Tag Archives: mmo

The Real Challenge Is…

…Reading all these awesome blogs. My “To Read” list freaking exploded. I’m going to be weeks behind.

And you know what? I’m totally cool with that.

Week 5 Recap

Sponsor blogs had their marching orders from Syp: post ALL THE LINKS. But I issued a more narrow challenge to those who participated in my NBI Challenges: pick 3 blogs that caught your attention and tell me why you like them.

Get ready to do some reading, ladies and gents:

  • Meet Other Newcomers (Kemwer Game Blog) – Kem gives us a thoughtful look at three of the blogs that got his attention, and can’t help but add a few more. (This became a theme, by the way, and I’m not complaining!). Thank you for taking the time to do my challenges and to pay it forward, Kem!
  • Let Me Introduce You To… (Shards of Imagination) – I love the consideration Rakuno puts into his choices and descriptions, and the hats-off he gives to all of the participants. Thank you for being so involved in the challenges, Rakuno!
  • Share and Share Alike (Bloodthorne) – TJ offers not three, but four blogs for you to check out, with his reasons for each. Thank you for some seriously thoughtful posts (and some entertaining parodies) this month!
  • Sponsor This! (Argus or Bust) – I love that the intro to this post is about this sense of freedom Fivequarters gets from posting out of desire instead of out of expectation, not to mention some great blog suggestions! Thank you for taking part!
  • Nearing the End (Ravalation) – The image at the top of this post made me grin, and the blogs suggested within it are worth your time. Thank you, Rav!
  • That’s a Wrap & The Final Challenge (Flask Half Empty) – Sticking with a WoW theme, Ninevi introduces three bloggers that stood out to her during the NBI. I love that she included a header for each! Thank you so much for particpating, Ninevi!
  • Thank You, NBI! (Brazokie’s Blog Space) – Brazokie is grateful to the NBI and to her fellow bloggers–and I’m grateful to her for coming along this crazy journey with us! Thanks, Brazokie!
  • The End is Only The Beginning (The Frugal Gamer) – Award for most fitting blog post title: Skron. Also, some great recommendations for blogs you should check out. Thank you, Skron!
  • Newbie Blogger Link Love (The Daily Frostwolf) – First of all, if you play WoW, you need to check out the list of what different classes smell like. Yes, do it now, and then keep reading through a 2-part link love extravaganza. Thank you so much for blogging with us, Navi!
  • The Final Challenge (Image Heavy) – Someone hand me a tissue. This post is a rule-breaker, but a very thoughtful one. I am so grateful to have been a part of NBI, and it’s I who needs to thank you–and all of the bloggers who participated–for making my May completely awesome. Thank you!!!

Challenge Wrap-Up

you rock, you rule

May was a fun month, guys; and you were the ones who made it so. Thank you all!

Here are links to all of the challenge posts–please take a sec to glance through them at the great job everyone did!

Challenge 1: Build Your Own Boss – Imaginations were high with this one, and I loved it!

Challenge 2: Why You Do What You Do – Lots of thoughtful commentary and images about why we play the games we play.

Challenge 3: What’s My Main Again? – What do your characters mean to you? Some great thoughts.

Challenge 4: Learning is Fun – An adventure in research!

Challenge 5: The Final Challenge – A swarm of new bloggers, and some old ones, too!

Future Challenges

A few bloggers expressed interest in doing more challenges like this, so I’m looking at posting one a month. Stay tuned in the next week or so for a June challenge!

 

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Week 5: The Final Challenge

You’ve done it! You’ve been blogging for a whole month! How does it feel? Was it as scary as you thought? Was it easier or harder than you expected? However you felt about it on May 1st and however you feel about it now, I’m impressed. Great job, everyone!

This will be my final NBI challenge. It has been a blast reading the great things you guys have come up with, and I can assure you that I’ll be keeping up with a lot of you. If you haven’t added me to Twitter yet, please do so!

First things first, though…

Week 4 Recap

This one was a toughie. I know from experience that if you’re a frequent writer, research and fact-checking usually takes longer than actually writing a post. You all knocked it out of the park, though!

  • Learning is Fun! (Goetia’s Letters) – I might be biased, but I happen to think the druid class is pretty awesome, which is why this post is great–it lets us in on the process of creating a new character (troll feral cat druid!), setting it up, and learning to play a new class.
  • Not smarter than your average bear (The Daily Frostwolf) – I’ve tried bear tanking. I actually enjoyed it, but the stress was too much for me. Navi decides to give it a go, and takes us through her learning process!
  • Family History (GnomeGates) – Gnomegates does some digging around to learn about his family and tells us what he’s discovered about Gnomish history.
  • Learning is fun (Starshadow) – Vanguard is going free-to-play soon, and this is  a simple stop you can make to get an idea of what you can expect when you log in.
  • Tons and Tons of Totems (Flask Half Empty) – Shaman is one of the classes I haven’t played past level 19. That might change one day, and if it does, I’ll know where to come to brush up on my understanding of the way totems work!
  • Learning is Fun (Amateur Azerothian) – Working up to level 85 as a prot paladin and then going holy takes some research–this is the process behind a spec change.
  • When you can’t be a battlechicken (Brazokie’s Blog Space) – Battle Chicken is a state of mind, my friends–but sometimes you really just need to be a very strong–or smart–chicken. Brazokie tells us about her experience as a chicken in LotRO.
  • Video Games Make Me Do Bad Things? (Bloodthorne) – This is an extremely thoughtful post on the idea that playing video games makes us more likely to be violent. My favorite part is the look at the good things gamers do that get overlooked by the mainstream media.
  • Lua Plugins and you! (Shards of Imagination) – I would be completely lost if I started playing LotRO right now, but a lot less lost when it comes to Plugins, thanks to Rakuno!

Week 5 Challenge

You’ve survived your first month (or first year or first three months or first what-have-you!) of blogging! NBI started for me with an email from a guy I first met through WoW over a year ago while I was playing a little druid named Roflmeow and have been following ever since. He told me the idea and asked if I would be interested in being a sponsor blog.

Are you kidding? DUH.

Other than having been around for a while, I didn’t feel like I had a lot going for me in terms of being a sponsor blog, but darn it, I was going to do the best I could. You guys made it work (THANK YOU).

It’s your turn! This week, YOU are the sponsor blog.

Your final challenge is this: Find three blogs that participated in NBI, introduce me to each, and give me at least one reason you like each blog. 

You guys are awesome. Pay it forward!

Thank you all for a very fun five weeks. I am going to miss May!

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Week 4 Challenge: Learning is Fun

We’re over halfway through the month, ladies and gentlemen! I am beyond impressed with the effort our NBI participants have put forth. New and sponsor blogs alike have lit up our corner of the blogosphere the past 3 weeks, and you should all be proud!

Week 3 Recap

I loved reading about your main character (or, for several of you, characters) this week. The responses ranged from storytelling to class breakdowns, and I enjoyed the different perspectives on what main actually means in our community. Also, several of you completed the bonus challenge and either joined Twitter or made some new friends there–nice job!

And please, if you haven’t already, check out these bloggers who participated!

  • Alts?! I have no alts! (Shards of Imagination) – A story of two characters: Goldheart the Dwarf and Rakuno the Ratonga, and how they came to be what they are.
  • What’s My Main Again? (Kemwer) – Kem tells us about one character who persists and reinvents himself between games; a reincarnation of sorts.
  • Wherein I Fangirl Over My Gnome (Image Heavy) – What’s better than a priest who absolutely loves healing? One who comes in puntabl–I mean, adorable gnome form!
  • I can haz main? (Flask Half Empty) – Ninevi and I had some kind of brain link–she had just written bios for all of her characters to put on her blog when I posted this challenge. Anyone else hear Twilight Zone music?
  • How Rav came into being (Ravalation) – Rav breaks down the ways in which her characters reflect her personality. I like it, because I see a lot of myself in my characters, too.
  • My main characters (Starshadow) – This is a full-circle tale of the evolution of Suzita’s characters. Translating a character name–that is pretty cool, guys.
  • See My Main @#$*& (Bloodthorne) – TJ tells us about Gaffa the Dwarf and his awesomeness–just don’t touch his beard.
  • The Silly and The Useful (Brazokie’s Blog Space) – Some characters you love for their functionality, but some characters you love just because. Brazokie introduces us to both!
  • What’s My Main Again? (The Daily Frostwolf) – Navi handed the blog post over to her druid, a scary proposition, to be sure, but she did a great job telling us her story!
  • Battlechicken’s Challenge (Musings of an Altoholic) – Lyrestra likes each of her characters for their classes and shows us what she likes about each.
  • How Killington Came to Be (WASD Way) – I’m a sucker for a good story, and this is good storytelling. Find out about how Killington became a fierce fighter (and why you shouldn’t play him in cards).
  • A Bit About My Mane–er, Main (Casually Vicious) – Fact: I love troll druid cat form. Fact: Cat durid is 4 fite, and Solajin likes being a cat. And a bear. And a bearcat. And a catbear. I am so confused.

Week 4 Challenge: Learning is Fun

learning is fun poster

If you haven’t already, you’re going to write a post one day that requires you to look something up. Halfway through a post, you’ll realize you don’t actually remember what that ability is called or when the game you love was launched.

You’ll go scouting around Google for info, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll find tangents that keep you tied up in Search Engine Land for an hour. I learn a lot of things that way.

No one knows every fact about everything, but we usually know a few facts about something. This week’s challenge is to test your research muscle. Pick a topic related to your game (or games, or MMOs in general, etc) and tell us about it. Maybe it’s something you’ve been interested in, but haven’t found a reason to explore. Maybe it’s that class that always looked cool to you or a game you’ve been meaning to try.

Maybe you just want to know what all the fuss is about–why is everyone so crazy about this game/blog/idea/class/mechanic/achievement, anyway?!

Whatever topic or form it takes, this is your challenge: find something you only know a little bit about, learn something new, and tell us what you learned.

If I were doing it, I’d tell you about WoW warriors. They have muscles and swords and they can jump. I’d have to learn more than that.

Three of our guild warriors (with muscles & weapons): Aadrelore, Jonnz, & Frenzie

Learning is fun! What will you learn?

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Diablo III & Why I Play Alone

I am not a Diablo fangirl (at least, not yet). Before the Annual Pass, I never even considered playing, and I still have played more WoW than Diablo in the hours since its release (admittedly, some of that is because the Diablo servers were sketchy).

However, Diablo’s launch and my two-footed leap into it has brought some things to my attention about the way I play the games I play–specifically, how I often prefer to play alone even in socially-oriented games.

A wizard did it.

On Tuesday, our guild forums exploded with battle tags–everyone wanted to play Diablo III together, and who could blame them? You certainly get a lot further in the game playing in parties (if I understand it all correctly).

I did not surrender my battle tag, and I do not have “Quick Join” enabled. I want to play alone.

Diablo is brand new to me. The story, the characters, the mechanics, the environment–all virgin territory to me. I want to experience it all, and I want to do it at my own pace. I don’t want to be led. I don’t want to be followed. I want to go where I want to go and see the things I want to see without feeling pressure to make sure the other person in my party is getting what they want to get out of the game.

The same is true for me when leveling in WoW. I can’t stand to level with other people. I hate grouping for quests unless absolutely necessary. This might sound kind of harsh, but it’s just the way I operate. If I’m trying to blast through leveling, I don’t want to be slowed down. If I’m trying to take my time, I don’t want to feel pressured to speed up. If I want to explore one quest hub and skip another, I want to be able to do that without having to ask if it’s okay.

Most of this is my problem–I’m aware of and comfortable with that. I have an overwhelming desire to please people. The better I know the person, the more I want to please them. This often results in me setting aside the things I want in order to appease someone else. It’s not healthy (I promise I’m working on it), but this is how it is. This means that when I group with someone, I get annoyed when I don’t get to do what I want to do, even though it’s my fault for not being more assertive. Head trip, right?

The other part of it is much less complicated: sometimes I just like to do things on my own.

I’m working on learning to say “no.” For now, that starts with, “No, I don’t want to play with you right now. Maybe another time.”

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A Few Words of Wisdom, With LOLCats

Congratulations, new bloggers!

You are over halfway through the month! I’ve read some great blogs the past couple of weeks, and I look forward to reading more. My reader’s already starting to get heavy, but I’m not complaining!

When I signed on for the NBI, I agreed to do at least one post that gives blogging advice. I struggled with this, because I don’t try to be a popular blogger (I know, shocking, right?) and there are many things the great bloggers do that haven’t even crossed my radar. I guess my issue is this: what kind of advice can I give?

I decided the best thing to do is to tell you what I would want someone to tell me if I were back at the beginning starting TLBC all over again.

1. You don’t have to be perfect. In the very, very beginning, I had no problem admitting I didn’t know everything. The whole purpose of starting this blog was to get help as a moonkin. Once I felt like I understood my class, though, I suddenly started thinking I wasn’t allowed to admit there were things I still didn’t know. Bloggers are supposed to know everything, right? Just go ahead and wipe that thought out of your brain.

If you’re like me, you’re terrible at math and a little slow on the uptake sometimes (okay, that’s probably just me, but you get the idea). You’re human. Keep that in mind.

2. Take yourself seriously. This was advice that was given to me a long time ago, before blogging. It’s still great advice. If you want other people to take you seriously (and you might not, that’s fine too), you need to take yourself seriously. Put thought into the things you write. Use spell check. Proofread. Look things up you don’t know. Verify your facts. Keep learning.

But if you make a mistake, fix it, then refer again to #1 and move on with your life.

3. Get involved in the community! Sooner rather than later, too, guys. The blogosphere is monstrous. The WoW blogging community alone is h u g e. It’s also very supportive. You’re only doing yourself a disservice by keeping the rest of the community at a distance. In the beginning, I felt like good bloggers were aloof. PFFFFT. Egotistical bloggers are aloof, maybe, but it’s not a measure of quality.

Get involved. Read other blogs. Comment on other blogs. Refer to other blogs. Link to other blogs. Support other bloggers. (Are you getting the theme, here?)

And for heaven’s sake, join Twitter. When I got involved in Twitter, it was like I’d found the entrance to the secret Blogger Cave, only it isn’t a secret. Unfortunately, there’s also not a cool car or Alfred. But it’s just about that good! When you read a blog you like, chances are that blogger is on Twitter. Follow them. Get into the conversation. This community rocks, don’t miss out.

4. Blog because you love to blog. For a long time, I was tired of blogging. I was barely playing WoW, I had a heap load of personal family stuff going on, and I didn’t have the energy to put into TLBC. I kept doing it anyway, but for all the wrong reasons: because I felt like I had to keep it active, I wanted to be noticed, I wanted my blog to be popular, I wanted to be thought of at least semi-knowledgeable/entertaining/attention-worthy by the bloggers I respected so much.

When I stopped playing WoW altogether to focus on my family, I closed the doors to this blog. I was heartbroken, but I knew it was the right thing to do. When I returned, I didn’t immediately start blogging again, but soon I found myself missing it. This time, it was for all the right reasons: It was because I like to write. I like to write about the game I play. I like the discussions and the community and the way a blog post forms in my head.

If you’re blogging for some concept of fame you have in mind or because you feel like everyone expects you to, stop. It will show in your posts and in the way you carry yourself in the community. Blog because you can’t help smiling when you think of an idea or when you finish writing a post. Do it because you find pleasure in finding the right screenshots and organizing your ideas. Do what you do because you love to do it, and stop when you don’t.

5. Don’t measure your worth as a blogger by your hit count. If you’re blogging because you like to blog, that number just doesn’t matter. Sure, it’s a great feeling to get hits, and I would highly suggest that you publicize yourself. We’re writers, after all, we like for the things we write to be read.

But don’t quit because you don’t have as many readers as you think you should. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Keep writing. Keep improving your writing (see #2). Get involved and get your name out there (see #3). Give yourself some time!

I’m sitting here reading this now thinking that it’s way too Saved By The Bell. I should be giving advice about thinking of good topics and how to publicize yourself. I said at the beginning, though, that I would tell you what I wish someone had told me, and I would have traded all the nuts-and-bolts blogging advice in the world to have just been told it was okay to make a mistake. Just call me Mr. Belding.

That said, there are lots of great brass tacks-type posts out there for NBI. I’ve learned quite a few things myself from reading through some of them, so go check them out at NBI HQ!

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Week 3 Challenge: What’s My Main Again?

Week 2 Recap

Last week, I posed the question “Why do you do what you do?” There were a bunch of responses, all with slightly different reasons for choosing activities or games. I’m listing them below; go ahead and check them out!

And, of course, it’s never too late–if you want to do either of the previous two challenges, go for it and link me your post in the comments!

  • Why Do I Do What I Do Bee Do (Bloodthorne) – TJEdgar explains why he blogs and demonstrates how everything is better when it’s set to music.
  • Battlechicken’s Challenge (MMO Compendium) – Sometimes, each character we roll has a different purpose and personality–this post includes a whole collection!
  • Week 2 Challenge (Flask Half Empty) -Ninevi reminds us that our reasons for playing the games we play are not one-dimensional.
  • Week 2 Challenge (StarShadow) – I love bows–the shooting kind, not the hair kind. Great screenshot mash-up here of the thrill of adventure.
  • NBI: Why Do I Do What I Do (Brazokie’s Blog Space) – From the process of creating a character to blogging about them, Brazokie shares the why behind the what.
  • Why Do You Do What You Do (Shards of Imagination) – This is a look at the uniqueness of MMO gaming as a hobby, from exploration to community!
  • Why I Stealth (Casually Vicious) – Why be a ninja? Why not?!
  • Why I WoW (Image Heavy) – Sometimes it’s the little things that make the game worth playing. A simple “hi” is sometimes just enough!
  • Why Do You Do What You Do: Guild Leadership (Neri Approves) – Guild Masters take on massive responsibilities–why? This is a GM’s perspective on taking on the job.

Week 3 Challenge

Most of us invest a lot of time in one (or two, or three…) characters in the games we play. For me, this is Ambermist, my druid moonkin. She is the reason this blog exists at all.

I’m sure it sounds strange to anyone who hasn’t experienced it first hand, but she has a personality and a story. I’ve “known” her for 6 years. She is, in some ways, my alter ego.

Your challenge this week is to tell me about your main (or the small handful of characters you feel most attached to). This might be their backstory as you’ve imagined it, or how you imagine their personalities. It could be how they relate to you–are they your flamboyant side, or do you channel your thoughtfulness through them?

Maybe explain why you chose them or why you keep coming back to them. What would they say if I asked them to tell me about themselves?

Whatever form or idea that takes for you, the challenge is this: Tell me about your main character(s).

Bonus ChallengeTomorrow I’ll finally be writing some of my thoughts about blogging (I know, I’m a terrible slacker). One of my biggest cornerstones is  community. The gaming blogosphere is huge and very community driven.

One of the vehicles through which this community communicates (say that three times fast) is Twitter. It’s not for everyone, but if you can plug into it, it will help you connect in ways you might not have realized. Your bonus challenge is this: if you don’t have a Twitter account, make one! If you do have one, find 3 new people to follow this week. If you haven’t already followed me, you can count me as one of your three. You’ll find me here: @battlechicken.

I can’t wait to read about your main characters! Remember to give me a link in the comments so I can include you in next week’s post!

P.S. I am so sorry for the cheesy title, but I just could not resist. 

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Why You Do What You Do: Week 2 Challenge

The Newbie Blogger Initiative is off to an awesome start! I’m already having a hard time keeping up with all of the awesomeness.

Recap Week 1:

Of course, some awesomeness took place right here last week with some great responses to the Build Your Own Boss Challenge. I highly encourage you to check these out:

Week 2 Challenge:

There was a boss for every type of player last week (and you guys did fantastically, by the way). This week we’re going to get a little more introspective and talk about what type of player you actually are.

About a year or so ago (maybe more, now), I discovered a website: Why Do You Do What You Do? The premise is simple: answer the question with a picture. I fell in love with the idea and created a Why We WoW  page on my blog.

I still love the concept, so I’m opening it up again across all genres and games:  Why do you do what you do? Why do you play the way you play, why do you play the game you play? Why are you a healer? Why do you PvP? What keeps you coming back?

This is not limited to pictures–I’d love to see your thoughts on why, exactly, you do what you do in the game(s) that you love. And you can have as many answers as you can come up with. I discover new ones every day!

The Week 2 Challenge is simple. Answer this question: Why do you do what you do?

Make sure you link your blog post to me so I can include it next week!

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Build Your Own Boss: Week 1 Challenge

Yesterday I posted about the Newbie Blogger Initiative. I’ve gotten the chance to read and comment on a few new blogs, and I’m pretty stoked about the whole thing.

One of the reasons I see people give for not starting a blog is not knowing what to write about. We’ve all been there, trust me. I thought it’d be fun to challenge our new (and experienced!) bloggers with some ideas–prompts, sort of–to keep the first month of content rolling.

I’ll post one challenge every week. All you have to do is take the prompt and write a post based on it! And I’d love for you to come back and link it in the comments, so I can see what you’ve come up with.

Challenge #1: BYOB

Whatever game you play, you’re going to encounter a boss or two (or hundreds). Some of these bosses are so memorable that we’re still talking about them (or resurrecting them…) years later. One of my guildies last night was talking about something he’d like to see as a boss mechanic, and it made me wonder: if we could build our own bosses, what would they be like?

That’s your prompt: whatever game you’re playing, create a boss for that game. Tell us everything you can about the boss (we want to be ready when we fight him!).

A boss needs some things. If you’re having a hard time knowing where to begin, here are some things to get you going:

A reason for being pissy:

  • Didn’t get the loot they wanted.
  • Angry at their mother or father
  • Has been in prison for 10,000 years.
  • Has already died once or twice.
  • Lost his cat/dog/abomination

A place to be mean in:

  • A magic treehouse
  • Mom’s basement
  • A coliseum
  • A cave
  • A castle
  • An open field

Abilities:

Tank-killing abilities (choose at least 1):

  • Stacking debuff requiring tank swaps
  • Crazy smack-in-the-face hit requiring a cooldown
  • Split damage requiring a soaker

Raid killing abilities (choose at least 2, friendly fire is acceptable/encouraged):

  • An AoE DoT
  • An AoE Explosion
  • Lots of adds
  • Something to not stand in

And finally:

  • A name
  • An opening speech
  • Some phrases to repeat ad nauseam during the fight

You can give us descriptions, screenshots, paint drawings–whatever you can come up with to tell us about your boss. The door is WIDE OPEN.

I can’t wait to see what we get out of this. I hope you’re watching, devs!

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If You’ve Ever Wanted to Blog, May is Your Month

Sypster over at BioBreak contacted me a couple of weeks ago about a plan; a way to encourage people who had considered blogging to go ahead and jump off the cliff into the sea of posts and tags and topics.

This plan is known as the Newbie Blogger Initiative. The idea is simple–get a bunch of experienced bloggers together to encourage new ones. There are over 60 bloggers from all corners of the gaming blogosphere signed up.

Throughout the month of May, each of us will be posting a blog giving our personal tips for and experiences with blogging, as well as publicizing and encouraging new bloggers as you start to get your feet wet.

This is a test run for new bloggers–give it one month and see if you like it! If you’re ready to jump in (and I hope you are!), go ahead and create a blog, write your first post, and then come over to the Newbie Blogger Initiative H.Q. to sign up. There you can ask questions, talk to other bloggers, or bounce ideas off of new and old bloggers alike (not to mention the nifty banner).

If you’re not quite sure, come take a look at the forums anyway. Maybe you’ll get caught up in the excitement, too!

And finally, if you’re an experienced blogger and you want to become a sponsor blog, sign up! As a sponsor blog, you’ll be asked to write three blog posts this month for the NBI and to encourage new bloggers as they join our ranks.

What are you waiting for? May is your month!

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