10. The Ancient Gaming Noob
Wilhelm (John) at TAGN is one I look to for sage advice on the current MMO trends. He's a family man who likes to write about that balance of gaming with kids, a wife and a full-time job. His end-of-the-year predictions are always my favorite; he revisits previous predictions, scoring himself on how well he did.
9. Epic Slant
Adam (Ferrel) at Epic Slant has an interesting take on the MMO genre through his blog. Not only does he give opinions on what he's playing, but he does it from a guild leader's perspective. He's also involved with two excellent podcasts: A View from the Top and Multiverse. He's been a busy man lately, so his updates have been less frequent, but for ES, it's quality over quantity.
8. Stylish Corpse
Ysharros is a blogger I adore for writing style over content. Keeping me interested in reading a 2,000-word article is not easy, but she pulls it off with her wit and humor. She was also recently picked up as a columnist over at MMORPG.com, so you'll be able to see her around much more.
7. Hardcore Casual
SynCaine hasn't always been writing about Darkfall on his blog, but it's the game he's been most obsessed with since it launched. He's not afraid to tell you when he loves or hates the game, all while reminding you that his little Darkfall sidebar button earns him money if you buy the game through his site. This might turn most people off to his opinions, but I don't imagine a few dollars here and there would be enough to buy his words. We've been reading his stuff for a long time, and we know better than that.
6. We Fly Spitfires
As the host of another blog that's not afraid of some opinion either way, Gordon at We Fly Spitfires does a great job of writing about his experiences in MMOs. He doesn't mess around with news or guides; it's just simple, straight experience from a guy who enjoys his MMOs -- mainly EverQuest II and World of Warcraft. The site also just turned two years old on Saturday, so happy birthday!
5. West Karana
Not only has Tipa been writing West Karana for a long time, but she stays consistent and entertaining in each blog post. I've found a few games through her blog and been able to follow a few others that don't get the general exposure that they deserve (such as Wizard101).
4. Bio Break
The Bio Break blog (and previous writings on his Warhammer blog) are the reason Justin "Syp" Olivetti is employed by Massively today. You might call it a conflict of interest to include him on this list, but that doesn't change the fact that Bio Break is a darn good MMO blog (he debated his inclusion, but I pulled rank).
3. Darth Hater
Darth Hater is everywhere! Admittedly, I'm not sure about the story behind the site's foundation, but every time I'm able to scrape together enough money to fly out to a convention, I see a dozen or so people in Darth Hater t-shirts toting heavy camera gear and huddled into some kind of organized Jedi mind trick in preparation for the next big interview. Yes, I admit my jealousy, but their accomplishments in SWTOR features are unmatched. Considering what they've accomplished writing about a game that hasn't even launched yet, I'm excited to see what they have for us in 2011.
2. Kill Ten Rats
No offense to everyone else at Kill Ten Rats, but I only really read it for two reasons: Zubon and Ravious. Yet those two are enough to earn a #2 spot in this list. Zubon has more than a touch of lovable cynic to him, which I always enjoy, while Ravious is a workhorse of news, interviews and well-researched opinion pieces.
1. A Casual Stroll to Mordor
I really don't know how they do it in the short time they've been around (which is only a bit more than a year), but Casual Stroll does for Lord of the Rings Online what Oprah does for bookstores everywhere. The site's guides blow my mind; its opinion pieces and reviews are always spot-on; and its podcast is entertaining and fun. The writers at Casual Stroll seem like they're having a blast doing what they're doing, and that's not something you can fake. I find myself drawn mostly to their smaller, specialized articles. Middle-earth in Michigan is one I make sure to read each time a new one is released. I'm not even from Michigan, but the photo comparisons are entertaining. And don't even get me started on Cassie's Cookbook, from which you can learn enough recipes to keep you full from first breakfast through to supper each day.
As you can see, the list is epic but doesn't quite encompass every single great MMO blog out there. There are plenty of others that could easily be on this list, but we chose to keep it at 10. So we decided to put together an additional list of MMO blogs that you should also check out. These could collectively be considered #11:
And a few that you've probably never heard of but should watch in 2011:
If you have a favorite that we missed, or write one of your own, add it to the comments below. Maybe it will make next year's list!