Tag Archives: favorites

Two Years

Two years ago today I was sitting at my desk at work, exactly where I’m sitting now, and I decided to start this blog.

Over those two years I’ve written 260 posts, received 1,885 comments and somewhere in the vicinity of 200,000 visits.

This has been a great year for my blog, even better than the first. I’ve gotten new readers, people are commenting more and I became really involved with the WoW community on Twitter which has brought me all kinds of information and amusement.

I was looking through my blog posts from this year and there are actually a lot of them that I’m quite happy with and proud of. Here are a few of my favorite posts from 2011:

1. Have heals become too smart?
When I wrote this post I was sick of seeing my healing meters being dominated by Wild Growth. It’s not that I don’t like Wild Growth, it’s just too easy to use. It gives huge healing for very little effort. My problem wasn’t just about the nature these seemingly OP AoE spells but also about the nature of boss fights in Cataclysm. There are so many fights where everyone is stacked up on top of each other and raid damage is constant that casting Wild Growth (or Holy Radiance, Circle of Healing and Healing Rain) on cooldown is almost always the right thing to do. I wrote this post back in Tier 11 but this (in my mind anyway) continues to be a problem in Tier 13 as well. One of my favorite things about this post was that almost all my commenters disagreed with me. Some even had concerns that if too many people expressed these kinds of opinions about spells like Wild Growth they would be nerfed…oops.

2. Moonglow vs. Furor
This was one of my first real attempts at trying to do a mathematical comparison of two talents myself. The moonglow vs. furor question is asked often but I found that the answers given were never satisfactory. They were either a short, “x is better than y” answer with no explanation, or they’d cite some complex formula that went right over my head. I did a lot of work using real logs to determine spell usage and how the two talents would compare and hopefully made the issue a little easier for people to understand.

3. Raids – Business or Personal?
When I wrote this post I was frustrated. The night before I had been in a raid where people just weren’t performing as well as they should have been. It made me think about what I want from a raid group and how I think raids should be run.  The best part of this post was the comments. It was really great to have so many people offer their thoughts on the issue and help give me a better perspective.

4. To the Ground
Another post written while I was very frustrated. When the blanket nerfs to Firelands were announced I felt a little robbed and very discouraged at the progression (lack of progression, actually) my guilds had made before they happened. The reason this is one of my favorite posts is completely self-indulgent. 56 comments!  That’s the most I’ve ever gotten on a post. I felt as popular as Beru for a second.

5. Heal Sniping and Meter Padding
One week in August I kept seeing posts that mentioned heal sniping. Posts on small blogs and big websites. Posts that condemned the practice and posts that encouraged it. I felt the need to speak up about how stupid I thought the whole concept was. I had a lot of fun writing this post, and arguing with people who continued to dwell on the term.

6. What’s Wrong with this Picture?
I usually shy away from issues like sexism in video games, but after seeing Blizzard’s leader portrait of Tyrande Whisperwind, I needed to say something. This post let me vent some frustration and be snarky (two of my favourite things!). I also really enjoyed all the discussions I got to have with people in the comments.

Looking back at my favourite posts of the year, I’m reminded of two things. First, being frustrated is great for my writing. And second, I love everyone who comments here (or on Twitter). Being able to have discussions, agree, disagree and be forced to think of things in different ways is my favourite part of blogging. So to everyone who has commented, thank you. This wouldn’t be nearly as fun without you.

Here’s to year three.

My Favourite Blogs and Websites

This is Day 10 of the 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge.

(What happened to day 9? Shh…)

I think I’ve talked about my favourite WoW blogs enough. And most of them are in my blogroll, so you can see them there. So instead I will talk about the non-WoW sites and blogs that spend the most time reading.

First, I love to cook and eat, so I frequent a lot of food blogs.

Tiny Urban Kitchen is probably my favorite food blog. Jen does such amazing restaurant reviews that make me envious of all the great restaurants she gets to go to. I love her series of Las Vegas reviews (I <3 Vegas!), and all the reviews she’s done of her hometown of Boston makes that once of the places I really want to travel to.

 Joy the Baker has amazing recipes with great pictures to go along with them that have me salivating at my computer every time she posts a new one. Pickle friesrosemary lime cocktailssalted caramel cheesecake pie. Yum. Beware of reading this site on an empty stomach.

The Pioneer Woman‘s cooking section is amazing. So many great recipes that overuse ingredients like butter and heavy cream…mmm. This site is what first convinced me to make my own crème brûlée, for which I am forever thankful (though my own recipe is better than hers). In addition to making me hungry, this site makes me green with envy. This woman lives on a ranch full of horses and cowboys, she spends her days cooking, taking pictures and blogging. Can I have her life please? (minus the 4 kids).

Other sites I really like:

Television Without Pity – I have a confession to make. I am absolutely terrible at spoiling tv shows. If I PVR something to watch later (which is what I almost always do), I will look up spoilers for the episode before I watch it. I can’t help myself. TWOP is where I go for my spoilers and as a bonus the episode synopses are full of snark. I’ve ruined many a surprise for myself on this site.

Listverse – New lists every day! The lists are sometimes a bit hit-and-miss, but I particularly enjoy the ones about arts and entertainment. Best X-Files episodes, creepiest movie characters, most disturbing novels, doomed cinema romances…there’s a list for everything.

Script Shadow – This site reviews movie scripts and I can’t really explain why I like it so much. I’m not a writer, much less a screenwriter. I have no plans to write a screenplay at any time, but for some reason I really like reading script reviews and writing tips. Maybe it’s just a reflection on my love of movies. One of my favorite series of articles was about the Start Wars movies – it broke down exactly why Empire Strikes Back was completely awesome and Attack of the Clones was complete shit (and looked at the other movies as well).

What are your favourite sites? Have any recommendations for me?

My Favourite Items In Game

This is Day 5 of the 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge.

My favorite items in-game tend to fall into one of two categories. I either have good memories associated with them or they are things I’m proud of having because they are relatively rare. Here are a few of those things.

Sprite Darter Hatchling

Sprite Darter

I wasn’t too into pet collecting when I started playing WoW. I had a few, but never went out of my way to get them. I found the quest that rewarded this little guy in Feralas while exploring. The quest-giver was a little hidden and the chain was long and required a lot of traveling. When I finished the quests and got the Sprite Darter as a reward, I was quite pleased with myself. The pet’s existence almost seemed like a secret at the time. Plus, he’s cute and he’s got little moons on his wings that match a lot of my druid gear. This is still my favorite pet in the game.

Will of Arlokk

Will of Arlokk

I can’t remember if Will of Arlokk was my first epic in the game, but it was the first epic to inspire loot lust. The stats were great, and I really liked the look of it (yay, snakes!). I remember doing ZG every week, hoping to get it. It would drop…and go a priest. It would drop again…and go to another priest. When I finally got it, it was pretty sweet and well worth the wait. This is the only weapon I’ve ever saved on Jasyla.

Plagued Proto-Drake

Plagued Proto Drake

Wrath of the Lich King introduced raiding meta-achievements with mounts as rewards. This was the first one I got, from doing all the Naxx-10 achievements. I have a lot of achievement drakes, but the Naxx drakes were the only ones that got taken out of the game when the content was no longer current, so I’m especially proud of this one.

Primitive Mantle

Primitive Mantle

Another item that’s apparently no longer available in the game. The Primitive Mantle was a starting item for troll shaman. At the time I got it, I had never played for the Horde before. I good in-game friend of mine rolled a troll shaman, got the Mantle, transferred it over on the neutral AH and gave it to me as a gift. I think it’s pretty snazzy and Jasyla wears it all the time.

Shared Topic: Favorites

This week’s shared topic at Blog Azeroth came from Ardol at World of Warcraft Philosophized who suggested people write about their favorite things. I really like this topic, but had some trouble deciding on a single category. I started a list of favorite movies, then books, then TV shows. Then I said to hell with it and decided to write about them all, so here are some of my mass media favorites.

Favorite Book

The Magus by John Fowles
The Magus
This book is one big psychological game, and I love it. It deals with the themes of destiny vs. free will, reality vs. fiction and takes cues from mythology, philosophy and even Shakespeare. While the story itself can be a little convoluted, it’s written beautifully and is intriguing the whole way though. Every piece can be taken at face value (though I wouldn’t recommend it) or dissected endlessly to find hidden meanings. It’s one of those books that will mean different things to different people and I find that I pick up something new every time I read it.

Other favorites:
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore
The Continent of Lies by James Morrow

Favorite Movie

Some Like it Hot

Some Like It Hot (Collector's Edition)Marilyn Monroe, mobsters and men in drag, what more could I ask for? If you haven’t seen this, I recommend you do so immediately. It was named the best American comedy film of all time by AFI for very good reasons. It also features the absolute best ending line I’ve ever heard.

Other favorites:
Full Metal Jacket
Gone with the Wind
Moulin Rouge

Starship Troopers

Favorite Show

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks - The Definitive Gold Box Edition (The Complete Series)Though its run was short, Twin Peaks was an excellent show with some of the most memorable characters and imagery I’ve seen in television. Every time I see a piece of cherry pie or drink a damn good cup of coffee, I think of Agent Cooper. Each episode veered wildly between melodrama, comedy and supernatural horror. One minute you were in a quaint diner in a sleepy little mountain town, the next you were in a surreal red room with a gyrating, backwards-speaking dwarf and a doppelganger or two. The series finale was the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen – but creepy in a fantastic way.

Disclaimer: When thinking about how great Twin Peaks is I mentally repress a few episodes from the middle of the second season.

Other favorites:
Arrested Development
The Sopranos
The West Wing
The X-Files

Favorite Game

Beyond Good and Evil

Beyond Good & EvilOkay, I lie. Planescape: Torment is my real favorite game, but I already wrote about that in another post. Right now I’m replaying Beyond Good and Evil and it is just as good as the first time I played it. The game play is solid, the story is strong and it actually has a relatable female lead. BG&E is one of the few games I’ve played that uses a photography mechanic successfully. In games like Dead Rising or Bioshock I think taking pictures is a little clunky and find that it takes away from the atmosphere. In BG&E it’s worked into the story and is enjoyable. Here’s hoping the sequel that’s been “in the works” for years is actually released.

Other favorites:
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Mass Effect 2
Shadow Hearts: Covenant

I also enjoy raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.