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Banana Shoulders in 2008

As so often happens, I’m taking a leaf out of Leafshine’s book (hah, sorry).

As with so many other WoW blogs, 2008 was the first full year of Banana Shoulders’ existence. I took a long hiatus across May – I posted only six times between mid-April and mid-June – but despite that, traffic numbers returned to their previous levels and grew well beyond them thanks to what I hope, at least, was some useful and relevant content.

A lot of my traffic comes from search engine referrals, and as a result my most popular posts tend to be those laden with crunchy data. Still, nothing compares to the sense of achievement when I see someone recommend my blog as a good source of information. On that note – if there’s something you want me to discuss, and I’m not covering it, please ask!

So, on to the most popular posts of 2008:

10. Brewfest – Preparing for Achievements (September) 2,600+ views.
The timing on Brewfest this year was funny; it was just before we were expecting patch 3.0 to hit, so people knew what the Achievement system involved and were starting to prepare to get as many Achievements as possible.

9. Sunwell Dailies: the Guide (February)
This was basically a complete guide to all the new dailies in patch 2.4, helping people navigate all the confusing daily chains. I really enjoyed the SSO world event, and I hope Blizz does more stuff like this in future.

8. Breaking News: New Facial Models (September)
At one point in the WotLK beta, all the skins and facial models for a number of races were changed, and I was one of the first people to present visual examples. (I got bombed with hits from WoWInsider.) Not long after the community started freaking out, Blizz reversed the changes and said they were just testing something (which I still don’t credit). I actually quite liked Sailan 2.0, and I wouldn’t be sad to see those changes introduced for good.

7. Jewelcrafting Quick Reference Sheet for WotLK (November)
The original TBC version of this quick reference sheet was something I put together for my guild to see exactly what I could do (as I was, and still am, our most active jewelcrafter). On impulse I threw it up here on the blog and people loved it, so I felt a WotLK version would be just as useful. Given the plethora of cuts in WotLK, I couldn’t get by without it.

6. Wrath Jewelcrafting Dailies and Epic Gems (August)
This was where I broke the news about the new mechanism for learning Jewelcrafting patterns in WotLK, and it still gets a heck of a lot of google traffic. Now we know how things work it’s not terribly helpful, which is why I wrote yesterday’s guide to the JC dailies.

5. WotLK Wallpapers (July)
Back when everyone was hungry for glimpses of Northrend, I provided these wallpapers from the beta. Interesting to note how some of the scenery (especially Dalaran) has changed.

4. Professional Advantages (October)
This is a post I still refer to now; it grew out of me trying to work out which professions gave what benefits in WotLK. I’m glad other people found it useful too.

3. Pre-Raid Holy Paladin Gear List, v.1 (December)
Only posted in December and already it’s in the top ten posts – ah, the mighty Googlepower of gear lists. Not that I wrote it as Google-bait; it was mostly a case of me poring over WoWhead and putting together some gear lists for myself, and then thinking “hang on, I bet other people would find these useful”. Of course, since I hate writing gear lists, it took about three weeks longer than I intended.

2. Spellpower and You: Gearing in WotLK (August)
This is another of those posts that grew out of me working something out for myself. I’d read up on the gearing and mechanical changes fairly early in the piece, but a lot of other people seemed to be confused or misinformed, so I felt a summary and guide to the changes wouldn’t go astray.

1. The Inscription Levelling Guide (September) 14,000+ views.
(and in fact the companion posts scored thousands of visits themselves, but I didn’t list them here as that’d make the list rather boring). New content on this kind of scale is tremendously popular, and I’d already seen that with the Jewelcrafting guide I wrote during the TBC beta. At least this time around I knew how best to tackle it! Dropping and relearning Inscription five times got tedious, though.

And there you have it; the high points of 2008. I hope I’ve stlll got things left to say in 2009!

But I’m Having So Much Fun!

So, it’s been kind of quiet around here lately, hasn’t it?

Yeah, I thought so.

I’m sorry, guys, I really am! I have all kinds of posts lined up mentally – gear lists, jewelcrafting guides, rep guides, wallpaper posts, paladin mechanics discussions, et cetera… and I can’t tear myself away from the game long enough to write any of them.

So, yeah. New content within 24 hours, I promise!

(This post was written while waiting for the rez timer in Wintergrasp. ‘Scuse me, time to go get my face smashed in by Horde some more. Damn that Tenacity buff!)

Happy Blog Day to Me!

image from carowallis1 on flickrToday, November the 1st, is my one-year blogiversary.

It was one year ago today that I posted a welcome and an introduction. Since then I’ve written thousands of words across 206 posts, I’ve received 1289 comments, and had over 200,000 pageviews. I hope the next year’s worth of content will prove as useful!

Happy blog day to me!

Normal Service Has Resumed!

First of all, I’d like to apologise for my radio silence over the last, oh, month or two. My health yo-yoed quite a lot, which made it hard to keep up with WoW, let alone blogging – and, of course, once you’ve had a break it’s hard to know where to start again.

Anyway, I’m back now, so greetings to those of my readers who haven’t yet abandoned me, and thankyou to everyone who sent well-wishes and the like. :)

Coming up next: a series of checklists for instance quests, and then back to the paladin-fu!

PTR For Me!

Thankfully, after the most recent patch, the PTR is playable again – with all mods loaded and graphic effects at maximum, the framerate is still decent.

Unfortunately, I missed a lot of the Shattered Sun daily content; all the phases are now open. I’ll still do an overall guide to the SSO dailies, and I hope to have it ready for 2.4’s release, but it’ll take a bit more research than just logging onto the PTR and reading the quest text. So, expect the 2.4 updates to be a bit sparser from now on, as all the dynamic content finished up while the PTR was still unplayable for me.

A shame – but I sitll have it to look forward to on live.