One shot: Hudson
Posted by Randolph Carter on July 14, 2009
MMO community connection:
The Banstick (updated as of 1/25/10)
Please take a minute and describe what your blog is about.
My blog is really just about my adventures in any MMO or game that I try. One week it may be about a particular MMO, the next it may be a wargame or single player RPG. I also cover comic books when the mood hits me and talk about movies and home entertainment. Most often I find myself discussing the TRENDS of players in online games and the personalities. I like to break down player types and blog about the moods and personalities I see. I usually avoid main blog-osphere drama and skip the big topics because sometimes I really just do not care and let the bigger boys and girls fight about that stuff.
What was your first MMO and what was that experience like?
My first MMO was Ultima Online, back in 1997 or 1998? I cannot remember. At any rate it was interesting to say the least. I really did not get what I was doing and between lag and the fact that I did not devote enough time to understanding how the game worked I eventually gravitated toward the more upscale 3D Everquest 1 when it launched. In fact I still have the original box that states a 3D video card is needed to play it. So even though UO was my first dip into the water, I consider Everquest 1 the true game that hooked me. I don’t count Diablo 1 or Diablo 2. I am 39 and have been gaming a while but get really addicted to MMO’s because they change and run 24 hours a day plus provide a social environment.
Can you recall that first MMO “Wow!” moment?
Landing on the shores of the newly released Ruins of Kunark expansion back in 2000. Zoning into whatever zone that was connected to Qeynos Hills (West or East Karana) amazed me because that zone was so large and wide open and just stretched out forever in front of me. It took me months to be bold enough to even stray off the road in that zone.
At your peak, how much time per week would you say you spent gaming? How about now?
At my peak, most likely during the EQ1 years and then when WoW launched, I was married and she gamed as well. Back then I was easily playing 25+ hours a week. Now, I would say that I am down to 8-12 a week if that. I spend a lot of time now finding things wrong with MMO’s or just finding them flat out boring.
Do you tend to supplement your MMO gaming with other PC, console, or tabletop games?
I sure do. I am into the XBOX 360 and used to be heavily into Warhammer 40k miniatures, Warhammer Fantasy, and Warmachine. I was a regular GenCon Indy attendee from 1995 to 2007. I also used to play Fantasy Flight boardgames like Decent and Tannhauser. Now however, many of my friends have moved or do not have time for face to face gaming so most of my time is spent on the PC or console.
When did you first start blogging?
I started blogging in June 2007 when my blog was Wife Agro. I later changed to my own domain and renamed it Hudson’s Hideout. I needed more flexibility and blogging options plus my blog had a name that was the same as a gaming podcast and I did not want to step on any toes. Before blogging I ran a gaming review site called Game Addict and also had several miniature gaming club sites I maintained.
Do you have a schedule or some sort of routine you try and follow when blogging?
Not at all. I write off the cuff and like it that way. Many times I just throw up whatever I am thinking about and let it ride, sometimes I even write the article on the fly. I always try to get at least one post a week in however, and always do something on Monday.
Would you say there is some grind involved in the process? If so, what is it and how do you cope with it?
Not really a grind, but if you are not careful you will end up blogging the SAME thing as another blog and will not find out until Google Reader parses those RSS feeds (I am lazy and go that route that check all the blogs). Several times last week for instance everything I wrote about popped up somewhere else or was covered on a podcast. I find there is grind more in defending your article from annoying commenters than actually posting one. Sometimes people just do not understand the point you are making.
By contrast, what do you find pleasurable about blogging?
Posting my adventures and my stories. Once you look back, and I have 2 years of history, you can really look at it as a diary of your life and gaming times.
Would you care to share a particularly memorable moment from your days of blogging?
My Guild Leadership 101 post blew up around the internet back in October of 2007. It was called “Waiter, there is drama in my guild…” and it lashed out at terrible guild leaders everywhere and was talked about on many sites. I enjoyed the feedback I got and even had some requests to put it into a PDF and give it out to people.
Have you ever considered branching into podcasting?
I would rather podcast than blog. I need a partner and someone that has time. I used to be on the radio as a DJ back in my college days and I would run a podcast that would probably really go after the MMO industry and definitely not be fanboyish.
Are you pleased with where your blog is in the MMO blogosphere?
Pretty much yes. I feel that for the most part I get my points out there before others but because I am a relatively unknown blogger I get glossed over. That is ok though since I really do not consider myself a sellout and I try to stay under the radar for the most part.
If you had a chance to do it all over again, would you do anything different?
I would not have changed my original domain.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to try their hand at blogging?
Blog everyday to start, or at least 3 times a week. I will not link a dead blog in my blogroll I like to see people active and putting up information. Twittering does not count. If you have time to Twitter, you can expand on that and blog. Do not try to force MMO topics, blog in your comfort zone.
Can you picture a future where you will hang up your keyboard and no longer blog?
Yes, if I had a monthly dedicated podcast co-host. Or if the industry continues to be as stagnant as it is.
You wake up to a world where you are the head of a company developing an MMO. You have unlimited funds and resources available to you. Please describe the kind of game you would make.
For sure I would do a sci fi game on the vein of Warhammer 40k since it has a rich universe from its games to its literature. It would be very combat oriented much like Dungeons and Dragons Online and not feature too much hotbar spamming. Quests would be in the game but not the focal point. Exploration, scouting enemy movements, and taking part in AI raids that focused on mass battles would be the order of the day. Class nerfing driven by PVP whiners would not be in the game, and the factions would be at war constantly much like Warhammer Online. I woud love to see Planetside meets DDO but I know that lag and twitch factor have to be balanced. The entire thing would take years to develop and there would be a lengthy open beta period to make the changes the press and players complain about.
I would also like to implement a communications link quest system that provided RANDOM daily quests as the character was out and about and they would come in like a urgent communiqué. This keeps players out and about but allows them to divert what they are doing on the fly. Make it techy and make it slick.