Written by | Posted October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm Elevation

Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.

Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …

Names: Don’t Fence Me In
comment 10 Written by on May 8, 2012 – 6:59 pm

*this post is part of the Newbie Blogger Initiative – if you’re new to the world of MMO blogs or thinking about starting one, check out the site!*

Part and parcel of starting a new blog is, quite simply, deciding how you’re going to set up what you want to write about, and then naming your blog. Do you want to write about PVP? Maybe how to make tons of gold? Passionate about high-level raiding?

That’s all pretty easy to think about, but when you’re just getting started, quite honestly, you don’t know for sure what you’ll be writing about in three or six months. You also don’t know how limited you’ll find your chosen topic. Those things just come with time and practice.

So be careful, and don’t fence yourself in with a name.

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Don’t pick a name like Pete’s Priestly Ponderings unless you are REALLY sure that in 6 months you’ll still have a priest as a main and not have run out of priestly things to say.

If you are even remotely tempted by alts, a class (or role) name may turn out to be too restricting. While some restriction is good, because it helps you focus what you want to write about, overly restricting yourself can set you up for the dreaded blogger’s block!

While it’s good to give yourself a focus, it’s not always good to name your blog after that focus.

We’ll take the example of Pete and his Priestly Ponderings. Say Pete really likes his priest right now, and has a list of 10 or so posts he thinks he could write about priests. So he queues up a new wordpress.com or blogspot.com blog and gets started. He manages to keep from being too enthusiastic and posting all 10 ideas in two days, and sets himself up on a posting schedule. In a few weeks, between his comments on other blogs and posts on twitter and other social media, he’s getting a few comments every week and his pageviews are going up. Then he writes a really excellent guide to Priestly Thingies just before a major patch, and his traffic skyrockets.*

That sounds pretty awesome right? Pete’s effectively set up an audience of other priests to create his blogging community.

But then… then Pete rolls a mage on a night when his usual raid is canceled. All of a sudden, mageing is really, really fun. It’s different! And new!

And his blog is all about priests!

What to do? Well, certainly for a few posts as a side project, there’s nothing wrong with posting about his mage alt on his Previously Primarily Priests blog. Most people have alts, after all.

But what happens when, after he gets his mage to 85, Pete decides to switch mains? That happens all the time – especially at expansion switches. (I know I’ve had a main switch with every expansion, though I was a shaman for both BC and Cataclysm)

Pete now feels kind of pinched by his Priestly Ponderings blog title. (Admittedly, if Pete doesn’t care, this doesn’t matter as much.) So he’s left to either write about mages all the time on a blog that labels itself about priests, or he has to switch blogs.

And switching blogs is, essentially, starting over – while some readers will follow you, you lose the continuity of community.

Of course this is a simplistic example. There are plenty of bloggers who picked a class and stuck with it, and other bloggers who picked a class name and are writing about whatever they feel like. But most bloggers go through some wandering before they settle on their true “calling” as writers.

It took me almost two years to get to writing much about RP, and that’s been my primary niche  (or was, but getting back into it is a topic for another post). It also took me two tries to come up with the name Too Many Annas, but the flexibility of the name has let me switch mains, switch topics, and even (for a little while) switch games.

There are plenty of guides out there about how to name a blog. (Google!)

MMO blogging has a lot of the same concerns, but if you want to set up for the long haul, be careful not to pick a name that you’re going to wish you could change in a month or two. You can pick things like factions, or a character naming trend. A favorite passion in game, a profession you like, or even a favorite item. While you CAN change your name (I did, after my first month of blogging), you take a setback in the form of readers and community.

So be careful, as you get started.

Don’t fence yourself in!

*These are all good tips for new bloggers as well!

I have a little warlock
comment 2 Written by on May 7, 2012 – 7:03 am

*sings*

I have a little warlock,
She’s pretty fun to play,
And when she’s feeling evil,
We DoT things up all day!

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Amazing art by Loreli, of course. (I can’t explain how much I love this portrait. There is so much personality in it! Lore does commissions (of which this is one) and they’re worth every penny.

Right now I’m not playing a whole lot, but my attachment to my warlock is growing steadily. She’s a little bit evil, and that’s made her encounters with the largely sub-human populations of Ferelas (ogre, gnoll) highly entertaining. We’ve moved on though, and now we’re killing pirates in what used to be the Shimmering Flats.

Oddly, while there are some aspects of the quest layouts that bug me, the general levity and silliness is really suited well to Ancelyn. I’m not always a fan of rampant silliness on other characters – Aely and Angoleth are both more serious when they’re out “working”, and only really silly when they’re at rest/play. Ancelyn’s biggest motivation is “does this amuse me”, so she finds and enjoys all kinds of silliness as long as she’s the one doing the burninating.

I’ve kept up with Cynwise’s posts about warlocks in Cataclysm, and he has some really good points. There are definitely issues with the class design and it’s occasionally quite boring as Affliction (dot, dot, wand, wand, rinse, repeat).

But it’s also highly effective, (especially with how easy it is to overlevel the content) and she takes on elites pretty handily, so it’s kind of a wash. I definitely can see the complexity getting me in over my head once I start groups with her, but I am having a lot of fun doing the other half of the new content, so I’m not grouping much right now. (Annata leveled through the Eastern Kingdoms, so Ancelyn is doing Kalimdor, at least from Ferelas upward.)

Now all I need is to get her into some RP! And maybe find her some really warlocky outfits. She is a former (now excommunicated…) Dark Iron. She should look the part!

Leaving SWTOR?
comment 10 Written by on March 20, 2012 – 8:03 am

On one hand, all I’ve done for the last 6 weeks is log in, find the game channels deserted, not be interested in questing, and log out.

On the other, I wonder if I’ve really given the game a chance.

On one hand, the RP I thought would come out of playing Star Wars has utterly failed to materialize.

On the other, I wonder if I’m not a good part of that, and shouldn’t put more time and effort into writing it.

On one hand, Aely just isn’t working as a Jedi.

On the other, that doesn’t mean my other characters don’t have a story they’re waiting to tell, or that I’ve not actually given Aely a chance to really BE a Jedi.

On one hand, I don’t know jack shit about Star Wars lore.

On the other, maybe I can learn.

On one hand, it’s $15 I’m wasting.

On the other, it’s $15 I could be getting a lot more out of.

On one hand, I have very little time for gaming and no real interest to log into a game I’m not connected to.

On the other, I can experience the whole game in one-hour chunks if I want.

On one hand, I hate giving up.

On the other, there’s no reason I can’t re-up later if I have the time and desire.

What is Epic?
comment 3 Written by on March 19, 2012 – 7:42 am

A friend of mine had a GTalk status that brought me in mind of Sindragosa. While I can’t say I particularly LIKED that fight (any fight where the difficulty is created by making your players unable to play their class half the time is one that I’m going to get VERY annoyed with as a healer), it got me thinking about Icecrown.

In some ways, I feel a little silly – a little like the old granny raider, talking about how things were in my day. But then, Icecrown was really only two years ago, even if it seems quite a bit longer.

For me, what makes a dungeon epic is its ability to suck you in – immersiveness, if you will. The places I remember as feeling truly epic to be part of were all places that were their own worlds – Blackwing Lair, Karazhan, Black Temple, Naxxramas, Ulduar, Icecrown all were like that for me. Thinking back, those were all the “long” dungeons, the ones with lots of bosses and lots of things to see and do. Each had areas that were creepy, and little touches that made them consistent within themselves. They seemed “loved”, as though the developers really got to dig into what they were making. I’m reminded of all the alchemical horrors in BWL, the music in Karazhan (and all the scenery), the screams of Thaddeus’ victims in Naxxramas, the build up to killing friggin ARTHAS (and attempting to save Bolvar).

The dungeons I remember as epic didn’t have to be “hard” (25 man Naxxramas was certainly not particularly difficult), but they all felt like their own consistent zones. And there was a certain, sort of unquantifiable feeling of “Wow, I can’t believe I’m part of this” in each of them.

There was something lost in Cataclysm though, and I don’t wonder if it didn’t go with the larger raid groups. TRI didn’t sustain as a 25 man raid, splintering into three-ish 10 mans, two of which are still going. The core raid leadership wasn’t able to continue with the level of cat herding it was taking to keep people around, and that’s just how the cookie crumbles. (I was one of those people who couldn’t hack continuing to herd cats. Life happens.)

But our 10 man group, as fun as it was, really only tugged at half of the strings that keep me interested in a raid. We were having lots of fun hanging out and killing bosses, but between raiding with a character I didn’t RP with and the general lack of RP connection to anything in Cataclysm, I just never got those moments of epic.

That’s not to say that some of the fights weren’t interesting and fun. The Atramedes fight was really cool. Beth’tilac and Alysrazor were similarly memorable. But thinking back, even the Nefarian fight just didn’t have the same kick (probably partially because he was a recycled boss).

I’ve only experienced the Deathwing fight in RaidFinder, and I honestly think that made it lose some of the edge it could have had. Going on a raidfinder run doesn’t allow anyone to absorb anything about the actual instance – it’s the equivalent of speed running a heroic. You never really see what’s going on, you just pull bosses and roll on loot and try to ignore raid chat.

As an aside, I never did get to run Culling of Stratholme as an RP run, and I think I lost out on that. It’s too late now, with Arthas long dead, but from an RP standpoint, I think it would’ve been worth my time to make sure Aely experienced that.

Somewhere this is all connecting together in my head with the changes to raiding that made a 25 man a much more heroic endeavor to field every week. Maybe 10 man raids don’t ACTUALLY move faster, but it’s certainly seemed that way. I’m no huge fan of large swaths of downtime either, don’t get me wrong. But there was something about needing a large team of people, of having to coordinate those people, and of truly working things out as a team that appeals to me and, I think, increases the “epic” factor. *

And to bring all this back to Sindragosa, there are not any bosses from Cataclysm whose voice acting I remember. I can quote bosses from Molten Core and BWL, from Karazhan and Naxxramas, from Ulduar and Icecrown. (Suffer, mortals…) But if you asked me to quote any of the Cataclysm raid bosses, I’m honestly not sure if I could.

Maybe I’m just not paying enough attention. But maybe my attention just hasn’t been demanded as much.

*As I was writing this, I was reminded of this video – listening to the symphony of raid buffs brings back some really good memories.

Elevation

October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm

Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.

Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …

Introducing the Newest Anna

June 29, 2014 – 4:39 pm

So I’m not really in a position where I should be creating alts. This, of course, does nothing to deter me from making alts when the inspiration strikes. I’ve been really enjoying my Alliance hunter, and she’s my raiding main …

Deconstruction

November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …

Patrol

November 13, 2013 – 9:59 am

The cathedral bells stop ringing overnight, except for chiming the hours. Three bell strikes, and Angoleth padded softly around another corner of the Cathedral District, staying carefully in the shadows. Trained ears picked up Mogget’s soft breathing – nearly inaudible …

Riders in Lordaeron – Memory

November 7, 2013 – 1:33 pm

(Written by Jolly, Tarquin, and Annalea)

The highlands of Lordaeron were not for the faint of heart; be it the putrescence of the Scourge’s long-lingering remnant, or the rock-strewn hills and valleys that made farmers out of only the most …

Riders of Lordaeron – Logistics

September 13, 2013 – 7:11 pm

(With Tarquin and Annalea)

Once more, four people made their way through the thickets and hills of Lordaeron, this time in the crisp chill of late morning, seeking after the Rider. Aelflaed had snatched what sleep she could while Chryste …

Riders of Lordaeron – Problematic

September 11, 2013 – 9:47 am

(With Tarquin)

She hadn’t wanted to leave Jolly – not so soon after finding him again – but once away, it took about five minutes for Aely to figure out she had a problem.

That problem had just announced that …

Riders of Lordaeron: Arrangements

September 9, 2013 – 10:05 am

It was an uneasy goodbye for him, but it was agreed by both he and Aely that a stroll back to Hearthglen would not be very easy to explain, nor would the explanation needed for the three Argent soldiers once …

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