City and state: Sacramento, CA
AIM Screen Name:
Availability: I imagine I should be able to post at least twice every day. Sundays are my day of rest, in which I spend a good portion of my time at church, but if needed, I could certainly submit an article in the late afternoon. Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays are my current raid nights, but even on raid nights I am sure I could fit in a post or two before heading to Karazhan or Zul'Aman.
Why I am the right person for this job:
If someone were to ask me what I like, there are two things I could say with great certainty. First, I could answer that I like writing, and secondly, I could answer that I like to play World of Warcraft. I have a bachelor's degree in English, and am known for my writing skills among my circle of friends, from various role playing write-ups, biographical essays, and pen and paper role playing scenarios. I am currently working on a novel, and hope to find an agent for it soon. I am also a regular reader or skimmer of multiple gaming blogs and forums, and keep up on not only the latest Warcraft news, but news from around the industry. My love of English literature and language and my love of Warcraft overlap in my love of Warcraft lore, and I am constantly trying to learn more of it and make sense of it, and regularly discuss the lore and speculate on future lore with my friends. In addition, As a player on role playing rules servers, I take the server rule set seriously, and have back stories for all my characters, and enjoy both scripted role play events and impromptu role playing as part of my WoW gaming experience. I also have the required working knowledge of HTML for this position.
On World of Warcraft, I have been playing since a few months from release, having followed the game from the moment it was announced but being unable to play it due to a malfunctioning computer. My first character, and the one that I still play today, is a level 70 night elf druid on the Cenarion Circle server. On that character, I have extensive experience in both the feral talent tree and the pre-BC restoration talent tree, having raided as both up to the Ahn Qiraj 40-man instance, and having defeated every major 20-man and 40-man raid boss from Lucifron up to (but unfortunately not including) C'Thun. Currently, I am not active in the 25-man raid game, though I am in a guild that is part of a raiding alliance that is third in progression on our server. I am an experienced battleground veteran, having made Knight rank under the old honor system. the main tank for groups in Karazhan and Zul'Aman, and tank or DPS in a few heroic dungeons every week as well. I also have a level 70 human warlock and a level 70 dwarven hunter who I PvP with extensively, as well as an up and coming draenei shaman I am levelling faster than ever in the wake of the recent leveling changes. I also have a tauren hunter on the RP-PvP server Twisting Nether who is level 60, who I played extensively in the battlegrounds and dungeons pre-BC, gaining the rank of legionnaire under the old honor system. My current goals are to complete my heroic badge gear on my druid, and see Zul'jin die. I am also hoping to get to the 1850 arena ranking on my hunter and warlock, and become a skilled enough PvPer to secure a title at the end of season 3. I would like, eventually, to level my tauren to 70, so that I can experience the lore and quests for The Burning Crusade from the Horde side of things.
In short, I will bring countless assets to the WoW Insider team. I am able to look at the game from multiple angles, having various levels of experience as a raider, a casual player, and a battleground and arena PvPer. I hold a love and passion for both writing and for this game, and bring the viewpoint of a dedicated roleplayer and informed MMORPG community member to my writing. I will continue to stay abreast of both the WoW community and the MMORPG community in general, and will bring insight and views from that observation to my writing.
Three sample posts:
1. Gladiator gear and the homogenization of factions.
One of the most anticipated changes in 2.3 was the transfer of the season 1 arena gladiator sets to the honor vendors of the Alliance and the Horde. It's been greeted almost universally as a good thing, of course. The die hard battlegrounders and the arena newbies are slowly starting to shed their old gear in the quest for more resilience. Even some die-hard raiders and dungeon runners are getting in on the action, looking to shore up a weak gear spot or two. But with the old sets going off to the twisting nether (and occasionally to the corner of somebody's bank vault), are there perhaps a few downsides? Some people seem to think so!
With a lot of people complaining that the Burning Crusade has led to the homogenization of the factions, the old PvP gear was some of the last gear that truly differentiated the factions and allowed you to proclaim your pride. The polished golden armor and brightly colored silks of the knights of the Alliance were in clear contrast to the dark, bloody colors of the legionnaires of the Horde. High-ranking Alliance warriors, paladins, and hunters especially were immediately recognizable by shoulders which carry alliance insignias, and the weapons available to both sides carried insignias and emblems of their respective allegiances. The poor trolls might be the ones lamenting the loudest - The boots from the old Warlord's sets were some of the few that actually covered up those calloused two-toed feet!
Then again, it's worth noting that while the level 70 sets are gone, to be replaced by cast-off surplus arena gear no doubt purchased from the Steamwheedle Cartel at exorbitant prices, the level 60 armor sets and gear, at least for now, exist for those who consider the need for better stats to take a back seat to faction pride. It may not help you win a battle, or even an arena match, but if you look like a true member of the Alliance or the Horde while you're out there, it's got to count for something, right?
2. The "worst" place to level?
Player Argonian of Kil'jaden poses a question on the forums: Where is the worst place to level in WoW? Of course, there's some follow up questions one could ask. How exactly do we define what we mean by the "worst place?" Is there really a bad place to level at all with the speedy leveling changes of 2.3?
It has long been considered a rite of passage to both sides to spend somewhere between five to ten levels trudging through the steamy jungles of Stranglethorn. But certainly, familiarity breeds contempt, and by the time you're done, you have a hatred of goblins that would make a Bloodsail buccaneer proud, not to mention the urge to bury Barnil Stonepot in a giant mound of all the pages of that annoying book that you've picked up. Sure, Stranglethorn Vale is a convenient place to level up, with multiple quest hubs and quests that cover at least a good fifteen levels, but really, is it worth the drudgery of seeing the same scenery and those same enemies that most of us have already seen on at least one other character anyway?
So, how about trying a new zone? With the 2.3 experience changes, you could go to two or three other far flung zones, and let the new experience gains vault you right past the vale! Sure, Desolace is a bit annoying to an alliance character. Nijel's point is in the north-east of the zone, and most of the good quests are to the west and south. Sure, you'll have to hoof it all the way down to the Magram encampment or the Mannoroc coven at least two or three different times, but look at it this way - you'll only see about four goblins max, and you won't have to deal with a single Kurzen Medicine Man, or their heals! Don't call it a worse place to level than Stranglethorn Vale, call it the first leg in the "Stay out of Stranglethorn Challenge!"
What other "bad" and less explored zones should see new life with patch 2.3?
3. New quest rewards with patch 2.3!
There's been a lot of buzz about the loot aspect of the great lowbie dungeon revamp of 2.3. With plenty of old favorites receiving new life and new stats, and even a few new pieces of shiny jewelry to collect, there's something for even the most hardened veterans of the leveling game. But what about outside of the dungeons? It doesn't seem to have received as much notice as some of the other changes, but there's been a few nice new goodies tucked into the quests on the way, and not only in Dustwallow Marsh!
For example, killing Morbent Fel has been considered a rite of passage for alliance characters for some time now, but now there's even more reason to overthrow the sinister old necromancer. The rewards Sven Yorgen gives out for his death have all gained a nice little boost. The offhand torch and the cloth pants now have spell damage, the Sparkmetal Coif has had its spirit traded in for stamina, and the Watch Master's Cloak now has a nice bit of agility, making it great for rogues and feral druids alike. Over in Tanaris, The Swashbuckler Sash, preferred belt of dastardly pirate kings of both factions everywhere, has traded in its strength for spell damage, making it as functional as it is fashionable! Alliance characters might also want to help Ginro Hearthkindle of Feathermoon Stronghold find the poor missing courier in Feralas. Upon submitting the final report on the incident to Graciana Spiritmight in Darnassus, you'll now receive your choice of two brand new pairs of gloves, some of the best in the game for their level. Characters of both factions who are preparing to make their way through the Dark Portal will want to consider taking down the chief of the Winterfall Furbolgs before they do. One of the items he drops now leads to a quest that grants you your choice of a set of attack power and spell damage trinkets - the perfect compliment to the trinket you'll get in Hellfire Peninsula for taking down Arazzius the Cruel.
These are just some of the changes I've noticed or been alerted to since the latest patch. I'm sure there's more out there, so if you're leveling a new character, keep an eye out! That old quest you planned to skip or that old quest reward that you always sold to a vendor before just might have some new life this time around.
Three posts on WoW Insider:
Blizzcon Day 1 Liveblog session roundup - http://www.wowinsider.com/
Blood Sport: How to beat a Warlock - http://www.wowinsider.com/
Around Azeroth: a lonely boat - http://www.wowinsider.com/
Three suggestions for improvement:
1. More "slice of life" articles: It would be interesting to talk to various players and organizations across servers, see how "a day in the life" of a character can differ from person to person. It might also be interesting to explore how WoW fits into people's everyday lives, or how WoW skills and experiences have affected people's everyday lives.
2. More advanced strategy - WoW Insider's strategy articles, while engaging and useful, sometimes feel like they could offer more to the experienced gamer. Focused looks at strategies for 25-man and 10-man instances and Heroic dungeons, as well as analysis of needed stats and useful macros for various classes, could make a nice compliment to many of the class and strategy columns already in place and help people take their game even higher, should they chose, maybe even demystifying the strange and scary world of the raid and heroic dungeon for someone who might be a little wary of stepping through the instance portal.
3. Guild and team spotlights - Interviews with the movers and shakers in the PvE, RP, and PvP circles of the game could be a fun introduction to readers to the type of competition and attitudes it takes to down Illidan or get a Gladiator title at the end of a season. In the RP Arena, tracking down people and groups who have done new and interesting events on their servers could provide plenty of entertaining stories for readers as well as spark more creativity among the community.