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June in Review, This Time for Real! June 30, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in World of Warcraft, EVE Online, entertainment, Month in Review.
3 comments

The Site

I do not have anything special to grouse about this month… WordPress.com hasn’t mucked anything up and the spam assault from last month has tapered off… so I thought I would go for an informational topic this month.

All the ways you can follow this blog.  Or all the ways I can think of.

As part of the “be the blog you want to read” philosophy here, I have tried to make it easy for people to be able to keep track of posts by connecting up the site to give people the option to use the feed that makes the most sense to them.

Possibilities

Possibilities

  • The Site Itself – You can come here and read the blog at the blog. Imagine that!
  • RSS – The site actually have not just one but two RSS feed which you can use to read full posts, but one seems to behave oddly now and again, so I have stopped publishing it.  That leaves the one here.  That feed provides the full content of each post.  But if you want the other one, it is here.
  • Twitter – The site publishes a link for each post to Twitter when it goes live, or when I accidently push the “publish” button when I mean to hit “save.” (Did that earlier, what a mess.)  My Twitter name is @wilhelm2451 and my feed is available here.
  • Facebook – As with Twitter, the side publishes to my Facebook blogging profile here.
  • Google+ – My updates are also published to my Google+ feed, which is about all that appears in my feed there.
  • Tumblr – If your main focus online is Tumblr, the site publishes an exerpt from the post there.  The feed for this site is so-so, formatting doesn’t always work out, but the feed for my other site, EVE Online Pictures, looks kind of neat with the current theme I think.
  • Flipboard – If you have an iOS or Android device, there is an app called FlipBoard, which I highly recommend for reading news and such.  In that app, you can search for either of my blogs and add them to your reading list. (But don’t add that “magazine” with the same name as the blog. I created that when tinkering and cannot delete it for some reason.)
  • WordPress Reader – If you have a WordPress blog, you can follow other WordPress blogs and view them in the reader that WordPress.com had.  I am not exactly fond of it, but it is better than it used to be and it serves the purpose of reminding me when people post.

Those are some of the methods you can use to keep track of the blog.  There are probably a couple other (what did I miss?), but those are the ones I use to follow other people.  But I tend to follow people only on one or two of those channels, so if you’re wondering why I may follow you on Google+ but not Twitter, it is likely because I am already looking at your stuff through one source already.  Doubling up doesn’t always add value.

I originally started thinking about this as a possible Newbie Blogger Initiative post, but never quite got around to it.  Maybe next year.

One Year Ago

At last year’s E3, Sony certainly seemed to have won the marketing war against Microsoft and the XBox One.

In EVE Online, the war for Fountain began, which currently looks like the peak of my null sec career.  The CFC invaded the Fountain region to take it from former member TEST in order control its economically valuable moons, something triggered by the release of the Odyssey expansion.  A side effect of all of this was that the “blue donut” chanting peanut gallery was shown yet again that war was possible. That did not stop them from moving straight to “not winning fast enough” as their next chant.  I suppose that gave TEST some comfort though.

I got a special BMW in Need for Speed World.  That 180 journey about finished that game for me.  I have had no real urge to go back, and with a couple of auto based MMOs coming this year, the next time I want to drive online I will have other options.

TorilMUD offered its own web client to connect to one of the older MUDs left on the internet.

Rift went free to play, and the instance group met up to give it a try.

I was wondering about feedback that MMOs give about equipment, wondering if we could use that as opposed to lots and lots of stats.  Also, something about equity.

And I finished up the Evendim zone in LOTRO for the nth time and sat, as usual, wondering how to bridge that awkward gap between levels 40 and 50.

Five Years Ago

People were upset about Blizzard not including LAN play in StarCraft II.  It looks like Blizzard stuck to that plan, as there will be no such feature when the game ships at the end of July.

The NeuroSky MindSet was released, but I still cannot cast fireballs in WoW using only my brain.

Then there was that Wii Bowling Ball controller.  Seemed more like a lawsuit magnet.

There was a new definition of hard core gamers.

I was complaining about the local newspaper being made up of 8 pieces of paper.  I have since stopped getting the daily paper.

There was an attempt to get Age of Empires II: Age of Kings going while people in the instance group were on vacation.  We did end up getting connected via a service called Game Ranger.

And then there was World of Warcraft.  They changed when you got mounts in the game allowing people to (literally and figuratively) fly through the Burning Crusade.  There was that whole WoW/Mountain Dew cross promotion which, if nothing else, got me another in-game pet.  I spent all my gold on the artisan flying skill, and then they lowered the price with the mount changes.  I got the achievement The Explorer.  And I bought an authenticator.  Viva account security.

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 June

  1. Kronos – The Last Big EVE Online Expansion
  2. The Mighty Insta-90 Question – Which Class to Boost?
  3. Blizzard Isn’t Giving You a Free Copy of Warlords of Draenor
  4. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  5. Level 85 in EverQuest… Now What?
  6. Authenticators… Are They Still a Thing?
  7. Civilization – Operation Torch and the Russian Front
  8. Quote of the Day – World of Darkness, World of Chaos
  9. Civilization – Embracing Spanish Confucianism
  10. On the Darkest Shore
  11. Should Blizzard Expand the Starter Edition?
  12. Civilization – Autocracy and the Pursuit of Happiness

Search Terms of the Month

mmos where you can gank people
[Oh, the places you'll go...]

timeless isle mobs hit hard
[Why yes, yes they do.]

does everyone die on timeless isle
[Yes, see above.]

emerald dream server shut down
[It looks like it. #PrivateServerProblems]

eve online mining nothing in null sec
[I have been mining nothing in null sec for ages!]

wow how many 90s do you really need
[All of them.]

Civilization V

Our ongoing multiplayer game of Civ V continues to grind itself to some sort of eventual end.  As noted in a post last week, we are determined to play this until somebody wins, but once that happens we will likely have had enough of Civ V for a while.  When we first started on Civ V, we would also run single player games just to get our fill.  Now though, I think the one game is enough for us.

EVE Online

It has been a quiet month in New Eden for me.  There haven’t been a lot of ops running in my time slot, so aside from a couple jaunts down to Delve mid-month, I haven’t spent a lot of time in space.  But I did come up with a long term training plan, so that will keep me going.

World of Warcraft

The long wait for Warlords of Draenor continues.  I have a little box at the bottom of the side-bar counting down the time to the last possible date for WoD to ship.  Five months to go.  Not that I do not have anything to do except sit and stew.  My Loremaster project has kept me busy for a few weeks now as I try to knock out all the zones on Kalimdor.  And it has been fun sticking with each zone until the end of the quest chains.  Most of these zones I haven’t touched for years, and almost none of them since Cataclysm.  I just hope I don’t run out of steam.. or unfinished zones… too soon.

Coming Up

The summer continues.  For those truly feeling the pain of waiting for WoD to show up, Blizzard started sending out beta keys for the expansion.  I will have to keep my hands over my eyes (and probably stop following WoW Insider) as I want to come into this expansion fresh.  Still, I peek between my fingers now and again, and what I have seen looks okay.  Must stop peeking though!

My daughter though… she started asking me “Are we in beta yet?” right away.  She wants to go see the new expansion… with a pre-made raid geared character.  I know how that works out however.

The instance group isn’t quite on hiatus.  We get four of us most weeks, and all of us every so often.

EVE Online… without the prospect of a summer war, the long training plan and the occasional homeland defense fleet is all I have going for me at the moment.

And… and… no other MMOs really interest me at the moment.  I just stopped logging into Star Wars: The Old Republic.  I have a seven day key for WildStar from Liore that I keep telling myself I will use “soon.”  Common summer destination Middle-earth hasn’t been calling to me.   And SOE may have successfully beat all of my nostalgia for old Norrath out of me by this point, while the “next” version is beyond the horizon.  So, for MMOs, it is the one I have been playing since 2005 and the one I have been playing since 2006.  Strange, that.

May in Review May 31, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, Star Wars: The Old Republic, World of Warcraft.
5 comments

The Site

Let’s talk about spam comments!  Won’t that be fun?

The ratio of spam comments to legitimate comments here has been pretty consistent over the years.

98PercentSpam

 

Yes, 98% of the comments that hit this blog are spam.  (But if 99% of everything is crap, what does that say about half of the legit comments?)  The numbers are ~26 thousand real comments to ~1.2 million spam comments.

When you read that number, 1.2 million, you probably feel sorry for me thinking that I somehow have filtered out all those spam comments on my own.  The mere thought of that  is probably enough to put someone off starting a blog.

But it is not that bad.

Comment spam here is filtered through a Akismet, a WordPress plugin, and it is pretty effective.  For me, comment spam comes in three flavors.

The first is spam that Akismet knows is spam.  I never see any of that.  It just gets disappeared, never to bother me.  Most of the time that represents 90% of the 98%.

The third is spam that completely gets past Akismet.  These end up in the moderation queue and I deal with them individually.  Over the life of the blog there have been 1,318 comments up for moderation which I have had to mark as spam myself.  Not bad out of 1.2 million I suppose.  Legitimate comments, usually in the moderation queue because it is a first time comment from somebody or because Bhagpuss has come up with a new way to spell his name, get cleared and posted to the blog.

And then there is the middle zone, the second flavor, the comments that Akismet believes to be spam, but not with enough certainty to just delete outright.  It keeps than for me in a spam queue so I can review it.  Legitimate comments do sometimes end up in there, 167 in total over the life of the blog.  This is why I try to go through this queue regularly rather than just emptying it.  Most of the time I could safely, but there is on occasion a real comment mixed in.  And there are usually only somewhere between 5 and 30 comments in this queue on any given day, so it is no big deal.

However, for about the last three weeks there had been a change in the balance.  According to Akismet’s stats, there was a big spike in spam in May, but that was because April was unusually low in spam comments.  Otherwise May hasn’t been that out of line with the three months before that for total spam.  And there were months in 2013 that saw as much as three-fold greater numbers of spam comments.

But the spammers must have been re-arming with something new for May, because the middle zone, the spam comment that gets queued up so I can review it has gone up dramatically.  Just today there were 600+ in the queue for me when I got up this morning, and less than eight hours later there are 700+ lurking in the queue.  And I do not appear to be alone in seeing this.

Given the total spam numbers Akismet is showing for May, it appears to be literally putting all spam in the queue for review.

So I have had to change my review process for the time being to just search on the names of a couple of people who comment regularly, but whom get stuck in the spam queue for reasons unknown, and dumping the rest of the queue sight unseen.  And even that has problems.  WordPress craps out about half the time when trying to dump more than a couple hundred spam comments from the queue.  It is annoying.

Anyway, that has been the administrative fun time here this month.  If I missed a comment of yours in the spam queue accidentally, I apologize.

One Year Ago

I celebrated the five year anniversary of a blog.  No, not this one.

EVE Online turned 10 (I even made a movie) and reminded us of its true nature, while DUST 514 finally went live for real.

Somebody was saying that there had only ever been two successful MMOs, EverQuest and World of Warcraft.

I checked up on the Newbie Blogger Initiative to see who survived their first year of blogging.

Camelot Unchained made its Kickstarter goal one day before their campaign ended.   Success at the last minute is still success.

The project code named Titan was rumored to have been pushed out to 2016.  Meanwhile Activision-Blizzard announced that WoW had shed 1.3 million subscribers, dropping to 8.3 million total.  And then there was the problems with the Diablo III economy.  Rough times.

The XBox One was announced.  Or the name was.  I didn’t like it.

I made a chart about the relative natures of MMO economies.  I was also musing about dangerous travel.

We were starting to peek into NeverWinter as a possible game for the instance group, in hopes that we might have a hiatus from our long hiatus.  We also played a bit of Need for Speed: World.

Rift, ostensibly the game the instance group was playing (and which I was still playing a bit of), announced it was going free to play, which made me mutter about revenue models again.

Our EVE Online corp decided to go play some Lord of the Rings Online, and so my relationship with Middle-earth continued and I was quickly in the Lone Lands.

And finally, I wrote a bit about the first computer game I ever played, which lead to some charts about my video gaming timeline.

Five Years Ago

I was able to expose the true conspiracy behind the EuroGamer Darkfall review.  Powerful forces have been suppressing this story ever since.

Meanwhile, EverQuest was celebrating its 10 year anniversary by putting up a new server.  Polled on what it should be, people chose the 51/50 rule set.  I’m sure that, somehow, that say something about MMOs and nostalgia.  And did anybody go play on that new server?  How did it work out?

I went back and played some Blizzard classics, Diablo II and StarCraft, both of which have patches now that mean you do not need the CD to play.  This was prompted by Blizzard’s pushing people towards Battle.net and the announcement of the opt-in for the StarCraft II beta.  I opted in right away.  I hear that some people got in to the beta almost a year later. *cough*

In New Eden, it was new ship time, as I picked up both an Orca and a Buzzard.  I also managed to lose my Cerebus.   Oops.

And speaking of EVE Online, it was a year ago that I announced my one year experiment, EVE Online Pictures.  That site is now six years old.

The instance group was moving along slowly.  We did hit Azjol Nerub, but vacations and such kept us down to four people, so we spent a bit of time back in Burning Crusade doing heroics and generally messing around.  That included our run into Ogrimmar to do Ragefire Chasm.

Playboy’s “Massively Casual Online Game” Playboy Manager was announced.  The game was supposed to launch in the summer of 2009 according to the press release.  The site for the game was still there (go Google it, not sure if it is still around) but it still mentions signing up for beta invites.  Casual might refer to the development plan I guess.

New Linking Blogs

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 May

  1. A Consolidation of Empires
  2. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  3. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
  4. Is the Learning Cliff EVE’s Biggest Problem These Days?
  5. Worst Sith Ever – Escape from Korriban
  6. Level 85 in EverQuest… Now What?
  7. Pantheon: Just Brad has Fallen
  8. Tackling in Syndicate
  9. Quote of the Day – Getting the Dev’s Attention
  10. The Mighty Insta-90 Question – Which Class to Boost?
  11. Civilization – The Big Map
  12. Pandaria – Jade and Ale

Search Terms of the Month

Unstinting porn galleries
[Totally! Screw those stinting porn galleries!]

did blizzard cancel warlords of draenor?
[No, it is just in a timeline far, far away.]

“oculus rift” “clockwork orange”
[Pretty much Facebook's plan, I'm sure.]

bio break
[How does that even get you here? It should get you there. Wait, are you using Bing?]

gratuitous linkage
[We love nothing more around here!]

Civilization V

The multiplayer game of Civ V, now on the big map, continues forward.  The couple hours a week that the group plays tends to whet the appetite rather than sate it, so I have been playing more Civ V during the rest of the week.  Single player matches do not really lend themselves to a blog narrative though.  What would I say?  The AI is erratic, the game is bloated and slow, and while I like the game, the way certain mechanics like happiness were handled this time around annoy me.  I think Civ II still might be my favorite.

EVE Online

Lack of a war in null sec would seem to mean lack of things to do… or at least a lack of things to do that  I enjoy.  I enjoy operations that have a mission, a goal.  Sitting on a gate to gank random passers by seems dull by comparison.  Just me, I know.  Lots of people enjoy gate ganks.  Fortunately, there has been no shortage of nightly ops of late, generally to clean up bits of null sec in our area of influence that were infested by NPC null sec players while we were away in the south.  That may eventually wind down though, and then what will happen?  If there is nothing, then boredom will prompt an implosion or two.  That alone can lead to war.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

I actually downloaded this and played through the starter zone.  I got up to level 11 and to the next planet.  And then I sort of stopped.  I still log in a bit, but I do not find the game very compelling.  I do not come home aching to log in.  Rather, I log in after I have played some WoW and when there is no op current for EVE.  It isn’t bad, I just don’t find it very engaging as yet, though I have to admit the obligatory voice acting for every quest does wear me down some, even when I space-bar skip through them.  I will give them points for using in-game art assets for that, but the animations look awkward and wooden when used for long stretches of dialog.

World of Warcraft

I have been playing a bit more WoW this month, though mostly solo.  The instance group is heading towards its usual summer hiatus with people going on vacation.  The patch update that brought in more levels for gear got me to get out my level 90 hunter and return to Timeless Isle.  That has been fun.  And the current “double your valor points” buff has a lot of people out and playing.  And it looks like “scenarios with level 90 alts” might be part of the summer plan.  We shall see.  It is still a long way to Draenor from here.

Coming Up

The WildStar head start launched at some point this morning.  Good luck to those who were there for the first moments of the live game.  The timing for the launch seems just about perfect.  It is still month from Warlords of Draenor but just in time to catch those disillusioned with The Elder Scrolls Online.

The Newbie Blogger Initiative new blogger campaign for 2014 is wrapping up.  I barely contributed anything, though I had one more half-done post on the topic of blogging.  I will probably save that for next year.  I will have to post a list of the class of 2014 tomorrow, if I can find a definitive listing, to help spread the word.

I should finish up the Pokemon Y story line… tomorrow.  I tend to play on Sunday afternoon.  Then I will write up what I thought about it.  Lots of good new things, though a few mixed blessings in the bunch.

And somewhere in the not too distant future looms a Steam Summer Sale.  What else could I possibly need though?

 

April in Review April 30, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, World of Warcraft.
5 comments

The Site

All continues on as it generally has for quite some time.

I did experiment with a possible replacement for the unreliable blogger RSS feed on my side bar.  Feedly was all full of news about it integrating with a service called Zapier.  They do a whole bunch of what I guess I would call “data manipulation and consolidation” services.  One of the new features of Zapier is the ability to move content you flag or otherwise indicate in Feedly into its own RSS.  That sounded ideal.

ZapierUnfortunately, after a week or so of tinkering with Zapier, I could not get it to produce an RSS feed that would play nicely with WordPress.com’s RSS sidebar widget.  Not sure whose fault that was (Zapier, WordPress.com, or me), but it wasn’t happening.  Plus Zapier was really keen to have me sign up and pay for the service, which would run $15 a month to run a feed to my sidebar that got updated with any regularity.  That is probably a fair price if I had a business use for the service, but it is really more than I want to put out for a widget on my side bar.  So I’ll put that money towards an MMO scubscription instead.

One Year Ago

I was remembering the SEGA Genesis and NBA Jams

Our Wii seemed to be collecting dust and destined for retirement.  Maybe one more round of Wii Bowling?

On the iPad I was fiddling around with Vinylize Me.

The Camelot Unchained Kickstarter had kicked off with a steep $2 million goal.  With only three days left to go the campaign was $400K short.  Not sure if Mark Jacobs’ dire vision of the future of F2P helped or hurt.

Meanwhile, Lord British’s Shroud of the Avatar wrapped up its Kickstarter campaign over the $2 million mark, having doubled its $1 million initial goal.

LOTRO turned 6 years old and I was wondering what lay it its future.

World of Tanks hit 2 years and I was pondering tank crew skills and finally driving the KV-4 along with some other new tanks.

Age of Empires II – HD Edition launched on Steam.

I took another run at Need for Speed: World, which had added achievements.

In Rift, I was wondering why the Storm Legion expansion just wasn’t grabbing me.  I tried to press on.  Meanwhile, the instance group spent evenings one person short trying to find something to do.

The Burn Jita 2 event kicked off.  People didn’t seem to be paying much attention to it before it started, but it got extended and ended up bagging 573 billion ISK worth of ships.

CCP launched its EVE Online timeline.

And it was kind of a quiet April Fools at Blizzard.

Five Years Ago

Dave Arneson passed away.  He was, with Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, that so-influential gaming system that has shaped how we view fantasy swords and sorcery games for over 30 years now.  There would be no World of Warcraft as it is today without Dungeons & Dragons.

We also saw the launch of SOE’s Free Realms, which stuttered a bit on day one.  Now they have millions of people who have signed up for the game, but since it is free to play, that is no indication of revenue.  My daughter has tried to sign up four times, so that is four out of the millions.  SOE was advertising the game heavily on Cartoon Network.  But FR does not run on a Mac.  I know she has signed up because her email gets routed to me.  And, as a side note to SOE, if you’re going to require a parental email address for approval, allowing it to be the same as the child’s email address isn’t really an effective way to control under age players.  I realize you’re in a bind on this, but you seem to have taken the easy way out.

In EVE Online I was mulling over the Apocrypha expansion and configuring up a Cerebus to try out as a mission runner.

As usual, there was much ado about WoW.

And then there were new comers as we brought home two wee kittens.

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

  1. April Fools at Blizzard – 2014
  2. Coming Soon – Burn Jita 3
  3. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  4. Blizzard Isn’t Giving You a Free Copy of Warlords of Draenor
  5. The Seven Day Landmark
  6. World of Darkness Goes Dark
  7. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
  8. April Fools at Blizzard – 2013
  9. The Mighty Insta-90 Question – Which Class to Boost?
  10. Remembering Our Time in Zul’Gurub
  11. Level 85 in EverQuest… Now What?
  12. Quote of the Day – When You Have a F2P Hammer, Every Nail is a Microtransaction

Search Terms of the Month

i need a email address for someone i can contact who is responsible for shutting down warhammer online age of reckoning
[You tell them!]

rapid assembly jump clown
[That would be the name of this blog if I were launching it today.]

i want to gift warlords of drainer but keep the 90 boost
[Selfish are we?]

Civilization V

Our first multiplayer game of Civ V came off this month.  It seemed to go pretty well, well enough that we are ready to go for round two.  Of course, Civ V and games like it are binge games, where you always want to go just one more turn, so I have played a couple of single player campaigns over the course of the month as well.

EVE Online

After a couple months of rather minimal activity in New Eden, I actually went out on some fleet ops.  A busy weekend prevented me from spending any time observing Burn Jita 3 (something that has me in trouble with our current corp leadership), but I was able to get into fleets for our simmering little conflict in Pure Blind and actually get into some fights with our major opponent, Black Legion, which is acting as a proxy for the actual people we’re fighting because Black Legion needs fights.  That is their thing, to the point that they appear to be having problems because they are not getting fights often enough.  I hope our presence helped Elo Knight out.

Pokemon

While we launched into Pokemon X & Y with lots of expectations, we ran into the problem of pacing.  Basically, my daughter finished the game and was done before I had managed to get the second gym badge.  So I have been pottering along slowly, but there hasn’t been a lot of “lets play Pokemon!” time around the house.  I am almost done at this point myself and will have a post at some point to discuss the good and the bad.

World of Warcraft

The instance group has pretty much finished up Cataclysm content and is ready to move into Mists of Pandaria.  There we have some dungeons awaiting us, Timeless Isle, and maybe some other five player content, all of which we will have to stretch out to last until Warlords of Draenor ships.  Considering that we generally go on hiatus during the summer, we can probably manage that without feeling the need to run off to another game as a full group.

As a sub-group or individual though… I don’t know.  Pandaria already feels very much like a known quantity to me at this point.  Twinking old content has a certain charm, but is more of a hobby than a vocation.  And one can only level up so many characters.  We’ll see.

Coming Up

Is anything coming up?  What is going on in May?

I suppose we will have a new CSM in EVE Online and we’ll know more about the summer expansion.  And there will be fleets.  But EVE is never really a full-time game for me.  I need to play something else along side EVE, because the players are the content, and players are notoriously unreliable in lining up to entertain when it is convenient for me.  Damn them!

WildStar is coming up, but I am not so interested in that.  At least not enough to buy another box and sign up for another subscription.

If I felt any nostalgia for Vanguard or Wizardry Online I suppose I would go back and play those before they close.  Honestly, I am not much on anything SOE has to offer at the moment.

The Elder Scrolls Online seems unready for prime time, depending on who you read, though even those singing its praises have to admit there are issues.  It is more a matter of the issues being worth the experience or not and whether or not it really is an Elder Scrolls game or not.

I could be facing a fantasy MMORPG lull, unless I want to head back to Middle-earth.  And the thought of re-learning my characters after the big skill/talent change is holding me back there.

It might be time to get out tanks or airplanes and shoot stuff.

March in Review March 31, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Diablo III, entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, World of Warcraft.
Tags: ,
6 comments

The Site

WordPress.com, ever fodder for for this section of the monthly round up, popped up something amusing this month.

Leet?

Leet?

We all love the number 1337 right, being “leet” in “leet speak” and all that.  But the pop-up does make me wonder a bit.  I am close to 3,200 posts here, but only 1,337 were likeable?  Okay, the whole “like” button thing didn’t show up here at WordPress.com until quite a while after I had started blogging, but still.  If it were not for C.T. Murphy, I wouldn’t even have 1,337.

Meanwhile, on my “other” blog, EVE Online Pictures, WordPress.com congratulated me on having 500 posts.

500! It's a round number!

500! It’s a round number!

Which confused me, because I have nearly 800 posts total over there.  However, I started posting under a different nom de plume when I launched the blog.   It was done for dubious reasons.  That whole story is here.  So what this really meant was that I changed over to just posting as me, Wilhelm Arcturus, 500 or so posts ago.

And, finally, I applied for official EVE Online community fan site status for EVE Online Pictures, and it was accepted… which shows you just how low the bar is for that sort of thing. (I decided to give it a shot after reading one of many posts on monetizing blogs.)

Between my Italian pals! Ciao!

Between my Italian pals! Ciao!

While that lead to a very minor boost in traffic, the big thing is that my main account is now a “fan site account” which means it is free so long as I keep the site active and fill out a form every few months.  The main change for me was having to put up a couple of legal disclaimers, which was no big deal.  The impact here is that I will likely remain subscribed to EVE Online for the foreseeable future, as keeping the other blog going doesn’t require a ton of effort. (And I got a pile of pictures for the site this month.)

So you can consider me bought and paid for by CCP, but I doubt it will change what I write here in the slightest.  After all, this isn’t the fan site, the other one is.

One Year Ago

Dave Georgeson of SOE said MMOs should never die. A noble sentiment at the time, it rings a bit hollow a year and five SOE MMO closure announcements later.  Business is business.

I got a seven day pass to Azeroth from Blizzard.  It was nice.  I had some fun, but I wasn’t ready to go back full time yet.

Meanwhile, Blizzard was saying they were blindsided by the popularity of the auction house in Diablo III.  They were nearly a year late on that revelation.

On a similar theme, EA launched a new version of SimCity, pretty much ignoring the obvious expectations the franchise comes with.  I could only wonder if they learned anything from their efforts.

The instance group was doing some Rift content as a four player group.  This was the time of our long hiatus, though we got a full group now and again.  And when it was just the three of us, we ended up playing Neverwinter Nights 2 instead.

In EVE Online we were chasing around Deklein, flying the Tech Fleet doctrine, and bagging a carrier or two.

EON Magazine was closing its doors, marking the end of an era in EVE Online.

EverQuest hit its 14 year anniversary, and there was some talk about the camera view’s influence on the game’s popularity.

I was still playing World of Tanks and had hit the 2,000 battle mark.  I was out there with the KV-3 and the ARL 44.

I finished up all the things in Wayfaerer Foothills, which sort of ended my time in Guild Wars 2.

Then there was the Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter campaign, which seemed more marketing tool than funding effort, and which hit its number in 11 days.  Still, Lord British felt the need to stir the pot by declaring most game designers suck… and are lazy… and are not as good as him.  Then he claimed he was taken out of context and not just saying things for cheap publicity.  As the month closed, his Kickstarter was wrapping up, but Camelot Unchained was coming.

It was announced that Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings was getting updated to run on modern machines with better graphics.  That set me on five other older games that I wished would get a similar revamp, which I think was more useful than just declaring that game developers need to innovate.

Finally, I was looking for input on some actual, real world things.

Five Years Ago

In March 2009 we were excited about Pokemon Platinum around our house, although we weren’t really finished with Pokemon Diamond yet.

I spent a day up at GDC in San Francisco.

In WoW we finished up a short hiatus and started back in at the SteamVault.  My daughter was tearing up Warsong Gulch.  Meanwhile, the Lich King seemed to have laid a curse on my new video card.  Nothing I did ever seemed to change this issue, though it did seem to go away eventually.

In EVE Online, Apocrypha came out, and with it the classic graphics were swept away.  Adam though, was making his own adventures in New Eden.  Oh, and I bought a freighter.

Somebody tried to put together a list of the Ten Most Important MMORPGs.  Like all such list, this one started the comments rolling.

It was launch day and I was already complaining about Runes of Magic… well, about the patcher in any case.

I finished up what was the last book of the Wheel of Time series.

The EverQuest 10th anniversary just wasn’t evoking the level of nostalgia in me that I thought it would.

And we had to say goodbye to an old friend and family member.  The picture my daughter drew is still up on the wall.  It still draws the occasional tear later in the evenings when people are tired and a bit more emotionally fragile.

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 March

You can tell when I have written nothing exciting all month, some old nuts and bolts post rises to the top thanks to Google.

  1. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  2. Level 85 in EverQuest… Now What?
  3. Warlords of Draenor to be a $50 Expansion? And Something About Insta-90s
  4. Picking My 15 Most Influential Games
  5. Blizzard Isn’t Giving You a Free Copy of Warlords of Draenor
  6. The Mighty Insta-90 Question – Which Class to Boost?
  7. Show Me The Planets Contest Results
  8. Report from New Tristram
  9. How Blizzard Got Me to Play Hearthstone
  10. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
  11. The Insta-90 Choice is… Death Knight
  12. CCP – Losing Money and Getting Closer to Sony

Search Terms of the Month

that moment when a ex friend still manages to steal your beer
[That pretty much cements the ex-friend status]

is there aplace where some one can get donated plex for eve
[I'm not sure that is how it works.]

how did the lego universe story end
[Quietly]

Age of Kings

Our floating Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings group managed to get in a few matches over the course of the month, including our disastrous encounter with actual, real people.  The question is whether we will carry on.  Player against the computer gets dull fast, playing against each other remains imbalanced, and playing against live people… is a challenge mostly confined to seeing how much we can slow down the inevitable steam roller.  We might need a different game.  Maybe something more in the turn-base strategy genre, playable by four people.  Ideas?

Diablo III

Loot 2.0 and the coming of the Reaper of Souls expansion for Diablo III revived some interest around the game.  I rolled up a new barbarian… can you used the term “rolled up” when your only options at start are name and sex?  Anyway,  went out and played most of the way through Act III and found the game much improved for the effort.  However, I didn’t run out and buy Reaper of Souls, or even finish Act III.  Even at my most engaged, the game never got higher than second place in my mental “what do I want to play?” list, where I barely play the third place entry and fourth is lucky if I launch the game.  Still, maybe at some point.  The expansion sounds exciting.

EVE Online

EVE Online spent most of the month sitting in that fourth place position, as reference above.  There is no real war going on.  We’re back to cloaky campers in the systems I might rat in just to earn some ISK.  I have ships scattered all over the game that I should corral and bring back to staging systems, something that can be an adventure when I am in the mood, but which has just seemed like work of late.  And our corp, which hasn’t kicked me out for idleness yet, has gone through a leadership change.  Gaff is out.  And with that change, the “more POS towers!” faction is running the show.  We had a corp day to mine ice, which I attended.  The op was to gather ice to fuel our towers, and most of the talk was about where to get the rest of the ice we’ll need to fuel our towers.  Because we have a lot of towers.  Because, towers.

I did find out that one of the reasons things have been so quiet is that strat ops are no longer getting rebroadcast from Goon coms to our own.  So if I want strat ops, and that is pretty much all I want, I have to log into their coms, not ours… which is not a big deal, as I am on their coms most of the time anyway.  If I had actually bothered to post something from my SA forum account in the last six years, I’d consider just applying to Goonswarm to cut out the middle man.

World of Warcraft

Azeroth still looms large in my daily gaming, in part because I am on the auction house and daily quest treadmill.  That isn’t a bad thing.  I have a set of goals which keep me coming back.  It is when I have no goals that these sorts of things become drudgery.  The guild remains active over the weekends.  Gaff, no longer worried about running a corp in EVE Online, has joined us and brought along a friend.  So they are diving into Pandaria and doing all the usual alt-a-go-go routine.  The guild is lively enough that we’ll get to level 25 before summer I am sure.  The instance group also has enough content ahead to get to summer and our usual hiatus.  What will happen come the fall if the launch date for Warlords of Draenor is close to the first day of Winter?  I couldn’t tell you.

Coming Up

The Elder Scrolls Online launches this week.  The head start kicked off yesterday, mere mortals to be allowed in by the end of the week.  I am not buying the game as yet, but I will mark the launch date.  Have to get that into the “one year ago” and “five years ago” system.

I have a post coming up this week about new hardware and a new game I have been playing.  We’ll get to that on Wednesday I think.

The instance group carries on, World of Warcraft remains a thing.  EVE Online, likewise, remains on my list.  Diablo III… we shall see.  It has fallen into fourth place for now.  Or maybe lower.  I didn’t play it at all over the past weekend.

And then there is tomorrow, when we get to sort out the obligatory from the inventive.  I have nothing planned, so I will probably just point at others.

February in Review February 28, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, World of Warcraft.
Tags: ,
10 comments

The Site

After a couple months I have decided that I really like the MMO Blogesphere feed that I put in the side bar.  I just wish it was a little more reliable.  I grow tired of seeing this half the time.

FeedDown

Life in the internet age.  I have tinkered around with a couple of things to replace it, including Yahoo Pipes, but haven’t really come up with something that work, works as I expect it to work, and works reliably.  So RSS Mix remains my sidebar feed of choice for the moment.

On a side topic, has Google Alerts become completely useless these days?  Back when I started to blog, I created one for the site URL to see if anybody was linking to me.  And it used to work.  A few years back I used to get the occasional notification.  Then it went quiet.  Then, a year or so later, it started telling me about ping-backs from my blog displayed on other blogs… essentially alerting me to the fact that I linked out to another blog.  Not very useful.  Then there was another long quiet stretch.  Now, in the last few weeks, Google Alerts has started sending me notification when I link to other posts on my own blog.  That is all I get.  Another Google mystery.

Finally, if you hit the blog last Sunday you might have been treated to things being displayed in a different theme… or several different themes.  WordPress.com allows you to preview all the premium templates for a two week period.  So I opted in for that to see if I could find something I liked.  As you can see, the template remains the same as it has been for over seven years now.  I have another weekend to go though.  We shall see.

One Year Ago

Raptr sent me a summary of my 2012 gaming.

Google changed how image search worked, causing a precipitous drop in page views.  Google giveth, and Google taketh away… though they have been heavy on the taketh front for the last couple of years.

I wrote of the problem with Bond villains.  And it wasn’t that they failed to drive Jags.  I also looked at the Netflix remake of House of Cards.

RuneScape joined the rare breed of MMOs with an old rules, nostalgia focused server.

I tinkered with Prose with Bros on the iPad.  That was amusing for about two weeks.

In something of a breath of fresh air in an argument dedicated to absolutes and bad analogies, with some game devs equating buying used games with piracy, EA admitted that the used game market wasn’t all bad and that the ability to trade in games might be propping up new game sales.  They still wanted to kill used games like everybody else in the industry, but at least they were attempting a moment of honesty about it.

The MOBA version of Warhammer Online was declared dead before it even left beta.  The good metacritic score for Warhammer Online remained of little value.

A group got together to create an Age of Empires II: Age of Kings expansion called Forgotten Empires.  This was before it was announced that Age of Kings would be updated and brought to Steam.

Blizzard and ArenaNet were both offering deep discounts on their MMOs.  I opted for Guild Wars 2, which has an awkward start for me.

The instance group was still without a quorum and a fantasy title to call its own.  We were playing a bit of World of Tanks, which gets awkward with four.  I also made some short videos about Crushing your VK and a cliff diving BDR GB1.  And I was working on my Soviet heavies as well as the French heavy tree.

In EVE Online we went back to EWN-2U, the scene of my first real epic null sec battle.  But null sec was pretty quiet, so we also spent time just flying in circles.  The Goons did produce a nice guide to EVE Online in the form of a .pdf called Thrilling Internet Spaceship Stories.

I was considering the REAL problem with levels and was wondering why nobody else did in-game music the way Lord of the Rings Online did.

And I answered the magic question, just how many times do you have to sign or initial things when closing escrow on a home refinance?

Five Years Ago

My 8800GT video card died.  That was the second one to go.

I had been looking at my dis-used GAX Online account and wondered what gamer social networking needed to be viable.  Since then, GAX Online has shut down.

PLEX showed up in EVE Online five years ago.  In game I got the mining foreman mindlink as a storyline mission drop, I upgraded to a Raven Navy Isssue, and finally bought the freighter for which I had been training, and got some ships blown up in the Worlds Collide mission… again. There was EVE Vegas.   And then there was the whole Goonswarm dismemberment of BOB, which made the BBC news.

I was still active in Middle-earth, playing characters on Nimrodel.  Looking for a class on which to affix the Reynaldo Fabulous name, I put up a poll on the subject.  While Minstrel won the poll, Reynaldo ended up being a hunter with a fabulous hat.  And when I wasn’t fooling around with alts, I was leveling up my captain who made it all the way to Rivendell at one point.

While over in Azeroth, it was revealed that my mom plays WoW.  I wondered at how active Westfall seems to be most of the time.  But the answer to that seems to be the Deadmines, which I ran my mom and daughter through. (No dungeon finder back then!)  There was a little pet drama with my daughter who wanted a raptor.  I also managed my first exalted status with a faction in WoW, the Kalu’ak in Northrend.  I wanted that fishing pole.

On the Wii, we had Wii Music, which was crap, and LEGO Batman, which suffered a bit from being yet another variation in the successful LEGO video game franchise.

And then there was the usual bog war shenanigans as somebody was still looking to blame WoW and WoW players for Warhammer Online’s failure to meets its subscriber goals.  I think we’re all over that now, right?  Warhammer did what it did on its own faults and merits in a market that was well known before they shipped.

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 February

  1. The Elder Scrolls Online – Mission Accomplished
  2. Warlords of Draenor to be a $60 Expansion? And Something About Insta-90s
  3. Raid Tourism – Being the 25th Man
  4. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  5. Echoes and Repercussions from the Battle at B-R5RB
  6. Grim Batol and Beyond in Cataclysm
  7. Return to the Heroic Deadmines
  8. Raptr Corrects My Perceptions – What I Played in 2013
  9. Is PvP a Requirement for All MMOs?
  10. Landmark and a Dire Vision of Things to Come…
  11. B-R5RB and the Death of Drone Assist
  12. The Downfall of Garrosh Hellscream

Search Terms of the Month

the coveted ccp “mystery code”
[And you could win one here, if you enter REAL soon!]

how to get to west karana from a lady merchant named analya
[When I say that, it rhymes. Does it rhyme for you?]

what happens when you mix root near with icecream
[They get closer?]

where is gm lirus now?
[Probably trying to forget.]

can you buy world of tank type59 g on ebay?
[Don't you wish.]

dmca and mmo emulator
[You're up to something totally legit I am sure.]

stone age man on raft
[How did that even get you here?]

Age of Kings

Potshot and I talk about going back and playing Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings now and again, but we haven’t really put much effort into the idea.  I was hoping at one point last year, when a reworked, HD version of the game was released on Steam, that it would be a golden opportunity.  Alas, the idea had to stew for a while.  Then a couple weeks back Potshot mentioned that a couple of old college pals (and at this point, all of our college pals are old) were interested in playing.  And so we have managed a few matches in the latter half of February.  I just haven’t gotten around to writing about them yet.

EVE Online

I have been a complete slacker when it comes to EVE Online.  I still have a Domi stuck in B-R5RB, left there since the big battle and another one hanging out in what was our staging system at least two move ago.  I suppose at least I didn’t put a lot of effort of moving things from Curse to staging systems in the middle of even-closer-to nowhere.  Ah well.  I did have an EVE Online contest.  It is still going as of this moment… unless you are reading this after March 1st, in which case it is over.

World of Warcraft

Things continue to move along in Azeroth.  I think we might be over the “so happy to be back” time of binging on the game.  The binge was part of the reason I was playing less EVE Online.  But it remains the game of choice for our group.  We still have a list of things to do in Cataclysm and then there is Mists of Pandaria.  That will take us out to the usual summer hiatus at least, if not all the way to Warlords of Draenor.

Coming Up

The great Diablo III revamp is upon us.  I expect to devote some time to the game to see if the 2.0 version can revive that Diablo feeling.  So far, so good.

I think that The Elder Scrolls Online is having another beta weekend, judging from the six messages in my inbox about it.  It is just about time for them to slip the launch date back a couple weeks to make changes based on feedback from the beta.  Or such is my gut feeling.

EverQuest will turn 15 in March.  What a long, strange something or other.

And, apparently, I will write some more stuff about RTS games.  I have at least one Age of Kings post to do and we shall see how far I make it in Warcraft III.  Optional blog name possibility: Talking About Game Nostalgia.

January in Review January 31, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, World of Warcraft.
Tags: ,
5 comments

The Site

This month I’ll ramble on a bit about Feedly.  With the demise of Google Reader, Feedly is where I ended up in my search for an online RSS feed reader.  It isn’t perfect.  It isn’t even as good as Google Reader was before Google+ came along.  But it is close enough to the post-Google+ version of Google Reader that I am okay with it.  I even opted in for Feedly Pro, which at this point only buys me a search field, but other things are promised for the future.  And I appear to need that search field.  Who are you bloggers who do not have any sort of search function available on your blogs? (Looking at Liore, amongst a cast of dozens.)

Anyway, it fills my basic needs, even if it appears to hate how WordPress.com formats pictures, appearing to toss them around in a fit of pique and sundering them from their captions when my posts are viewed.  And there is much I do not know, or have not noticed about the service.  For example, the other day Tobold was chuckling about how Feedly was attempting to prove what we all secretly believe, that he and SynCaine are the same person and just trolling us all on a grand scale.  Laugh while you can!  Somebody will prove it some day!

But I was wondering about Feedly recommending feeds, which he noted.  It doesn’t do that for me, though that might be because I have it set in the most minimalist form I could manage.  I don’t need anything fancy or pictures or a book format or anything.  I have FlipBoard for that.  I just want a list of titles to run through.  And I also saw in his screen shot… such a rare thing on his blog that we all should stop and gape (pro tip: png format for text like that, as JPEG will blur.)… that it also showed the number of people who are subscribed various feeds.  So, of course, I had to go find out how many people on Feedly were subscribed to mine.

FeedlyTAGN

That is actually a lot more than I would have guessed.  So much more that I suspect that the number is wrong.  I certainly would have put the number far lower.  Not that the number is huge.  Look what Massively has on Feedly.

FeedlyMassively

Still, if it is correct, I guess I am not faring too badly.  And I am doing a bit better than some on Feedly.

FeedlyTheMittani

Ah well, I can make Mittens feel better about that one.

FeedlyEN24

I bring this up not only because it is something to ponder… though that would be reason enough… but also because it pokes a big hole in WordPress.com’s stats page.  Theoretically, WordPress.com tells me how many page views I get on the site and, if I go into detail on a single post, how many people saw it through syndication.  Back in the days of Google Reader, the ratio of site to syndication views was at least 3 to 1 in favor of RSS feeds.  Checking recent posts, that ratio has swung in favor of on-site views, with the ratio having move to something like 2 to 1 in that direction.  And believe me, the numbers listed for syndicated views are nowhere close to the alleged number of followers that Feedly pegs me at.  So something, somewhere is amiss.  The usual state of affairs in the universe I suspect.

I am also curious about where those little hash tag entries come from for feeds and why I only get two.

One Year Ago

Firefly Universe Online.  Was that a hoax or not?  I still don’t know.  And does the acronym FUO seem mildly obscene?

Wizardry Online joined the SOE stable while Pirates of the Burning Sea was sent packing.  Who is laughing now?

We got our full group together in Rift and did our first instance of the year, dying at least 100 times combined.  This lead to a side post about bosses and gimmicks and what makes a challenge.

In World of Tanks the instance group was scooting around. We even created our own little clan.  Potshot and I were totally going French.

In EVE Online, after a sudden burst of war fever died down, there was a surprise battle where more than 2,500 ships clashed in Asakai when CFC FC Dabigredboat lead a supercap fleet in to rescue a stray titan.  The battle was so big that CCP did a Dev Blog about it.  Meanwhile, we were to be denied LEGO Rifters.

The DUST 514 open beta was officially open.  I still haven’t bombed anything from orbit yet.

Path of Exile went into full open beta as well.

Krono made its way from EverQuest II to EverQuest while I was wondering what people were spending their Station Cash on.

I was musing about MUDs again, and vendors who wouldn’t simply buy any crap you had for sale and dead rats.

There was a list of 20 games that defined the Apple II.

And I wrote out my yearly list.  This time it was goals, mostly because I was on vacation when I was supposed to be writing it.

Five Years Ago

Five years ago I was in a Middle-earth mood.  I had rolled up some new characters on the same server as a few notable podcasters and then started trying to catch up to them.  The small and friendly community in LOTRO helped out, so I was able to do the Great Barrow with a pickup group and not feel the need to drink heavily afterward.  Of course, I sometimes feel the need to stir the pot.  And then there was the whole icon thing.

I also mentioned something that involved punching Amy Tan that seemed to go down well.  According to Google, this was the only site it tracks that has ever used the exact phrase “punch Amy Tan.”  I think it is still pretty much a TAGN unique.

In WoW the instance group was working its way up to Ingvar the Plunderer.  This was the height of our “we suck” phase.  Meanwhile Blizz was busy patching in improvements.

While in EVE there was a bit of mission running plus I hit a monetary milestone and 30 million skill points.

I went looking for KartRider and found that after beta Nexon apparently folded up that tent and  called it a day, at least here in the US.

I noticed that the optical drive on our Wii started making a lot of noise.  It still makes noise five years later, but it also still works.

There was that whole controversy about Wikipedia deleting entries on MUDs and MUD history.  That lead to the creation of MUD History Wiki over on Wikia.  Many MUDs are still alive and well, and sites like the MUD Connector seem to still thrive.

I pointed to a post over at Massively that showed the top selling games for October of 2008 were almost all a couple years old or more.

I hit the 1,000 post mark, which was cause for yet another milestone post and some reflection. (I’m past the 3,000 mark a now and I’ll probably hold off on more reflection until the 5,000 mark, so you’re safe for a while.)

Oh, and I predicted a whole bunch of crap that mostly failed to materialize.  But that didn’t stop me from trying again this year.

And, like everybody else, I had a laundry list for the new President. He totally failed on all fronts!

New Linking Blogs

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 January

  1. Eastasia Routed at B-R5RB! 70+ Titans Down!
  2. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  3. A Horrible Community…
  4. Bloodbath at SOE – Four Titles Closing Down, PlanetSide Goes F2P
  5. SOE All Access Changes… yet again… And the Future
  6. Did Blizzard Just Hint at the Warlords of Draenor Ship Date?
  7. Blizzard Isn’t Giving You a Free Copy of Reaper of Souls
  8. My MMO Outlook for 2014
  9. In Which We Have Always Been At War With Eastasia
  10. Quote of the Day – WoW, Legacy Raids, and The Squish
  11. The Malthusian Trap of HED-GP
  12. Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen and the Realities of Kickstarter Funding

Search Terms of the Month

nation pokedex all 705 caught
[And I thought 485 was bad]

mountain dew code red with vanilla ice cream
[been there, done that]

why are bond villains so stupid
[Their motivations are mostly mundane]

many talk porno blog
[loves you long time]

EVE Online

After starting off the month bitching and moaning about being bored in null sec and mostly tending my training queue in a station in high sec, the war in the south heated up.  There was the big battle at HED-GP, which I avoided but which was worth writing about, and then the titan slaying festival at B-R5RB that I managed to sneak into towards the end of the fight.  Quite the time.   And then CCP pushed Rubicon 1.1 the next day, the bugs in which pretty much grounded null sec.  Ah well, such is the way of things in New Eden.  CCP will get it fixed, and that big fight will keep me subscribed for another six months.  And while the big battle has turned the tide of the war, it still isn’t over yet.

World of Warcraft

The binge in Azeroth continued through January.  I made a sky golem.  I got a second character to level 90.  I managed to get to exalted with a couple more factions in Pandaria.  I actually did a raid via the raid finder, which I would have posted about had I understood a bit of what happened.   I think it just reinforced the reason I am in a group that does five person content and not a raiding guild.  Still, fun continues to be had in WoW.

Coming Up

Well, there is a bunch of stuff coming up, though  I am not sure how much of it I will write about.

I probably won’t say anything about the SuperBowl.

While the launch fervor is building, I remain lukewarm about The Elder Scrolls Online.  The minor flare up about the pre-order and collector’s edition hasn’t helped that at all.  And by that, I mean that it didn’t make me care any more or less about the game.

EverQuest Next Landmark Minecraft, the part of the EverQuest Next story I don’t really care about, will go/has gone/might be into alpha today.  Smed has cautioned those who paid to be there to remember that this is alpha.  To his credit, he did say that SOE would offer refunds to people who didn’t like it.  SOE always wants to do the right thing, it just takes them a few tries to get there some days.

The Kickstarter campaign for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen will finish up before the end of next month.  As of last night I would have guessed it wasn’t going to make it.  It got a boost from the announcement that Vanguard was closing, and the Reddit AMA that Brad did helped things, but it didn’t look like either was going to be enough.  And then there was the announcement that there would be a cross promotion with Lord British and Shroud of the Avatar.  Support both and get something special.  While I remain skeptical of the fickle nature of the fondness Lord British can show, this could help out a lot.  Will that be enough?  At this point there needs to be a really big finale for this campaign to fund.

While there is still a war on in EVE Online, the news seems to indicate that it might be winding down before too long.  What will this mean to the three sided power structure in null sec?

Raptr sent me a summary of my year in gaming 2013 which actually surprised me.  That’ll get a post.

Warlords of Draenor might go into beta… or might at least announce when beta will begin, which will likely start the 6 month count down to the go-live date.  I still have to figure out which class to insta-level to 90.  And then there will likely be more of the usual with the regular group in Azeroth.

December in Review December 31, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, Pokemon, World of Warcraft.
Tags: , ,
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The Site

How many extra embarrassment points to I get for misspelling the word “embarrassment” in the title of a post?

The usual story, I throw some text in the title as a placeholder, write the post, hit publish, and realize some minutes later that I didn’t actually look at the title.  While I fixed the title here right away, the error was immortalized in the URL and on G+ and Twitter.  Go me.

WordPress.com broke a few less things than usual this month and provided me with the 2013 version of their blog annual report:

WP2013TAGN

I have flagged the report as public, so you can go and read it here if you want.  There isn’t much to it really, just a few basic Top 5 lists.  Interestingly, a couple posts that never bubble up to the top 12 I post monthly still get enough traffic over time that they end up on the top 5 for the year.  Of course, they produced this report more than a day early, so if as few as 5,000 people suddenly decide to view one of my posts, it could be rendered incorrect.  That doesn’t seem likely, but it could happen in theory.  If you are really into this report, you can compare it with the reports from 2012 or 2011.

And I mentioned quite a while back that there was a huge surge in Brazilian email list and SEO spam coming in.  That seems to have subsided.  The new thing this month appears to be online casino spam in Swedish.  Vive l’esprit international!

One Year Ago

I wrote a post looking at 50 years of James Bond.  It included ranked lists for people to argue about.

There was my standard Highs & Lows post for the year gone by, and I reviewed my questions for 2012.

Turbine announced that they were bringing back Asheron’s Call 2.  I am not sure what became of that.

I was deep into my World of Tanks binge.  I was up to the KV-2 on the Soviet heavy line, choosing that path after the three way split at the KV-1. (And the T-28.)  I was also still working on the German tank destroyer line.

We were having a bit of fun in Need for Speed: World.  I even made a holiday video.

In Rift we were having some trouble getting a full group together, so we were doing some lower level instances as a group of four.  I was also struggling with the whole dimension thing.

Gaff and I took a quick peek into EverQuest II.  Nostalgia didn’t last long.  I also took a one-time shot at Wizardy Online.  It just wasn’t a game for me, but not every game has to be.

I was looking back on a year in null sec in EVE Online.  The Retribution expansion went live.  And I hit 90 million skill points.

I crammed together all the ads I could find from the EVE Online splash screen.  The launcher killed off those ads.

Five Years Ago

December seemed to be all about the micropayments and the like.  Sony Online Entertainment surprised some by putting Station Cash driven stores into EverQuest and EverQuest II.  The selection wasn’t great and the pricing seemed a bit off, but I was more interested to know what other SOE products would get the Station Cash treatment.

And then EA announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic would be microtransaction financed.  Or maybe they didn’t.

In EverQuest II I ran Reynaldo Fabulous from creation to level 50 in an very short (to me) stretch of time.  And then I stopped.

In Azeroth we were still coming to grips with the Northrend instances.  In Utgarde Keep we managed to kill off Prince Keleseth, but couldn’t hold it together to finish the instance.  Outside, we were running around doing quests.

Meanwhile, somebody was working on a WoW code, akin to the old geek code that used to clutter many a .sig file back when Usenet was cool and we knew the spammers by name.

I actually found some time to play Lord of the Rings Online.

And on the MUD nostalgia front I was reminding people what quests used to be like and sharing some really bad limericks.

New Linking Blogs

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 December

  1. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  2. Greetings from the Timeless Isle… of DEATH!
  3. Quote of the Day – CCP Layoffs and World of Darkness
  4. Shroud of the Avatar… It’s a Thing
  5. Do You Know the Way to Blackrock Caverns?
  6. Seated on the Throne of Tides
  7. Remembering Warhammer Online
  8. LOTRO and the Latest Insta-Level Scheme
  9. The Instance Group… Under the Sea
  10. Four Space Operas and a Funeral
  11. An Embarrassment of Options…
  12. Looking Back at 2013 – Highs and Lows

Search Terms of the Month

love strawberry hate raspberry
[I'm with you on that.]

eve online missiles or guns?
[As much as it pains me, guns.]

ccp mintchip fired
[Not that I have seen.]

why would someone transport plex?
[That is one of the mysteries of EVE.]

jita make lego bolo
[All those words mean something, but not when strung together.]

EVE Online

I passed the two year mark in null sec this month.  Despite being in something of a lull for the last couple of months due to the lack of a really intense deployment, I still keep my hand in with a fleet now and again.  I still enjoy a big fleet fight and sovereignty wars in general.

World of Warcraft

The Azeroth binge continues.  I think I have said this before, but everybody in the regular group is playing at about their maximum rate.  I know I have been playing WoW more than anything else by quite a margin.  It is a combination of Blizzard smoothness, familiarity, and each of us discovering in turn that Mists of Pandaria is actually a pretty meaty expansion… and that there was still quite a bit left uncovered in past expansions.  I keep going back to bits of The Burning Crusade with various characters.  I feel like I haven’t done very much in that expansion to this day.

Steam

The Steam Winter sale has almost run its course.  I did manage to find a couple of titles I wanted on deep sale.  Company of Heroes 2 is the one I have actually spent some time playing.  It isn’t bad, though it isn’t quite Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin in depth.  The other game I bought was Endless Space, which I have heard both good and bad about, but which dropped to a price point that I just bought it.  Now to find time to actually play it.

Coming Up

It will be the new year, which means tomorrow I will have a post with some ridiculous predictions and such as well as a somewhat delayed yet probably very predictable 2014 MMO and like games outlook.  Things I do every year so at least you can plot my insanity/inanity over time.

My daughter also got a Nintendo 3DS XL for Christmas, and immediately used some gift cards she got to go buy Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Pokemon X.  She has played quite a bit of both since then.  I will have to give the unit a closer look.  It seems very nice and the big screen means I can read the text without my glasses.  Anyway, there will no doubt be a post on that at some point in the not too distant future.  Is the 3DS XL worth it, or would a DSi XL and a pile of older games be a better choice?

Then there is the ongoing adventures of the instance group, which I have been slacking on the last two weeks and all the things that go along with that.

And, finally, I have a Mystery Code from the EVE Online Second Decade Collector’s Edition to give away.  There will be a contest.  I expect it will involve screen shots.  I can’t help it, I can sit and look at EVE Online screen shots all day.

November in Review November 30, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, War Thunder, World of Warcraft.
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The Site

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.

Star Wars: The Old Republic made their free to play transition.  Hot bars for sale.

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.

SOE was on their usual autumnal roll.  The introduced Krono, their PLEX-like currency.

PlanetSide 2 went live.  I even patched up and tried it.  Pity about it becoming aim hack central.

EverQuest II Chains of Eternity went live, leading to some EQII reflection on my part.

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.

We were running movie ops in EVE Online. while I was wondering how the Retribution expansion might change events like Burn Jita.

Time Magazine wrote up their 100 Best Video Games of All Time while Complex Gaming gave us a list of 50 with EVE Online at the top.

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.

The instance group did its last Outland instance (well, the last one at level) and then began poking our noses into Northrend to start the grand tour of the new expansion.

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.

  1. BlizzCon – Warlords of Draenor Features Announced!
  2. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  3. On to BlizzCon 2013 and the Next WoW Expansion
  4. Warlords of Draenor – Post-BlizzCon Excitement
  5. The Lich King? We Could Have Taken Him
  6. Why Can’t I Just Turn Off Achievements?
  7. The Instance Group Returns to Northrend
  8. KW-I6T – The Long Guy Fawkes Day
  9. The Rush Back to Azeroth
  10. Warhammer Online – The Final WAAAGH is on Us!
  11. WoW 9th Anniversary Present
  12. 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

Too true.

EVE Online

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.

War Thunder

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.

Coming Up

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.

October in Review October 31, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, Neverwinter, Path of Exile, War Thunder, World of Warcraft.
Tags: ,
11 comments

The Site

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.

So I've heard...

So I’ve heard…

With the demise of iGoogle I need a new default home page for my browser.  My start page was Yahoo for ages, before they turned their front page into a morass of ads and malformed JavaScript.  Remember those early days of Yahoo when the front page looked like this?

Yahoo, circa 1997

Yahoo, circa 1997

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.

Zynga was well into its troubles, leaving me to wonder how Lord British viewed his partnership with the imploding company.  Certainly the Zynga business plan seemed… childish?

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.

I was invited on a pre-release tour of the Storm Legion expansion in Rift.  Then there was the big update to the soul system and some adventures in Lantern Hook.

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

In one of the worst kept secrets, it was announced that BioWare’s MMO project was in fact Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Their subscription goals were, of course, quite modest.

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.

Mythic was trying out incentives to get better server balance while starting to talk about new stuff coming soon.  Not a word about the quest log however.

In EVE Online Potshot, Gaff, and I were playing with fleets and I was flying a shiny new ship.  And the EVE Blog Pack was defined.

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

  1. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  2. Steam and the Path of Exile
  3. Rift and the End of the Happy Time
  4. The End of the Road for EverQuest Mac
  5. Quote of the Day – Screwed by the Autopilot
  6. Archon Acquired
  7. Sneaking Into Curse
  8. CCP to Attempt to Explain EVE Online to New Players
  9. What You Get in the Absence of Actual Information…
  10. Going Bombing in War Thunder
  11. Hardware Updates – Headphones, Video Cards, and Connectivity
  12. 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
[The fish?]

my god its full on stars
[ I am so many pages into that search that I stopped looking. But I did make the reference.]

EVE Online

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.

Neverwinter

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.

War Thunder

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.

Coming Up

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!

September in Review September 30, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, Neverwinter, World of Warcraft.
Tags:
3 comments

The Site

In an oft repeated story here, WordPress.com changed something, announced it in an irregular location (or not at all), broke stuff for users, and then acted surprised.

This time they retired a bunch of themes from WordPress.com.  80 themes, mostly from the early days of WordPress.com… from which I now count my origin I guess… were junked because they didn’t want to have to update them to support new (for sale) features.  This was a detail you would think would be important enough for the WordPress.com news feed, to which I subscribe.  But it was not.

And, since I came from what is now the early days of the site, both of my active blogs used themes from the retired list.  However, we were told the themes just wouldn’t be available for new users, that those of us still using them would be able to continue on as before.  Until, of course, they started breaking them.

EVE Online Pictures, which used Redoable Lite, basically stopped displaying posts on September 4th and I had to scramble to find a new theme for it that I felt fit the style I had set.

Now I am worried that Regulus, the theme for this blog, for which I have never been able to find an acceptable replacement, might have its days numbered as well.  I like the theme I grabbed for EVE Online Pictures, which is called Piano Black if you are interested.  If I could find a light version of that, I would use it here.

And, as if to prove my point, WordPress.com then changed how images were displayed in blog posts and every image on the site with a vertical orientation was suddenly outsized relative to its border/caption. They all looked like this.  Again, no warning, just a change that happens to break things only on some of the old themes, followed by some very general suggestions and a promise to look into things at some point after locking the thread and deleting all the complaints.   To be fair, it does appear that they fixed the problem since that point, though no mention was made when it happened.  Things just went back to normal.  Now I am just waiting for the next change to go in and break something on my out-dated theme.

In other news, I went into full “piss off the neighbors mode” here and took advantage of the new WordPress.com integration with Google+.  WordPress.com, in announcing this feature, implied that Google would like me better if I did this.  Now every post here and at my other site generates a Google+ entry.  Have you evicted me from your circles over this atrocity yet?

The traffic increase from this change has been exactly one page view per day.  On my other site.  Somebody clicks on each new EVE Online spaceship picture.  Meanwhile, Google search traffic has plummeted… right off a cliff, an 80% reduction… giving lie to the implied promise of Google liking me better.  Seriously, on my other blog, traffic is so low I am now getting alerts if somebody looks at too many pictures.

Up From 2!

Up From 2!

Of course, maybe I just misinterpreted that implied promise.   Maybe Google just likes me better on Google+.  Or as a person in general.

Google remains a mystery to me.

In any case, we may be getting down to traffic numbers that represent the actual number of people who read this blog, as opposed to people mistakenly sent here by bad search engine results.

The only bright news there is that I stopped my summer experiment of posting a new EVE Online picture daily, dropping to three pictures a week.  I worked through much of my picture backlog.  So less spam for everybody.

One Year Ago

Mists of Pandaria launched, adding a panda race to Azeroth, right on Ultima Online’s 15th anniversary.   I think the shark jumping trope jumped the shark that day.

I was falling out of WoW myself, though still not allowed to unsubscribe. Being locked out of the Theremore event due to item level helped kill any enthusiasm I had for staying with the game.

Torchlight II showed up.  Still waiting for the Mac OS version.

In the land of EverQuest, the Rain of Fear expansion was announced, while EverQuest II went straight to truth in advertising and revealed an expansion called Chains of Eternity.

On the Fippy Darkpaw server, Omens of War went live and was finished.

SOE was talking about some form of Wizardry that was Online.   PlanetSide 2 was planned for the end of the year… sort of.  And then there was Player Studio and all that implied.

The next chapter in the Darkfall saga was announced.  And they had a new game/expansion or some such.

In EVE, the CSM was looking for a way to… well… screw most of the people who actually vote for the CSM.  I stranded my null sec Drake in Jita.  I compared Traffic Control to a hostile FC.

In a more serious vein, the real world reached into our game took a fellow player.  Even tragedy cannot displace idiocy though.

My goal to get my fourth class in Rift, a mage, to level cap before Storm Legion had me in Stonefield.

BioWare, not done with their trend of announcing public metrics they eventually failed to meet, committed themselves to a new content schedule for SWTOR.  Later we found out that “adding items to the cash shop” counts as new content.  Meanwhile, I pondered the SWTOR lore choice.

The Lord British saga continued as he opted to jump in bed with Zynga!  He, of course, expressed great fondness for Zynga, while I wondered what his sith name would be, since he was clearly going the Anakin Skywalker route.

I remembered Spaceship Warlock.

Free to play was still under discussion.  An article in Game Developer Magazine included the warning to not assume profitability just because people are going on about revenues.  And yet all I hear about are revenues when it comes to free to play.

The people at Stormpowered started in against marriage.

And the blog turned six and felt very clever about it.

Five Years Ago

Warhammer Online went live, first with the head start and then for everybody.

As we just saw with other MMOs, there were issues coordinating with friends about which server to choose, leading to yet another gripe post about the whole sharded existence we have to put up with in MMOS.  I did wonder if the EverQuest II mechanism of multiple versions of a given zone might be worth it to get everybody on a single server.

The instance group was game was into WAR (after escaping from Durnhold Keep), though as a group we have some parameters that we had to work within.

In Warhammer itself, war were declared on gold sellers and Mythic was being very demonstrative about it.  Of course, it did not appear to stem tells from gold seller bots that seemed to sit active for days.

I went on about those tips you see on the loading screen of many MMOs, spurred by a couple less than helpful tips in WAR.

In EVE Online I hit a major ISK milestone.  But I was building up ISK because I had my eye on a freighter.

The Empyrean Age 1.1 update was upon us, which included 2 changes designed to reduce the scourge of suicide ganking.

Meanwhile CCP was offering up battleships for sale… model battleship for real cash, not ISK.

But the most important EVE Online event was probably Yahtzee Croshaw’s Zero Punctuation review of EVE Online.  Much shoe-on-head wearing and talk about tactical logistics reconfiguration ensued.

In EverQuest II, the Living Legacy promotion was ending.

LEGO Batman showed up.

And, finally, the site hit the two year mark.

New Linking Blogs

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 September

  1. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  2. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  3. Nostalgia Starts in Azeroth This Time
  4. In Space You Can Never Be Too Rich or Too Well Tanked
  5. Sweet Home Azeroth – Summing Up a Bit
  6. LEGO Legend of Chima Online – A Second Try at a LEGO MMO
  7. The Dreadmines and the Scarlet Something or Other
  8. Small Features I Want MMOs to Copy
  9. Warhammer Online to Shut Down in December
  10. Neverwinter – The Foundry Comes Through
  11. Blizzard Killing The Diablo III Auction House
  12. Delve on a Saturday Night

Search Terms of the Month

raptr keeps emailing me stupid
[The internet is in the business of stupid most days, what did you expect?]

the french resistance online game
[Is that the one everybody claims to have played when they were playing a competitor most of the time?]

timelist island wow
[Is that the Dalaran train station?]

gank proof procurer
[You can get to "gank resistant," but nothing is "gank proof."]

running civ2 on windows 8
[Sorry, I go with the "skip a version" policy with Windows, and 8 is clearly the version to skip.]

Spam Comment of the Month

Club foot amateur money talk porno
[This came with a link, but I was afraid to click on it.]

EVE Online

As the conquest of Delve wound down, so did my time in New Eden.  I focused more on where I wanted my training plan to go than how I was going to get all those ships, now scattered about Fountain, Delve, Querious, and Cloud Ring, back to Deklein.  My time in-game did pick up some as we formed the new corp, Black Sheep Down, and went trying to build on that.

And my procrastination around getting ships home might pay off in any case.  The latest GSF CEO update asks that the alliance, and the coalition in general, be ready to fight from VFK-IV, 4-EP12, and F20Y-X with ships for the coalition doctrines in each.  If anything, I might not have enough ships strewn about the galaxy.  Then there is the call to also form up in G-0Q86 in Curse in order to crush the remnants of TEST.  The rumor is that TNT is going to give that a pass and go off on a camping holiday of its own.  We shall see.

On the bright side, I only lost a single ship in EVE this month, an Ibis that I was using to scout ahead while moving things back to Deklein.

Neverwinter

Not enthusiastic at first blush, this game continues to gain ground in my eyes.  It still sits too far down my list of things to play to get much attention, but explorations with the Saturday night group has shown it to have merit.  Of course, as a group, we are still in the shallow end of the pool, being all of level 14 in a game that goes to level 60.  So we have been more sightseers than dungeoneers I suppose.  We shall see how things play out as we progress.  And it looks like the game is moving to a single shard, so maybe you will see us… if you’re on at the right time on a Saturday night.

World of Warcraft

This is where I spent the majority of my gaming time over the course of the month.  As I noted in a post, it is fun, familiar, and comfortable.  But things haven’t quite worked out as well as I had hoped.  We ended up not making the guild due to having only four friends on the server.  Attempts to keep the four of us within a couple of levels of each other so we could do things together fell apart pretty quickly.  Various people, including myself, raced ahead at times.  I am actually on my third serious character now, having stopped the other two in hopes of playing with other people.  But Kihei has been off with her level 90s exploring the 5.4 patch while my daughter… who actually suggested this whole outing… has been more interested in Team Fortress 2 of late.

So things have not been bad.  WoW is what it is and tends to be very good at it.  But it has not quite been the revival I was hoping for, and it certainly isn’t inspiring much in the way of blog posts.

Coming Up

It will soon be October and the lead-in to the end of the year frenzy, with in-game events and expansion and BlizzCon and what-not coming at us from now through until January.  That will give us all something to chat about I suppose.  But will it mean playing anything new?  There seemed some hope of getting EverQuest Next Landmark by the end of the year, though SOE seems to be in full “bore the player base with tangential questions” mode still.  Seriously, every poll question they have had so far has either been a complete non-issue for me or makes me think that the vision of the game is incomplete.  Oh well.

It might be time to look at those goals I set myself back in January.  Or maybe not.  I don’t seem to be doing very well with them.

There will likely be some sort of deployment for us in EVE Online.  That should fuel a few posts.

EverQuest II has some changes coming up.  Should I buy a level 85 character with all that Station Cash I have rattling around, of should I sit on it just in case there is some movement on EverQuest Next?

There is also some sort of permanent floating New Blogger Initiative that is going on.  I will have something about that I am sure.

And… and… well… business as usual I suppose.