Autoblogography

In this week’s shared topic on Blog Azeroth Ophelie from The Bossy Paladin asks:

What pushed you to start blogging? What challenges have you faced? What are you favorite posts and why? What are the stories behind them? How has blogging affected your gaming?

My first blog was a personal blog on a Norwegian blog service website, almost everyone I know has a blog there where they write about their lives. I started mine there because it was easy and fast. At first I blogged about my life but as I was unemployed and spent most of my time in WoW not much happened in the real life, so I started to blog more and more about WoW only. I noticed I lost some readers there, not that I had many but people just commented things like the game sounded interesting but they weren’t that into games.  It’s not that fun to write about something you find really exciting and interesting when your readers think it’s boring.

That blog was also in Norwegian so it was very limited with readers. And it’s really hard to write about WoW in Norwegian cause it’s so weird to translate it, some words shouldn’t be translated cause it looks and sounds so weird, words like guild, boss, raid etc. And Norwegian is a language I already master, English is not so I wanted to write in English to become better at it. I wanted a place to share my experience, thoughts and everything with other WoW players but I didn’t know where or how.

I read other WoW blogs every day, Qieth’s Quips was my favorite cause he knew everything about moonkin and is a very good blogger. So I decided to ask him a few questions about blogging and how he started. He gave me some tips and after some thinking I started my own WoW blog on WordPress.

I’m not trying to have a very serious blog with tons of guides, theorycrafting and how to play. I like to read blogs like that, but I’m not that good at testing, math and all that stuff.  I did write a short moonkin guide cause I like to keep track of all the moonkin changes and why not share it, happy if I can help someone out there.

So I started this blog with the goals of it becoming a fun blog with posts about events, alts, screenshots and adventures, and of course some raiding, PvP and moonkin, maybe some serious talk and whining about changes. Sometimes I blog about more personal thoughts or experiences in WoW like how annoying it can be to be a girl in WoW or my dream about becoming a game designer. And as I got into the Cataclysm alpha and beta the blog was a great place to share everything.

A few weeks after I made my blog I introduced myself on Blog Azeroth and started reading new blogs, commenting, adding blogs I liked to my blogroll. I made a Twitter for my blog and started following people, I made some new friends and now I love the WoW blog community. They’re all so friendly and interesting people.  It’s so good to have a place to share everything without getting negative comments in return cause I play WoW.

Since I’m still a new blogger I haven’t met many challenges yet, but there has been two. First one was choosing a name for my blog. I’m usually very creative but I couldn’t come up with anything. At first I wanted a fun name with no limits, so I didn’t have to change it if I changed main or name. But I was blank, so I chose Syrco Owl because Syrco has been my name since I started playing, and I know that whatever name I use on my character my friends in WoW will always call me Syrco. Owl because my main is a moonkin and owl makes it sound funny.  I think the name is ok, I’m not 100% satisfied with it, so might change it if I come up with something better.

The other challenge has been the HTML and layout. I know what I want, but I don’t know how to all that coding. I have tried, many times, but I gave up cause it took too long time with not good enough results. So I ended up using one of the WordPress themes and just added some widgets and my own header which is not very good either cause I suck at Photoshop and similar programs.

Oh, another challenge right now is what to blog about. I don’t want my blog to die, but there is not much to do in WoW right now. Beta is almost over and I haven’t been so active there the past weeks. I only log on to do the elemental invasion and raid a few times each week. I’m sure there will be enough to blog about when Cataclysm release. Looking forward to it.

I don’t think blogging has affected my gaming that much. I know some of my guildies read my blog and I’ve gotten a few in-game mails and comments from other guilds on my server, all positive comments so it makes me really happy to know that people I know read it and think it’s good. A guildie first said “Oh, so you’re writing a blog? Another blog full of text about random class changes and copy pasted from MMO-Champion?” I gave him the link and he was quiet for a while before he replied and said something like “Nice, a blog with screenshots and fun texts! Good job!”. I know many people who hate reading, they’ve never read a book and they hate long walls of text cause they are hard to read, so I always try to add screenshots or other pictures if it fits or use other methods to make it easy readable.

My favorite posts are those where I can add many screenshots, posts about things I’ve done in-game either it be a secret place I’ve been to, an event I’ve done, or a boss I’ve killed. I take screenshots of everything that happen, I think my screenshots fill 50% of my computer, or almost.

My hopes for the future are that I will continue to enjoy blogging and WoW, and that people will find my posts interesting and fun, maybe get some more comments, get to know more people in the blog community and become better at English.

World of Warcraft secrets: Windle Sparkshine and the tauren village

This week’s Shared Topic on Blog Azeroth is about World of Warcraft secrets, suggested by Syl from Raging Monkeys.

What WoW secrets have you discovered on your long journey through the world of warcraft? What unexpected, surprising or delightfully ‘pointless’ things have you chanced upon that add something special to the game for you?

Most people only do what the game tells them to do like go where the NPC tells you to go and do what the NPC tells you. One of the reasons I started to love this game is because you can go anywhere you want, you can explore everything.

I believe there are many secrets out there that we don’t know about. Secret NPCs who only become visible when you’re dead, like the one in Blackrock Mountain for the Blackrock Depths key, secret places, items, quests etc we just have to find them.

With secret I mean things that the game doesn’t tell you where to go to find it. Like Syl wrote about: Sheddle Glossgleam who polishes your shoes but there is no clue which tells you about it.

I’ll tell you about another NPC I find entertaining and that is Windle Sparkshine.

Windle Sparkshine is a gnome NPC in Dalaran. At 9:00 PM server time he walks around and lights the lamps in the city. When he is done you can purchase Windle’s Lighter and help him light the lamps he missed.

First time I noticed him was an evening when I was bored just hanging around in Dalaran, and I saw this little gnome pointing with his wand on the lamps and it lighted, so I started to follow him around and when he was done I purchased a wand and lit the ones he forgot. Then people started to ask me what I was doing and how, so I told them about Windle and they went to buy wands.

It seems to me that not many people have noticed this little gnome lighting up Dalaran every night, maybe they are too busy or afk, or never in Dalaran at that time. But I think it’s sad that some people miss out on these, maybe small things, but fun things which make the game more entertaining and more real.

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I want to share another story with you, about a special place, a secret place that not many people have been to, because there are no hints or clues telling you about it anywhere.

I’m one of those players who don’t follow the normal path when I go somewhere, I always have to read all readable books and talk to all NPCs and read what they have to say.  When I started this game I spent a lot of time exploring the zones, I ran from north to south and west to east, and the question was always “How can I get on top of this mountain?”.

So I am an explorer who wants to see the whole world from all possible perspectives. I’ve already told you about some of my adventures and now I will tell you about another one which is the tauren village on the coast of Silithus. It’s not hard to get there, only a 10 minute swim, but I don’t think many people have been there.

I discovered this place myself when I was on a mission to swim around Kalimdor to look for secrets like this. I was almost done, had been swimming for some hours and not found anything, was about to give up, just had to swim around Silithus and Un’goro to reach Tanaris.

Then I saw something in the horizon. It looked like a house. So I continued and what I discovered looked like a small tauren village. A hut, windmill, another mill, haystacks, fences, canoes and a weird tent. All this on the coast of Silithus. But there are no NPCs, mobs, quests to go there or anything else. So why is it there?

I checked Wowwiki for information on it and found this:

It was probably meant originally as a stronghold of the Horde, Cenarion Enclave, or Grimtotem tribe. Due to its somewhat hard to reach position — by swimming or water walking, thus making use of the aquatic form — it might have had also something to do with druid training.

I’ve been there many times after I first discovered it back in TBC. There is something special about the place, maybe because I love taurens and their architecture. I’ve spent hours just sitting in the little house in that village and listen to the music there. The music is so different, I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard it before elsewhere, I don’t think so. It’s so relaxing to sit there a late night by the fire.

By the way.. The music in that hut is the same music, but different mix, of the new Cataclysm Thunder Bluff music.

If you want to read more about secrets and hidden places in WoW, be sure to check out my other adventures and secrets I’ve explored. And if you know about any other secrets in WoW I’d love to hear about them!