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Posts with tag zach-yonzon

15 Minutes of Fame: Life as a WoW Insider writer

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

What's it like when World of Warcraft becomes your job? This week, 15 Minutes of Fame zooms in for the second half of a behind-the-scenes interview with a handful of WoW Insider staffers. We'll muse over what it's like to write about WoW for work, what it's like to play WoW for work, the rewards and frustrations of writing for a living -- and the No. 1 question we get asked by readers: How can someone get started writing professionally about gaming?

  • Zach Yonzon pens The Art of War(craft) every week and creates many of the graphic images you see on our home page, guides and posts.
  • Matthew Rossi, one of the most seasoned hands on the WoW Insider crew, is our resident warrior expert who also writes about game lore and general news.
  • Michael Sacco, a senior editor, started writing at WoW Insider after working at Blizzard itself.
  • Alex Ziebart started out as a weekend blogger and is now a senior editor.
  • Fox Van Allen joined WoW Insider early this year and writes the shadow priest portion of our priest column.
  • Lisa Poisso (that's me) started out writing the professions column three years ago and now works behind the scenes as an editor and turning out several weekly columns.

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Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: Behind the scenes at WoW Insider

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Who are the people who write all this stuff, and how did they come to start writing about World of Warcraft every day? Being a WoW Insider writer is admittedly a pretty cool gig. Readers ask us what it's like on a regular basis. Giving a single, accurate answer, however, would be a mighty difficult proposition. Some of us are full-timers, while others pen a single column each week; some of us spend most of our time behind the scenes, and some remain constantly before readers' eyes. Despite being scattered all across the world, we come together every day (well, it's more like a waxing and waning, 24-hour cycle) in the WoW Insider chat room (war room? newsroom? Pandora's box of geekery and chaos?) when we're working. Being on the WoW Insider team is a little like being part of an incredibly tight guild, whose members manage to share not only World of Warcraft and many other interests in common but also their workdays, as well.

Although we do have an old, outdated series knocking around somewhere that looks at members of the blogging team, we thought it was about time to give you a fresh look behind the scenes at WoW Insider. Without further ado, let's meet a tiny sampling of the people who work at WoW Insider:
  • Zach Yonzon pens The Art of War(craft) every week and creates many of the graphic images you see on our home page, guides and posts.
  • Matthew Rossi, one of the most seasoned hands on the WoW.com crew, is our resident warrior expert who also writes about game lore and general news.
  • Michael Sacco, a senior editor, started writing at WoW.com after working at Blizzard itself.
  • Alex Ziebart started out as a weekend blogger and is now a senior editor.
  • Fox Van Allen joined WoW.com early this year and writes the shadow priest portion of our priest column.
  • Lisa Poisso (that's me) started out writing the professions column three years ago and now works behind the scenes as an editor and turning out several weekly columns.

Read more →

Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

WoW's 5th anniversary: Our writers' memories

We at WoW.com are a sentimental bunch. I always privately thought that, but now I've got the sort of ironclad proof beloved by canny blackmailers everywhere. In the weeks before WoW's 5th anniversary, a backchannel team discussion sprang up on our memories of the game and the players with whom we've had the great privilege of playing, and we decided to collect them here in honor of WoW's birthday.

Some of us are hardcore gamers with lots of experience with other games. For others, WoW was their first (and in some cases, only). Most of us raid, and some of us PvP or theorycraft. A few of us are nuts for hardware arguments, but others are surprised to discover that WoW does not actually play on our toasters. Many of us are pretty easygoing in our approach to the content; others would sell their grandmothers up the river for a server-first. One among us hates warlocks, and everyone else just hates rogues (unless you're Chase).

But we do share one thing in common, and that's that we love the game no matter what we're doing while playing it -- and we hope you do too. From all of us at WoW.com, happy birthday, World of Warcraft!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Features, Classes, Interviews

WoW Insider Show Episode 102: Stupid big-tongues

We had a terrific time (as always) on the live podcast last Saturday afternoon, as Zach Yonzon, Mike "Belfaire" Sacco, and Turpster and I sat down to talk about the most popular stories in the World of Warcraft. Of course patch 3.2 was at the forefront of our minds, and we chatted about what each of us was most interested in, from the new BG to the 5-man Trial instance. And we got a little bit of discussion in about the various classes and roles they play in instances.

Of course we answered your emails as well -- we talked with Michael Sacco about the "Additional instances can't be launched" issue that's going around (that I got hit with for the first time yesterday, actually), and a reader emailed us about BRK's gun -- so awesome to see our friend get recognized, and deservedly so. It was an excellent show, in my humble opinion, and a great way to squeeze a week's worth of WoW news into just one hour.

This week, the podcast will be at a special time -- we'll be going live on Thursday at 1pm Eastern. That's a little earlier than we usually do it, but it should give our friends overseas a chance to tune in when they might not have been able to before (and if you can't make it live, don't worry, the recording will be in iTunes soon after). See you then!

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Podcasting, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Instances, Humor, Classes, NPCs, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider Show today at 3:30pm Eastern


Gonna be a great podcast this afternoon -- we'll welcome two familiar voices to the show, including the great Zach Yonzon (have you seen his new Battlemasters comic yet?) and the talbuk Mike "Belfaire" Sacco, as well as Turpster and I as usual. We'll be talking about (what else?) patch 3.2 and what we think so far, including the new 5-man instance, bugs that have appeared so far, and everything else we like and hate about it. And if we have time, we'll also talk about classes and what they get invited to groups as (you know Turpster will love seeing that big slice of Warriors on the tanking chart).

And of course we'll answer your email as well -- you can send us whatever you'd like us to read or talk about at theshow@wow.com. It all kicks off at August 8, 2009 3:30 PM EDT over on our Ustream page, or, as always, you can find the embedded stream below. Be sure to stop by this afternoon and give us a listen live -- you'll enjoy it, or your money back*!

Note: As the podcast is free to listen to, you will not be receiving any money back. But you will enjoy the show. If not, you can blame the Ret Monkey. That's what we do.

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Filed under: Patches, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Instances, Humor, Bosses, Classes, WoW Insider Show

The Queue: WoW Insider Mobile and more


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Ah, Monday afternoon! Does it get any better than this? ...Actually yes. Yes it does. Someone throw me off of a cliff, please. I want to go back to bed. Yes, I know it's almost 4 PM. I don't care.

Thander asked...

When you pay for the dual specialization do you also get separate gem slots?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

WoW Insider Show Episode 78: Thrusting Hodir's shoot 'em up aces high

It was chaos on the WoW Insider Show this past week -- we had Zach Yonzon on from the Philippines, Turpster in from England, and Michael Sacco from Austin, TX, so we were stretched across the world (and you can probably hear it in our audio). But we still got some good WoW discussion in, including our favorite daily quests (I've done Shoot 'Em Up every day since we recorded this, and I still really like it), a little bit about Ulduar and what we might find in there, and the coming PTR and what we might see there as well.

Plus, as scrambled and confusing as this show may be, it has probably the funniest moment in my memory of all our recordings -- I think we were all pretty much "ROFL" at the new Meat of the Show intro, as they say on the Internet. If you want to send in an intro, a comment, or anything else, feel free to send it along to theshow@wow.com, and you might even hear it on the next recording, next Saturday at 3:30 Eastern as usual.

Enjoy. We'll see you next week.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[Ustream] Listen to the unedited recording in Ustream.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Podcasting, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Quests, Humor, Raiding, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider Show live worldwide this afternoon


Yes, our show is going intercontinental yet again today -- on one side of the world, we'll have the inimitable Turpster chatting with us from England, and on the other, Zach Yonzon will be calling in from his home in the Philippines. We've tried to tackle some Paladin news lately, and we haven't done it very well, so Zach will help us get a grip on what's up with you plate healers lately. And from the US, Michael Sacco (a.k.a. Belfaire) will be on with us as well.

Should be a great show. We'll go live at 3:30 EST over on the Ustream page (and there's an embedded stream right after the break here), and we'll talk about the plans for Ulduar, the imminent PTR, vehicular combat and why some people dislike it so much, and we may even fit in a little bit of discussion about pets tanking and why Blizzard says no. And we'll answer your emails and questions -- you can talk to us in the live chat if you're around for the show (and the preshow and the aftershow), or you can always email us at theshow@wow.com.

We'll see you this afternoon!

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, WoW Insider Business, Blizzard, PvP, Humor, Raiding, Talents, WoW Insider Show

Sprucing up your commenter icon on WoW Insider

I have to say, it takes a lot for you commenters to hurt me, but I was a little hurt that no one, as far as I've seen, has noticed that you're all Ogres now. Our own Zach Yonzon created some fun little Ogre art, and all of our default commenter icons (if you haven't yet changed yours by clicking on your name after commenting and logging into Blogsmith) are now grinning cartoon Ogres. I thought people would be shocked when we first put the change in about a month ago (we also considered turning everyone into Murlocs and/or Peons), but it doesn't seem like anyone noticed at all.

Hopefully you have noticed now that we've pointed it out, and if you'd rather not be an Ogre, I'll remind you that there are plenty of Warcraft icons out there -- we've posted some from LJ before, and now Sarah has posted another set of holiday-related icons to choose from. Of course there are the official icons, and we've even got our own gallery of commenter icons for you to look over, not to mention that you can always take a screenshot in the game and upload a 64x64 crop of that as your own icon.

As I said, if you want to change yours, just click on your name after you make a comment, and then you can login on that page with the password you normally use as a "Returning Member" in our comments (and yes we know the system is lame -- if you have issues, usually the best thing to do is to leave a comment as a "New Reader" again, and use a new email address if you haven't ever gotten the email that gets sent to you). Maybe you all just like being Ogres, but if you want to show a little personality with your icon in our comments section, feel free.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Humor, Fan art

Breakfast Topic: Lake Wintergrasp

Yesterday in our guide for Eternal Farming, it was made very clear that Wintergrasp is hands down the best spot for farming Crystallized Whatevers if you don't have Mining or Herbalism. That's not the only thing that's easily farmed there, either. It's packed full of herbs and ore. It's currently the only place in all of Northrend that you can find Frost Lotus nodes. Not just Frost Lotus dropping off of Icethorn or whatever, but actual Frost Lotus nodes.

Now, I'm a PvE kiddie at heart. I'll PvP from time to time, but it's not exactly my favorite thing ever. I usually avoid it. Wintergrasp has totally sucked me in, though. The draw of riches has pulled me into the zone, and when the PvP starts it's legitimately fun. I originally thought it was silly that the best farming spot for everything was a PvP zone, but I've warmed up to it. I'm on a PvE server, but the element of risk and reward has become kind of exhilarating. I still have no interest on playing on a PvP server, however.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Wrath of the Lich King

Preparing for Wrath: Were you prepared?


Illidan screamed "You are not prepared!" to us all in the Burning Crusade. It turned out that most of us were, especially after the release of patch 3.0.2. Over the past eight days Allison, Zach, and I have looked at what it takes to get you prepared for Wrath of the Lich King.

Even if you haven't been preparing every day for the past week or so, you can still get caught up quickly and easily. In each of our guides we give you some tips that only take about 20 minutes or so in game. Everything from cleaning out your bank, to stocking up on food, potions, and stones, to making sure that you have enough money for your travels.

Take a look back at our preparation guide. Are you prepared?

Filed under: Tips, Tricks, Quests, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show live this afternoon on WoW Radio


Yes, our weekly podcast will be live in a few hours on WoW Radio (starting up at 3:30pm Eastern), and it'll be a doozy -- Zach Yonzon will join us from his home in the Philippines to talk about PvP to PvE transfers, what's up with the nerfs in the latest beta build, and what other updates Blizzard has for racial abilities. Duncor will be back on (Turpster is, unfortunately, still in Florida), so we'll talk to him to see what he thinks about Mirror Image, Heirloom items, and whether he has any good insights about the AH.

Plus, we'll have your emails and insights from the IRC chat -- you can join us in IRC at irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel during the show, or just click "chat" on the top of the WoW Radio site. And even if you can't make it, you can definitely email us -- just drop a note to theshow@wow.com, and you might even hear it on the air.

Should be a good time as always, and I'm very curious to hear how the PvE to PvP transfers discussion goes -- while I'm sure Zach is a big fan, not everyone is, so we'll see what can be said about that. See you at 3:30 this afternoon on WoW Radio!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Humor, WoW Insider Show

Breakfast Topic: Missed that one

I was surprised to find out, as I'm sure you will be also, that our own Zach Yonzon admits he has never actually run Deadmines at the level it's meant for -- he's always run it afterwards, to pick up gear for twinks or just to grind for lowbie stuff. Which means he's never felt the magic of getting stunned by Smite, or really pushed to take that Goblin Shredder down. A real shame, if you ask me.

And it got me thinking: what instances have you missed out on at the level? At first I thought I didn't miss any -- I love running instances, and whenever I hit the right level, I usually run to them as fast as I can. But after looking through the list, I realized that I've basically missed out on Dire Maul -- I've only run the instance a few times, and then only for quests like the Mage water quest and the Warlock mount quest. I've never once run the DM Tribute -- I know, also a real shame.

So be honest -- what instances have you missed out on at the level? And why did you miss them -- did you just not need anything from there (including possibly XP), or did you never have a group to run them with? And have you ever gone back, or leveled up an alt to make up for lost instance runs? I'll definitely have to do something about that Dire Maul Tribute -- I wonder if I could run it solo with my 70 Hunter...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Leveling

About the Bloggers: Zach Yonzon

Twice a week (if writers like Zach here keep to their deadlines), our writers will tell you more about themselves, and let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read more About the Bloggers.

What do you do for WoW Insider?

I write the incorrigibly erratic columns The Art of War(craft) and The Light and How to Swing It that deal with PvP and Paladins respectively (and sometimes interchangeably). I also tend to mix up my posts with regular, run-of-the-mill news and the occasional opinion piece, like my analysis on the new Wrath changes to Paladins.

What's your main right now?

I spend most of my time in-game on my Level 70 Blood Elf Paladin, who re-specs 3-4 times a week. One day I'm mashing faces with a big hammer, and the next I'm waving my glowing fingers in the air like somebody's boy toy. I've spent thousands of Gold on re-specs that I'm probably a spec-a-holic. Just don't ask me to tank. I also have a neglected child in my Level 70 Troll Shaman, who was originally my main. Well, that's not entirely accurate. I started playing the game with an Undead Rogue and later a Troll Hunter on a PvE server. My wife and friends later rerolled on a PvP server.

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Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Virtual selves, Interviews, About the Bloggers

WoW Insider Show Episode 42: Arena, addiction and Turpster's ding

Yes, we went live on the WoW Radio airwaves last weekend, and the recorded results are live on their site right now for your listening enjoyment. It was a full show -- Zach Yonzon came on to talk about Arena PvP, as did Amanda Dean (to defend her points from last week), and Matthew Rossi. Turpster was on as well, and if you weren't around on EU Sporeggar last weekend, you missed quite an event -- there were a ton of Gnomes and Dwarves who turned out to take down Turpster right as he dinged 70 on his Shadow Priest. Also on the show, we chatted about:
It was a good show -- a lot of fun to make, and hopefully a lot of fun to listen to. If you have a question or comment about the show, don't hesitate to email us: just drop a note to theshow@wow.com, and you might even hear it on the podcast. And if you haven't ever tuned in live to chat with us on IRC during the recording, mark your calendar: we do this live every Saturday at 3:30pm Eastern over on WoW Radio.

Thanks for listening as always, and enjoy the show this week.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Realm Status, Odds and ends, PvP, Features, WoW Insider Show

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