Origins

Origins

I’m going to tell you a little story today.

It won’t take up that much of your time, but it’s not WoW related.

I get often get asked this question from real life friends and contacts in game.

“Matt, how did you get your job and get to where you are? What did you do?”

If being a Community Manager or a gaming journalist or some other related position appeals to you, then take a read. I’m still learning on how to be a great Community Manager myself. Believe it or not, you may already have a few skills that align with community related stuff. You don’t have to represent a gaming company or some website. If you’re a blogger, you have your own community reading about your thoughts. If you have your own podcast, your community is listening in. Managing a guild? That’s a community of your own.

For today, I wanted to offer you a brief outline of a path that I took.

Here’s a full list of my responsibilities (Professional and otherwise):

Birth of the blog

How the heck does a Criminology major go into writing about video games?

This was the summer of 2007. There weren’t that many WoW blogs around at all. Of the few that I ran into, most were limited in content. I wanted to read blogs about raiding and how to be better at the game. None of the ones around at the time were enough to satisfy me. That’s when I decided to start my own blog. I managed my high school’s website for three years so I was familiar with web publishing and writing (I overhauled the site from standard HTML to a PHP driven backend which took weeks of effort).

Blogging is not easy.

There is no way I can stress this enough. Expect to spend hours going from idea to content to headline to promotion. I would go to bed at 2 AM and start hauling ass next morning at 8 AM so I wouldn’t miss the bus for school. I kept a little moleskin notebook which I used to write down ideas and thoughts. I’d scope out the news stands and quickly scan magazines. I paid attention to what headlines caught my eyes and what made me want to read them and applied it to my posts.

What’s the point of writing an awesome, lengthy post if no one’s going to read it? Give them a reason to read it. Make the title stand out amidst a sea of “How to Spec Your <class>” or “Best in slot list for <character>” or “My adventures in <zone>”. Having an attractive headline pays off dividends.

Actually, read this article on how Forbes stole an article from the New York Times and grabbed a nice share of the page views. I don’t literally mean steal content. The right title will pique curiosity which will then in turn cause potential readers to view your post instead of skipping over it.

Lesson 1: Vow to make some kind of impact. The end game of my blog was to teach and help players improve. This blog was never meant to appeal to the world and server first audiences.

WoW Insider

The first real shot at the spotlight came when WoW Insider asked directly for my contributions to the Priest column. Someone over there was impressed enough and I’ve been with them ever since. For the longest time, our class columns were mainly class columns. I felt really bad about Shadow Priests because I genuinely had nothing to offer. This was offset since we further branched out to roles within classes. Later on, I moved to contributing to Raid Rx. Dawn and Fox Van Allen took over the Spiritual Guidance (Priest) column.

What helped me were these factors:

  • Writing regularly
  • Having ideas
  • Style

Writing regularly: I tell this to every new blogger who has ever asked me for advice – Bloggers who don’t blog aren’t bloggers. If you don’t blog or have any content, then you can’t really call yourself that. You can write a post a week, three a week, or write daily. It doesn’t matter. You set your own pace. There’s a fine balance between writing too often and overwhelming readers (like me) or writing too little like once a month and losing regular readers. Once a month is way too little. Writing three or four times a day is overkill for you as a person. Unless you’re producing a news and content blog with multiple writers, you will get overwhelmed.

Having ideas: People ask me how they can come up with ideas. You have to change your mindset by saying there’s no such thing as a bad idea. The reason why writers have a hard time coming up with stuff is that they have such a high standard built in and believe that no one is interested in their material or that some other writer beat them to it.  Any bad idea can be turned around into something that people want to read. There’s a ton of sites with posts about ideas and inspiration which you spin into a WoW theme. Any idea you get, no matter how dumb, you can write it down. Approach it from a different angle. There’s multiple sides to every story. You can figure out what slant to take.

Style: You can be conversational. You can be professional. You can be all artsy. You can write with a Canadian accent, eh? Whatever your writing style is, make it you. This isn’t academia. You’re not writing for a journal. You’re not writing a paper. You’re allowed to write a little loose and inject some personality into it. Don’t try to pretend to be some alter ego because you’re not going to have fun.

So have fun!

I have so much more I could teach you about the topic of blogging. I’ll mess with it and add  more later on. Maybe turn it into a regular weekly thing. Who knows?

Launching the Plus Heal Community

When we first started, there was a whole team of moderators. What I wanted was to create a place where healers could go specifically to discuss techniques and get help for different parts of their game. In an ideal world, they would be able to post their questions and discuss different aspects of a game where they couldn’t be ridiculed or flamed for their contributions (or lack thereof).

If managing a community is something you want to do, you need to just go for it. It wasn’t easy. You need to have some support staff to help you out. You have to find ways to promote discussion and growth. Someone’s got to draw up a set of rules and guidelines. Don’t be a jerk can only go so far because everyone has varying definitions of what a jerk actually is. Not only that, you need to lay out consequences for different violations. What constitutes a warning? When does a post get deleted or lock? Under what circumstances would users get banned?

Now the fort’s being held down by Gryphonheart who’s doing a damn fine job. Anna recommended him highly. I will never forget the day when she suggested that I give him a shout about it and will always be eternally grateful for her endorsement.

Lesson 2: If you actually want to be a community manager, having proof of a community you started is good start. Don’t just sit there. That other guy competing with you for the job might have the degree or the piece of paper. Remember that nothing beats actual experience. It’s an ever evolving lesson in interacting with community members. You’ll learn about moderation and setting rules, when and how they should be enforced. Managing a community means just that. It’s not as simple as sitting back. You have to get your hands dirty from time to time which means being polite to people you disagree with and laying the smackdown on people who are being trolls.

If you’re not willing to take action, then it’s not the job for you.

Alas, the healing community’s been split for a while now and everyone’s got their own different, dedicated class communities.

First foray into print

During the summer of 2009,  Dan Amrich got in touch with me to contribute two articles to the World of Warcraft magazine.

It was my first time dealing with print publications because I’ve never done anything like that before. I mean, we’re in the digital age now! Print’s not exactly dead yet but in the age of iPads and computers, information’s steadily moving over to online distribution. The pressure and stress isn’t quite there when it comes to digital platforms. But when you’re working with print, the fact that what you’re writing needs to get edited, copy edited, fact checked, page designed, then shipped really weighs in. You can maybe get by with an extension or so but that article needs to get in or else you’re toast.

Lesson 3: Nail those deadlines. I have an up and down streak when it comes to deadlines. Sometimes I’ll ace them easily. Usually, it gets down to the wire. It’s a nasty habit I picked up in school and it continues to be something I struggle with now. For me, the biggest igniting factor wasn’t the money. It was the off chance that impressing someone with connections might lead me to something better down the road.

When the editor in chief of a fairly major print publication asks you if those deadlines are okay, the correct answer is yes. You better find a way to make that happen. Making a good impression goes a long way.

Dan is now Activision’s Senior Community Manager. I have the following quote stapled to a board.

CMs are coming from two areas right now: long-in-the-tooth game journalists and superfans who prove themselves on official forums. More companies are getting the value of having someone dedicated to addressing their fans and critics. […] I would look for games or developers you admire and see if they already have a CM. If not, start leading by example.

The man has a point.

Whatever happened to Criminology?

To put it plainly, I got discouraged. I was getting depressed with what I was learning about. That spark that was in me those years ago and the desire to do something that could cause positive change? I just gave up. When you repeatedly see and hear situations like this from police:

Too many times I’ve responded to a domestic assault where the victim claims she fell down.

Too many times I’ve found a stabbing victim surrounded by a crowd of witnesses who claim they saw nothing. And too many times I’ve been snookered at the door of a shelter, a needle exchange or a supervised injection site by a staff member who claims my presence makes their “clients” feel uncomfortable.

I’ve never seen so many people who simply accept their role as victims. And I’ve never come across so many people who are willing to just turn, walk away and allow people to be preyed upon. It’s shameful. I don’t know.

It didn’t really sit well because I’m not sure I could get involved with a profession that seemingly does not make a real, meaningful change. Ethics? Justice?

How can you help people that don’t want to be helped?

How can you do change people who don’t want to be changed?

How do you help that Mage who is doing less DPS than the tank but is so blindly convinced that they’re at the top of their game?

You’re on the outside looking in. You know there’s a problem. You have a possible solution. But you can’t do anything about it. That’s what eventually got to me.

As much as academia goes, I’m considering going into project management. As much as I’m interested in marketing, I’m not smart enough for that (insane math skills required). Journalism? No chance I can get in there either. Communications is ridiculously difficult to get into.
I can’t seem to find a school or program in my area that deals with Community related stuff because it’s such a new field and all that.

With Enjin, the duties and responsibilities are more my thing. Getting to head down to events like Minecon and PAX, talking with developers, and users from different games and genres is a thrill. Can’t say for sure what’s really appealing but, it’s a foothold in the industry. Much of my time is spent creating newsletters, spotlighting communities, thinking of new tools and services for guilds and clans. Have to set aside parts of the day to supervise and moderate forums, but I don’t mind.

Like being a GM, you need to pay attention and spot conflicts before they become conflicts. Intervene when it’s necessary and appropriate. Having guidelines and rules that scale are practically a must. You do need to remain flexible and agile (and it doesn’t hurt to have someone to call really late at night in case the ultimate worse case scenario happens). You can’t just rely on Twitter, Facebook, and the like. It’s not enough anymore. There’s elements of image perception and controlling how the brand is perceived. Having a really diverse vocabulary because word choice matters. You can say the exact same phrase in a flaming, derisive manner or the exact same thing in a polite, understanding manner.

As they say in after taking lethal damage to kill your own guild’s leader:

Worth it.

The Return of the World Boss

The Return of the World Boss

Reason #78 why Mists of Pandaria is going to be awesome?

World bosses.

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. He’s got some massive cannons on his back. His actual name is Galleon but I prefer to think of him as Blastoise.

And no, he doesn’t shoot water.

Here’s a better screenshot below so you can actually see the scale of it.

WoWScrnShot_041412_161503

And it’s a dude on top of a… I forgot what the animal’s name is called. I’m not sure what the story line is, but he’s just chillin’ there in the Valley of Four Winds. Once he spawned, both factions sent raiding units to engage him. Must’ve been around 60+ players total that were chipping in DPS. We barely made a dent though.

Now you see, he’s got an ability called Stomp. In addition to dealing 100k damage to players around him and knocking players down for 3 seconds, it also has the ability to boot players off the server. However, after Mists goes live, I expect it to crash computers, restart modems, and cause neighbourhood power outages.

Did you ever have a chance to tackle world bosses during Vanilla or Burning Crusade?

Symbiosis and Monks

Symbiosis and Monks

I’m so flippin’ mad.

Times like this I wish I was a fan of golf instead.

But enough about that. Let’s get on to the highlights for this week. The beta cap in Mists has been raised. The big spotlight’s on Druids since they get Symbiosis to play with which impacts the rest of us.

WoWScrnShot_041412_200317

The great wall of Pandaria.

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Overview of the Mistweaver Monk

In the weekly WoW Insider Raid Rx column, you can get an introductory look at the Mistweaver Monk (The healing one) and gain insight on how the class is supposed to heal. They’re going with a hybrid DPS/healing mentality with high mobility.

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State of the Brewmaster

Sunnier has gone self hosting and has gotten a new look, new domain, and new everything. Wear sunglasses. It’s really bright. Other than that, you can check out her recent post on the recent state of Brewmaster tanks. A part of me thinks this might be a good expansion to give tanking a shot.

Then there’s the other part of me who isn’t going to trust the healer to keep my sorry ass alive.

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Symbiosis: Practical Assignments

This is Lissanna’s part 2 of Symbiosis analysis. Found this way more interesting since she has a raid composition with 5 (five) druids. You think deciding things like Focus Magic was hard? Raid leaders will have another level of headaches with Symbiosis to deal with now and here’s a theoretical case study on how it would go.

Druid Symbiosis Abilities and Spells Other Classes Get

Druid Symbiosis Abilities and Spells Other Classes Get

Note: Last updated April 15, 2012.

Shadow Priests get Tranquility.

Healing Priests get… Entangling Roots?!

Since the level cap has been raised to level 87 on the beta, Druids now have access to their level 87 spell, Symbiosis. This is one of the more popular abilities in the game because it’s one of those things where every class has a vested interest in it.

What Druids get from Symbiosis

Guardian Feral Restoration Balance
Death Knight Bone Shield Death Coil Icebound Fortitude Anti-Magic Shell
Hunter Ice Trap Play Dead Deterrence Misdirection
Mage Mage Ward Frost Nova Ice Block Mirror Image
Paladin Consecration Divine Shield Cleanse Hammer of Justice
Priest Fear Ward Dispersion Leap of Faith Mass Dispel
Rogue Feint Redirect Evasion Cloak of Shadows
Shaman Lightning Shield Feral Spirit Spirit Walker’s Grace Purge
Warlock Life Tap Soul Swap Demonic Circle: Teleport Unending Resolve
Warrior Spell Reflection Shattering Blow Intimidating Roar Intervene
Monk TBD TBD TBD TBD

Sources and notes

1: WoWHead Mists of Pandaria Symbiosis Comments
2: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/4427534745
3: Owlkin | Symbiosis Results
4: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1103278-MoP-Symbiosis
5: http://www.wowheadnews.com/blog=202586/symbiosis-breakdown-what-abilities-it-brings-to-each-class 

I did my best to cross reference spells and abilities in the WoWHead Mists database. Certain spells that had key words like “Energy” instead of a different form of energy used naturally by the class and spec, “Druid” or included certain Druid abilities like Rip are almost guaranteed to be the Druid form. Another dead giveaway is the level when the ability is gained (it should say 87). However, Not every ability lists that. In the event of inconsistencies, I deferred to the MMO Champion list as it’s the most recently updated.

What you get from Symbiosis

Death Knight Blood Frost Unholy
Might of Ursoc Wild Mushroom: Plague Wild Mushroom: Plague
Hunter Marksman Beast Mastery Survival
Dash Dash Dash
Mage Frost Arcane Fire
Healing Touch Healing Touch Healing Touch
Paladin Protection Retribution Holy
Barkskin TBD Rebirth
Priest Shadow Holy Discipline
Tranquility Entangling Roots Entangling Roots
Rogue Assassination Subtlety Combat
Growl Growl Growl
Shaman Elemental Enhancement Restoration
Solar Beam Solar Beam Prowl
Warlock Demonology Destruction Affliction
Rejuvenation Rejuvenation Rejuvenation
Warrior Arms Fury Protection
Stampeding Shout Stampeding Shout Frenzied Regeneration
Monk Brewmaster Windwalker Mistweaver
Growl Savage Defense* TBD*

* Speculation based on tooltips. Savage Defense costs 3 Chi. Chi is Monk only energy.
Wrath is listed as a Symbiosis spell but is not attached to a class.

Reactions

I don’t even want to think about how they plan to balance this ability for arena usage. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just disable it entirely, but I’m sure they’ll give it a spirited attempt anyway. The main purpose of Symbiosis is to give classes and specs certain abilities that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Mages get a Heal, for example.

Shadow Priests with Tranquility is pretty darn nice. Part of me wishes Holy Priests had it, but the other (sane) part of me knows that if that were to happen, Priests would instantly jump to the top. Divine Hymn/Power Word: Barrier and a Tranquility would be blatantly overpowered.

Wasn’t expecting DPS Shaman to receive Solar Beam, but since they’re all with the elements and stuff, I can see why.

Restoration Druids receiving Leap of Faith? I guess it’s payback time Sad smile.

Curious with the Balance Druids receiving Mass Dispel. Though it could be used as a more offensive ability since you don’t really see Balance Druids whipping out debuff removals as much.

Feral Druids receiving Divine Shield from Paladins. Ho boy.

If you notice a spell that’s in the wrong spot or if an ability’s missed, let me know but make sure you toss in a source (Screenshow, WoWhead link, or something).

Let’s assume you’re a Druid in a raid group with every conceivable class and spec compositions (Let’s say science is thrown out the window and the raid limits are higher than 25). Who do you give Symbiosis to and why?

 

Lodur on Twisted Nether

Well folks, looks like this Saturday I’ll be joining the folks over at Twisted Nether for fun and shenanigans. You should make sure you free up some time and come join us, I know I would appreciate it. Taken right from their website

 

  • When is it?: This live show is scheduled for Saturday, April 14th at 8pm PT (11pm ET). Not sure what time that is for you? Use this handy-dandy time converter!
  • Where do I go? To participate on the live show, you will need to go to the TNB Live Show page to connect with the stream. See, totally easy. If you are having issues then go to the Ustream page. Don’t forget to register/login to UStream so you can chat with us!
  • Some general ground rules:
    1. Be nice. If you say very inappropriate things be aware you will be kicked from the room. We are doing this to have a great time, come with a beer, come during a raid, come how you wish, just don’t come to cause trouble.
    2. You may ask questions to the participants during the show, but we reserve the right to use them if and when we can. We will be monitoring the chat room and if we can we will use the comments during the show. We love that you are with us, but we will have to weave them in. Even if it isn’t asked, we all appreciate your questions!

So be sure to stop by and spend some time with us!

Mists: Further Priest Changes on the Horizon

Mists: Further Priest Changes on the Horizon

Ghostcrawler commented on a Discipline feedback post earlier today.

To summarize the key points:

  • Confirmation that Spirit Shell is a spammable absorb that won’t be as powerful as Power Word: Shield. On beta, it fills the Heal role which is not very satisfactory. They are exploring the option of having it fill the Greater Heal position instead.
  • They’re exploring ways to bring Rapture back in.  However, they want it to scale with Spirit so that Discipline Priests don’t neglect Spirit on their gear.
  • Power Word: Barrier mana costs are comparable to Divine Hymn.
  • They’re exploring ways to reduce the mana cost of Mass Dispel but the spells is quite powerful and they’re considering the inclusion of a cooldown aspect.
  • Players running through dungeons and raids are saying they have problems casting big heals and they are looking into this problem.
  • The priest talents are still not finalized and will be undergoing further refinement.
  • Glyph of Penance sucks. Glyphs as a whole are incomplete and continue to be developed.

Personally, I find it refreshing to see GC back in action again offering glimpses into the world of game balance and the various developer thought processes. Rapture’s a way cool mechanic and all, but with the other changes and such, I’m not sure if finding a way to restore it back in Mists is a real priority.  Do you agree with the problems and solutions that are in the process of being implemented?

How Complex Should Healing Be?

How Complex Should Healing Be?

In my weekly Raid Rx column on WoW Insider, I published a post with an introductory look at the Mistweaver Monk. While Monks are still in the stages of construction, there’s enough of a foundation in the beta right now that players can mess around with. Monks have two resources: Mana and Chi. One of the comments in the column piqued my interest.

I get it that Paladins are monks are Blizzard’s ‘special’ healers that have to get extra resources like holy power and chi. Why can’t priests get their ‘insight’, druids their ‘harmony’ and shamans their ‘ether power’? Not a rant, just out loud wondering. Any beta testers can confirm that Monk healing is more similar to paladin than the other healer models, or not?

– Grmshepard

Now Grmshepard raises a point. You can’t seem to go a day browsing the WoW forums without a few players all depressed about how homogenized and similar the different healing classes are. The four (well, five) healing classes share some similarities but one needs to look much closer to really notice the nuances.

Secondary resources

Paladins get Holy Power. At the basic level, the class lets you develop charges of Holy Power giving you the ability to amplify the potency of select spells. It’s up to you to determine what that spell is and when that timing is. Remember when all you guys did was just stand there spamming Holy Light bombs during Burning Crusade? Now you’re dropping Holy Light bombs while building Holy Power charges at the same time! … I mean, it’s something new (Sorta).

Monks have Chi. It’s similar in concept to Holy Power. You’re using specific abilities to raise your level of Chi. In an earlier iteration, Monks had to utilize both light and dark chi. The general player feedback and consensus appeared to be “What’s the point?”. Therefore, that concept was simplified to just Chi. The thing with Chi though is that a number of the spells can be unloaded with just Chi. You’re using your mana to build up points of Chi. Chi can then be used to help heal your allies. The amount of Chi that is consumed has an impact on how much mana you get back (Cherry Mana Tea). It’s quite the interesting trinity. Don’t worry though, there’s still a number of healing spells that rely on your mana.

What about Druids, Shaman, and Priests?

My belief is that the three aforementioned classes feel complicated enough without the need for an additional secondary resource.

Looking at Priests, Chakra has added enough complexity on it’s own. The player needs to decide as is which stance they need to be in order to appropriately address the challenge of the present encounter. Talents like Serendipity allow us to charge up our own stacks to unleash a really fast spell on demand. It goes without saying that Discipline is fairly flexible between Atonement style and non-Atonement style. The Priest toolbox is pretty damn large. In fact, they should just call it a tool garage instead.

I’m not as qualified to talk about Druids as much. For more commentary on Resto Druids, I’d strongly suggest you head over and subscribe to my friend, Restokin. Way more knowledgeable than I, for sure. I’d say that the essence behind Druidism revolves around their HoT abilities and shapeshiftery. The latter talents in the Druid tree explicitly spell out the various benefits in switching between forms and taking advantage of the offered bonuses.

Going to have to defer on Shaman as well. Lodur’s the guy to talk to about that and you can catch his columns on WoW Insider.  There’s a heavy emphasis on totem usage and placement. Going into Mists, we’re going to see more involvement from the different elemental aspects. I need to play more Resto Shaman myself from time to time. The complexity with Shaman continues to rely upon strategic use of totems. We’ll have to see how the elemental forms play out.

Do you think the healing game for your class would be better if you had an additional secondary resource of your own? How much more complex does your class really need to be?

Recruiting Roulette: Elitist Jerks Paid Membership Review

Recruiting Roulette: Elitist Jerks Paid Membership Review

Player recruiting continues to be tough for guilds and their leaders around the community. Some might even consider resorting to third party sites in the hope that they can drive up and attract interest to their raiding guild. In the Recruiting Roulette series, I’ll offer my opinions on different recruiting sites and what kind of results my guild received and what you can expect. All fees are paid out of my own pocket.

Site: Elitist Jerks
Fees: $25 per thread or $30 for 6 months (Patron status)

Elitist Jerks has widely been accepted as the think tank  community of choice where top theorycrafters go to exchange ideas and beginners go to dive into more advanced concepts of their class. With a such a large and skilled community, it makes sense to try to recruit players here. The upfront costs can be considered expensive.

Is it worth it?

Ground rules

Once you’ve paid the requisite membership fee, you’ll be allowed to post in EJ’s /LFGuild forum. You can only have one visible recruiting thread at a time. Only threads with a post in the last 30 days will be visible.

Next, your thread must be in the following format:

[Faction][Server] <Guild> Title

[Alliance] [Ner’Zhul] <Conquest> Looking for all ranged DPS, 4/8 HM 25 man

Conquest started using Elitist Jerks back in the Fall of 2011. I can’t remember the exact date. Sometime around October or November or so? We were starting to dry up with applications and it was time for us to explore other alternatives. After some asking around, Elitist Jerks was one of several recommendations made.

Which option?

I could’ve gone with the 1 time fee of $25 which would only allow me to create 1 thread. Or I could’ve gone with the $30 fee which is good for 6 months and allows me to make as many threads as needed.

Didn’t take long for me to decide that the second option with the $30 is a better bang for the buck. The registration process after that was absolutely flawless. Payment is accepted via Paypal. After the confirmation email was received, I followed my own guild ad guidelines and created a forum thread on the site. Only thing left to do was to sit back.

Effectiveness

Was it worth it? I was essentially paying $5 a month for 6 months to keep a guild ad up there for maximum exposure.

In total, we received 2 applicants from Elitist Jerks and no additional referrals.

  • A tank who played no more than 8 weeks before deciding to leave to play with his real life friends.
  • A melee DPS who played for about 8 months before stepping down to real life. Still plays other games with us and remains a part of the community.

My option for renewal is going to come up fairly soon within the next month. Right now, I don’t think I will be exercising the option to renew it until we get closer to Mists release.

Factors

If you are planning to utilize EJ’s services, then keep some things in mind.

The community behind Elitist Jerks is full of extremely knowledgeable and skilled players (usually). Expect to get players of reasonably high calibre. With that in mind, your guild’s ability to attract candidates is going to depend on the progression of your guild. Proven guilds with consistent hard mode kills or successful raid achievements are going to have a higher appeal than a friends and family guild that had just taken down normal mode Ultraxion (as an example).

Mind you, your mileage may vary and you may have better responses. In addition, we’re also in a “lull” period of the game right now where burnout is quite high. I suspect results will be way different once Mists gets closer to release.

Edit: Just to help clarify a few things, I don’t suggest using their service right now. Most players are already cemented in their guilds and are hoping to finish out the tier and expansion with their guilds. Once Mists comes out, expect a stronger and higher population of people. With all guild progression resetting at “0”, this should warrant a much better yield for your money.

Brewmaster Impressions, Healers at Mercy, and Controversial Sponsors

Brewmaster Impressions, Healers at Mercy, and Controversial Sponsors

*sneeze*

Ugh, my bad.

It’s all these allergies.

PAX East is in full swing right now. I wish I could’ve gone but I’ll definitely be attending PAX Prime (Seattle). Enjoy the long weekend (If you have one)!

On Power Infusion

Also, would you consider removing the mana cost for power infusion? Most of the newer priest talents (save the top tier talents) like void shift, etc. use cooldowns rather than mana. 

Power Infusion probably doesn’t need a cost. I’ll discuss it with the team.

P.S. I should add that we completed a big audit of heals (for all classes) recently, and concluded that the mana costs were reasonable for the most part but that the heals were much too small for the Mists health pools. We buffed all of the heals quite a bit. We want mana to be less painful than it was at the start of Cataclysm, but we want it to matter more than it did at the end of Cataclysm. We want the slope of the line to be less steep — your higher throughput and regen in later patches will still make heals more efficient overall, just less so than they became in Dragon Soul. The static mana pool helps a lot with that.

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First Impressions of the Brewmaster

Sunnier’s a bear tank who’s experimenting as a different kind of bear tank (a Panda Brewmaster). Check out her feedback and thoughts of the upcoming tank class.

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Healers are at the Mercy of Everyone Else

New to healing? Grumpy Elf offers some pointers when it comes to the psychological aspect of the role and how to handle the inevitable flak that you’ll receive in the role. You are going to get blamed and you can help neutralize hostile reactions on your reactions.

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Adult Entertainment Sponsorship Possibly Splits Fighting Game Community

E-sports could definitely benefit from the influx of major sponsors. But would partnering with adult entertainment companies be appropriate? On the one hand, sponsors are great because they can help with financing of events and such. On the other hand, … is it a smart image or public relations move to make that kind of partnership?

New Priest Talent: Feathers from Heaven

New Priest Talent: Feathers from Heaven

Feathers from Heaven replaces the previous Levitate talent that we had at level 30.

Feathers From Heaven
40 yd range

Place Heavenly Feathers at the target location. Each Heavenly Feather causes a single nearby friendly target to gain 60% movement speed for 4 sec.  Only 3 Feathers can be placed at one time.  Accumulates an additional charge once every 10 sec.

I place a feather on the ground. If a player runs near it, they get a temporary speed boost. Unlike Alysrazor, they don’t need to click it. They just need to be within range of it. You can not cast it around objects (line of sight issues). You can cast it while moving. So if you need to get somewhere really fast, just drop them in rapid succession to get you or a friendly player from point A to point B fast.

Since you’re limited to only 3 charges, you can’t use a whole stack of them one after the other. It takes time for it to recharge.

Here’s a direct link to check out the video.

Wha’cha think? Is this talent going to appeal to you? If it were live now, which bosses would you use it on?