As feels like is becoming a yearly tradition at this point, I changed the design of the blog again. I'm currently resisting rather well also changing the software running it as well, since even though that seems like it would be an interesting project it feels like the alternatives would all land me in a worse place than I am in at the moment—to be fair, that hasn't stopped me before, but still.
Contrary to my considerations at the end of the year, I decided against also changing the name, since I'm really not sure what the new name would be, and silly and out of place it might be at the moment, I think it serves its purpose well—for now, at least. This might all change once more in the future as I learn to know myself better and what I want and expect from this here experiment in doing just that changes with time, but some stability in these turbulent times might be rather welcome.
As for the design itself, it's gone back to being a bit more understated, clean and modern I guess one could call it, though with some light inspiration from synthwave I guess one could say, though that's mostly just the background gradient talking. It feels a bit strange going back to something so understated after having the previous design which was something of a nostalgia trip, but I think the problem with that design was that it wasn't actually all that good in many ways. The post pages themselves were a strange mix of a more modern style with old trappings, the contrast between the text and the background was somewhat poor making reading harder than necessary, and while the name remains inspired by World of Warcraft and my journies there to a great extent—that's the only capacity in which I am anything resembling a priest—the heavy callout to that in the design didn't really reflect the current reality of the content all that well. How much those two things need to be related is debatable I suppose, but I still felt there was a certain level of disconnect there.
Another thing the old design didn't really leave room for implementing properly was "hero images" for the posts, something that I've considered doing on and off for a longer time but just didn't really have a place in the design. The necessity of such images might be debatable, and it is completely validly arguable that the content should speak for itself and not be carried by the work of others in the form of images, but I think the addition of an image to a certain degree set the tone of the post might be a valuable tool. To many of the more recent posts I have already been selecting these images, they have merely had no place to be shown, but for most of the backlog they will be missing and even for future posts I might choose not to make use of them, but still they are now there for your enjoyment; well, assuming you go to the page for a single post at least, felt a bit too much like breaking the flow to display them on the index pages, and I also still have the habit of trying to optimize for connection speeds that are unlikely to be seen these days, so I didn't want to include a bunch of not-strictly-necessary images on those pages.
The final thing to note then, and a change from earlier times of carefully curating a list of standard fonts applicable to the major operating systems or making use of web fonts, is that the new design intentionally merely states that a sans-serif font is preferred, and the users preference should be respected. Now, I'm sure most users aren't even aware that they do in fact have the option of specifying such a preference in their browser, much as they might not be aware that they may specify a preference for language and the like, so it might end up meaning that most users will end up seeing some of the rather less pleasing default fonts rather than something nice looking when reading here, but I still felt like respecting that choice was more important for this design than trying to force something else on people even if they are unaware that they are making that choice. To be fair, the default font selection has probably also become quite a lot better since the olden times, so even the defaults might not be that bad, though I wouldn't know since I've intentionally chosen Fira Sans for myself. I suppose that means if you want to see the pages as the author sees them, that would also be an appropriate choice for you, but if not then choose whatever you feel makes for the best reading experience.