Reviewing My Goals for 2013 December 6, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Rift, World of Tanks, World of Warcraft.
At the beginning of each new year I have a special post. Sometimes if it predictions. Some times it is demands. Back in January I decided it should be goals.
So I wrote out a list of eight goals for 2013, then promptly forgot about them as set out into the year.
Now here we are, into December and we have reached the time to review. In theory, I could run out and complete at least one of the incomplete goals on my list. But in reality, it isn’t going to happen.
Each of my eight goals were well within my ability to accomplish. How many did I manage?
1- Finish Rift
There was a specific definition of “finish” in the goal, since MMOs are pretty difficult beasts to tame otherwise. And it wasn’t even the whole game I had to finish, just the Storm Legion expansion. The base game was already finished per my definition.
All I had to do was get a character to the new level cap and finish the five person dungeons with the instance group. Level cap should have totally obtainable… I had four characters at the old cap, one in each base class… and we were starting in on the first instance back at the start of January. I figured this was a gimme.
And then I had problems getting into Storm Legion. That dragged. I wandered off, then came back and gave it another shot and made it a bit further. But on entering Seratos I lost all momentum and that was that.
Meanwhile, the instance group had problems even getting online at the same time. We didn’t actually finish the first instance until the end of June.
So that goal was pretty much a bust and Rift lies fallow for me even now. The group as a whole hasn’t been back since we poked our collective noses in to see how the F2P transition went.
Goal not achieved.
2- Find a new goal in EVE
This isn’t looking good either. I had some idea about what I could do. I even trained up some skills. But here it is December and I am still playing about the same way I was back in January. I wait for a fleet op to get called, I log in, join the fleet, and go shoot things. Or fail to shoot things. My role is still pretty much that of “aligner to whatever, presser of F1, and clicker of PAP links.”
Not that I don’t enjoy that. I still goggle at large fleet battles. It is my place in the game for now. But it isn’t anything new.
I did train up to fly a carrier. I even purchased an Archon.
But flying a new ships is a constant and flowing thing in EVE Online. But unless you have a plan for what you are going to do with that ship once you have it, it isn’t the kind of goal I meant. And I haven’t done anything with the Archon since I bought it.
Goal not achieved.
3- Get to Tier IX in World of Tanks
Another goal I though would be a gimme. At the time I was closing in on a tier VIII tank and I was driving the KV-4 by mid-April, leaving me a good 8 months to make my goal.
And then I stopped playing World of Tanks around the beginning of May and I haven’t really been back since.
That is the way it goes with video games sometimes.
Goal not achieved.
4- Finish that Second Instance Group Video
This was to follow up the first instance group video I did, which reviewed our first year as a group in Azeroth. You can read my post about it, which includes the video and the whole director’s commentary. It included music performed by Earl and his musical friends.
I did actually start on this. I had decided that the second video ought to focus on our run through Wrath of the Lich King, which was arguably our peak in the game up to this time. We ran all the instances and had some adventures in the open world, so it seemed like good enough topic. I even went through the screen shots from the period and started pulling out and cropping potential candidates. I got about half way through that.
And then I got hung up on the music. I mentioned that in writing the original goal, that the music is an important part of the process for me.
I really need something to make the whole thing come together. At one point I was leaning towards ELO’s Don’t Bring Me Down, which I thought had the right ironic tone for the assault on Northrend, plus is a good tune. But I never quite got there. Then I got a bit twitchy about music after I ran into some trouble with one of my videos.
I understand the the holders of the rights to the music are entitled to profit from them. They claim the rights on YouTube, slap ads on them, and collect a bit of revenue. I am fine with that. But for one of my favorite videos, the horrible slog through time dilation to the battle at Q1U-UI, the rights holder insisted I remove the music. Apparently the reputation of the song Theme from a Summer Place, the most stereotypical elevator music ever, was being harmed by association with internet spaceships or something. Perhaps EVE was too exciting for it. I don’t know. But Google muted the audio until I clicked the button and let them remove the music from the audio track.
Google did a surprisingly good job at that, but now the video lacks much of its charm. It is just a bunch of slow spaceships with people laughing about how slow they are going.
Anyway, this made me a bit leery of doing anything else with musical tracks I happened to have in iTunes. Maybe I can get Earl and his group to record a version of Don’t Bring Me Down.
And then I got distracted with other things, the instance group was having trouble forming up, and I never quite got back to it.
It remains on my “to do” list, and now that we have actually done the last three instances in the expansion, maybe I will get back to it. But I still have the music thing to deal with.
Goal not achieved.
5- Retry an MMO That Didn’t Stick
Complete and utter failure on this one, at least for the definition I gave. I put out a potential list with titles such as Vanguard, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Star Trek Online, Runes of Magic, Warhammer Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Pirates of the Burning Sea.
And I did not go back and play a single one of them.
I did try to log into Warhammer Online, but only after they announce it was going to close, and only for nostalgia tour reasons even then.
And I failed at that, as I could not coax Warhammer Online into letting my log into the game.
Goal not achieved.
6- Scout for the Next Instance Group Game
This was just vague enough that I can claim to have done it. Potshot was really the leader of the scouting expedition in 2013, leading the way into things like Neverwinter Nights 2 and Neverwinter. Some sort of theme going on there.
But for me to really lay claim to achieving this goal, I think I would have had to scout a game that we actually ended up playing.
Which I did.
I stepped foot into what would become our next game. I lead the way. I was there first.
It just happened to be a game we were already invested in, World of Warcraft. So I am pretty sure the group’s move back there had more to do with our investment in the game, and the BlizzCon announcements, than anything I did.
Goal not achieved.
7- Book My Autumn Nostalgia Tour Early
I think I managed this one. Every autumn I, usually accompanied by Gaff or Potshot, end up going back and playing some MMO from the past. This year I managed to this twice.
For the really early nostalgia tour, Gaff and I and our EVE corp went off to Middle-earth and indulged in a summer of Lord of the Rings Online.
Then, when that was wrapping up… I was on the far side of Moria and the rest of the corp had wandered off… my daughter wanted to go back and play World of Warcraft. So that was declared the Fall nostalgia run… for specific definitions of nostalgia in any case.
That ended up turning into the destination for the instance group, so it became more current and less nostalgia. Still, I think I managed this one.
8- Blog Stuff
My goal here was pretty much to stay the course… which isn’t really much of a goal. It is like riding a bicycle and making your goal “continue to pedal.” 334 posts later, I think we can confirm that I managed to carry on as always.
So that was a meager eight goals, out of which I managed to achieve two.
And the two that I achieved were vague targets to do what I expected I would do in any case. That certainly doesn’t reflect well on my ability to define a goal and achieve it.
I think that for my 2014 New Year’s post I am going to go back to predictions. Those are more fun to discuss… I cannot resist throwing in some silly or outrageous ones… and more fun to review at the end of the year. So look for that come January 1st.
November in Review November 30, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, War Thunder, World of Warcraft.
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What to say? WordPress.com took it upon themselves to break a few things with unannounced updates. You’ve heard this story before. The biggest hit was when they made a change that made all my blogroll data disappear for a few hours. As usual, no mention of a change was made until people started to scream and no mention of a fix was made either, things just went back to the way they used to be some hours later. The only response was from one of the volunteers on their forums who couldn’t really tell us anything, though she took it upon herself to lecture people on how useless blogrolls are when it comes to traffic. About par for the course. Once again I think it primarily impacted those with older themes. There is a joke about WordPress.com telling us “You can keep your old theme if you like it” in there somewhere, I am sure.
I had a hope that maybe WordPress.com would upgrade the blogroll widget so that it would give us something like the awesome blogroll features like Blogger has… but no. They just broke it and put it back in place with no real change to the status quo that I could detect.
On the upside, WordPress.com did roll out a new feature. Well, sort of a new feature. At the bottom of posts, links now appear to related posts on the blog. They had this feature before, then it went away, and now it has returned. And it pretty much works. Sometimes the algorithm they are using is spot on. Sometimes, not so much. And once in a while, it cannot find anything related. But you will see that at the bottom of most posts here, including this one. Now see if you can figure out why it chose the three posts it did.
One Year Ago
We said farewell to City of Heroes.
Pong turned 40.
I dipped a toe into GuildWars 2.
I was feeling in the doldrums about computer hardware.
The Register was wondering if Second Life was a failure.
The EverQuest expansion Rain of Fear launched, leading to one of my occasional ponderings about how long the game will go on. Meanwhile, on the Fippy Darkpaw server, the Dragons of Norrath expansion was unlocked. That marked the potential end of my coverage of the server as SOE seemed uninterested in promoting it or anything about it. I was only getting updates when they went wrong.
Over in Rift we were patching up as Storm Legion went live.
The British tank tree showed up for the first time in World of Tanks.
And I was rambling on about motivation and what makes a good story in an MMO.
Five Years Ago
We were all excited about expansions.
For EverQuest II, there was The Shadow Odyssey that showed up around the four year anniversary and which gave us the bear mount. If you bought retail you also got the pewter bear which went on to feature in so many Tipa cartoons and my own parody thereof.
In EVE Online, the Quantum Rise expansion was available, granting those of us in New Eden certificates, among other things.
While it wasn’t out yet, Turbine was warming people up for the Mines of Moria expansion for Lord of the Rings Online. It sounded great. I just haven’t been there yet to confirm it. At least I got the T-shirt… erm… the cloak.
And then there was a little thing called Wrath of the Lich King. Yeah, that. Sort of a big deal for some, setting sales records and all that.
On the flip side, Warhammer Online passed from regular play rotation.
Finally, I was keeping the nostalgia ball rolling with a look back at how information used to be regarded back in the days of MUDs, a notable MUD NPC, and a hazy recollection of a GEnie game called Stellar Warrior.
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 November
World of Warcraft dominates to page views this month. Of course, most of my posts this month were related to WoW in one way or another, so no surprise there I guess.
- BlizzCon – Warlords of Draenor Features Announced!
- Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
- On to BlizzCon 2013 and the Next WoW Expansion
- Warlords of Draenor – Post-BlizzCon Excitement
- The Lich King? We Could Have Taken Him
- Why Can’t I Just Turn Off Achievements?
- The Instance Group Returns to Northrend
- KW-I6T – The Long Guy Fawkes Day
- The Rush Back to Azeroth
- Warhammer Online – The Final WAAAGH is on Us!
- WoW 9th Anniversary Present
- Node Crash at E-YJ8G
Search Terms of the Month
what to do if your pokewalker ends up in the washer machine
[We have an answer for that! But really, you can just take it apart and let it dry out.]
need for speed world is currently experiencing a high volume of players in-game. only users who have priority access will be able to login. please note that purchasing speedboost will grant enduring priority access and immediate login credentials.
[Sounds like more issues at Need for Speed World]
it is…with me
[Good to know]
wast ndies lady fathair porn
[I'm sure there is a fetish in there somewhere]
Tweet of the Month
Things have ebbed and flowed in New Eden. We had a corp day and we deployed back down to Curse in order to get in the middle of the eastern powers… both current and former… having at each other. I managed to get into two major battles, KW-I6T and E-YJ8G, both of which ended the same way. But it has otherwise been quiet for me. Fleets seem to go out in my time zone just after I have gotten home from work or in the middle of dinner. So my time has been most about skill training.
The hot new flavor of the month last month pretty much fell by the wayside this month. As did everything else frankly. I am sure I will get back to it at some point. But the draw of another game combined with the fact that I was pretty much playing it solo let it fade into the background.
World of Warcraft
If you look at my gaming hours on Raptr for the last month, it pretty much adds up to WoW and not much else. Enthusiasm after BlizzCon and the return of the instance group to the game has pretty much pushed the game front and center. There is so much to do, so much to see, so many alts still to make, and there is almost always somebody online with me. I suppose time will tell if this rush of play time will lead to burn out or not, but for now Azeroth seems to be the place for me.
The end of the year is nearly here. That will mean a year in review post… the “highs and lows” thing I have done for the last few years that attempts to sum up the year in MMOs from where I sit. Then there is the review of my yearly looking forward post. Back in January I set some goals for the year. I’ll have to see how I did, though I can tell you right now I pretty much failed on all fronts. Par for the course when it comes to that post. I think I will go back to industry predictions for next year.
Other than that, you can expect more about World of Warcraft and EVE Online and whatever else catches my eye. And I might even get back to the book related posts. I said I was going to wrap one of my many drafts up every Sunday until I was done with them, and then fell off the wagon after one week. I have another one almost ready for tomorrow. But I am not sure I like it enough to post it.
And, other than that, the usual filler and random bits of nostalgia.
EVE Bloggers Has Another New Home November 24, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: EVE Bloggers
1 comment so far
I pointed out a while back that after the tussle around who should take over the EVE Bloggers site, something that lead to there being two competing sites (and a discussion about blogging in general), both sites pretty much went kaput. When I checked on both sites a couple of weeks back, one domain wasn’t responding while the other had been grabbed by a domain camper. No winners in that race I guess.
And then, this morning, I logged in to look at my stats and I found I was getting traffic from the domain evebloggers.com.
I thought maybe Cyberin was back.
But when I went to the site, I found somebody new had taken over the domain. Fuzzysteve has shouldered the burden of running the EVE Bloggers site and has what he calls a first draft version of the site up and running.
Fuzzysteve has a post up of his own describing the situation and giving some ideas where he plans to go with the site.
We will see how it goes, but I want to thank Fuzzysteve for bringing back another EVE Online community resource.
Node Crash at E-YJ8G November 23, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Curse, E-YJ8G, Null Sec
So, today was another 10% tidi slugfest involving a series of unfortunate escalations culminating in CCP proving once again they have almost no clue how to balance a game, let alone make it function. Over 100 hostile carriers and dozens of hostile supers escaped our thousand-strong subcap horde via a crashed node, which seems to be the only strategy the N3zis have that works consistently. As a consolation prize we got to execute about 50 or so tech 3 ships.
Original broadcast from Reagalan
On the downside, things followed the now predictable course of events.
We poured subcaps into the system to stomp the carriers. N3 dumped reinforcements in to save carriers. We dropped dreadnoughts in to push up the damage. The dropped in super caps. The numbers in local kept climbing, not helped by the fact that we’re still abusing the whole drone assist thing with our Dominix fleet doctrine. Time dilation, which wasn’t so bad when there were only 600 people in the system dropped to the usual 10% when the number passed a thousand and our Dominix fleet got on grid and joined the fight. Somewhere past 1200 people in local the system started behaving like it did at KW-I6T, with people doing things without actual result. And, well, the whole thing went poof on us.
Yeah, that is never a good sign.
Also on the downside list, just before the system went non-responsive my shiny new Dominix got called as primary by the hostile carrier FC and I started taking fire.
I actually called for armor and the fleet logi team started to reinforce me. But in the lag, it took the hostiles a while to all focus on me, so it looked like I had been saved for a bit and the logis moved on to the next call. And then fire began to rain down on me and my ship wasn’t long for the battle. Look at all those Bouncer drones hitting me.
If only they had waited another minute, because once they got my pod targeted, the system started misbehaving. My pod took dozens of hits without registering any damage.
Semi-safe and the system clearly headed for a fall, I used my remaining time to move the camera around and take screen shots. I am ever the tourist. Then the error message above came up and most of us were thrown out of the game. After that it was the wait, staring at my portrait on the new login screen, for the system to recover and let us back it.
Once in, some passer-by in an Ares popped my popped my pod, which at least saved me the trouble of flying home. Then it was time for a break at my end. Dinner was at hand and I was figuring out where to file for my reimbursement. But the fight went one, at least on a smaller scale. As noted in the initial quote, we got to pop some tech 3 ships. Then it was working on the withdrawl from Catch back to our home base in Curse.
While the result of piling people into a system isn’t much of a shock at this point… Garth was mocking null sec about it recently… I am starting to wonder if it could start being an official “how to save your tackled capital ships” strategy.
Anyway, as noted, I had time to take some screen shots. Lots of capital ships and our Dominix fleet, along with the new graphics for the various forms of warp bubbles. All after the cut.
I Haven’t Quite Crossed the Rubicon Yet November 21, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
CCP managed to deploy the Rubicon expansion on Tuesday without much in the way of issues.
And while I patched up all 1.21 Gigabytes, I have not really had much opportunity to get into the game. Work, events at my daughter’s school, and perhaps some excessive focus on another game has kept me away. Fortunately CCP Fozzie had some tweets about what was going on during the first 24 hours after the expansion dropped.
Yeah, I feel that one. Like Kirithi Kodachi, I logged in expecting to find that I had level V mastery on at least a couple of ships, outside of shuttles. Or at least a few ships at IV. But no, for combat ships my highest rating is level III. Even on my beloved Drake, which I would likely tell you in an off-hand way that I have max skills for, comes in at level III mastery.
You see, under the new certificates system, level V mastery requires that all relevant skills be trained to level V as well. So the fact that I do not have gravametric sensor compensation and the specialization skills for assault and heavy missiles trained up to V will keep me from the top mastery slot. But what is really holding me back, what is keeping me at level III is my meager training in Caldari Drone Specialization. For the Drake. That notorious drone boat. Deploying those kick-ass Caldari drones.
(Those last two sentences should show up dripping with sarcasm once HTML XX gets approved and implemented.)
What a waste of weeks of training time to work on some of those skills. But unless I do, every time I see the info page for a Drake, it will give me that sardonic look and display that level III mastery badge. “Max skills? My ass!” it will say. It is like a gun to that OCD completionist part of my brain.
So I will have to work on that drone skill, getting it up to IV at a minimum. At least it will apply to the mastery rating of all the Caldari ships.
As expected. The interceptor change, making them invulnerable to warp disruption bubbles, plus the warp speed change, means we will be seeing a lot more interceptors running about. I nearly put off my move back to Curse until after the expansion hit so I could fly out in one. I expect this alone will lead to fleet doctrine changes.
And my mastery for all interceptors is III, just like the Drake. Does that really tell me anything?
The great high sec customs office rampage begins!
And people are figuring out another new feature. As these has been pegged as a source of materials for a future expansion that will allow players to build jump gates to new regions, I expect they will get a lot of focus. Jove space of bust, baby!
The changes/upgrades to marauders in EVE has made level IV mission running fractionally easier for those already wealthy enough to have a marauder. But they still are not invincible. And the economy of New Eden keeps on rolling.
The new rapid heavy missile launcher module, nerfed down a bit to deliver high burst damage at the expense of a long reload time in order to keep heavy missiles (and the Caldari) down, is getting a workout. As originally proposed, they looked like a game changer, an organ grinder battleship module spewing out heavy missiles at a hellish rate. They were too much of a “good” thing I will admit, but I still endorse anything that validates my heavy investment in missile skills.
And then the deployable structures. In the long run I expect scanning these down and blowing them up will become a new sport. An out in null sec, the mobile siphons will likely become more of a focus. In the short term, nothing I do warrants my looking into them.
Anyway, for those wondering what I am talking about, CCP has a page up dedicated to the Rubicon expansion and all of its features. I hope to actually get stuck into some of this over the weekend. The first thing I will probably get up close and personal with is the changes to the fleet interface. We’re deployed to fight and all that, and fleet ops seem to go up every time I walk away from my computer. Given how awkward it has been in the past, I am looking forward to seeing what changed, though given CCP’s sometimes odd sensibilities, I won’t be surprised if I hate some aspect of it right away.
Always something fresh to bitch about.
A Return to Curse November 18, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Curse, Null Sec
On reading about our new deployment, my first thought was along the lines of “Didn’t I just get the hell out of Curse?”
It wasn’t as though our gate camp deployment down there was bad. It just seemed like more of a training exercise than a mission with some concrete end goals. And given the proximity of Curse to my various caches of ships and supplies, it seemed like we could have gone elsewhere for training.
Even after the big battle at KW-I6T, when our fleet headed for “home” in Curse, I preferred to take my chances solo and head back to Deklein.
Granted, it isn’t our war, but you make due with what you have. According to the GSF CEO update, the core group of the Russians have managed to set aside their differences and have allied to take on the N3 coalition holding the east of the New Eden, which includes Northern Coalition, Pandemic Legion, Nulli Secunda, and some more Russians.
And our role in this? We aren’t taking sides or flagging anybody blue. But we do have an agenda.
We are now going to do to NCdot and their friends in N3 exactly what they did to us in Fountain. We are going to be ‘honourable third parties’ in this war and make their lives and their gameplay hell. At every turn where they complain on the forums about how we are ruining their ‘good fights’ and ‘blobbing’, we will remind them with a sweet, false smile that this is exactly what they tried and failed to do to us.
The plan appears to be to drop on in any of the fights that crop up between the warring parties (like those at KW-I6T and L7ZS-5) to shoot N3 or, when fights are not available, to drop into N3′s backfield to sew terror and discord with their renters by sweeping them from space, attacking their structures, and generally being pains in their collective asses. For this our forward base at G-0Q86 in Curse is pretty well situated.
And since this was to be an official CFC deployment to Curse (except for at least one alliance, which seems to be devoted to knocking off systems at the north end of the N3 coalition while the battles are happening in the south), logistical support could be expected. I just had to get myself down there and buy a few doctrine ships on contract… the mix looks to be Siege Fleet stealth bombs, Dominix Fleet, and Prohpecy Fleet, which both my main and my alt can fly in… and wait for fleet ops to be announced. And there were fleet ops running almost right away and all through the weekend.
I was fortunate in that my alt still had a jump clone down in Curse and a Harpy in the station with it, so he just had to jump and get over to G-0. This was actually a bit risky, but he made it, docked up in the station in G-0 with the medical offices, set his death clone to there, and then warped over to the other station where we are staging. Why we aren’t using the station with the medical facilities to stage seems like a pertinent question. The official response I have so far is, “because we’re idiots.”
Then I just had to get Wilhelm down there. I grabbed the last stealth bomber I had handy in Deklein and took the usual route into high sec then back to into null sec through the Great Wildlands.
I managed to make it through unmolested late on Sunday night. I did hit a couple of active systems with a few people running around in them, but I just waved in local and they waved back. I am going to guess that they were ratting or some such and were thus as uninterested in a fight as I was.
Anyway, I got through, did the clone thing, got myself set up with some doctrine ships, and am now ready for whatever operations might be in store.
Of course, I am wondering if I should have invested much in such ships. The Rubicon expansion drops tomorrow. CCP already has their mile-long list of patch notes posted, as well as dev blogs going into detail about balancing ship and modules, warp speed changes, mobile structures, and all sorts of other things. And such updates tend to change the way wars are fought in null sec. So next week we might be swapping out to an interdictor and interceptor only fleet doctrine or some such. We shall see.
But I am in Curse again and ready to go.
Corp Day in Deklein November 10, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Black Sheep Down, Mining, Null Sec
A corp day was declared where we all joined up to harvest ice, which will be turned into fuel for our towers.
KW-I6T – The Long Guy Fawkes Day November 6, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: 4-EP12, KW-I6T, Null Sec
I am not sure how the fight began. I am not sure who was fighting whom. All of that is part of the bigger picture, into which I am generally not plugged. And in this case, it wasn’t even a CFC fight, we were just there for targets of opportunity and to support some people we aren’t really allied with (they aren’t blue to us, but they are not red either) against some other people who I know we aren’t allied with (they are red to us).
I am not even sure when the fighting began. I saw something come up on the RSS feed from EVE News 24 as I was eating my lunch at the office. And there was something on Twitter from EVE-Kill.net.
Down in Catch, a region in the south of New Eden, a timer had run down in KW-I6T, the last Nulli Secunda system in the region. And they were going to fight for it. (Okay, if you want to know all that, there is a summary over at The Mittani. But I didn’t know any of it until after the fight.)
It was one of those fights that snowballed, bringing in capital ships and supercapitals, as it kept on going and going.
It was still going when I got home from work and Gaff IM’d me asking if I was going to try to get down and join the CFC contingent already engaged. I didn’t think that I was going to get down there on my own, so I looked in on the streams. Both Mad Ani and Dabigredboat were broadcasting, though I had to go with Boat because not only was he also leading a fleet (the man can multitask without any degradation to his level of performance… what that level is, of course, is the question up for debate), but he was playing some of the best/worst 80s pop music I could imagine on his stream.
Then around 5pm my time, a call went out for a reinforcement fleet to head to the fight. Reagalan already had a Baltec fleet down in the fight.
They were on grid with an Erebus titan that they had bubbled and were slowly bumping away from its triage carrier support. (Diagram of this effort at TMC.) They fully planned a titan bonfire that night and we were going to fly on down there to help out. So a fleet went up under Kari Trace with a rally point in 4-EP12.
More words and pictures after the cut.
October in Review October 31, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, Neverwinter, Path of Exile, War Thunder, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Google, iGoogle
Not much has changed on the site and WordPress.com hasn’t mucked anything up of late, so I guess I will complain fruitlessly about Google a bit more.
I must remain in the bad graces of our friends over in Mountain View, as search engine related traffic continued to taper off this past month. I think Bing is in danger of providing more traffic if this persists, and what does that say about the world? (Ha, ha, just kidding. Who uses Bing here? Raise your hand. Even in decline, Google drives 50x the traffic to my site than Bing.)
Of course, Google continues to irk me on various fronts. They will be making search private in the future, so say good-bye to the search terms of the month section of this post. The Google+ interface continues to make Facebook look… well… not so bad in my eyes. The Gmail interface only looks good when compared to the latest insanity taking over Yahoo’s mail interface. And, of course, there was the demise of Google Reader and the impending end of iGoogle, which Google has reminded me about with a pop-up every single day this month.
Then I moved to Google, which was the new thing. And then came iGoogle, which let me put a couple of informational widgets on my start page… the calendar, headlines from a couple of news sources, and Google’s hilariously inaccurate weather widget… that struck a nice balance between minimalism and usefulness.
So I suppose it is back to just the main Google page as the default. No more news headlines, I’ll just be aware of whatever obscure anniversary Google has chosen to commemorate in its logo. Tomorrow is the 117th anniversary of the first bare female breasts shown on the pages of National Geographic Magazine. That would make for an interesting doodle.
All of which is just me rambling, having little to do with this site… so carry on.
One Year Ago
The SF Giants won the World Series. That makes twice in my lifetime, which was one more than I had any hope for.
Disney bought out Lucasfilm, claiming ownership of Star Wars. Panic ensued.
I had a sudden crescendo of activity around World of Warcraft, culminating in Blizzard finally letting me cancel my subscription. There was the Panda launch and people declaring success or failure. I was off in the Emerald Dream attempting to relive what WoW was like back in 2006. In involved a shovel.
The Project: Gorgon kickstarter kicked off.
In World of Tanks the word of the day was Sturmgeschütz.
Lord of the Rings Online launched the Rider of Rohan expansion. I still don’t own it.
EVE-Kill was looking for donations to keep everybody’s favorite kill board up and running. I was off on a CSAA killing mission that got me accused of cognitive dissonance. I was feeling warm and cozy in null sec. We were also pursuing our foes in Tribute and the Vale of the Silent.
I was wondering how EA Louse’s comments about Star Wars: The Old Republic were holding up two years later.
I was complaining about games (or, in my 30+ year old example, a game master) that try to impose their story on your character. I don’t mind being a part of the overall story, but my characters have their own stories and motivations and I do not like it when games put their own words in my character’s mouth.
And, finally, there was the case for seat belts.
Five Years Ago
I celebrated my 15 years of playing Sojourn/TorilMUD with the first in a series of posts. Nostalgia FTW! And I guess that makes this the 20 year mark. My, how time flies!
And speaking of Nostalgia, Tipa was out looking for EverQuest blogs. I’m not sure any were discovered.
The instance group formed up a guild and was running in Warhammer Online. We had our best night and our worst night, plus a few that were somewhere in between. All in all though, things were not as exciting as we had hoped.
And I stared logging into World of Warcraft again to get things lined up for the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion. I managed to survive through the controversial scourge event and was intrigued by the shiny new achievements.
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 October
- Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
- Steam and the Path of Exile
- Rift and the End of the Happy Time
- The End of the Road for EverQuest Mac
- Quote of the Day – Screwed by the Autopilot
- Archon Acquired
- Sneaking Into Curse
- CCP to Attempt to Explain EVE Online to New Players
- What You Get in the Absence of Actual Information…
- Going Bombing in War Thunder
- Hardware Updates – Headphones, Video Cards, and Connectivity
- Hallow’s End, Brewfest, and an Empty Feeling
Search Terms of the Month
a fake star system built on cheating people for one s own self satisfaction
[Welcome to EVE Online! Or Scientology! Whichever.]
martha stewart a mud shark pictures
[But is that a good thing?]
what causes tiny air bubbles to form on top of anaround the top edge of the water in a beta fish bowl
my god its full on stars
[ I am so many pages into that search that I stopped looking. But I did make the reference.]
Well, there was the deployment to Curse and the return home, which I participated in, and the whole SOMERBlink thing, in which I completely declined to participate. Meta game fail on my part I guess, but it didn’t stop some people from being a dick. So it has been a relatively quiet month in New Eden for me. There was a corp day where most of us got out and did some ice mining to gather fuel for our towers. Potshot and I did a little mining on our own. But not much else came to pass. Null sec is like that. Big wars for a bit, then some quiet while everybody adapts to what has changed.
The various members of our regular instance group have continued to participate in Neverwinter in various combinations. Sometimes there are three, sometimes there are four, but so far all five of us haven’t been on. Still, we poke away at the game. I think our overall group is close to level 20.
Path of Exile
This claimant to the Diablo II crown finally went live this past month, and it certainly has done a good job in that department, feeling more true to the original than either Diablo III or Torchlight II. I have been enjoying it for its faithfulness to the source, but I do wonder how long that feeling can last. It is clearly nostalgia and a desire to relive the joy of the original, and if you are a long term reader then you know how quickly nostalgia can evaporate around these parts.
Driven here by my annoyance with World of Warplanes… which stemmed mostly from my own ineptitude and choice of input devices… I have actually found something of a home here. It is probably driven by Air Warrior nostalgia, and I am barely beyond terrible in my abilities in the game, but with the right settings and in the lowest tiers, I can occasionally look good relative to complete noobs on their first flight. I am probably good for another month here on my desire to fly a variety of planes alone.
World of Warcraft
Blizzard’s main game has kept me interested, though I have clearly been distracted by some other titles this month. I log on a few nights a week, but I haven’t done anything really exciting, hence the lack of posts about it. Brewfest and Hallow’s End certainly didn’t do much for me. Like the lonely asparagus, it seems that my hollandaise are behind me. (obscure reference alert) But the game is still comfortable and enjoyable and accessible in small doses. And at some point I will wrap up what I have been doing, as there is a story there that explains why I have been working on three different characters who are all now in the 40s. Meanwhile my mom is almost level 60.
Some things are happening in November.
In EVE Online, the Rubicon expansion will drop. A new expansion usually means a new conflict, so perhaps things will heat up in New Eden. There are also expansions slated for Lord of the Rings Online and EverQuest II, neither of which interest me all that much. They will both introduce content well beyond my levels. Though the big class/skill/trait/whatever revamp that is coming in LOTRO will likely have some impact on me when I go back to visit Middle-earth.
There are more holidays coming up in just about every game. At least I will be able to get my cooking skills up with Pilgrim’s Bounty in WoW.
There is BlizzCon coming up, so we might get some news. I expect that there will be either an announcement about the next WoW expansion or some sort of “half-step towards F2P” change in the game’s business model.
Then there is the possibility that we might actually get something tangible around EverQuest Next Landmark.
And… and… hrmm, I thought there was something else. It has probably slipped my mind. Anyway, bring on the 11th month!
Returning Home from Curse and Waiting for Rubicon October 30, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Curse, Null Sec, Rubicon
The deployment to Curse is over. Whatever we were sent down south to do has been done. I think Wibla sent us down there to keep us out of trouble while he was off in Singapore for a stretch. Anyway, the mission was declared “accomplished.” I managed to get a couple of kills while we were down there camping gates.and playing at ~elite PvP~. My alt even got his first kill mail. Meanwhile, our coalition friends a couple systems over managed to chase TEST out of null sec and into factional warfare. So we were done, it was time to head home.
And I was all set.
I had my new Archon ready to take the cyno chain down to Curse, pick up my ships (and maybe Potshot’s as well, if I had room) and fly them all back up to Deklein.
Unfortunately, I had not been paying attention. When we deployed to Curse, the cyno chain only went one direction. People flew their carriers down, loaded with ships, and parked them. They did not fly them back up to the relative safety of Deklein it seems. Which meant that, when the time came to come back home, the cyno chain was only going to be lit in the order to bring people back north.
My Archon was not going to be any help at all. Next deployment I guess.
But I still wanted to extract some of my ships from our deployment, so it looked like I was going to have to do it the hard way. Again.
I was also bringing out the same ships I brought in, neither of which activated their guns even once during the deployment. I had my alt in a Manticore stealth bomber scouting ahead.
And I had my Eagle heavy assault cruiser following on behind.
Fortunately, at around 03:00 EVE time on a week night, things are relatively quiet. Only the most die hard Europeans are still up and online and even those with day jobs on the East coast of the United States are hitting their limits. I managed to exit Curse and get into the quiet pipe through the Great Wildlands without seeing another ship.
That was about the point that I remember that I forgot to install a jump clone back in XX9-WV. Again. I only left a single Harpy behind, but it is nice to have a jump clone in places like that should you need to travel. I don’t think I have the standings to install a jump clone in Angel Cartel stations. It was just that I did not even think about doing it, which happens to me all too often. Fortunately, my alt has made a couple of trip into Curse so has a jump clone still down there should we need to head south again. Or if I feel the burning need to try and fly that lone Harpy out.
As with Curse, the pipe through the Great Wildlands was pretty quiet. I ran into a couple of systems where there were one or two people in local which, in a stretch of systems that has absolutely no stations, meant they were up to something. But they were not camping the gates. So aside from a guy who was either following me or traveling the same route (there aren’t a lot of other places to go once you are in the pipe, hence the term “pipe”) things were clear. And I never saw the follower, I just noted that he kept popping into local just about the time I was jumping out of each system.
Things moved quickly until I hit the last null sec system on the route. That is always the system that gets camped, the transition point from low sec to null. In this case it was 7Q-8Z2, which the past 24 hour kill stats show tends to be hotter than most of the systems on the way to it. And, sure enough, I warped the Manticore to the out gate and found a set of six bubbles about 60km off the gate arrayed to catch people attempting to warp to zero. The looked like they were spread out to catch people trying to bounce off celestials even.
There were only two people in system and nobody was visible on grid around the gate so, with my follower still coming up, I decided to just warp the Eagle into the bubble blockade straight on and then turn on the microwarp drive and head for the gate ASAP.
I don’t know if the bubbles were left over from a more serious camp or if the pair in system decided that they weren’t up to a heavy assault cruiser, but nobody showed up. Aside from uncloaking my alt’s stealth bomber by flying too close, the run to the gate went quietly and I jumped out of the land of bubbles and into low sec space. From there I was only two systems out from high sec. Nobody was present in the low sec systems, so I didn’t even have to worry about crashing gates and warping past anybody.
Then it was time for the 38 jumps to Onnamon through high sec space. That took time and was mildly stressful. I got used to local being full of strangers who I could accept were not there specifically to blow me up. But I swear that at every other gate there was some doofus just sitting there doing nothing, and seeing a ship on a gate in your overview sets off a trained panic response. I swear, I ask myself every time I go back to high sec, “Did I used to live like that? Just hanging on a gate at a destination, probably after AFK autopiloting across space?”
I am sure I did, but my habits have changed and I see space through different eyes now. Long strange trip and all that.
Finally I made it to Black Rise where I could at least assume people were ready to shoot me. But the factional warfare people seemed to be invested in their own missions. I only saw one person on a gate before I managed to slip into low sec again, and he warped off, probably as paranoid as I was.
Then in null sec I was back on the jump bridge network and home in Deklein in a few more jumps. Home again, home again. It is sort of like EverQuest back in the day, running from Qeynos to Freeport or Butcherblock. It took all evening, I didn’t really gain anything besides a change of location, but it still felt like an accomplishment.
Now it is just the waiting period for the next thing to happen. In the post Fountain/Delve time, various members of the CFC have moved around. LAWN is down Delve now. The SpaceMonkey’s Alliance has moved out of Banch and taken up positions in Pure Blind astride the route into the Sisters of EVE owned bit of null sec, which might prove an interesting place to be when Rubicon drops and people want blueprints for those new ships.
TNT likewise holds some sovereignty in Pure Blind along another route into Sisters of EVE space, so I expect we might be camping that when November 19th rolls around and Rubicon goes live.
And the Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere has expanded to include some systems way down in Period Basis, bringing the total number of rental systems available up to 87. The current count shows there are about 50 corporations renting at this time, so clearly renting from Goons isn’t a barrier for some.
Otherwise we are in something of a quiet period I imagine while the bright minds in the coalition plan for the changes that Rubicon brings.
Time perhaps to make a bit of ISK and train some new skills.
Or I could spend some time trying to care about why people were upset (or were not upset) about what SOMERblink was (or wasn’t) doing, how CCP was clearly (or not at all) implicated in it, and how CCP eventually responded. Given I cannot even find the strength to tie links to each of those statements, despite knowing where they are, I am not sure I can get there. Anyway, CCP took action, are we done yet?