Lack of enthusiastic bloggers

I’m reading a bunch of gaming blogs. You can see them on my blogroll. The only one of them who can be considered somewhat enthusiastic about our common hobby is gnomecore, with plans and charts and whatnot about his many adventures in Azeroth.

I’m not talking about the few grumpy ones who are dissatisfied with everything (you know who you are). I’m talking about the silent majority who are like “I play this a little, I play that a little”. Here’s a post about getting a mount in GW2 or a screenshot from EQ2 or hey, they made this cool LOTRO server, let’s play that.

These people seem to have fun with games but neither one of them seem to care about any one game. They don’t want to achieve anything anywhere, if half of the games would shut down, they would shrug, write a few posts about how sad this is and move on to the other half.

I’m no exception. I do my dailies in World of Warships to have coal for the next season, I plan to rank out fast that season, and … well nothing. I no longer expect to make a difference, because nobody cares to follow what I find. If I’d figure out a groundbreaking way to have 70% winrate in ranked, some people would might say “good job”, while meaning “whatever floats your Shimakaze” and keep doing what they’re doing. Remember my exchange with the Warships redditors who can’t care for anything but memes and funny videos!

I remember my days of raiding in blue. Or taking Wintergrasp, then Tol Barad from the Alliance. Or fighting Goons for highsec POCOs. Or fight them in Deklein. People cared. I cared.

Something fundamentally changed and not for the better. Please don’t say we got older. We obviously did and maybe it’s time for us to move on. But where are the youngsters hungry for adventure and to prove themselves? All I see is those “streamers” who are practically clowns, providing fart jokes, in-game hilarity (instead of good play) or – in case of some female versions – tits.

Do you know anyone being enthusiastic about anything game-related?

Author: Gevlon

My blog: https://greedygoblinblog.wordpress.com/

32 thoughts on “Lack of enthusiastic bloggers”

  1. You banged your head on the wall for a very long time, ignoring any and all naysayers (including myself, on occasion :D). Something had to eventually break. This time, it wasn’t the wall. This is not always the case. It is just you picked a particularily thick wall :D.

    Overall, the game-related enthusiasm is, indeed, dying down. When the corporate and design leaders refuse to address problems such as those you are constantly describing and noone steps up with a new vision worth implementing, this is how things cool down. Potentially all the way down to the cultural version of a heat death. Even Blizzard is going mobile now.

    My personal enthusiasm is being maintainted through competent experimental games like Factorio as well as replays of old games.

    Incidentally, let me introduce you to the guy who held the Warcraft 3 banner for all these years: Grubby! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCF6pCTGMKdo9r_kFQS-H3Q His ability to remain enthused for decades old game is quite unparallelled and has recently been rewarded with the announcement of WC3 Reforged.

    Either way, the only answer in this situation is something that has been the only answer in any such situation – you stop being a consumer with a blog and start being an actual creator. If you feel you can’t meaningfully contribute with anything that is not blog-driven, then you should at least start blogging about something experimental and either completely new or at least not properly explored.

    As for people not following you – this is no reason for you to stop. It is, however, a reason to actually address some of the feedback you receive in a positive way and maybe roll with some of it. There is a game-related research that says that winning nets you interest, but only letting your audience also win about 40% of the time nets you a following.

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  2. @Maxim: good point, but I’m also a devout capitalist and I don’t believe that there is a global conspiracy against me to stop making games I like.

    I mean, yes, Falcon is a corrupted piece of shit and Blizzard is probably started giving out welfare gear because being infected by SJWs, but why there are no other game devs making games for me. From China, Russia or Poland? Remember Kingdom Come:Deliverance, a politically incorrect game from Czech Republic! People rebel from the politics and get rewarded, but the game in itself was a dime a dozen Single Player RPG.

    I’m afraid I’m such a small minority that only Factorio/Dwarf Fortress sized indie games can be made for me. Ergo, if I make the game for myself (from what money?) it won’t have audience.

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  3. “I’m afraid I’m such a small minority that only Factorio/Dwarf Fortress sized indie games can be made for me. Ergo, if I make the game for myself (from what money?) it won’t have audience.” It would if it had a proper marketing budget spent on it. It would need visibility and advertising. If it was based around a great 1990s game it would then attract a 1990s like sales/customer base. If designed around/ based as an improved version of a 2008 game it would attract a similar market share/sales to a 2008 game. The issue is thats not worth your time and investment.

    I never understood how a company could foreclose on a cafe shop that was turning a profit. Making redundant its staff and just closing it down. Made no sense. Until it was explained to me that if I had 1 million pound would I rather get 2% a year for it or 12% a year for it? thats why profitable businesses get wound down because they are not profitable enough, regardless of the social consequences. Welcome to unrestricted market lead capitalism. Thats why as gamers we are currently being served a diet of shit instead of decent games: because why invest in decent product when shite product gives more profit? When the games are dog shit buggy messes designed with the sole purpose to make us open our wallets to the in game cash shop so we can skip the unfun bits, why blog about them?

    I think the market for serious old school games exists still, but its being driven under by the need of the big publishers to maximise the return on their shareholders investments. So they bury us in cash shops and mobile games that couldnt hold the attention of a gold fish. Indies are the answer, but like you say if you made a game who would play it? who has the resources to properly market games these days outside the big publishers?

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  4. That’s a weird question, because the answer should be obvious. People care much more about the “story” posts than they do about the “meta” posts. Your guaranteed method of getting high rank in PUBG is interesting to only two groups of people: those who want to get high rank in PUBG no matter the method(which is actually an extreme minority, most people play it simply to dominate other players or to fuck around with friends) and those with an interest in videogame design, specifically their systems(which is another extreme minority, most people don’t care about videogame design and those who do overwhelmingly prefer arguing about “the narrative” and other secondary nonsense)

    Meanwhile anyone, even people who have never played the game, could follow your adventures in WoW or EVE. After all, they’re basically just highbrow version of “hey guys look at my new mount”.

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  5. Enthusiasm is not dying. With each passing year we just have more and more smaller games that cater to smaller and smaller pools and small assortment of staple games that try to cater to everyone, while grasping no ones attention 100% (I mean, FIFA games are still selling like hot cakes, but who among us gives a damn).

    There is enough enthusiasm in all small circles:

    Pokemon games are still being played by specific crowd and they are still buying them in millions.
    2D platfromers? There has been at least 10-20 just this year, which have been critically acclaimed and sold well to specific crowd.
    Classic western RPGs? They see another golden era, and each year dedicated companies release a few 100-hour long games that seem excellent (even though not many people have time for that, certainly not me)
    3D shooters? What do you need, modern or 90s style? Both are released. And people still play a Counter-Strike in hundreds of thousands (a miracle to me).
    MOBAs? All the big ones are very alive and kicking (LOL, MOBA2, Smite, HOTS etc).
    MMORPGs? Sure, there hasn’t been one big enough, but the heavy-hitters are still there and still alive and well, all the crowds are still being pleased (there are games like Destiny or Warframe, for people who care little about Massive and just wanna grind)
    So on and so forth.

    Basically, each year it’s not 5-10 great games, it’s 50. And there are also a 100 or more of old service-style games that are still around. So you divide the enthusiasm of all gamers not by 5, but by hundreds. And see less of it for any specific game. The market is oversaturated with great games (great for different people with different outlooks).

    Perhaps, as time passes by you just understand and pinpoint more and more what YOU care more about. And that pinpoint is what makes finding a game for you harder and harder. You are no longer satisfied with a game that’s 80% for you, you need 99,8%. That’s what’s being old is called. We just have less and less time for someone’s bullshit (independent of what we consider to be bullshit, be it streamers, loot boxes, “inclusivity”, bad humour or bugs).

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  6. @nightgerbil: obviously true, but not an answer. WHY shit gets 12% and good games get 2%?! Only because most of the customers are shit-eating kobolds.

    @pmichalek: true, one could follow my ADVENTURE in WoW without actually caring.

    @Roman: Wrong. If that would be the case, then every blogger would be enthusiastic about SOMETHING. One would post happily about Dwarf Fortress, one about a 2D platformer, one about a Western RPG, one about LoL. Where are they?

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  7. For myself, I haven’t touched a game for 3 years. Still reading your blog. World of Warships or League of Legends are not my cup of tea, but is still interesting to read your adventures in them.
    Do you read any other type of blogs? Can you give a list of recommendation of other online materials to read, may it be forums, blogs, website.
    Also maybe some top 10/25/50 books/movies?
    I really like reading your posts and would be nice to read some of the things you read next to gaming related content.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I see a lot of people wanting to be enthusiastic about games, but it’s the games themselves that generally end up disappointing their audience. We are at a time where MMO devs and players are so out of tune of each other, that they might as well live in different planes of existence. You know shit’s weird when the most hyped and anticipated up-coming MMO of 2019 is a re-release of a 14 year old game; I’ve seen people that crave to be consumed by a game, like they were in the past.

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  9. I think many have moved to single player games. There are indeed many good ones out.

    Btw: Dwarf Fortress, alot about it on Youtube. Just not that many blogs. Maybe it’s that blogs became less important ?

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  10. They are on Youtube and twitch. Your mistake is that you link the medium with the type of content. I can blog about fart jokes and stream strategies for raiding in blue gear.

    Fact is that more and more enthusiastic content is created as vid and not as post. You have just limited yourself to a medium that is shrinking.

    This is why I have 40+ youtube subs but reading only two blogs occasionally.

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  11. @Chewiecide: youtube is not a good medium for information, as you have trouble finding what you seek and skipping the parts not interested. You are limited to consuming the data speech-speed, which is much lower than reading speed. I see no reason to make a video of me talking and some generic footage rolling in the back.

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  12. @Gevlon
    “If that would be the case, then every blogger would be enthusiastic about SOMETHING.”
    Every – no. Some people are just unenthusiastic.

    You also think that bloggers are not catering to certain crowd. You, and other bloggers are remnants from the older era (you are not over-the-top streamer for sure). And you try to present a specific (more factual) outlook. You do not have enthusiastic outlook yourself.

    What traffic and activity and enthusiasm can be in bloggers have hugely moved on to different places. Most likely, podcasts and the like. Listen to specific podcasts of specific people catering to specific tastes, there is a lot of “hype” there. I am listening to “this is only a test” podcast, it’s from heavily left-leaning techies (Silicon Valley style) talking about many technology, they are extremely enthusiastic about VR games (can’t be fully onoboard, but it’s interesting to listen to anyways). Or listen to Giant Bombcast/Giant Beastcast, there are a lot of different people in their staff, and they are pretty enthuastic about different things (each in different things).

    I concur, maybe these new days smaller bloggers are dying out slowly (even I had a youtube channel dedicated to strategy in one specific game with a few thousand subs, I no longer have time/desire to it). But the number of different big places to get games info has risen. However, since no MOBA or MMORPG has become as big as those 90s-00s games, it’s no longer viable to have entire huge sites dedicated to just one game (remember, there were multiple huge sites and youtube channels just oozing over EVERY WOW patch). Now, every youtuber/blogger needs to diversify.

    The world did not become worse, it just changed and some people became older and out of touch (example, I still don’t use any social media, but that’s just me, not “social media ruined internet”).

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  13. People cared. I cared.
    people change. and people were always indifferent, only your perception of it was different. But don’t be down do your thing! or wait for … CHINA, CHINA has the new shit coming (soon TM)!

    but why there are no other game devs making games for me. From China
    hardcore survival mmo .. best graphics and openworld .. so hardcore … millions of bad plebs over there can’t even buy tickets to kalimdor

    enthusiastic
    it’s a style and delivery. you can change anything into a US 80s sales commercial. even some goth melodramatic content.

    I play baldursgate, some roguelikes (very buggy), d2, xcom series. will look into witcher series next year or 2020. I did care for FPS until I got 40+ and my reaction time isn’t what it was and the aim requirements got nerfed because games changed from quake FPS style to a more tactical FPS style … isn’t my cup of tea.
    I’m a bit old for speedruns. but there you have competition.

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  14. Come 2019, I’ll have been playing MMORPGs for 20 years. In that time I have always played multiple games. I’ve tried to play as many as I could and at any one time there would always be two or three that I was “taking seriously” as in making some effort to progress my character and come to grips with the mechanics.

    Far from being less enthusiastic, I’m probably more enthusiastic now than I was a few years back. Only yesterday I was positively purring with delight over the new EQ2 expansion, for example, which I think is the best for several years. The games have, by and large, changed to suit the way I have always played. I used to have to go against the grain to play the way I liked (playing EverQuest up to 40 hours a week for several years while refusing to camp mobs, raid or do Epic quests certainly put me outside the envelope, for example). These days the games mostly order themselves in such a way as to accomodate my playstyle.

    That said, it may actually have been more satisfying, playing the way I wanted to play in games that largely didn’t support it. It certainly gave more of a sense of achievement. On the other hand, I remain to be convinced that gaining a sense of achievement from anything you do in a video game is something that should be encouraged. These days I find playing MMOs far more relaxing than it used to be and relaxation is really my main goal in playing them.

    As for being sanguine about specific games closing down, no, I don’t think that’s the case for me. I was speculating yesterday about the future for the EverQuest games and my hope was for a long and stable, managed decline. I would like to see many MMOs move into a situation like FFXI or Guild Wars, where there’s a declared intent to maintain them and curate them for a small audience for the long term. That’s very different to not caring whether they live or die.

    But yes, if my favorite MMORPGs did closed down then I would indeed find others to play. My interest in the genre overrides my allegiance to any specific game. And, at 60 years of age, I believe there will be MMORPgs around for me to play for far longer than I’ll be around to play them.

    (Reposted due to NoScript error – delete if duplicated!)

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  15. Gevlon, you should take interest in speed run community. They represent pretty much everything you say about games.

    1. They are competetive, they have ladders and holding a record in specific game is HUGE in the community. Moreover ladders let you evaluate how good at speedrunning you are (being in top 1% f.e).

    2. They spend thousand of hours into single games, often brainstorming and sharing their pathing and tricks with fellow speed runners, this is part about enthusiasm.

    3. There is no slacker/moron give-away, either you get good times in your speedrun or not. If you are bad, its clearly visible and you cant claim otherwise.

    Now I understand, speedrunning may seems little off to you, its very much meta-game and is often twitch-based. But you I think gamers you are looking for, are there. They are passionate about their game, they are active in communities and they compete with each other on objective and measureable field.

    The other groups of players I highly suggest to get hang out are turn-based strategy games. They fit your playstyle pattern of thinking over clicking and often holds FFA matches or tournaments, where one can prove his superiority.

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  16. About youtube beeing slower than reading, I watch all infoheavy vids at 1,5 speed, so basically reading speed. Saves a lot of time. Info overview etc is still bad though. And too few tubers bother with good info and look nks in their vid descriptions.

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  17. I wonder how much the clearly obvious enthusiasm is tied into age.
    My nephew (14) and his group of friends is incredibly into rocket league and fortnite and massively enthusiastic about it, but blogging or reading blogs is not a thing for them.

    You say don’t talk about age, but I think the medium of blogging is tied to age.
    Where are the young enthusiastic people? Playing the game, chatting on discord with others playing the same game, watching streams. But not blogging.

    And about people talking about youtube vids being hard to consume for info. I agree, which is why I ask on discord.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. My major method of consuming content is listening to downloaded audio stuff (including audio ripped from YT). This is mostly because i have nothing better to do during the daily 2 hour commute time, when putting on earphones and listening to some lecture by some dude is the best way to engage yourself.
    Gevlon’s blog is literally the only blog i still read.
    That being said, making video or audio content is an entirely different process from writing. And i don’t think G could really manage that.

    One interesting thing you could do to make your blog more interesting is commit to playing one small indie game a month and review it. There is great demand for content curation nowadays, especially since Total Biscuit is not doing it anymore on account of being dead and all.
    Who knows, maybe you’ll find some value in this process. I mean, Jim Sterling basically built his channel around low-brow Steam game curation, so might be some merit in that.

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  19. The kind of enthusiasm little splinter communities have simply doesn’t hold a candle to the kind of major hope for the bright future of gaming we all had a couple decades back.
    And i disagree that it is just about getting older. Games have really lost something amidst all the commercialization.

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  20. It is a part of getting old and realising all the passion and enthusiasm doesn’t lead to meaningful change in the industry, much less meaningful exchange on the blog. Although back when I was passionate about WoW and blogging about the changes they “needed” to make was when I had the highest “readership”. I still love games but most don’t get me that excited these days, and knowing that no matter how enthusiastic or passionate I am has zero impact on what is happening in the market, and being far more tolerant and patient, makes for the calmness.

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  21. About speedruns:
    There is a saying among physicists:
    “The first time you do something you feel like a scientist. The second time like an engineer. The third time like a technician.”

    So what decides if you will become an engineer or scientist is what gives your brain a feel good vibe. Designing my first spectrograph was pretty hard, and felt great when it worked. Designing the 10th is boring. If I had more “engineer genes” I would enjoy getting better and better and improving little by little at every spectrograph design, but I would rather do something new.

    That’s my problem with speedruns. I enjoyed FF7, but doing it faster is not my cup of tea.

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  22. You’re a creative and out of the box thinker, that’s why I read your blog. Sometimes I use your information to dabble into a game, or even play a few games alongside your, but I can safely say I’ve spent more hours reading your blog then I’ve spent actually playing the games you’re blogging about. I wouldn’t mind expanding your ‘how to win a game’ content to ‘how to win whatever’. As you’ve always been quite negative about any kind of voice comms, I suspect you’re not jumping at the opportunity to make videos or streams. So if you want to keep blogging and the games are dying out, expanding the subject seems to be the only choice.

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  23. This is not a coincidence. The “achievement” in games was replaced with “excitement”. I believe a Blizzard lead dev said something similar but can’t find the exact quote. Long-form content is replaced with short, sugar high inducing contents.

    Also agree on Biggles with making more abstract content! Would be great to see instead of “how to earn isk in eve” to “how to get rich in any game” with more generalized principles and processes that can apply to anything.

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  24. I second Biggles comment.
    As I mentioned I haven’t played for 3 years (I miss the hell out of it though), still read the blog, because the way you think and represent your ideas.
    I found your RL posts and politics posts interesting also. If you would start writing about your profession or chemistry I’m sure I would read them as well.
    So if you have any other interests you could write about, maybe start posting them beside your gaming related contents. Try out 1 in every 5 post a week, and look at the response. Or start another blog for it (although your blog is already not a pristine gaming blog, there are occasional RL, political, “idea” posts) .

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  25. > but why there are no other game devs making games for me. From China, Russia or Poland?

    People like you are miniority and just don’t have enough buying power. And it’s really hard to make game that can satisfy you and enough people like you in same time. It’s more profitable to make for example mobile gatcha p2w “games”.

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  26. I simply moved away from multiplayer.

    I have businesses, I have a girlfriend, friends, social obligations and a dog that all need me and I prove myself to them.

    MP games are no longer fulfilling because their competitive nature no longer does something for me.

    So now I play islamic hassassins in crusader kings, throw mammoths at each other in total war and kill vampires in the witcher.

    I play things that relax me, that provide me a story that is fulfilling and doesn’t force me to interact with idiots. And hey, if i want, i can always fire up a MP total war match or join a ck2 session!

    I guess the trick to being passionate is accepting you will never “win” nd just have fun without M&S.

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  27. I like watching and reading about your adventures. If it’s not a game I already, play the specifics to that game aren’t applicable to me. However, I still enjoy listening to your thought process and your conclusions. Your thoughts and viewpoints are translatable across all games, not just the specific one you are playing, and may be applicable in something that I -am- playing. Perhaps less writing about a specific game and more writing about how to reach that state in any game while using a specific game as an example?

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  28. You play to win, but not to sustain. That means you lose reasons to play and blog if you have found good enough winning strategy. After you get to the top, why play more? Mission accomplished, game defeated, there is little or no reason to play the game more. So you search new ways to challenge, you start to play not to win, but to sustain. Creative ways to entertain both you and your blogs readers. You start to play for fun, the very same thing you hate other doing.

    Blogging is in decrease, videos and streaming are taking over. I think whe whole reason is the same how newspapers get pushed out of internet media sites. Its the lack of communication. Todays media consumer want to influence the media, even a small bit. Newspaper got a slow way, you write a letter back and then they might publish it. Radiostation got a phone call, a way to make your opinions heard, but lack the time to make a meaningful conversation. Media pages got anonymous comments, what allows to have a way to influence without responsiblity.. Social networks got upvotes, what gives reader a way to influence without even wanting to write a line. Streamers got live audience, you can influence outcome on the fly with text in chat or even pay for it to be more spectactual. Blog has own strengths, it is very concentrated information thanks to the time and effort a blogger needs to put into the words. Bad side is, while there is a way to communicate the author, its very hard to have a meaningful debate, because from time window to debate is usually a few days maximum. Thats why forums and other social networks tend to work better, they show on top those posts what are currently most active, not those what are the new and fresh. Streamers have live communication, what means whatever they talk there and now is currently important and you have a way to influence the streamer, they have weekly shedules, what means that you have a way to prepare how you influence the stream, ask help, do a debate, propose a method, etc. Blog dont have that, all comments tend to be on the topic of the post, not the topic of the blog reader and after a week, noone remembers the comment section of greedygoblin blog.

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  29. Perhaps the lack of a game where your progress matters might be the cause? Long time ago mmorpgs where few and offered a slow grind or progress; players would remain hooked, if for no other reason than what they took ages to accomplish (and perhaps the lack of alternatives, or no will to start fresh on other game).
    In my opinion, today’s games are easy. You grind fast, gear up fast, game mechanics are becoming easier to master… That, and the increase in game options, dillutes the will (and maybe the reason) to actually invest more time in a specific game.
    Add that to the existing gamer generation, where high rewards with low effort are preferred by the majority.
    My 2 cents of course!

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