What do you do for WoW Insider?
I write the incorrigibly erratic columns The Art of War(craft) and The Light and How to Swing It that deal with PvP and Paladins respectively (and sometimes interchangeably). I also tend to mix up my posts with regular, run-of-the-mill news and the occasional opinion piece, like my analysis on the new Wrath changes to Paladins.
What's your main right now?
I spend most of my time in-game on my Level 70 Blood Elf Paladin, who re-specs 3-4 times a week. One day I'm mashing faces with a big hammer, and the next I'm waving my glowing fingers in the air like somebody's boy toy. I've spent thousands of Gold on re-specs that I'm probably a spec-a-holic. Just don't ask me to tank. I also have a neglected child in my Level 70 Troll Shaman, who was originally my main. Well, that's not entirely accurate. I started playing the game with an Undead Rogue and later a Troll Hunter on a PvE server. My wife and friends later rerolled on a PvP server.
For the Horde or Glory to the Alliance?
From the picture, quite obviously for the Horde. Not that it makes any real difference nowadays. But yeah, I guess I'm a wee bit biased. On the other hand, Matthew Rossi counts as ten people, so we need to balance this whole WoW Insider faction allegiance thing the other way somewhat.
Favorite thing to do in Azeroth?
PvP. I don't have as much time to do it now, but I really enjoy immersing myself in the Battlegrounds and Arenas. There have been many occasions where I had gone over the 75,000 Honor limit, putting Honor points to waste. I PvP for the fun of it, and I often wish there were a whole load of PvP-related quests. I enjoy Battlegrounds immensely because it's something I can do on my own, almost like grinding or questing solo. Lately, I've been considering getting myself a DeathAdder and swooning to the marketing hype of the widely panned N52te, just so I could pretend to be a serious gamer.
What's the best instance in the game?
Pretty much any of the Battlegrounds. I'm a huge fan of Warsong Gulch, flawed as it is. As long as there's a lot of combat, I enjoy it. So yeah, any of the Battlegrounds instances is the most fun for me. I'm really looking forward to the new Northrend Battleground, and even though it's not an instance, I have to say I really want to spend as much time as I can in Lake Wintergrasp.
What's the number one thing Blizzard could do better?
If only because I'm the writer for the class column, I have to say that Paladins need some serious loving. This is a class that was released mere weeks after the talents went up on the Beta realms, and for a long time no one from Blizzard had played a Paladin to max level. The class has been a general mess, despite the many fixes, but it's good to know that Blizzard knows that it needs more attention. Now that the Wrath changes are out, though, I'm one deliriously happy (and hopeful) Paladin. I'm also in agreement with Brian and Dan that Blizzard could communicate a lot better with its customers.
... a secret, haha. Seriously, though, I know because my wife and cousin earn so much money in-game while devoting so little time to earning that it's obscene. It doesn't involve having unlikely access to Black Temple patterns, Hearts of Darkness, or even a second account, either. It's just plain business sense, familiarity with the Auction House, and just a little bit of arbitrage.
My wife paid for my second Level 70's epic flying mount training in addition to paying for two of her own, and lent about five different toons money for their epic flyer lessons. She also purchased Haris Pilton's Gigantique bags (she sent me one, too! I love you, babe), and a Hippogryph; both her toons are also magnanimous benefactors. Despite those frivolities, she still has more Gold than my age multiplied by a thousand. If I sound like I'm bragging, it's because I am. I experience in-game wealth vicariously through my wife, so humor me. I also experience it non-vicariously when I dip into her deep pockets whenever I need new epic gems for my PvP gear.
Once upon a time, when you actually had to grind through a quickly decaying Honor system, it was the Black War Wolf. I remember having had to grind reputation with Orgrimmar on my troll just to be able to ride it. Nowadays, however, it's a fairly common sight, which makes it lose its appeal for me. I have yet to find the time to get my Druid friends help me get the awesome Reins of the Raven Lord. The Warlock's Dreadsteed looks pretty badass, too.
Of course, the Hula Girl Doll-adorned Turbo-Charged Flying Machine is hands-down the best flying mount in the game with its whiz-bang sounds and Azeroth-polluting animation. It made Engineering totally worth it for my Shaman. I will embarrassingly admit that an Armored Nether Drake has been a constant source of longing and frustration, specially after last Season's meltdown. I'm fairly confident it'll be better this season, so check back with me and my Brutal Nether Drake in about thirty weeks. Maybe.
Favorite piece of loot?
Even though I'll probably be buying the Brutal Gladiator's Bonegrinder soon, I still have a soft spot for my Stormherald. The much welcome change to Nether Vortexes has now made this beautiful weapon an ubiquitous sight, but I remember having to wait months for my turn as we ran Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep. The night I got my last Vortex, I immediately queued for the Battlegrounds and spent until the morning whacking things.
I've also been recently unhealthily obsessed with the Tyrael mini-pet, as I've been looking for a proper vanity pet for my Paladin. I know Dan thinks it's underwhelming, but if my infatuation overcomes common sense and I end up spending a month's worth of groceries on eBay -- God forbid -- I would spend all my time popping Avenging Wrath every time it's up. It would certainly be fun to smash your enemies' faces and have your own personal avenging angel waving them goodbye.
When I'm not playing WoW, I'm...
... writing about it. I enjoy writing for WoW Insider so much that it's ironically lessened my playing time. I also try to draw as much as I can (as you can see above and here) and working on my personal comic project in between watching Fight Quest and wuxia films. I think I need to get some actual physical activity going again. Taking care of my eight month-old daughter Zoe Fable is terribly exhausting but isn't quite exercise. Weekly basketball games can't seem to overtake my Krispy Kreme consumption.
If you had 10 more hours to play every week, what would you spend them doing?
I would soak up Honor in the Battlegrounds. I almost miss the days when I used to grind day after day of over twenty straight hours in the Battlegrounds just trying to move up in Rank. Almost. I don't think I'll ever descend to that level of crazy again, but I do miss hours and hours of nothing but PvP. Besides, I've got a precocious toddler who showed signs of being her father's daughter when she kept giggling at the Unreal sounds of my killing blows (courtesy of ShaderMod) at six months. Hardcore PvPer in the making? A father can only dream.