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Making the World of Warcraft more trivial, one post at a time…

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  • In EU beta, wondering what the heck that red man over on the right hand side of my screen meant. Given that the guy was in armour, and I'd just seen my first centaurs on the edge of Mulgore, I jumped to the conclusion that Mulgore was being invaded! AMG!
  • Hanging onto grey items, until I found out what they could be used for.
  • Lagging into the Ironforge lava, back when EVERYBODY hung out in Ironforge. 
  • Being petrified of going into the Southshore area, in case I got ganked…on an RP server.
  • Not being able to figure out how to get to my corpse when I died underwater.
  • Not figuring out that you could buy gear, or get your guildies to craft it for you, until I was well into my 30s.
  • Not knowing to do the Menthil Harbor to Ironforge run naked, to avoid the inevitable repair bills. 
  • Wait, food gives you buffs? Ooooooooh…
  • Having no idea that you could train to use other weapons.
  • Taking nearly a year to hit level 60.

And just for something a bit different, here are the things that scarred me from my early WoW days:

  • Endless corpse runs into caves in the starting areas, because you would always end up getting aggro as soon as you ressed, and before you could buff or heal
  • Those bloody furbolgs near Dolonaar. I still drop by to wipe them out for old times' sake whenever a world event takes me their way.
  • How darn big Ashenvale was in those no-mount, one flight-point days.
  • But not as big as Desolace.
  • Being perpetually poor as an Enchanter, because all my greens were being disenchanted rather than sold.
  • Oh, and my first run from Menethil Harbour to Ironforge, in my low teens. Just when I thought I was safe, because I was beyond the crocalisks, I got ganked by the orcs between the tunnels. I hated that run.

Sometimes I forget just how much the game has changed since 2005.

OK. So, as nobody cares about boss kills and they should only be on guild blogs ( :-) ) I've posted my first Wrath boss kill movie over on my guild's blog.

It's not the hardest boss in the world

I am amazed at how much the quality has gone up since I last did movies like this. Part of that is the HD quality now available on YouTube, part of it a better computer, but the graphics upgrades that have come with Wrath are part of it, too. I'm looking forward to doing more. 

Just a quick apology to anyone who has left a comment here recently. There's a technical problem at my blog host's end that means that names on comments are not correctly showing as links through to the commenter's blogs.

I'm assure that Typepad engineers are "working on it", and that the missing URLs will be restored soon.

Apologies about that. 

The 10 Basics of Blogging

  1. Write about what you care about – blogging is (largely) an enthusiast's game. If you're not enthusiastic, it really, really shows in your writing. If you're not enthusiastic about what you're writing about, you've just bought a one-way ticket to FAIL.
  2. Learn to link – the basic skill of blogging is to spot something that's interesting. That's where blogging started as weblogs (literally logs of web travels). If you're not linking out to other blogs, you're not joining in the wide conversation that is the blogosphere.
  3. Write in your own voice – blogging is a personal medium. Write in your own voice. Not in that of other bloggers you admire. Not in the voice you think you should have. Write in your voice. This blog is often sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek and flippant, because that's how I feel about WoW most of the time. It's a fun game to me, and I can't take it too seriously. (Except when I do.) Think of your blog as an extension of yourself, and write like you would if talking to a group of friends.That's conversational writing, and that's what attracts readers to blogs.
  4. Know what you're writing about, if you want traffic – Niche blogs do better than generalist blogs, unless the generalist blog has several contributors and loads of posts a day (eg this old thing). It's a fact of blogging life. If you're happy with a small but loyal audience, go general by all means. If you want the big numbers, define yourself a little.
  5. Enjoy yourself - Really, really important. Blogging is a slog, because it takes effort to build an audience. But it should be a fun slog, something you want to do. You should look forward to opening your blog platform and communicating with your readers, and every comment or in-bound link should quicken your pulse a little. You need to be a wee bit obsessed to be a good blogger.
  6. Keep posting - Regular postings build audience. Simple as that. The post doesn't need to be a 2,000 word magnum opus, though. It can just be a link to another post you found interesting. Get into the discipline of sharing interesting stuff you find with your readers, and this become easy.
  7. Vary the pace – Imagine heading to the pub with a friend who only every gave 10 minute speeches, but never did any chit-chat. That's what your 1,000 word posts only blog is like. Vary the pace. Old media publishers have know this forever. Short pieces at the front and back of the mag, longer pieces in the middle. Vary the pace. Make things more interesting for your readers.
  8. Read and comment on other blogs – the best single way to become a better blogger is to read and get involved in the conversations happening in the blogosphere. Leave comments elsewhere if your immediate reaction is short. Link and react on your own blog if your reaction is long. You will absorb by osmosis the best techniques of other bloggers just by reading their work.
  9. Answer comments - Duh. Blogs are a conversation. If you talk to friends down the pub, but ignore everything they have to say, you'll probably find that they stop inviting you.
  10. Remember that you're doing this for fun – You're not going to make a living WoW Blogging, so if you're not having fun, why do it? Oh, and if you're not having fun, the readers can tell. And that'll drive them away.

1 Yes, I am aware of the irony of writing a guide in response to a complaint about all the guides out there. I am a contrary tree.

Oh, look. Video recording works on my iMac again. I don’t know if it’s something Blizz did, something Apple did, or something I did, but now you can have multimedia experiences like this:

Be afraid…