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October in Review October 31, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in blog thing, entertainment, EverQuest, Facebook, Month in Review, Need for Speed World, Rift, TorilMUD, World of Warcraft.
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The Site

I think the biggest internal site news was when WordPress.com made some change and messed up my stats for a few days.

Well, I hear they messed up a lot of people’s stats.

For the last five years page views have been counted in pretty much the same way.  I’ve kept them all in a spread sheet, every single day, since I started the blog.  The consistency is verifiable via third party page view counters I have used off and on.

Then, on the 18th, something new crept into the mix.


Basically, page views have been counted and displayed on the stats panel in a way such that the total page views for a given day were displayed in two places.  One is the big chart at the top of the statistics page (a section of which is shown above) and the other is in a table that breaks out which posts were viewed how many times, including the main page.

These two charts always added up, until October 18, when suddenly people started asking why they were getting so many page referrals from WordPress.com and why those referrals seemed to be added into the total on the big chart, but were clearly absent from the Posts and Pages table. (The sum worked out to exactly WordPress.com referrals + Posts and Pages total = Big chart value.)

So the Posts and Pages table, for the three days indicated with arrows in the picture above, showed the same number of page views (well, not exactly, the tallest column is actually over 100 views less), while the main page views chart showed very different results.

This became a burning question on the help forums where the main volunteer who handles the forum, in a demonstration of getting exactly what you pay for, was less helpful and more clueless than usual.

Eventually one of the paid staff (Macmanx the Hapless Engineer) came along and said that they had started including pages viewed via email subscriptions RSS in the mix, and this was where the boost in page views came from.  Since RSS tops site visits by 4 or 5 to 1, that seemed possible.  He said that views not getting matched to actual posts would be fixed soon, and off he went.

Then, a couple of days later, the founder of WordPress.com showed up and said, no, this wasn’t just RSS views.

Hey guys — founder of WordPress.com here.

Good news: We’ve historically been vastly undercounting your stats, and we’re starting to fix this.

Bad news: There are some bugs with how things add up, meaning that they don’t. I apologize for undue excitement this may have caused.

More good news: Although support is closed, we’re working on this. We’ll fix it ASAP.

When asked why the sudden boost in views did not match what third party counters were reporting (like my flag viewer on the side bar, which lined up almost exactly with the Pages & Posts report of page views for the 21st), he blustered about such page view counters being inaccurate and eventually said that all page view counts were just approximations and no two would ever match.

Tell that to the people who get paid for page views and the like.  I am sure that would make them very happy to use WordPress.com stats.

And then the next day wordpress.com referrals in the stats started to fade away, so by the 26th things were pretty much back to normal and the great mid-October page view spike was over. (Other people posted pictures with similar spikes.)

In my WordPress.com stats, October 21, 2011 is now listed as my best day ever.  However, I am pretty sure that June 29, 2011 is still the actual champion, which happened at the peak of the great Incarna bitch-fest.

And life goes on.

One Year Ago

I had some hopes and expectations for BlizzCon.  There were pretty much unmet.  But Blizzard had already announced the Cataclysm ship date, so what else did I expect?

I asked if people ever look at the items in the blog side-bar.  People mostly do not.

I finished building my new computer.  It has been live a year and Windows 7 hasn’t completely degraded into a pile of blue-screening ooze the way XP used to when not constantly attended to.

The EVE Online screen shot contest wrapped up, winners were declared and prizes were sent out.

The instance group was playing in LOTRO, which had been live as a Free to Play game for one month. In-game, we were subjected to the disturbing habits of some of the residents of the Lone Lands, while I indulged in one of my own habits, the mid-game character swap.  And then I made one post completely unreadable by making anagrams out of all the proper nouns.  I had to repost a corrected version.

I bought Civilization V, which like every Civilization launch, had issues with my current computer.  The unwritten rule of Civilization is that you need to upgrade your machine in order to play.

And my daughter and I were drinking new and interesting sodas.

Five Years Ago

Five years ago our Saturday night WoW group completed our first full instance run, The Deadmines, on our third try at it, and got in a whack at The Wailing Caverns.

I decided in EVE Online that covert ops would be a good career choice.  It certainly sounds cool.  However, the effort was cut short when I got to some of the pricier skills.

I felt that fall urge to run around in EverQuest, plus I wanted to take some pictures of Faydwer in order to compare them to the upcoming EverQuest II expansion, Echoes of Faydwer.

I also jumped into EverQuest II and got all confused (nothing new there) about the trade skill changes that occurred during the 10 months I was away.

I was defending instancing and game company forums as well as moaning about the fact that I couldn’t find a decent video card for my AGP motherboard.

There was some talk about which pen and paper RPGs would make good MMOs.

And I spent some time carping about MMO pricing plans.  I still feel about the same on the subject five years later.

New Linking Sites

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

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in October

  1. Beastlord to be the New Class in the Next EQ2 Expansion
  2. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  3. Blizzard Endorses the Transfer of Capital to the Proletariat
  4. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  5. Tobold Prediction – CCP Bankrupt in 2012
  6. Panda Reactions at Our House…
  7. And Then I Told My Daughter About Pet Battles…
  8. Post BlizzCon Thoughts on Pandaria
  9. Despite Rampant Hacking and GM Shennanigans, Fippy Darkpaw Server is Still Stuck on Velious
  10. Azeroth Travel Poster Contest – Win a Sparkle Pony!
  11. Civ II – Found the Disc, Can’t Use the Disc
  12. The Most Wiley WoW Phishing Attempt Yet…

Spam Comments of the Month

I’m just done looking at your posting and I fairly enjoyed it….
[A long comment from somebody linking back to "Write Comments, Get Paid." I wonder if he got paid.]

i cant believe you are coming to Burlington, VT !!! andddd Albany, NY. im totally going to see you twice!
[Not if I see you first.]

Search Terms of the Month

3d gay porn
[Sorry, I don't cover Second Life here.]

lou attack report
[Who did Lou attack?]

EverQuest

I have written enough about EverQuest this month that you might think I am actually playing it.  But I am not.  I am, however, keeping as close an eye on the Progression Servers as I can manage and reporting on forum fun.  I hope, in the end, to have a decent sketch of what happened on the Progression Servers based on that.  You can keep an eye on the Fippy Darkpaw tag for the story as it unfolds.

Need for Speed World

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am starting to play this less and less.  Not a bad game, and it really can be free to play, but there just isn’t much to do once you’ve sort of hit the walls that surround the world.

Rift

The instance group is slowly coming online with Rift.  The general reaction from the group has been positive.  Primarily that has been about the look and feel, which stands up to WoW level of polish, unlike EverQuest II and Lord of the Rings Online which, for all their merits, are still rough around the action bar.

TorilMUD

There was some excitement generated by big changes at TorilMUD.  A bunch of people surged back on, dug out old characters or rolled up new ones, and then said, “I seem to remember this being a lot more fun.”

Well, that is what I said in any case.  There is still a lot to love about MUDs, but it was a time of very raw fun and few online multiplayer fantasy roleplaying options.

As a sign of how things have changed, TorilMUD had a double experience event this past weekend.

World of Warcraft

All this talk of pandas, pets, and BlizzCon got my daughter and I to resubscribe.  She really wanted to play, and when she plays I play.  We ended up doing a bit of the Hallow’s End stuff because she wanted the creepy crate pet.

Other Games

Facebook games in general, and Zynga games in particular, are really fading with me.  I used to try every Zynga game, then every other, then every third or so.

I end up playing them all about the same amount of time, but they seem to be cranking them out faster and faster.  I think this might be hurting them.

Two years, Zynga meant FarmVille and Mafia Wars.  They had a strong identity.  Today Zynga is a new game a month and I couldn’t tell you what the stand-out game for them really is.

I am sure there is a lesson in that.

Anyway, my Empires & Allies neighbors will have to understand.  I left everything harvestable, so they can reap (literally) the benefits of visiting, but I am done.

I have been playing some Civilization II, now that I have it working on Windows 7 64-bit.  I miss some of the enhancements that came with the later games… and unit pathing just sucks… I have to find the patch that fixed some of that… but it is light and clean and still a damn good game.

And, finally, I have been meaning to write about Defense Grid: The Awakening, a $10 tower defense game on Steam.  But every time I go to write about it, I launch it and just end up playing.  I have thought about picking up Dungeon Defenders, because I like the tower defense genre, but I doubt I would play it any time soon because I am not done with Defense Grid yet.

Coming Up

Well, the instance group will actually have to do something together in Rift.

There is a screen shot contest to judged!  You still have until November 6th to get your Azeroth travel poster submitted!

I am sure there will be something to note on Fippy Darkpaw.  Right now the forums are just boiling about the whole rotation thing, but there might even be a vote on the next expansion, the Shadows of Luclin.  If waking the sleeper was the gating item to trigger the vote.  If it was “finish all tasks listed on the chart,” then… well… all those tasks are not done yet, and we’re still stuck on Velious.

And we’re getting to the end of the year wrap-up season.  All those predictions… erm demands… will be coming home to roost.  For some of them, the companies were listening, while on others I apparently did not make myself clear.

Comments»

1. Brian 'Psychochild' Green - October 31, 2011

Thought I (finally) added you to my blogroll a few months back. Guess you finally got a referrer that was counted. :) Shows how often people look at those blogrolls.

I’ve also linked to you from posts quite often, so don’t think I’m a total slacker. ;)

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2. Wilhelm Arcturus - October 31, 2011

Yes, sidebars seem pretty universally ignored by regular readers, but that is why I do the thank you in a post. Granted, you got stuck behind a long winded description of a stats issue that probably only matters to me. Sorry about that.

I was going to say the only thing on my side-bar that gets much attention is the “Posts from Other Blogs” section, which is generated from Google Reader, but Google just killed my ability to do that in the name of Google+ integration.

And, of course, I can’t use Google+ because they do not allow pseudonyms, so another great big “screw you” from Google. (Doubly so because the new look is much harder on my eyes a less usable than what it replaced. Again, par for the course at Google.)

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3. flosch - November 1, 2011

Speaking of google…

Can anybody suggest a good reader application that will work on Mac and Windows, and either syncs with google, or via some other means, so you can read from several computers and places?

I could probably get used to google’s “new and improved” reader, but I’m kind of sick of less functionality and more wasted space. Oh, and the way this is going, I’ll probably need an Android app with sync features too, because I bet the mobile google reader version will be the next to be “improved”. *grumble*

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4. SynCaine - November 1, 2011

The wordpress stats thing is interesting. I saw the referral in my stats, and spend a decent amount of time trying to find the source. I know WordPress has it’s “hot off the press” or whatever thing, that occasionally links you, so I thought maybe it was that. Figures it was just them screwing around.

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