Fireworks in Amarr May 6, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Amarr, EVE has sound?, YouTube
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A supplement to my post yesterday about the EVE Online 10 year birthday celebration in Amarr. If screen shots of the fireworks were not enough, here is some video of them hitting Chribba’s Revelation dreadnaught and Widow black ops battleship.
The video is probably best viewed over at YouTube in a larger window. It is available at all resolutions up to 1080p, at which point the explosions are surprisingly detailed.
The video is running at 2x speed. Time dilation was slowing things down to between 10 and 20% normal, but speeding up the video beyond 2x did not “feel” right, as things got very choppy.
The music is “Akat Mountains” from the EVE Online sound track (all of which you can find over at Sound Cloud), which I included because I had the sound off in EVE, so it would otherwise be a silent movie.
Party in Amarr – EVE Celebrates 10 Years May 5, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Meaningless Milestones
This was the big 10 year anniversary celebration weekend for EVE Online.
CCP was handing out goodies… cosmetic gear, special ships, and fireworks with launchers to mount on your ship.
To see the fun, you really needed to log into one of the key trade hub systems, which are Jita, Amarr, Hek, or Dodixie.
Jita, of course, is the most popular. However, I think it lost out compare to Amarr. My main happened to be in Amarr, while I had an alt in Jita, so I was able to check out the fun at both stations. And while each had fireworks, and both had almost the same population in local, Amarr had Chribba and his Revelation.
Of course, not being a reinforced trade hub like Jita, Amarr also had time dilation.
20% was the best I saw it while I was on. It fluctuated between 12% and 17% for quite a while, then dropped to 10% as more people piled into the system. The price we pay I suppose. There was no time dilation in Jita. But, as I said, there was also no Chribba. So I think Amarr got the better show.
Chribba rolled out his Revelation for a while. Then switch to a Widow black ops. He appeared to open a jump bridge a few times, as we got a distortion field around the undock, similar to what you see when a titan opens a bridge, only this was darker in color. And then he got out the Revelation again. Most people seemed to be targeting his ships with their firework launchers.
I think CCP was in on the act as well. I saw CCP Falcon in local, and for a while Amarr station was within a green sphere of light. And I guess CCP Fozzie was around as well.
Pretty neat stuff. Not something you see every day in Amarr. I have a pile of screen shots after the cut.
The First Computer Game I Ever Played May 3, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment.
Tags: Star Trek
Not an arcade video game. I think I played Pong first.
But an actual, sit down at the terminal, computer game.
It was Star Trek.
A friend’s dad had to go into the office one weekend and brought us along to show us the game that somebody had put on the accounting computer. He left us to poke at it while he went off and did his work. A clear waste of government resources back in an age when most people didn’t really know what a video game was, outside of Pong and Tank, and where the idea of a computer game probably would not have occurred to them.
It was a very simple game. You were tasked to clear out the galaxy of hostile elements with a limited set of resources.
It was a pivotal moment in my life. We were entranced.
I am sure the fact that it was called Star Trek, and represented the Enterprise fighting Klingons helped. Star Trek was a big deal at the time, which was at least a year before Star Wars. Maybe two. It also pre-dated my Atari 2600.
We had such a good time with the game that my friend and I ended up creating a board game version of it so we could play at home. We were engrossed. It was the first in a series of games we created by piecing together the mechanics we discovered from other games. Our home version got more complex over time.
It also got us to go out with horded allowance money to buy games like Star Fleet Battles as time went on, both to play them and to see how they dealt with spaceship combat. There was even a foray in to naval miniatures rules and the like. It was a heady time.
Anyway, I bring this up because over at The Register, the have a short piece up about the history of the original Star Trek game as part of the Antique Code Show series.
Need for Speed World – Porsches in Palmont May 2, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Need for Speed World.
Tags: 914-6, Porsche
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The instance group continued its streak, and it ended up being just Potshot and I on Saturday night.
On one hand, it is a pain that we have not yet made another run at Exodus of the Storm Queen. On the other, with just Potshot and I, the possible alternative game choices are pretty large.
I threw out “Boom or Vroom,” putting up World of Tanks versus Need for Speed World as an opening bid. Potshot said “vroom,” so we were off to race cars for the evening.
This is the upside of the free to play model, that we can just decided to play that night, patch up, and get going without having to worry about a subscription or anything.
Of course, the first item up for discussion was, what should we drive.
The last time we got out onto the streets we started of with a variety of different cars, but finally decided we should all buy the same car and leave it stock, so that there were no vehicular stats tilting the races. Our decision back then was to all buy the Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione.
This time we thought we ought to get something new, so it was off to the car dealer.
We were tempted by the Ford Capri being offered. That was a car we both grew up around as an import sold through Ford’s Mercury brand dealerships. I still like the styling of the ’70-’73 models. However, NFSW was only selling a very tricked out race version of the car.
Both Potshot and I lean towards vintage cars, but prefer street models, not the heavily modified race cars. We grumbled a bit about the game not catering to our demographic with their more modern super cars and race prepped vehicles, and continued down the list.
I eyed the Jaguar E-Type for a minute. If it had been the convertible or the 2+2 body styles, I might have insisted. But they only had the 2 door coupe, which always looks odd to me.
Eventually Potshot found a car on which we could both agree. It was vintage, a formidable racer, and not outrageously over-styled.
More after the cut. Words, pictures, video, etc.
Camelot Unchained Kickstarter Campaign Complete May 2, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Camelot Unchained, entertainment.
Tags: Kickstarter, Lord British, Mark Jacobs, Shroud of the Avatar
The 30 day run is over and Mark Jacobs and team have made their goal and then some. The final count on Kickstarter is $2,232,933.
As I pointed out as part of the Kickstarter pattern, the campaign hauled in about as much in the last two days of the run as they did during the first big day. More people showed up for a last minute contribution. You can see how that played out with this chart over at Kicktraq.
Or you can just go with this.
In a word: DING!—
Camelot Unchained (@UnchainedKS) May 02, 2013
Plus, once they met their $2 million goal, they were able to open up PayPal donations as well, which accrued nearly another $30K up to this point and which will no doubt remain open for those who want in on the founder deals.
And on top of all of that, there is the additional million dollars from other investors and the $2 million dollars that Mark Jacobs is personally kicking in, giving City State Entertainment more than $5 million to create its niche, RvR, no-PvE focused MMORPG.
So now it is time for them to go build a game.
And, as usual, I cannot help but compare how this campaign went with how Lord British and his Shroud of the Avatar Kickstart finished. While the two games are different in substance as planned, they were both what I would call personality driven campaigns, Lord British on one hand and Mark Jacobs on the other, around proposed fantasy games that hearkened back to their roots as designers and which were both squarely aimed and their long term fans.
Lord British had a more modest goal, one million dollars, and ended up just past the two million dollar mark at the end. Mark Jacobs set a more aggressive goal, one that was in question with only three days left in the campaign, but which ended up just shy of 2.3 million dollars. (PayPal contributions as they stood at campaign end included for both.)
Lord British brought in more backers, with 22,322 pitching in on Kickstarter, compared to 14,873 for CU. But the average pledge per backer was $151 for CU, while Lord British fans gave an average of $86.
Both campaigns were examples of how is being viewed by larger projects. Rather than being a primary source of funding, these were marketing campaigns that raised awareness, identified a core audience, got data and buy-in from them, and made a pile of money in the process. How else can a company do that before they have actually made a serious start on a game?
And success in Kickstarter, and delivering on promises, can make a difference in funding. I got a note… well, it was really a link to a video… last week from Hidden Path Entertainment that they got funding to go ahead with Defense Grid 2, largely based on their Kickstarter performance. So it can make a difference. And I’ll get a copy of that when it comes out for free, having been a supporter.
There are still plenty of small campaigns out there for projects that could otherwise not find funding along with fundraising efforts and the like. Jason Scott wasn’t going to get funding any other way for his documentaries (or his storage unit), and Planet Money, a podcast I enjoy, is doing a T-shirt fundraiser on Kickstarter.
Kickstarter is just becoming more things to more people as time goes on and people get used to it.
Anyway, now comes the long wait for the games that were funded. But at least I will likely shut up about Kickstarter for a while.
Mark Jacobs is a happy man right now, as the Camelot Unchained Kickstarter campaign managed to climb the mountain, covering nearly $400K of funding in the last two days despite a multi-hour Amazon payments outage and some issues with over-zealous supporters.
I hope you didn’t pledge a lot of money hoping nobody would call your bluff. The time to pony up is nigh!
Anyway, with 19 hours left to go, we shall see how much more money they can collect.
And then, of course, they have to actually make all that stuff they have been telling us about for the last 29 days.
Cry “Funded!” and let slip the dogs of unrealistic expectations!
Addendum: Oh, yeah, stretch goals. I bet they have had this graphic ready for a while.
I am not sure what they really mean to me… what else is new… but there they are.
Half Price Garage Slots Just Enable My Problem May 1, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
Tags: Dragon Ridge, M37, M7 Priest, Pearl River
I was pretty much set. I was working up a few different branches on various national trees. I was rotating through the ARL-44, the Jagpanther, and the KV-4, slowly accumulating the experience necessary to advance to the next tier on each.
All three of those tanks are now fully upgraded. It is just a matter of playing my way forward until I hit the next tier. I just have to focus.
What is that?
Garage slots are half price?
I had better buy a few of those, just to have them. I will need them eventually, right?
Then, of course, after my requisite daily first wins, I start poking through the tech trees, just to look. And eventually I am driving around in this.
The M37 self-propelled gun.
How did I get there? More after the break.
April in Review April 30, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, Need for Speed World, Rift, World of Tanks.
Tags: Meaningless Milestones
A Google moment turned April into a record setting month for the blog pretty much out of the gate. My quick coverage of April Fools at Blizzard for this year managed to get on the first page of results for a number of salient searches and… well… sent a lot of traffic this way.
The previous record was actually set last April, though that was driven by links to my Burn Jita posts. This year, Burn Jita wasn’t a hot topic and page views were about at the average-ish line across the event.
If you look at the gap between the dark bar, which is unique visits, and the light bar, which is total page views, it seems like people actually stopped to look at the links I had in the post, which included the past few years of April Fools. The “Most Viewed Posts” section below bears this out.
Upon seeing the sudden spike in traffic, I tried to incorporate as many links out to other blogs as I could in order to “share the wealth” such that is was. So a few other blogs got some traffic out of this.
April 1st and 2nd were about equal the whole month of February, which was when the impact of the Google image search changes showed up.
The downside of such a moment of Google fame is that the traffic is not very… sticky. I would be happy if out of all those people, one or two returned and left a comment now and again. And, of course, those two days will now skew the default graph on the stats page for a full month. Plus I keep looking at those two bars and feel like I should be reminded of some historical moment.
As with the big dip in page views in February, the big spike this month is essentially meaningless in the big picture. I like to try and figure out why these things happen, and they make the part of me that enjoys statistics thrill. But it isn’t like I get paid for page views.
And, of course, I bet Google is going to kill off some more page views come July when they kill off Google Reader.
I haven’t switched to a replacement yet. I am waiting for the other providers to accommodate the surge before I move.
One Year Ago
Last April set a daily page view record. What is it about April? I know you are going to say “April Fools,” but the record was actually set because of the Burn Jita event.
Elsewhere in EVE, the LEGO Rifter got 10K votes, the War in the North seemed to be winding down with RAZOR back in Tenal and six fleets stalking Venal. Raiden managed to lose a bunch of sovereignty, by accident, which finished that up. All that was left was to say we didn’t want that region anyways. We also made conga lines, experience time dilation, and followed DBRB through high sec to kill some super caps. And Seleene became the chairman of the Galactic Student Council.
I was also syndicated occasionally on EVE News 24. I don’t think I got paid for all of that.
I also made a list of small features I wanted other MMOs to copy.
Lord of the Rings Online hit the five year mark.
And it was April Fools at Blizzard.
Five Years Ago
I made up something for April Fool’s Day. I thought it was amusing.
Lord of the Rings Online celebrated a year of being live. Book 13 introduced, among other things, fishing. And my video problems with the game proved to be a bad video card, so I was actually able to get into the game.
Computer Gaming World/Games For Windows magazine ceased publishing as part of the ongoing demise of print media.
In EVE Online I made the big move from Caldari to Amarr space. I also began producing Badger transports for fun and profit. CCP introduced the whole Council of Stellar Management thing, which I dubbed The Galactic Student Council. My opinion on it hasn’t changed much since.
Meanwhile in WoW one million people in China logged into WoW at the same time. There is still no report on what would happen if they all pressed the space bar at the same time. While that was going on, the instance group finished up the Slave Pens and the Underbog and began the long struggle with the Mana Tombs.
I was looking around for Tetris on the Nintendo DS. You would think that would be easy, right?
And then it was Tipa’s turn to bang the EverQuest nostalgia drum, so I joined in yet again.
New Linking Sites
The following blogs have linked this site in their blogroll, for which they have my thanks.
Please take a moment to visit them in return.
Most Viewed Posts in April
Per the top of the post, April Fools at Blizzard dominates the list this month.
- April Fools at Blizzard – 2013
- April Fools at Blizzard – 2012
- Blizzard Blindsided by Diablo III Auction House Popularity
- Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
- April Fools at Blizzard – 2011
- WoW Dance Battle System!
- Ignore Burn Jita? Is That Your Plan?
- April Fools at Blizzard – 2010
- Burn Jita Held Over for an Extended Run
- Age of Empires II – HD Edition, That’s What I’m Talking About
- What is it with Me and Storm Legion?
- Camelot Unchained Kickstarter Unleashed!
Search Terms of the Month
animal jam: non fair membership abilities
[Welcome to free to play]
trion merge with blizzard
[Heh, copy Blizz, yes, merge with Blizz...]
brothers in arms or camo for arty?
world of warcraft bdr g1b good 4 money
[A BDR G1B would rule in WoW... in WoT, not so much]
Spam Comment of the Month
Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation;
[From a spam comment linking to "genuine" Prada items]
A quiet month in New Eden for me. Burn Jita was an exercise in precise, clinical destruction. The fleet ops I went on all ended up with no action for me. I made some money speculating on ice products. A rumor went around before FanFest about ice changes, so I bought up half a billion ISK worth in Amarr and relisted it for double what I paid. That sat until the announcement at FanFest, and which point it sold. Easy money. And then the price dropped back down.
Oh, yeah, and CSM8 elections. Congratulations to the winners, which includes Jester, who will now have to suffer the fate of getting exactly what he asked for.
Need for Speed World
I have actually played this game every single day this year. I log on, I do the gem hunt, I log off. Elapsed time for each session is generally under 10 minutes. It was part of my plan to see what sort of rewards you would get for the daily hunt as time went along. I thought I would be done at that point. But then they added achievements. And for just another hundred or so gem hunts in a row, you get a special car. So I am in for the long haul on that.
After sulking about Storm Legion for quite a while, I actually pressed on into it with a recommended solo build for my warrior. It is okay. Will I press on and finish though? Meanwhile, the instance group… has failed to show up consistently since the beginning of the year. So we still have yet to finish the first Storm Legion instance, Exodus of the Storm Queen.
World of Tanks
I continue working with my KV-4. Tier 8 in a heavy has turned out to be pretty fun. I do dread those matches with three or four SPGs on a side though. You cannot hide under cover forever, and getting caught in the open is murder.
We will know how the Camelot Unchained Kickstarter saga ends in a couple days. Success will mean City State Entertainment getting to work. Failure will mean… well, we shall see what it means.
I have a blog anniversary coming up… for another blog. But I am going to write about it here because nobody reads that blog. Though, to be fair, it is all about pictures instead of words.
Neverwinter is going to show up. I think it is open beta or pre-release or taking money from the general public as of today even. I have been averting my gaze from it so as not to spoil anything in advance. The call of Forgotten Realms will probably ensure that I will download that at some point, but I won’t be in for the day one rush.
Maybe… just maybe… the instance group will do Exodus of the Storm Queen this month.
Camelot Unchained – 3 Days and $400K To Go April 29, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Camelot Unchained, entertainment.
Okay, maybe a little less than $400K, but the Camelot Unchained Kickstarter campaign is coming down to the wire.
It could happen. In looking at the records of similar campaigns on the various sites that track them, projects can pick up as many pledges in the last two days as they did on the opening day. Camelot Unchained had a $550K opening day. You can see a pledges and backers by day chart here. So it is well within the realm of possibility.
I wonder, in a general Kickstarter campaign way, how certain aspects of the way things have been done have helped or hurt them. Mark Jacobs has been very forthright about the niche appeal of the game, and certainly the “No PvE content” aspect is sending some people away. But that is to be expected.
Other things though, like tiers that allow limited backers, do not appear to have been used… well? correctly? efficiently? To my mind, that is supposed to create a sense of artificial scarcity to get people to pledge right away.
The first four limited tiers ($25, $50, $55, $110) have a combined total of 25,000 “limited” slots, which is roughly 2.5 times the total number of backers up to this point. If your limited tiers are still open and available with only three days left to go on the campaign, I have to think they are not working as designed.
The tier price points also seem to be a bit confusing. In past campaigns, there has been a pattern of regular price points ($25, $50, $75, $100) which are often the limited tiers, and then a slightly more expensive unlimited tier above each that gives just a little bit less than the limited tier, to encourage people to pledge right away.
Instead, it is a bit of a muddle. Why would you have competing $50 and $55 limited tiers, for example? Why nothing at the magic price point of $100? I know $110 is just a bit more, but in my experience, $$100 is often a mental threshold.
And then there is what you get for each tier, which I find to be unnecessarily complex. The $50 and $55 price points mentioned above differ on so few points as to make me wonder why you would make them two separate tiers.
Ah well, brighter minds than my own no doubt have a narrative to explain the complexity. And they certainly did well selling the higher level tiers. Of the 75 pledge slots at $2,500 and above, only 6 are still available.
And it is too late to change any of that in any case. The next three days will tell the tale.