One shot: Matticus
Posted by Randolph Carter on July 23, 2009
MMO community connection:
Please take a minute and describe what your blog is about.
World of Matticus is a WoW related blog centralized around healing and guild leadership. There’s a great Shaman and Druid writer who I am honored to be working along side with. Now I just have to find a Paladin to help me out. Anyway, you’ll find posts with healing strategies and practical advice for bosses. For the raiders, the GMs, and the officers, the team provides the varying perspectives and experiences to help advise readers on different day-to-day or unique guild situations.
What was your introduction to MMOs and what was that experience like?
Oof, this goes back a while. My first real MMO would have been Guild Wars. It exposed me to an actual online environment where I could engage and interact with other players. The fact that it didn’t have a subscription fee at the time was what sold me. I was in high school when it came out. Couldn’t afford WoW at the time so I resorted to Guild Wars!
Can you recall that first MMO “wow!” moment?
The first real WOW! MMO moment would have been winning and capturing the Hall of Heroes. HoH was a PvP tournament style competition within Guild Wars. Basically, organized groups or guilds would face off against one another or in 3-guild free for alls. The teams with the most wins would then face the guild that held the Hall of Heroes. It was very regional based. It could’ve been held by Korean players or by Europeans or by those on North America. It’s funny though. Once we finally won, my friends and I sort of stopped playing and moved on as we felt we pretty much accomplished what we wanted to do.
At your peak, how much time per week would you say you spent playing? How about now?
I’d probably spend a solid 30 hours a week especially in between semesters. Most of it was spent idling trade chat in a city just keeping an eye for any deals or pickup raids. I’d use that time watching movies or reading blogs or something.
At present, I spend a minimum of 12 hours a week to raid. I’d venture a guess and say somewhere in the lower 20 hour a week range.
Have you ever experienced burnout in WoW? If so, how have you dealt with that?
No, I’ve never truly experienced burnout in WoW. Not at the point where I felt like I had to uninstall the game. I’ve been playing the game since Vanilla. I think Zul’Gurub had just been released. I’ve maintained a steady pace. How I’ve managed to avoid burnout is a mystery even to me. You’d think a player who has done so much and has played so often would get sick of everything and just step back for a while.
You know, I think I partially credit that to my blog. I’ve always wanted to maintain a high level of quality and production on my blog. And no matter what anyone else says, it’s hard to write about something you’re not interested in. You have to keep some hours invested in the game to come up with fresh content and material. I had no desire to be one of those fly by night blogs where I’d post strong for a while and then disappear forever. It was my goal to try and become a regular resource and voice. In order to do that, you just have to keep playing.
How exactly did you end up focusing on the priest class?
I played a Monk in guild wars. The healing mentality never really left me. A Monk and a Priest are relatively similar in terms of ideology so it wasn’t a far stretch by any means. I did my research and found that the most sought after race/class combination (at the time) was a Dwarf Priest. They were the only race/class combination in the game that had access to Fear Ward. I correctly deduced that being able to cast Fear Ward would offer a slight edge over other Priests. I was a little disappointed when the patch hit that gave Fear Ward to every Priest. But I understood the reasons and i accepted it.
Do you tend to supplement your MMO gaming with other PC, console, or tabletop games?
I play a lot of shooters. Counter-strike was one of my first competitive games. Played with a team of other players and we even joined a league (I managed to get carried to CAL-M for those of you that understand ^^). Nowadays, I’ll bury myself in some Call of Duty 4. Lately I’ve been getting back into Battlefield 2 with some university friends. There’s something satisfying about planting two C4 charges on the back of a tank.
When did you first start blogging? Would you mind taking us up to present with all of your projects?
I started blogging during the summer of 2007. Actually, the blog’s birthday is coming up sometime in late August. We’ll be entering our second year. Here’s a timeline of all events that I consider significant:
- August 2007 – World of Matticus is created
- Winter 2008 – Blog Azeroth formed under Phaelia of Resto 4 Life. I try to help and support as much as possible.
- April 2008 – Invited to join what is now known as wow.com as their Priest columnist.
- June 2008 – Foundation of a new healer only community is formed. Auzara of chickgm.com comes up with the name plusheal.com. The groundwork is laid out, forums are established and then open to public. Wynthea joins to help me with theorycrafting interpretation (because I can’t read numbers much).
- August 2008 – One year anniversary of World of Matticus. A young sapling writer known as Sydera is invited to join the team being declared winner of a blogging audition/contest.
- Winter 2009 – Ambitious Resto Shaman named Lodur applies after I post casting calls for Resto Shaman help.
- Spring 2009 – Spotting a void in the WoW blogging community, I felt the time was right to try my hand at launching another WoW blog. Nostockui.com is born for those who want to learn about addons and altering their gaming experience.
- Summer 2009 – BLIIIIZZZCONNNNNNN! :D
Do you see blogging as just a hobby or perhaps something more?
To me, I think of blogging as a passion. I guess that’s a step or two higher than a hobby. When i started out, in the back of my head I wondered if it was possible to make money doing this kind of stuff. But I realized very quickly it would be a ton of hard work and the returns may not be as high. I just kind of stuck with it more as an internal challenge to myself to see if I could do it. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Do you have a schedule or some sort of routine you try and follow when blogging?
Usually I’ll sit in a coffee shop of some sort and grind out 3-4 posts and draw up outlines or flesh out future post ideas on a Saturday. Lately, I’ve been taking a bit of a pseudo break. I’ve been under the gun lately so I’ve slowed down a bit and just pacing myself.
Would you say there is some grind involved in blogging? If so, what is it and how do you tend to cope with it?
Oh yeah, absolutely. This happens no matter what activity. Some days it’s just going to feel like a grind and you just have to work your way through it. WoW bloggers typically don’t get paid to write. When many of them hit a grind or a dead end, they just say forget it (perhaps with a different f word even). Perhaps the words don’t come. Or they’re staring down a blank page with a great topic but without knowing what to put down on paper. Maybe the ideas are crap.
This is what separates WoW bloggers from one another. Do they crumple up their draft and toss it in the trash or do they plant their ass in the chair and continue working knowing that they’re not going to see a tangible benefit? It’s entirely about how we deal with such feelings and bad days.
I do my best to try and come up with something. It’s not always successful. There have been days where my internal creativity well has dried up. When that happens, I’ll log in to the game for a while. Maybe I’ll read some other blogs or re-read emails. I’ll surf my comments on my blog. Usually I’m able to come up with something worth writing about.
Not every post has to be a detailed 1000 post behemoth with images, maps, or diagrams.
By contrast, what do you find pleasurable about blogging?
The people. I’ve met a lot of great people online via Twitter. Only seen a handful in person. It’s a narcotic feeling everytime someone says they read your work. It doesn’t happen very often, but I do treasure those the most.
Would you care to share a particularly memorable moment from your blogging past?
I don’t know. I can’t think of one off the top of my head. Come back to me in a few years. Maybe I’ll have a cool story to share like I’ve met my future wife via blogging or that I got offered an insanely cool gig due to my projects.
Have you ever considered seriously branching into podcasting?
Yes. But I’m so spread out with my work and school. I don’t have the technical skills or the time to invest in it. I’d rather not partake in a project if I can’t throw myself behind it full force. I don’t like to half-ass things especially when its blog related.
Are you pleased with how your blog has been received in the MMO blogosphere?
Absolutely. I’m happy and also incredibly humbled by the amount of players out there that read our work. Almost approaching 4000 subscribers. That is no small feat. I won’t rest until I hit 5000 at least. But yeah, I do try to engage with other blogs and other bloggers via Twitter. There’s absolutely no harm at trying to maintain a good relationship with readers.
If you had a chance to do it all over again, would you do anything different?
I would’ve changed the name. I didn’t know enough about branding at the time. But it’s a bit late for that now. I was more concerned with just getting out there and starting to write. Didn’t fully think it through as hard as I should have.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to try their hand at blogging?
Just write. Whatever idea you get, never reject it. Change it, alter it, modify it if you’re not satisfied. There is no such thing as a bad idea. Whatever you put down, you’re either going to learn from it or others are going to learn from it. I view blogging as a never ending learning and teaching process.
Get in the habit of writing regularly. It doesn’t have to be often. It just has to be consistent. There’s enough blogs out there that don’t make it past the 60 day mark (it’s a specific threshold for me as most bloggers don’t make it past 2 months before they quit).
Can you picture a future where you will hang up your keyboard and no longer blog?
I can’t. I shouldn’t say that actually. I mean, it’s really hard to say. If WoW shut down, I’d probably shift over and write about something else or a different game. Right now I started up a food blog for restaurants in my area (yeah, Matt the food critic!). Although its not really a blog since its more of an internal reminder for myself and some friends. Places that I liked along with dishes or restaurants that I weren’t too fond of so that I can steer clear of them. Sometimes you remember going to a place to eat but you just can’t remember what it was like eating there or what you ordered.
You wake up to a world where you are the head of a company developing an MMO. You have unlimited funds and resources available to you. Please describe the kind of game you would make.
Hands down, I’d invest wholeheartedly in a Stargate MMO. I love the series and the franchise. I wish it’d come to fruition already!