Tag Archives: Blaugust

Blaugust and What is Content Anyway?

We are into the third week of Blaugust now.  This is the 16th day of the month and my 16th post, so we’re past the half way point and into the back half of the event.  Is everybody hanging on okay?

Blaugust time is coming to town…

It is still not too late to get involved.  I mean, we’d like to have you.  All the information is here:

I’ll probably decide by week five that it is finally too late to join in.  But you’re good until then.

Looking at the Blaugust calendar, this week is… um… creative appreciation week?

The Blaugust Calendar

Are we to be creative in our appreciation or appreciate creativity?  We might need to workshop that one a bit before next year.

But I know what it means, because this used to be developer appreciation week in older iterations of the event, back when it was a little more focused on video games.  But we’ve grown beyond that so the week is now a time to focus on the creative people… authors, musicians, developers, artists… whom we enjoy.

What do creatives create?  Content.

And what is content?  Hell if I know.

Seriously, I know it when I see it, but I am not sure I could write a definition of content that would survive any serious testing.  And I am just going to dive into content and video games for the purpose of this post, because it only gets more complex if I try to devise some universal definition for content.

Plus, we’ve had this discussion before, and I am always a sucker for the oldies.

I can tell you positively that when EverQuest or WoW drop an expansion, that is content.  If you you stream or make a video about your first day playing in the new expansion, that is content.  If somebody makes a reaction video to your video, that is probably content too, even though I find them mostly tiresome.  And if I write a blog post about a reaction video, probably complaining that nobody ever does reaction videos about my posts, that too is content.

And so is the expansion guide on the commercial fan site and the stories on the gaming news site and summary item somebody does to tie together all the content surrounding the expansion.  It is a content ecosystem.

But what about a more sandbox style game, like EVE Online?  I was just bitching about them yesterday, and a lot of that had to do with content… but what sort of content?

I mean sure, they do create content.  There was the Doctor Who event earlier this year which people enjoyed.  And there is a content ecosystem around the game well beyond what its player population might suggest.

The question comes up around mechanics, or changes to the rules, or ships.  You can certainly create content around those things, but are they content in and of themselves?

Furthermore, if CCP releases a new ship and we all buy one and fit it out and have a big fight, who really created that content.  The fight would be content, after all.  But CCP had little influence on when or where it happened or who might participate in the fight.

So in New Eden we sometimes get into a row about people who claim to be content creators because they make things happen in the game… or think they do.  And what of the other fleet commander, are they a co-creator?  How do we apportion levels creation-ness or whatever?  How about the members of the fleet, all of those who participated in the battle?  If you just flew a ship of the line and shot targets, maybe you didn’t create content.  But what if you were in logi, or were the logi anchor, or maybe one of the fleet boosters?  You helped enable or sustain content.

The philosophy once espoused by Goonswarm was that every ship mattered.

Every Ship Counts – World War Bee version

How much credit does the person who shot that cyno jammer get as a content creator?  Sure, somebody in the command channel got to shout “free fire on titans” which led to an exchange that set Guinness Book world records.

Exchange of fire as the battle began

But who “created” that content?  CCP?  The titan fleet commander?  The line members who broke tether and opened fire knowing it would likely be a bloodbath?  That PAPI titan pilots that formed up on grid with us not knowing how things would play out?  That person who shot the cyno jammer?  Me in my boosting ship?

My Damnation in the middle of the fight helping create that content

And that is an extreme example as hundreds of small battles pop up every day.

These are, of course, silly questions, pushing into absurdity to prove a point that there is no hard line, no velvet rope that separates the content providers from the unwashed consuming masses.

There is, of course, a line between good content and bad, but that is another subject altogether.

These people, who are participating in Blaugust however, they all produce nothing but the finest content.  You should take some time out of your day to visit their sites.

  1. A Day in the Life of Flash
  2. A Geek Girls Guide
  3. A Missioneer in Eve
  4. A Nerdy Fujo Cries
  5. A Vueltas Por los Mundos
  6. Ace Asunder
  7. Alligators And Aneurysms
  8. Aywrens Nook – Gaming and Geek Blog
  9. Battle Stance
  10. Beyond Tannhauser Gate
  11. Bio Break
  12. Blogging with Dragons
  13. Book of Jen
  14. Breakingwynd
  15. Casual Aggro
  16. Chasing Dings!
  17. Cinder Says
  18. Contains Moderate Peril
  19. Cubic Creativity
  20. Dice, Tokens, and Tulip
  21. Digital Visceral
  22. Dispatches from Darksyde
  23. Dragons and Whimsy
  24. Endgame Viable
  25. Everwake
  26. Everything is bad for you
  27. FOB IV: A Blog
  28. Frostilyte Writes
  29. GamerLadyP – Gaming, Books and Musings of a Lady Gamer
  30. Gaming Omnivore
  31. Glittering Girly Gwent Gaming
  32. Going Commando
  33. Hundstrasse: Rambles About Games
  34. I Have Touched the Sky
  35. Indiecator
  36. Inventory Full
  37. Just Call Me Roybert
  38. Kay Talks Games
  39. Kaylriene
  40. Knifesedge Blogs
  41. Leaflocker
  42. Ludo Llama
  43. Mailvaltar – MMOs and other stuff
  44. Many Welps
  45. Meghan Plays Games
  46. MMO Casual
  47. Monsterladys Diary
  48. Mutant Reviewers
  49. Narratess
  50. Nerd Girl Thoughts
  51. Nerdy Bookahs
  52. NomadicGamersEh
  53. Overage-Gaming
  54. Priest With a Cause
  55. Shadowlands and getting back into the game
  56. Shadowz Abstract Gaming
  57. StarShadow
  58. Tales of the Aggronaut
  59. The Ancient Gaming Noob
  60. The Friendly Necromancer
  61. The Ghastly Gamer
  62. The Last Chapter Guild
  63. Time to Loot
  64. Unidentified Signal Source
  65. WelshFox on YouTube
  66. Welshtroll – Point, Click, Repeat
  67. Words Under My Name

Another day in Blaugust.

Blaugust and Introductions

We are now into the second week of Blaugust and not only haven’t we lost anybody yet… that I know of in any case… the total number of people signing on for the event actually grew.  I believe we are up to 67 participants.  Not bad for 2022.

Blaugust time is coming to town…

Especially encouraging for the hobby aspect is that we have two dozen blogs that have signed up for the event for the first time.  Rather than posting the whole participant list this time around, I’ll post just them… since Belghast has been good enough to call them out on their own tab on the participants list spreadsheet.  Please find a moment to visit them.

  1. A Day in the Life of Flash
  2. A Geek Girl’s Guide
  3. A nerdy fujo cries
  4. A Vueltas Por los Mundos
  5. Blogging with Dragons
  6. Cinder Says
  7. Cubic Creativity
  8. Dice, Tokens, and Tulip
  9. Digital Visceral
  10. Dispatches from Darksyde
  11. Everything is bad for you
  12. FOB IV: A Blog
  13. Frostilyte Writes
  14. Gaming Omnivore
  15. Hundstrasse: Rambles About Games
  16. justcallmeroybert
  17. Kay Talks Games
  18. Ludo Llama
  19. Meghan Plays Games
  20. Monsterlady’s Diary
  21. Overage-Gaming
  22. The Ghastly Gamer
  23. Alligators And Aneurysms
  24. Breakingwynd

It is still not too late to join in.  You can find all of the Blaugust information at these helpful links:

Each week of Blaugust has a theme that participants can join in on should they wish.

The Blaugust Calendar

This is introducing yourself week, and I suppose I can manage that in any number of ways.

The easy and obvious introduction is me, Wilhelm Arcturus, and the fact that I have been blogging here at this URL for going on 16 years.  In that time I have written and hit “publish” on more than six thousand posts which add up to about as many words as Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

The general theme of the blog is video games, with a focus on online games, especially those that we used to call MMORPGs.

More specifically, while I write about other games now and then, I tend to write about the same half dozen titles pretty consistently.   If take a peek at the categories drop down on the side bar, you will see my most written about titles are:

  • EVE Online
  • World of Warcraft
  • EverQuest II
  • EverQuest
  • Lord of the Rings Online

They all have the classic MMORPG vibe.  I don’t play all of them at the same time… I am generally playing EVE Online and one of the other titles at any given moment… but I do tend to keep an eye on all of them and will write about news and changes about them even if I am not currently subscribed and playing.

There are some other titles that come up fairly often, like Minecraft and Valheim, but it is pretty much those five that tend to dominate.

And while I keep up with the news and expansions and such, this isn’t really a news site.  And it certainly isn’t a theory crafting or strategies site.

It is more of a recounting of my adventures in these titles, opinions and reactions to changes, and a long term tracking project.  Towards that latter item, I am always that person who comes back with a post they wrote five years ago when the company said they were doing something and now they say they are not doing that at all and reminds readers of the history of things.

I don’t like facts without context, so I try to add context… and opinion.  I have opinions.

A co-worker once described my style as “strong opinions, loosely held.”

That is to say that I often grab onto an idea or hypothesis and run with it… but that when evidence disproves it I will change my mind with the evidence.  For example, I am of the opinion that CCP’s restructuring of the economy in EVE Online has been bad for the game, that it was based on a flawed philosophy that might best be described as wishful thinking, and that the evidence to support my view is there in the monthly economic report and the online player count numbers that CCP provides as well as the Pearl Abyss quarterly financials.

If CCP came out with some evidence that tended to disprove my opinion, I would certainly listen.  However, the company has mostly offered more unsupported philosophical statements and hand waving generalizations about the future of the game.  As such, I remain unmoved.

On the other hand, I have conceded points to many I have argued with over the years, including Gevlon, who ended up being right about the whole player run market in EVE Online.  CCP “fixed” that as well with their economic revamp.

That doesn’t mean I roll over whenever somebody has a counter argument.  People often think their opinion counts as fact.  Anybody who has been around the blog neighborhood for a while knows one or two bloggers who have decided their opinions are fact.  So when somebody come around in the comments and argues, for example, that WoW Classic was not worth the resources expended by Blizzard or that CCP should turn EVE Online into a completely different game, I am generally unconvinced as the evidence is not on their side.  So I will push back on that sort of thing.

Does that tell you enough about me?

If you want to know what sort of gamer I am, there is always the Quantic Foundry gamer profile quiz.  I’ve done that a few times before… and I have opinions… and I will probably do it again.  Maybe even this week.  There has probably been something new added since last I took it, and it is always good for a blog post.  But here are past results:

If that isn’t helping you, I have also written a series of posts… usually under the “In Person” category… about myself and my experiences outside of video games and the blog.

Or, perhaps you can find some element of me in how I write.  I write in something of a casual tone, closer to the way I speak than the way I write formal documents at work or did back in school.  This leads to some quirks of its own, like my having to go back and remove the word “and” from six consecutive paragraphs.  That is something that isn’t as noticeable in conversation as it is on the page.

I am also not particularly prone to use exclamation points, all capital letters, or obscenity haphazardly.  I generally reserve those for special occasions so they will stand out and provide the emphasis I am going for with their usage.

I am also reluctant to say I “love” or “hate” something here, if only because we’re talking about video games most of the time here and from time to time I feel like those words are used a little more frivolously than they should be.  I have noticed this leading me into an odd situation where I will sometimes say, “I do not love this idea” or “I do not hate this feature,” which sort of backs myself into something adjacent or a notch removed.  Of maybe I just overthink things.

Anyway, a throw away word I use to change topics or indicate I am wrapping something up, those are at least some clues to who I am.  You can take from that what you will.

Blaugust Begins 2022

We are live and off to the races with Blaugust.  It isn’t too late to join in, but we have officially started.

Blaugust time is coming to town…

Of course, now that we have started, the question is “What now?”

Often times, when it comes to Blaugust, I have a plan of sorts, a sketch of posts for the month, that I know will get me through the 31 days with a post a day.  I used to be able to build up some structure around a few regular monthly posts.  If you click on the Blaugust tag at the bottom of the post and scroll through past years, I have a couple of posts where I talk about those anchor topics I could rely on in any given month.

And I still have a few of those… there is always that month in review post to cap things off, and the EVE Online monthly economic report will give me a post.  But some of them, regular patch days or things like the now gone monthly SuperData Research chart, have fallen by the wayside.  Even a stalemated war in New Eden gave me something to write about weekly.  And it is August, I cannot even depend on patch notes from some companies.

So I sit here, looking at the calendar, wondering how to fill it with posts… like it is some new challenge as opposed to something I have done literally every month since April of 2020.  This is my 856 daily consecutive post.  And yet, I fret.  You might suspect it is just going to happen.  But I know that I didn’t get that many days in a row without a bit of planning.  So I look at the event calendar and consider how it can help me.

The Blaugust 2022 Calendar

I am sure I can come up with something related to the theme of each week.  Hell, this counts as a “Welcome to Blaugust” post in my book.  I am sure I can come up with some anecdote for “Introduce Yourself” week… or I can just take another run at that Nick Yee gamer motivation profile quiz again.  That is always good for a bit of self-reflection.

I have something in the drafts folder I’ve been meaning to finish up that I think will serve for “Creative Appreciation” week.

As for “Staying Motivated,” I am sure some reflection on how many posts I’ve managed to get in for the month will serve, how I came up with them and what I have setup for the balance of the month.

Finally, there is “Lessons Learned.”  After this many runs through Blaugust, will I have any new lessons to write about?  Or will I drag out my past philosophical reflections?  I am going to guess the latter.

Then we’ll be at the end of the month and that will be that.  Another Blaugust on the books.

So I am pretty sure I can fill out the calendar.  I have a couple of posts in the can for this week already and there are at least a few news items I expect to pop up… the Activision Blizzard financials, ongoing updates about Wrath of the Lich King Classic, and maybe even the war in EVE Online.  But one can never be sure, so I am always trying to fill in the blanks in the calendar.

But now I have one post down, so there are only 30 more to go.

For anybody interested in joining in on Blaugust, and as I said at the top of the post, it isn’t too late, the following links will bring you up to speed.

And, of course, this is my first chance to link out to the other participants in the event.  We have 56 60 63 65 67 blogs that have opted in so far.  There are some old familiar blogs on that list, but some new ones as well.  Take some time to visit these sites as we all begin our journey to the other end of August:

  1. A Day in the Life of Flash
  2. A Geek Girls Guide
  3. A Missioneer in Eve
  4. A Nerdy Fujo Cries
  5. A Vueltas Por los Mundos
  6. Ace Asunder
  7. Alligators And Aneurysms
  8. Aywrens Nook – Gaming and Geek Blog
  9. Battle Stance
  10. Beyond Tannhauser Gate
  11. Bio Break
  12. Blogging with Dragons
  13. Book of Jen
  14. Breakingwynd
  15. Casual Aggro
  16. Chasing Dings!
  17. Cinder Says
  18. Contains Moderate Peril
  19. Cubic Creativity
  20. Dice, Tokens, and Tulip
  21. Digital Visceral
  22. Dispatches from Darksyde
  23. Dragons and Whimsy
  24. Endgame Viable
  25. Everwake
  26. Everything is bad for you
  27. FOB IV: A Blog
  28. Frostilyte Writes
  29. GamerLadyP – Gaming, Books and Musings of a Lady Gamer
  30. Gaming Omnivore
  31. Glittering Girly Gwent Gaming
  32. Going Commando
  33. Hundstrasse: Rambles About Games
  34. I Have Touched the Sky
  35. Indiecator
  36. Inventory Full
  37. Just Call Me Roybert
  38. Kay Talks Games
  39. Kaylriene
  40. Knifesedge Blogs
  41. Leaflocker
  42. Ludo Llama
  43. Mailvaltar – MMOs and other stuff
  44. Many Welps
  45. Meghan Plays Games
  46. MMO Casual
  47. Monsterladys Diary
  48. Mutant Reviewers
  49. Narratess
  50. Nerd Girl Thoughts
  51. Nerdy Bookahs
  52. NomadicGamersEh
  53. Overage-Gaming
  54. Priest With a Cause
  55. Shadowlands and getting back into the game
  56. Shadowz Abstract Gaming
  57. StarShadow
  58. Tales of the Aggronaut
  59. The Ancient Gaming Noob
  60. The Friendly Necromancer
  61. The Ghastly Gamer
  62. The Last Chapter Guild
  63. Time to Loot
  64. Unidentified Signal Source
  65. WelshFox on YouTube
  66. Welshtroll – Point, Click, Repeat
  67. Words Under My Name

Blaugust 2022 Commences in One Week

So you still have plenty of time to get ready and join in.

Blaugust time is coming to town…

Belghast announced Blaugust 2022… more than a week ago now… and I am sure most of you have seen a post somewhere about it already.  But here I am to add my blog to the news cycle.  Maybe somebody will see it here first.

The pattern of the event is familiar, drawing once more on the relaxed format of later years of the event.  It is no longer a challenge to post every single day in August.  But if you want to, you can… and there are the usual awards for posting.

  • Newbie Blogger Award – You did it! You joined Blaugust for the very first time and we are extremely happy to welcome you into this raucous community. As a result, we are going to recognize your efforts just for signing up.
  • Bronze Award – You made at least 5 posts during the month of August 2022.
  • Silver Award – You made at least 15 posts during the month of August 2022.
  • Gold Award – You made at least 25 posts during the month of August 2022.
  • Rainbow Diamond Award – You beat the challenge and posted 31 times or more during the month of August 2022.

There is also the usual schedule of events, with each week having a theme.  August

The Blaugust Calendar

August nicely starts on a Monday this year, so we can get right to it in the first week.  There are more detailed descriptions about what each week’s theme means in Belghast’s post.

New for Blaugust 2022 are Blaugchievements.  There is a series of badges you can unlock and display by participating in various aspects of Blaugust 2022.  You can find the full list of them here.  I unlocked “spreading the madness” with this post.

And so it goes, we’ll be off to another Blaugust soon.  So it is time to get your act together and get your blogging persona ready to go.

Blaugust 2022 information:

The Labors of Blaugust 2021

Blaugust is over, another festival of blogging has come and gone.

Technically, according to the calendar, we’re in the “Lessons Learned” week of the event through Saturday, but I haven’t much else to add, so I will just round out the final week with some summing up.

I accomplished my goal.  I published a post every single day in August, 31 in total.  I am pretty sure I have earned the Rainbow Diamond Award for that.  Go me.

For making 31 post during the month of August

Unlike past years, I didn’t run over.  I have, at times, over planned and ended up with 40+ posts.  This year I made quote exactly, 31 posts in 31 days.  I suspect I made up for the fewer posts by writing more words per post, but I’ll leave that analysis for another day.

As is usual, I didn’t spend a lot of time focused on the event.  I tend to potter along on my own without much input.  I generally have more topics in mind, more things in my drafts folder, than I can find time to finish.  That is just me.

Still, even with that, I did managed to find time to do at least two Blaugust focused posts.  They were:

There isn’t a lot new for me to add to my past blogging advice, but I try to come up with something for the event now and then.

Naturally Belghast, who set up the whole event, has a post summing up how things went and who achieved which goals.  I won’t steal all his thunder, but I do like the overall stats.

  • 981 posts were made by Blaugust 2021 Participants
  • 45 Individuals Participated in the event and made at least one post
  • 2 Newbie Bloggers Participated and both made 31 posts
  • 40 out of the 45 participating made at least 5 posts qualifying for Bronze
  • 31 out of the 45 participating made at least 15 posts qualifying for Silver
  • 22 out of the 45 participating made at least 25 posts qualifying for Gold
  • 20 blogers made at least 31 posts qualifying for Rainbow Diamond

So congrats to everybody who participated.  You should take a moment to visit some of the blogs that were involved in the event.

On Blogging, Motivation, and Passion

It is “staying motivated” week in the Blaugust event and I figured it was about time for me to post something Blaugust related.  I have not been very attentive to the event, wandering off in whatever direction takes me, as is my usual pattern.

On the topic of motivation I have a little story.

When my daughter got to middle-school (which for some reason is 5th through 7th grade in our local district, it used to be junior high school when I was that age, and was mostly just 7th and 8th grades), she was able to pick an elective class and she wanted to take band.

It wasn’t an easy choice.  She also wanted to take art, something she enjoyed and was already into.  But band won out because it was new and different.  She went with flute as an instrument, and we went down to the music store and rented her a flute.

She did well enough in band I suppose.  She practiced at home.  She went to all of the events.  She seemed to enjoy it well enough.  She took band for a second year, sticking with the flute.

For the third year of band she switched to the baritone saxophone.  The flute, which was a rent-to-own deal, was paid off just about the time she made the switch.  A baritone sax is a much more expensive instrument, but the school had one for her to use.  She went with the sax both because it was kind of cool… we were watching Bojack Horseman around then, and the opening theme is heavy on the sax… and because the band needed somebody to play it as the person who had been playing moved on to high school.

So we had the bari sax around the house.

Our cat Rigby making himself at home with the sax

She did that for a year, though I think she enjoyed posing with the sax more than she liked playing it.  She borrowed my sunglasses for performances.

Then came eight grade and when she was signing up for classes she asked me, rather hesitantly, if she could not take band.  She wanted to take art.

Her tone said to me that she was afraid we would be disappointed in her choice, but I told her right away that it was fine, she should take art if that was what she wanted.

I explained to her that I could see she wasn’t really into band.  While she practiced as often as was recommended and took things seriously, I had never once seen her play her instrument… flute or sax… just because she wanted to.  She did her time, then moved on to what she really wanted to do, which was often art.

She had no passion for music.  People I know who do will play just to play, will figure out how to play something they heard just from listening to it.  My step-brother used to sit in his room with his headphones on just figuring out a song for hours on end.

Meanwhile, she clearly had a passion for art.  She had a drawing tablet hooked up to her computer, a copy of PhotoShop Elements along with a few other art and design titles, and would sit for hours just trying to get something right… not because she had to but because she wanted to.

I never had to tell her to put down the flute or the sax and go to bed, but I got up a number of times in the middle of the night to tell her to put down her sketch pad and go to sleep.

If you have a passion for something then motivation will come.  And if motivation does not come… well, maybe blogging or band or whatever isn’t really your thing.

Which I guess isn’t a very motivational message.  But maybe it can be a guide to help find motivation.  We all seem to be able to find the time to do the things we really want to do, so if blogging is feeling like a chore, perhaps it isn’t for you.  Or maybe you just haven’t found an aspect of blogging that works for you.

I like writing long winded narratives about what I did in this game or that.  I enjoy telling a story.  I almost always feel I have to establish my relationship with a topic to write about it.

But that is just my style.  There are lots of options.  Some people like to do reviews or game guides or write in the voice of their in-game character or track statistics or complain loudly and make up irrational conspiracies.  There is room for all of that and more.

When you find your niche, motivation will follow.  And if blogging isn’t it at all, then maybe videos or streaming or screen shots or something else is.

Or maybe just cute cat pictures.

Anyway, if you haven’t found motivation here… and I’ll admit that I didn’t have much to offer in that regard… maybe one of the other Blaugust participants can help you along.  There are 46 others from which to choose:

 

One Blog or Multiple?

Aywren Sojourner brought the idea of multiple blogs back into my brain with their new blog Spot of Mummery; is it better to have multiple, topic focused blogs or one sprawling somewhat generalist blog?  This seems like a Blaugust aligned post, so let’s at least pretend it is part of that theme.

I must admit, as somebody who gets turned on in the organizer section of office supply stores, the idea of having nice, neat little silos of content segregated out by topic does have some appeal to me.

I have, over the years, experimented with multiple blogs.  This was actually blog number two for me, after I did a test blog elsewhere.  And since the founding of this blog I have spun up a number of others, including:

There were a couple others I have since deleted, including an RP tell all of what really happened with Vanguard and SOE.  That whole “Stuff” topic was a meme about a decade back.  I think “Stuff MMO Gamers Like” could still be a decent group blogging project, or a weekly column at Massively or some such.

Of those, only EVE Online Pictures is still active, and that is largely due to it being just a screen shot blog.

There are certainly benefits to the idea of having a blog with a single focus.  Being a one topic blog helps you cater to your audience because they know what they’re going to get, at least in some general way, with each blog post.  If you have a WoW blog, they can safely assume that your next post and the post after that and so on is going to be in some way tied up with WoW.

And, in some ways, I think having a single focus blog is a bit of an enabler to really go deep on various aspects of your game of choice, from lore to fashion to mechanics to all the various peripheral topics that add up around a title.  You can do that because your audience has self-selected itself to be attuned to all of that.

Meanwhile, not having a single focus has caused me a bit of bother over the years.  I have missed out on being “in the club” on a few fronts. I have been refused links from WoW blogs and was kicked out of the EVE Blog Pack due to my lack of purity.  WoW players come here and tell me this really and EVE Online blog and EVE Online players tell me it is actually a WoW blog. (And occasionally an EVE player will say this is an EVE blog, but then will complain it is a null sec blog and they only like wormhole blogs or whatever.)

They’re not right… but they’re not totally wrong either.

TAGN isn’t WoW or EVE or EQ or LOTRO or whatever MMO title you care to mention blog.  It isn’t even a genre blog anymore, as I have strayed off the MMORPG path more than a few times.  Look at all the posts about Valheim and Minecraft. Think of all the Pokemon posts!

Given the amount of stuff I have written about movies, TV, and other topics I suspect that you could make the case that this isn’t really even a video game blog.  Should I change TAGN to mean “Tales About General News” already?

If you come here you think you might know what I am going to write about, and you’ll probably be right a few days out of the week, but at times if will be a surprise.

And, because I can go off on various games and other topics, I do have to be a little opaque in my writing.  I cannot assume that everybody knows the jargon of whatever game I am writing about.  I often spend a bit of time explaining what I mean rather than just diving into things.  That isn’t a bad thing, and I am sure some of my EVE Online posts could use more explanation at times, it being a title rife with jargon, but I do have to write for a more general audience.

On the flip side, the minor problems that arise from my lack of focus aside, my generalist approach to blogging has a few advantages.

Being a bit more explanatory also makes for easier comprehension on my part when I go back and read old posts.  This I knew or which were current in that moment do not always last.

I am also less constrained on topics.  I write about video games in general and MMORPGs specifically most of the time, but if I get the urge to write about old computer hardware or a typewriter I still have or a road trip to LA, I can take a detour and go down that path.  I used to feel a little self-conscious about that back in the early days.

That and there are times when I don’t have a lot to say about a given game.  If this were and EVE Online or a WoW focused blog I am not sure I could manage more than three or four posts a week.  Maybe.  Or I would have to drop into more detail, get more into the nuts and bolts.  My posts now tend to be general sweeps and tales of my own misadventures.

And, of course, given the number of times I have changed games, having a game focused blog would inevitably lead to long dead periods when I was off playing something else.  Over the last ten years I have only remained subscribed to EVE Online the whole time.  Other titles tend to come and go.

Then there is the number of blogs I would need to keep going.  Look at the category list on the side bar.  If I had the foresight to roll up a fresh blog just for the titles about which I have posted 200 or more times, I would need an easy half dozen blogs.

Being honest, I would have no doubt lacked that level of foresight, so would have ended up with at least a couple dozen blogs, most languishing without updates, focused on titles from Warhammer Online to Neverwinter to Vanguard to EverQuest Next.  Pretty much assume that any game that is a category that has a dozen or more posts would have ended up being a blog.

Not a viable path for me, though that says more about me than about blogging I am sure.

That doesn’t even begin to explore what happens if the company that develops your game of choice turns out to be run by horrible people.  That was the case for Riot previously and Blizzard currently.

Finally, it has been my experience that readers of this blog at least tend to be as much creatures of habit as I am, so jumping around between multiple sites or starting up new ones would break their routine as much as my own.  Better to just let everything land here.

I do admire the focus of single game blogs.  Sometimes I think it would have been nice to have gone deeper on one game or another, to have been able to maintain that level of focus.  What if I had gone all in on EQII at launch or something like that?  But it just isn’t in me.

So I carry on with a single blog for words, where all my posts are collected.  It is a bit chaotic and finding what you’re looking for depends on me correctly and consistently categorizing and tagging my posts.  (I do the former fairly well, but the latter can be a bit of a crap shoot.)

But this is Blaugust, so I wonder what others think about having multiple blogs or blogs that manage to focus on a single game.

And since this is a Blaugust related post, here is the list of those participating in the event.

 

Welcome to Blaugust 2021

The time has come again, the annual neighborhood blogging event has arrived.

As I mentioned previous, back in the day this was a bit of a hardcore event, an attempt to get people to blog every day for a month.  But the blogging neighborhood was a bit different in 2014.  That can be a bit daunting for some.  We all write at our own pace and along the way the event became more one of cross-pollination, bloggers coming together to meet up, share a few ideas and opinions, and to link out to each other.

So I will get right to that first bit.  Here are the bloggers signed up for the 2021 event.

That is 47 bloggers as I write this.  We’ll see if I remember to update that number if the list grows.  And it could grow, because it it NOT TOO LATE to join in.  You can do it.  Just go read the informational post about the event, fill out the sign up sheet, and join the Discord server to say hello.

Believe me, it is easy to get started because you can just write a Welcome to Blaugust post like this and you’re already on your way.  It is practically a freebie, something a lazy person like myself appreciates.

There is, of course, some loose structure to the whole thing.  It isn’t required, but it there to give you something to chew on if you’re looking for a post idea.

The 2021 Calendar

The ambitious will be out the gate on day one with the theme of the week.  And then there is me, who will get to it on the Saturday, hitting the publish button at the last minute.  But you don’t have to get on board for that.  I just feel mildly obligated because I signed up as a mentor, so ought to lead by example or something.

Actually, I guess I am ahead this week.  As I said, “Welcome to Blaugust” is a bit of a gimme.  Others have already done theirs, but I am not as late as usual to the party.  If I were feeling ambitious I would list them all out, but I just put in a list of links to all the participating blogs, so you can just click on that if you want to see who is already on board.

There are still achievements to be earned, if you so desire.

  • Newbie Blogger Award – You did it! You created a new blog and we are extremely happy to welcome you into this raucous community. As a result we are going to recognize your efforts just for signing up.
  • Bronze Award – You made at least 5 posts during the Month of August 2021.
  • Silver Award – You made at least 15 posts during the Month of August 2021.
  • Gold Award – You made at least 25 posts during the Month of August 2021.
  • Rainbow Diamond Award – You did it, you posted 31 or more posts during the month of August 2021.

I personally aspire to the Rainbow Diamond Award.  I will try to post every day this month, proving both that it can be done and that you can make a bunch of blog posts and still not have anything profound to say.

Every blogger has their own style and standards.  Some sit on their posts and polish them.  Some won’t post unless they have something new and different to say. (“Should I repeat myself?” is often a topic of discussion on the Discord server.  I say you should, and certainly if you have had any change of heart of feel there is more that could be added.)

And then there is this blog, where everything is a first draft, a bit of a gut reaction, a memory jotted down in the moment that can be reconsidered at a later date.  For me it is better to have written and posted and the only posts I really regret are the ones I did not make.

Anyway, I’m already a post into the month, so I am on my way.

For those interested in the event… and I must stress that it is NOT TOO LATE to join in… you can find all the relevant information here.

The Return of Blaugust 2021

That time of year is upon us, the month of August, traditionally a slow time for many thing, video games included, when we get together to celebrate, focus on, and write about blogging.

It is time for Blaugust!

Once a bit of a hardcore event… the 2014 goal of the first Blaugust was to publish a blog post of some minimum length every day for a month… oh, and gaming blogs only… the whole thing has relaxed over the years (and sort of absorbed the Newbie Blogger event we used to have) to be more of a reflection and discussion of blogging, even for blogs that are not about video games.  It is a reminder that we have a community of bloggers.

The calendar for the event has been posted, which covers the suggested topic for each week of the event.  The topics are purely optional, but it is often interesting to see how multiple people approach each of them.

The 2021 Calendar

These days you don’t even have to have a blog to join in.  You can use the sign up form and designate yourself as a “supporter” and just come hang out on the Discord server if you like.

Which isn’t to say the event lacks any push to post.  It is still focused on blogging and promoting interaction between blogs and bloggers, and there are still badges to be earned for different levels of participation.  For 2021 they are:

  • Newbie Blogger Award – You did it! You created a new blog and we are extremely happy to welcome you into this raucous community. As a result we are going to recognize your efforts just for signing up
  • Bronze Award – You made at least 5 posts during the Month of August 2021
  • Silver Award – You made at least 15 posts during the Month of August 2021
  • Gold Award – You made at least 25 posts during the Month of August 2021
  • Rainbow Diamond Award – You did it, you posted 31 or more posts during the month of August 2021

So if you are an old school blogger, a new blogger, want to start a blog, or just want to talk about blogging, this is an event for you.  The range of participants generally runs from brand new bloggers to grizzled blogging veterans, all of whom seem to have opinions on blogging platforms, style, topics, and the trivia of the blogging process.

Belghast of Tales of the Aggronaut, who runs the who thing, has all the current details up in a blog post on his site, so go check it out and get ready for the coming of Blaugust 2021.

August in Review

The Site

It was Blaugust and Promptapalooza this month.  I participated a bit in the prompt thing, though not very much.  I kept myself busy elsewhere.  There was plenty to post about without additional prompts.

August means some sort of Blaugust

Belghast, who set the whole thing up, has a summary post about the event up with links out to everybody’s prompt post.

I did, however, stick closer to the old school meaning of Blaugust by posting every single day over the course of the month.  In fact, I managed to do that from the start of April, which was Blapril, all the way through August of Blaugust.

A post a day keeps… something away…

153 days in a row of blog posts, so “go me” I guess.

One Year Ago

I wrote way too many posts.  49 in one month, and not a bunch of short ones either.  But it was Blaugust, so I was in the mood.  As usual I went on about all sorts of things like what to write, and burning things down, and how to crank out posts.  Oh, and that gamer motivation profile thing again.

Daybreak was setting up Twitter accounts for its new sub-studios.  They also brought DCUO to the Nintendo Switch.  And they were sketching out some plans for the EverQuest II 15th  anniversary.

PlanetSide Arena also resurfaces with a new plan.

I explained the difference between Team Fight Tactics and DOTA Overlords.

There was more talk about lock boxes and bad analogies.

I hit three years with Pokemon Go.

The August update brought community fittings to EVE Online.  A big cyno nerf was also announced.  EVE Fanfest Home also happened.

Out in null sec the blackout continued, though not without issues.  Local came on for a bit, even in WH space.  The MER showed a big hit to NPC bounties in null sec.  I was starting to wonder about chaos fatigue from the stuff CCP was doing.

Meanwhile, I was in low sec with Liberty Squad, flying Abaddons.  Some days we didn’t get a fight.  Other days lots of stuff blew up.  But we tired of the locals refusing to fight unless they had the numbers to overwhelm us us, so we flew home.  The “hell dunks or blue balls” routine gets tiresome and there was nothing really at stake.

I was also on about the absolute nature of some things in New Eden, warp core stabilizers, interdiction nullification, and the things that they counter.

There was also announcement of the the alpha for EVE Echoes, the mobile version of EVE Online.  Could you play EVE on your phone?  Should you play EVE on your phone?

There was another round of EVE Aether Wars to try, this time with prizes.  It seemed to go pretty well.

I also celebrated 13 years of playing EVE Online by going down the list of all the places I had called home in the game.

But mostly I was wetting myself about WoW ClassicThe count down to launch was on.  They announced the server names, a list which ended up expanding greatly.  The crowd trying to reserve names on various servers proved Blizzard was not thinking big enough.  PVP realms seemed popular.  Like, very popularSuper popular.

Blizzard was trying to get the word out on what you should know.  They even did a Reddit AMA and explained things like layering in detail as well as some videos with the game’s creators.

I tried to define the different factions of players these servers attract.  I also had some predictions about what would happen on the eve of the launch.

The instance group eagerly played the last load test just to get a taste of it, because all I really wanted to do was play WoW Classic.  I was wondering about addons, which have come a long way since back in the day.  What would enhance the experience and what would ruin it?

And then it was LAUNCH DAY and we queued up to get in the game, then queued up again once we got in.  My hunter tamed his first pet just a couple days in as I wrote about the strange ways of the class.  Good times.

Five Years Ago

It was Blaugust and a lot of people played along.

I told the strange tale of my first automotive test drive.

Project: Gorgon had Kickstarter success at last, then there were stretch goals, the grand total, and mapping out a plan going forward.

Blizzard, on the other hand, was facing bad news as WoW subscriptions dropped to 5.6 million, the lowest since December 2005.  In order to drown that out, Blizz had a big WoW announcement planned later in the week.  There was much anticipation.  I speculated on what it might be, but it turned out to be the WoW Legion expansion announcement, sans cinematic.  Of course, once they announced it, everybody wanted to know when we would get it.

In EVE Online, it was all about Fozzie Sov.  People were complaining.  We had to take sov from allies in order to transfer it, at which point MOA temporarily scooped up a couple systems. Crazy days!  The Galatea expansion addressed some of our issues.

Then the Imperium went to Providence to test out the new sovereignty mechanics… and to purge the Jamylites with the blessings of Maximilian Singularity VI.  The resulting conflict is all under the Provi War tag here.

Meanwhile, CCP was doubling down on VR, adding EVE Gunjack to their lineup.

Turbine was warming up for the great LOTRO server upgrade and merge effort.

Daybreak was also planning server consolidations, these for EverQuest II.  They were also working on a server for misfit players, which seemed like a dubious idea.  And on the Stormhold server, the first expansion unlock vote came up.  The players said “no” to the unlock.  And in EverQuest, on the Ragefire and Lockjaw servers, the inevitable enforced raid rotation schedule was implemented, with an eye to keeping out casuals it seemed.

In Minecraft, I was discovering fire and putting our world up on a hosting service to share it with friends.  Xydd joined up and began working a lot on the nether, while Skronk began his own building project, as I tinkered with dungeons.  We had a setback with our hosting service.  It was a good thing I was keeping backups.

ArenaNet made the base version of Guild Wars 2 available for free, no doubt hoping to sell expansions.

And I wrote a little something about the passing of Robert Conquest.

Ten Years Ago

Let’s see… people were hating on GameStop for selling used games, which was equated with stealing.  That was before GameStop started officially stealing.

Massive Blips went away.  I miss it.

I made my position on raspberries perfectly clear.

Yahoo had a couple game related lists.  I love lists.

Cryptic and Atari announced they were doing the game Neverwinter.

Runic started talking about Torchlight II.

Stunt Rock.  I need say no more.

EverQuest Next was announced at Fan Faire, and I was wondering about the lessons SOE has learned after a few turns of the EverQuest wheel.  Pity nothing came of it.

In the real world, boars were starting to become more like their MMO counterparts.

WoW account hacking was still a big deal, though getting to be common enough as to not be news on an individual level any more.  People have their views on whose fault it is.  But was any game facing as much account hacking as WoW?

My daughter got into the WoW Cataclysm beta.  She got me some screen shots of Stormwind,  Southshore and the Barrens.  This, by the way, probably killed her interest in Cata when it finally did ship. Indulging early can take the edge off of things.

Blizzard got a serious judgement against somebody running a for-profit WoW pirate server.

The instance group, done in WoW and on the now usual summer hiatus, was spending some time in Middle-earth, which required a bit of selling.  We made it through Othrongroth, and to the North Downs and the Lone Lands.  I finally found my way to Evendim, which I had never  managed to visit before.  It was in a state of change, pre-quest revamp but after they added in the boat routes.

And, finally, in EVE Online, there was the PLEX story we had all been waiting for.

Twenty Years Ago

The Age of Empires II expansion, The Conquerors, launched.  Good times.

Twenty-Five Years Ago

Command and Conquer launches, an RTS game that spawned a franchise and gave us the hell march (with Red Alert at least).

Most Viewed Posts in August

  1. The Fall of Niarja and the Shape of High Sec
  2. SuperData and Wavering WoW Subscriptions
  3. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  4. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  5. CCP is Just Going to Keep Selling Skill Points for Cash
  6. The Ahn’Qiraj War Effort set to Begin in WoW Classic
  7. Remembering Brian Green
  8. Reflections on the Eve of the 20 Year EverQuest Anniversary
  9. Campaign Medals
  10. Burn Jita 2020 Seems Unlikely
  11. The Coming Metaliminal Storms May Decloak You in Null Sec
  12. WoW Tokens Five Years Later

Search Terms of the Month

project discovery 40 million isk per hour
[Tell me more]

eve online notoras
[They have icecream]

can a drake null sec rat
[A Drake can do anything… except light a cyno]

felwood or un’goro first
[Un’goro]

Spam Comment of the Month

Hey mate are you selling your blog by chance?
[Everything has a price!]

Gaming Time from ManicTime

I was away for a week… pretty much all of last week… so my overall hours played were at their lowest since February, when I was also away for a week.  I was in Portland, Oregon both times, as that is where my daughter goes to college now.

As an aside, I was downtown a couple of times last week and it is not the dystopian landscape of destruction that the President or Fox News would have you believe.  In February we stayed at a hotel that is at the mid-point between the park where the nightly protest forms up and the two federal buildings where the protests take place.  Unless you’re in about a four block area, you might never notice a thing, and during the day nothing looks out of place.

Anyway, game times:

  • EVE Online – 50.33%
  • WoW Classic – 33.31%
  • Diablo II – 13.93%
  • World of Warcraft – 1.01%

Both Minecraft and EverQuest dropped off the list in August, with no time recorded for either.

Diablo II

I kept on going through Diablo II, if a bit more slowly than back in the day.  I am through Act II, so a post about that is coming this week, and into Act III.  I think the challenge will be Act V, the expansion act, as I have zero memory of it.

EVE Online

World War Bee continues.  The invaders have taken all of Fountain and have moved their supers and titans into the region.  Querious remains a skirmish zone around the gate to Catch and the hostiles come through into Period Basis as well, but our core home region of Delve remains mostly unscathed.  Oh, and Niarja fell to the Triglavians and people wonder what that will mean in the long term.  We shall see.

Pokemon Go

A good month for Pokemon Go.  A friend of my wife’s is part of a raiding group and she got us on the friend’s list, so we get remote invites to raid now.  Have to save up coins for remote raid passes though.  (Good thing they are selling some cheap ones soon.)  On the down side, I haven’t hatched anything new or useful from an egg in months now.

Level: 39 (70% of the way to level 40)
Pokedex status: 572 (+16) caught, 601 (+12) seen
Pokemon I want: Need some Unova Pokemon to fill in the gaps
Current buddy: Fraxure

World of Warcraft

As has been the pattern for a while now, I went and did the Darkmoon Faire stuff on my main and then mostly did not log into retail WoW.  We did get some big WoW news though; Shadowlands will launch on October 26th, which means the big 9.0.1 patch will hit some time before then, introducing the level squish.

WoW Classic

The instance group did the ground work for quests and then dove into Sunken Temple for the first time.  I had to miss a couple of weeks due to travel, but we have another run or two there to finish up the instance.

Coming Up

More World War Bee in EVE Online is a given.

More instance group in WoW Classic for sure.  Also, we’ll probably get the retail WoW pre-expansion patch with the big level squish.

More Diablo II certainly.

And some sort of anniversary post.  I’d better start working on that.

What else is coming up in September?  I am sure I missed something.