A Fond Farewell to Phaelia of Resto4Life

A Fond Farewell to Phaelia of Resto4Life

i-miss-phae-banner

It is a time for change for the druids of Azeroth. Patch 3.1 is at last on the horizon, tantalizing us all with thoughts of new raid bosses and daily quests to entertain our hours of sloth. However, despite the lure of the new, this is a sad day in the forests and wilds. Phaelia of Resto4Life, the greatest of all druid bloggers, has decided to retire for the happiest of reasons. I’ll let you read her big news in her own words here, but I will add my very public congratulations in this post.

A Tribute to Phaelia

Now that I sit down to try it, it is difficult to find words to express how profound Phaelia’s influence has been on me and my blogging work. I found Resto4Life when I had just started to raid seriously in BC. I had been toying with the idea of starting a druid blog myself, and gradually, reading Phaelia’s work helped me gain the confidence I needed to try writing. She exemplifies everything I love about the WoW community. Let me try, however inarticulately, to account for some of her contributions.

1. Phaelia showed us all that the blogosphere can be friendly. I know that I have experienced hateful and mean-spirited comments, both on my own posts and on others’ work. Somehow, Phaelia presents the content on her site with such grace that civil discussions have always flourished on her pages (pun intended). It has to do with Phaelia herself, I think. Phaelia’s tone exudes warmth and friendliness, and the druid community is a better place because of it. If new bloggers are looking for a style and tone to imitate, they should go to Resto4Life and start reading.

2. Phaelia helped us realize that we could be proud to be druids. In other places, I see more whining about class particularities than celebration of them. Through her wonderful artwork, both her own and the contributions from Andrige, Eggo, and other wonderful artists, druids have been able to represent themselves and witness themselves being represented in a positive way. I am personally going to buy a few more tree shirts. The one I had unfortunately got a big dribble of bleach on it the last time I cleaned. The artwork from Resto4Life is not fluffy content–in fact, it’s what I’ll miss most. I believe that symbols are important, and I don’t think being a druid would have felt as special without the artwork to remind me of it.

3. Phaelia instilled in us all a belief in the WoW blogging community. Through Blog Azeroth and meta-blogging posts on her own site, she helped many would-be bloggers, including me, get a start. I’m not always chatty myself (kind of a solitary walnut), but Phaelia reached out over google chat when I had first started posting. It meant a lot to me early on that she liked my work. I think she’s helped out very many druid bloggers and given us the confidence we needed to keep going. I think she realizes that the hardest thing to do, as a blogger, is put fingers to keys and write. Her site and the tools she gave us make that just a little bit easier.

And so, Phae, you will be much missed. I don’t think anyone will ever fill your particular shoes–and on that topic, you should all go look at Keeva’s delightful new comic. Please drop by from time to time as a reader and let us know how you and the little sprout are doing. This is an exciting time in your life!

As Pike said better than I could, we all know that our time as WoW bloggers is limited. I can see myself blogging–in some form, about something–for the rest of my life, but specific hobbies like WoW come and go. However, friendships and memories can stick with us. If the writing bug ever bites again, Phae, let us know about your new project. My experience tells me that truly talented writers like Phaelia always end up writing for publication, in some form or other.

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!