So, I lasted two years and am still standing. That’s a pretty good run as Defense
against with the Dark Arts columnist. Some speculate that the column’s curse backfired so hard against my tenure that it took all the other class columns with it since I was about to start my third year.
Whoops! MY BAD, Y’ALL.
Blood Pact for me
I’ve written 88 posts for Blood Pact alone and over 130,000 words for WoW Insider overall. I hope I did the column justice. WoW Insider certainly taught me a lot, whether it was how to fit a complex topic into 1500 words (or maybe a little over!) or that comments don’t reflect views at all. I now understand the power of tags and categories as well as linking to other pieces and how to choose topics (though I don’t quite get timing yet).
We got a review of our page views just before getting the super bad news, actually, and while the top post of mine (~28k views) for the past year was a patch 5.4 recap for warlocks, the 2nd highest views — only a mere 650 views behind #1 — was that old post on how to kill dragons for dragon mounts. The 4th highest was the Karazhan solo post.
Patch news is fleeting; flavor activities are forever fun.
I think I’ve found myself a little more in writing for Blood Pact, and I hope it’s reflected in my last posts — I want to inspire old and new warlocks to love their warlocks, not merely reiterate the latest BiS patch notes. That’s not to say accuracy can go out the window, but I’m not going to sacrifice the flavor and beginner guides just to score points with the elite.
Narrative-style guides like the loot posts and the Kanrethad stuff were my favorite posts to write. It was fun trying to get all the details in without ruining the story.
So I passed on the chance to talk about the latest information on the level 100 talents from Warlords of Draenor and decided to leave my mark as a 101 guide (albeit still PvE-heavy):
- General warlock 101 at 90, including stats, etc.
- Affliction 101 at 90 (current for patch 5.4.7)
- Demonology 101 at 90 (current for patch 5.4.7)*
- Destruction 101 at 90 (current for patch 5.4.7)
It was a little bittersweet writing guides about the “end of Mists” for each spec as it was the end of writing at WoW Insider for me and, well, writing spec guides for how to basically be a warlock at max level (compare, 85 to 90) was a few weeks into how I started the column as well.
My personal favorite columns were:
- Those who are not afraid to wield power (7 May 2012)
- The importance of heroic Spine (10 Sept 2012)
- Raid loot posts that don’t read like gear lists: tier 15 (4 Mar 2013) and tier 16 (9 Sept 2012)
- Kanrethad’s defeat at mortal hands (1 Apr 2013)
- Karazhan and its abyssal depths of fun (10 Jun 2013)
- Flow like a shaman, sting like a hunter (1 Jul 2013) — even if I did eff up the hunter mechanics
- FinalBoss interviews Sparkuggz and Shinafae (26 Aug 2013)
- How to fly a fighter jet, part 1 (14 Oct 2013)
- Multitarget DPS and situational awareness (9 Dec 2013)
Feel free to share your favorites or the ones you found most useful in the comments!
What now? Will I continue to write about warlocks?
I’ll write opinion pieces here, for sure, and maybe even getting around to doing full-length guides. I’ve already started to fiddle around with doing guides at Wowhead.
For now, though, the content I made at WoW Insider belongs to WoW Insider/AOL, so you won’t see me duplicate any of it here. In a few days, I’ll put together a post of all the essential Blood Pact reading for those who are catching up or rerolling to the Best Class for Warlords of Draenor.
How affected am I?
Right now I’m in a bit of a financially crap situation. As summer approaches, my main income also goes down, so already not having what I got from WoW Insider is going to make everything feel worse. I do have support in other sources, so I’m not completely SOL, but I’m not in a great spot at the moment. I need to find another second job, basically, which might mean less WoW.
Donations box! Can I help you pay your rent/food/books/game time?
…I’ll think about it, but I’m not likely to do it at this time.
I appreciate any offers like this, but I’m still too proud to really accept them properly.
Even if I did put up a donations box, I feel like there’d be a one-time rush, which doesn’t make for a sustainable income. I’m looking for a long-term income, not a temporary bandaid.
TL;DR if I could find another writing job, particularly one about WoW, that would be super swell! But I’m not expecting one.
I was also planning on returning to school (college), but that might be trickier now with less income. I’m 100% less single now than when I started playing WoW, which takes its own time out of the game. I’m also starting to get “old” in WoW terms. I’ve been playing my warlock for six years without a single break, which is more than most people do.
It’s all up in the air at this point. I’d like to continue playing my warlock in Warlords — it’s not the game that’s the problem. I still love my warlock. I’d also like to continue writing concerning warlocks in Warlords, because I learned quite a lot from even doing research for Blood Pact. I still want to highlight warlock PvP more, for instance.
It sucks, but I’ll get through it.
Where would I write about warlocks?
Well, I still have this old place. Perhaps nobody anymore would know where the flip I got the name for the blog, but it’s mine, it’s already established, and it’d be easy to move back here. Even if I cringe at my lack of organization and online writerly immaturity that still lies here.
Maybe I’ll redo the site a little. Who knows. I do have the advantage of being able to do things over 1500 words now, though I’ll probably still swear using “fel” and “Gul’dan” instead of real swear words.
If you enjoyed my time at Blood Pact, you’re welcome to stick around here for more if more appears. Thanks for reading this far in the first place.
Thank you to all my colleagues and bosses at WI; y’all taught me a lot, whether you edited my post directly or wrote a column or post that I sometimes stole ideas from. I’ll just go back to being a plain ole reader of the site, and I hope my readers join me in my continued support of WoW Insider.
– Megan O’Neill, aka “Poneria”