Would anyone want to read the story of your life? On a gaming scale, would recounting your adventures of the day sound like an adventure? For we the bloggers, one way of measuring how interesting a play session was is whether there was anything worth blogging. If you did not do anything worth speaking of, why did you do it?

Contrast: Ravious is blogging daily about his adventures in Rift, while I mentally summarized my weekend play as “I did two quest hubs worth of Forochel on my new Warden.” New and exciting tends towards extremes of good and bad, with new insights to be had, while my third trip through Forochel yields nothing new. A strong argument against the twentieth day of running dailies plus an instance is that your only likely story is that someone you grouped with was brilliant/awful.

If your story is not growing, you are not growing.

: Zubon

13 thoughts on “Blogworthiness”

  1. This could be taken as a damning condemnation of mmorpgs in general since their whole business model is based on the repetition of content and that content is really only newsworthy when it is new and shiny.

    And yet…

    There seems to be more bloggers writing mmorpg stories than there are bloggers writing single player gaming stories despite the endless repetition of content in mmorpgs.

    1. Maybe that’s the innate nature of the genre. Believe me, I could wax rhapsodic about Final Fantasy, Chrono games or even my own games, but who cares? Maybe MMOs, as largely social beasties anyway, engender more chatter?

    2. It is also the finite nature of single-player games. When was the last time Portal had an update? There are sites that talk about gaming generally, but you need to be general to keep a flow of content. You will run out of things to say about Final Fantasy VI.

      Single-player games also tend to have fewer paths and permutations. The more classes, races, etc. you have, the more there will be to talk about. The more people you have interacting, the more there will be to talk about, as you see how those various paths intersect.

    3. The lack of talk about single player games compared with MMOs is probably for much the same reason that one talks more about going to a bar, movie, concert, etc. with friends than about reading a book. On a possibly related note, more sandboxy single player games (Dwarf Fortress, anyone?) do lend themselves to more discussion.

  2. I’ve been considering starting a side blog and dramatising my day to day Guild Wars exploits.

    About a year ago, the blog posts would mainly have been “did Jade Quarry today. Then I did it again. Then I watched some GuildvGuild matches. Then I did some Alliance Battles”. Thankfully, I’ve been approaching my latest spout of gaming with a bit more enthusiasm and am actually doing quests, revisiting areas I haven’t seen in a while and really enjoying it.

    You’re right about how bloggers approach gaming, whenever something new comes out about a game I like I always think “is this worth me making a post about it, do I have anything new or interesting to say on the subject or would I just be repeating the information?”.

  3. Change is what makes life blog-worthy. Newness wears off, whether it’s quickly (like the case of Rift due to the shallowness) or over the long-term in a game like WoW…eventually their is no more newness to bring that daily change to our gaming lives.

    If a game is going to provide longer-term blog-worthiness, it’s going to have to offer new experiences more consistently than an expansion every six months to a year. The world itself needs to change, or the game has to involve interacting with other people, because real social play involves constantly changing and evolving relationships and situations. PvP does this in a limited way, but cooperation does it much better.

    Rift’s “dynamic” content offers change in only very superficial ways, and doesn’t really offer anything beyond the most limited and tightly-contained social experiences…it will become stale and non-blog-worthy very quickly.

    I think GW2 is likely to be the next truly long-term experience for a lot of people, because of both of the criteria above…the world will truly provide some variability to the experiences day-to-day, and because building a community through player relationships and interaction is a primary focus of the developers.

    1. I really hope this is the case. My biggest fear is that when we finally get the chance to scratch through the surface of GW2, that there will not be the gooey nutty centre which we were expecting.

      I have a lot of confidence that ANet can come up with the goods, but there is the niggling feeling that all the hype will end up being for naught.

      ps. your remarks on Rift are interesting, I’ve been sitting on the fence about giving it a go, but I’ve heard lacklustre reviews.

      1. I too have that nagging pessimism that comes from so many disappointments in this genre. My confidence in ArenaNet is growing all the time, though…they just really seem to “get it” and have themselves together (a level of professionalism and skill that I’ve rarely, if ever, seen). They seem to be considering all the right questions and coming up with innovative and clever answers that don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. The proof is always in the playing, though. :)

        As far as Rift goes, I’m looking for almost the exact opposite when it comes to an MMORPG, and I find Rift to be an almost perfect distillation of everything that’s gone wrong with the modern conventional wisdom in this genre.

        I followed Rift pretty closely for more than a year, played it for a significant amount of time, and gave it every possible benefit of the doubt and chance to surprise me. I think I’ve just come to the conclusion about it a bit sooner than others because I started a bit sooner, and I’m not really willing to settle for something simply because it’s all there is.

        I guess my advice would be: If you’ve got nothing else to do, give it a try…I think you’ll find that within a month or two, you’ll be having a really hard time bringing yourself to log in. Whether a month or two of shallow “newness” is worth the money is really a personal preference…and who knows, maybe you’ll end up liking it (to each their own).

  4. Hah, opinions! I feel weird being the one to say that it’s not so much the game you’re playing as it is the people you’re playing with that make your experiences “blogworthy”.

    If I say I played a CTF bg with 9 random people and our flag carrier got down to 1hp before I got my heal off and zomg saved the day and then we won, it’s pretty bland. But if I say that me and my friend and 8 other random people did the same thing, and me and my friend were able to defend the flag as just 2 guys, against sometimes 5+, and went into detail a bit more about all of the possible things that could have happened, it becomes a bit more interesting.

    The question you’ve got to ask yourself is are you writing a diary, reporting the facts, or entertaining people? IMO :O

  5. Different games offer different levels of blogworthy content, and part of that has little to do with the content itself.

    Breaking down in detail how your guild killed Onyxia is pretty lame blog content. We know, baddie Johnny got knocked into the whelps, again. Yes, phase two hurts. Yup, there is drama around the loot.

    Anyone who has done that content, and a ton of people have, knows the story. It’s the same for everyone, more or less.

    People love EVE/DF stories because in part, they are always something somewhat new. Even a battle in the same location likely has different participants, factors, and outcomes. Add in that most have not been in large-scale high-end PvP, and that itself is a newness. Topped off with those moments being peaks in an otherwise very “not for everyone” trail, and again, more reader interest.

  6. Very well put OP, Zubon. Something everyone could stand to think about more, not only in terms of their gaming but in everything they do.

    It reminds me of the endlessly repeated mantra of the fiction writer – your character needs a problem and a choice to make about that problem, but most importantly they need to change in some way for the story to feel like more than a static portrait.

    With something new-ish like Rift, you’re constantly going to have new insights, and even familiar experiences (I saw someone almost dead, and helped them!!) will be colored in a slightly different light, which I think lends weight to them being “blog worthy”. Your perception is being changed a bit, your attitude coming out will have new nuances. In contrast, running a familiar zone for the 3rd or 4th time, or seeing the same quicktime event in Call of Duty, you don’t really much room for new insights – and rightly so, considering in these games the whole point of the design is to rigidly control the player’s experience.

    As for single player games, it depends what their design is. I’ve been enjoying the hell out of Puppy Games’ Revenge of the Titans, but there’s nothing really interesting for me to impart to anyone. On the other hand, I could see someone blogging profusely on their latest idea for a unique playthrough of Deus Ex or Magicka. There, again, it’s possible to approach it with a novel idea and come out with a new understanding of the game.

  7. I don’t have the ambition gene so I’m not bothered about whether I “grow” or not.

    As for whether a blogger has to be growing to be worth reading, I’m much more interested in how well they recount what they’ve done, not what they actually did.

  8. It’s not just change or novelty. When you and Rav and the rest are really delivering the meat for this site, it’s when you’re talking about the implications and *meaning* of the experiences you’re having in gaming, not the experiences themselves.

    i.e. analysis

Comments are closed.