Okay, so there has been some debate the last couple days about my resto healing guide (is it bad? is it good? Do I not understand the definition of the word popular?). Also, OMG lifebloom! The deal with lifebloom is that… Resto druids are unique snowflakes. Every single resto druid has a different healing style. Resto druids are the only Spec in the whole WoW that actually comes with such a diverse & flexible toolset. Trying to boil down unique snowflakes into one “how-to” guide is impossible, because then all you get is a giant snowball that doesn’t resemble the unique snowflakes that you started out with.
Why shoot the messenger?
First of all, I want to explain that I’m a human being. To that end, I’m posting my picture here for the first time to prove a point. That’s me on the Left, and Neth (forum CM) on the right. See? We’re both people. I’m the one wearing an almost inappropriate “druids do it animal style” T-shirt, in the picture from Blizzcon 2008. Not only am I a human, but I’m a human that loves talking to other people about World of Warcraft & learning how to be the best player that I can be.
The most important thing about people who write about WOW without getting paid for it is that we’re just players like you. There’s nothing particularly special about me, other than the fact that I spend a LOT of my time writing about WOW without getting paid a single penny for it – which a LOT of other people do, too.
So, what does that mean for you, dear readers? It means that I actually care about what you have to say. That means you don’t have to yell like an idiot for me to hear you. I’m not a Blizzard employee, so what I have to say has very little (or no impact) if you just choose not to read it. I’m okay with that. I’ve got between 1,500 and 4,000 people reading my blog every day – and probably more than that reading the forum versions of my guides. You can always just not read my guides or my blog if you don’t like what I have to say. Sometimes, I’m wrong – and when I am wrong, I happily go in and change/edit/revise/delete information in any post/guide/article that I write.
Writing guides takes time
It takes about 1 to 10 hours for any guide or post that I write. Given that I maintain two forum stickies, and post between 4 to 7 times a week on this blog, that means I can spend (realistically) anywhere from 4 to 40 hours a week working on articles, research, reading, guides, responding to e-mail… all activities related to WOW and not my graduate school or teaching things where I am actually working on earning a degree and earning the money that I use to play WoW and do all this stuff for you in the first place.
If you expect me to keep up with near daily revisions to a healing guide, with math & theorycrafting proofs for every sentence that I write, you will be extremely disappointed. That’s just not who I am. I do, however, take this whole thing very seriously. I write for new players in 90% of what I do, and then I spend that other 10% talking to a more advanced reader-base. That is because my leveling sticky contains the most often read content that brings people to this blog. People come here looking for clear & concise information written in plain-English that they can use in their every-day playing as they learn their class and their role. People don’t come here looking for the latest & greatest mathematical models for druid rotations, because that’s not what I provide here.
Also, part of what I have to do is to stay informed about 4 different druid talent specs (between my leveling guide & my healing guide). This is no easy thing to do, and very few people bother to follow all the information, changes, and nuances of all four talent specs for one class. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t spend hours working out mathematical models, because it would turn into more than a full-time job to do all of what I do, while also doing mathematical proofs for everything I post. Instead, I draw on and utilize the other resources in the greater druid community to make things easier on me. Why re-do all the work of someone else when I can just refer to & cite their work instead? I do my best to give credit where credit is due, and working with other people gives me an advantage, in that I can take their math and boil it down to something more understandable for the non-math people.
With great power comes great responsibility
Why am I bothering to explain myself? Why not just shrug off negative criticism and go on my way? The problem with being in the spotlight is that you have to be able to accept and shrug off negative criticism. However, with maintaining a popular healing guide and leveling guide for the druid community, it’s my fault if any spotlight is on myself in the first place. One of the things I strive to do is to communicate in a way that the average-joe-druid-player can understand. If my writing is confusing enough to generate two druid forum posts in less than a week, then I feel that I’ve failed at communicating effectively, and I feel that it is my responsibility to help clear up any misunderstandings.
I work really hard every day to be an active member of a larger druid community. As I said in one of my forum post responses, I’m just one voice in a larger choir. If you want to learn about resto druids, you need to listen to the whole choir and not just one singer. Go out and look at lots of different resources so that you can see lots of different perspectives. If you don’t like my perspective, then maybe you’ll find another unique snowflake druid who heals more like you. I don’t write the only healing guide available to resto druids. I don’t even write the only leveling guide. I’m just one of many resources available to you, and I hope that you do spend time reading more than one resource, because I learn things from other people all the time by reading about lots of other people’s view points.