February in Review

The Site

The site managed another meaningless milestone.  The total page views passed the 2 million mark earlier in the month.  I heard some other site hit that mark as well.

In celebration (oh boy) I will break out actual numbers and share them with you.  Click on the chart to see it in full, readable size.

Semi-Raw Numbers for Your Amusement

It is generally my policy not to go on too much about numbers, since, seen in the perspective of any real sites actively seeking traffic, my own numbers are tiny.  But sometimes it is just interesting to see how things are doing.

For those interested in time lines, but too lazy to add up the numbers, the site passed the 1 million page view mark in March of 2010.  At that point, I did the same thing, and pretty much all the same statements apply nearly two years later, so I’ll just copy and paste them

WordPress.com only keeps track of page views and not daily unique visitors.  However, I have used some third-party tracking for that at times, and uniques seem to run between 70-80% of page views on any given day.

This also does not count anybody who reads via RSS only.  Following the philosophy of creating a blog that I would want to read, I push all the content out on the feed, rarely ever putting something behind a “more” prompt. [This remains true on the RSS feed even when you see "more" on the actual site, which I have started doing for very long posts.]

Judging from what WordPress.com and FeedBurner tell me (because I have two RSS feeds, just to make sure I can’t get any consistent information) anywhere between 3 and 10 times as many people view any given post via RSS compared to the number of people who actually click on it.

Then again, since I rarely hide any of the content, most people just go to the main page to read any given post, so it is tough to get any real measure of how much RSS might change my page view numbers.

All of which I can sum up by saying I don’t really know how many people read this blog, but it is a lot more than I thought ever would.

I still do not know how many people really read the blog, but it remains a lot more than I ever imagined.

One Year Ago

It seems like only a year ago that I was declared influential.  Glad to see we got over that at last.

Hulkageddon IV came and went.  We all survived.  And then there was the new character creator in EVE.  It had… options.

LOTRO had a welcome back event… even though it is free to play.

There was yet another sign of the coming apocalypse.

NetDevil got pulled out of LEGO Universe.

Nintendo was banging the drum for Pokemon Black and White.  We were certainly ready for it at our house.

Van Hemlock was slumming back in MMOs for a bit.

I was taking a look at the holy trinity of roles through a historical lens.

The instance group was still playing World of Warcraft.  Now we just get nostalgic about it.

World of Tanks.  It was in beta and set some sort of bogus record.

Rift was getting ready to launch.  People were freaking out in the absence of calm words.  Personally, I wasn’t buying into the game.  Who needed a WoW clone when we had WoW?

Nostalgia was officially on with the launch of the Fippy Darkpaw Time Locked Progression server.  Characters were rolled.  Low level zones were crowded and experience was slow.  But the tour was a go.  We hit the Qeynos Hills, Blackburrow, West Karana, and the Qeynos SewersImportant spells were rediscovered and camping trips were planned.  Not everything was as we remembered it, but it made for a pretty darn good nostalgia adventure.

And while that was going on, SOE shipped Destiny of Velious for EverQuest II.  But I couldn’t be bothered.

And, finally, one of our cats was on top of the refrigerator.

Five Years Ago

Back in February 2007 Kendricke dropped by with the news that Sony Online Entertainment applied for a trademark for “EVERQUEST II RISE OF KUNARK,” thus confirming my guess that Kunark would be the EverQuest II expansion due near the end of 2007. A quick check of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office site shows nothing on my guess for this years expansion. (Return to the Planes of Power FTW!) The USPTO does show that SOE at one time had the trademark for, “EVERQUEST: THE DEMISE OF ARADUNE,” which is mildly ironic from a Vanguard point of view. I wonder what they had planned for that title? (Aradune = Brad McQuaid, for those not completely immersed in EQ history and lore.)

Of course, SOE also announced a price increase for Station Access shortly thereafter, always a buzz killer. This was immediately blamed on Vanguard and calls for the demise of Aradune were literal.  I’m sure glad SOE got over this trend of disappointing their fans!

I also started off in the Lord of the Rings Online open beta which eventually lead to the instance group spending the spring and summer in Middle-earth before returning to Azeroth.

And speaking of Azeroth, a year ago we were just starting to get into the fun that is Uldaman. And somewhere along the line I swapped out my rogue Blintz for my paladin Vikund, who has remained with the instance group ever since.

And finally, my wife got me a Wii for Valentine’s day that I couldn’t use until Easter!

New Linking Sites

I would like to thank the following sites for linking here in their blogrolls.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in February

EVE Online related posts lead the pack… and people still want to know when Hulkageddon V is coming.

  1. Hulkageddon V: Unholy Union – Coming Soon
  2. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  3. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  4. The Defense of 92D-OI
  5. The Drake Fleet goes to EWN-2U
  6. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  7. Standardized Souls for the Aspiring Ascended
  8. Prediction: Rift Will Go Free-to-Play When WoW Goes Free-to-Play
  9. All The Pretty Ships in New Eden – What Should I Fly Next?
  10. Mewtwo Available for Download from Nintendo
  11. VFK Homeland Defense Bags a Carrier
  12. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!

Spam Comments

Yes and not only that but palaeontologists would construct an evolutionary tree around them and call this “proof” of evolution
[Since this was on a Pokemon post, I am not sure what to think.]

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[Lot of this lately... no idea why]

лего – маленькая кровать
[The first time I have had to consider how "LEGO" looks in Russian.]

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[I have to start hanging out with Nick. And shouldn't it be "worst" noob ever?]

EVE Online

Clearly EVE is still a going concern for me.  I have managed to onto the kill board for the corp/alliance each of my three months in null sec so far, which at least proves to them I’ve done something, since I tend to be on long after corp/alliance ops end. (The last one was scheduled when I would likely be eating lunch at the office.)

As such, I seem to fly pretty exclusively in Goon, or at least wider CFC, run ops.  Which is great.  I have a lot of fun in them.  And there are lots of other alliances represented in such ops, so it isn’t like I am the outsider.  It just feels a bit odd that I do not really play that much with the corp/alliance with which I am associated, and I wonder if that will come back to haunt me at some point.  The perils of the 24 hour clock I suppose.

Rift

Rift continues to be the home of the instance group.  It serves in filling the WoW-like niche for small group content.  The addition of some pre-defined roles for the four classes actually helped us out quite a bit, which points to another issue.

As a group we do not play the game very much outside of our weekly group.  Back when we were playing WoW as our main game, I often saw other members of the group on during off-hours.  I play alts a couple of times a week and I see Potshot on… and Earl was playing an alt for a bit until he bought SWTOR.

And so we are not as invested in the game and not as knowledgeable about the game.  Anything we don’t pick up in those three hours on Saturday night is likely a mystery to us.  I don’t know that this is really a bad thing.  Our characters tend to be poor, wear equipment that are drops, and vendor any excess as opposed to trying to work the auction house.  But we still have fun and I can see that continuing for the next few months, Rift being good at what it does, which is being a WoW surrogate.

What happens when we hit level cap though?  I am not so sure we re-roll as guardians or do expert dungeons or any of the other things we did in WoW.  We’re just not that attached to the game.  Barring an expansion with a rise in the level cap, we might be looking for Guild Wars 2, Torchlight 2, or some other game.

World of Warcraft

Or we might go back to Azeroth.

We are in a funny spot now, nostalgia-wise, with WoW being about the same age as EverQuest was when I started writing this blog.  Old enough, and changed enough, for there to be “good old days” to remember fondly.  And this came out with my first instance group video.  There was some very clear, “let’s go play WoW!” reaction to it in the group.  As a group we have more invested in WoW, in hours played, in memories, in emotion, and in character growth and development, than in any other game.

It would be just a question of how to approach the whole thing.  As much as I like the Dungeon Finder when looking to PUG, I think we might have to throw it out for any future group.  Overland travel and seeing the world is too much a part of what has built memories for us.  And while the 1-60 dungeons have all be toned down to easy mode, there are still dungeons in Burning Crusade we haven’t done, and three more instances in Lich King that got added after we were “finished” that we have never faced.  And who knows what pandas will bring.

Thoughts for the future.

Coming Up

GDC is coming up next week in San Francisco and I am not going.  I have actually gotten about a dozen email messages asking if I want to interview various companies that will be at the show… though at least half of those messages were part of the press drive to bring attention to the Swedish Gaming Exhibit in the Nordic Pavilion at the show. (Those terms are direct quotes.)  Unfortunately, I couldn’t score a free expo pass this year, and to purchase one runs you $250.  At that price point I start thinking about all the other things I could do with $250.  Ah well, it will probably be rainy up in SF next week in any case.

There is a distinct threat of a return to Middle-earth, with Gaff having finished up with Skyrim and SWTOR and looking for something with less time commitment than EVE on weeknights.  This might also impact my EVE Online time as well, as Gaff is the one person I actually really know in the corp/alliance.

I have previously threatened to write about iPad apps and games, and I renew this threat.  We’ll see if it actually happens.  I also threatened to do more than just patch Star Trek Online last month… and that was all I did.  It sure is patched.  I just have no desire to play.

Otherwise, you should pretty much expect the usual stuff.  Instance group.  EVE Online.  The timeline of the Fippy Darkpaw EverQuest progression server.  Maybe another video.  The last one got almost no reaction, so I might have spent all my video making talent on the one instance group nostalgia video.  Or maybe people just don’t care about Sunken Temple.  Always a possibility.

Lost Dungeons of Norrath Still Lost on Fippy Darkpaw

On the Fippy Darkpaw time locked progression server, the Lost Dungeons of Norrath, the next EverQuest expansion slated to become available, failed to show up on the expected morning.

Still Lost

It was reported in the forums and repeated elsewhere that the Lost Dungeons of Norrath would unlock 15 days after the Planes of Power went live.  Since the Planes went live on February 13th, that would put the Lost Dungeons unlock at February 28th. However, according to reports in the forums, the expansion failed to show up on the appointed day.

Instead a vote came up that morning regarding the unlock, which was set to run through March 12th, something that would push the unlock out considerably.

Naylie, the new community manager for EverQuest, who just recently took over from Piestro (who got thrown into all the fun going on in EverQuest II of late), chimed in to say she was looking into the situation.

There is no word so far as to when the Lost Dungeons of Norrath will be found and what will happen with The Legacy of Ykesha expansion, which was targeted to unlock 15 days after Rallos Zek is slain… a death which occurred on February 13th as well… so that unlock is officially off schedule as well it seems.

Update: Naylie posted the following on the forums:

I spoke with Development and apparently we were a little confused on how this unlock was going to happen.

These two unlocks should happen the same as the other expansion unlocks. If enough yes votes happen, both expansions should unlock on March 12, 2012.

So it looks like there will be a vote, and that the vote is for BOTH Lost Dunegons of Norrath and the Legacy of Ykesha.  Tune back in a couple of weeks to see how that ends up.

And, to add on to the confusion, it is unclear how this will all impact the vote/unlock timer for the Gates of Discord expansion.  Never a dull moment!