- There is a meme traveling through what is left of the MMO blogging community lamenting the death of blogging. I first picked up on it from Brian Green. But various responses have appeared from Wilhelm Arcturus, Ravious, and the inimitable Syncaine. Even Tobold took a break from this anti-5th edition crusade to weigh in.
- It is hard to deny that the MMO blogging community is not as vibrant as it once was. Syncaine pegs its apex at the launch of Warhammer Online, the game that is emblematic of everything that is wrong with post-World of Warcraft MMORPGs. Since then, even with efforts to draft new bloggers into the fight, fewer and fewer are taking up arms to debate the merits and failing of these games. Even the most prolific bloggers are standing down from the barricades.
- The conversation that used to occur in the blogging community seems to have shifted to other platforms like Twitter, Google Plus, and even Facebook. Not that there is much to talk about. Each new MMO since WoW has been increasingly tepid. Looking at Hunter's blogroll shows that half of the Guild Wars 2 blogs have stopped updating or disappeared entirely and it's been out for under a year. Only EVE Online has anything that looks like a community. That it continues to thrive around that game should be no surprise anyone.
- Back in the day, back when I first discovered blogging, it was not about conversations and reasoned arguments. It was about the rant. Writers like the legendary Lum The Mad challenged game design as it was in its infancy and helped shape it. But then, the games became tamer. There was nothing to rant about, so we discussed best practices and MMO theory. It was a bit of an echo chamber, but it was a lot of fun. We played together, looked forward to the next big thing, and rushed to be first in the queue when the servers opened.
- But then the innovation stopped. Companies spending millions of dollars and years of development time started playing it safe. The occasional issue came up now and again, but the future of the MMO and, thus, the blogging community was sealed. You just have to look at the shambling husks of WoW-Killers to see that things have gone terribly wrong. There is nothing to discuss if no one is willing to innovate anymore.
- It is not the community that failed; it's the games that failed us.
© 2013 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.