June 25th, 2006 marked the first post I ever made here on MmoQuests. 10 years has gone by since then. Ten. Years. So much has changed, and yet, not that much has changed. I started this blog writing about EverQuest 2. There are a total of 2,889 (soon to be 2890) posts, and 1,349 of them are related to EQ2. That’s a lot of posts. 260 of them are related to EQ. 225 to WoW, and 195 to Wurm Unlimited. Those are my top game categories and it’s pretty easy to see that those are also my top games. Even today, 10 years later.
This blog has changed my life in ways that I could have never imagined. A few years after I got started, I got a job working for Beckett Massive Online Gamer, and wrote articles for their video game magazine. That’s right, articles that are out in print (or were in any case). It was one of my proudest moments. I wrote guides for EQ2, Wizard 101, Aion, and others. Unfortunately the magazine shut down, it was right as the surge of video game web sites was coming up and lets face it printed publications are typically outdated by the time a buyer sees them, especially compared to web sites. It was still pretty damn awesome to go to a big box store like Chapters and buy a magazine that had my articles in it. Sometimes there was just one, other times there were as many as four or five.
Because of the connections I made at Beckett, I was invited to visit the Sony Online Entertainment studio back in 2009. It was another experience I won’t ever forget. I met with dev teams from EQ2, EQ, and they managed to slip in a Vanguard tour for me which was spectacular. I wrote about it all on my blog and it’s just so apparent to me how much of a fan of these games I was even before meeting with the people behind the games.
When Beckett shut down I started volunteering for SOE, both as a guide for Vanguard and EQ2. After some time, I was also invited to sit on their community council. A good portion of my blog and blog-related changes happened because of my love of EQ2 and the fact that I had found a method of discussing my unhappiness with some aspects of the game without being incredibly rude. I learned that developers most certainly DO listen to players but you really have to word it a particular way so that it doesn’t come across as crass. Too many people like to spout hate and disrupt things – that’s not how you get the proper attention of anyone in charge at all.
Eventually I started applying to game companies for remote jobs that were not SOE. These jobs are rare, but they’re out there. It meant I had to break my ties with the SOE Community Council though, which I still miss. Through some luck and a man named David who was willing to take a chance on me, I was hired at Carbine as a forum moderator to help work with the WildStar players and their teams. Eventually this job shifted to me being hired at NCSOFT, still mainly working on WildStar but also dabbling in Aion, and Lineage 2. My job consisted of not only forum moderation, but feedback from players to developers, acting as that barrier. I interacted with players on a daily basis, wrote reports on an almost daily basis, and invented events and games to help keep things calm in times of turmoil. I started helping out with patch notes, and learned just how valuable my sense of organization was. I learned a lot, but unfortunately contract work is contract work, and we all know how those typically end, especially if you’re working remote.
None of this would have happened had I not started writing back in 2006. I don’t often get a lot of comments on my blog, and my readership fluctuates, but I like to think that I have stayed relatively steady through those 10 years. My writing doesn’t change that much, even when I’ve been angry or upset about a recent video game decision. One of my most valuable pieces of advice that I can give is – be persistent. Write steadily and reliably. Write for you. I never ever expected that blogging of all things would take me to where I have gone, but I am eternally grateful that it has. Hopefully my next 10 years of adventures will be just as grand.
As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.