Tobold's Blog
Friday, October 31, 2008
Blogging and MMORPGs

"I'm quitting WAR" blog entries are currently a dime a dozen in the MMO blogosphere. But nevertheless I would like to link to two of them, to illustrate some fundamental differences. I very much liked pΘtshΘt's Getting out of WAR, for being able to say in much fewer words than I'll ever be able to what exactly is wrong with WAR. Snafzg's announcement of I'm not having fun in this game is much longer, but much more personal, and revealing how quitting a game is not just the game's fault, but also a matter of how your expectations fit with the reality of the game.

But what struck me the most as difference between the two posts is the outlook for the respective blogs. pΘtshΘt has a general MMO blog, subtitle "Perspectives on online gaming". He quits WAR, he probably picks up another MMO, and keeps on writing, no biggy. Snafzg's The Greenskin blog is a WAR blog. If he quits playing WAR, there isn't much of a perspective for his blog. If he wants to keep on blogging, and I hope he does, his options are all not quite as easy. He can transform his existing blog into a blog about some other MMO or MMOs in general, but the WAR-specific URL and blog title are getting in the way of that. Or he can open a new blog, in which case he'll lose a lot Google page rank and readers.

So my advice for anyone thinking about lets say making a Star Wars: The Old Republic blog is to consider how to name that blog very carefully. Even if it might be tempting to use your blog title and URL to clearly announce what game your blog is about, it will run you into trouble if ever you want to switch games. Take a more general title, and just switch content whenever you move from one game to another, it makes your blogging life a lot easier.
/shrug I have an EQ-named blog and do okay :)
I admit that I've probably made the same mistake as well. Sometimes I want to write as the player and sometimes as the character. And of course 90% of the initial content of my blog was written as the character, so it made sense at the time to have the blog revolve around her.
One of my first Warhammer posts: someone set up before ever playing the game. Wow, I hope you really like that class.
Zubon, you don't know how much I wish that your blog title would become outdated. But there isn't much chance of that. I'm sure even SWTOR will have a "kill ten womp rats" quest. ;)
I think Snafzg will get away with it, after all most mmos have some character with green skin in them. Even having a more game specific reference like West Karana hasn't held Tipa back, it could stand for just about anything. Calling your blog "Gumsnaffles Hello Kitty Online blog" would probably be pretty limiting though. Fingers crossed that someone doesn't finally go and discover the meaning of life though or I am completely screwed.
The Greenskin also has other contributors. So it could live on.
I don't blame these people for qutting WAR. The hype surrounding WAR was HUGE. The hype probably drove the initial sales, but in the end it also made a lot of players quit.
Did you ever consider that I'd start covering new research science on green-skinned reptiles and amphibians!? I will use my Google Pagerank for the benefit of turtles, snakes, and frogs everywhere! I wonder if National Geographic or Discovery are in the market for semi-established blogs... :P
Hey, Snafzg can turn his site into an Incredible Hulk fansite...
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I will add my quitting post to the mix as well:

There ya go. As a former WoW player, the PVE just didn't do it for me, and the PVP is just something I get bored with
Don't forget that bet we had...I WON!

As to SWTOR and the Kill Ten Rats syndrome, the dev has been ADAMANT about NO Kill 10 x quests. I wonder how they will do it?

"First I will need you to go to this planet to kill a jedi, then upon your arrival back to the homeworld, I must have you return to kill the other jedi (repeat until I reach ten)"

I have been discussing how bounties are handed out in Fable 2 on my blog (a type of quest).

A guard who will offer these "bounties" does not tell me how many to kill, he just says "Some nasty creatures to kill", and gives me a note with instructions, which has just a "rating". Depending on the rating, then you must kill creatures according to your level of expertise (even though levels do not exists, which is even BETTER, but is based on overall skill).
Then when you arrive, the system calculates how many to kill, and this appears in a bar in the bottom right...oh, and no running they ALL appear at once (i.e: I can take on 5-10 nasties at one time...).
Job well done, and the reward is based on the rating....
Oh what MMO's could learn from a GOOD RPG (because nowadays they are ALL MMO's, without the RPG part)!
LOL you warned me Tobold,many months ago but I decided to keep the Way of The Chosen, it sounds cool beyond WAR. As for WAR, I think alot of WoW people went to WAR to find WoW plus. It just isn't so. I think people were also thinking to find the Pepsi of MMORPG, where as WoW is the Coke. I liken WAR to be more in lines with a Dr. Pepper. There's people that really like Dr. Pepper, and some people that hate it. WAR isn't going to reach 11 million people, but I think it's going to make money. As for myself I'm going to be sticking with WAR, ALOT of aspects I like, and I think they will get hammered out. But hey who says I can't play WoW as well. I love my Frost Mage.
Snatzg could start researching how to create an adrenaline surge in humans to enable them to perform super-human feats. Then one day the experiment goes horribly wrong...

Don't make him angry, you won't like him when he's angry.
great advice Tobold. Keep up the good work.
While I generally agree with what you're saying, Tobold, let's face it, if this blog was named "Tobold's World of Warcraft Blog" you'd have twice as many readers, if not ten times as many. The popularity of a game can drive readership, but it can obviously pose a huge barrier to future diversity.
I recently started a LOTRO-centric blog, and indeed made the "mistake" of naming it The Middle-Earth Adventurer. That will certainly be a name unable to be migrated to another game, should I choose to switch. But for me, the point of the blog was not about MMO gaming in general, but this specific game. I have no desire to blog about any other game. So, it wasn't really a mistake for me. Should I ever quit LOTRO, I quit the blog too.
ha ha, I rant and although the title of my blog is "gnome warrior is an oxymoron", the title has more to do with my outlook on things than anything specific to wow. . . Maybe I should have just named it "Fish's Blog" but that title kind of lacks flavor. . .
I wouldnt be so sure, "greenskin" is a generic fantasy term/slander for orcs, not just Orks :P. I'd daresay if you started this blog after Lotr-O, you'd have a bit more trouble if you'd decided to "quit" as it were.

But I rant, meh.
Honestly, if I quit WAR, I quit Book of Grudges..

If me and spinks wanted to continue blogging (and we probably would), we'd start over. Kind of knew that when picking the name, but so far don't see much danger of the Grudges dying.
The flipside is that it's much easier to get rolling with a specific focus and community than it is to get people to read YAMMOB (yet another mmo blog).
I never got around to posting a I am quiting war blogpost :). There were so many post on the subject already ! Weird thing that struck me about war, was that it was supposed to be pvp game, and they tacked this very bland pve game on to it :(.
I know it's a bit of wandering off topic, but since it came up:

@Tobold: I'm perfectly happy if "Kill Ten Rats" quests would remain in the genre forever-- just so long as the rats are entertaining to kill.

For me at least, it's not that the quests are the same old, it's that the base content they push you into hasn't improved (or in the case of WAR's PvE mobs, takes a step backwards).
Haven't run a blog that's based on a singular MMO since my WoW days, that said I'm never afraid to start over but I think I have no found my long term home & OK I may have lost some readers along the way but my readership/commentors now has vastly improved.
no should read now ;)
My blog started as a WoW blog, but I've since quit WoW and play EvE exclusively.

I'm glad I went with a generic title though, because it made the conversion easier.

Massive Multiplayer PK
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