Archive for June, 2012

Howdy my Disciples of Dread and Dismay,

It has been a while since I get back into Beta and played around with the new specs and new play styles. I forget what build we’re at now, and frankly, I’m not following the changes as hard I had been a few months ago. It’s not because I don’t care, it’s because keeping a constant vigil on a moving target such as with the many changes going on in Beta is daunting. However, I spent close to six hours in Pandaria last night playing around with the new talents and demons, questing in the new zones, and trying out the re-worked specializations. I’m sure there will still be many more changes in the next few months, and as it stand now I feel that warlocks have a pretty good chance at redemption. Before I dive into my current thoughts on each spec we should come to a quick agreement on the precarious precipice the warlock class reconstruction will be.

This looks intimidating doesn’t it? Um, does that look like green fire to you?

Walking a Thin Line With Experienced Locks

To be honest, I wouldn’t want to trade places with any Blizzard developers now. They are walking a delicate line between keeping the more experienced and die-hard warlocks happy while still making the class appealing to draw in a new player base. A lot of hard-core warlocks, like myself, fell in love with the class for several reasons. When we look at play styles, warlocks haven’t been the easiest class to learn and many experienced players love the fact that these casters bring a higher difficulty level to master. If you hadn’t played a warlock in BC or Wrath then trust me when I say any DoT clipping was bad for Dps. Your timing needed to be exact in order to keep up any sustainable damage and if you were off even a second or two before or after your DoT refresh time was detrimental. Besides keeping our DoTs perfect in their execution add in the correct timing of Lifetap with your Haunt’s return time to keep your health and mana levels up, then juggle your CCs, and your cooldowns, and your pets. It was never easy being a better than average ‘lock.  

Many players chose the warlock class because of their stamina and tricks for survivability. Yes, we wear cloth, but we’re not like squishy mages. Quick fights with high burst was never our forte even when running in Destruction.  Destruction was the biggest “burst” for the buck, but even in Destro the long cast times and timing of cooldowns for short fights were not favorable and any opponents we faced had an advantage. However, the one thing we could count on no matter what spec we were running we always knew that the longer we could sustain the fight the great the chance we’d walk away “Winning” (as Charlie Sheen, a mage-wannabe-warlock would say) or still standing. With our crowd controls, demonic portals, and other fun Dark Art tricks warlocks are able to sustain and keep going like the Energizer Bunny, we’ve been the Rocky Balboa’s of the caster world and that’s the main reason I know that I fell in love with Affliction.  

A caster pet class is another reason people rolled their warlocks. We aren’t able to pick or even abandon our pets for another model based on our whims like hunters, but the fact remains these faithful and sometimes resistant minions are truly an extension of ourselves bringing Dps and utility. Yes, they are tools and pawns to command, but they become much more.  Our minion’s buffs, dps, CC, interrupt and AoE abilities bring an added flair to our play style along with their assortment of personalities. Right here and now, I know I for one would like to take the time to thank the Twisting Nether for all of my personal servants I have been fortunate to summon over my entire warlock career. My demons turn solo questing into playing with a friend, and they have saved my warlock rear-end on more occasions that I can count. Whenever my imp, Dagrin, acts up with his snarky remarks I always say aloud to the screen, “The beatings will start my friend until your morale improves!” It sounds dumb I know, but it’s fun even if I imagine it in my mind.

Yep, that’s the one I want! Who wouldn’t?

Another reason many people rolled a warlock was due to the iconic idea of a Dark Caster. The mysterious brooding personality, the loner, the person you don’t want to upset and often difficult to understand. I hate to bring up Charlie Sheen the actor again, but why do you think this mage impersonating a warlock claims to be a warlock? Hrm? Well, if he said he was a wizard of light or even the famous Dumbledore his chances at getting girls or having a higher ranking with popularity would be nill, zero…nada! So as not to offend our female warlocks I’ll give a female perspective as well. Here’s two famous female names: Angelina and Jennifer. Which provokes more of a warlock image?  Get my point?  Sometimes, it’s just more fun to player the darker personality. We may have a villainous image but that is only to our enemies and to mages who stand in the road between control points. Being mean and evil to our enemies is all good fun. Trust me! Roll a warlock and you’ll see what I mean.

 So if we break-down what experienced ‘locks expect out of our their warlocks we get: 

  • Some difficulty to learn, play and master
  • Stamina with many tricks
  • Caster pet class
  • Iconic dark caster image

Drawing New Players & The Fun Factor

Stop and think about what made you roll your first toon. You were at the character screen and like the rest of us you had a large selection of races and classes to choose from. So why did you pick one race and class over the others? I’m sure you know you based your on what you “thought” would be a fun character to play based on your personality. I know when I rolled my Alt Shaman it was because I ran with a good Shammy once and everything he did looked like fun. From tossing out totems to lighting up enemies with lightning bolts. It looked like fun. Bringing new players on board is as simple as that…make it look and play like it’s a fun class with cool animations and abilities that make it appealing. Personally, don’t know anyone who has said, “What’s the hardest class to play with the least reward…because I think I’ll roll me one of those!”

Becoming a Dark Angel with Dark Apotheosis

When people decide to roll a new toon or an alt it’s almost like an interviewing process. I’m sure you see it unfold too in chat channels or hearing the conversations in vent as they start with small probing questions. “So do you have fun playing a Paladin?” “What do you like about it?” “Which spec do you like?” “Which race is best?” “What don’t you like about it?” The first question is always asking if the other player is having fun with their toon. The person probing with these questions are simply looking for reasons and validation as to why they should invest their time and energy into that class too. If a class is fun, players will follow.

So at what point can Blizzard simplify the warlock class without upsetting the experienced player base while still making it appealing for new players? That my friends is a question no one can answer at this point. I’m sure it’s safe to say that they aren’t going to make everyone happy. Read the forums and you will quickly understand that no matter what they do they will never make every player happy or content. As much as I love WoW, it’s still a video game and it’s still a business. In order to keep their income and to keep people playing they will need to entertain and bring the “fun factor” in everything they design. 

So from a new players perspective the reason we would roll a warlock would be:

  • Fun
  • Exciting
  • Cool animations
  • Unique abilities

The Way Warlock Play Styles “Feel” in Beta Right Now   

Without too many details to bore you I’ll try to explain where our wonderous warlock class stands now in Beta between keeping experienced players satisfied, drawing new members, and where I feel Blizzard is hitting the mark on where it’s taking the class or where it needs work.

Malefic Grasp Channel – One of the very few new spell animations for Affliction

AFFLICTION

Out of the three specs, Affliction retains the most similarities like the current version in live, but “feels” a little more faster and hectic. Well, sort of…kinda. If that last sentence was hard to read it’s because that’s how affliction feels atm in Beta. I could ramble on with some details, but that would only bore most and like I’ve learned once again it will all change just as we begin discussing. However, I think Affliction is very close to being viable and there is just a few changes they need to make and almost all revolved around the new mechanics of Haunt. The new version of Haunt needs to either be taken off the soul shard resource system or the dynamics of shards, Haunt and Nightfall procs needs changing to where it’s not taxing on the player. If they fix the problems with Haunt then I think they will make some older Affliction players quite happy, yet they will have made it easier to learn for newer ‘locks. I’m going to suggest ideas of things I’d like to see addressed with Affliction (I can’t wait to compare my thoughts when the finished version of MoP goes live):

  • Haunt needs to be off the shard system entirely or a complete reworking of the dynamics of Haunt, Nightfall procs and soul shard Regeneration
  • Affliction needs a few more new spell animations – Malefic Grasp (MG)  even though it’s channeled looks cool. Nothing else makes me excited.
  • Floating shards / balls above your character’s head needs to be turned off at a players discretion permanently – Asthetics I know
  • Another CC should be added since we can only choose one from Shadowfury, Death Coil and Howl of Terror through talents 
  • The Demon Gate / Demon Portal needs a faster setup time after casting. 

The big “IF” in Affliction will be getting Haunt into something useable and fun. If Blizzard get’s Haunt wrong then experienced Affliction players will quickly move to other specs, or to other classes, or it will make them flee the game in disappointment. Everything else I suggested they could ignore and it wouldn’t be too bad. Haunt is the real question. Here’s the newest change I’ve seen – Haunt. It no longer speeds up your DoTs, it just increases it’s DD when it lands and increases all of your damage spells on the target by 20% for 8 seconds. We shall see.

I’m still not sure if I like the message this look sends out…basically it says, “Ignore tossing interrupts at me until this goes away.”

DEMONOLOGY

Out of the three specs in Beta, I have to admit it…I’m really liking demonology. If you have been following some of my previous posts I played Demo the least over my ‘lock career. In fact, only lately did I seriously jump into trying it out. Why am I enjoying it? Who knows? Maybe because it’s a new shiny to learn? Maybe because you have a flood of demons? Maybe because it’s fun to play around with it? Maybe it’s the new spell animations? I think I like it because it’s a mix of all those reasons. Yes, I know some people are gnashing their teeth because there is no “Demo Tanking”. I was on the fence either way about being able to tank or not, but I feel that Dark Apotheosis still needs a clearer vision as to how it fills a niche.

Even being the die-hard ranged caster that I am, I’m having fun at smacking things around at Melee range. However, despite all the cool new animations and demons you will have surrounding you, there are still some things I’d like to see improved upon. Here are my predictions:

  • Demonic Fury regen isn’t bad, but the cast times for both Shadowbolt and even Soulfire on proc feel long and painful
  • Meta Form needs more to do – Right now it’s very basic down to almost two or three buttons
  • Dark Apotheosis – Needs a clear vision and more to do like the Meta Form (Scenarios Maybe?)
  • Demo needs a good Execute finisher – I’m sure this is what they meant Meta Form to do, but people will always try highest dps possible and won’t hold off
  • Demonic Leap needs a simple fix of landing on or in front of your target. Right now I jump past my targets by about 5 – 10 yards and have to turn around
  • Carrion Swarm needs an animation revamp – all the cool stuff they have done and CS gets a large yellow and slowly moving bubble? Bleh! Boring!
  • Void Ray mechanic needs fixing – there is no rhyme or reason as to what direction it’s pointing even when you are targeting something and facing it

The two main fixes that needs addressing IMHO to make this play style viable is giving the locks more to do in both Meta Form and Dark Apotheosis and having a clear direction for DA. As it stands, I truly believe that Demonology has the biggest chance at making new players want to level a warlock. From growing horns & wings, to having three Shadowbolts, to proccing four extra imps fighting next to you and then eventually turning into a demon yourself through Meta – all of these changes are making other players whisper me asking questions when I’m at the target dummies. I’ve only gotten one whisper on Affliction when someone asked me about the ugly-pink shards on my head and I have yet to have anyone ask me about Destruction. Go to the target dummies and run through some Demonology and trust me you’ll get at least a whisper or two from people asking what certain spells you are casting. 

DESTRUCTION

Destruction is still fun and viable and people will find it extremely easy to learn. Right now I only have two complaints about it. First, the ember system needs to generate faster. If feels like forever to generate even one! Trust me! It’s P-A-I-N-F-U-L ! Also, Destro could really benefit to add another spell or two for something to do. If you’ve played an Elemental Shaman, take your “basic” rotation and remove two buttons. That’s how simplistic it “feels” to play with only a four button push. If they went down to two buttons we’d be at the level of mage rotations and who would want that? So my only two biggest recommends for Destro are:

  • Let embers generate faster
  • Add one or two more base spells or maybe a proc

That’s it for Destro IMHO. I’m keeping this one simple because I’m hoping they don’t add another Improved Soul Fire fiasco where to get your buff you had to endure a unneccessary long cast time tax with Soulfire.

Waiting and Watching

I think warlocks still need some tweaks and small changes, but overall I think they are on the right track. There are enough new mechanics and cool animations to draw a newer player’s curiosity while still retaining many of the experienced fans and players if they can get the few problems I mentioned ironed out. Do I think warlocks have a great shot at redemptions? Yes, I do. The real question is…will Blizzard heed many of the veteran player suggestions and complaints? I know players will find the updated versions exciting to try, but my only hope is that the developers make the new play style sustainable.

Heya All & Happy Father’s Day,

The post for this week will be short and sweet since it’s Father’s Day, and because sadly I’ve been in a rush all day to leave on a business trip for most of the week. However, I would like to highlight the two contestants that took part in The Great Warlock “Epitome” Tmog Contest.

Entry #1 – Saga from Spellbound

 

Entry #2 – Ninevi from flaskhalfempty 

Simple, yet makes a statement…very warlocky!

All I can say is thanks for participating ladies! I really do appreciate your time and effort.

Both sets bring out the personalities of their warlocks. What I find interesting is that both selected pieces from the Nemesis Recolor set. Saga with the Ritual Helm and Ninevi with the Vermillion Robes. That set in particular is quite tough to farm due to RNG playing a big factor.

So without further delay…

The winner of The Great Warlock “Epitome” Tmog contest is…

SAGA AND NINEVI!  Yes, two winners out of two entries!

It was too tough of a choice ladies, I have to admit. Why have one winner when you can have two, right? Besides, I planned on buying mounts for the winner and second runner-up. So how can I not love the fact that it all worked out? Saga & Ninevi…please send me an email letting me know which mount you would like for your prize since and you get to choose from a Heart of the Aspects Mount, a Winged Guardian Mount, or a Celestial Steed Mount. This coming Thursday (when I return home) I’ll make sure to send off your prize codes. If you don’t mind, I would also love a good screen shot of your toons on their new mounts. If you plan to use the mount for a different character, then a picture of that one will be fine too :)

I plan to make this an annual event, so start thinking about ideas for next year. The same rules will apply!

Gratsie again, and thanks for participating!

My best….

Hail all and OMG!

OMG! I’m sorry for all the caps, but I can’t contain myself. Believe it or not, my warlock segment is in the Convert To Raid podcast show #49 this week! Woot! The producers contacted me today letting me know that they accepted my first segment. So, I downloaded and yep it’s there, and I want to thank you all for the support on this unexpected project turned, well…into a regular segment?! I really do appreciate all the comments and emails everyone sent. It just goes to show that you never know what can happen until you try something, and not be afraid to fail. I’m not sure what the future holds, but often it’s the small victories like this that keep you going in the long haul!

Now, please let me know what you think of the segment and be honest. I need brutal honesty for improvement! Let me know what you like and what you don’t like about it. It really will help me out for future segments.

Until then, I just want to say from the bottom of this old warlock’s heart…THANK YOU!

Humbled and Wishing You My Best

Dear Abby? Really?

Posted: June 11, 2012 in Of WoW and Warlocks

Listening for Inspiration from the Ghosts of the Past

Hail and Howdy my Archetypes of Anguish,

As always, oh where to begin? Hrm, how about some quick follow ups? The mage toon I rolled for the NBI Challenge is still at level 9, but I plan to spend 1 hour a week getting him to 20. I’m sorry it’s not faster, but it’s all I can tolerate at this point. Plus, it’s summertime and my job and the family have tied up most of my free time.  My first warlock audio segments are complete and have been emailed off. I’m not sure if any of the WoW podcasting community will plan on using them or not. However, if I hear something about it I’ll let you know. My biggest frustration is keeping the sound files down to less than 2:00 mins in length. That’s really hard to do, and by the time you add an 8 seconds for an intro and another 4 to 6 seconds for a closer that’s almost 15 seconds you can’t use for something else. I have even more reasons to respect everyone who has done segments like this in the past.

So this old warlock bows down to:

Now your probably asking did I go with my real voice or did I run with the pitch changer and make my voice sound like a cartoon? Well, I’ll leave that up for your imagination and hopefully to keep you guessing on my dilemma. If I’m turned down by any of the broadcasters, I don’t think I’ll be too upset. Yes, these segments would be fun to do, but they would definitely be another weekly time committment. If these producers like and use them, then of course I’ll be excited. Either way, when I know the outcome I’ll let you all know the outcome. I will make all of you this promise, if I’m rejected I’ll make sure to find a way to get them posted for you to hear.

Why have one SB when you can have three?

Dear Abby and warlocks? 

 I’ve never read many Dear Abby news columns in my life. I akin them to a short Jerry Springer episode found in the entertainment section of a newspaper. The only time I stumbled across that advice column was when I used dig through the papers to find what movies where playing at my local movie theatre. Thank goodness for Fandango.com! However, an incident occurred a few weeks ago that got me thinking about Ms. Abby and her advice. To make a long story short, I was humble when I found out that I kept a fellow blogger up very late one night. It seems that one of my posts inspired her to write about warlocks when she herself is a druid. A Tauren writing about the Fel-Arts. Yes, I’m sure you know that Tauren can’t even become warlocks so I had to go visit her and read. You can see Navimie’s Post at The Daily Frostwolf called For the love of warlocks. So my inspiring her, led her to inspring me.

It seems that even though I was quite polite to thank her for her kind words on her post, some of her readers decided to bring out the warlock hate against me. Yes, I stayed aboved the fray and simply stated my case. However, this brought on more mage-incitement. The sheer ignorance these other players led me to believe that we are just too mysterious in our ways for other players to understand. While my fellow warlocks, would clearly be able to understand me and my motivation without question – others classes have no concept or baseline knowledge to understand us.  This ignorance leaves them guessing or making false statements that are quite the contrary to our behavior.

So, I decided to start a new category on my blog called, “Ask Amijade”. It will be here that newer warlocks and other classes and players (or anyone really) can send an email to ask me anything. From in-game advice, warlock behavior, Tmog decisions (or anything at all) and I will do my best to answer them in a follow-up post. If any of my experienced brethren warlocks would like to jump in on answering questions with their opinions too, then feel free to do so. I have no idea what to expect, but it should prove both fun and enlightening for all. Yes, warlocks prefer the darkness, but now and then some things just need to be seen in the light. What solidified putting together an “Ask Amijade” column was also from many of the viewer fan mail I have received. Here are a few:

My Dearest Amijade,

I have a confession to make. I don’t tell anyone in my Alliance guild that I play a Horde warlock on another server. I love being evil, but I’m afraid this will make them biased against me. Hiding my superiority all the time is becoming hard to do. When other players talk about vanity pets, I feel left out. Please help! Thanks!

Signed: EvilwithGlee

 

Amijade,

I’m play a Gnome, but my wife is a Tauren. I try to spend time with her, but she would rather ignore me while grazing around the fields of Dun Murough. I know that our grassland is better than the cliff regions of Thunderbluff, but how can I get her attention? Please send your response to my alt-mage because she knows I never play that toon. <3 for any advice! Et tu Moo?

Signed: Gnomelythelonely

 

Dear Amijade,

I found a great Tmog piece that dropped out of the Culling of Stratholme. It does have +spirit on it, but I think I can match it to this set. I’ve included the pic for your review. If this is a warlock taboo what would you suggest?

Signed: Mogitwontupdate   File Attachment: Mogitwonntupdate.jpg 1.2 mb

 

Amyjode Sux!

U warrlocks sux! SUX! SUX! SUX! U r all dum and stoopid! U think u r so cool – imma so mad u use that thing that makes us run when imma tryng to stand on a road in a bg throughing fireballz at U! Imma gonna go frost and uze my water pet on U! Warrlocks are OP Nurf them! Nurf them! Nurf them!

U prob wont put thiz up cuz u h8te Oober-mages soooooooooooooooooooooooo F$#*^$@#$& bad!

Signed: L33tMagezzzz

Now, I’m sure that there’ll be some over zealous mages bringing on the hate, and my true intention isn’t to make this column a forum for arguing. If this becomes the case then we will make-fun-of state the facts to mock these misinformed souls as simply and as best we can so they might understand. I’m not a fan of censorship, but this is a family-friendly blog.

If you know someone who would like send a letter to the “Ask Amijade” column. Please have them email me at: amijadethewarlock @ gmail.com

PS – Concerning the picture at the top of this post…for anyone who didn’t know, when you stand in the Throne Room of Lordaeron long enough, there are several very faint ghostly sound files of Arthas and his father arguing that plays out the last moments before the prince slays his father. The marble still bears the blood stains. Just a small fact that I thought was pretty cool and a nice touch in all the little details Blizzard adds to the game.

Shadowbolt to the Face

Hail and Howdy all,

Don’t hate me! It’s been over a week since my last post and I feel horrible about it! Trust me though, I have a good excuse. As you all know, I took part in the NBI monthly challenges and when it came to the “Learn Something Challenge” I took on the task of attempting two things. 1.) rolling a mage and playing it to level 20 and 2.) I made the crazy decision to make some audio warlock segments to submit to several of the larger WoW podcasts. Well, as you would have guessed, the mage still sits at level 9. I know 11 levels to get to level 20 isn’t difficult to accomplish and I can probably Fireball spam my way there in a few hours. However, doing this audio stuff is quite tough and has soaked up a major time commitment.

Let me warn you that most of this post is not about warlocks. Instead it’s a warlock ranting in frustration over setting a goal that is more daunting than I bargained.

Contemplating

THE AUDIO TIME-SINK

Audio equipment and music isn’t completely new to me. I’m a drummer and bass guitar player IRL have played in bands since I have been a teenager. I’ve run everything from PA systems to compressors, and from power heads to even mic’ing my drum kit.  Btw, for the music equipment fans I’m down to one – 7 piece red mahogany wood Sonar kit with all Zildjian cymbals and I’ve dropped my bass collection down to one red and yellow clear wood stained Fender Deluxe with active electronics (great for slapping & popping!) and one Fender Silver Anniversary P-Bass Special (great for bringing some bottom end!). As you can see I’m a warlock with an affinity for Fender.

When I originally came up with the concept of the warlock audio segments I thought, “Hrm, this won’t be too hard. I’ll just use my computer headset for my microphone, grab an audio program to use, then I’d hit record and just run with it.” WRONG! Omg! Working and layering waveforms is a completely different animal than working with live audio equipment. For live sound you simply set everything up, hit the power button, tweak your sound and it’s a set-it and forget-it type of situation. If you ever played music in a large hall,  or bar :) you might have to tweak some of your volumes and settings based on the crowd sizes. Believe it or not once the acoustic space fills with bodies it can dramatically change the sound as the bodies of the audience absorb the sound waves; as compared to simply bouncing around off of walls. When you’re doing live sound or music you can flub things and most people will not notice mistakes.

Multi-layering sound waves is a completely different which has amazed me. Think of a soundwave as a single computer file. You load the sound file or files into a multi-track recorder or computer program and you can change and manipulate each sound individually. The editing part sounds easy which is adding all of your sound files and layering them on top of one another in a correct order or flow. When you finally export and record what you have configured it comes across as one seemless sound file such as a podcast or song. Yes, I know these concepts might be basic to some, but for those that don’t know I want them to understand the concepts before I move on.

The time-sink came when I went to look for public domain sound files and music. As much as I would love to use a song like Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation for my warlock segment’s background music I can’t do that ethically or legally because of copyright laws. For several nights I spent hours not only grabbing Public Domain background music, but also a ton of sound effects that I may want to use in a segment as well. The next-big time sink came when I tried many failed attempts at layering my sound files and learning how use the Audacity program to accomplish audio editing. Three evenings spent and I was still at the rudimentary stage.

Hukrath the Voidewalker Soundwaves

My Original Intention

In my mind and imagination, my original intention was to make an upbeat and fast pace warlock segment. I wanted something that was like the smart-alec tone I try to pull off when writing through my WoW character, Amijade, on this blog. I knew that I wanted to include the sounds from one of the demons, and I wanted to make it fun. My plan was this: toss in a few snarky remarks, mix in a few of the new MoP warlock Beta features, and then it would be done…or so I thought.

Voice Work for my Demon

Adding my voice work was next. I needed a demon voice sound and style but which to choose? Imp? The succubus? Felguard? Felpuppy? I decided to go with the voidwalker. The eerie reverse reverb sound effect was cool and seemed more interesting than me trying to pull off the difficulties in sounding like any of the others. So there went another night wasted getting my demon’s sound down, and sadly it still didn’t sound quite right. It was close and I might have gotten away with it – but I still wasn’t happy with it. Please keep in mind, making the blueberry voice wasn’t just talking into my headset after hitting the record button. If I made a mistake on any of the steps below, the clip was ruined and I would have to repeat the process all over again. Here is a quick rundown of the process:

  1. Record what the voidwalker says
  2. Sample the noise level from the sound clip
  3. Make a pass to remove the background noise
  4. Make a pass to normalize the sound clip
  5. Increase the amplification to the clip
  6. Make a pass to add echo to the clip
  7. Make a pass to add more base tones to the clip
  8. Make a pass to add slight reverb to the clip

Voice Work for my Warlock

Ugh! Next was trying to give Amijade, her own voice sound style. Since I’m a guy IRL, I knew there was no way for me to imitate sounding like a female, Undead or not. My first options were that I could change the pitch of my voice using the audio program or I could find a female voice actor to read the script and lines for me. So, I spent the rest of that night trying to change the sound pitch of my voice, but it always gave me that “Gnome-chipmunk-on-helium-squeal” kind of annoying flavor. I don’t know any female voice actors so that left me with two clear choices: Beg my wife or beg my daughter.

When I went downstairs to plead to the lovely women of my life to help me in my dire need, I knew instantly it wasn’t going to happen. They were watching, The Notebook. Psh! Even after finally convincing them to pause the movie long enough for me to explain that what I was doing was important “For Science!” they both looked at me like I had Malfurion’s antlers cropping outta my head. Both laughed hysterically as my wife pressed the DVD player’s resume button and then they both put me on ignore. I took a quick mental note of my rejection so I wouldn’t forget that moment, and when the timing was right I would remind them how they failed me. Guilt is a great way to gain leverage, trust me on that one. So, Amijade was going to have to live with my using my voice set at a pitch about 3 keys higher. Anything above the 3 key pitch range was bad, and anything below 3 keys dropping back down to normal was worse.

Yep, this is how I felt – not the cool Malfurion but the chicken-deer variety!

I’m sure hating one’s own voice is common and typical of self-loathing. It’s probably up there with many of the common fears like speaking in public, arachnophobia, or playing a Gnome mage. It’s amazing to me how much different we hear ourselves inside our own skulls as compared to how others hear us. With our ears on opposing sides and having our heads being somewhat hallow due to our ears, nose and throat – hearing yourself clearly and unfiltered really is horrible. I am far from having a radio quality voice and hearing myself reminded starkly me of why I should keep my day job.

Putting It Together

I spent my evenings this past weekend working on editing and combining all the clips. I put them all together and made a 2 minute warlock segment. Sadly, due to the limitations of WordPress.com I cannot list audio files on my blog unless I pay a higher yearly fee. Hrm, this was something I just learned after having tried to upload them. Since I only have two versions of my sound clips to present I’m debating on paying the higher price for you to hear. If these clips had turned out close to how I imagined them, then I’d be forking over my card number now and you would be clicking on the link to hear it.  

Advice From a Pro

I emailed my warlock segment to a famous WoW Podcaster asking him for his advice. I won’t point fingers or give away his name so as to save him from embarrassment. We eventually hooked up on Skype and had a great discussion about it.  He was actually going to put the segment on his show if I gave him the green light. Omg Wut!? Oh Noes! This was my screwing-around-just to see if I could do it version. If he was serious about putting me on his show, I was going to redo everything. One of his only criticisms was that he suggested I use my real voice. Ugh…I completely dread that idea. So, now I’m debating on what I should do.

If I add my voice, I’ll have to completely redo the entire recording, which due to my inexperience and ignorance will take a lot of time. If I add my voice it also completely changes the mood and feel of the segment as well. My voice slows down the pacing and the piece looses that cartoonish feel I was striving to achieve. Decisions, decisions, decisions…

Now What?

What do you think I should do? Go for the campy weird voice where I can act a little on the nutty side but it doesn’t sound as good, or should I use my voice and play it straight and simple? I’d love to hear what you think!

Hail and Howdy my Dark Angels,

Some headline tag for this post, eh? Controversial? You bet! Will it make mages and others QQ? Hellfire yes! You see, that’s how we, as warlocks, like to enter a raid or battleground. We’re always big, bold and brazen! I love it! People who work in sales and marketing call that “making an impression”. Isn’t that what blogs are all about? Presentation, presentation, presentation? So please forgive me when I say right up front, “I refuse to introduce 3 new blogs!” Before you gnash your teeth and tear your clothes, please read on.

Newbie Blogger Initiative

*Sighs* Well, it’s finally come to its end and I of course I want to thank Syp from Bio Break and all the great folks and sponsor blogs over at the NBI! It’s been a lot of fun taking on the weekly challenges. I have met so many fun, creative, and helpful people who I am truly humbled and impressed with and pleasantly surprised with how welcoming the gaming community has been to reaching out to new bloggers. It’s definitely been a fun ride! For a complete list of both the new bloggers and the sponsors, then click to Syp’s NBI List. From what I’ve read, the last time something like this has taken place was back in 2009 and I can only hope they make this an annual event. It’s amazing what one idea can spark…

Challenge #5 – Be a Sponsor; Highlight and Introduce 3 New Blogs

Over the past week or so, I actually read at least three posts from every single blogger on Syp’s list. I did this for my education and to steal borrow ideas for things I might try out here. There were a lot great blogs and I have to admit that I’m now compelled, after reading some of the LotR and Gear Wars blogs, to actually try both of these online games. Many of those blog authors were so passionate about playing these MMOs that it made their appeal shine through in their writings. 

Since this last challenge is subjective and based on my own opinions, I’m going to take the stand of a true warlock and hold my ground on my decision of NOT to introduce 3 new blogs. Yes, I’m selfish…I know, and if anyone has a problem with that…please raise your hand, go flag yourself and meet me at the front gates of Ogrimmar. I’m a warlock who is slow to anger, but when push comes to shove I don’t mind farming the easy honor points or adding another soulshard in my bag. Instead, what I’m going to do is introduce 10 new blogs. /cackles madly while rubbing her hands

I have to admit, next to the elementary steps I had to take when rolling a mage and having to hold back my regurgitation through it all in the last challenge, this one really took up some time in research. First, I set up some criteria to go by and here is what wanted:

  1. A World of Warcraft Themed Blog (since my blog is WoW specific)
  2. Interesting stuff I might not normally read
  3. A writer who gave up some of their own personality and perspective and made me want to read more

So to all the blogging community, I present to you my list of upcoming writers I’ve added to my feedreader. I hope they keep up their hard work and I look forward to reading more from them in the future. To make it easier for any mages who might be stopping by hoping to learn any of our warlocks secrets, I’ve alphabetized them so you don’t get lost.

1. Casually Vicious – Solajin, a.k.a., Khuruuk, is the author of this WoW and MMO blog. Being a former Shaman and Rogue he’s now turned Feral and to Druidism. He loves to go kitty when he’s solo or in LFR but prefers to tank it bear-style while running 5 man dungeons. I loved the blog name btw :) It’s catchy and as his title suggests, real-life and being the father of two has trimmed down the time spent with his MMOs and I’m glad to see him keep his priorities straight. Now that he plays a Troll druid he even admits to being a loot whore! Omg, I thought that was a great thing to admit. Honestly, all WoW players know this is a true fact about Druids, but he is the first for me to see admit it in writing. I really enjoyed reading about his play style of attacking his victims (quite the opposite of mine) because he enjoys stealthing, “So they don’t know what hits them!” Now, my only two questions for Solajin would be  “Did the hat finally drop?” and “Was it the Weather Beaten Hat?” Pst, tyvm! /bows

2. Deathstomp –  What do you get when you have a GM of a small guild running on a Blood DK? Well, you’ll find it here. The author Diabloceto / Evil Robot does a fine job of conveying his thoughts and insights into playing WoW from his perspective. How he manages with 2 girls (I pity you Evilrobot), chickens, 4 dogs (you gotta love that), being a beekeeper, restoring a rocking truck (I wish I had my 68 nova and 69 Monte Carlo) while still discussing his frustrations and joys over the game he loves to play, I have no idea. Anyone who can admit that when they rolled their first toon and spent hours in the Valley of Trials because they had no clue is just cake with icing in my book. Evilrobot, you might not have found the blog about DKs you were looking for but hopefully others will find yours.  Please don’t hate me when I tell you I caught Old Crafty in about 10 casts, but I hope it lessons the pain when I tell you that I’m still buying that damn (I rarely cuss too) “Egg of Lies” from the Oracles. I think my count is at 300+?  Thanks again! /salutes

3. Dreadblade – It’s actually ironic that two out of three of my DK blog recommends both begin with the letter “D” and both are the father of two girls. The author of Dreadblade, Leodar, plays both a Paladin and a DK. In between real life and his coaching position, he loves raid leading and discussing WoW and other things. I shared his same position on E-sports btw only he said it better :P Plus, anyone who’s a fan of both Olivia D. Grace from Wowinsider, and who quotes from a notorious member of the warlock class such as Cynwise, has to have a keen sense about him. Thanks for the good reads my friend and I hope moving over to wordpress.com has been an easy transition. /bows humbly

4. Flask Half Empty – I’m actually sad about this one because the author Ninevi (a person who loves tweeting like me) wrote a blog almost 4 years ago, but gave it up. Luckily, for us she jumped back into the thick of things and as I see it, she will have no problems fitting into the blog community or the WoW community at large. She has four main toons she loves to play (V., is her undead warlock so you know she’s got great taste as well) and has more alts than I probably have room for on my blog. Currently she loves healing on her Druid, but if you get the time read her post about each of her “mains” it shows she put a lot of thought into her writing. She’s an extremely patient person because not only does she compete in the Ironman Challenge but has she leveled Archaeology on three toons and still finds time to write about it with Caprice and the Last Relic of Argus. Girl, I’m glad your back and I hope you stay awhile :P  I’ll be tweeting you about Archy questions, that’s one profession that drives me nutty! I want more please! /salutes

5. Goetia’s Letters – Hrm, rather than describe this author, Wapsipincon, I’d like to use a quote from her blog as she describes, “I primarily play homely Horde girls that smash, nuke and heal; this blog documents their adventures.” Wow, now that says a lot in one simple sentence! I truly enjoy her posts about WoW and the toons she plays, like everyone else I’m promoting here she is another person whose writings I want to read more. Wapsipincon uses a ton of pictures on her blog which I love, and lets you live adventures with her with something simple as her journey to Vash’jir or as she takes you along as she creates her Troll druid. Girl, now just get yourself a twitter account and tweet me! /applauds and salutes 

6. Healing Mains – With this blog you get twice the reading pleasure. Brae and Eluna are wives, mothers and friends IRL. Both have found their calling in playing WoW. Brae writes from the angle of a healing priestess while Eluna kicks in with some Resto Druid love.  From posts about Raid Leading to Addons, to things as fun a Silly Screen Shots…I’m really enjoying it. Since I heal on my shaman for my RT, I always enjoy good talks about keeping your crew still standing. I loved the Kenny Rogers reference because it’s so true. Any good healer will tell you that doing their job is like good comedy. It’s all about…timing! Nice work ladies! /cheers

7. Image Heavy – A young lady named Eva a.k.a., Clumsygrrrl, Prim and Jonze – has a picturesque view of WoW. You won’t find any number crunching, guides or rants & raves about the game. Instead, she brings her readers on a trip into her dreamy visions and small wonderings of what she is doing in-game. Her posts are very short, and convey the point or thought she is having at the moment. The blog has a lot of WoW imagery laced through out it, but she does mix in some personal stuff in there as well. Her “Wherein…” series make me curious to see each one just from reading the titles. /bows  

8. Priest All The Things – I do wish Asherrylie a.k.a., Ashe, had an about page on her blog. The only things I could find out about her were reading her, “10 Things You Don’t Know About Me” post and from what I can glean from her postings. What I have read, I’ve enjoyed. I feel like she’s next to me talking instead of me sitting there reading. Know what I mean? I know she has several toons at cap, plays WoW with her husband and cat in tow, and she’s one of the Wrath babies who’s finding her WoW maturity :) She mainly runs Shadow spec but loves to heal as well. Her main goal in creating her site was due to her frustration in not finding a lot of information or writings on Shadow priests and I enjoyed her Through a Glass, Darkly Pictures Post. Don’t read it if you don’t want spoilers! /claps

9. Unliving a Death Knight – Yes, another DK blog and this one makes three! Yes, it’s amazing because I’ll probably never find the time to level a DK, but I find them interesting to learn and read about. Especially when you have a another good writer like Kalcaryen. What impresses me most, is like me, he’s quite passionate about his class. He’s passionate enough that it makes me want to level one! Kalcaryen, all I can say is with the blog theme you chose tied with the background pic from Deviant Art…the site looks fantastic. This warlock loves the look and it really does scream DK! Now, you need to come over and pimp up my blog for me. Not only does Kalc explain things in an easy-going writing style, but he presents other places where to find the information first, then adds his comments to the post. Plus, he’s another DK who I’ve seen quoting Cynwise :) /bows

10. Warcraft Street Frinka is the author and I have one questions for you, “Would you be my investment broker IRL?” Seriously, go there at read up on the math behind some of their money-making breakdowns. First, I’m not an AH player and I’m usually broke so anything to help me get motivated to make some gold is nice to read. If you’re on the Earthen Ring server then please, don’t read it! I need every opportunity to fund my gold stash as best I can :P I love the tie in with both Sesame Street and a certain person name…*ahem*…G. Street. The twitter icon Frinka uses even looks like the Sesame Street Signpost. Great way to set yourself apart! /cheers

I had two more blogs I really wanted to add to this list, but alas…I could not. Both blogs are done very well and both were fun to read; however, I had one small problem with them personally. Both of these blogs advertised “WoW Gold Selling” websites. As a complete WoW nut, I could not in my good conscience endorse them. Now, I have 30 seconds to post before the month is over :)

Ugh…bah! Can you believe I was actually 10 seconds from having this post time stamped for May 31st and not June 1st! I blame the upload time.