Where Have I Been?

I owe you guys an explanation. Normally, I don’t believe in the “Sorry guys, life owned me” type blog posts that offer insight as to why a blogger hasn’t been writing as much. With that in mind, I’m not going to apologize. Instead, what I will try to do is paint on a blank canvas exactly what’s been going on with me recently.

Once upon a time, I read that writing could be viewed as a therapeutic process. It can serve as a valve or an outlet to express everything you want to say. Apparently. I’ve never tried it. Wouldn’t know, you know?

Summer is the time of year that raiding guilds dread. Not many organizations are able to last past it. Not many GMs are willing to put in the time and work to re-energize their guilds when their players just don’t feel like playing. There isn’t much the boss can do about it other than go shopping. About 5 or so guilds that were more progressed then my guild on my server had collapsed internally due to a myriad of reasons all relating to cancelled raids and so forth.

The first raid I had to cancel was one last week. There was simply too many holes on the roster and there was no way our bench depth extended that far. I understood and accepted this and opted to give the crew a day of rest instead in preparation for the next instance tier that will debut (very soon, I might add, especially at the rate of background patching).

Ulduar’s been out for approximately four months. Players at the upper end of the curve are either bored or are getting bored.

 bored-curve

Naturally, the image is a clearly gross exaggeration. Don’t take it seriously. Although this does remind me to clean the dust off a post I had been meaning to write many months ago on the perceived Raiding Curve and explore it in more detail.

It’s very difficult to shoot for hard mode level content when your varsity players are slowly dropping out one by one. Although its easy to continue to draft players and recruit them, not every pick is going to turn out to be a stud. It’s a challenging decision to make to go after the hardest bosses in the game with players who may not have the gear to adequately face the challenge.

Guild management: It accelerates the aging process!

On to the personal side of things. It’s a little rather demoralizing. I’m currently undergoing what I consider a mid-academic life crisis.

Allow me to explain.

One of my assignments for this online class I’m taking (and the last as I clearly do not have the discipline to participate in an distance education course) is to visit court and write a paper about what I observe. So during my field trip, I observed two cases. One was about a street racing incident, and the other was about a hydroponics incident in some guy’s basement.

It’s an eye opening experience. Enough for me to give pause and consider a career change. I mean in the first case, I watched a bus driver get grilled about how the height of his driver’s seat could affect his vision. Naturally, the defense attacked his memory and credibility. Poor guy. The hydroponics case had a lawyer dispute the admissibility of evidence after it had already been admitted and allowed.

And that’s when it hit me. Is this something I want to get involved with? No, not really. I wouldn’t be able to handle it. It wasn’t until two years ago that I decided to start this blog. In the time since then, I’ve never really realized how much I enjoyed writing. Only recently did it occur to me that it could lead to something more and be a viable career path.

But I don’t know what to do right now. I’ve already committed so much into my current major in terms of time and finances. When I first started it, I really liked what I was learning. Now I just don’t seem to care about it as much. I’m so tired of school. I’ve never taken a semester off since I graduated from high school.

Going to end off this post with a link to an interview I did a few days ago and a brief question. Realized I haven’t published it here yet.

Have you ever experienced burnout in WoW? If so, how have you dealt with that?

No, I’ve never truly experienced burnout in WoW. Not at the point where I felt like I had to uninstall the game. I’ve been playing the game since Vanilla. I think Zul’Gurub had just been released. I’ve maintained a steady pace. How I’ve managed to avoid burnout is a mystery even to me. You’d think a player who has done so much and has played so often would get sick of everything and just step back for a while.

You know, I think I partially credit that to my blog. I’ve always wanted to maintain a high level of quality and production on my blog. And no matter what anyone else says, it’s hard to write about something you’re not interested in. You have to keep some hours invested in the game to come up with fresh content and material. I had no desire to be one of those fly by night blogs where I’d post strong for a while and then disappear forever. It was my goal to try and become a regular resource and voice. In order to do that, you just have to keep playing.

I watched the Ugly Truth the other day. I thought it was a fairly funny movie. I wonder if I can pull off a series similar to that about WoW.

“Death Knights: They will kick your ass before you can even respond. And that’s the ugly truth!”

Maybe not.

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About Matticus

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

Comments

  1. If you want to become a professional writer, you should probably try to finish your current eduation first and AFTER that is done take another one, directed towards writing. (for instance in Sweden we have a 1 year course in “science journalism” offered to people who already have an exam in natural sciences).
    The thing is that the competition today is intense if you want to get into writing. It used to be enough to have one exam, but nowadays many have double ones. So don’t consider your years spent in your current area as wasted. If you use them right it will be important steps that will take you a little bit further on your way to your future career.
    .-= Larisa´s last blog ..The importance of resilience in PvP =-.

  2. Another off-topic post about writing: I am someone who also discovered writing as a passion (and side-career) later in my life. About four years ago I made a major career change and left teaching and educational technology to became a school library administrator. To get through this (and the two additional graduate programs that followed) I began blogging about libraries and education. My blog postings got noticed, and now I am a monthly columnist in a major school library publication with a book set to be published this October.

    The great thing about writing is that, as the first poster noted, writers are needed in every profession (including gaming!). You can be a lawyer and a writer, a chef and a writer, a mechanic and a writer; every profession and hobby needs both passionate and technical writers to spread knowledge and excitement.

  3. This has been another tough summer for guilds. Most have opened recruitment on my server, and very few are still able to keep their 25 man runs going.
    My guild has been losing people every week. The good players, so it hurts. We managed to get two 10mans going last week, but this week is not looking so good. It won’t kill the guild for sure, our leaders wont let it, but it might kill our 25man progression, which can drive more people away.
    I probably wont see Algalon on 25man, but on 10man it’s still a possibility. But not seeing Yogg on 25man would be terrible, especially since we were so close on getting Vezzax last time we got a full raid group.
    .-= Wangari´s last blog ..ALT TAB – Abandoned Pets =-.

  4. Now, Matt, understand that I don’t have any idea where you stand academically regarding credit hours, electives, majors and/or minors.

    I found myself in a situation very similar to yours in my first few years of college. I changed majors three times. I went in dead set on being a clinical psychologist and/or child psychiatrist. It was what I wanted. I took a single psychology class at the college level and felt the exact same way you did in court: I could not deal with that every day for the rest of my life.

    I then decided that I’d go to the old, cliched fallback of “teacher.” I joined the education program and promptly realized that public education was not what I cared about. The professors treated us like we were elementary students, and I couldn’t stand it. I wanted to teach high school (God knows why), and I jumped ship. But I was lost, and I had no idea where to go. The university wouldn’t even give me an advisor outside of the education department.

    I then took most of the core classes for a criminal justice major, but realized after that, I would have to take additional B.S. requirements instead of the B.A. ones I already filled, and I did not think that law school (my goal at the time) was really where I wanted to end up.

    So I thought about the classes that I had taken so far that I truly loved, and they were all English. Because one of my teachers in the previous years used graphic novels as texts in my freshman comp classes, and he would even bring me old Fantastic Four comics to read when I took Victorian Prose and Poetry with him.

    I realized that I could be a “teacher” without having to worry about the red tape and bureaucracy that came from public education. So I set my sights on what it would take to teach at the college level, and I just finished my first year of teaching there. Within that first year, I’ve also snagged an administrative position as Associate Director of our tutoring lab.

    My point, Matt, is that I found something I could do that both felt right and dealt with interests I’ve had since I was a kid. I now teach Stephen King and Joss Whedon and H.P. Lovecraft to my writing students. I love my job. I’m good at my job. And I would have nowhere near that amount of satisfaction had I stuck it out with the lackluster dream of being a shrink.

    You’re good at your blog. This is one of the first blogs I ever subscribed to, and between you and Tobold, one of the main blogs I emulate (or try to) regarding quality of my own blog.

    There are lots of careers out there for writers, and most colleges and universities have professional writing majors. My fiancée was a PW major and went to grad school for English lit. She’s now the public relations and programming manager at a fairly large public library. I highly suggest, for what it’s worth (which may be nothing), that you look into working toward a major that you know you’re good at and obviously enjoy and care about. I promise that it will be a lot easier to restart along an academic path you care about wholeheartedly than just think you’re interested in. It might take an extra year or two, and you might have to put in some long hours and hard work, but I guarantee that sticking to a major in a field that you feel so strongly against it is going to make you miserable, Matt.

    If you ever need to talk about academic paths with someone who’s been there, you know where to find me. And I’m sure Syd has already thrown her .02 into the bucket, too. But she seems to be an invaluable resource in this kind of situation.

    Just don’t get too bogged down. Acadmics can really suck sometimes, but there’s always a right path.
    .-= Beej´s last blog ..Of Trials and Demos =-.

  5. Wait until your finished College and you realize that everything you learned was BS and your just another corporate lackey doing the bidding of your new coporate overlords.

  6. Have you sat in many other courtrooms? Maybe if you sit in on more you’ll get a better idea of how you feel. I’ve seen some of that world (father was a public defender for awhile then a prosecutor and I’ve grown up around cops) yeah it is different. You have to really be committed.

    When I hit 30ish, I realized I should have stuck it out with what I really loved, instead of going after something else. (Should have stayed in physics, I instead went into computer science). So it depends if you really love it stick with it, but if whether you like it that much is what you are questioning, then see more of the working world you might go into and then decide.

    Also I have heard you don’t have to get a criminal justice degree to work in that field. Police look for people with management experience, lawschools look for anyone smart with any background, so don’t feel like you are trapped in a certain undergrad program.

  7. It’s never too late to change majors, Matt. As previous individuals have said in their comments, there are a myriad of opportunities to explore, especially when you’re in a university system. Many courses can serve as requisites for a lot of different programs. If you want to talk about class homogenization, you ought to take a look at canada’s post-secondary education system!

    Joking aside, I can see where you’re coming from with regards to the intimidation factor of a court setting. The beauty of Forensics is that in the case of the judiciary process, you’re not thrown in without a life preserver. Expert witnesses are trained by their peers to respond to certain questions with the right phrasing of answers, as to not get grilled by technicalities. Lawyers for the most part are just bozos who don’t know ANYTHING about your field, and are trying to attack the process rather than the information. If you know your stuff and are not a complete dumbass, you send a message early to the lawyers that their idiot parlor tricks won’t work.

    That said, it still might not be your cup of tea due to the nature of the program itself. Perhaps you could find something that’s more related to the blog. Sure it’s nice to be in a program that resonates with your interests, but you need to make sure that the lifestyle that you want in the future (i.e., starting a family, etc.) can be supported by your career. Certain fields are more difficult to break into than others, and certain fields provide more security and are more lucrative in terms of available opportunity.

    As a recent forensics graduate and blogger, I certainly support your decision to change majors to suit your needs, but I can definitely vouch that FS is a very rewarding experience if you ever come around to appreciate it for what it is.
    .-= krizzlybear´s last blog ..Leavin on a Steam Plane =-.

  8. Hang in there. And don’t switch to a journalism major.

    The great thing about writing is you really don’t need a degree in creative writing or journalism to get assignments. The awful truth however is in most major metropolitan areas it makes a far better hobby than a career to actually live off of.

  9. Apoptygmaa says:

    “Wait until your finished College and you realize that everything you learned was BS and your just another corporate lackey doing the bidding of your new coporate overlords.”

    I cackled in my cube…

  10. Don’t sweat the slowdown. It can get tough to keep up with these things, especially during a “mid-academic crisis”. I’m in a similar situation, and I can relate. It’s SO frustrating, isn’t it? Best of luck with that to both of us, I suppose.
    .-= Fnordrick´s last blog ..What’s the Fastest Wow Leveler? =-.

  11. I’m too young to contribute much of anything useful regarding a career choice. But I’d say that what you learn in college is just a base, it gets you the basic (I mean right on floor basics) of what you’ll need to know to work a career. I’m not going to go to college to learn much of anything, I’m just there to say “HEY GIVE ME THE DANG PAPER THAT SAYS I PASSED” So I can have my pick of the litter when it comes to finding a job.

    As for boredom and loss of interest, that’s me, right here, hello. I recently canceled my WoW subscription, I got bored, not with WoW, I love WoW, I love the thrill of the battles and the quick thinking and manual dexterity of the hands that is ulduar. (As a healer i mean, DPS, I look down upon them lol) I just want something new! Something that changes how i play, how i think about using my character. I’m still a WoW lover, and will continue to follow the happenings within, i just don’t think I’ll play till something tantalizing comes about to once again lure me into its clutch.

  12. I know a lot of people who’ve got through similar things. A lot of the challenge of education in college or University or whatever is actually just sticking at it. Don’t even think about quitting and throwing what you’ve accomplished so far away! It’s just a plain bad idea. Finish and then take a year off.

    Plus, you need to remember that life after college and the job you do is likely to be very very different from what you’re doing and seeing now. That’s just the way it goes. Plus, if you really do hate it, well at least you can earn a buck whilst you find something else.

    Good luck with whatever you do!
    .-= We Fly Spitfires – MMORPG Blog´s last blog ..Where Do You Read Your Blogs? =-.

  13. You know I had that exact same experience, albeit in a court room in Aus. Of course since I am now a lawyer I am biased (against it in case you were wondering – although I practice in corporate law so no courts for me) so I can’t tell you what to do in that respect.

    I can tell you that, if you are still interested and passionate about law (but perhaps not necessarily enamoured with the reality of practising) AND you are interested in writing then you could look for ways to combine the two?

    There are quite a number of academic legal publications but also most newspapers here have an opinion based legal column at least weekly.
    .-= Silk´s last blog ..Warrior regeneration stats =-.

  14. To follow up on what Silk said: I am in the field, having done mostly criminal law in my 13 year career. The last 7 of them have been as a Public Defender in a medium sized Southern county. What you are going thru is something that hits a LOT of us in this field: judges, lawyers, law enforcement.

    As corny as it sounds, what makes this field exciting is that once in while, to paraphrase the movie Philadelphia, you get to be part of justice being done. Systems of justice are not perfect. There is a lot of day to day grind that can leave you frustrated. You work your way thru those, in order to get to the high points.

    Don’t let what you saw in the courtroom get you down. Realize that the system REQURES that the bus driver have his testimony examined. In order to protect all of our rights, the attorney must fight against any possibility of inadmissability. The system only works when each side is vigorously pursuing its case. When I examined criminal law from this standpoint, it gave me a certain clarity that lets me do my day to day work while still looking for those “moments of justice.”

  15. I am a lawyer. I had that same feeling in my last year of college for journalism, and law school after that. I will tell you though civil law is much different than what you see, especially in the courtroom. I spend most of my time researching and writing than anything else. I haven’t had a decent courtroom case in months. I just filed an answer today on one case. I have had a large number of administrative hearings. (I am a legal aid lawyer mostly doing landlord tenant.)
    I will tell you the everyday practice is very collegial. I am polite and professional, and on a mostly first name basis with both opposing counsel, and judges Outside of the courtroom. Courtroom practice is first and foremost theatre. It may be different in other areas but here in central Florida it is very collegial if you want it that way. I have a few lawyers and Admin hearing officers where I can call them up, tell them what I have, and settle the case in a day or two. So don’t get discouraged by the drama. In real life it doesn’t exist.

    However I do agree with the above poster. I also taught at the college level, (special effects, and advanced cinematography), and it was great fun. (Protip sleeping with the HAWT student isn’t worth it.) {I don’t speak from personal experience, but a large number of people around here have been doing this, and getting into trouble.}
    .-= arkaneena´s last blog ..Tanking as a healer =-.

  16. My advice is actually different from Larisa’s and closer to Beej’s–but with the caveat that I’m talking about the American university system.

    The point is that it’s not too late to do the career you love. I actually think it would be MORE harmful to your future career to continue in a major you don’t like. You will eventually want a college degree, but I’ll tell you exactly what I said in my email–you need to major in communications. That might mean switching schools, even arguing your way into a program that your academic preparation doesn’t qualify you for. In the end, graduating with poor grades will hurt more than, say, taking a year off, working an entry-level job for a web publication and then applying to school to do related work. Don’t worry, I will spam your inbox with any job listings I find.

    You should investigate the possibility of changing majors (to communications, NOT English) at this point. It may not work in the Canadian system like it would in the States, where you would probably be able to do it. I say probably, with the caveat that some majors require a certain GPA. You might lose time (a year? 3 semesters?) while you take classes for the new major but you would eventually get the right degree.

    In your position, you’re going to have to convince people that your hobby–your hugely popular blog and your paid work for WoW.com–qualifies you for jobs and school. I might be a professor, but I never urge people to stick with a major “just because”–there’s no jobs anyway at the end of it, so you might as well maximize your chances of employment by doing something you’re actually good at!

    Heck, people switch careers in their 30s and 40s all the time, especially in times of economic crisis. You would not be alone in changing course!

    As always, I’ll look over your applications!

  17. Thanks guys. I’m not quite sure what to do yet. But at least I booked an appointment with an academic advisor. to start discussing options. Probably what I will do is take a course or two on communicaitons or somethig and see what its like.

    arkaneena: Man, how does one go form special effects to law? ^^

  18. @ Matticus – good luck with your IRL struggles, academic life can easily lead to burnout even for those who love the setting. Also, law school is full of people from all walks of life and it’s definitely not surprising to anyone who’s been to law school to hear of the diverse backgrounds and careers people come from. Certainly not all political science or pre-law majors, although there are obviously a lot of those.

  19. Hey man, I’ve been reading your blog for ages – love it!

    I’m interested in your comments that your thinking of a career change. I live in Australia, I recently graduated with a degree in law and I started practicing as a criminal defence attorney late last year – the adversarial legal system is pretty in your face – as you saw, the idea is to tear the opposition down and exploit procedural rule.

    After some serious soul searching, I too am considering a change in career. It sucks, because I am still $37,000 in debt due to the cost of the course, but when I asked myself ‘do I really want to be involved in this?’ the answer was no!

    Don’t get involved in a career that you can’t love. I too enjoyed studying law/legal studies, but the actual practice is something totally different.

    At least that’s my experience, for what its worth 🙂

  20. You’re thinking of communications?
    Well I don’t know you but I would have expected maybe switching to Chemistry, That would still be a good major to pursue a career in forensic science, or a variety of others. It depends how much you like science. 🙂
    Anyway good luck

  21. Aethena says:

    There’s a really good chance that you’ll change careers at least once in your life, no matter which path you choose.

    I have an MBA in Economics & Finance, which I got in the early 90s. What do I do today? I’m a web designer.

    Study what interests you and challenges you. And give yourself the space to change directions if that’s what you decide to do.

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