About the Bloggers introduces you to the people behind WoW Insider. You can find articles on more of our staffers in earlier About the Bloggers profiles.
How did you get started at WoW Insider?
I was once a lowly IT geek, trudging away at a desk job where I solved people's technical problems. But back in February 2006, I applied for a writing position at WoW Insider mostly because I thought it would be fun -- but it eventually morphed into a full time gig. I was promoted to Lead Writer, then Senior Editor, and finally Editor-in-Chief before, beyond burned out on WoW, I left the site to join a tech startup in 2010.
The startup didn't work out, and these days I'm writing for a few different places, including WoW Insider. I write WoW Rookie, keep the rookie and resource pages updated, and write news and other articles as needed.
What's your main?
Though I've had both horde and alliance mains in the past -- my original main was a gnome warlock, but I've also played both a priest and a paladin to end-game on the horde side -- these days I'm playing a gnome monk. I just love being so small and yet still able to bring down huge creatures with my tiny fists of fury.
What's been your favorite expansion?
It's a tie between Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King -- but it's not so much the content as it is the people I played with when those expansions were out. During both expansions I played with a close-knit group of friends and had a blast.
What's the best 5-man instance in the game? What's the best raid?
Scholomance and Karazhan. Huh, is anyone else noticing a theme?
What's your favorite thing to do in Azeroth?
It varies a lot. I've typically played healers in WoW which meant instances and raids were usually my thing. But my monk, though she has a healing spec, usually doesn't heal... though I'd like to get back into it at some point. (Maybe during Warlords!)
Lately I've been doing a lot of achievement work and I'm grinding my way towards Loremaster slowly, as my attention span allows. (Which is to say very slowly.)
What's the #1 thing Blizzard has done well?
Blizzard is great at making potato chip games -- i.e. you can't eat just one. Whether I'm playing WoW, Diablo, or Hearthstone, I always get stuck thinking "just one more quest/drop/match" and wind up playing hours more than I mean to. It's not something unique to Blizzard games, but nearly every Blizzard game is like that.
What's the #1 thing Blizzard could do better?
Diversity and inclusion. The biggest thing that makes me want to drop Blizzard games and not come back is their slipshod handling of female characters. We repeatedly see female characters pushed out of the spotlight, mistreated, straight-up insulted, or just used for eye candy. The tone of Blizzard's games -- especially Warlords of Draenor, which has been explicitly described as a "boy's trip" -- is that women aren't heroes and that our role is to stay home to cook, clean, and mind the kids. Women get enough of that kind of sexist, misogynistic messaging in real life -- we don't need to see in our games, too.
But I know Blizzard can do better and I hope that Warlords goes beyond the sexist stereotype that is its marketing material.
When I'm not playing WoW, I'm ...
Working is most common -- I juggle a bunch of freelance writing jobs so there's always something to do! Other than that, I'm your typical geek: I read books and comics; devour scifi television and movies; and play a bunch of video games. (I spend entirely too much time playing Avengers Alliance, which is a Facebook game and therefore evil, but I can't seem to stop playing.) I am also a huge Disney nerd and visit Disneyland as often as I can manage (yes, I am an adult, really).
I'm owned by a couple of basset hounds, who mostly serve to distract me from everything I ought to be doing. But they're adorable, so they usually get away with it.
Other than WoW, what's your favorite video game?
Mass Effect. Even with its much-derided ending, I've put more hours into that series than any other.
Where can we find you outside of WoW Insider?
You can find me writing most frequently on The Escapist, where I'm the Senior Editor for their Movies and TV channel. On Twitter, I'm @faience, and I mostly post a lot of ridiculous dog photos.