About the Bloggers introduces you to the people behind WoW Insider. You can find articles on more of our staffers in earlier About the Bloggers profiles.
Today, we're sitting down with Olivia Grace, who resides in southeast England and very occasionally paints herself green.
What do you do for WoW Insider?
I was hired last year to write Blood Sport, WoW Insider's PvP column, and I've recently taken on Addon Spotlight, which (remarkably) is about addons! I also write a lot of Breakfast Topics and some general newsy bits and bobs here and there -- as much as I can find time to do, really. I also hang out in our Campfire chat room laughing at the silly pictures. I don't think the last bit really counts as something I do for WoW Insider.
What's your main?
Ugh, that's the question right now, in the lead-up to Mists. I do quite a lot of PvP, as you might guess, and for that, my main is a dwarf restoration shaman. I also have a priest and a mage that I PvP on regularly, a paladin that I PvP on as retribution very rarely, and a few other characters here and there. My only PvP quandary is whether I want to stick with a dwarf shaman or go with a pandaren shaman. I'm leveling a second shaman in preparation, so I can race-change to pandaren.
It becomes a lot more tricky when it comes to raiding, which I also do. I've had a paladin tank as my main pretty much since I started playing WoW, but toward the end of Cataclysm, I've fallen out of love with tanking. Way too many fights where you taunt at X stacks. So I've been healing as my guild have been chugging along through the heroics and loving it, but I really don't know whether I want to give tanking another try or just stick with the shaman.
Horde or Alliance?
Alliance! But only because my friends are there. I was very much guided through my initial steps in WoW and the friends who were guiding me were on the Alliance side. If I could choose, completely unbiased by social constraints? It'd be really tricky. The human racial is amazing for PvP, but I find the Alliance a bit bland as a faction. This is, of course, purely a matter of opinion, but I like the variety in the Horde races. I've said it recently in a Breakfast Topic, but Alliance (visually, at least) are less exciting to me than Horde. Also, I adore goblins. Their shaman totems rock! So I think if I could choose I'd have a bit of both. Human characters human, ones that can't be human would be Horde.
What's your favorite Arena? And your favorite Battleground?
This question originally asked what my favorite instances were. I changed it to be more PvP-centric -- it's kind of my thing!
My favorite Arena has to be Ruins of Lordaeron. I really like how the line of sight works with the box in the middle and the two rooms and how much potential you are offered by that setup, as well as the areas to the sides. It's a really fun Arena, and it's helped by the fact that it looks kind of dark and spooky, which I like a lot.
My favorite Battleground has to be Eye of the Storm. It's one that divides people, but again, I really like how the mechanic works and the long sight lines that allow you to see from base to base. For reasons that remain unclear, it's also one of my most won Battlegrounds across all characters, so maybe the positive reinforcement has something to do with it!
What's your favorite thing to do in Azeroth?
Arenas! Arenas are the best thing, arenas of any size. I actually really like 5v5 right now. Currently fire mage Arenas are my favorite thing to do in game. It's such a fun spec to play, and I'm excited about how it will develop in Mists. And if I'm not in the mood for arenas, then chatting nonsense and having silly duels. Not duels where I'm on a healing character, though; those are kind of dull, and although I do still sometimes kill people, it's very rare. I also like leveling alts to chill out when I'm by myself. I'm currently having fun with a blood DK. Deathgrip is a great spell -- yoink!
What's your favorite mount?
Hmm! I'm not a huge mount collector. I only have one character with enough mounts to make it to the Albino Drake reward. I like my X53 Touring Rocket because it has two seats, but all my mounts that make me smile do so because they were gifts from friends. Other than those, I guess the Headless Horseman's Mount. I like how it runs in the air rather than having wings.
What's the #1 thing Blizzard has done great?
Made a game that can be enjoyed in so many different ways by so many different kinds of people. I am consistently amazed by the variety of people who enjoy WoW and the variety of styles and preferences of gameplay that they exhibit. I find it really remarkable.
I also think Blizzard have made a great choice with the Disney-esque nature of their graphics. By maintaining a cartoony feel rather than shooting for hyper-realist graphic styling, they've made a far more enduring world.
What's the #1 thing Blizzard could do better?
They're already trying to remove PvE gear from PvP in Mists, which solves my biggest gripe. Let's hope it works!
When I'm not playing WoW, I'm ...
Well, I'm studying for a master's degree in psychological and psychiatric anthropology, and I'm writing my dissertation on WoW. So when I'm not playing WoW, I spend quite a lot of time thinking about WoW from a psychological anthropology angle and reading about the same and tweeting about it!
Apart from that, I work part time doing administration for a troupe of male strippers, and I help out with the family business, which is vintage aviation. My mother flies a 1940s fighter plane called a Spitfire, and my brother has a similar job doing formation aerobatics. We're fans of the unusual job in my family!
When I'm not doing all of the above, in my spare time, I love cooking, I grow vegetables, I knit, I go out on my bike, and I really like sea kayaking -- that's me in the picture above. As I'm sure you can imagine, I struggle to fit all this in, but being busy is something that doesn't bother me at all. When I just want to get away from it all, I either get out on the bike, hop in a kayak, or go to Sweden to relax by the sea with my bloke!