What do you do for WoW Insider?
Oh, man. I write Know Your Lore on Sundays, along with the roleplay column All the World's a Stage. On Mondays, you can catch the Weekly Podcast Roundup. On Thursdays, I write World of WarCrafts, and every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I write up The Daily Quest. In addition, I sometimes fill in on The Queue, pop in on the WoW Insider Show when asked, and I do those little guide graphics on the side of the site, too.
In short, I write. A lot. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
What's your main?
My main is a blood elf rogue -- don't shoot me for rolling a blood elf! When I first started playing the game in vanilla, my friends always told me to roll a healer, so my first raiding main was an undead priest. Healing was an entirely different animal back then, but I had a lot of fun raid healing through MC, BWL, and parts of AQ-40 before my guild died due to burnout. It was hardcore, six nights a week raiding -- I was the healing lead, so I got to call rotations and arrange healing positions for various fights. It was fun but somewhat stressful. I raided with a tablet PC, and our guild didn't use Vent, so all rotations, assignments and strats were typed out or macroed.
When The Burning Crusade launched, I didn't have a raiding guild -- and frankly, by that point I was a little burnt out on raiding, so I rolled what I always wanted to play: a rogue. I chose blood elf because I wanted to see the new content, and I already had one of every other Horde race. The little bugger soon became my main. I missed raiding, so I joined a casual raiding guild on an RP server. We raid three nights a week, which may seem excessive to some -- but to me, it's just casual enough!
My favorite 5-man was Dire Maul for the longest time. I loved the story of the Shen'dralar and the size of the zone. Stratholme was a close second. When Magister's Terrace came out, it took over my favorite spot and remains there today. I loved the layout, loved the quests that took you in there, and loved the cutscene in the middle. I loved the fact that the 5-man absolutely tied in to the raid content, and there was a definitive story behind the instance itself.
As for raids, my heart will always lie with Karazhan. Medivh has always been one of my favorite characters in Warcraft lore. Karazhan is still breathtakingly beautiful, the music is some of my favorite in game to date, and the trash never felt hugely overwhelming even though there was a lot of it. The story of the tower and what happened to it was so fascinating that I never noticed or cared how long it took to clear it. Now, if Midnight would just drop those silly reins, I'd be happier with the place -- but until then, it still gives me an excuse to revisit it every week.
What's been your favorite expansion?
Oddly enough, The Burning Crusade. Why is that odd? Because I'm fascinated with Azeroth's lore, and The Burning Crusade took us off Azeroth altogether (although a lot of the history of Outland and its creation directly involves Azeroth, so I suppose it isn't that far of a stretch). The sheer visual variety in each new zone was fantastic. I was disappointed by the lack of draenei lore -- and I'm still grumpy about it -- but the overall story to TBC was so cohesive and neatly tied up at the end. We'll have to wait until the end of Cataclysm to see if this expansion takes first place!
Horde or Alliance?
I love the lore behind both sides, and I have max-level characters on both sides -- but I play Horde primarily, and I don't think I could ever be convinced to switch.
I'm uh ... a bit of a collector. I collect armor sets, vanity items, pets, mounts, achievements, random gray items, and bigger bags to try and hold all the junk I collect. When I've got some time to kill, I'll work on adding to my collections. Currently I have 165 pets, 132 mounts, and 11,365 achievement points. (I don't PVP very often, so I don't have a lot of the achievements for those.)
What's your favorite mount?
Currently, I'm hauling around on my X-51 Nether Rocket. For land mounts, I love the Swift Zhevra mount. I don't know why I love it so much; the model is simple, no major armor, no flashy glowing effects, but I love running around on it.
What's the number one thing Blizzard has done great?
Incorporating lore. I love, love, love the fact that you can find short stories on the official website now. I love that a lot of the Cataclysm revamp has added overlying stories to all that vanilla content. It really plays like you're playing through a book now.
When I'm not playing WoW, I'm...
I co-host on a podcast every Monday night called All Things Azeroth, and I guest on other podcasts too, when I'm asked to -- I love chatting! I plug away at the novel I'm working on, and I draw pictures every now and again when the mood strikes me. Most of the time, I don't have much time for that, though.
I live In the Mountains with my father, who is in his mid-80s. While some may view it as my taking care of him, really I'm just watching to make sure he doesn't kill himself doing things 80-year-old men shouldn't be doing. Seriously, the man climbs around on the roof fixing shingles and cuts holes in walls to redo plumbing and installs boilers and has a garage full of power tools and gives me near heart attacks on a regular basis. I keep up on the housework, make sure he eats real food, and work on renovating various rooms around the house -- he doesn't like painting and designing, but oh man, I love it! I am a major addict to HGTV.
I redid my bedroom: patched holes in the drywall, repainted, added stencil work, bought new lighting fixtures, designed shelves with my dad, and added new furniture -- the works! Current projects include the kitchen peninsula, which needs repainting, and the bathroom, which also needs holes patched and repainted. I'm considering replacing the shower hardware and trying my hand at tiling. When I'm not doing any of that, I'm cooking! Those who have read World of WarCrafts have seen a few of my recipes. My father is terribly happy when I get to do a recipe article, mainly because he likes to eat the end product.
In between all of that, I'm watching baseball with my dad. It's become a father-daughter thing. I am a gigantic fan of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. Go, Rockies!
And sometimes, I sleep. But very little. Busy, busy!
Any time I add something to my various collections, I'm pleased about it. I think the thing I like the most is that I have the Sceptre of the Shifting Sands on not one but two characters; the quest chain to complete that was some of the most fun I've had.
Outside of the game, any time I get an article out there that gets people arguing, analyzing, and discussing the story behind the game, I'm incredibly happy. I don't really care whether people agree with my wild speculations or not -- everyone's entitled to his own opinion, of course -- but I do love to get people talking!