s one thing about Blizzcon – while women are the fastest growing gaming demographic, there was still never a line for the Ladies’ room. Which is a nice change.

Lodur and I were staying at the same hotel, so after dinner I got to meet him in person for the first time, along with a few of his guildies. Stories were swapped, drinks were had, and I have no idea what time I went to sleep.

To be Continued…

Luv,
Wyn

Con Day 2 Itself (and a Message for a Guildie)

Con Day 2 Itself (and a Message for a Guildie)

Someone from my guild tell Speedbumps to see the end of this post.

It’s just about 12 AM. After a long swim in the pool (with some volleyball along with friends), I am finally back in my room.

So I’m going to touch on everything I was there for and observed.

Rated BGs

Cool. I suppose I have an incentive to run battlegrounds and the like now. Unfortunately, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m still short on time to participate.

I wonder if we’ll start seeing professional WSG teams in the future.

Also liking the return of Honor Titles. Currently a Knight. This fits Blizz’s philosophy of accessibility as rated battlegrounds for arena points and such.

Guild achievement

Great surprise here. Totally not what I expected. I don’t think anyone saw this coming before day 1. The ability for guilds to invest talent points into certain features?

I totally called the guild standards by the way.

Guild heirlooms

Further trend of keeping players in guilds is to have certain items or recipes accessible to guild crafters only. The moment they leave, the items return to the guild bank. If players wish to leave guilds, that ability is still there. But the effort invested by the guild to get them that recipe or item will not be wasted. It can be awarded to someone else so that the benefit remains within the guild.

Note that not all raid items will be like this. Just items or recipes designated as guild heirloom items.

Guild potions and reagents (like frost lotus variants) are a plus. Guild talents can be invested to increase the potency of them. Great stuff.

More to come later…

* Dungeons and raids
* Path of the TItans
* Cross server LFG
* …and the various meetups I’ve gone to

Lastly, we have a guildie who is very elusive. She refuses to see us, she refuses to speak on vent, and just downright socialize with any of the other guildies on vent.

We have a theory she doesn’t exist. One of my players launched a in guild joke with various people holding up signs that say “Where is Speedbumps?”

Well guess what?

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Yes. That is THEE guild.

I had to use a bit of Photoshop magic to darken it a bit so the camera could see it. Special thanks to my PUNKING guildies by the way for improving a sign on the spot. After they created the sign, I literally darted away to find them as soon as I could at the WoW.com meetup.

Thanks for the pose guys!

Blizzcon Day 1 (Mid day reactions)

So turns out most of the “rumors” from the various “sources” turned out to be true after all.

Managed to sneak in and try out the Cataclysm demo with the first wave. Credit Wyn for that one. She realized there was a section with turned off machines and a drape over a large sign. She had a hunch and yelled at me to get over there. Turns out the Cataclysm demos were up. We drew straws. She won and picked Worgen while I snapped up Goblins.

Lucky girl won a poster too.

Goblin racials are cool. There’s one where they get all faction discounts for pricing and such. Theres another one where they can shoot rockets or rocket jump (about twice the range of death grip).

Sorry, no live blogging here guys. I’ll mostly be in and out throughout the day and evening. Technical difficulties completely own me. I wish I could get a press pass. But I guess the blog isn’t quite large enough yet to attract such prestige :(.

Met up with the WoW.com guys last night. Will be at the TNB meet up later tonight. Will drag Lodur and Wyn with me.

Not much in terms of panels for day 1 I’m interested in. Will go back to the class panel discussion however.

By the way, Uldum is pronounced “Ol-Doom”.

Guild achievements. Guilds can level up to 1-20 based on quests, raid bosses downed, etc. Mass ressurrection. One guy can resurrect the entire guild after a wipe. Think about a guild talent tree. Joe has a feeling that the implementation of a guild leveling system is going to lead to guild housing. Its been denied for such a long time. But its been seen in other games (the progression of guild… stuff). It appears to be the next logical step.

Archaeology’s a new profession. Opens up different Path of the Titans.

Heroic Deadmines and Heroic Shadowfang Keep too. So overwhelming inside there.

More to come later tonight…

Blizzcon Panels of Interest

Less than 24 hours remain. Around this time tomorrow, I’ll be state side. I should feel excited and energized. Oddly enough, I’m more tense then anything. Triple checked everything. Whew!

So here’s the panel events below.

Where will I be?

Day 0 (Thursday)

Wow.com meetup at 7:30 PM

Day 1

  • World of Warcraft UI
  • World of Warcraft Class Panel
  • Starcraft II Gameplay
  • Diablo III Gameplay
  • TNB Meetup at 9 PM

Day 2

  • World of Warcraft PvP
  • Raids and Dungeons (Starcraft 2 Lore is oh so tempting however. If it weren’t raids and dungeons, I’d hit up the lore)
  • World of Warcraft Q & A
  • Possibly Diablo 3 Lore and Art. I suspect the WoW classes one is the same as the day before

Wonder what Priest questions or healing questions I should ask at the Q&A that hasn’t already been answered in the Q & A from the blues.

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Raid Warning Podcast Giveaway and Interview with Matt!

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I found some time this week to join my new friends on the Raid Warning podcast. Normally podcast requests are made at times where I have to respectfully decline (my guild comes first) but we managed to work something out.

So what did we talk about?

  • Matt’s preferred drink!
  • And his alcohol tolerance
  • Patch 3.2 thoughts
  • Priest Q&A thoughts
  • Qualities I look for in healers
  • And more!

Anyways, the Raid Warning crew has been feeling awfully generous as of late! They’re giving away some pretty cool prizes in a contest they’re holding!

Like what?

Do you have rage problems? Prone to extreme anger? Throw your headset across the wall because that Priest stood in the fire again?

They’re giving away a Razer Carcharias Gaming Headset!

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A SteelSeries World of Warcraft Gaming Mouse!

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And last, but certainly the most important, a WoW 60 day time card!

Enough already! How do I get in on this?

Your mission is straightforward and simple. You need to read this blog post and listen to episode 12 of the Raid Warning podcast. There’s two phrases you want to make note of:

Key phrase

I cannot heal damage of this magnitude! It’s inconceivable!

That’s the phrase from this blog. Now you have to tune over to the episode 12 podcast and listen for their key phrase.

Once you have it, Email both the phrase from here and the one you heard on episode 12 to raidwarningpodcast@gmail.com. Your subject line should include Raid Warning Contest!

Hurry! Contest closes September 1st! (I know that blog pots says August 18th, but it’s been extended).

Blizzcon Bound: How to Pack

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Packing for a short trip can seem harder than packing for a long one – you need pretty much all the same stuff, just in smaller amounts. I travel frequently, and have gotten used to packing everything I need in about an hour. Here’s my mental checklist, and a few additions that other people might commonly need, to help take the stress out of your trip to Blizzcon.

Toiletries:

Think about what you do as you get ready in the morning, and as you prep for bed at night. Take a day and think about it as you’re getting ready. Put everything you use in a pile instead of putting it away. That’ll give you a pretty good idea of what you need to bring with you.

  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Mouthwash minimusziplock

  • Contacts case, solution, glasses & case
  • Comb/hairbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Hair styling products: Rubber bands, gel, hairspray, etc.
  • Makeup
  • Medications/Vitamins
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Soap/Lotion (some of these will be provided by your hotel – so you can probably skip at least the shampoo and soap unless you need something specific)
  • Razor/Shaving Cream

Check and see if your hotel has hair dryers available if that’s something you use daily. Most of them take up a lot of space in your bags, and while you can get travel size models, it’s better to not have to buy an extra one that you won’t use much.

Travel size stuff is DEFINITELY worth it, though, when it comes to toiletry products. Check the cosmetics section of your local store for either small sizes of things like toothpaste, shaving cream, and body wash, or for small, empty bottles that you can fill from your larger bottles at home. Post September 11th US Travel Regulations require all liquids in carry-on luggage to be 3 oz or less, and for all of your 3 oz. bottles to fit into a single 1 quart zip-top bag. If you have to bring a bigger bottle, you’ll have to put it in a checked bag, rather than a carry on. Some airlines charge extra for ANY checked bags, so if that’s your plan, double check to make sure you won’t have any extra fees.

Clothes:

Are you planning to go to Disney Land? Stay an extra day or two? Do you get cold easily? Do you usually wear sneakers or sandals?

A good rule of thumb here is to wear your bulkiest items on the plane, and pack the smallest ones. If you want to bring both sneakers and flip-flops, pack the sandals, and wear your Nikes. Wear long pants, and pack a pair of shorts. Wear your jacket on the plane. All of this adds up to saved space, and makes it less likely you’ll have to check your bags. (On the other hand, I had a friend who would do this in reverse – she wore her smaller items on the way out, and the big ones on the way back, that way she had built-in room for souvenirs. Pretty clever.)

But how much to bring?

  • Bring 1/2 as many pairs of pants as there are days in your trip.
  • Bring undergarments, shirts, and socks for each day. (Unless you live in sandals, like I do, then you can bring fewer socks. But you’ll still want at least 1 pair.)
  • 1 nicer shirt in case you decide to go somewhere nicer than In-n-Out (Don’t stress about this. California is generally very casual, and a polo or collared shirt with jeans will work for you 90% of places. You don’t need a tie, a blazer, or panty hose.)
  • Bring your bathing suit. (your hotel might have a pool, and it sucks to buy a bathing suit in a hurry. Besides, they’re small and pack easily.)
  • Pajamas. ESPECIALLY if you have a roommate!!!

Miscellaneous:

  • ID – Passport (if coming from outside the US), Drivers’ License, School ID.. .Just something with your photo on it. Bring two, just in case, and keep them in different places.
  • Cash. At least $10, never more than $100. (I usually just bring $20, and whatever $1’s have around.)
  • Electronics. Camera, iPhone, iPod, Cell, Laptop.
  • Business cards, or other way to exchange information quickly
  • Breath mints/Gum (You’ll thank me.)
  • Your battle.net authenticator. (You might need it to play while you’re there. I’m not sure, but better safe than sorry.)
  • Printouts of your barcodes, and the credit card you used to pay for them

Things Everyone Forgets:

Yes, everyone. No, not always. (You have a list!)

  • Q-tips
  • Cotton balls
  • Nail Clippers/File/Tweezers (you CAN take a small pair of nail clippers in your carry on luggage, but don’t bring your nice ones, just in case your security personnel are cantankerous. Bring a cardboard emery board instead of a metal nail file.)
  • Sunscreen (for Disney, the Beach, etc.)
  • Chargers for your: iPod, Camera, Laptop, etc.
  • Shopping list, or presents for guildies. (You know you said you’d bring something for so-and-so. Don’t forget it! You’ll feel like a jerk!)

If you’re wearing a costume:

This isn’t really my area of expertise, but a few things come to mind.

  • Duct Tape
  • Small Sewing Kit
  • Special Make-up and accessories
  • More Duct Tape

I realize that some will have more specific needs, but this should cover most people. Feel free to make additions in the comments. The best thing to remember is that Anaheim is not in the middle of nowhere, and if you forget something, you’ll likely be able to get it there. See you soon!!

Luv,
Wyn

How to Find Matt and Co. at Blizzcon

These just got in yesterday. They look freakin’ awesome! A giant big thank you to our sponsors from Byte Me Gaming!

Check ‘em out!

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All three of us will be sporting these during the convention. I suspect people will get Lodur confused for me many times while we are there.

Don’t stare too closely at the person sporting the shirt! Legends say that a person who catches the full blast of the shirt may experience some side effects.

Such as instantaneous attraction to the wearer.

Yes, that’s Wyn in the bottom shot.

I think it’s about time we all updated our profile shots on the bottom…

Priests: Moonshroud or Merlin?

Patch 3.2 whipped out two sets of craftable gear: Bracers and chest pieces. Got a few inquiries about it on Twitter about it. Figured I’d do everyone a favor and outline my thoughts on it here:

Moonshroud

Here’s the Moonshroud set:

Royal Moonshroud Robe

Royal Moonshroud Bracers

Merlin

Merlin’s set:

Merlin’s Robe

Bejeweled Wizard’s Bracers

As you can clearly see, the Moonshroud set offers Spirit whereas Merlin’s contains haste. The spellpower and crit ratings remain identical.

Now if you were a healing Priest wondering which of these to create for your sets, there’s some things I’d like to remind you of before you go off dropping your hard earned gold.

Spirit’s been nerfed. Holy Priest mana regeneration’s been nerfed. Spirit is not as strong as it used to be. Do keep that in mind.

Speed is life. The faster your spells go off, the higher the odds that your heals will catch a player before they die.

Socket bonuses aren’t always the greatest. You do not have to socket your gems according to the bonus. There is no law saying that you have to do that. Sometimes socketing against the bonus yields a higher benefit.

So what’s best for me?

As Discipline: I lean towards Merlin’s set. I won’t need the Spirit as it doesn’t provide me any additional bonuses anyway. For gem choices, I prefer having a large pool of mana to work with. I would socket straight 4 x 20 King’s Amber on the chest and the bracers.

As Holy: Not much difference here. I’d approach it the same way as Discipline. I’m all about the mana pool and stacking loads of intellect. Others prefer Spellpower, Spirit, MP5 or Haste gems. Perhaps even a combination of all of them. I wouldn’t say that’s wrong.

It’s just a matter of preference. I top out at around 2700 spellpower during raids. Most of it’s going to over healing anyway. I may as well reallocate some of those points towards a larger supply of mana or increased speed. It’s not like players suddenly gained 7000 health and that bosses are magically knocking out 80% of a raider’s health to warrant that increase in spellpower.

Why Exclusive Info is Dangerous

This post is a fairly serious one and it talks about my personal viewpoint when it comes to exclusive info and things like “scoops”. I hope it’ll offer some insight from this blogger’s perspective on why certain things have to be done the way they are and why secrecy is important (along with some arguments for it).

It’s a topic that has irritated me extremely to no end.

As a student, I’ve always been taught to cite my sources when it comes to papers or projects. I know that Syd would otherwise agree otherwise I’d be screwed over for plagiarism reasons. But this isn’t the same type of sources we’re talking about.

No, I’m referring to informational sources. People with inside and exclusive information about things that not everyone (such as the public) can know at the moment.

Before I continue, I need to make a disclosure and a disclaimer.

Disclosure: In case you didn’t already know, I’m a regular columnist for wow.com. I contribute their Raid Rx and Spiritual Guidance columns.

Disclaimer: My perspective does not represent any part of the wow.com staff, it’s affiliates, owners, or anyone related to the organizations therein. They’re just my own.

Wow.com has recently run a few questionable stories. A lot of players were skeptical about some of the stuff they had been reading and some even go as far as to harassing a few writers about where they hear this information from.

Now skepticism is good. Don’t get me wrong. I encourage everyone to really think about what they’re reading, where it’s from, and it’s reliability. Last thing that I’d want to happen is to see anyone falling for anything and being humiliated over their gullibility. What really annoys me is being asked to list who gave out the information that we know.

Honestly, do you really think naming a source is going to change your thoughts or feelings on that? Whether you believe it or not is entirely up to you and I don’t know how saying that Joe Smith from marketing told me is going to make that any more believable.

Even if I stated something as outrageous as Pandaren and Murlocs being playable and reported that it was none other than Ghostcrawler himself that e-mailed me that? It wouldn’t fly anyway.

So if you think that the favourite news site you go to for information (I don’t care if it’s wow.com, wowraid.com, MMO Champion, World of Raids or what have you) is lying to you, please consider the following before making a request to name where the juicy gossip comes from.

Reputation is on the line. You know, contrary to popular belief, no site wants to be known as full of lying crap. It’s against their interest. There is no viable reason why I as a blogger would want to lie to you. We’re not out to get you. If there’s some cool stuff out there that can be reported, it will be reported. If a site gets it’s information wrong, or worse intentionally lies to get traffic hits, that’s a line where once crossed it is difficult to get back. We want you guys as readers and fans. We want to share the information, the exclusives and the scoops. And if the sites are wrong, the internet will have a field day. Everyone likes to “rub it in”. It’s a big risk to the reporting site if they misinterpret or misread something.

Careers are at stake. Can’t remember where I got this from. It caught my eye on my Twitter timeline. USA Today (a news organization) has a policy section on the use of unnamed sources. It’s a great list and it displays the rules that their reporters and journalists are bound under. You can bet that most other news sites will have something similar to this. I don’t think gaming news sites have anything as detailed but you can bet there is serious editorial oversight especially when it comes to reporting information from a source that specifically asks not to be named. I respect and understand the policy that reporters should do what they can to name where they get information from.

But if someone’s job is on the line, that there is an ethical line that I am personally not willing to cross. Given the option between disbelief at information or accusations of lying versus the surefire termination of someone’s job? I’ll take the former. I cannot in good conscience condemn someone to lose their job because a bunch of people want to know who my source is. It doesn’t matter to me. If it were me, the fact that I am willing to report what I hear on a large news organization should already speak volumes about how trustworthy that information is. It’s not like every tip or lead is followed up on everytime an email is received.

The USA Today policy says to be as specific and as precise as possible. Understand that it is well within the realm of reason that anything more revealing than “anonymous source” could be enough to fry someone. These are real people with real jobs and real families. Don’t lose that perspective.

If permission was given to release a name, a position or job title, it wouldn’t be a problem. Sadly that’s nearly never the case.

Think about pot odds. It’s a poker term that doesn’t really mean anything in this context. But probability plays an effect here. The hockey rumor site run by Eklund over at Hockeybuzz is an example I’d point to. Eklund uses a 5 point system to assess the strength of the trade rumors he hears concerning hockey.

Here’s a quick example. It’s not the actual way it’s done, but it gives you an idea.

  • E1: 1 reliable source that’s not related to the players or teams involved.
  • E2: More than one E1’s. Different people from different teams.
  • E3: A source that is directly related to the players and teams involved.
  • E4: More than one source with ties to players or teams involved.
  • E5: Deal is 100% complete and is awaiting announcement.

That system is used as an indicator as to where and at what level the information that Eklund receives should ranked at. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be true. Sometimes deals change.

In the WoW context, if one major site reports something, it could be a mistake or it could be wrong. If multiple sites report something at around the same time, you can bet that something’s up. I don’t suspect every player in this business is using the same set of sources that the other guy is using. I don’t actually know. I’m not important enough to warrant any and I’m not a big enough fish in the pond to get first crack at stuff.

By that same token, when one organization hears from multiple sources that are close enough to the situation at hand, then something is up and it warrants investigation. If the sources are gold, expect to hear about it. There’s a lot of oversight involved when it comes to breaking news like this. Everything gets triple checked. Every bush is beaten, every tree gets shaken.

Anyway, that’s my viewpoint on the whole matter. I will never compromise anyone’s life or career like that. And I won’t lie, the job does suck. You know of some cool feature or storyline coming up and you really want to share it. But you can’t. Because someone else gets screwed. That kills the joy in it. I don’t normally break news. I love doing speculations and stuff and that will be labeled clearly. But unless I get the greenlight to break something, I won’t. It’s the job of the big news sites to tell you what they they know (within reason). They don’t have to tell you where. You don’t shoot your only milk producing cow. Otherwise you don’t get any more milk.

Why get the one guy who’s willing to share juicy insider information fired? The chances of getting access to such insider stuff would essentially be shot down to 0. No one would want to ever talk to me again if I did something like that. That would place me at a disadvantage to my “competition”.

I sure as hell would never tell you guys that Hogger’s mustache told me that Zul’Drak is getting a new raid level instance.

(I might have made up that entire last line).

(Or did I?…)