I know I’ve been a little bit scarce for a little bit here but I wanted to pop my head in to make a little announcement. Today, February 18th, marks the six month mark for Fires of War!
It’s been a bit of a journey. Back in August, I had high aspirations for the blog but a realist viewpoint. I’d come as a fresh faced amateur writer from my first blog, MMO Madness. At that time, I wanted to be a one man WoW Insider but had no real conception of the amount of work and dedication such a task would take. Or how challenging it would be to get regular readers.
By the time I was getting done with that blog, I’d been following WAR for a while and was in love. The game was the answer to all of the problems that plagued other games. More than that, it promised new and exciting features and fun content beyond what we’d experienced before. I ate the hype up. The hook was stuck in my bellow before they’d even begun to reel in. So, Fires of War was born. A new, more focused, writing endeavor, bred from passion and the virual enthusiasm of other bloggers such as Snafzg and Keen.
My introductory post promised news, opinion, daily updates and a podcast (aptly titled the “WARcast”). My aspirations were still high. It was summer break from college and I had all the time in the world to scour the web for beta updates, interviews, rumors, and news. So I did. Commenting was low but readers were actually coming. I became more active in the blog community and started commenting instead of silently stalking my favorite sites.
Then the game launched, well, opened into a public beta. I posted screenshots and first impressions. I was enamored. And so it continued for some time. I began writing for Hammer of War Online, a multi-blogger project that also aspired to WoW Insider heights. It was about this time that I noticed I couldn’t quite keep up with all the little bits of news that were coming out. Mythic was so active in the community, so vocal and open, that my supply couldn’t quite match demand, if you catch my meaning. Still, I caught what I could, editorialized all over the place, and enjoyed my newfound voice.
Somewhere along the line, Paul Barnett (and possibly others), caught wind of the blog and began checking it out. The first time Paul emailed me, I was floored. Truly, the guy who’d become a celebrity among the community actually read my blog? It was a milestone for me.
Around this time, the honeymoon ended. I knew the WAR was an amazing game with a lot to offer and unmatched potential for greatness. But my playtimes and the current population numbers meant that I couldn’t experience oRvR. And that I was waiting for scenarios to pop for extended periods of time. I was alright with this, since I’m a big fan of good PvE, but my favorite part of PvE, PQs, were also undermanned. As a result of my playtime, I decided to play another game in conjunction.
I also decided to expand the scope of the blog. This was perhaps the most challenging time for Fires of War. As I expected, many of the readers fell out. If I wasn’t a WAR only blog, then I’d probably fall apart like so many others had done. Or worse, degrade into WAR hate and WoW fanboyism. Neither happened, not that I expected them too anyways. But still, the blog took a hit. Yet, many readers remained which encouraged me to continue and not give up.
I wrote about WoW a bit. I wrote about Vanguard and LotRO too. But I never left WAR. I was still playing it, after all, albeit off and on for short periods during the periods glossed over in this post. I still kept a watchful eye on all of the WAR blogs and fansites.
Then, a couple big things happened. I landed an interview with Paul Barnett for the Age of Blogging initiative. And then, ever so kindly, they sent me a blood spattered Valentine full with a cryptic, threatening, message. This openness and involvement with the community epitomized why I’d wanted to play the game in the first place. Truly, it’s the biggest reason why I still believe WAR is the most promising MMO out there. The team behind it is unrivaled.
But I digress. Somewhere along the line, the readers started returning building back readership to more than it ever was before. I mirrored the blog on gameriot, to expand the audience further, but with the understanding that many of the readers there would never come here, so to speak. But it was never about WordPress pageviews. Ever, it was about voice, express, dialogue, and community.
Now, six months down the line, Fires of War is at a different spot than whence it came. We have a different banner, a different look, but the same core we’ve always had. Roots in WAR, tendrils in other waters. And, right now, that’s the way I like it.
Most importantly, we still have a great set of regular readers. Readers that check daily for updates, even though real life promises to make that ever challenging (but far from impossible). Readers that comment, link to, and independently support the blog. Readers that put me on their own blog rolls, which in turn promises them another dedicated reader. Readers that have shown themselves to be courteous, intelligent, and with a great sense of humor.
When I started, I never would have thought that Fires of WAR, would be where it is today. As bloggers, we like to say we write because we love writing and that’s true. But, the truth of the matter is, your readership keeps us going. So, thanks to all of you. Thank you Snafzg, Syp, Arbitrary & Spinks, Keen, Ferrel, Ysharros, Ardua, and everyone else for providing me a place in the community, encouragement, and an example to work by.
I’m sorry if I didn’t mention you by name. There are just too many. But it’s a safe bet that if I’ve ever commented to, linked to, or mentioned one of your posts, you’re on that list!
Here’s to six months more!