About

The Extremely Infrequently Asked Questions List

Q: What is this blog about?

It is about me.

Wasn’t that easy?

Okay, maybe you want to know some more.  It is, after all, a bit more complex than that.

For the most part, this blog is a collection of my thoughts and experiences in online gaming.  Generally this is confined to the realm of what people refer to as MMOs, but I do branch out now and again.  And sometimes I write about my daughter, or our cats, or something else that is not really on topic.

Q: Why are you writing all this crap down?

Because I am old and I forget stuff.

Actually, I usually remember a lot of stuff, I just forget when it actually happened.  So I write about things that happen to me plus stuff that happens in the industry, like the launch of a new game or an expansion, or the closure of a game, in an attempt to create a timeline with context.

This is important because my brain sorts things into four categories; what happened this week, what happened in the last month, what happened in the last five years, and anything that probably happened before that.  But within these categories, there is no sorting unless there is a logical connection between items.

For example, I know the WoW expansions Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King shipped in the last five years (as of this writing), and I know that the Burning Crusade came out first.  But I couldn’t tell you, without looking it up, if the LOTRO expansion Mines of Moria came out before or after Burning Crusade.

Q: Why all the back story on so many posts? Can’t you just say something without context?

I cannot help it.  Part of it is that the readership here ranges from somebody I went to high school with, to my mother, to some person who just showed up here for the first time because of a Google search on a totally unrelated topic.  So I feel this need to keep everybody up to speed.

And, of course, I am getting old and forgetful.  When I got back and read this stuff… and I do… I am afraid I will have forgotten the context.  It has happened before.

I do try to build context, when I can, by linking back to previous stories.  But sometimes you have to step back and start with, “I was born in a house my father built….”

Q: What role do I, the reader, have in all of this?

As I wrote above, the primary purpose of the blog is for me.

But you, the reader, are welcome to join me in remembering.  I am writing this in a public space so other people can join in.  Comments enhancing and/or correcting my recollections are always welcome.  I am wrong in detail often enough to be fine with corrections.

A lot of what I write is direct “this is what I saw” sorts of things or statements of fact.  I ran the Deadmines with these people or such and such an expansion was released on a given date.

I do, however, express opinions now and again.  I am pretty good about not falling into the trap of speaking for the whole community, and you are free to call me on it should I slip.  For the most part my opinions are a matter of things I like or do not like.

I do not, for example, like raspberries. In that, I am speaking just for myself.  I can accept that many people do like raspberries.  In fact, if you want to comment that you love raspberries, that is fine with me.

If, however, the fact that I dislike raspberries makes you angry, if you feel that it is an insult to raspberries and the whole berry industry, if you feel I must be an ignoramus for expressing such a wrong headed opinion… well… I suggest you seek professional help, because if you leave a comment to that effect, I am going to make fun of you.   And if you tell me to die in a fire, I am just going to delete that.  I’ve done it before.  Twice I think.  I remember where the button is still.

Q: But don’t you have some agenda here?

I like to think that I am free from any sort of editorial agenda, but that is probably self-delusion.   I write a lot about the games that I enjoy playing.  Games that I do not enjoy at all tend to get no mention whatsoever.

It is the middle bit that seems to make people cranky.  There is a game I like but which does things that annoy me.  I will go on about those sort of things, to the point that people joining in the middle might think I really hate a given game.  EverQuest II is a prime example.  There is a lot there to complain about.  But you should take as the underlying message that I like the game if I go on writing about it for more than a post or two.

There are exceptions now and again, games I fully expect to like which let me down.  Civilization World on Facebook is an example of that.  I probably should have posted nothing at all about it, but I was swept up in the moment of loathing.  It only got one post.

So, agenda… to talk about and, I guess, promote the games I like… which tend to be the games that I play… which is what I would write about in any case.  So is that an agenda?

Q: Yeah, yeah, but you really hate that one game I love, the one you keep complaining about, don’t you?

Seriously, if I hate something, I don’t write about it so as to deny it any tiny bit of publicity I can.  But some people see anything less than effusive praise as hate, so I suppose there is no winning on this front.

Q: Was that an obscure TV/Movie/Literary/Usenet reference in that one post?

Yes, most likely it was.  I cannot help myself.  Sometimes I go for easy stuff, Monty Python, The Princess Bride, or other things you simply need to know to even consider getting a geek cred card.  But more often I go the totally obscure route.  There is even a reference to Nixon’s autobiography in this very FAQ, and you probably didn’t even know he wrote an autobiography.

And my knowledge of Usenet personalities is… disturbing.  But I lived it.  I got a reply from KiboCanter and Siegel and Serdar Argic for the win! So, for example, anything I write about lemurs is clearly a Joel Furr reference, as is any time I simply respond “Good” to any news item.

If you spot and correctly identify such a reference in a post, you should say so in the comment thread.  I give out candy to those who play along.

Q: Have you really been playing online games since 1986?

Yes I have.  I had an account with the online service GEnie back in 1986.  I connected to them with my Apple //e computer.  I chose GEnie over its competitor CompuServe because GEnie had no monthly minimum charge and billed in 6 second increments while CompuServe had a $10 monthly minimum and billed in 1 minute increments.  The thought that I might sign out and get charged for 59 unused seconds was too much!

As for games, I jumped right into Kesmai’s Stellar Emperor, the GEnie version of MegWars III.

Q: Will you do a post about my game or product or whatever?

I actually do a post every month or so just based on items I get in email.  I do not post just anything.  You have a much better chance of getting a mention if whatever it is you do is somehow related to online gaming and MMOs or other things I write about.  I do not, for example, have an iPhone, so your iPhone game is probably not going to make the cut.  If you have an iPad version, you might have a chance.

But go on, email me if you want.

Q: Will you put my blog or other site in the blog roll on your side bar?

Yes, under certain conditions.

Your site needs to fit in one of the categories.  MMO Commentary is the easiest one to fit into, you just have to actually post about MMOs.  And you have to post regularly.  If you can’t manage a post once a month, then you aren’t cutting it.

I do prune the list regularly.  If you stop posting, I hide your listing.  I want to send people to active sites, not to places with stale content.  I keep all the sites in an RSS reader, so if you stage a comeback I will likely notice and restore your site to the list.

You do not have to link back to me, but if you do, you will get a special mention in my monthly round-up.  That will probably send more people your way in the short term than anything I put in the side bar.

Q: What is your contact information?

You can email me at wilhelm2451 AT yahoo DOT com, or use the form below.

The author, Wilhelm Arcturus, retains sole copyright for all content on this site.  Reuse is permitted only with proper attribution.  If you email me stuff, you acknowledge that I may quote you in part or whole, which ever is most amusing.