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Posts with tag buffing-for-blizzcon

Buffing for Blizzcon: Bring on the con!


Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW Insider team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon 2010.

Congratulations, you've made it! Six months is an endurance event more than a sprint, but in the grand scheme of a lifetime of healthy living, it's a start. Hopefully, some of the healthy habits you've picked up during our time here have become part of your daily rotation (and there's no worry about the devs nerfing them or removing them from our talent trees).

With the convention upon us, we caught up with the staffers who came along for the ride, to see how well they've fared. Like the rest of us, they're a varied bunch, with differing levels of success. Even if what you've achieved so far has been relatively modest, there's still (as the poet said) "tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow" to keep making progress.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buff(ing) For BlizzCon: The final countdown!

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW Insider team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon 2010.

BlizzCon is just over a month away, and in a few weeks, we'll be checking in with the folks here to see how well they managed to conquer their personal health and fitness goals for the big event. Obviously, we aren't going to be able to do the same for all of you who have been playing along at home, but we certainly hope that you've managed to keep focused and have made some changes that have had a positive impact on your life.

But what if you haven't?

The reality is that it's very easy to get excited about making positive changes, but it's another thing entirely to actually tough it out and make those changes permanent. Excitement wanes. Reality is a harsh mistress, and all of that extra energy you found to stop at the gym on the way home from work is harder to come across after the first few weeks. What was once fun can become a chore, and we all know that chores are easy to put aside if you aren't in the right mindset to do them. While you may have thought our Buffing For BlizzCon challenge was a neat idea at the beginning, it's quite possible that you have slipped a bit since we initially started the series.

That's OK. Really. In fact, it's pretty normal. It does not, however, mean that you are a failure. Far from it.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon: Well fed


Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon 2010.

People will ingest a lot of weird things in the name of health, strength, recovery, or "hey, I dare ya!" All right, sure, I'm extrapolating to "people" from "me," but have you looked at the ingredient list for some of the buffing consumables we make our characters choke down? Look, buddy, I don't care what kind of stat boost it gives, I'm not eating any damn Kaldorei Spider Kabobs (and I've eaten tempura sushi dipped in molten chocolate. See "I dare ya," above, with the "I will if you will" proviso). But, really, would our toons get much benefit from eating this stuff, and, if so, would it square with what the buff they receive is?

What about characters who role-play having a dietary restriction, whether or not that mirrors their behavior in real life? Could a vegetarian find some stat-boosting snacks? What about folks who hew to something like the raw-food credo - are any of the recipes obviously something that won't have to be concocted over high heat? Primalists and Paleo diet aficionados would be in their element, and might even make up the majority of Azeroth's population.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buffing for BlizzCon: No pigging out at the Great Feast

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon 2010.

There are two words that can seriously take the shine off of anyone's efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle: "I can't." The minute you start saying that, you start stacking up the frustration debuff, which almost invariably leads to some kind of indulgent meltdown that can cause a huge setback or completely derail all the good work you've done. We want to feel good about the choices we are making, and most people don't feel good when they say the words, "I can't."

... Unless, you know, they are responding to a question like, "Can you stick this razor-sharp sword into your eye?" That question, fortunately, doesn't come up much in polite conversation. One that does, however: "Would you like to go out to eat?"

Ah, yes. Our old nemesis, the restaurant. I've written in the past about how it's easier to eat at a restaurant after some advance research to find the good choices on the menu -- but what if it's a spontaneous outing or the restaurant doesn't have any obviously good choices? What if you don't know where you're going before you get there, or the restaurant doesn't have its menu available online? There are a lot of factors that can make dining out a challenge when you're trying to watch your caloric intake, but that doesn't mean you have to avoid those situations altogether. There are several tricks you can stash up your sleeve to keep the "I can't" debuff at bay and enjoy your meal without taking too much damage in the process.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon: Dog days

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon 2010.

No, it's not another worgen post. I'd roll a goblin, anyway, and not merely because of factional preference. I spent too many hours as a n00b getting repeatedly pwnt in Silverpine Forest, which has made me as bitter as powdered aspirin towards those furry bastards; I'd gank myself. No, this is the midsummer swoon, when folks tend to go through the motions in the long, hot stretch (at least in the Northern hemisphere), twiddling their thumbs between increasingly monotonous dungeon runs, idly considering rolling yet another alt or take a hiatus altogether to go hit some conventions and interact in the big blue room.

In our case, it's also just past the midpoint of our six-month journey towards BlizzCon, when motivation may flag and adhering to healthier eating and exercise habits can begin to wane. Maybe you've hit a plateau. Maybe you're bored with your program. This point in time is, to quote everyone's favorite Mon Calimaran, a trap. OK, maybe it's more of a pothole, or yet another slog through Desolace/Stranglethorn Vale/[insert your least-loved zone of mid-game grind leveling here].

So what is there to be done about it?

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buffing for BlizzCon: The Convention Challenge


Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon 2010.

BlizzCon is still three months away, but convention season is in full swing. The San Diego Comic-Con ended a few days ago, and in the seemingly endless days that stretch out between now and Blizzardpalooza, there are several huge conventions that may be occupying your time. I'll be leaving next week for Gen Con, and a month after that you'll be able to find Rafe and me (along with a large handful of staffers from Massively) at Dragon*Con. I often wonder if we geeks have not subconsciously scheduled some of the biggest conventions of the year over the summer months as a result of the countless dull hours in our youth because we didn't appreciate the "traditional" summer activities. Whatever the reason, though, this is the time of the year when it's truly grand to be a geek.

It is not, however, such a grand time if you are trying to make healthy dining choices.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon: Programming for dummies


Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon. From the comments and discussion after the last installment of Buff(ing) for BlizzCon, we learned that reader Saitenyo has combined a laptop with an exercise bike so she can get her exercise and WoW fix at the same time. Sweet!

Settle down, everybody, I'm not going to bust out something like COBOL, or even worse, FORTRAN (which during my one programming class in college, I got a D in). Rather, this goes out to the folks who are ready to take things to the next level and are thinking about coming up with their own workout plan and strategy.

Much like developing a character spec or laying out the route for a road trip, it's often best to approach things from the far end and work your way back to where you are now, so you know both where you want to end up and how to get there. As the man behind the Jabberwock (no, not American McGee) said, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

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Filed under: BlizzCon

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon: Raid preparation

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon.

Unless you're a super-casual player, there is a pretty good chance that you spend a lot of time both in and out of the game doing preparation work. From reading up on strategies, to farming materials for flasks and everything in between, there are countless ways that you can get yourself ready to take on the current shiny encounter in World of Warcraft.
Unfortunately for many people, what they don't spend time thinking about before raid night is what they are going to be snacking on. If you're trying to make better food choices, this can be a serious roadblock. There aren't many guilds that will allow you to take a long enough AFK to prepare a healthy meal in the middle of a raid, so many players end up opting for "easy" food choices to satisfy a sudden onslaught of the Hungry debuff. The problem with that is that most "easy" food choices aren't all that good for you. When this type of itch is scratched, it's usually through something like a bag of chips or some sort of chemically ambiguous frozen meal, neither of which are really good choices if you're trying to eat wisely.

Your likelihood of success in defeating a new boss fight is greatly increased if you prepare yourself for the encounter. Eating wisely is no different. I've got a few strategies that you can follow that just might keep you from seeing a diet Total Party Kill as a result of uncontrollable mid-raid snacking.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon: Progress check

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon.

We've reached the two month mark, a third of the way through the quest [Buff for BlizzCon]. While there is still plenty of time before the big event, getting off to a good start means you've already got your rotations down, you know what you're doing, and you're making progress. Sure, you can still beat the timer if you stumble on the first boss, but it's a lot easier if you don't. And, on the other hand, if things have gotten off to a slower beginning for whatever reason (bad weather, injury, a scathing case of Loremaster-itis), you can mount up and make your way towards your goals all the same.

With that in mind, it's time for me to do my Patchwerk impersonation and perform a DPS check on our team of intrepid writers.

"Staffers come play?"

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buff(ing) For BlizzCon: Carving out Caverns of Time and unarmed combat

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon.

We've all been there: bored in Storm Peaks, decked out in our blues and purples, and idly surfing through your achievements, when you realize that you need to give someone (or several someones) a knuckle sandwich in order to earn Master of Arms. Unequipping your weapon of choice (or eschewing your favorite spell rotation), you start slapping some unsuspecting rhinocerous or elemental. It takes a surprisingly long time to do that particular grind, especially if you're not built for melee combat.

What the heck does this have to do with our bi-weekly sojourn into the realm of health and fitness? Without the right equipment and skills, even something simple is harder than you think it's going to be -- but with practice, it gets easier. Fortunately for us, we don't have to subject ourselves to a great deal of peril in order to gear up, and we can boost our skills during in-game downtime.

This time around, Buff(ing) for BlizzCon will check in with the staffers who are on this particular quest to see what they're using and doing to help them reach their goals, and we'll offer a few suggestions of our own. We already know that if you're not doing anything at all, starting any kind of healthy eating and exercise routine will help. For those of you who have already gotten those under way -- keep on keeping on. For those of you who haven't, what are you waiting for? Extended maintenance?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buff(ing) For BlizzCon: Choose your quests wisely

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon is a bi-weekly fitness series written by ShrinkGeek authors Rafe Brox and Michael McGreevy. Join the WoW.com team in getting in shape for the ultimate WoW geek event: BlizzCon.

I had serious health issues from being way too heavy not that long ago. Without going into the whole story (you can read it all here if you're so inclined), it was imperative that I lose weight and keep it off. I'm still trying to reach my overall goal, 10 years later, but I'm a lot closer now. I won't kid you – it hasn't been easy, but no epic quest with an awesome reward ever is (and, unfortunately, there isn't a development team that is going to nerf the Getting In Shape quest once the elite raiders have beaten it).

I'm about to state something that nobody in the diet and fitness industries really wants to admit, because doing so might make a potential customer take their particular approach to getting healthier less seriously. The fact of the matter is, though, that it's 100% true, and if they were to deny it, they would be lying.

All diets and exercise programs work.

Every. Single. One.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

Buff(ing) for BlizzCon: It begins

This is a guest post written by ShrinkGeek contributor Rafe Brox. Get in shape in time for BlizzCon along with the WoW.com crew!

If there's one thing that Blizzard does well, it's build anticipation for upcoming events. And, other than the release of upcoming expansions, nothing gets players going like BlizzCon itself. With it being six months away, it's certainly not too early to begin thinking about going, but that brings with it logistical and social considerations. I'll leave the logistics to someone in the hospitality or travel industry; however, for anyone who wants to make a killer impression on their fellow gamers, this column is for you.

Welcome to Buff(ing) for BlizzCon, a bi-weekly guide to getting in shape, brought to you by the fitness freaks at ShrinkGeek. To quote Hanz and Franz, "Vee ahr goink to pahmp joo ahp!"

Keen observers of this space may be saying to themselves, "Hey, wait a minute... that sounds a little familiar." You would be absolutely correct.

That said, (re-)introductions are probably in order.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Guest Posts

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