Taking a page from World of Matticus, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what 2007 meant for Resto4Life.
The Origins of Resto4Life
March of 2007 marked the beginning of Resto4Life. For many years I’ve struggled with maintaining a regularly updated personal blog. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough interesting daily goings-on in my life to make blogging on the subject of me particularly engaging — for me or my very limited readership! Having previously spent a few years successfully maintaining a regularly updated personal interest web site (centered around two of my favorite comic book characters), I thought that if I wanted to have incentive to write regularly, I should center my attention on something I enjoyed personally — and something which would develop and change over time. Since the majority of my free time is spent in Azeroth and because I’ve loved my Druid from Day 1, it was an easy decision to start a blog about Druids.
I was at first a bit reluctant since I have always worried that my lack of experience playing either the Feral or Balance talent trees means that I am not “all the Druid I could be.” I knew I wouldn’t be able to adequately address any points related to those two trees and so named my blog Resto4Life, a fists-clenched, head-thrown-back declaration of my dedication to playing a healer (oddly, I still receive e-mail questions from people about Feral and Balance subjects, but I try to gently steer those to the appropriate authors and their blogs).
Not really knowing where to start building subject matter, I Googled “Druid blog.” I was surprised to find only a handful of blogs, most of which were rarely or no longer being updated. One that was particularly active and inspiring was Amanna’s Adventures in Azeroth (coincidentally, she had already linked to several other Druid blogs and ended up being my primary source for finding several). Amanna, as you probably know, plays a Feral Druid, however, so I had to think outside the box for determining my blog’s initial direction. Since my blog would be centered around healing, I decided to search for Holy Priest blogs. Which is when I stumbled upon Vonya’s Egotistical Priest and Kirk’s Priestly Endeavors, two blogs which would eventually have a tremendous impact on my own.
I greatly enjoyed Kirk’s theorycraft and his approach to sharing knowledge with readers who might not otherwise take the time to perform such calculations themselves. From visiting his blog, I knew that I wanted to put together a similar compendium of resources that would help both new and veteran players of the Restoration tree. His blog was the original inspiration for one of my first articles, Mystery No More: +Healing Explained (this piece is no longer featured as a Guide due to worry over possible inacurracy of some of the scaling percentages used).
Vonya’s influence has been more gradual but nonetheless potent. While I found her style of writing engaging in its friendliness, I worried that a similar attempt to inject my own personality into my writing wouldn’t be as well received. If you read my earliest articles, you will find most of them quite dry with only rare “I”s or “me”s. It was only after the first couple of months that Valenna convinced me that part of the appeal of a web log is the personality and perspective of its author. Tentatively and using Vonya as my inspiration, I began using fewer “one’s” and more “my”s. I’m now pretty comfortable with the way I write, though I do tend to dry up a bit for articles which I know I will want to add to my guides section.
At around the same time I began blogging, several authors began Druid blogs of their own. Among the Feral blogs were Karthis’ Of Teeth and Claws, one of my favorite skill-oriented Feral blogs, and Big Bear Butt Blogger, whose author has never hesitated to write with personality. These two helped keep me updating frequently, and still remain among my favorite places to visit. They, of course, weren’t the only ones, and you can find a full list of the currently updated Druid blogs that I’m aware of by viewing my full blogroll.
As long-time readers know, I originally started at Blogspot. My decision to do so was based on having prior experience using Blogger’s platform and a long-time love for Google products. I also wasn’t sure at the time how long I would be able to maintain my interest in blogging so a self-hosted WordPress blog and registered domain address seemed premature. I wish I had instead taken a page from the three above-listed influences and, at the very least, started with a WordPress-hosted blog. I eventually did make the switch to WordPress and my own domain, but it’s taken many weeks to finally clean up old internal links, and I still have a number of images hosted through Blogger.
Favorite Posts and More
Of all the pieces I wrote this year, several stand out as my personal favorites:
- Aggro-Reducing Items My very first post and among the driest in terms of writing, it nonetheless holds a special place in my heart. Many Druids bemoan our lack of an aggro-dump similar to that of Priests’ Fade, and the article was actually originally entitled, “Fade! Not just for Priests anymore.” It centers on the use of one or more aggro-reducing trinkets for aggro-sensitive fights like 5-man trash multi-pulls. It’s a technique I still use in Heroics, and I hope that it’s helped a few readers avoid being turned into Hamburger (or Elfcakes as the case may be).
- Getting More out of Innervate Probably the post I link most often in response to questions asked on the Druid forums, this post explores techniques and items that can be used to get 3500+ more mana from your Innervate. That’s a LOT of Lifeblooms!
- Fel Mana Potions I was surprised to find these potions are actually preferable to Super Mana Potions when used later in a fight. Plus, it gives me an excuse to waste more bag space on consumables.
- Gearing for Arenas This guide focused on outlining the basic principles I use to determine which items would be best to use in PvP. While it was written during Season 2 and many of the items mentioned have easily available upgrades, the principles discussed should (hopefully) remain relevant.
- The VS. Series This series makes a comparison of the values of in-game stats to help readers determine if a given item is an upgrade. Included in this series are MP5 vs. Healing, MP5 vs. Intellect, and MP5. vs. Spirit. Can you tell what my favorite stat has historically been? (Spirit is looking increasingly attractive, however.) All these comparisons make various assumptions so keep in mind that your mileage may vary. And be sure to read the visitor comments appended to each for additional insight.
- Out of Combat Resurrection While the gravity of this issue fluctuates directly with the popularity of 5-man instances (both Heroic and non-Heroic, depending on your typical group’s competence), I still consider this to be an extremely relevant concern with no real justification for the limitation. If it’s something you haven’t considered before — or have become numb to over the years in the official forums — I encourage you to read this piece.
- The Belkin Nostromo Speedpad N42 In my opinion, using a gamepad is one of the best ways to improve efficiency and response time. This article is one of the most frequently commented upon since the information provided can be applied to all classes.
I’ve also enjoyed playing with the model viewer, combining one or more models to create images relevant to each article. Here are a few of my favorites:
|From Purchaseable Talent Specs A Night Elf Druid trying hard to decide among the various talent specs and wearing a little something appropriate to each.|
|From A Quest (or Five) a Day… I added the pile of gold to the interior of this treasure chest.|
|From Mailbag: “Longest Arena Ever” I combined a picture of Phaelia dressed as a mail clerk sitting down with an image of a barrel, a sack, and a photo manipulated scroll in her hand.|
|From In-Game Doldrums This image makes me laugh every time I see it.|
|From Barkskin to be Usable in Cat and Travel Forms Photo manipulation of the Barkskin spell effect around a Cheetah. This wasn’t even possible to do in game at the time.|
|From Druids to be Hip Cats with Drums This one was hard to do and required several pictures of Cat Form to get just right.|
|From Druids R 4 … Haiku? I swear I looked through every item in the game before I could find the perfect shoes for this outfit. Unfortunately, they only drop in Blackwing Lair.|
|From Cancelform to Work like /dismount in Patch 2.3 This was a fun effect to play with.|
|From Potion from Bearform For this image, I shortened a “Wanted” poster sign, added a paper texture and text, and added the disgruntled Bear.|
Because numbers are cool (stay in school), here are a few statistics from 2007:
- 48,189 unique visitors to Resto4Life.com
- 51,440 unique visitors to my Resto4Life.blogspot.com prior to the opening of Resto4Life.com in October
- 181 posts
- 1,173 comments (omg, jabbermouths)
- 2,454 blocked Spam comments (haha!)
And on that note, thank you to all the readers and commenters. You guys make me feel especially welcome, and I appreciate you taking the time to visit and share your own thoughts and ideas. Thank you to the rest of the blogging community, both Druid and non-Druid alike. As many authors can attest, browsing other blogs is often a great source of inspiration for new topics or just the nudge we need to perform a needed update. Thank you also to Valenna of Parry! Dodge! Spin!. As a coworkers, guildmates, and close friends, I think we often help keep each other interested in improving upon our blogs.>
And finally, thank you to Mr. Phae without whom much of the math presented here would likely be wrong. His heavy mathematics background has been of tremendous help to me for most of the analysis posts here at Resto4Life. While he may never act upon his idea for a blog centered around computer simulations that pit one WoW boss against another (srsly, this is what he comes up with), I can at least exploit his mental faculties for my own uses.
New Years Resolutions
Here are a few of the (hopeful) blog-related goals I have for 2008:
- Updating the About Page I’m not happy with the About page I wrote when moving from Blogger to WordPress. I would like to incorporate some of the information from One of these Druids Is Not Like the Other to make the blog’s description of purpose more fun.
- Better Comment Response Time It can be daunting to respond to large numbers of comments between generating new content on a regular basis. I feel guilty for not responding to comments in a timely fashion.
- Move Web Hosts My previous web host sold my account to another company and the site has subsequently been experiencing inexplicable slowdowns that make maintaining my blog a real headache. I can only imagine that if I don’t enjoy working with it, it has to be a turn off to many potential readers. I’ve already bought the web space, I just have to devote the time to completing the move.
- HEP Guide HEP refers to “Healing Equivalent Points” an index of an item’s value where its stats are converted to +Healing. It’s apparently all the rage (mana?), but the scope is daunting. It would also make the frequent “is this Burlap Sack from ZA better than the Tunic of Uber Hawtness I could get from Hyjal?” questions much easier to respond to.
For other authors’ introspection on 2007 (and forward looking into 2008), I invite you to visit Kestrel’s Aerie, Adventures in Azeroth, Out of Mana, Ferocious Bite, The Holy Light, Leafshine, and, of course, World of Matticus.