Blog updates and 2011 honorable mentions

I have been fighting with myself for many months now about switching Raging Monkey’s to wordpress or not; or rather, I have been struggling bigtime with blogger – mostly for still not featuring the most essential feature: individual commenting / replies. For years it has cracked me up how blogger would not add this to their top priorities and how, after having had the probably most abysmal service in terms of customer care and responsiveness forever, very little changed after the Google takeover. I cannot recall how many hours I spent looking at wordpress templates this winter, although I was still reluctant to make the switch for various reasons.

Also, I had this strange hunch: “what if after so many years, they introduce a better commenting system right after you switch to WP? It could happen – think how annoying that’d be!”

And so I didn’t. And so they did. I couldn’t believe my eyes yesterday when blogger comment sections were suddenly showing up with individual reply links! That settled the decision for me (because overall I’m still happy with blogger’s simplicity) and also finally gave me the kick to update Raging Monkey’s overall blog appearance. Still true to its original, minimalistic template, it now comes with a slightly more polished, fresh look. And best of all: threaded commenting! Blogger bloggers rejoice – it’s alive!!!

My honorable blog mentions for 2011

It’s tradition on some blogs and networking sites to hold nominations and blog awards towards the end of the year; the MMO Melting Pot has taken up the Piggies this winter (are they finally all out?) and other blogs have either posted their nominees of the gaming and blogging world or run their very own “awards”. I’m not too big a fan of the term “award” honestly; in general I find it rather problematic and often presumptuous. However, the idea behind nominations is fun and personally I appreciate annual summaries and honorable mentions. It’s basically just another way to spread link love and that’s why I’ve decided to present my personal blog(ger) mentions for 2011 – to look back, to give kudos and recommend further. I’ve linked newcomer blogs a couple of times before, but never actually dedicated a post to my most frequent reads!

I keep a very active, regularly updated blogroll though, so in that way I’m already giving out recommendations every day. Still, I’d like to turn the spotlight on a few fellow bloggers I appreciate for various reasons, and who’ve been blogging alongside me (some longer than me, too) through the past year. I’m also taking this opportunity to give thanks to all of you who have been providing me with wonderful reads and inspiration and for active, interesting debates. So, without any further ado, here are my honorable blog mentions for 2011 in no particular order –

Most solid content provider / allrounder
Some bloggers excel at starting discussions in the community, writing frequently on various topics, if not always too in-depth or long. I use several such blogs as a resource for ideas or simply to keep myself in the loop on more general topics. One blogger who keeps managing this task with consistency after such a long time is yes – Tobold, as boring as it might sound! Despite not always agreeing with him, I appreciate his analysis and frequent counter-voice to teh l33t kids.

Best game design analyst / critic
My honorable mention goes to Nils here whose astute, rational (often plain mathematical) analyzis of many an MMO design topic and grumpy veteran blues have inspired some great discussions and also smiles over the past year. We’ve somewhat lost him to the world of politics lately, but I’m sure he will return as soon as there’s anything interesting happening in the world of MMOs! πŸ˜‰

Biggest game design insight
When it comes to profound, professional insight on game design, we are lucky to call both Tesh and Psychochild our blogging neighbours. They’re the ones that will make you feel terribly “young” as you browse through their archives and realize that they’ve already written about your latest design epiphany 5 years ago on their blogs. Consider each a goldmine for interesting MMO design reads and discussion.

Great player commentary and writing
Some bloggers I appreciate for their unique, authentic voice and dedicated writing. Both Shintar and Stubborn will regularly make you smile, grieve or nod along enthusiastically as they share their personal gaming experiences and perspective very openly and honestly on their blogs. I will even read topics on alt-play or SWTOR for their intelligent and well-structured thoughts (!)

Wittiest / funniest / most comically enlightened blogger
If you happen to be a more regular reader on my blog, you will know that I’m drawn to the ironic and cynical. Not just that, I love laughing at things (especially when laughter is the alternative to crying horribly) and I consider well-delivered, witty and subtle humor a high (and most courageous) art – be it in literature, movies/theater or song. There’s no middle ground for the comical: you can only deliver or fail horribly in making others laugh the right way, while working it into layers of meaning.

Two bloggers who have not only managed this balance brilliantly but consistently for a long time, are Klepsacovic and Melmoth. If they’re not already on your reader, now is the time to do it!

Best (formal) writing
A similar class of writing that makes actual blog focus secondary, is masterful storytelling as much as elaborate and eloquent writing. Again, kudos go to Melmoth here for being such a distinguished writer (with a dose of very British charm). I would also like to mention Rades for his fascinating, well-researched (and voluminous!) storytelling of WoW lore (which I’d otherwise never read).

Most missed bloggers
There are a few bloggers who have either completely disappeared in 2011 or gone very quiet; they have left very sad, noticeable gaps in my daily blog reading. A warm /wave goes out to Gronthe, Issy, Scrusi, Epic Ben and all those with “more wit than honesty, (…) more villainy than virtue, more passion, more revenge and more ambition, than foolish honour and fantastic glory”. You are deeply missed.

Newcomer’s welcome
While I’m at it, I would like to give a (in places belated) greeting to a few newcomer blogs who have caught my attention in more recent weeks/months. Pay them a visit sometime!

  • Doone and Ahtchu who both appear to join our ranks of general MMO critics / design analysts.
  • Flosch of Random Waypoint; an “ex-hardcore raider” providing general commentary and design analyzis on various MMO topics (and he has awesome plushies!)
  • Play from Play:Life Game Style, a personal game commentary blog that also focuses on mastering gaming as a passion while maintaining a “healthy lifestyle”.

That was it for my 2011 nominations! Cheers to all of you out there who make this blogosphere an interesting and lively place – and of course: happy blogging in 2012!Β 

P.S. Due to my template update, I actually lost my entire blogroll and also the image I thought I had stored of the old one (duh)….I believe I was able to reinstall most of the links from pure memory, but should you spot a grave oversight or yourself missing there (which totally can’t be because you’re awesome!), please give me a heads up! πŸ™‚


  1. Thanks a lot, Syl. I’m really not sure I deserve this, considering the low frequency of MMO blogging lately; but I absolutely appreciate being mentioned.

    I also happen to agree with the rest of this post and just switched to embedded commenting on my blog, too πŸ™‚

    1. Embedded, threaded commenting ftw!

      And you are very welcome; you may have been posting more infrequently lately, but we all know it’s only a matter of time until you’re back with a vengeance (GW latest?)! πŸ˜‰

  2. Threaded comments? What is this I don’t even… where do I turn that on? I had a quick look through my settings but couldn’t find it anywhere.

    And thanks for the kind words, Syl. πŸ™‚ Are you actually following my SWTOR blog? It’s definitely my main outlet now; I actually have to pace myself to not burn myself out on writing about all the things I want to talk about at once!

    1. Actually, just checking your blogs the threaded commenting is enabled on both of them – it got turned on automatically for standard blogger templates few days ago. the only pre-req is embedded commenting turned on & feed options turned to ‘full’ in your blog settings (also see seems to work fine on your sites from what I can see.

      And yes, I check your new blog too, I’m just lagging behind on my reading in general atm since this week is the big move to the new apartment! πŸ™‚ glad to see you’re having a blast with the new page, so it was a good decision after all.

  3. I’m honored to have been mentioned by one who has honorable mentions of their own (see what I did there?). Grats on the piggie standings!
    Curses! I left Blogspot for WordPress because of two issues, one of which has apparently been remedied. Well, here’s hoping WordPress institutes a scrolling blogroll and it’ll all be for the better.

    1. Hehe yes, you had a bit of an unlucky timing there with your switch – but then, WP is an awesome platform (with nicer templates than blogger imo).

      As for the piggies, hmmm…not sure I received a mention anywhere this year (otherwise I must have missed it).

    2. Oh, wow, Foot. In. Mouth. I had just come here from there, and both places with an ‘award’ icon, and… ok I’ll stop now. Many apologies.

  4. Thanks for the mention Syl. πŸ™‚ I’m again behind on reading, because I was gone for yet another week last week. I could keep up the illusion of posting by the magic of scheduled posts though.

    It seems that lately, I’ve been more into single player RPGs, what with Oblivion and Mass Effect. But I feel my “kill ten rats” itch returning, and there’s a good chance there’ll be some more MMO-centric posts soon.

    And you seem to be totally infatuated with my Lakitu! Next time I’m in Japan, I’ll see whether I can find another one. And then I’ll ask you whether you want one sent over.

  5. Well, I know I’m late responding here, mostly since school’s started and I’m adapting to my new schedule, but I did want to stop by, even late, and say thanks! It’s an honor to be mentioned, and even more so for my writing style, and even more so in conjunction with Shintar, who I consider to be a long-timer with a lot more pull than my little ol’ blog. Thanks!

  6. Many thanks for the mention! ‘Tis a little surreal being in Psychochild’s company, though; he’s way ahead of me. He has real professional experience designing and maintaining games. I’m just a verbose game industry artist and hobbyist who dabbles in indie design and thinks it’s worth blathering about. πŸ™‚

  7. Yeah, yeah – you are all so unworthy etc. etc..! πŸ˜›

    and you’re all very welcome, I look forward to many more posts in the future.

  8. Thank you lovely Syl.
    I don’t know how you find the time to keep up with everyone’s writing. I obviously can’t, evidenced by the fact that I’m 3 days behind in my reading…

    Of all the game bloggers I read, you stand out to me as a supreme community builder, so vital to a healthy blogging community. Looking forward to your 2012 content!

    1. Hehe, I am doing my best but I can never even read all blogs in our “neighbourhood” either – I am catching up very slowly at the moment.

      Thanks very much for your comment too, late as I may be on this reply. It’s wonderful to get feedback like that sometime, to know that others appreciate what you’re trying to do. looking forward to read more from you this year!

  9. Oh gosh I have been wanting that comment system since forever. But I can’t figure out how to turn it on, not even when reading through the answers you’ve given some other people. Any advice? *puppy eyes*

    1. Hmmm, you may have the same issue I had with my old template (?) for most blogs, the feature has in fact turned itself on automatically. if that’s not the case for you and if none of the tips on bloggerbuzz have fixed it, I’m afraid I don’t have a solution. =/ I had to dump my old template because it was a non-standard WP conversion in order to get the new commenting to work.

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