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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: ,
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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.

August in Review August 31, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, EverQuest, Lord of the Rings Online, Month in Review.
Tags:
2 comments

The Site

I have been experimenting with Tumblr.  This has been for no reason other than the fact that WordPress.com now supports direct updates to Tumblr.  So there are now Tumblr versions of both my blog.

Tumblr The Ancient Gaming Noob

Tumblr EVE Online Pictures

I would have to say that the Tumblr version of this blog is… not worthwhile.  The auto-update basically takes the first picture from any given post, adds in a link back to it, and calls it a day.  Add in the fact that I could not get tagn.tumblr.com as the URL and I am vaguely dissatisfied with the result.  Only the fact that it is zero effort keeps it going.

The EVE Online Pictures Tumblr however seems to be working out quite nicely.  Since every post is just a picture anyway, with maybe a sentence of text, nothing is lost in the updates.  WordPress.com even successfully moved my tags over for each post, though not the categories.  So it seems to fit into the Tumblr mold just fine.

Nobody appears to actually have looked at either of those sites, but there they are, experiment in progress.

One Year Ago

Star Trek Online was totally not dying and Star Wars: The Old Republic was totally not a failure as it shed more customers and announced it was going free to play.

Then Vanguard suddenly went free to play ahead of schedule, no doubt trying to get in early and avoid the crowd.

It was announced that NCsoft would be closing down City of Heroes.

Torchlight II gave us a launch date.  But not before giving us a date for a date.  And I am still waiting for the Mac OS version for my daughter.

Turbine delayed Riders of Rohan, but continued pushing the crazy stuff you would see.

SOE decided that you can afford integrity only after you pay the bills, and threw in with lockboxes.  What happened to the implied social contract?

GuildWars 2 went live at last, thwarting Blizzard’s nefarious scheme.

I was paid up on my 1 year subscription for WoW, but Blizzard wouldn’t let me cancel further payment.  They must have been concerned about subscribers, having dropped more subs than SWTOR had left.

Speaking of year long commitments, Trion liked that Blizzard idea so much, they did it themselves and gave us an ugly mount for it right away.  Oh, and they got rid of faction group restrictions.  What population problems?  The instance group started on its attendance slide, with just four of us trying Runic Descent.  At least we had instant adventures.  Or was that instant levels?

In EVE Online, there was a revamp of mining ships.  I listed them out and wondered which would become the most popular.  In the end, the Mackinaw won I think.  All the while CSM7 seemed intent on proving that the thing they loved most in EVE was themselves.

Meanwhile, having been asked by TEST to leave the war down south, the CFC got into a scrap with Northern Coalition over moons.  We fought in Venal and some monkeys  lost a titan.  We were staging in QPO for a thrust into Tribute with the goal of taking a forward base at UMI-KK.

AWESOMESAUCE.LIVE was announced.  Only the fact that it was later cancelled preserved my faith in humanity.

Finally, I took the crazy train out of Barstow and threw out a few movie reviews.

Five Years Ago

After what seemed like endless delays, Darkfall went looking for beta testers for real.  Many asked if this product would shed its “vaporware” reputation and see the light of day, and if the feature set would be anything close to what was promised.

Meanwhile Warhammer Online was rolling on towards release with a preview weekend.  The CoWs were gathering.  I looked at races and classes as well as my general opinion of the game as I saw it.  I thought I was generally positive, though I wanted to be able to open up the quest log with a single keystroke.  Rabid fans sensed faint praise and whined a lot in the comments.  Still, Google liked me as I got the top spot for the search on “WAR Preview Weekend.”

Suicide Ganking was the plague in EVE Online.  I suggested that the Secure Insurance Commission be given the power to extract the cost of insurance payouts from high sec gankers as a way to make this “throw away character” exploit a bit less lucrative.  In the end, CCP just made CONCORD a bit more responsive to attacks right under their noses.

In WoW the instance group we were hitting level 70 and starting on the Caverns of Time dungeon Escape from Durnhold Keep. Instances were starting to get tough for us and it would take a revamp of our talents and some work on gear before we would be able to take on an at-level instance on the first try.

Also in WoW, Zhevra fever.

We went down to LEGOLand for vacation, but I left a vacation cliffhanger post to keep people amused.

LEGO Indiana Jones came out, and while it was a lot of fun, I wasn’t sure if it was worth list price.

And finally, people were fretting about Diablo III.  It was too colorful!  Internet petitions were deployed and accomplished what they generally do… nothing.

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 August

  1. 6VDT-H – The Biggest Battle in EVE History Ends the War in Fountain
  2. Who Holds the Oldest Null Sec Sovereignty?
  3. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  4. Comparing EverQuest and EverQuest Next in Two Pictures
  5. Conspiracies, Immersion, and the Secret Life of PLEX
  6. More Propaganda from the War in Fountain
  7. Monday Morning Talking Points for EverQuest Next
  8. The Elder Scrolls Online: Throwing Itself Under the Subscription Bus?
  9. Projecting on to EverQuest Next
  10. The Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere and You!
  11. Has the WildStar Team Looked Into How is Krono Working for SOE?
  12. Can SOE Keep the EverQuest Next Excitement Going?

Search Terms of the Month

is tobold trolling us
[clearly]

how to steal turbine points
[Way to support free to play!]

eve small or big ship in nullsec
[Bigger ship, bigger target]

Spam Comment of the Month

This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!!
[Nobody has ever said that, until the payday loans spambot happened by at least]

EVE Online

It was a quiet for most of the month for me in New Eden, a time for training and plans.  I spent a lot of time in my high sec clone with implants to speed training along.  My focus changed to capital ships and, once I make up my mind, I could be in either a dreadnought or a carrier withing a day, skill-wise.  I still have to obtain one.

And then the call went out to deploy down to Delve.  I seemed to have missed the mass of convoys, if there was a mass of them, and only have two ships down there, a Megathron and a Harpy.  So if they aren’t in the fleet composition being called for, I stay docked.

EverQuest Next

I didn’t play any EQN, as there is nothing there to play yet.  But we all certainly spent a lot of time writing about what was shown at SOE Live at the beginning of the month.  A very exciting moment.  However, the moment has passed and I expect we won’t get any real news for a while now.

Lord of the Rings Online

I made it through Moria, one of my big goals.  And then, last weekend, Turbine had a “welcome back” double XP event.  Rather than using that to push my main guy into the Mirkwood expansion, I spent the whole time… and I was in-game for many hours… playing alts.  For example, I rolled up a guardian and ran him all the way to level 30.  His role in life is to finish off the epic quest line, which I always end up straying from somewhere in the Lone Lands.  And I pushed my champion into Evendim and started up a rune keeper as well, because hey, lightning!

NeverWinter

I need to invest some time in this just to get far enough in to tell if I like it or not.

Coming Up

Autumn is coming, though it is often more a state of mind and an arbitrary date on a calendar here in California.   Still, in anticipation of the regular bout of autumnal nostalgia, I started looking into how to play EverQuest Mac on a Windows PC.  I haven’t actually got it running yet, but I have all the parts in place, including a copy of EverQuest Titanium I unearthed.  Old school, Planes of Power level EverQuest could be a possibility.  We’ll see how much I enjoy that cup.

Of course, there are other choices for the nostalgia season if I cannot get EverQuest Mac going, including other flavors of Norrath, Azeroth, or even NeverWinter Nights 2, where we stopped playing mid-campaign.  Plus there are a few new delights out there, like World of Warplanes and War Thunder, both of which I have totally meant to try, and neither of which I have actually played yet.  I have even considered Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn due to reports of its old school nature and it not being cash shop driven.  Unfortunately, part of its old school nature included a rough launch.  Some things never change.

And then there is the cast iron rule of MMOs for me is that I can really only play two at any given time while maybe dabbling in a third.  That would likely mean LOTRO going dormant again, since EVE is different enough from anything else that I want to stick with that for now.

So I expect my play time pursuits will change up soon.

July in Review July 31, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Month in Review.
Tags: , ,
3 comments

The Site

You can tell when I am looking at old posts.  I find typos or dead links or some sort of error and I edit them.  And then, in its mysterious way, WordPress.com makes a judgement call about whether or not that update means it should put the post back into my RSS feed.  Whatever method it uses to make that call… coin toss, darts, broken random number generator… the “post it back to the RSS feed” option seems to be coming up a lot more lately.

I have no idea why.

It actually makes me a bit self-conscious.  I apologize for the old posts showing up in my feed.

Then again, if you want some insight into what I might be writing… or thinking about… or may have just accidentally stumbled over, this is certainly one way.  Unofficial reruns with error corrections!

Meanwhile, in the post-Google Reader world, things continue to vex me or go awry.  I went to The Old Reader for a couple of reasons, including the ability to create my own output RSS feed to place in the sidebar of the blog.  It had hiccups and was down a lot right after Google Reader went away.  So I looked at Feedly, which was in an imperfect state as well, but which was popular in my RSS reader poll.  It was up, but only knew how to import feeds directly from the now departed Google Reader.  With The Old Reader down yet again, I added a subset of feeds into Feedly by hand.  And then a couple of days later, Feedly announced support for OPML import, at about the time The Old Reader came back up and started behaving.

So I spent a couple of weeks using both.  Feedly for key feeds, The Old Reader for all my old feeds and the ability to create the sidebar RSS feed.  That feature was a bit flaky, but it mostly worked.  And then last week, The Old Reader went down hard, which resulted in them essentially taking their venture in a new direction, one to which I am not invited.  And that was the end of that.

So now I am using Feedly, which seems reliable enough, has an iOS client (which actually works now), and which I would pay for and/or donate towards, except there seems to be no allowance for such that I see.  All I could find was that they had plans for a premium service at some future date.

The upshot and site related part of this is that I need to work out a new way to have a feed in the sidebar.

And, in what is really a note about my other site, I decided to post a picture a day, as opposed to two a week, in July to see if that changed traffic at all.  It did not.  Traffic was actually down a bit.  But I have a huge backlog of pictures, so what the hell.

One Year Ago

In New Eden my hear went “Boum!

Elligium took its pandas and went home.

Blizzard set the date for Mists of Pandaria.

There was a Steam Summer Sale.

I was wondering if Torchlight II could live up to its potential.

Ultima Forever!  A shot across Lord British’s bow.

Rift sells mounts for cash.  It wasn’t like they were going free to play though.

Let it be noted that not all Kickstarters fail.  Last year there was the Defense Grid expansion Kickstarter.  I kicked in, they built it, I played it.  Simple as that, and much better than any 99 cent app I have purchased.  And I still get a free copy of their next Defense Grid game when it comes out.

I wondered aloud if nostalgia servers… official ones… would remain the sole domain of EverQuest.

Meanwhile SOE was talking about Vanguard’s free to play plan.

I was underwhelmed at the so-called “reskin” of Qeynos in EverQuest II.  The sorrow of Qeynos knows no end.

In EVE Online, there was war in Delve… again… if only I could get there.  There were battles in 49-U6U, C3N-3S, and DSS-EZ, a conga line in 319-3D (where we also watched the alliance tournament), and a flying titan in F2OY-X.  The tiny Wallpapers Alliance held out longer than Nulli Secunda, before being crushed.

Then having done the heavy lifting for TEST, the CFC was asked to go home.  TEST was going to be its own alliance, but we would all remain the best of friends in the big blue donut of love.  Anyway, it was time for a convoy back to Deklein.  Somewhere along the way I got a warning from CCP for causing lag.

And there was also a link to a list of things to do in EVE Online.

Five Years Ago

BioWare finally let loose the least well kept secret in the MMO-verse at the time.  They confirmed they were making a Knights of the Old Replublic type MMO.

The mention of Diablo III seemed to spur a revival of Diablo II with the Diablo II Battle Chest taking the #1 sales spot for a time.  Not bad for a game that has not had an expansion since 2001.

Meanwhile, on the SOE front, it was time to say farewell to the EverQuest side of the Living Legacy program.  I also griped a bit about how SOE was advertising the completely out of date EverQuest Platinum on the EQ Players site and had been doing so for a long time.  That ad disappeared before the month was out though.  Such a coincidence!

In Azeroth the instance group went back to the Slave Pens as we edged ever closer the Burning Crusade level cap of 70.  Meanwhile people were selling Wrath of the Lich King beta keys on eBay for $500.

In New Eden I was pondering the economics of building and flying a marauder and comparing the benefits of a Raven Navy Issue and the Caldari marauder, the Golem.  Our little corp was on the move again.  And some of us were taking the EVE personality test while I compared ships styles of the different factions to cars from my youth.

And speaking of EVE, I also joined in with CrazyKinux on some crazy EVE Blog Pack idea.  I wonder what happened with that?

Warhammer Online was on the horizon.  I had pre-ordered the collectors edition, but then came the content removal, some classes and four cities.  And while Mythic posted the minimum system requirements, I was wondering what the recommended… often thought to be the true minimum for many games… might end up being.

And, finally, I was done with GameFly and damn glad to have escaped from Atlanta.

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 July

EVE Online dominates the list, in large part because of EVE News 24 syndicating several of my posts, which in turn contained links to other posts on this site.

  1. 6VDT-H – The Biggest Battle in EVE History Ends the War in Fountain
  2. Gold is Where You Find It – Blogging and Community
  3. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  4. I’m Malshandir and So’s My Wife!
  5. A Prophecy of Murder in G95F-H
  6. The Propaganda War in Fountain
  7. More Propaganda from the War in Fountain
  8. Decisions and Inventory Management
  9. My Guns Jam at Z9PP-H
  10. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
  11. Remember the Lazamo – Bloodbath at 3WE-KY
  12. Google Reader is No More – Where Have You Gone?

Search Terms of the Month

eve online awesome screenshots
[I have a whole site for that, but that search points here]

civilization v brave free download pc games old virgin
[You seem confused]

wot major tannhauser
[I think he is still with Venus]

скачать карты для warcraft 3 покемоны белое и черное
[If Google is correct, somebody is looking for Pokemon themed Warcraft III maps]

EVE Online

July was all about the war in Fountain for me.  I lived in B-D and 4-EP and went on as many fleet ops as I could manage.  With the war… if not over, at least in transition… I am not sure what the future holds.  Rumors are that our alliance will move to the new Fountain frontier to live.  But other rumors say that FA or FCON or Fweddit or Black Legion or The Mittani’s aunt on his mother’s side will be taking up that role based on participation or need or ability to knit warm sweaters.  We shall see.

Potshot re-subscribed thanks to my reports of the war, and some prodding on my part, only to join our corp and get into null sec just in time to miss the big battle at 6VDT.  He was far enough along to have coms set up and was able to listen to fleet ops on Mumble, ala that scene in Wing and a Prayer, but wasn’t able to get into the fight.  So he has some time to figure out null sec and get ready for the next war.

Lord of the Rings Online

I have been faltering a bit in Middle-earth.  My captain is in Moria and is just shy of level 52, a number which represents the previous pinnacle of my LOTRO leveling career.  But my drive has waned.  It isn’t that Moria is bad.  It is just more of the same really.  My fun in LOTRO tends to peak in the Lone Lands and Evendim.  I scrambled around in the Misty Mountains and Forochel for a bit until I could start in Eregion.  Then I cleaned up there until about level 51, when I entered Moria and stopped.  Of course, the rest of our kinship had pretty much stopped playing as well.  I am not sure that my summer vacation in Middle-earth is over, but moving beyond Moria seems in doubt.

Rift

I had to check on this one.  I wrote about playing Rift in July, but I didn’t actually play the game this month.  I am not sure I even logged.  The full instance group got together for its second appearance in game last month and that was it.  I might be able to log in and reclaim leadership of the guild again.

Coming Up

As mentioned yesterday, the most anticipated part of SOE Live has to be news about EverQuest Next.  I expect there will be equal parts joy and despair no matter what gets announced.  But whatever gets said, I am sure we will pick it apart and gnaw on the bones for a couple of weeks.

There will be the clean up after the war in Fountain.  What happens next?  Who will get what in the CFC?  Who will end up moving to Fountain?  Will TEST hold on to Delve, take back its moons there, and thrive?  So many questions to answer.

I bought Skyrim in the closing moments of the Steam Summer Sale and started playing that a bit.  I will have some observations… two years out of date though they may be… on the game I am sure.

And… is anything else coming up in August?

June in Review June 30, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Month in Review, Rift.
Tags:
5 comments

The Site

I was going to grouse about WordPress.com changing up the blog admin UI yet again, especially since it appeared to be change merely for the sake of change, but what is the point?  Having pretty much perfected Word in version 5.1a hasn’t stopped Microsoft from revamping its UI over and over in the intervening 20 years.

I will just illustrate what a crank I can be.

WordPressQuestion

Instead I am going to grouse about something that may actually impact the site, the demise of Google Reader.  My secret hopes for a reprieve or an integration into Google + appear to have been folly.

ReadJuly1

And when iGoogle goes away in a couple of months, Google will just be a search engine again as far as I am concerned.

Google Reader has been, for years at this point, the most common RSS reader listed in my blog stats by a wide margin.  It is simple, they have only pissed off people with UI changes on rare occasions, and most people likely to be reading blogs seriously probably already had a Google account, so there was little friction getting into it.

With its pending demise, there has been a lot of talk about what services to look into.    But only six weeks ago half of the people who responded to my poll on the topic said they were still using Google Reader.  Since then, NetVibes has started climbing in my stats, as has The Old Reader.  But Google Reader still tops the chart.

After tomorrow though, Google Reader will be no more.  And I wonder if the absence of an easy to access, basic RSS app like Google Reader will end blog reading for some portion of the community.

Expect yet another poll on the subject this week.

One Year Ago

I was asking people about voice software again.  That poll is still open.

I went on about the ridiculous nature of material tiers for MMO crafting.

My daughter finally found a game she liked on the PS3.

The first Civilization V expansion came out offering, among other things, a performance boost to those who paid.  Meanwhile, the story about the decade long game of Civ II came to light.

Everything we knew about EverQuest Next was declared obsolete.  It wasn’t all that much really.

On the Fippy Darkpaw server, the Gates of Discord expansion was finally unlocked, but not before there was a tie vote.

Turbine announced the Riders of Rohan expansion, the first LOTRO expansion I declined to buy.  For somebody still in Moria, it seemed to offer few benefits for its increased price relative to past expansions.

In Rift I hit level 50, which is a special thing in game, and started tinkering with the then new instant adventure option.  Trion also announced the Storm Legion expansion, a sign of success for most subscription based MMOs.

In EVE Online I hit 80 million skill points and was playing Lemmings in DBRB’s fleet.

And, finally there was Electronic Arts which, as part of its ongoing mission to be seen as the most arrogant company in gaming, tried to tell people that Origin was the Nordstrom to Steam’s Target level business model, unintentionally insulting Nordstrom, which actually cares about customer service before the fact, not just after it has screwed the pooch yet again.  EA says they “get it” but I have my doubts.

Five Years Ago

The big news was Blizzard announcing Diablo III.  Of course, they didn’t announce a ship date.  Still, we were all primed for the announcement, there having been a surge in Diablo II nostalgia at the time.

The Empyrean Age was upon us in EVE Online, if you could stay logged in.  CCP went looking for a fix and found one eventually.  When I could get a break on connectivity I went out to try a factional warfare mission.  It did not go well.  After that I moved back to Amarr space again and started in on level 4 missions.  And while that was going on, the skill point meter rolled over to 20 million.

Meanwhile, around the house, Summer began and it found us playing with LEGO and Pokemons.

Norrath was calling as SOE launched their huge Living Legacy marketing campaign.  I picked up some nifty stuff in EverQuest, but never really got rolling with EverQuest II during the promotion.  Of course, not everybody was happy about the campaign.  The phrase “a slap in the face” was used by some. I never got around to a post about that involving the prodigal son (I still have the notes) though I did wonder what sparked this campaign.

And in Azeroth the instance group struggled through the Mana Tombs and started in on the Auchenai Crypts.  We were struggling, this being long before the great re-spec of 2009.

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 June

For some reason my “Feedback Issue” post, which was almost unanimously shot down by comments here declaring that it is a practical impossibility to hide numbers from users so we shouldn’t ever try, was posted to Reddit.  That in turn got a lot of people to come view it, though no visitor from Reddit left a comment about it either here or back on Reddit.  Another internet mystery.

  1. The Feedback Issue – Which Weapon Should I Use?
  2. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  3. PlayStation 4 Wins
  4. To War! We are Invading Fountain!
  5. What is it with Me and Storm Legion?
  6. Quote of the Day – The Strategy for the Conquest of Fountain
  7. EVE Online – The Odyssey Begins
  8. Walltreipers Alliance Defeated – Conquest of Delve Complete
  9. Meeting Up in Rift After the Big Change
  10. Thinking On Tank Crew Skills
  11. Neverwinter at First Blush
  12. Quote of the Day – It’s All About the Equity

Search Terms of the Month

humor planetside 2
[Then move away slowly, maintaining eye contact]

ccp eve online patch day humor
[A long and storied history there]

ccp bankrupt
[Still no]

mmos that have music
[Regrettably, all of them insist on it despite most coming up with forgettable pap]

team edward to norrath game
[I knew that vampire race would be an issue]

EVE Online

The war in Fountain dominates my time there.  Fleet ops are frequent enough that I can generally find one to join in on to help do my part in the war.  And even the ones you expect to be dull, like following Suas around to blow up SBUs, can turn out exciting when Retirement Club decides to send out a Munnin fleet to stop you.  Not that any fleet with Suas leading is ever dull.

How the war is going… well… that is a different tale altogether.  Both sides claim to be winning.  Neither side can actually produce irrefutable evidence that this is the case.  So it seems like the fail cascade has yet to come.

Lord of the Rings Online

Back in Middle-earth, my main character… and I am trying hard to focus on just the one character… has passed through all of the well worn content I am so familiar and comfortable with and is in that 40-50 gap before Moria.  It looks like I might get a second character into the nearly five year old expansion.  But can I get him out the other side and into Mirkwood?

Rift

Trion has gone all-in on the free to play front, making the cash shop the interface for all your currency transaction in-game.  Unlike LOTRO of EQ2, where you can avoid opening up the cash shop, in Rift any vendor transaction requires you to go into the the den of RMT.  Will this constant exposure to RMT currency goodies lead to greater success?  I suppose we shall see.  Right now we are in the happy time.  Check back in a year.

Coming Up

The war in Fountain goes on, so I suspect that will continue to dominate my time in New Eden.  Moria looms in LOTRO.  There is a possibility that the Saturday night group might all be on at the same time at some point, though given that we have only managed that feat once so far in 2013, I wouldn’t put money on that.

Summer means that there will be a Steam Summer Sale at some point.  Given that I don’t play most of the games I have on Steam as it is… will probably have no bearing when something I want but don’t need is marked down some crazy amount.  I am looking for Skyrim under $20.

A new expansion for Civilization V will be out soon.  I pre-ordered.  It will add in more features that were back Civ II, like trade routes.  I would just play Civ II for that, but I still cannot find the damn disk.  No idea where I lost it.