I read a lot of blogs and one of my favorite streams is the Joystiq line. The main site provides all sorts of gaming and it’s relatively neutral in terms of opinion. I do like to read their reviews though, as they take a rather different, almost meta, approach to the process. Quite a bit different than IGN’s game reviews, where you can practically see the dollars changing hands.
The World of Warcraft stream used to be the go-to place for information. It’s been a few years now but I would say mmo-champion is the place for breaking news. WoW Insider is clearly lacking in content drivers and more importantly, authors. Other than the class columns (which I think only the Rogue and Warrior ever have regular updates) the site is mainly a platform for Olivia (PvP) Grace and Mike (WoW-fanatic) Rossi. It’s really too bad, as the past authors brought some needed diversity to what now reads as continual gripes about the game. If I was Blizzard, I’d be worried that the #3 search result for WoW lacked quality and content. Too bad, I rather enjoyed the Warlock vs Mage battles that happened on that site.
The next stream that I enjoy is Massively. This to me seems the future of gaming, where everything is persistent multiplayer – either characters or setting. The best part is the widely divergent views of gaming. I think it would be hard to find more opposite gamers than Shawn, Justin and Eliot. When you have a clearly jaded gamer, a superfan and a realist in a room, it makes for very interesting commentary. Even Jef’s Soapbox columns clearly are made to generate conversation. The recent hands-on testing with Marvel Heroes with Justin and Eliot went exactly the way I thought it would.
The concept of Confirmation Bias is prevalent in many blogs. I’m quite certain the Syncaine doesn’t read much else than Aventurine and EvE material. I read the left and the right to try and find some semblance of balance. It’s a lot harder than it seems as there tend to be more critical bloggers (myself included) than positive ones.
Perhaps this has more to do with the genre as a whole. Where WoW has become more familiar and therefore less news-worthy and the MMO-genre as a whole is in a rather large transition. People have trouble with change and when you realize that your corner of the world is getting less and less relevant, it’s certainly something to talk about. While it may not seem like it, this year was a great year for gaming in my mind. Grimrock, XCOM, Torchlight 2, Borderlands 2, Rift and now The Secret World are all consistently putting smiles on my face. I wish I could express that more. It might be a bit early for it, but I’ll be trying really hard in the New Year to temper the criticism with more positive posts as well.