Archive for the “Blogging” Category

Posts which outline information that I would find useful for blogging, or my experiences which are directly related to blogging.

Apart from the fact that I am awesome, of course.

For those of you who may have been living under a rock for, oh… um… a while now… Twitter is this micro-blogging thing that is all at once wonderful, inane, fantastic and stupid.  Basically, it allows you to type 140 characters about most everything you can think of.

Oh, you have a twitter already?  Well, then why aren’t you following me?

1.  You have to follow me to be able to see what I say.

I kinda got sick of my family stalking spying on following my every move over the internet.  I love them to bits, but some stuff they just DO NOT NEED TO KNOW.  So, I set my Twitter account to private.  Sure, it makes me a little harder to find.  It also cut back on the amount of spam followers I had though, which was awesome.

2.  Instant contact with me!

Want to ask me a totally random question, but don’t think it’s good enough for an email?  Just want to shoot the breeze?  Hello Twitter!  Ask me most anything, and you should get close to an instant response (unless I’m at work.  Or asleep.)

3.  You can totally do my bidding!

When I get stuck for blog posts… who do you think I turn to?  Twitter of course! (Speaking of which… Twitter based post incoming tomorrow)

4.  Get to know the ‘real Sar’

… because I’m not scary enough here, clearly.  Seriously – why are you all still reading this again?

 

If you haven’t joined Twitter, go visit here.  If you have, you can follow me here!  I approve new followers every day (when I have them to approve), so I’ll get to you quickly!

/cheers for random filler posts!

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I really didn’t want to have to do this.  I never thought I would have to do this.

I have reached the point where I know it’s going to be hard to keep the blog going.  Real life commitments, as well as (I’ll admit it) me spending money in other foolish ways – hello, holiday! – have meant that I just don’t have the money lying around to keep this place up.  However, as you all know, I vehemently refuse to advertise on this site.  Most people who have sent me emails about advertising here have tempted me, I will admit.  Offers of a hundred dollars straight up plus payment for click throughs did make me turn my head a little… until I saw they were from gold selling and account selling companies.

No way in HELL.  Not on my blog.

So, I went with the slightly more palatable option. A donate button.  I know that they don’t work very well (most people manage to scrape together a few dollars here and there over the course of a year from them), but I didn’t want to be promoting someone’s services on my blog.  That’s not what this place is about at all.

I just want to make it very clear: there is ZERO expectation for you to donate.

I know that sounds silly, right?  I’m not standing behind you pestering.  I’m not setting up some weird system where you can only see the content if you pay.  But I know that I, as a reader, sometimes feel obligated to donate money to things when there is a donate button there.  It’s like I feel like a cheapskate if I don’t.  Well… don’t feel that way.  If I can save even $5 through the use of a donate button, I’ll consider it a success.  Hell, even if I don’t raise anything, it’ll just sit there.

But anything you would like to chip in would be appreciated!  No pressure though.  Promise.

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Surprise!  Today (Friday 23rd October) I will be appearing on the TNB Roundtable with a host of other bloggers.  The podcast starts at 8pm PST, and there is a live chat room and everything.  All the other bloggers will sound awesome, and me?  Well, I’ll try not to sound too stupid.

 

Hope to see you there!

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Y’know, I often want to write posts about my Druid.  I play her just as much as I play my Warlock now, and she feels almost like a second main to me.  Now… this blog really doesn’t look very Druid friendly, does it? So, I decided to give Hermia a space of her own to call home.

Now, this space does not mean that I will be quitting writing here at Destructive Reach.  Saresa will always be my main, and I will write here just as much (and hopefully a little bit more) than I already do.  I just felt that this place was starting to get littered with Druidic stuff, and I didn’t like that much at all.  So, just as I started a RL blog to clear up a lot of the crap that was getting written here… I started a Druid blog to shoo that over to somewhere else as well.  Feel free to head on over and have a look around, but, be gentle – she is just learning the ropes after all!

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So, I have been sitting here, scratching my head, trying to think of something to write about.  I haven’t written anything at all Warlock related for a while now, and as I was pondering what on earth I could say that was new about Warlocks, some comments from other bloggers and readers have come to mind.

    • Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted about <insert class here>
    • There seems to be a lot of ‘General WoW Blogs’ cropping up.
    • I just can’t find anything new to say about <insert class here>
    • I’m finding it difficult to define my audience now/It is hard to tell what my audience is looking for
    • I can’t find myself a niche anywhere!

The fact of the matter is, content becoming more accessible has killed what many bloggers write about.  Now, I am not saying that accessibility is a bad thing… it’s just harder to write about something which is talked about everywhere already, because, hey, everyone is doing it!  I have never been one for writing guides anyway (seriously, a guide from me comes out drier than a piece of burnt toast, and just as nasty tasting), but in BC I kinda had a little niche of my own carved out.  I didn’t really see too many other Destro Warlocks out there blogging about end game content.  ‘Twas just me (and probably a billion zajillion other people as well that I just happened to miss!)  Perhaps it’s because no one else could see the potential in blogging about a class with a one spell rotation (believe it or not, that one spell rotation led to some insane theory crafting.  When your rotation is THAT simple, you have to min-max everything to the millionth degree, or people are totally on your ass about it). 

And, hey, I was proud of myself for being in end game content.  That sounds completely dicky, but it’s true.  I mean…

    • I had never played a computer game before WoW except The Sims.  And a little Warcraft: Orcs and Humans waaaaaaaay back in the day.  Like when I was 12, or how ever old I was when that came out.  And I totally sucked balls at it.  Still do. (Of course, since I started playing WoW, I have also played some DotA.  I suck at that as well.  Figures)
    • When I started playing WoW, I was the world’s BIGGEST noob.  I had no idea what I was doing.  You know the stereotype of ‘Chick starts playing because her boyfriend does.  She totally fails, and he has to help her out with everything.  People think she is a ditz’?  That was me!
    • I have NEVER been one to dedicate myself to grinding stuff.  Blah.  Grinding?  How is that fun?  Of course, everyone told me that to succeed in end game, you had to grind.  I guess I proved that wrong.
    • And, since I am totally one to brag, using the ‘Gear+Skill+PC/Connection+Spec = Performance’ equation… I totally kicked Warlock ass during BC.  Gear?  Definitely never as good as the other locks in the guild.  PC/Connection?  Hello, laptop running at 10fps on a 1500/250 broadband connection!  Oh, and using wireless?  Yet, I still out-dps’ed most of them more often than not (except for one, who I was always neck and neck with… and his gear was sooo much better than mine!)  /strokes epeen

Now, well…

I guess I am in ‘end game content’, depending on your interpretation.  Certainly the accessible level of end-game (no hard modes for me, no sirree).  Somewhat like the rest of the raiding population.  What can I say about that which you don’t already know?

DPS wise, I am very ‘meh’.  Totally unreliable damage.  When I get my rotation running sweetly, I can get up there with the others.  When I can’t, well, it all goes to shit.  Not to mention, my gear, well… it’s not of a standard that you would expect at this point in the game.  So, I am hardly qualified to talk numbers when my own are so all over the place.

I don’t talk strat.  That’s what all these other sites are for, not to mention that the strats are so darned straight forward that there is no real point.

I feel like I have gotten way off topic here, but essentially – I understand where this ‘so what the hell do I blog about?’ slump is coming from.  While accessibility and homogenisation are no doubt good for the game and the community, it makes it damned hard to write!  And, that, my friends, is why so many blogs are changing focus.

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So, I kinda blurted it all over Twitter before I even got to write a blog post about it.  Whoops.  hence, you all kinda know this, but no one knows the full story.

One, somewhat drunken night (being Saturday night just gone), I finally did something that I have been tempted to do for a long time: I cancelled my accounts.  Both of them.  The alt account finishes in just a couple of days, and the main one finishes on the 10th of October.

Why?  Well, it’s pretty simple really: I just got tired of the game.  I haven’t been enjoying it.  Every time I log in I feel guilty about not getting this, that or the other done, about not being prepared enough, about not having gold… I just don’t have fun anymore.  Even raiding seems to have lost its lustre.  I don’t know whether I am craving something a lot more hardcore, or what it is.  At the moment I spend about 20 hours a week raiding between my 2 servers, which I consider to be an awful lot of hours put in, but I don’t seem to feel any sense of satisfaction at the end.  You know, the ‘We just did a really hard fight and I am SO fucking proud of everyone’ feeling.

And the grind is god damn killing me.  Why do they keep adding more shit to grind?

Things I Like About WoW

Things I Hate About WoW

Raiding – Nothing is more fun to me than running around with 10 or 25 people beating the absolute crap out of things (or healing them while they do it) Raiding – there doesn’t seem to be the sense of satisfaction that there was in BC in downing stuff, and the harder bosses just feel gimmicky (think – Faction Champions)
The People – all my guildies are awesome, and the guild I raid with on Hermia are almost like a 2nd home in themselves. The People – pugging crap on my Druid constantly made me realise just how much the average person in a pug sucks ass.  I think it’s the feeling of ‘I don’t know these people, so I can treat them like shit’ that does it.
Blogging – I love this blog.  I love the people.  I kinda waxed lyrical about this last post. Blogging – sometimes, I’ll admit, it feels like a chore.  And sometimes it’s hard to come up with new stuff to talk about!
  Daily Heroics – I don’t like doing heroics.  They are boring and stupid.  Why do you make me do a god damn heroic every day?
  Daily quests – see above re. Heroics.
  Time sinkiness – to do everything I should do in the game, I would have to play far more than I do.  And I would have to turn the game into a chore.  Yuk.

 

So, WoW has until the 10th to try and balance the table, or swing it back to the other side.  If it can do that, I’ll resubscribe to my account.  After all, I do love this blog!

But, what can WoW do to make me love it again, like I used to?  To bring back that ‘honeymoon’ feeling?

  • Make PvP fun – LOL.  Never going to happen, I am just not wired to enjoy PvP.
  • Reduce the grind – OK, so making gold has always been a bit of a grind.  I have never had a decent amount of gold for that very reason!  However, I don’t enjoy grinding out badges to get current gear, either.  Let me get my gear the old fashioned way – by raiding!
  • Just be fun already – nothing feels fun or fresh anymore.  Cataclysm may fix that, but I suspect it’ll just be the same old stuff in a fancy new wrapper.

Not sure why I am disillusioned, but I am.  However, don’t unsubscribe yet – there’s still hope!  Not to mention, a few possible fixes for the blahs that I am pondering, if I have the courage to do them ;-)

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Warning: Not a WoW Post, I repeat, not a WoW Post

Today, I decided to do some random blog chores.  I have been in a bit of a snit, and one of the best ways for me to deal with that is to just do menial tasks until I have my head sorted again.  Well, one of those things that I decided to fix was my Twisted Nether Wiki Page.  I hadn’t even looked at my page in a long while, and I was sure that most of it would turn out to be inaccurate (as it happens, the only things I really had to change were my server and age).  Well, while I was there, I got to pondering.

I honestly never thought this blogging caper would last.  If I had a dollar for every idea that I had, for every half-started project, well, I’d certainly not be working for a living!  When I started out on my lil ol’ wordpress.com blog, I had no idea what I was doing.  I made so many mistakes!  When I go back to my old haunt, I generally end up leaving after 5 minutes, cringing over every post that I wrote at the time.  Somehow, though, I managed to find my first ever subscribers while I was there, and had a couple of dedicated commenters (who had blogs of their own, but have long since stopped blogging).

When I moved over to self-hosted, I was terrified.  My theme was an absolute mess, I had no knowledge of CSS, and had never used Photoshop before in my life.  Eventually, the place straightened itself out, and we ended up here, at its current incarnation.  The writing improved, the image editing improved (and then rapidly declined again when I became far too lazy to work images into every post), and my little community of readers and commenters started to come.

Somehow, in that time, I managed to get asked to go on two podcasts (small change for some, but I remember when I got an email from Leala of Epic Dolls, asking me if I wanted to talk about Warlocks on their show).  I was totally baffled – why me?  Surely there would be someone more qualified to talk about it than myself (something that is still very true!).  I was so nervous that I remember making several mistakes throughout the show – to this day I have not listened to it – but it was an awesome, awe-inspiring experience.  Then I was also fortunate enough to be invited on to the Twisted Nether Blogcast (which was equally, well, scary!).  Guess what?  I haven’t listened to that one either!

I guess I can count myself fortunate enough to be considered a small success.  I am still here, still writing, and more people pop in to the big purple blog each day (although, seriously guys, I don’t get it!).  I am more involved in the Blog Azeroth community now than I ever was before (although I have been slacking off lately, and really need to remedy that).  Sure, I’m never going to make money off this little page.  I don’t think anyone is ever going to learn anything useful.  But, it paved the way for me to write another blog, and this little space here has kept me interested in the game and the community when all else has failed.

And, of course, I have met all of you – so many wonderful readers and commenters, all with such a wide ranging depth of knowledge and experience.

/end sop.  Yeah, I was just in one of those moods.

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1.  Brain is empty.

2.  All the Blizzcon news has been posted, reposted, regurgitated and posted again, and then splattered ALL over the internet.

3.  Stress!  ALL my Year 12 students failed their exams!  STRESS!!

4.  Seriously.  Brain is empty.  I open Live Writer.  The screen glares at me in an accusatory ‘So where the hell have you been, Missy?’ manner while my brain frantically tries to think of something to say.  All that appears on the screen are the words ‘green fire’.  REPEATEDLY.

5.  Too busy flirting and causing general mayhem.

6.  Mother and grandmother coming to visit soon.  Eeeep!

greenfiregreenfiregreenfiregreenfiregreenfiregreenfire…. ahem

7.  WoW and I have not been getting along as of late.  My computer is getting revenge for my trip away.

8.  Trying to scheme ways out of jury duty.  It’s not working. 

9.  Reports are due.  AGAIN.

10.  Did I mention ‘Stress’?!?!?!

Will have real post, possibly about Soul Shards, soon.  When the brain comes out of retirement. <3

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Yet Another Destructive Reach Community Service Announcement.  Brought to you by the Imp Credit Union – where your money is ALWAYS in safe (albeit firey) hands

So, I heard through the ever-delightful Syrana that WoW.com is looking for a brand spankin’ (emphasis on the spank!) new shiny Warlock Blogger to write their Blood Pact column.  Now, I figure that surely MOST of you guys are Warlocks (or hey, why else would you be here?), and you surely must know a little something about the class.  If those two very basic things apply to you (ie – Warlock, and know something about them), you should consider heading on over to throw your hat (or imp, if you have an attachment to your hat) in the ring!

As for me?

Well…

I kinda suck at research.  I really suck at deadlines.  I have a job that is so demanding that I have difficulty keeping this place up and running, as well as looking after Blog Azeroth stuffs and Shared Topics and what not.  Seriously… it would be a bad idea.

Does that mean that I didn’t consider it for a split second?

Are you fricking kidding?  Of COURSE I considered it!  If you look at all the stuff I write, what seems to be the common element?  (Hint: it ain’t Warlocks.)  I love making people angry.  I love stirring up trouble.  I love being able to inspire irrational hatred and fear in people (wow… am I a Warlock or a politician?)

What better place to attract angry people and piss off the masses than writing for WoW.com?  It’s like my dream job!  Not to mention the fame, fortune, and other stuff involved (… I suspect there is actually no fame, or fortune…. but the other stuff could be shiny).

But, since one must be practical in both their assessment of their ability (in every sense of the word) to do a job… I decided it wasn’t for me.  Let’s face it – I kinda suck at this whole blogging mumbo-jumbo.

However, it might be for you!

Head on over and take a look!

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So, after browsing around a little, I have noticed that the Ferarro thing has caused massive amounts of controversy.  Personally… well, I am always dubious about everything that I see on the internet, so it didn’t really have a huge impact on me (at first).

See, now, I mainly blog about a game here.  Well, I supposedly blog about a game, when I am not blogging about other random crap, just like this.  At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter who I am, so there is no point going into an elaborately crafted lie or deception.  It doesn’t matter what I look like, sound like or do for a living if I want to talk about Warlocks.  I don’t believe the fact that I am a girl, or that I am Australian, or that I am under 30 has gained me any more readers than I would have if I were a 50 year old American male.

My personal blog on the other hand… well, there I DO write under a pseudonym, I don’t have pictures posted of myself, and I don’t talk about any details that might allow people to guess who I am.

To the average person, that might not make sense.  Why hide behind another identity on a blog that is entirely about you, then allow people to know who you are on a blog where that isn’t at all relevant?

The important part is ‘What can people be allowed to know about my life?’  Here, well, you guys know my real name, vaguely where I live, what I do for a living, how old I am, what I look like, what I like to spend my spare time doing, and even what food I enjoy eating.  That sits pretty well with me, because you still don’t quite know enough to do anything too malicious (if you were so inclined) unless you felt like doing a bit of investigating, and the WoW community in general seems to be quite nice (unless you are BBB, and what the hell is up with that shit?)

My other blog, people know… very vaguely where I live (think state), my profession, and the fact that I have a boyfriend, a family and a cat.  They don’t know my name, what town I live in, or what I particularly enjoy doing.  There are no photos of me, and everyone in my life is given a pseudonym.  Why?  Why would I be less concerned about privacy on the busy blog than I am on the quiet, unpublicised one?

It’s what I write about, of course!  My personal blog is where I let out everything… my happiness, sadness, anger, and all that entails.  I talk about stuff that has happened to make me mad.  I talk about people I know.  I talk about the frustrations of my job, my family and my relationships.  I don’t want people I know or prospective employers finding that stuff and being able to associate it with me.  Is there a chance they will?  Sure there is, all it takes is a little bit of tech savvy to work out who owns the damn thing.  The thing is, they have to find it first.

Here, on the other hand, I don’t really talk in depth about my real life.  I don’t bitch about my job or my boyfriend dramas.  I write about a game, and the community associated with that game.  So why would I ever have to lie?

So, what has this got to do with Ferarro?

Admittedly, I first started paying attention to this when I noticed the uncanny similarities between the name of the character and the name of the producer of some of my favourite foods.  I’m generally not one for gossip or drama (I am a pretty boring soul, really), but the ethical dilemmas here intrigued me.  Does a blogger have a responsibility to tell the truth to their audience?  Is using someone’s identity for ‘harmless’ purposes really harmless?  How should we represent ourselves on the internet?

I honestly do not believe a blogger has to be 100% truthful with their audience, especially if they tell fibs in their posts which are not ‘relevant’ or ‘factual’.  So, if I wanted to write a post detailing the amazing time I had on the weekend on my ski trip, I could, and I wouldn’t see anything ethically wrong with that, even though it’s a fib.  That form of post would be purely for entertainment value, and, let’s face it, it would have to be more interesting to read than ‘I spent the weekend huddled in front of the heater*.

However, if I fluffed numbers, or distorted some fundamental part of the game to mislead you, or heck, even misrepresented some form of guild drama, that would be unethical of me.  That is what the core business of this blog is, and to misrepresent that would be as bad as a news site misrepresenting, well… anything they are reporting on (because that totally doesn’t happen, right?)  I wouldn’t trust anything that was written on this blog if it was discovered I lied about something in game.

A sustained lie about an ‘unrelated’ matter, on the other hand, is a little harder to swallow.  A sustained lie where you also steal aspects of another person’s personality?  Well, that’s crossing the boundaries a bit too much for my liking.  Sure, that other person may have put various aspects of their life up on the internet for all to see, however, it doesn’t make it right to take it and use it as your own.  There’s a hell of a lot of me on the internet, and I wouldn’t particularly like it if someone took my likeness and assigned it to their own work.  To be honest, I’d also be baffled as all get out, since I don’t look especially knowledgeable about anything, and spend most of my time looking bemused, confused or abused.

In one of my older posts, I say something about not reading your blog if I think you are an asshat.  You might be a well informed, literate, intelligent asshat, but an asshat you are nonetheless.  While I didn’t actually read Paladin Schmaladin, if I did, I would more than likely now veto the site.  The information is good, but I can not identify with the writer if they have so little that I can trust about them.  Many people say they would still read Ferarro’s work, and that is perfectly fine.  That’s why this is intriguing – it’s not cut and dried.

So, how do you feel about the issue?  How would you feel if I suddenly outed myself to be a 70 year old man from… Tallahassee? (is that even how it’s spelt?)

Edit: P.S:  Yes, I state that I write under a pseudonym on my other blog, and thus imply I don’t here (when in actual fact I DO)… but if you look over into that side bar, under where it says ‘”Buttons, Buttons and More Buttons", my real, honest to goodness, true name is sitting.  Ayup, that’s me.  Ditto with the ‘me’ that is associated with this blog on Facebook (yay for Networked Blogs!)

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