September in Review

The Site

Welcome to my 61st month in review post.

Just to reiterate, the site made it to the five year mark and remains active.  Given the observed blog mortality rate, this seems like a reasonable achievement.  And it also means that now every month in review post will include not only a “One Year Ago” section, but now a “Five Years Ago” segment.  Suck it.

As often happens, spammers grab onto one of my older posts and that becomes the target of 90% of the spamming for a brief time.  I have yet to figure out a pattern.  This month, the year old post EverQuest Next and Lessons Learned seemed to be the target.  I actually kind of like that post, as I tried to put some thought into it… differentiating it from many of my other posts.   But in the last month, literally hundreds of obvious spam comments were caught in the spam filter trying to get to that post.  And since I see maybe 1 in 10 of what Akismet gets, that means a lot of spam pointed at one odd target.  I have no idea why.  Maybe it was the pretty pictures.

Home of future gold spammers?

And then, in watching traffic, I noticed I was getting a lot of referral traffic from the fine people over at Popehat.  And while that is partially explained by Patrick linking me in a post, the trend actually started more than a week before that post, and I have no idea why.

A Pope of a different hat…

They write snarky pieces about serious social issues  (go look through Ken’s Anatomy of a Scam posts, for example, a worthwhile read) and I write… well… this crap.  There must be some sort of Venn diagram overlap between “gamer” and “free speech issues” or something.

The internet remains a mystery.

(Pope-alope picture property of somebody, reprinted without permission, and stolen from here.)

One Year Ago

Well, there was that whole four year anniversary thing.

Planet Michael, the Michael Jackson virtual world, was announced.  How is that coming along?

The whole David Allen, Derek Smart, Quest Online public blame and shame fest ended when Quest Online gave David Allen some money and he went away.  Dr. Smart could not help but throw in a couple final comments.

CCP was talking about Public Fleets and such that were planned for their Incursions expansion.  That got delayed long enough for me to get tired of waiting.  Still, it was better than Incarna.

More interesting was a guide to suicide ganking in EVE Online put up by TooNuRacoon.

Meanwhile, I was kicking off my EVE Online screen shot contest.  All of the entries are now posted on my other site.

I tried turning an old joke into an MMO joke.  Some people got it.  Some did not.

I looked at cloaks in MMOs, and how little they resemble what we would call a cloak in the real world.

Lord of the Rings Online flipped the switch and went free to play.  We were truly among the free (to play) peoples Middle-earth then.  There were some issues with Turbine Points, though I did get my 5,000 point pay-off.

The instance group was still summering in Middle-earth.  The group was finally into the meat of the Lone Lands.  We also tried some skirmishes and talked about Anderson Cooper.

In LOTRO I also ran into somebody who was looking for a social environment similar to old EverQuest.  I wonder if he ended up on Fippy Darkpaw which, for a short time, had all the best aspects of early EQ.

And, after a year of waiting, I finally finished off that one last Brewfest achievement in World of Warcraft.  Go me.

Five Years Ago

The blog started.  As with all blogs, there was a first post.  I still haven’t covered all of the topics I laid out in that post.

Our WoW instance group started up, saving me from a solo life in Azeroth.

I made my first of many runs at EverQuest nostalgia.  It will never end, I assure you.

I  started up EVE Online for the first time, choked on the tutorial, and had some impressions to share.

I put up the first of my planned ancient gaming posts, with a look at Stellar Emperor circa 1986.

I was musing about games slated for the future, including Star Trek Online and Lord of the Rings Online.  I had reservations about both.

New Linking Sites

I would like to thank the following site for linking here.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Special Site Mention

Cosmetic LOTRO

The place to go when you are looking for your “look” in Middle-earth.

Most Viewed Posts in September

  1. Zoroark Download Event Coming to Toys R Us!
  2. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  3. World of Warcraft Magazine – Dead After Five Issues
  4. In Which I Feel the Power of the Dark Side… of The Sims Social
  5. The Great Star Wars Saga Viewing Order Question
  6. Things I Hate About Twitter – The Babbling Company Feed
  7. The Sims Social Pegs My Dating Life…
  8. Vast Goon Conspiracy Ensnares Even Its Foes!
  9. SOE Finally Gets a REAL Server Status Page
  10. Star Wars Blu-Ray Viewing Order Poll Results and Impressions
  11. Heroic Results of the First Five Year Plan!
  12. Fippy Darkpaw GMs Starting Their Own Fight Club

Search Terms of the Month

fort necessity
[Wow, somebody’s George Washington paper is off to a rocky start!]

did he drop any good loot
[If you have to ask, I am going to say “no.”]

moparisthebest
[Now there is an obscure reference to an old post.]

We hope you are enjoying participating in the Game Testing Program and want to thank you for helping shape the most anticipated MMO to date.
[A sudden spike of this in the last 24 hours.]

Spam Comments of the Month

I consume around 4 liters a day, I will begin my day with close to one and then go to on to many other types. I think the more the better though.
[The guy is either a diabetic or drives a vintage Jaguar.]

EverQuest and EverQuest II

In a mental mis-calculation, it appears that my SOE All Access pass is still good.  I think.  The fact that the SOE account page that should tell me this information is broken on my account (again) means that I am not sure.  But I think I forgot to add in the extra 45 days I received as part of the SOE post-hack make good program.  So I am probably still live until November.

That and getting the SOE authenticator got me to at least log into their games, if only to see if they missed anything with their implementation.  Plus there was Karen’s new series on EQIIx at Massively, which got me to poke around EQIIx a bit myself.  I’ve done a bit of crafting, gotten my templar another level, and opened up the guild hall to send out the resource bots to gather so I can sell their plunder on the broker for the guild escrow account.  Maybe my account will stay active long enough for me to make a Beastlord.

I also wandered around old Norrath a bit on Fippy Darkpaw, just to see how things are going with the Velious expansion.  They seem to be stuck due to technical issues.  Go SOE.  It is like they never did a progression server before.  So the timer until the next expansion has yet to start.

Lord of the Rings Online

The rump instance group continued making slow progress in Evendim.  Real life has keep us from pressing on as quickly as we might have.  Basically, our usual three hours on Saturday night has fallen to two hours, and only every other Saturday.  Still, we persist.  Soon though the cold will come and we’ll be looking for a game for the whole team.

Need for Speed World

As I said before, I am surprised at the longevity I have had with this game.  I have even dropped some cash on it to buy a couple of cars and have pressed passed level 20.  I think at this point I have unlocked the whole map and am now just adding new race courses with each level.  I will have to look around for a level guide to see if there is anything really worth unlocking at this point.

Facebook

I will probably end up blocking The  Sims Social before the weekend is up.  It bores me, even when I am insulting people.  But I would have guess that I would find it a bore before I tried it, so that my not liking it isn’t exactly a startling revelation.

Zynga’s Empires & Allies has persisted for me for longer than I expected.  There is still too much “go beg your neighbors for these parts you need” to suit me and I am not enthralled enough to actually give them money. (Even more so now that they sell their premium currency via Facebook credits, which has made that currency even more outrageously expensive, in my opinion.  Furthermore, unlike previous games, you cannot earn the premium currency in game.)  But at least they have streamlined the begging a bit.

Other Games

I have been going through some of the games I purchased on Steam as part of their big summer sale, plus a game or two I have purchased since, including a couple of indie titles.  This should lead to a series of posts.  My general rule is to write only about games I generally like, even if I have specific issues with the game.  I try to avoid the “OMG this is Shite!” posts, although I have made exceptions in the past. (CivWorld)  With indie games I am a bit squeamish about coming out with any negatives.  I don’t mind kicking EA, Sid Meier, or Richard Garriott in the shins, but I feel guilty going after the lone developer or small team.  So I am on the fence about a couple of potential posts where I will likely be very critical of certain design elements or the value of the game versus the price being charged.

Coming Up

It is about time for a instance group summit.  I would be willing to go back to WoW, or maybe try Rift… something to fill the gap between now and whatever is next just to get back to playing together.   Oh, and there will be problems with some of the “whatever is next” items we are thinking about.  So we will have to hash that out.

My goal for next month is to go through my list of games I have purchased on Steam and assess their value to me based on how much time I have spent with them.  That should make for an amusing post.

And maybe BioWare will throw us something new about Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Something that isn’t, you know, a complete tease.

Maybe Mark Jacobs will give me something to write about… or Scott Jennings will trigger some new “I remember that” event.

And where is Torchlight II dammit?

All I know is that I will find something to complain about.

What are my cats up to?

One thought on “September in Review

  1. Ken

    Thanks!

    If I may be permitted to vastly overgeneralize and pontificate for a moment [what else is new?], I think the hardcore gamer people is made up of many smart, expressive people who are by nature hostile to the premise that other people ought to be able to tell them what they can say.

    And congrats on combining longevity with quality.

    Like

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