Goals for my blog? I'm not sure. If you look at the first year of entries, it's basically just me saying, "Oh, I like this part of the game," and "I miss this person," and "My life is like this right now." But as I've accomplished more and more in the game over the years, I've felt the urge to help people understand the game from the ground up, doing what I wish someone else would have done for me back in 2004.
So it's kind of turned into a hybrid blog of sorts (how fitting). I do my best to keep the RL-and-WoW subjects quasi-separate by making guides and keeping the links active, while still letting the blog be a place for me to vent about certain moments in my life or thought process. I think getting to know an author enhances your understanding of the content they provide. If you spent a week with Stephen King, $50 says you'll never read his books the same way again.
What are your own favorite WoW blogs and news sites?
Obligatory shout-out to WoW.com and Retpaladin.com, two fantastic sources for information which I visit daily. Obviously MMO-Champion for the data-mining. I'd say EJ, but I basically do what they write about for a living, so I'm pretty burned out on theorycrafting and number-crunching by the time I come home. And I don't exactly agree with some of EJ's methods sometimes, but to each their own.
I'm also a fan of Hofferland's site -- I learn a lot from there. And as much of a cesspool as it can sometimes degenerate into, the official Paladin forums can reveal a few gems if you dig around enough and is a nice place to keep a touch on the pulse of the community. There's always a couple good posters hanging around. =)
We'll bet not many readers miss noticing your profile picture, which appears on your blog and on your comments here at WoW.com. Do you feel you get a certain amount of attention from the very real-life image that you put on out on the 'net?
Ah, the pictures: the double-edged sword. It's funny: if I post my picture next to articles -- you know, the way millions of other authors do in magazines, newspapers and blogs around the world -- some people yell and scream that I'm an attention whore. But then if I take down anything that has to do with me as a person, like pictures or personal posts, then I'm hiding from the trolls and not being myself and get mocked for being weak. There's really no way to make everyone okay with it unless I magically morphed into a guy -- in which case no one would mind if I posted pictures, humorously enough.
I think it's unfortunate all the hurdles female players so often have to jump through just to be accepted in this game by its male counterparts, let alone be accepted as one who excels at it. So I stopped playing by the hypocritical rules and adopted the saying, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter won't mind," and haven't looked back. I'm just going to be myself and post and say what I want, and if you don't like what I write, then just close the window or scroll up. I'm gonna be me no matter what.
Has your blog proven to be an avenue to connect with like-minded people?
Absolutely. In-game I get a lot of, "Is this THE Ferarro!?", usually followed up with kind words about my blog and how it helped them with their Paladin. Moments like that make everything worth it. Knowing that someone is having more fun in the game and playing better is a blessing I'm glad I could be a part of, even if it's just one person.
I moved from Virginia to Southern California a few years ago, so I've made friends from coast to coast with people who have played this game (no, nothing romantic). I've gone to the beach with a guild I was in, went to a server BBQ, and met a bunch of fans at last year's Blizzcon. You do have to be careful when you meet up with people, though (there's no bubble-hearthing in the real world), so I almost always bring a couple friends with me.
Besides the fact that I'll always be someone who chooses to be the good guy (or well-intended side) in any video game, I really enjoy being someone or playing a character that can always help people if needed. At the same time, I never run away from a fight in real life, so at the time a Priest didn't really appeal to my personality or playstyle. I wanted something that could stand their ground if they had to but supported others in times of need. Following centuries of lore and books and games from the past, the Paladin seemed like the logical choice. I have an 80 Mage, Hunter, Druid and Priest, but I'll always be a Paladin at heart, through thick and thin, good times and bad. (And I'd like to add a shout-out to all the good people of Alexstrasza!)
A quick scroll down your blog brings readers to your analysis of the Lost Season 5 finale -- and of course, Star Trek references galore. What other interests and tidbits are we likely to find tucked away on your blog?
I love music and music videos -- so much so that I'll occasionally share one that's on my mind or is so good I feel everyone should hear it. I even have a Top 5 Favorite Music Videos of All Time list on the blog. I also like retro video games and have a mini-series on them, as well. I enjoy anime, too, but not to the fanatic degree of learning Japanese and reading in reverse just to follow obscure manga. But props to those passionate enough who do!
Outside of WoW? Well, I also work with graphic design for a fabric company (we got new Wacom tablets this weekend!). I enjoy my cats, play tennis and soccer, relax at the beach where I used to lifeguard and read books in my favorite hammock at home. It can be tough trying to stay connected with friends in your mid-20s when your whole existence is based around growing up and being independent, but I do my best to stay grounded and social at the same time. Oh, and I'm pretty much queen of Smash Bros. Ike/Falcon > all.
Read more from Ferarro at Paladin Schmaladin.
"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- neither did we, until we talked with these players. From an Oscar-winning 3-D effects director to a custom action figure artist, catch it on 15 Minutes of Fame.