Why I blog:
"Presently it grew altogether dark.... When lights appeared Sam rubbed his eyes: he thought his head was going queer. He first saw one with the corner of his left eye, a wisp of pale sheen that faded away; but others appeared soon after....
At last Sam could bear it no longer. 'What's all this, Gollum?' he said in a whisper. 'These lights? They're all round us now.'....
Gollum looked up.... He was crawling on the ground, this way and that, doubtful of the way. 'Yes, they are all round us,' he whispered. 'The tricksy lights. Candles of corpses, yes, yes. Don't you heed them! Don't look! Don't follow them! ... Or hobbits go down to join the Dead ones and light little candles. Follow Sméagol! Don't look at lights!" (LOTR, The Two Towers, Passage of the Marshes.)
I love playing MMORPGS and I love thinking about them. I spend too much time pondering and not enough time playing. Sometimes, the only way I can get the ideas out of my head is to write them down. So the first reason I write is to clear my head.
Often the things I'm thinking aren't original to me. They are the amalgamations of dozens of ideas I've read across the blogging community. I find that the process of writing ideas down helps sharpen my own thinking about them. It forces me to look closely at ideas that seem reasonable, and allows me to test their integrity. I write so that I can winnow the grains of clear thinking from the chaff of my thoughts.
I am a very poor writer. That is not false modesty; it is very appropriate modesty. I actually used to be a much better writer, and hope to be again, but now every word comes at the cost of a sheer force of will. Practice improves everything, and I write in order to gain greater facility with writing. But the side benefits are both those things I listed above: if I can write better, I will probably also be able to think more clearly.
MMO's are a constantly changing battlefield. At the same time, careful analysis will sometimes reveal patterns in development.
Is Blizzard sounding like the release of their next expansion is just around the corner, maybe 4-6 months ahead of schedule this time? Surely it will be out in June this year... Nope. Not happening. They always sound like this in March and April. Don't look at the lights...
I have begun to consider the blog to be a record of my MMO journey. Nothing is more cyclical than MMO development, and when the cycle comes back around I'd like to know what I thought in the past.
Sometimes I feel strongly about something (like the time I lost all my character names in The Old Republic through server mergers... twice). Bringing all of this up on some official forum is unsatisfying and often intensifies my frustration. But I can write it on my blog, and then a) clear it from my mind, and b) remember the lessons it taught. It is a catharsis.
What chiefly motivates me about MMOs is the Story. As a veteran of many solo video games, I find a great satisfaction in sharing the story experience with my friends. I personally find that MMORPGs have a tremendous capacity to be an amazing and immersive storyteller. Sometimes they fall short, but the potential is there and I want to encourage and celebrate it when it happens.
Games I am playing:
World of Warcraft
Lord of the Rings Online
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Guild Wars 2
The Secret World