What do you do for WoW Insider?
I am a writer. I write! My general responsibility is to cover DPS shaman, once referred to as the Defense Against the Dark Arts position of class columns. I'm also one of the Choose My Adventure crew, currently leveling a goblin priest named Clergelam. Finally, I occasionally write news or the rare Occu'thar raid guide.
What's your main?
My main is the awfully named Elamqt, of Proudmoore. He's a man-cow shaman, generally of the enhancement variety. When I started playing WoW, I went through a large variety of alts that I got to around level 20 and stopped playing. I fell in love with Elam when I discovered that he got Ghost Wolf at 20 and wouldn't have to wait until 40 to get a mount. He became my main then and has largely been my main ever since. I took a short break in Wrath of The Lich King to play a hunter -- and am currently focusing a little more on my mage -- but Elam is always first in my heart.
Horde or Alliance?
I'm a Tauren, but I don't think much of the Horde's politics. In particular, I hate Garrosh Hellscream. I hate him hard. But even without Hellscream, I don't care for the Horde. I play Horde because I love Tauren, but if they were an Alliance race, I'd be there. I don't really like the Alliance that much either, though. Pretty much, I'm just for the Herd.
What's the best 5-man instance in the game? What's the best raid?
My favorite 5-man in the game is probably Wailing Caverns. It was my first instance ever, and I fell in love that night with the idea of this vast dungeon full of elite monsters that dropped high-quality gear. I became so incredibly possessed with the idea of filling out my Armor of the Fang set on my shaman that I ran Wailing Caverns six times the next day, until a warrior needed on the last piece I needed because my DPS was bad and I was pulling threat off him by repeatedly using Frost Shock on the wrong target. I'm also partial to Maraudon, Shadow Labyrinth, and Magister's Terrace.
What's been your favorite WoW expansion?
This is hard for me. I actually do really like Cataclysm quite a bit. I know that this might come as a surprise to a lot of people, but I think a lot of the dislike for Cataclysm stems more from a sense of nostalgia and a the-grass-was-greener-back-then attitude. I think Cataclysm has been pretty solid for actual class balance compared to previous expansions. It's definitely a more accessible expansion for raiding casually, too. I also love the revamped old world, though I'm not leveling alts much these days.
That said, I think The Burning Crusade does take the cake for my actual favorite. I liked the feeling of being a 25-man raider in The Burning Crusade, even though I was only in a 25-man raid guild for the last few months of it. I loved enhancement in The Burning Crusade because of its uniqueness and because raids would invite me simply because I brought buffs that weren't available for anyone else. (I'm a huge fan of buff consolidation, though. I liked being unique in The Burning Crusade, but am quite glad those days are gone.) I'm definitely nostalgic for The Burning Crusade and miss it dearly, but I don't think the game was actually better then.
What's the #1 thing Blizzard has done great?
It made World of Warcraft! Honestly, as much as I critique some of its choices for the shaman class or dislike certain aspects of the game, Blizzard has created one absolutely killer MMORPG. I've been playing this game for going on five years because it's, in my opinion, the best game on the market. I can't narrow down any one particular thing that stands out to me as the best thing Blizzard ever did.
Actually, I lied. Blizzard removed armor penetration from the game, and for that I'm eternally grateful.
What's the one thing Blizzard could have done better?
You know in Men In Black how Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones carry around those little silver pen-shaped things that shoot the red light and magically erase people's memories? Blizzard needs to invent one of those. Then, it needs to use it on everyone who played during 3.2 and 3.3 in Wrath of the Lich King. That's what it could have done better.
What's your favorite piece of loot?
Mounting Vengeance. It constantly pains me to think that Blizzard never made a main-hand model for this beauty. I know items like Benediction have some incredible lore, and legendaries are always fun to have, but the pure devastating beauty of Mounting Vengeance takes the cake for me. It's like a giant, well-decorated scalpel that performs surgery on raid bosses' internal organs.
What's the best way to make gold?
I'm not sure about the best, but my preferred way of making gold is soloing old raids. Stuff like Magtheridon or Gruul's Lair will net you a nice 100g each, though working out a strat for them the first time will easily cost you that much in repair bills. A few weeks ago, I managed to solo Hyjal for the first time. It nets you a nice 1,200+ gold, and that's not counting the amount you make from selling drops.
It's strange, but probably my Arena Grand Master trinket. When I was leveling, I spent a few months PVPing at level 49. Since I had no main, the cost of twinking out my character was solely on my shaman's shoulders and was a painstaking process. The hardest part was getting the Arena Grand Master, since level 70 mains would come in groups and sit in the Arena waiting for the chest to spawn so one of their alts would get it. As a result, it was near impossible to get even a single chest spawn at level 49. Getting 12 took nearly a month of work and is a testament to the idea that hard work and putting your mind to something pays off.
What's your favorite thing to do in WoW?
I'm sure this will be a shocker after the rest of this article, but I really love raiding. Old raids, new raids, red raids, blue raids -- I just love killing important lore figures and their friends. (For the record, if Garrosh Hellscream ever becomes a killable raid boss, my life will be made forever.) I prefer raiding heroic modes, but current restrictions on my schedule are preventing me from doing that. Hopefully, I'll be back to heroic raiding some time soon. Perhaps, too soon ...
When I'm not playing WoW, I'm ...
I know I'm supposed to say "working on my novel" or some other form of writing thing here, but the actual answer is "running." I really, really, really like exercising, and running is my favorite exercise. It started off as a way to lose weight and train for the inevitable zombie apocalypse and turned into a hobby that I actually really enjoy doing. This is good, because the other hobby I'm starting to get into is cooking, and cooking and exercising go really well together. I'm also somewhat active on the Twitter, go to the movies way too much, and harbor a particular fondness for Glee, despite readily admitting it's a terrible show.