What’ll Be On The Pot In The Next Few Months

So, I have a bit of an announcement to make.

For the next few months, I’m going to be insanely busy. As a result, I’m going to have to stop doing my weekly Melting Pot roundup.

I really enjoy reading around the community and assembling the best bits for you; however, I’ve got some major work opportunities coming up that I need to focus on.

BUT – and this is a big but – The Melting Pot won’t be going silent.

Firstly, if anyone fancies doing a roundup of their own, I’ll cheerfully post it here! Mail me at [email protected] .

But the main reason that the Melting Pot won’t be going silent is this: As many of you know, my main career is filmmaking, specifically Machinima (in-game) filmmaking.

(For those of you who don’t know – amongst other things, I founded the Machinima network.)

Some of the projects I’m working on are directly connected to WoW and the MMO community. They’re also somewhere between “pretty interesting” and “goddamn huge”.

I figure that most of you will be interested to hear about them – so I’ll be sharing updates on them here, as soon as I can.

So, look for the first bits and pieces coming out later this week, and rising to a steady stream from then on!

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Away for a week, back after that!

The Melting Pot will be quiet next week as I’m AFK for a week actually playing games rather than writing about them!

If you see anything you think we should feature, Tweet me or comment below and I’ll pick it up when I get back.

We’ll be back with all your regular MMO goodness the week after!

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Heads up!

I’m swapping the Melting Pot over to the CloudFlare service today to combat the massive tide of spam we’re getting at the moment.

That might mean the usual problems that can arise with this sort of thing – downtime, disconnections, etc.

If you have any problems, please ping me on Twitter (MMOMeltingpot) or email ([email protected]).

Cheers!

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Would you like to help stir the Pot?

As you’ve probably seen, I’m in a massive time crunch right now, as are the rest of the Pot crew, and hence the update schedule for the Pot has dropped off a bit.

Hence, I’m wondering if anyone from the MMO blogging community would be interested in coming on board as a volunteer curator, to help me out posting updates once or twice a week – as you see interesting things that deserve a wider audience.

You’d need to have enough time to keep up with a LOT of MMO blogs – not just a personal RSS feed, but an overview of the entire community – good writing ability, and be reliable.

If that sounds like fun, let me know at [email protected] , and we can discuss further from there.

This is still an early-stage idea – it may turn out that it’s hard to fit another member into the Pot’s staff, or some other reason prevents us from doing this. So if we don’t choose you in the end, please don’t be offended! But I think it’s an idea that could potentially turn out really well.

Interested? Let me know!

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What Do You Think – Prototype Guide Video?

I’m testing out a new idea for the MMO Melting Pot guides today – short videos designed to teach rotations for each class.

This one’s a guide for Shadow Priests, but I’d be interested to hear your opinions on the format regardless of the class it’s teaching.

Is it clear? Did you understand it? And most importantly, when a new patch hits would you find a quick guide like this useful?

Please do comment – it’s really helpful to know what you think!

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Links For The Weekend

It’s been a busy week – and with the avalanche of MMO content coming in the next two months, I don’t see it getting any quieter.

So, here are some links for you over this weekend:

  • Stubborn at Sheep The Diamond has been attempting to level every class to 85 – and he’s blogging his experiences with classes he’s never played before now“Stealth adds a very subtle element to game play: time. You don’t really think about it, but a lot of PvP has to do with time budgeting. When you can either dps OR try to heal yourself OR call an inc in a bg, you can never get done everything you want. “
  • And Spinks has a damn good point – why DO we complain about multiple MMOs using the same system but different settings?“I wish one of the big MMO companies would find a way to open source their mechanics and let other developers work on a wide range of different expansions, so that players could take their favourite character into multiple different games. Just like the D&D campaigns.”
  • Finally, if you haven’t yet, please do read about the future of the Melting Pot and what you can do to make it happen!

Have a great weekend!

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What’s In The Future For The Melting Pot – And How You Can Help

Heya, everyone!

So, as you may know, the Melting Pot celebrated its second birthday last week. From an idea that Rebecca and I had when we were coming home from shopping, it’s grown into a really unique project. It’s something that I know a lot of people find really valuable and interesting, and I’m really pleased about that!

We’re in year two and have no sign of slowing down, so I thought I’d write a bit about what I want to do with the Melting Pot over the next year or so, and how you can help us make Cool Things Happen.

Introducing new blogs to new readers

Firstly, I want to keep introducing bloggers to new readers, particularly newer or smaller blogs. I’m really pleased with and proud of how much we’ve been able to help both new bloggers get out there (such as Bravetank, Flosch from Random Waypoint, and the many Newbie Blogger Initiative bloggers) and help well-known bloggers find new audiences, as we’ve been doing recently with the EVE blogosphere.

(If you know of a blog we should be covering, even if it’s small, and especially if it’s yours, please do let us know! Don’t worry if you think we might already be covering it – let us know anyway, it’s only one click for me to check if we’re already reading them.)

I’ve started many, many blogs myself, and no matter how often you’ve done it, I know how painful the early stages of pushing a blog can be. It’s depressing and isolating feeling like you’re just writing for an audience that isn’t there, and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen to any blogger who has something interesting to say.

Getting MMO bloggers the respect they deserve

The second goal I’ve got for the Melting Pot this year is a big one. I want to extend the reach of the MMO blogosphere far beyond where it is now. I want top blogging voices in MMOs to have the same respect and readership numbers that top bloggers and opinion writers have in other fields. Massively Multiplayer gaming is a huge and growing segment of our culture – why shouldn’t MMO bloggers have the same readership as Penny Arcade, or be as influential a voice as Cory Doctorow in their respective fields?

Currently, there are millions of people playing MMOs – tens of millions, actually. But only a tiny fraction of them read multiple MMO blogs on a daily basis, or participate in MMO discussions on a frequent basis.

Is that because they’re just not interested in talking about MMOs? I don’t think so. The size and length of the comment threads on any major gaming site or official forum tells us there are a lot of people out there. Jokes about the quality of writing aside, a lot of MMO players are interested, thoughtful, and really want to debate the issues around MMOs, from sexism to game balancing to the theory and philosophy of gaming itself.

They just don’t know what’s out there. Or they don’t feel they have the time to filter through thousands of blogs. Well, of course, that’s where we come in.

And that’s where I want to ask for your help.

I’ve got some plans – a lot of plans, actually – to let more people know about all the good stuff that’s out there in the blogosphere. We’re going to be trying everything from high-profile guest blogging to actual paid advertising. But you can help too.

How you can help

If you run a blog, please take the time this weekend to tell your audience about the MMO Melting Pot.

I know a lot of you link to us frequently, and I’m very grateful for that – thank you!

Because we’re not a blog, I’ve discovered that a lot of people who come to the Pot for the first time don’t really understand what we’re about, why we do what we do, or what they can get out of sticking around. I think that, modesty aside, the Melting Pot is one of the best ways for any MMO player to find different, unique, interesting perspectives on the games they love every day. Hence, I’d really love more people to find out about us!

In addition, I know that a lot of MMO players do indeed read one or two blogs – but just one or two! I’d really like to present the MMO Melting Pot to those readers as a way to find more interesting writing about MMORPGs. And your blog might well be the one blog that someone reads!

I’ve written up a sample paragraph about the Pot that should serve as a good introduction – feel free to copy and paste and alter as much or as little as you’d like! Of course, you can also write something yourself – this is just meant as a time-saver!

“By the way – if you’re not already reading the MMO Melting Pot, you should give it a look. They showcase the best blog articles on MMORPGs from WOW to EVE, from hundreds of blogs you might not have heard of. If you want to hear interesting new ideas, discover fun new blogs to read or find out what everyone thinks of the hot new issues – check them out. They update daily. This week they’ve covered WoW’s raiding problems and the question of whether attunements should come back, plus the question of whether Guild Wars 2 will be any good, amongst other things!”

[copypastanonraid]By the way – if you’re not already reading the MMO Melting Pot, you should give it a look. They showcase the best blog articles on MMORPGs from WOW to EVE, from hundreds of blogs you might not have heard of. If you want to hear interesting new ideas, discover fun new blogs to read or find out what everyone thinks of the hot new issues – check them out. They update daily. This week they’ve covered WoW’s raiding problems and the question of whether attunements should come back, plus the question of whether Guild Wars 2 will be any good, amongst other things![/copypastanonraid]

(We also have image banners for the Pot if you’d like to link to us using them!)

If you’re not a blogger, you can also help us by getting the word out on social media. Please let your friends and guildies who are into MMORPGs know where to find us, and as importantly, why they might be interested!

Here are a few sample options for Twitter, Facebook and Google+:

Twitter

“Are you reading the MMO Melting Pot? Great way to find interesting writing about MMORPGs – http://www.mmomeltingpot.com”

Click here to Tweet this message!

Facebook

“Hey, BTW – if you’re not reading the MMO Melting Pot, but you’re interested in WoW or other MMOs, you should give them a look. They showcase the best blog articles on MMORPGs from WOW to EVE. If you want to hear interesting new ideas, discover fun new blogs to read or find out what everyone thinks of the hot new issues – check them out. They update daily. http://www.mmomeltingpot.com”

[copypastanonraid]Hey, BTW – if you’re not reading the MMO Melting Pot, but you’re interested in WoW or other MMOs, you should give them a look. They showcase the best blog articles on MMORPGs from WOW to EVE. If you want to hear interesting new ideas, discover fun new blogs to read or find out what everyone thinks of the hot new issues – check them out. They update daily. http://www.mmomeltingpot.com[/copypastanonraid]

Google+

“By the way – if you’re not already reading the MMO Melting Pot, you should give it a look. They showcase the best blog articles on MMORPGs from WOW to EVE, from hundreds of blogs you might not have heard of. If you want to hear interesting new ideas, discover fun new blogs to read or find out what everyone thinks of the hot new issues – check them out. They update daily. This week they’ve covered WoW’s raiding problems and the question of whether attunements should come back, plus the question of whether Guild Wars 2 will be any good, amongst other things!”

[copypastanonraid]By the way – if you’re not already reading the MMO Melting Pot, you should give it a look. They showcase the best blog articles on MMORPGs from WOW to EVE, from hundreds of blogs you might not have heard of. If you want to hear interesting new ideas, discover fun new blogs to read or find out what everyone thinks of the hot new issues – check them out. They update daily. This week they’ve covered WoW’s raiding problems and the question of whether attunements should come back, plus the question of whether Guild Wars 2 will be any good, amongst other things![/copypastanonraid]

In Conclusion

I’ve loved my first year of running the Pot, and the year of watching Rebecca develop it before that.

But I think we can do more. I think the MMO blogosphere deserves more. I think we’re host to far more than our fair share of world-class writing, and I think the world deserves to hear about it.

That’s what I’m planning to do this year: introduce the fantastic writing of everyone we feature on this site not just to the existing MMOsphere, but to the world.

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Please help us out! Tell us how the Pot’s doing!

In just a few days, the Pot will be 2 years old.

We’re planning a few things for our birthday, but before we get there, we thought this would be the perfect time to ask one very simple question:

How are we doing?

We all try very hard here to be valuable, useful and entertaining to anyone who is interested in discussing MMORPGs and massively multiplayer gaming – and it’d be really useful to get your input on how that’s going.

So, if you fancy helping us out, please fill in this quick survey to let us know what you think of how the Pot’s doing in 2012! The survey’s completely anonymous, so don’t worry – your answers won’t come back to bite you. It should take about 5 minutes to complete, and feel free to only answer the questions you want to answer!

Please do be as honest and forthright as possible – we want to know what you really think! Thanks!

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The MMORPG Blogger Map is BACK!

Today is a day of great rejoicing, as finally Hugh has gotten off his ass and – yes – the MMORPG Bloggers Of The World Map is back!

Back!

BACK!

For those who don’t know – the Blogger Map is something that we launched on the Melting Pot a while ago. It’s a map of the real-world locations – only down to town level, don’t worry – of many of the MMORPG bloggers you know, read and love! It was really popular when it was first launched, as it gives a great sense of what a community we all are, and where we are in the Really Real World – but when the redesign happened, it had Technical Problems and went offline for a while.

And now, as you may be able to tell, it’s back.

If you’re on the map, we now have a handy widgety-imagey-thing so that you can proudly announce the fact on your blog! And if you’re not on there yet – email us or comment with your details and we’ll do our best to get you on there within a few hours!

MMORPG Bloggers Of The World Map

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