Belated. It was yesterday. This is a nice reminder that I am terrible at birthdays!
August 27, 2008 was my first blog post ever. I can’tÂ fully recall why I started blogging – I was spending a lot of time on various blogging sites and my comments kept getting longer and longer. I think IÂ finallyÂ decided that it would be easier to write my own posts and link back instead of annoying the author of various sites with my incessant rambling and observations.
I didn’t think much on a style or theme and I just picked one and ran with it. Some of the old posts are fun to read through and I often link back to my old posts – mostly when there is an “I told you so” (WoW needing to link armor stats to role type – 2008! – which they are finally doing in Warlords of Draenor)Â or revisiting a viewpoint I had stated previously that I still felt relevant.
Sometimes when I go back and read posts I think there have been some really great ideas that would translate well into modern MMO land and other times I felt like I was just another blogger with the same feelings on the same old topics. I quickly found some circles of blogging friends and while many are gone now (Writers Resting In Paradise Blogroll to the right) many persist today. And as I find new sites and read new blogs, or people discover mine, I expand my blogroll. With my sports background and slant I call us BlogNation much like the Red Sox Nation or other groups that align around commonality. It hasn’t stuck anywhere else that I can tell, but I figure if I keep writing it maybe it will someday.
My style hasn’t changed too much. I am a pretty “conversational” blogger – I write as if we are having a pint at a bar. Throw out an idea or opinion and welcome a counter discussion. This is a fun way to blog because I always keep my mind open. Some would argue I write as if I had already had 10 pints at a bar. That has been known to happen as well.
I had two extended “vacations” from blogging – six months starting January 2011 in which I became very, very sick (lost over 60 pounds, night sweats, swollen glands, couldn’t stay awake for longer than a couple hours at a time) and had every symptom of lymphoma from a textbook. They spent months testing and digging (lymphadenectomy, bone marrow, you name it) and I was actually checked into a Cancer centre for weeks – except they didn’t find cancer. I was at infectious disease specialists, all sorts of specialists, no one found it out. And one day I just started feeling better again. They kept wanting to cut me open to dig around to find out what happened but I stopped letting them. That time was pretty scary, caused me to withdrawl a lot, but also to celebrate life a lot more in the end of it all. Nothing quite like being certain you are fighting for your life – even scarier when you don’t what you are fighting against. I found it hard to justify spending hours blogging when I didn’t know how much time I had left.
Could be why I have a soft spot for charity and people raising money for diseases and causes. Hell, a month ago, my entire team and partner network raisedÂ thousands of dollarsÂ at 1am in a bar (in 30 minutes) if I would shave my head – in the bar – so yes, of course I did. It is only hair and will grow back.
For the record, it is growing back terribly. Still worth it though.
My second vacation was when I was battling divorce. Gaming was an addiction for me in many ways – not that I couldn’t stop, but being unhappy in my marriage drove me to game more. She loves TV (I hate TV) I love games (she hates games) – so never common ground. We ended up finding common ground (pretty easy when you have an amazing kid) and our marriage has been great ever since. Something about the first 5 years that is the challenge, as there are curiosities if people can (and will) change. In the end letting people be who they are is critical to loving and understanding each other. I am not suggesting my advice to marriage counselors still though. It works for us!
My three personal favoriteÂ posts:
1) Greatest Fantasy Movie EverÂ (2009)
In this one I attack the silly idea of healing by describing what the typical raid encounter would look like if it was a blockbuster movie. You don’t see Gandalf sitting in the back row during the battle casting heals on Legolas, do you? In it I suggest a better way (slower paced combat, blocking and dodging graphics) – its dumb that a 10′ sword goes through characters entire bodies. Hits should cause REAL damage, and instead of inflating numbers, having glances, misses, and dodges should make up the difference. I like to be immersed – swords and axes cutting through immobile toons doesn’t cut it. I want MMO combat to be more like MOVIE combat. When your sword goes through someone, that’s when the blood comes.
I linked back with a GREAT example from Batman: Arkham in a more recent post. The tech and will is there. This should be the next innovation in MMO combat. In that game you rarely get hit and when you do you feel the impact. It shows that with 10 mobs around you you can still have contact combat. Besides, in this hyper-world of ADD and circle strafing, slowing it down and having combat meaningful and impactful would be a great innovation.
2) Can the End Game be the Game?Â (2009)
I tackled how silly leveling is and how Wow is wasting resources on planned obsolescence content, and that if more resources were created for “max level”, repeatable content instead of one and done quests – there would be better, and more content, for all. I see a lot more agreement on this type of idea today – if your content doesn’t really start until the “end game”, why not start there in the first place?
3) The 6 Wheeled CarÂ (2008)
This was my PVP slanted point about relative power. DAOC and WAR showed me the biggest fundamental flaw in PVP games – you have such ridiculously giant disparities in power between levels. A level 1 can’t even HIT a level 40 – that makes no sense (again, immersion.). So my idea here is to have levels multiplicative. So 40 level 1s could indeed be an EVEN match for a level 40 character. Or 4 level 10s or 2 level 20s. A level 40 is “god mode” in comparison to level 1s and that just feeds into my #2 post above – if your PVP character has to level 40 levels before being able to enjoy the game, why have levels so multiplicative? This alone ruins open world PVP. If you had relative power levels it could make open world PVP thrive.
Funny looking at that they are all old posts. I haven’t seen these concepts used in my modern day gaming yet but I still hold that they would be a welcome offering for gamers who like immersion and could enhance a current day MMO offering.
So 6 years. 325 posts (12 drafts) and 1144 user comments.
My blog isn’t that popular and I am fine with that.Â It has been a journey andÂ I believe theÂ journey is the destination andÂ I neverÂ stressabout who is reading and how many comments there are. ThatÂ part isÂ is important for anyone who blogs or who wants to blog. I know I’ll be around for another 4 years (at least) doing this so I will have a 10 year anniversary. Health and life willing.
Looking Â forward to more of this journey with you – and thank you for stopping by. I doÂ enjoy the company.
5 comments / Add your comment below
Grats! And many happy returns. Here’s wishing you a long and active life both in and out of blogs!
Your reasons for starting a blog mirror mine pretty closely. There’s a point when it just begins to feel rude, leaving comments longer than the original post on someone’s blog without giving them the opportunity to do the same back. I hope we’ll still both be bouncing ideas off each other that way when your tenth anniversary comes around.
Congrats! Time does have a way of moving forward relentlessly. Coming up on a blog anniversary myself next month.
I’m coming up on 10 years in January, and though I have you beat on post count, you have a bigger comment count. I had a lot of extended break periods though and my early days were pretty dumb. I can admit that. Anyway, congrats on 6, here’s to 6 more!
Mine is soon too. I hope we celebrate like this for many years to come. Grats!
Thanks gentlemen! Looking forward to many more years of challenging and fun posts, comments, pingbacks, and hopefully beer (someday). Looking forward to celebrating your anniversaries as well!