Superior Realities Sixth Anniversary: Reflections

Six years have now past since the first post appeared on Superior Realities. Time flies when you’re yelling at Blizzard, I suppose.

The Greatest City in the WorldIn some ways it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but in others it feels like a lifetime. I was still writing Dispatches from the Romulan War when this blog started, for crying out loud.

When the blog started, I lived in Toronto, then I moved to the country for a few years, then I moved back to the city. Seems like rather a lot of effort just to move from the west end to the east end.

I still miss Parkdale. My new neighbourhood is nice, too, but that’s the problem. It’s too nice. I’ve been here for going on two years now, and I’m still waiting to get the bum’s rush. I don’t fit in here.

I try to visit Parkdale as often as possible. I feel like I belong there. It’s the only place I’ve ever been where I’m not the weirdest person around.

When I lived in Toronto the first time, I lived with my father and a couple cats. Now that I’ve returned, I live alone with many books but no cats.

When the blog began, freelance writing was still some new and exciting adventure I was embarking upon. Now it’s just old hat.

Looks pretty in the picture, but it's really a miserable placeI’ve written… three novels since this blog started. I think. Three or four. Of course only one of them (Human Again) has seen the light of day so far. I’ve also written who knows how many short stories in that time.

Six years ago, I had hair. I should really update that profile picture at some point. Male pattern baldness can suck it, by the way.

When the site launched, I was a huge Metric fan, and now I’m a huge Metric fan who’s shaken Emily’s hand (best day ever). I’m also now a huge Chvrches fan, but I haven’t shaken Lauren’s hand.

When Superior Realities began, I was still in the process of re-entering the gaming world. Of course I’d been playing WoW for a while by then and had also played StarCraft II and maybe one or two other things, but I was still a bit out of the loop on the industry as a whole.

Since then I’ve broadened my horizons considerably. I eventually got around to most if not all of the games I missed out on during my teen years and embraced many modern classics, as well as a few more obscure titles. I hated Bioware for a while, then I kind of liked them, then I loved them, then I think I hated them again for a bit, and now I’m just generally confused.

They had real winters up there. That's somethingI’ve blogged through four WoW expansions, the rise and fall of my passion for Guild Wars 2, and my totally unexpected dive into Star Wars: The Old Republic. I fell in love with The Secret World, and now I’ve had to cope with its inglorious collapse. In general I’ve created enough MMO characters to form an entire battalion, and like half of them are named Maigraith.

I’ve mourned the cancellations of Defiance and Sanctuary, and I’ve fallen in love with Continuum, Dark Matter, and iZombie. I’ve reviewed some very good movies, and also Immortals.

It has been suggested I should take this opportunity to examine whether I’ve achieved my goals for the blog, to which I can only say… maybe? I guess?

Honestly I’m kind of losing sight of what the point was originally supposed to be. Nowadays blogging is just part of my routine; it’s not something I think a lot about. Just an excuse to run my mouth (figuratively speaking) without anyone trying to change the subject on me like they usually do.

I’m mostly happy with the traffic I get, though of course it’d always be nice to get more, and I do get a decent amount of attention within the greater community, so that’s nice.

Best day ever

Shake your head, it’s empty…

I will confess that I wish I got more comments, though. Figure pretty much every blogger wishes they got more comments, and compared to the handful of blogs I follow, I seem to get less comments than most. Not sure why this is, but I imagine it’s some combination of my terrible opinions, my long-winded endurance test of a writing style, and my cantankerous personality.

Of course, reflecting on the past also invariably leads one to pondering the future. For the most part, I suppose it will continue to be steady as she goes for Superior Realities for the immediate future.

I’m always mulling ideas for new types of content, but I dismiss almost all of them.

There’s often the temptation to expand beyond my relatively narrow sci-fi/fantasy/video game focus (the lack of Simpsons content on this blog saddens me sometimes), but at the same time I think there’s something to be said for keeping a clear vision for the site. I like the idea that my readers know what they’re getting: angry nerd rants and Elves.

I’ve thought about doing a series on various songs that I use for inspiration when writing fiction, but most people’s ears start bleeding when confronted with my musical taste.

I could also probably get a lot more posts out of the head canon and backstories for my video game characters, but my previous posts on that subject have the dubious distinction of being the least popular posts I’ve ever done by every available metric, so I probably won’t bother with that.

To winter I belongI tried my hand at video content recently, and there’s some temptation to do more of that, but it’s another thing that didn’t get much reaction. Plus I’m not sure I can bring anything to the table that the legions of YouTubers out there aren’t already covering, and I definitely have a voice for text (which is like a face for the radio, kind of).

I’m also often tempted to post more of my fiction and thoughts related to it on the blog, but again, such posts never seem to generate much interest, so I’m kind of gravitating away from that at this point.

Seriously, if you ever feel like doing me a favour, go read some of my stories and leave feedback. I don’t mind criticism as long as it’s constructive. I’m particularly interested in opinions on The Wounding and Lady of the Dawn, as that setting is very important to me, but In Her Sister’s Pose is probably the best thing I’ve written as far as short fiction goes.

Anyway, if any of these ideas sound like they’d interest you, or if you there’s something else you’d like to me to do with the blog, let me know, but otherwise it’s probably going to be status quo for the time being. There is many a Warcraft rant yet to be written.

In closing, I would like to thank my readers for sticking with me all this time. Be seeing you, sweetlings.

In the half-light.

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Superior Realities Top Ten Posts

Four years ago today, I launched Superior Realities as a way to show off my writing and share my love of all things nerdy. Since then, it’s been a fixture of my life, and while coming up with a new post every third day sometimes feels like a bit of a chore, I find it’s an experience that I have enjoyed on the whole, and I am surprised by how much I miss blogging when real life prevents me from posting.

Rather than a traditional anniversary post, I’ve decided to do a top ten list of the blog’s most popular posts over the last few years. This is based on the traffic stats WordPress provides.

10: Transmog Addiction, the Dire State of Raiding, and Becoming a Real Writer

My rogue in her first transmog setFrom what I’ve seen, most of this post’s popularity can be attributed to people looking up inspiration for transmog sets. I don’t really consider this a particularly memorable post myself.

9: TSW Solo Tips: Crafting Is Your Friend

The assembly window in The Secret WorldYou’ll soon notice a pattern in this list: My guides for the Secret World consistently rank among my most popular posts.

I am a little surprised this one doesn’t rank higher, as I think this is one of my better and more comprehensive guides, but I suppose crafting is a pretty small part of the game, so probably not too many people are looking for info on it.

8: The Secret World: Scenario Survival Guide + New Article

Caught in a dust storm during the Hotel scenario in The Secret WorldAnd again.

7: Review: “Sanctuary for None, Part Two” (Season Finale) + New Writing

Sanctuary logoThis is one post whose popularity I really don’t understand. It’s finally dropped off in the last year or so, but for most of my blog’s history, it’s been one of my top-performing posts almost every single day.

But I don’t know why. Sanctuary was never a very popular show — hence why this turned out to be its last ever episode — and I’m sure there are bigger sites doing reviews of it. Maybe I just accidentally hit on some perfect SEO formula?

It’s a mystery.

6: Blizzard 2011 Writing Contest Finalist: The Future of Lordaeron

Cover art for my fan fiction "The Future of Lordaeron"Long time readers of this blog may remember that I was one of the runner up prize winners in what turned out to be Blizzard’s last fan fiction contest.

If I may toot my own horn for a moment (get your mind out of the gutter), my story wound up getting far more attention than the actual winner — at least from what I saw. Certainly it got a lot more attention on the official forums, and I know my story went somewhat viral across the Warcraft community for a while.

This was not entirely happenstance. I deliberately chose a controversial topic — Sylvanas — and while most of the feedback was positive, I did succeed in badly upsetting a few fanatical Alliance fans, and I had no issues debating them endlessly to keep my story in the public eye.

I am an attention whore, and I feel no shame.

5: Is World of Warcraft Going Buy to Play?

Dance, cow, dance!This one’s popularity is mostly just down to good luck. I found it odd there was little discussion over this rather intriguing rumour (which turned out to not really be true, but it was fun while it lasted), so I sent Massively-that-was a tip about it, and they did an article on the topic with this post listed as a source.

Not sure why they bothered. MMO-Champion was the one who initially reported it.

But regardless, I’m glad they did, as their article — including the link to my post — went majorly viral, and I had the biggest traffic spike in this blog’s history. At the peak, I was getting nearly two thousand hits per day.

4: Review: The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey

A map of Middle EarthThis is another one whose popularity I can’t explain. Obviously it was a very big movie, but I’m sure there are thousands of reviews on it across the web, many of them on better known sites than mine. Again, maybe I just hit on some magic formula of SEO without realizing it.

3: Female Armour: Just Say No to the Platekini (+ New Writing)

Anjali and Katarina show off their gear in Dungeon Siege IIII’d like to think this post’s popularity is due to a groundswell of feminist ideals and support for the dignity of female characters, but based on my analytics, most of its hits seem to come from people looking for pictures of scantily clad Blood Elves.

I don’t know why they don’t just go to a Rule 34 site like a normal person.

2: The Secret World: Solo Tips and Ugly Vampires

My Templar posing in The Secret World's Blue Mountain zoneAnd once again, we see the popularity of my TSW guides. My theory is that this is because TSW is just popular enough for there to be a lot of people looking for guides, but not a lot of places offering guides. It’s an under-served niche.

1: TSW Solo Tips: My Builds + New Article

My Dragon blasting zmeu with his quantum BRACE in The Secret WorldIt’s a bit of a shame that this is my all-time most popular post. Even among my various TSW guides, I think this is probably my least useful. Still has some value, of course, but my builds likely aren’t the best of the best, and even if they were, it would only be a drop in the bucket of what the game’s ability wheel can offer.

Also, I really need to get around to updating my Templar’s build in that post. She doesn’t even use hammers anymore.

* * *

Here’s to four more years of ranting about Warcraft and reviewing obscure sci-fi shows.