What is happening to all the rogue blogs? This week the best rogue blog for hard technical information in the rogue blogosphere, One Rogues Journey, was pulled. Zaltu has decided to call it quits on not just his blog but the game itself. This led me to check out all the other rogue blogs out there to see what the current blog situation is. And it’s not very good. If we go down my own blogroll on the right hand side of my home page you start to get an idea.

And Two Rogues, a blog that I have always enjoyed had its last post back in July. That post is somewhat ironically titled, ‘Not Dead Yet.’ Well he may not be dead but he sure hasn’t stirred in a while.

Ravenholdt Manor is one of the few still being consistantly updated. A lot of Dariaia’s posts are about factions and famous rogues in the game, but with the dearth of information on rogues for the last month or so it’s commendable that this blog is still being so regularly updated. A rare victory as we shall see.

Forever a Noob is also being regularly updated, so good on ya bro for shining the torch in a sea of darkness.

Gone Rogue is gone. The link now connects to some strange site in another language whose safety I cannot guarantee. So don’t click on it and it’s coming down from tomorrow on my list. I was not aware of this until just now. A pity for this to happen as I liked that blog.

Ninja Chimp retired from both blogging and the game back in September. I was sad to see this one go.

As stated above, One rogue’s journey has reached its final destination. Zaltu was the source for quick and easy access to first-rate rogue technical information. This is a great loss, no doubt about it.

Rogue Rogue is, along with One rogues journey, one of the best rogue blogs out there for technical analysis. So far in November he has made only one post. Things are not looking good here either.

Slice & Dice is still flying the flag, but even Sam has been hard pressed to find much to write about this month. Keep at it brother!

That’s it for rogue blogs on my links. Over at Twisted Nether the rogue blogs listed are mostly either inactive, deleted or dying a slow death. It’s well known that Parry! Dodge! Spin! was last updated almost a year ago. Lets face it, there aren’t many of us left. Apparently in the comments for Zaltu’s farewell post, my own blog has died. This is news to me. I am still here. I might have made a few posts this month bemoaning the state of the game, but I am still here. Here I am. This is me waving my hand frantically.

So why is the current number of active rogue blogs small enough to be counted on one hand? I think that the game could be in trouble. I have said this very month that things are not that great in the game, as I have said that I am not happy with the direction that it is going in or with decisions taken by Blizzard recently. Check out this post from WoW insider from yesterday. The topic is, ‘When will you Quit WoW?’ There are over 250 comments, which is a huge amount, the majority of which state that they already have quit or will do so soon. Many reasons are given, but it seems that players are broadly dis-satisfied with the game. They are logging on because they feel that they have to, or they log off because they are bored.

The thing that interests me the most with this post is the number of ex-players posting a comment in it, players who quit the game some time ago. They state that they regularly check sites such as WoW Insider to keep themselves updated, informed, or to just get their WoW fix. This tells me that they did not want to leave the game, they want to keep going with WoW. But the state of the game is so dire that they are just not able to, and they are reduced to quitting playing and then checking online sites so as they still feel part of the community.

Another frequently cited motive for players staying in the game longer than they wish to is their guild or social network within the game. They do not want to play the game any longer but they are unable to leave as they dread abandoning the friends that they have built up during their online stay. This is the great strength of a good MMO: the ability to keep people playing far longer than they normally would based on their in-game social network. And WoW has the strongest player community out there. Is this factor artificially prolonging a game that would otherwise have fallen by the wayside? It could very well be. But with the dramatic fall in rogue blogs, perhaps this social “guilt-trip” is not as strong as it once was or maybe it is not strong enough to overcome the games negative points, perceived or not.

Bloggers are a vital part of an online community, they reflect its state of health. Age of Conan, which I am currently trying out, has an incredibly poor blogging community. The most recent podcast I can find for Conan was last updated in October 2008. I listened to that last episode. The host used the word, ‘disappointing’, about 4356 times. This is an apt word to use when considering Zaltu packing up shop and the state of the game at this time: disappointing. I hope that the state of the game can change for the better, that great players and bloggers like Zaltu will come back. I do not wish the game to decline in this way, nor to gloat over it from some lofty perch. But I will call out failings that I see. And I hope myself to keep flag waving for some more time to come.