A year ago I had a crazy idea of starting up some blog to cover a game that hadn't even come out yet -- Warhammer Online. To this day, I'm not exactly sure what possessed me -- maybe I was envious of the fun that World of Warcraft bloggers got to have, maybe I wanted to get in on the ground floor, maybe I have a worm in my brain that made me do irresponsible things. I think above anything else, I just love to write, and to cover what I'm passionate about. Gaming is one of my favorite hobbies, and it's just a relaxing, enjoyable way to relish that.
One year! I can't believe it. And what a year it's been... sort of a dual rollercoaster, with one track being the ups and downs of Mythic and Warhammer, and the other track being the ups and downs of blogging.
When I first started writing WAAAGH!, I honestly believed that the game was going to launch soon -- as in, two-months soon. Very quickly we hit the good news of the Collector's Edition and the bad news of another delay. Oh, the pathos! Suddenly, a blog started in March had to face the very real possibility that it'd have to go through the entire summer and beyond without an actual playable game. Fortunately, Mythic geared up the info/hype machine over the summer, and we got news on the White Lion (ooh, everyone said), interviews galore, and the infamous day that spawned a thousand blog posts -- the day when the four capital cities and four classes were announced to be cut from release.
From then on, the ride kept going faster -- the NDA drop, open beta, the GOA fiasco, head start, launch, mailbox woes, gold spammers, frequent patches, oRvR influence rewards, live events, population imbalance, too few servers, too many servers, yearly awards, WAR vs. WoW, patch 1.1, patch 1.2, Mythic loses employees, bloody Valentine cards to bloggers, new classes... and whatever else might happen tomorrow. What's one of the greatest boons of blogging about WAR is that there's nearly always something to talk about, and I credit Mythic's hard and frequent work and communication as part of that.
As for the second rollercoaster, blogging, it didn't exactly go as planned. WAAAGH! was going to be only a twice-a-week thing, at least until launch, and you see how that fared. Once I got going, I just couldn't shut up. I've been mocked, perhaps appropriately, for my multiple-posts-a-day (sometimes reaching 5 or 6 when I've had my coffee). But it was a slow start at the beginning. In spring 2008, the WAR community wasn't nearly as strong or as communicative as it is today, although it definitely was present. Heck, Snafzg waited a full month to see if I was going to drop out of blogging before he'd give me a mention!
One of my not-so-subtle tricks to get plugged into the WAR community was my efforts to interview every WAR blogger, forum administrator and site owner out there. It helped with traffic, to be sure, but it had the greater effect of making friends and acquaintances with several of the nicest folks I've known in gaming. I'm somewhat picky and and an introvert when it comes to friendships, but it felt like I got invited to a party online that not only made me feel completely comfortable, but hasn't quite ended yet. WAR has one of the absolute best gaming communities I've ever seen, and I am incredibly proud of the level of mutual support and encouragement that I see between the sites and blogs. The Age of Blogging initiative was a small seed of an idea to get more bloggers onto the scene, and everyone took it and ran with it far beyond my wildest expectations. Now, we have the WCPI, and tremendous writers who frequently make me envious with their skill, dedication or devotion to number-crunching.
I've been proud of doing this blog and seeing ways that it's grown -- not proud as in a boastful way, but just proud as in satisfied with the results of hard work. I won't lie and say it's not cool to be recognized by others online or in game, or to get a nod by Mythic from time to time. But I'm happier to be able to help others start their blogs and give them the initial boost that others gave me. It's great to be part of a group of writers who equally inspire and challenge each other to write. Some day, I'll retire WAAAGH!, and when that day comes, I won't have regretted the time I spent writing here. I'm glad to provide you with something to read every day, even though I'm sure my insights are no more keen than your own -- it's just fun to gab about a mutual passion.
Thanks for reading, everybody!
You can read WAAAGH!'s very first post here.