I find it interesting to see which MMOs have a rabid, wide-spread blog community and which do not:
- Many blogs: Eve Online, WoW, LOTRO, WAR
- Few, if any blogs: EQ, Age of Conan, many older titles
More and more bloggers have gravitated toward the multi-game field, as I have, simply because you’re hedging your bets, not putting all your eggs in one basket, whatever cliche you like, etc. I learned a LOT about blogging by focusing on one title (WAR), and I can attest that it’s very much a different feel — and holds a different readership — than multi-MMO blogging. While my current preference is for the latter format, I respect blogs with a narrow yet focused range of discussion.
LOTRO’s blog community, while not overwhelming in numbers, is pretty dang strong — and like the game community itself, is fairly mature and helpful. There’s tons of great blogs out there (MMeOw, LOTRO Follower, Middle-Earth Adventurer, and so on), but I wanted to highlight two blogs that have definitely enhanced my experience in the game at this point.
The Road Goes Ever On is most likely one of the more unique MMO blogs I’ve ever seen, as it takes advantage of a unique LOTRO feature — its adherance to the source material (the LOTR books). Instead of discussing the game as a game, what the author does is provide an abbreviated version of the published story alongside large screencaps from the game (and helpful footnotes). If you’re not the hugest LOTR buff, you might not have appreciated just how faithful the game is to the novels — at least, until you start reading this blog. It’s really cool how much they’re able to trace the journey of Frodo and Co. from just what is present in the game world.
I’ve enjoyed reading the posts because it has enhanced my understanding of the backstory and current story of the game — Lord of the Rings is no doubt one of the most unwieldy fantasy settings of all time, just because of how much detail and history Tolkein poured into it. Doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s just hard to keep track of who all these apostraphe’d named folks are, who does what, what history has led up to this point and so on. Any blog that can help straighten that out is a keeper in my book.
I also have to give props to LOTRO Info, which I found the other day as I was searching for captain guides. The guide I found there — one of many, many, many guides — was truly excellent, and I poked around on the site to discover a pretty funny webcomic and other helpful tips on how to progress in the game. I really apprecite fan-driven sites that make it their mission to provide a helping hand to neophytes (or even vets) of the game, instead of being like me and just jawing about nothing in particular.