1. What brought you into the playing Warcraft?
I played a lot of Warcraft 2 and 3, so I was decently familiar with the universe. Especially after 3 and it’s expac, I was very excited to see where they would take the story next. I was shocked, and actually quite horrified, when it was announced they were making an MMO. All I knew about MMOs was Everquest, that people paid every MONTH to play it and that thousands of people were playing in the same world. How on earth could you advance the story of a world that doesn’t change? Eventually, in my senior year of college, I had three friends, Akin, Jeff, and David, who were all playing, and I got to watch them. I was intrigued. I started researching the game, figuring out what race and class I would play, and eventually, in August of 2005, I bought the game. I haven’t talked to any of those guys in years. We just sort of lost touch after college. I don’t know if they’re still playing, but I hope things are going well for them. I’ve met a truly massive number of people who have become great friends thanks to those guys, and I don’t know if I can ever thank them enough for it.
2. You are a member of the Alea Iacta East guild on Earthen Ring, how did you originally hear about the guild and what drew you into wanting to join?
I was, and still am, a big fan of Scott Johnson, the host of the Instance podcast (among many many others now), so when I heard they were establishing a guild for fans of the show, I was ready to make an alt and join up. I was there on my troll rogue on the very first days. I even got to be present for what may have been the very first guild event, a gathering in front of Sylvanas Windrunner as she performed Lament of the Highborne. Everyone else was kneeling in respect. Me, I had my troll dancing around like an irreverent idiot. Eventually, I decided I didn’t have the time to split between those guys and what was my home server at the time, so I deleted the rogue and stuck with my main characters. However, my guild was falling apart, my real friends mentioned above were logging in less and less frequently, and, well, I was a bit bored. So I transferred my very first alt, a tauren druid, over to Earthen Ring and joined up. And soon that druid became my most played character. I joined a raid team within the guild, a real fun group of guys and girls doing Karazhan casually, and just had a ball. Fast forward to the time that the Sunwell patch dropped. I fully expected the new content would draw my friends back into the game. For a solid week, I played exclusively on my old server, doing the Isle of Quel’danas quests, and waiting. And waiting. For one week, not one of my old friends or former guild mates logged in. At the end of that week, I transferred my remaining two characters to Earthen Ring and never looked back. I’m AIE for life, now.
3. You have a blog, what is the best thing about blogging?
The fact that it’s your own personal forum to talk about whatever you like. A given blogger is a unique entity that has their own opinions, viewpoints, and ideas. No one else out there will have them in the exact same way. It’s a good feeling when you share your own viewpoint and people not only read it, but leave likes or comments.
4. Do you have any advice for someone who is getting into a creative things (like podcasting, art, blogging, music, etc.)?
1 Find a way to motivate yourself. If it comes naturally to you, awesome. Let it come and don’t hesitate to write (or otherwise create) when the inspiration strikes. If it doesn’t, set yourself a metric. My own personal one is at least one post a week. Keep track of it with a calendar (physical or digital) and stick to it! 2. Jot down ideas somewhere to reference later. There’s nothing worse for me than thinking of a great blog idea and not remembering it later when I have time to flesh it out. 3. Practice practice practice. It’s the only way you’ll get better. 4. Things we create are a reflection of who we are, do not be afraid to let it reflect you.
5. What are some of your favorite blogs to read?
I read a lot of the standard WoW gaming blogs like Blizzard Watch, MMO Champion, and ever Massively Overpowered (mostly for SWTOR news). I also try my best to read every submission to the Z and Cinder Blogging challenge, even if I’m not always able to read their non-challenge-related posts. And my lovely wife has a blog of her own of course, discussing faith and life and parenting and anything else on her amazing mind.
6. How often do you raid & What game mechanic do you like the most/least in WoW?
I currently raid twice a week with my friends in the Flexy Encounters Raid Team. I’m not sure I have a favorite mechanic that I can think of, but I absolutely hate overly-unforgiving mechanics in normal mode raiding. Stuff that if one person slips up once, it makes the rest of the fight unwinnable. In heroic and mythic, sure, that sort of thing absolutely belongs there, but as Normal has replaced Flexible as the new “friends and family” mode, I hate it when a boss fight is overly unforgiving at that level. I saw a lot of that in Warlords, and it almost broke my team up. Luckily, we stuck it out.
7. What is your favorite instance & boss fight (it can be from any expansion)?
Oh, I have so many incredible memories raiding. I think the two fights I got the most invested in wanting to see the bosses just DIE because they were evil sons of troggs were the Lich King and Garrosh Hellscream. The latter because I seriously had hated him and wanted him to eat a fireball since Wrath, and the former because I’d been invested in his story from the beginning. I actually have amusing stories surrounding both my first kills of Arthas in 10- and 25-man mode. For the 10-man, I almost missed raid because I thought I was supposed to go out of town to see friends that weekend. Turns out I got the date wrong, but by the time I got home, raid had started and they’d replaced me for the night with a friend and fellow mage named Sangu. So I got dinner, chatted with my then-girlfriend (now-wife) on the phone, and generally messed around in game. Then I got a tell from our main tank, turns out Sangu was having internet issues and they wanted me to join for one last attempt on Arthas for the night. Right as we pulled, Sangu came back on & we killed Arthas for the first time on that last attempt. Sangu was cursing at Comcast and claiming I stole the kill. And of course, I teased him for ages about us getting it immediately after getting rid of him and bringing me in. Heh.
For the 25-man kill, my computer locked up mid-fight. I couldn’t get it to do anything, but I could somehow still hear and talk in voice chat. My team were trying so hard to work around me just standing there and eventually started using me as a soak for the Vile Spirits. I expected to die, but somehow our healers kept me alive. Eventually, my computer responded again and shut the game down…and then I heard the cheers and whoops. They’d gotten him to 10% and the RP had commenced. I furiously tried to log back in…and came back in, alive. I had missed the Lich King’s insta-kill mechanic. So with my teammates cheering me on, I began spamming spells while the Lich King rambled on about luring us into a trap. It was hilarious, a truly memorable end to our first 25-man kill.
8. With a new expansion on it’s way, what are you looking forward to most I’m “Battle For Azeroth”?
I’m tempering a lot of my hype for BFA because the basic premise we’ve been given, an expansion centered on the faction conflict, does NOT spark my interest. I’m of the opinion that the faction conflict has long ceased to be narratively interesting, and I really do not care for having yet another seemingly evil Warchief. I hated it with Garrosh, I do not want it back with Sylvanas. The fact that Thrall and Vol’jin are supposed to play major roles in this expansion has me filled with hope, as when I started playing, I loved being a part of the Horde as Thrall had shaped its identity. This quote from his trailer in Heroes of the Storm encapsulates it perfectly. “We came to this world as exiles and outcasts, but together, we can be more. A weapon to break the chains of oppression. A bastion for the hunted and the lost. A family bound by blood and honor. And if our enemies do not give us peace, we will give them WAR! Victory or death! This I pledge as your Warchief: until the end of days I live and die FOR THE HORDE!” That’s the Horde I want back, and I’m hoping that we get it, eventually. Aside from that, I’m hopeful for more and more Allied Races. I love the idea and want as many as possible!
9. With the return to the factional divide in “Battle For Azeroth”, Horde or Alliance?
I would love to say it with enthusiasm, but honestly, the only reason my answer is “Horde” right now is because there’s no way I’ll convince all of my friends to swap factions. But the current Horde we’re seeing in Battle for Azeroth’s previews and alpha news isn’t the Horde I was proud to be a part of in Vanilla, BC, and Wrath.
10. Where can people find you on the Internet?
Best place to seek me out is on twitter. I’m at twitter.com/thebmatt. Aside from that, follow my blog where I talk about WoW stuff and occasionally some SWTOR. yourquestlogisfull.wordpress.com. I’ll be responding to every challenge that Z and Cinder list, and I just started a new series called “Five Things” in which I talk about five interesting things about each of my characters, such as why I created them, the origins of their name, interesting points of their backstory, and the like.