The first game that made an impression on me was Pokemon, I want to say either Ruby or Emerald, back when it was on the Gameboy. I played with my brother and this was the first game that little 6 year old me became obsessed with. You know when you were younger and staying up way too late but then your parents would come to make sure you’re asleep but your Gameboy is under your pillow? That was me with Pokemon. It’s still definitely one of my favorite franchises but I don’t play it nearly as much as I used to.
The first game I ever really got into was World of Warcraft way back in Vanilla, which is still my main game today. I played it super casually as I was around 7/8 years old when I started. I played video games with my whole family growing up, specifically World of Warcraft with my dad and brother but whether it was something on the Playstation, PC, Gameboy, Nintendo DS, or Wii, my entire family always had an influence of video games growing up. We don’t play WoW together so much anymore, every now and then we’ll do a mount or a mog run but I’ve taken the game much more seriously in the past 2 years and they had their “no-life WoW” time back in Wrath in 2008. WoW became special to me because it was something I could do with friends on the other side of the country/world. I spent most of my socialization time on WoW.
My screen name I actually came up with in middle school, it was probably the one thing in middle school I don’t cringe at every time I think about it. It’s just a smashing together of my first and last name and it kind of just stuck. It was short and unique so I kept it.
I’ve always been a collector. From rocks and shells to stuffed animals to Pokemon, my brain always seems to tell me “get all the things” and that translates into gaming. I started out collecting Pokemon, then it was Webkinz and Nintendogs, and then it was WoW mounts and pets. My passion for gaming started with collection and turned into competition more recently in 2019 when I started streaming.
I actually had no intention of becoming a streamer. Somewhere in the back of my mind the “what if” was always there but I didn’t think it’d ever become a reality. Video games have always been a big part of my life so it definitely always had its attractiveness. I spent a significant amount of time in middle school (2011-2012ish) watching YouTube content creators like Pewdiepie and CinnamonToastKen, people like that. I thought it was the coolest thing that they played video games for a living, what teen wouldn’t like that? I didn’t even learn about Twitch as a platform until I was like 15 or 16 or something where I started hearing the names Asmongold, Esfand, etc., and didn’t spend time on the platform until after I began streaming at 18.
I began streaming due to the suggestion of a friend, who I have to thank for getting me into this field. At the time, and still now, I was playing Mistweaver Monk in WoW and to put it gently, it’s an underrepresented class/spec. I was doing semi-competitive content and I had friends who understood the niche I was filling and they encouraged me to set up my first stream. If I’m being honest I don’t remember my first stream though I do remember being incredibly awkward and uncomfortable at the thought of being on camera. I modded my 4 friends who were with me when I started and they still mod for me today. I remember buying a camera and wondering if it’s even worth it because why would someone want to watch me? I didn’t think I was entertaining because I struggled with social anxiety pretty heavily, I would rarely talk to people in the game that I didn’t already know. Thankfully my friends encouraged me to do it anyway, a friend I raided with helped me with all the notifications and settings for Streamlabs and such, it took about 4 hours to get everything even close to ready to stream.
After my friend suggested streaming I considered it for about a week before deciding to give it a try. I did play an underrepresented class and I knew it fairly well and how to handle most situations in my content so I figured, if I could help someone else play Mistweaver, why not stream? Education of the class was my main goal.
Our community is super nice. I’ve met some of the most amazing people from all over the world. From North America to South America, and lots in Europe, it’s the most diverse community I have personally seen. They’re friendly, creative, intelligent, and caring. We can have adult conversations about topics typically avoided in streams, like politics and religion, and everyone understands each other's opinions and respects one another. Our little corner of the Internet is definitely my favorite. We welcome new members with open arms and make them feel as at home as possible.
We stream almost exclusively World of Warcraft, that’s where 99% of the community came from, and more specifically Mistweaver. Now that we’ve finished the grind for Partner, I can worry a bit less about numbers and that’s opened up more opportunity for variety while WoW is a bit short on content. Recently we’ve been playing a lot of Dead by Daylight and also plan to play some other horror games, outside of WoW, horror/puzzle games are my favorite genre. Outside of WoW, some of my favorites are the Ori series, The Room series, and the Amnesia series.
I think I would play more variety games if I didn’t stream. A lot of the reason I still play WoW at the level I do even in the current state of the game is that it’s my main form of content. I’d likely take extended breaks of WoW if I didn’t mainly stream it. I’d also put more time into art for sure.
I do play with viewers sometimes, most of the time it’s Dead by Daylight if we do or if I am playing an off spec in WoW I encourage viewers to sign up for the groups.
My main goal was to not have a “brand persona” because I didn’t want to feel as though I was an actor playing a part so the way I act on stream is very close to how I act in person. In terms of branding though, I really wanted a welcoming space for people to not be afraid to ask questions and a place where they could just hang out and have a good time while watching content and interacting with me and with each other. I don’t know if that’s considered branding or community values but either way that’s the goal.
The main way I grew my channel was doing things no one else was doing. I was playing an underperforming/underrepresented class that is fun and enjoyed by many but mained by few. This gave me a niche and that’s where a majority of the views came from. I definitely had to stick to WoW if I expected any growth though, I average 100-130 viewers for WoW streams and closer to 30 for any non-WoW content. I also had to branch out my social media like Twitter and YouTube, it helped with getting my name out and getting known.
My biggest achievement would probably be reaching Partner, it was a goal I never knew I had until about a year ago. The biggest obstacle for me was being declined from Partner in November of 2019 when I applied 3 times well beyond the requirements that Twitch was asking for. I became very discouraged and then WoW Classic came out and retail was pretty dead until Shadowlands. Getting through that dead period and back in love with streaming and with WoW was a big challenge.
It took me about 3 weeks to become affiliated and once I started thinking about applying for Partner it took about a year to get accepted. I am technically a full-time streamer but I am also in school at the moment. I don’t think I’d consider going full-time permanently as I have plans to become a Veterinarian, I’d like to keep streaming as more of a hobby.
“Do what makes you happy, the views will come.” No one wants to watch a grumpy streamer, stream the content you love and the community will back you.
I’ve met my best friends through streaming and was able to attend my first Blizzcon through friends finding me a place to buy tickets but from a professional standpoint I was invited by another friend and streamer to join an episode of his podcast on Monks.
Right now I stream 6pm - 12am PST Tues-Friday. This gives me enough time to have a full week but also spend time during the day with loved ones, doing chores/homework, or just relaxing. My pre-stream process is usually just homework and food and making a lemonade. If the weather is nice I will go out and walk my dog. Post stream I wind down by having food, cleaning my face, and snuggling up with my dog and watching some streams to fall asleep to.
On average, I work the whole day between homework and stream, it’s a lot more behind the scenes than most people think. I have classes in the morning then homework, and then stream. If I don’t have homework I’m working on art or I am working on YouTube videos or some other form of content creation. On my days off I like to relax, go to the lake, cook, and go on hikes.
I don’t get anxious when I don’t interact with strangers. I live at home and see my family every day so that’s my face-to-face interaction. My family/friends were supportive but I don’t think any of them, myself included, expected it to go this far. I don’t know if this is a maintainable lifestyle. I think eventually I will start to stream less as school gets more demanding but I don’t think I’d ever hard stop. Maybe one day.
I use Streamlabs OBS, Streamlabs Chatbot, Streamelements, Discord, Voicemeeter Banana, Soundtrack by Twitch, and my camera/mic software. I use Streamlabs Chatbot for timers, commands, moderation, and going live/discord announcements.
My sub badges I made myself but the images for notifications I use come from my emote artist Illy, and the “Starting Soon, BRB, and Ending Soon” scenes as well as my info panels were made by Skog. Both of them are incredible artists and insanely talented, I highly recommend commissioning them if you need any channel art done.
The only extension I use is the Warcraft Armory one so people can easily find my characters. I don’t look up my analytics but I do look at the summary email I get after every stream. I don’t really use them to make different decisions, I just like the end of night summary.
Do what you like, ignore the trolls, and don’t get discouraged. It is a grind for sure and it’ll suck sometimes but if you really want to do it you can figure out a way to make it work.
If I had to start over again, I would skip the part where I felt like I had something to prove. I would overcompensate to try to do better in content and I didn’t like that period of my life where I was trying to prove my worth to everyone all the time.
I would like more resources/tools to help protect the content creator. If I ban someone from my chat, I don’t want them to be able to watch my content at all, a chat ban is not enough.
I just want to continue to improve. My goal is to always do better than I did yesterday and I think that’s a sustainable goal. Outside of streaming I’d like to move out and get my degree, and eventually get my doctorate to become a veterinarian.