Meet the Team: Lesley Smith

Once a week our writers will give you a glimpse into their lives, to let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read more Meet the Team.

What do you do for

Well I've just started as a Contributing Editor for Massively and WoW Insider so I write news, source interviews and generally do whatever I'm told. IRL I'm a journalist specialising in, amongst other things, computer games. I was tapped because I have experience with covering lots of MMOs, even if I don't play them myself. At the same time, I'm based in the UK so that's got to be worth something, right?

What's your favorite MMO?
I'd have to say I'm a WoW girl. I dabble in various MMOs but WoW is the one I first started to play and also has all my friends in it. I love the social aspect of it, being able to sit back and raid, to easily communicate and catch up with virtual representations of folks all over Europe. Plus I can ... er ... fly.

What games are you playing now, and what are your characters?
I've been playing the Free Realms beta as Cassandra Onyxgate on US server 1, it's very friendly and brightly coloured but the lure of WoW is too strong. Plus I'm currently solo with no friends and friends are the one aspect which will keep me playing.

WoW-wise, I play as Serisa on EU-Daggerspine, a level 80 night elf Balance Druid. I've been playing her since January 2007, in fact I rolled her the day before The Burning Crusade hit. I actually started with a human mage in October 2006 but had no idea how to play and it was only when I got my hands on the CE of TBC that I really got hooked. I play Serisa most of the time solely because I'm comfortable with her and I love the fact she can shift into a bird.

I also have a Death Knight called Eshte who is waiting in the wings, a level 22 Draenei mage called Auryn and a level 4 Paladin called Hikari. I'll get to them eventually.

Why do you like MMOs so much?
Well initially I didn't. I prefered games which had a beginning, a middle and an end. Then a friend of mine sent me WoW as a birthday present, which all my journo friends had been raving about. I was initially suspicious because I was playing on a battered laptop which I was convinced wouldn't be able but run anything more then Microsoft Office but low and behold, it worked and I found myself hooked.

I think I like them mainly because of the social aspect, I should probably be a bit of an RPer (except I'm on a PvP server -- boo). I love the fantasy, exploration and lore aspects in particular but hate grinding, even if it is a part of the game.

What accomplishment in-game are you most proud of?

Hmm, that's a hard one. Dinging 80, killing Onxyia, getting my Big Battle Bear, exploring, killing Sarth, maxing out mining and getting my epic flight form.

Seriously though, I'm visually impaired. I'm blind in one eye and short-sighted in the other. This means my reaction time is shot, I get very lost in instances and please don't ask me to combat rez someone in the middle of a 25 man raid unless they're marked. In fact, Blizzard, can I just have an in-game version of my white cane please?

But I digress, the point is, As my vision gets worse and my eyes hurt more I find raiding so much more difficult (although I do enjoy a challenge). A couple of weeks ago when my guild drafted me in to help down Kel'Thuzad in a 10 man raid at 10pm, all I wanted to do was curl up and cry. I wasn't expecting to be tapped, I was about to log off and I'd never even seen him in the flesh so to speak, let alone knew the tactics. We wiped twice and by the third try I started to get the waves of mobs and on that third try, we downed him. I hadn't been expecting that and had also managed to rez one of my fallen guildies. I was rather chuffed.

What's the most terrible, drama-filled, awful thing to happen to you in an MMO?
I try and avoid drama if I can.

If you had 10 more hours to play every week, what would you spend them doing?
Sleeping or writing about WoW. Can I just have an extra day?

When you're not playing MMOs, what do you do?
I'm nowhere near as hardcore as I used to be and while I enjoy raiding, I don't like it to rule my life, that said I'm physically connected to the internet for most of the day. I get withdrawl if I'm offline for long and I blog, I write, I work, I photograph, I tweet and I shop.

I read a lot though, usually devouring several books or audiobooks a week. At the moment it seems to be fiction centred around ancient Japan and China, translated horror novels like The Night Watch and Let the Right One In or manga (either in Japanese or English). I also enjoy writing creatively and am starting to get back into making time to do it properly. I like composing haiku in Japanese and am also working on a trilogy of science fiction novels and an accompanying series bible.

My major weakness is DVDs, I'm a TV fiend and can't work without background noise ... usually a DVD or an iTunes playlist. I love a huge range of programmes like Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Life on Mars (our version), Ashes to Ashes and The Tudors. I also watch huge amounts of anime and feature films ... I should probably go to the movies more but living in rural England I'd much rather curl up on the sofa with the kittens.

Gaming-wise, I own every console going but love my 360 above all the others. I enjoy platformers (like Ratchet and Clank) and classic series like Tomb Raider but I will often play obscure Japanese titles and I really enjoy visual novels like AIR and Kanon. Oblivion remains one of my favourite non-MMO titles and it's one I prefer on the PC.
This article was originally published on Massively.