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WoW blogging step 2: Determine your goals

Continuing to expand on the mini-guide to starting your own WoW blog. let's talk about something that's far more important than your blog host: What do you want to do with this thing? Goals determine what you're going to write about, how often you write, what not to waste your time on. They give you focus. That said, you may start out thinking you want to write about one thing and change your mind later. That's okay too. You're not a failure. That's the beauty of blogging; it's very fluid. However, when you're starting out, keep in mind that it's much harder to garner a reader base if you're all over the map with your posts rather than being more focused. That doesn't mean it's impossible, just harder. After the break, I'll go into some things you should consider before diving into your first blog post.

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Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff

WoW blogging step 1: Find a blog host

Last week I opened up a big can o' worms by giving you a mini-guide to starting your own WoW blog. I've conceded to popular demand and decided to give you more detail on what's involved with each step. Today I'm going to talk about what's involved in finding a place to host your blog.

There are about a bajillion places to start your blogging life. Some are easier; some are more customizable. Usually the more customizable they are, the more complex they are to set up and use, and sometimes they are also more expensive. Let's call these two options (1) the Easy Way and (2) the Fancy Way. After the break, I've listed five things to consider when choosing which of these ways you want to go:

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Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff

How to start your own WoW blog

I've been a blogger since before the term "blog" existed. (In the mid-90s, we called it a "diary" on our "zine.") I've been blogging about WoW for about a year now. For some reason, people really like to read and blog about WoW, which is the main reason WoW Insider even exists. WoW is a social game so it lends itself to group discussion. People want to share their experiences and their knowledge so much that there are literally thousands of WoW blogs out there. If you've been bitten by the blogging bug and want to start writing about your own game exploits, here's a 5-step mini-guide for you after the break.

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Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff

Breakfast Topic: The world ends in five hours...

Matticus was originally asked this question, and he's been asking it of people around the WoW blogosphere, so we'll ask it here, too: Assuming that Blizzard suddenly announced that the entire World of Warcraft would be shut down in just five short hours, what would you do with your time?

Automagica would head for World PvP in Hillsbrad. Eye for an Eye would head into the Horde cities for a final extermination. Destructive Reach would do some old-fashioned exploring, both in instances and out, and get contact information for a lot of ingame friends. And Double Bubble, after one last Kara run, would go back to a favorite fishing hole with a favorite pet, and serenely wait for the world to end.

As much as I love instances, I've already run them so much, and I worry that most of my five hours would be taken up with trying to find a group, so I'd probably quest solo (assuming the servers would actually stay up). My Hunter, at 65, would probably too far behind to finish off at 70, so I'd probably do a mad dash for 70 on my Rogue, currently 68. And I'd end the world just as I dinged the highest level on my second 70, which I would consider a proud accomplishment. What would you do with your last five hours in Azeroth?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Leveling

Your WoW summer e-reading list

So you've caught up on WoW Insider. You've read today's Dilbert. You've beaten all thirty-two thousand permutations of Free Cell. But you still have a few more hours at work and you're bored. Well, I've got just the thing for you! A beautiful list of WoW blogs of every shape, size, faction, race, class, and color.

Twisted Nether has posted a WoW Blogs Wiki which you can peruse or even add to yourself. You can look for general WoW blogs or class and spec-specific blogs. So you're jonesing to find out more about playing a Prot Warrior? You've got seven to choose from on the list. You can also look for topic-specific blogs. There are four RP-oriented blogs on the list and three about guild management. There are even more than a dozen podcasts to subscribe to, including ours, of course.

While you're there, add your own favorite blogs into the correct category so they can get more exposure. Looking for new RSS feeds is a great pastime on Tuesdays during the WoW maintenance cycle, too. When you come back, give us a full book report and a diorama for extra credit.

Filed under: Tips, Podcasting, Fan stuff, Guides

The geography of WoW space

World of Warcraft has seen the rise of a massive community of diverse players. Most of us do not simply log into WoW, but visit a number of news sources, fan sites, and web-bases resources to stay on top of new developments in the game. Tim Howgego has created a map of the virtual WoW community. In this image he has categorized some of the most popular spaces that players visit outside of Azeroth.

His map is divided into several areas:

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard

Why WoW quests suck, and are awesome

Any poster that leads off talking about how Feralas is her favorite zone is a friend of mine. Cuppycake (great name there as well) has an excellent post up about questing in WoW (warning: some NSFW language). On the one hand, WoW quests are repetitive -- most of them are either "kill 10 rats" or "be my FedEx guy" -- and they don't tend to tie in to or have lasting effects on the broader story of the game (the current Shattered Sun story excepted).

But on the other hand, it's very fun (Cuppycake uses a different word than "very"). It's a bit hard to put my finger on it, but WoW quests (most of them, anyway) have that little extra something that makes for a very satisfying gaming experience. It's like getting a star in Super Mario Galaxy. A small fragment of lasting achievement is enough to make it feel worth doing to me -- as the post says, an objective is what I need. Give me something to work for and I'll do it, as long as it feels like I'm making progress, and it isn't too slow (I'm not the best at rep grinds).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Quests

WoW Investor helps you fund that potion habit

Will, one of the two bloggers behind this new site, sent us a tip early this morning hoping for a shout-out, and I'm glad to oblige. WoW Investor is a new blog that I've already added to my RSS reader. Their stated purpose is "to keep this blog updated with the latest strategies to increase your wealth using purely financial means," and so far they've been sticking to it.

What do they mean by "purely financial means"? You won't be finding advice on what mobs to grind or which daily quests are the most profitable. Instead, your WoW investment team Will and Jeff bring you ideas on what you can do to earn some gold without leaving the cozy confines of your favorite capitol city. Here are a couple of money-making opporunities they've posted already:
  • If you see Netherweave Cloth going for much less than 3g a stack, buy it, make Heavy Netherweave Bandages, and vendor them. One stack of cloth makes 10 bandages, which will get you 3g from the vendor.
  • At the moment, low-priced Primal Nethers are flooding the AH, so you can make a tidy profit by crafting various Spellthreads. Even if you're not a tailor yourself, you should be able to find one who will make you the Spellthread for mats plus a tip, without killing your profit margin.
Looking forward to more, guys!

Filed under: Tips, Making money

About the Bloggers: Marcie Knox

Twice a week, our writers will tell you more about themselves, and let you get to know them and the characters they play a little better. Click here to read more About the Bloggers.

What do you do for WoW Insider?
I write the weekly Raid Rx column every Tuesday and filled in on Ready Check for a bit. Occasionally you'll see me put up a post about something I've come across or make a guest appearance on another column, but between work and WoW, Raid Rx is plenty for me.

What's your main right now?
I play Valyre, Blood Elf Holy Paladin, queen of lewts and all things pink and purple. Currently I'm my guild's healing lead, webmaster, recruitment officer, and general avoider of MH. Someday our Priests and Locks will have spent enough of their DKP for me to get the T6 shoulders. Until then, I drool on those that have them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Interviews, About the Bloggers

Breakfast Topic: Relieving stress

Usually we think of WoW as a way to relieve stress that we acquire in real life. Yet sometimes stressful things happen in WoW, and we need to find ways in real life to relieve them. I find that whenever something like this happens in the game, from battleground whining and insulting, to trouble finding good roleplayers, it does me a world of good to write about it on WoW Insider in some constructive manner. Not only do I address the problem in myself this way, resolving my own attitude towards it, but I do something that, I hope, helps other people who are experiencing the same problem in their own gaming as well. Many WoW players have blogs of their own, and I presume writing there has a similar effect.

What do you do in real life to relieve stress from WoW-related problems?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Extreme talents

A new WoW blog made its first post yesterday, and it was a magical moment as always. Over at Green Chocobo, Mirrand proposes to chronicle the adventures of a 61-point Fury warrior named Breakpoint (someone's a Final Fantasy fan, it seems), inspired by our very own Beast Mastery-loving Dan Howell, AKA BigRedKitty. I actually met a level 60 51-point Fury warrior shortly after the BC launch, rampaging along Hellfire Ramparts, and he seemed to be doing just fine for himself, so the concept apparently has some viability to it. Most classes, in fact, seem to have enough flexibility to them that they wouldn't be missing too much by just going all the way to one tree. And that got me thinking: what extreme talent builds would work surprisingly well, and which ones would be hilariously catastrophic?

My own opinion is that Fury may be one of the best, and Discipline is certainly going to be one of the worst. Whether that means the Disc tree is badly designed (which it is) is an open question, but I don't think a 61/0/0 priest is going to be doing much good anywhere, any time soon.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Features, Talents

Ask WoW Insider: Favorite class forums and blogs?

It's time once again for the weekly edition of Ask WoW Insider, wherein we choose one of your questions to publish for your fellow readers to answer. This week's question comes to us from Vince, who wants to know specifically your favorite priest sites, forums and blogs -- and more generally, your favorite stops for class-specific news:
I've been a devoted WowInsider reader for almost a year, I think... you're one of the first stops I make on my daily tour of the internet. But I wonder if you know of any great priest forums or blogs I should be reading? Back when my main was a mage, I really enjoyed the Subcreation mage forum, but I haven't found anything similar for priests. There's far too much noise in the Blizzard priest forum.

Any suggestions? Maybe this would be a good "Ask Wow Insider" topic, people could share the class-related blogs they like.
Will you share your favorite priest and other class-specific sites with Vince and the rest of your WoW-loving peers? Please also share your questions with us at ask AT wowinsider DOT com, and each week we'll choose one to publish and kick off discussion.

Filed under: Priest, Ask WoW Insider, Classes

286-day-playtime character deleted on Christmas

Whoever writes this blog is saying that his 3/8 Tier 3, full GM, level 60 human Warlock, with over 6,800 hours played, was deleted from his account by means of a stolen password, and on December 25th, no less. He tells a fairly compelling story. He contacted Blizzard as soon as he found his character missing, assuming it was an error on their part; they got back to him and said his password had probably been compromised via a phishing scam. Our protagonist looked back in his email and found a likely candidate from December 23rd that had asked him to "update his credit card info".

Understandably ticked off, and apparently possessing considerable financial resources, he hired an investigative firm to look into the matter and track down whoever had done this to him. (On a side note, why would the scammer want to delete the character? I can see why he'd want to steal the character's gold, but deleting a character is just sadistic.) He now plans on finding a lawyer and suing this scammer for, presumably, whatever he can get out of him (the blogger hopes for prison time, but that seems unlikely to me; however, IANAL).

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Filed under: Cheats, Odds and ends, News items

Orgrimmar and Stormwind on a par with real cities?

Seattle, New York, LA, London... Azeroth? The latest addition to city-specific blog site Metroblogs' line-up is none other than our favourite virtual destination. Although there's not much on the site at the moment (watch out for NSFW language in the first link), it's an interesting move to consider.

Only a few of Metroblogs' other locales -- including London, New York and Istanbul -- have a higher population than Azeroth, although some would say there are big differences between a real urban population and an online game's subscriber base. We, of course, welcome those who think WoW is diverse enough to merit a dedicated blog, but it's going to be interesting to see how "metroblogging" a virtual world controlled by a single entity compares to a real live city.

Filed under: Fan stuff

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