Favorite thing to do in Azeroth?
In the past WoW was a virtual sandbox for me, an alternate world or lifestyle to take refuge in, or even a neighborhood bar, if you will. Over the years, it has become more game-like for me: log in, accomplish something (5-man, raid or pvp), log out. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy the company in-game and the sense of camaraderie and achievement you share with friends, but it really does not compare to the real life adventure that we're all in.
How many alts can you level, how many heroic instances can you run before it all becomes drudgery all over again before the next content patch? At the risk of sounding preachy, you can always choose to "content patch" your real life if it starts to get you down - simply by reaching outside your comfort zone.
What's the best instance in the game?
Dire Maul. This was the first pre-BC instance that I actually felt useful as a warlock, and not just a mage stand-in. Elementals and demons were just our cup of tea. DM North's tribute run was also one of my favourite encounters. Yes you could blaze through dungeons killing everything in sight, but I liked how this instance rewarded you for not killing everything, with a strong story to justify the pacifism to boot! Who can forget the first time someone donned the ogre suit? And running back through the instance as the new "king"? I hope that Blizzard would create more instances like DM, with alternative means of completion other than killing everything. Let's hope that WotLK will bring instances that are more out-of-the-box.
What's the number one thing Blizzard could do better?
The endgame. To lock important PvE/lore content behind the administrative barrier of getting 39 or 24 other people online at the same time is my pet peeve. I understand the need to dangle carrots for people to work towards, but WoW is like a hardcore wolf in casual sheep's clothing. From 1 to 70, players are lulled into a play-whenever-and-whatever-I-want play style. Players are rewarded frequently with new abilities, gear, zones and content as they overcome mild challenges along the way. This casual-friendly approach has certainly won a lot of fans and created one of the biggest MMORPG communities on this planet.
At level 70, access to PvE content changes dramatically, demanding coordinated raid schedules and extensive task lists. Major Warcraft lore characters like Illidan, Kael'thas and Archimonde are inaccessible to most but the most dedicated guilds, until they become trivialized with the next expansion. I relish tough challenges: heroic instances are probably a step in the right direction, if only they weren't essentially recycled content. However I do not appreciate the administrative nightmare of getting 24 other players online at the same time, managing expectations and dealing with drama - I do enough of that in real life, thank you.
My level 40 felsteed! Can you tell me what's not cool about a black horse with fiery eyes and flaming hooves? I do have a soft spot for the big armored cats that nightelves ride, but I think pigs will fly before my orcish warlock gets to ride one. There are other cat-like mounts in the game but my chances of getting them are just about as remote, probably.
Favorite piece of loot?
I'm split between the Soul Harvester and the Dreadmist Mask here. Well, these pre-BC pieces aren't really top-of-the-line stuff but they brought my toon closer to the mental image of a Warlock that I have had in my head since level 1. I'm surprised that the grim reaper scythe model wasn't made available earlier for warlocks. The first thing I did after getting the staff from completing the level 50 Warlock quest was to ask for a fiery enchant on it. Together with a painstakingly assembled black outfit, the enchanted weapon completed my "fire and brimstone" look (see above) - now if only I had a skeletal Undead face ...
The Dreadmist Mask has always fascinated me by simply making toons look more ... evil. Not only did it swathe the wearer's face in shadows, the mask also added an evil red glow to the eyes! Unfortunately the hood did not drop for me even after exactly 666 runs of Scholomance. My friends and I were just messing around in the instance with an unconventional team (two shamans, no traditional tank, I vaguely remember), basically killing time and mobs when Darkmaster Gandling finally surrendered the mask, much to the amusement of my teammates and my surprise. Needless to say, we were content never to set foot again in Scholomance after that run, and having the hood drop when I wasn't even wishing was a nice way to wrap up our Scholomance "tour".
When I'm not playing WoW, I'm...
Writing, making pictures and text look good together, hanging out with friends and pondering the meaning of life in beer foam.
What accomplishment in-game are you most proud of?
Getting my "horny" epic Warlock mount, with my friends. For a class that is so big on soloability, many Warlock quests can't be solo-ed pre-BC - and this was one prime example. I was lucky enough to have the support of my friends in this endeavor, in terms of both materials and running Scholomance and DM West. The Dreadsteed is a reminder, for me, that even evil warlocks need friends. Thank you, fellas.