First things first: this is not a Carnival. JMTC and Cold's Gold Factory both do a super job with monthly theme-related posts. Instead, this challenge is designed to illustrate via real in-game examples how our gold tips can help a total stranger.
Interested? Read on......
Recently I have had several in-game conversations with players of all levels and experience who share the same frustration: not knowing how to effectively earn gold has made the game less enjoyable. A couple of these conversations have led to posts. Both Phuggly and Garahadar had specific issues that were conducive to creating a post. Other conversations have been much less specific and may not make good reading for the general public.
Or so I thought.
As I read gold blogs I consider the tips and whether they would work on my server; I generally find that the tips that are being circulated are not relevant for me at my level of Goblin-ness. That's not always the case, but I find fewer solid tips now than I did a couple months ago. Part of this has to do with the game changing, like nerfing the Savage Leather skinning spots or Whiptail nodes. But part of it also has to do with experience.
By the time a Goblin has accumulated a significant amount of gold the odds are he has exploited most of the useful tips; he has most likely tried many more and discarded them for any variety of reasons--not relevant on that server, not as lucrative as other methods, etc.
During a conversation today with a brand new WoW player I had an epiphany.
The Lightbulb Explained
This new player (whose name I am not using b/c I didn't ask permission) had a long conversation with me about a variety of game topics. She didn't know, for example, how to use a talent tree when she hit L10. She didn't know what greens are or what stats were best for her hunter. She also hadn't trained any new skills since L4 b/c she didn't have the gold (actually, silver) to do so.
We discussed several topics for about half an hour. I answered a bunch of questions and hopefully gave her enough useful information to make her gaming experience more enjoyable. One tip I gave her was an endorsement of a few gold blogs. I encouraged her to read up and learn more about the gold situation within the game.
And that is when it hit me: so many of the blog topics we construct are very specific. Many are not very helpful to the newbie player, though some are useful for mid level players. Sometimes I read the comments on a blog and find 7-10 posts from other bloggers--and very few from general readers.
We sometimes write about topics that seem more designed to help each other, the advanced player, rather than the casual or new player.
On April 15, any blogger who chooses to accept the challenge should publish a brand new post in the following format:
- Title: Success Story: (Server) (Faction)--(Tip Name);
- The post should only go up on April 15, not before;
- The post should be about a real in-game situation, personally addressed by the author;
- The post can be of any length but should adequately describe the circumstances, the problem being addressed and the solution;
- Your tip can be recycled--but should be specific to a given player's situation in-game;
- Bonus points: the player who inspired the post gives permission to be named in the post.
This post would then describe my interaction with a L20-ish player who faced some gold challenges and had Skinning as a profession. I would give some background on the player and describe the areas I pointed out to him as ripe for leather farming. Perhaps I would also explain to him how to make sure the Scraps were not sold for too low a price, how to combine to make Light Leather, how to farm the AH for additional scraps, how to post different stack sizes, etc.
For the bonus, hopefully the player will have agreed to be named, and I would encourage him to include a quote or a comment explaining his experience with the tip. Best case scenario would be the player posting real results--ekg, "I tried this tip and earned 18g in one day! I had never owned more than 1 gold at any time before so this is huge for me!"
Yeah, But What's In It For Me (asks the blogger)?
The ultimate goal of this challenge is to ask bloggers to become more involved with newer players in game, to give useful tips that address specific situations, and to drive blog readership.
I realize you will have to find a player to use as your subject. Trade chat is full of opportunities. Players asking very basic questions may be trolls--or they may just be new. You may have to look around to find someone but I am certain they are out there.
Ask the player about whom you are posting to read gold blogs. Endorse the ones you think are worth his time, and tell him to check your site on April 15. Ask him to tell his friends to do the same.
We all have blog rolls posted on our sites--on April 15, ideally they will be full of posts entitled "Success Story: XXXX". What better way to get new readers than to provide a surge of tips that they can read right away? What better way to get server specific readers than to have a super tip about a player who has his name published? Think he will tell his friends to 'read about my gold story on this great blog'?
Will You Accept The April 15 Challenge?
This may be a great idea, or it could really suck. Fellow bloggers, you hold the key--if you think this is worth a shot then talk this up and embrace the April 15 Challenge. If not, no harm done.
I am hopeful that the Community will engage this topic and create some really awesome, new tips that will generate some excitement and new readers.