Sar

@Blizzardwatch – The New WoW Insider

A few weeks or so back, AOL made the decision to shutter Joystiq, which was a large website that had several popular websites under its umbrella, such as Massively the general MMO news website, and of course WoW Insider.

WI was a website I visited several times a day, usually first thing in the morning and last thing at night. The writers there were a great bunch, and even articles on classes I had no interest in playing (sorry rogues) were worth reading. However last year the writing was on the wall when WI were forced to shutter their Class Columns, which were one of the main draws for me to the site. AOL cut the budget available to WI and they had to effectively fire all the authors responsible for these columns, leaving a core group of writers such as Matthew Rossi, Anne Stickney, Olivia Grace, Alex Ziebart and so on.

Despite the closure of what was a large part of the site, readers kept visiting, and the community that had built up around the site remained strong, with each and any article usually attracting hundreds of comments, particularly their daily Q&A column, The Queue.

So AOL, classy as ever, revealed that they were closing Joystiq, and by extension firing all the WI & Massively staff in a TechCrunch article before actually telling their employees directly. Yeah, really classy there AOL. Rumours were flying around for days beforehand however, so when the news finally did drop, the writers at WI made plans to move on after the closure of WI, only a few days afterwards.

Alex Ziebart made the decision to go down the Patreon based crowd-funding route, as WI had thousands of readers, most of whom were passionate about the site and its continued existence. And thus Blizzard Watch was born from the ashes of WoW Insider.

And I of course contributed (and will still do, as it’s a monthly sub more or less) as Patreon #24, before the Patreon campaign had even been officially launched 🙂

If you were a regular reader of WI, and you’re now a regular reader of BW (which, as its name would suggest, is aiming to cover all the Blizzard games, not just WoW), I’d urge you to help out. Even $1 a month will help out in some way, as the writers there deserve our continued support and patreonage 😉

Posted by Sar in News, World of Warcraft

CMS Musings and Future Website & Content Direction

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You may well by now have noticed that I’m no longer using WordPress as my site software.

This is in the main due to the amount of hassle and grief I had with the previous installations of WP covering both this site and my guild’s main front page. Admittedly I loved using WordPress; it was functional, easy, popular, loads of templates & themes, and handled media such as embedding YouTube videos with aplomb. All reasons why it’s used on over 72 million websites globally.

However what is its greatest strength, its popularity, is also its downfall. Because it’s so damned popular, it’s also rife with hacks, DDoS attacks and malware attacking out of date code hosted on the server because of theme files being used that haven’t been updated in a while.

That’s what led me to seek an alternative solution, so after looking for one for a few months, and after trying numerous different solutions (Drupal, Joomla, NibbleBlog etc), I finally settled on B2Evolution.

It’s ok, as far as blogging software goes, but it’s severely limited in theming options. This one was probably the best of a mediocre lot, so I’ll probably look into the skinning engine it uses to see if I can code a better theme, custom to this site. I’m still getting used to the slightly more complex back-end of B2Evo, but I’m getting there, so if you notice any temporary oddities over the coming weeks, pay them no heed 🙂

I really will miss WordPress and how easy and user-friendly it was, but alas it’s a poison chalice, and I’ve learnt my lesson the hard way over the past several months.

I’ll also be trying to get more textual with you guys as well, and post more on here, rather than relying on videos being the only format of content I throw out there and use this site as little more than a different front-end for my YouTube content. So expect a bit more from this website than previously given 😉

As mentioned in my last video, I’m also going to start branching out into other games as well, as I work through both my mind-bogglingly ginormous Steam back catalogue and through levelling in Guild Wars 2, which I bought recently and have only just begun playing. I did promise other content way back when in the mists of time with my channel trailer (below), and I think it’s about time I started making good on that promise 

Posted by Sar in News, Personal, Website, World of Warcraft

Amusing & Puzzling: Subscribers

youtube

It always both puzzles and amuses me, whenever I take a bit of a content break (as you’re no doubt aware I do once or twice a year), that subs only ever increase during the break. However as soon as I start producing content again, the subs numbers actually drop lol

It’s like people think

“Oh yeah, that guy. I’ll unsubscribe if he’s just going to keep putting content up! Grrrrrr!”

Oh well, they’re welcome to re-subscribe any time, feel free! 

Posted by Sar in News, Personal, Youtube

Welcome to Sar Gaming!

Welcome to the new website!

I’ve had a LOT of downtime recently due to nefarious activity on the webspace, and various attacks and shut-downs by my webhost, but we’re back up and running now, with a fresh new website and a different CMS solution (WordPress security sucks ass)!

 

So, the below video is where we left off…

 

As for WoW, well Warlords has certainly been a mixed bag so far. An excellent levelling experience, followed by some of the dullest and most boring end-game I’ve ever seen. I’ve played through 4 expansions now, and tbh WoD’s level 100 experience is very very barren. Beyond Garrison duties and raiding, at the moment, there’s not a hell of a lot to do.

It’s expounded by the fact that with everyone in their garrisons, capital cities are barren wastelands, and the game feels very empty as a result.

At a time when the game has hit back over 10m subs, for it to feel as empty as it does right now is very weird. And unsettling.

Anyway, I’ll be throwing a video up later today of our recent Heroic Imperator/Impregnator kill (many weeks, much grrrs, such /facepalm), so I’ll fire it up in a new post here when I get it up 

 

IRL: I’ve begun work on my degree, which is going to keep me busy over the next 6 years, so see ya all in 2021! 

Just kidding, seriously though, I’ve begun an Honours Degree in Computing & IT with Applied Psychology as a 2nd subject. My workplace is very kindly paying for it for me, so it’s up to me to make sure I justify their expense and trust in me to do the business!

I’ve already submitted an assignment and got 100% for it, so off to a good start 

Posted by Sar in News, Personal, Website, World of Warcraft