Community Spotlight: Draven Dresden

DravenDresden1.) You host a few podcast about a few Blizzard related games. What is the best thing about hosting the podcast?

Ya know, I never really expected people to contact me and say “I love your podcasts!” or “You’ve really inspired me.” I mean, I’m honestly just some pleb! But if I had to pick just one thing to be the best thing, I’d say it’s that massive paycheck Blizzard gives podcasters! LOL 😛

2.) What are some of the podcast you enjoy listening to?

Oh god… there are so many… Lagging Balls is currently my favorite. I’d also name The Instance, CTR, Town Hall Heroes, Into The Nexus, Core (CORE!) and Tauren Think Tank. I’d also be completely remiss if I didn’t name Realm Maintenance. And these are just a few. I also listen to others, but I make sure to catch these every week!

3.) Do you have any advice for someone who is getting into a creative things (like podcasting, art, blogging, music, etc.)?

Honestly, I can give 2 pieces of advice. 1) Do the show you’d wanna see/hear. and 2) Just do it. We all start at nothing. We all learn as we go. 1st few shows will seem like an absolute train-wreck. And they will be! But go back to just about any podcast you love! The 1st few shows will all have that in common.

4.) What got you into Warcraft (how you got introduced to the game)?

I was very much ANTI-Warcraft before playing! I mean, pay for a game and THEN pay a subscription on top of that!? Seemed silly to me. I was playing City of Heroes until it closed down. Friends of mine had been trying to get me into WoW for most of TBC. I finally tried it and wound up rolling a toon on the wrong server! I eventually fixed that and have been playing almost non-stop since.

5.) How often do you raid in WoW & what game mechanic do you like the most / least about the game?

I raid with Rubber Chicken Coalition (a raid team in CTR) on Tuesdays with my mage. My main, a ret paladin, raids Wednesday & Monday with Hyjal Volunteer Fire Department. I’m currently trying to convince them to change the name for BfA to Teldrassil Volunteer Fire Department. 😛

6.) With a new expansion on it’s way, what are you looking forward to most I’m “Battle For Azeroth”?

I just love seeing the new content. Leveling (the 1st time), Heroic Dungeons, the Raids. I’m also curious to find out where Jaina is gonna fit in. What’s gonna happen to Undercity… all of it. Oh, and also, I’m curious how Pally Bubble will break a raid boss in BfA.

7.) With the return to the factional divide in “Battle For Azeroth”, Horde or Alliance?

I am openly bi-… factional. My main toons are currently Alliance, but I started Horde and have more 110s that are Horde than Alliance.

8.) Other then Blizzard games and pocasting, what are some of your other hobbys?

What are other hobbies? 😉 I listen to a lot of music, I read many books, and watch movies from time to time – tho, admittedly, that’s dropped off a lot since I quit working at a movie theater.

9.) Since you host the “Epic Fail Podcast”, can you describe a time when you epically failed in a game (can be any game, not just warcraft!)

Remember earlier how I said I rolled a toon on the wrong server? It was an Orc. I managed to get lost and found myself in the Barrens. This was back before Cataclysm, so it was a bit higher level than I was at the time. I ended up aggroing what seemed like the entire zone. I couldn’t retrieve my corpse. I nearly quit the game forever cuz “it was stupid” after that. But I just took a small break, rolled on the right server and the rest, as they say, is history.

10.) So, the final question, where can people find you on the Internet?

*takes a deep breath* Weeeeeeelllllll…. people can find me over on the twitters, @DravenDresden . That’s the easiest way. All I ask is people be civil/polite.

Community Spotlight: Stone


wow challenges1. What got you into Warcraft (how you got introduced to the game)?

I went to a friend’s house for a party and we all ended up sleeping over. During the night he showed us this pretty awesome game, which turned out to be Warcraft 2. Eventually everyone passed out due to massive alcohol consumption (not me, as I didn’t drink back then), so I ended up pulling an all-nighter playing Warcraft 2. I immediately bought it the next day. While I wasn’t really a huge fan of War3 compared to War2, it still kept me hooked enough to stay in the loop. When I heard that the “Adventures of Thrall” RPG had been cancelled in favour of an MMORPG, I knew it was going to be pretty good. Everything that Blizzard did had been gold. I was able to snag a copy of WoW during my lunch break the day of it’s release and haven’t really looked back since then. I struggle to imagine how my life would have turned out without WoW; it would have been far, far different.

2. How often do you raid in WoW & what game mechanic do you like the most / least about the game?

I raid regularly with Phalanx of Nod. For me raiding is where you get to participate in the dealing the final blow, bringing down our mightiest of enemies, and then watching the awesome cinematic unfold. It’s easy to pick out my least favourite (this is proper spelling since I’m Canadian, eh) mechanic as it impacts us right now in the Coven fight. RNG is both good and bad. When you’ve done the fight perfectly and then RNG happens causing your team to wipe, that feels really bad. Frustrating. Good Mechanic: as much as I dislike adds in boss fights, I really like how they’ve been utilized to artificially augment boss health pools (similar to shields). Those boss fights sometimes require double (or more!) the boss’ actual health.

3. Other then Blizzard games, what are some of your other hobby’s?

Hockey. I used to coach it, ref it and play as a goaltender. Perhaps I’ve taken one too many pucks to the head. This evolved into hockey simulations; which I’ve written my own using primarily php and mysql, with a little javascript thrown in there. My sim is actually just over fourteen years old; I started programming it in November 2004, just around the same time that WoW came out. Besides that, I’m an avid “astro-nut”. There was a time where I nearly went into astrophysics & quantum mechanics, however, I’ve settled for keeping myself up to date with the latest and greatest papers online. I also really enjoy “podcasting”. As much as I’ve learned a TON from people like Leeta, Pat Krane, Belle and Epic Insanity, I don’t consider myself a “podcaster” as others do. I like talking about WoW; I love to hear about others adventures in the Challenges and I like putting the spotlight on folks that normally wouldn’t get it. I record our show, separate the audio, do a small amount of editing and stick everything up online.

4. WoW Challenges is a very interesting concept, for those of us that may not know what that entails, can you please elaborate?

WoW Challenges is a site that encourages you to put a little challenge in your leveling. There are many challenges available, some more challenging than others, but overall, the core concept of most of these challenges is “Do not die, wear minimal gear, no health potions, no help” among some other rules. The other challenges we have are all derivative of the “Iron Challenge” that most people have heard of from back in Wrath days. There are several challenges we offer, which we track via the Blizzard API: – Iron Challenge: the original leveling challenge. We’ve had to change a few rules to accommodate changes that have happened in WoW, but overall, it’s still very difficult to do. – Blood Thirsty: similar to Iron, just kill your way up to max level. – Pacifist: similar to Iron, but NO KILLING at all. We do account for “proximity kills” but that’s a whole other story! – Tin: Basically an Iron-Lite challenge to get your feet wet and let you plot your course for when you’re ready to take on the Iron Challenge. – Iron Teams: We were able to finally get a Teams challenge going. If anyone on your team dies or breaks a rule, the whole team is done. While not as challenging as going solo, Teams is still a lot of fun and can be difficult.

5. How did you come up with the idea for the WoW Challenges?

This is a long story, but I’ll keep it short. The original website for tracking the Iron Challenge suddenly “went missing” and we discovered that it had gone up for auction. The community that had formed around the site and the challenge had kept things alive and I certainly wasn’t about to let the website fall into the abyss of parked / advertisement domains. We snagged the website from the auction and then had a real good look at what we could do with it. There was already a Pacifist challenge (level to max without killing), so we thought adding an opposing challenge (level to max by pretty much only killing) would be a great thing to add. Instead of putting these up on the original site, we created our own, using the Iron challenge as the central focus and creating new leveling challenges for the future.

6. How often do you play games (not just Warcraft) and what are some of your favorites?

I try to play daily. Playing games keeps my mind fresh so I’m not sitting on the couch all day. I do play other games so I don’t get burned out on WoW (that would make me pretty sad). Lately I’ve been playing PUBG (I hate this game but I love it too), Sims4, Minecraft and Overwatch. It’s really a very cool thing to see Blizzard doing Overwatch League; I try to watch it as much as I can to help contribute to it’s success. I’m going to make a mention for two of my old school favorite games that really got me hooked into PC gaming: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and Star Control 2 You can find StarCon2 by googling “The Ur-Quan Masters”. The original programmers released the code to the community to keep it alive. They’re both great games!

7. You have an awesome community around you! What is the best thing about interacting with in the community?

I really enjoy hearing our own community helping each other with leveling tips and dangers to avoid. Overall, this is a personal challenge, so we’re always trying to help others with our knowledge and experience as best we can without breaking any of the rules or doing something that’s against the spirit of the challenge. I personally love hearing folks tell me that without WoW Challenges they would have been un-subbed from WoW. Either due to burn-out or “content lull” (although Legion has been nonstop), I can understand the need to want to stay somewhere familiar but try something different. I’m really happy that we can provide another avenue for folks to continue enjoying WoW.

8. With a new expansion on it’s way, what are you looking forward to most I’m “Battle For Azeroth”?

It’s evident that we’re going to be dealing with the Void, either indirectly or directly, however, I’m really looking forward to seeing what new chapters will be unfolding after nearly 25 years of Warcraft stories have been pretty much wrapped up with the ending cinematic of the Antorus raid. I’m also really looking forward to seeing more really great cut scenes. Legion really knocked my socks off, especially the ending Antorus cinematic. I know that Terran Gregory and crew will wow (pun intended) us even more in BfA.

9. With the return to the factional divide in “Battle For Azeroth”, Horde or Alliance?

I’m pretty much bifactional; over the course of the years I’ve played pretty much equal time between Horde and Alliance. My main is currently Alliance. That being said, I will pick a side. When I first joined WoW, I rolled an Undead Rogue (which I still have her) and then met Lady Sylvanas in Undercity for the first time. FOR THE HORDE!

10. So, the final question, where can people find you on the Internet?

People can find me on the Twitters: @Stonegrasp.

If you are interested in podcasts, I co-host two: WoW Challenges Podcast: – http://wowchallenges.com/
twitter: @WoWChallenges
twitch: http://twitch.tv/WoWChallenges (we record live on Saturday nights at 7pm Eastern).
Adventures in Azeroth Podcast: – http://adventuresinazeroth.com/ 
twitter: @AdvAzeroth
twitch: http://twitch.tv/AdvAzeroth (we record monthly on Friday nights at 10pm Eastern).

 

Community Spotlight: WickedKitten13

Wicked Kitten 131.) What drew you into Blizzard Games?
This might be a bit long. Giggity. About 6 years ago I was introduced to the Frogpants community through TMS, Film Sack… basically most things Scott Johnson. I have always wanted to do something in radio or voice work but I’ve always been too scared. This community is really pulling me out of my shell. In 2015, I finally had the courage to fly all the way to Utah to be at my first Nerdtacular. I had never been anywhere alone, where I didn’t know a soul. I was scared and decided to stay in my room. I tweeted out into the universe “It’s hard being an ambivert”, with the NT15 hashtag. I got a response back, “Hey, we’re your people. Come find us.” This is how I met my good friends Jayonce, Marconin and Jules. It was at The Instance panel. I watched a cinematic that filled my heart, a beautiful world with amazing characters. I heard stories of people making lifelong friends and even falling in love and moving across the country. I met Chris Metzen and Russell Brower, they were the kindest, chillest dudes. And at The Angry Chicken panel I was already downloading Hearthstone. I went home and bought a computer, and the first thing I did was download Warcraft. Because of the friends I made there I was encouraged to come to BlizzCon. It was the most fun I had ever had and made even more friends within the CTR and AIE communities. I got my first taste of Heroes of the Storm. Honestly, I fell in love. It was at this point that I started my romance with Heroes. There is no other company like Blizzard. They are part of the reason I have my family of nerds, why I stream their games. They’ve indirectly given me a voice and a dream job to shoot for. Blizzard is like gravity and my communities are the air. I’m so full of sap, but these people mean the world to me.
2.) You stream competitive Hero’s, when did you start streaming?
I started streaming a little over a year ago as part of a group called Tadpool Plays with Dicetomato and Wigdete33. We stream not only Blizzard but other interesting games as well. This experience, and unemployment, gave me the courage to start streaming on my own. I became an affiliate in November and decided to get more serious about it. It really has become something I get excited for.
3.) What esports teams are you cheering on?
I am a HUGE Dignitas fan. Even with James Baker leaving, it’s still a great team with heart and sophistication. #HGC
4.) What are some of your favorite streamers / streams to watch?
Scott Johnson, of course and FeriouslySteph. Since I’m mostly about growing the community I watch smaller streamers. Mageadeath for Hearthstone, G0r4th for Heroes, AfroHorsey and Brian Dunaway for variety streams.
5.) Do you have any advice for someone who is getting into a creative things (like podcasting, art, blogging, music, etc.)?
I’m still figuring it all out myself so I don’t think I’m the one to ask for advice. I will paraphrase great advice that I’ve been given: “You are never trapped or stuck, you just haven’t found the way out yet.” “Sometimes you just need to jump into the scary.” “Do what you love, as often as you can.” Ok I will say this… Be kind, be yourself. People can always see who you really are.
6.) Hearthstone’s new expansion is super fun! How are you doing in ranked play with the new cards & decks?
I am an incredibly relaxed ranked Hearthstone player. The highest I’ve ever gotten is 14 or 15. That said I am loving my modified Warlock deck. Modified because I’m poor.
7.) What hero would you bring to Heroes Of The Storm (or Hearthstone) & why?
Yrel would be amazing in the Nexus! Don’t tell anyone but I’m a Warlords baby and my first toon was a space goat shaman. Also, Mercy from OW because “dem hips”!
8.) You have an awesome community around you! What is the best thing about interacting with in the community?
Being part of the Frogpants community, and all these sister communities has changed my life. My favourite thing is I have all my friends wherever I go. If I have a bad day and want to cry, or I have a good day and want to celebrate. I always have amazing people in my phone and in my heart. They also happen to be some of the smartest and funniest people I’ve ever known.
Wicked Kitten 13 kittys9.) According to your cute name & Twitter page, you like cats. Any particular cat you love?
Kit Kats are pretty good. I like most cats. I loved my little Butterscotch who I lost about a year ago and my sweet Greyson who loves belly rubs.
10.) Where can people find you on the Internet?
You can find me on: Twitter @Wickedkitten13 or Twitch.tv/Wickedkitten13