I read a variety of MMO blogs and have done for years now, many relate to specific games that I play or have played. Certainly the familiarity of gameplay experiences that I can relate to often first attract me to a particular blog – I’d point at my blogroll for examples.
But as a fan of the genre I do read blog posts for games that I do not play, especially if they highlight earlier eras and play-styles for the genre or if they cover major ‘gaps’ in my MMO experience. A good example of these would be Wilhelm’s coverage of Eve Online, I’ve never played the game nor have any real inclination to do so, but it makes for interesting reading of a sandbox game that has some truly massive conflicts. Although the super old-school ascii art MUD world can’t compete, for me personally, with modern 3D gaming I do also find his posts about TorilMUD interesting.
Although I mostly follow Inventory Full for the detailed Guild Wars 2 and Everquest 2 coverage, I equally enjoy Bhagpuss’ posts about Everquest 1; a game I’ve barely played and yet I do find fascinating to read about.
I attribute the rather successful if somewhat late-in-the-day run through of the original The Secret World to Syp’s detailed coverage of the game in an earlier blog series. I enjoy reading actual gameplay coverage on many blogs, industry analysis is great and can be insightful but I have a soft spot for vicarious gaming fun.
Finally a regularly updated blog can help me keep vaguely connected with a game when I’m not playing it actively, Shintar’s coverage of Star Wars the Old Republic is one example of a blog that has kept my interest in a game alive despite long periods of absence.
Generally I’d rather be playing than reading; blog reading and writing doesn’t take priority over play sessions. However, with a commute and other ‘downtime’, and the ease of reading blogs and website on a phone these days it’s usually not hard to find some time on a daily basis to catchup on these sites. Although I sometimes watch a Twitch stream while gaming, I’ve stepped back from this a bit of late as I find it too distracting from actually playing. It intrudes on your attention more actively than having an article or post on a second screen to glance through while riding a griffin-taxi or waiting on a load-screen.
Do you have a particular balance between time spent playing vs reading (or watching) about MMORPGs?