Rest In Peace, myDDO
Sometime in the next two-four weeks, myDDO will be shut down, and that will be that.
MyDDO is different things to different people. For many, it is a series of web services that provide a slice of character and guild data that can be reworked into aftermarket tools and fansites like YourDDO and DDOViewer and DDOracle.
For some it meant lotteries.
For some it meant a way to view characters. Sometimes in a mean-spirited way but still, with no in-game method this was the only way to scope out a character in detail.
Reactions are predictably negative. The announcement post is the most-viewed thread on the forums, related threads have been popping up throughout the night and the blogs are all posting goodbyes.
I say “predictably negative” because taking something away is never going to be viewed as a positive. It is a negative action and will almost always result in a negative reaction. Perhaps if one was taking away something bad that would be different, but myDDO is not seen as something bad. Many see it as something unnecessary, but many do not, and few seem to view it as something that is actively bad in and of itself.
And so the reactions range from grey sadness to red-hot anger.
Part of the anger is not actually myDDO-related, but instead refers to a change in forum user naming that will link a player’s game account to their forum account; a change announced at the same time and in the same post as the myDDO announcement. Some have cited the LotRO forums/account security breach in 2011 as an argument against the user name linking. No one is coming out as being in favor of this change.
Interestingly, the end of the DDO Compendium was announced at the same time too but was little noticed. Or perhaps everyone noticed but nobody cared. The Compendium stopped mattering some time ago.
A Personal Impact
But enough with raw news reportage. This is, after all, a blog and I am allowed to discuss how the news effects me personally.
And surprisingly, I find that it doesn’t, not personally, I rarely check out other people’s characters, don’t care as much about the forum name linking, and stopped using myDDO as my primary blogging medium last summer. But I feel badly for the community of myDDO bloggers. And I can’t escape a nostalgic feeling of sadness of my own.
MyDDO was my first blogging effort, my first public writing of any sort (unless you count fantasy football league newsletters and the like). I was intrigued the moment that Turbine announced the feature. Here was a place where I could try out writing publicly without the stress of doing so in the big world; a nice safe corner where I could cut my teeth on blogging and even have (a small number of) readers built in!
I jumped in with both feet, first writing the book on how to use myDDO, then becoming one of the more prolific contributors. Hoping that quantity would make up for lack of quality, I posted regularly, averaging a post every other day for the next two-and-a-half years.
I customized my page as much as was possible. And I learned – so much! – about writing and topics and graphics (I had to teach myself The Gimp) and all of that. And I found that I really enjoyed it.
Even though I no longer write on myDDO, I will remember it fondly, I would have never had the combination of chutzpah and opportunity to do what I am doing now without myDDO’s incubating experience.
The Light At the End of the Tunnel
No, it is not an incoming train, there are aspects to this that are really not bad from a blogging perspective. I can’t help with the other aspects of the announcement, and I especially grieve for those who have put hundreds of hours into now-useless aftermarket tools, but us bloggers at least have a path back into goodness. A hard path but a path nonetheless.
As Cordovan points out, one can always port their blog to a dedicated blogging host site such as WordPress. In fact, if one specifically chooses WordPress.com they can export everything they have written from myDDO and import it all into their new blog fairly seemlessly.
Cordovan has illustrated a step-by-step walkthrough of how to do this on his own myDDO blog.
Maybe the death of the myDDO incubator will cause a dozen new blogs to bloom. Some had branched out already:
Others are doing so now:
- Evennote and “Even Now”
- Spencerian and “The Order of the Synclectica”
- Patang01 and Tactalicious & Craftalicious
- Grimorde and Grimordes Blog
- Finch_Bloomwhiffler and Bewtopia
An Open Offer
What will be missing is the collection of these works into one DDO-centric area. And also, the low entry bar of myDDO that made it so easy for people to write who would otherwise not be blogging at all.
I may be able to help with that.
This blog site, DDOGamer.com, is a privately-hosted site which means a number of things but among those is that it has really a lot of capacity. Really a lot. Supposedly limitless. It also means it was much harder to setup than an out-of-the-box blog site but that work is already done.
I believe this allows me to offer a home to anyone on myDDO who is finding themselves blogless. You can blog here. As part of DDOGamer.com.
I am not sure of all the details, we’ll have to figure out some things on the fly. I’d need to make some modifications to ensure that everyone’s work was prominent and available, not just mine. But I am confident that can be done, and if anyone wants, DDOGamer can be the DDO-centric blog home that we will otherwise be missing.
If you are branching out on your own and just want a place to publish blurbs about your articles that point to your own site (like I have been doing on myDDO since last summer) that is fine.
I am not sure if your existing body of work on myDDO can be imported into this site. I think it can, and I have a test site where I can experiment, but even if not, I can at least offer a home for any work you want to create from this point forward, as the very worst case.
No rules, no editorial control, none of that, unless someone posts something that would get me closed down.
I imagine there would be minor constraints regarding categories and images in order to maintain a cohesive site but like I said, we can figure it out as we go.
Yesterday’s news is not good. But together, maybe we can see it through.