EverQuest II Visions of Vetrovia Expansion Available for Pre-Order

This years expansion for EverQuest II, Visions of Vetrovia, is now available for pre-order.  That means we also get some more information about what to expect from the game’s 18th full expansion.

What will we see in Vetrovia?

We got a bit of a tease about a month back when the pre-expansion events started and indicated that the new adventures would involve setting sail for new lands across the Shattered Sea on Norrath.  Speculation as to what it meant… I mean, they gave me a nice pirate hat for doing a few quests… was all over the place.  Now we get a few more details.  The new update gives us the following lead:

Inspired by mystical visions, a crew of explorers—sailing the uncharted waters beyond the Shattered Seas—has found an isolated continent plagued by dark curses and discordant energies. Ruins of an ancient civilization are scattered across the landscape, while the imposing silhouette of an opulent castle rises from the highest point of the land for all to see. Whispers can be heard in the native villages found along Vetrovia’s coast of its supernatural master and the horrors it contains. But are any of them true?

So perhaps it won’t be pirates after all… or much of a nautical adventure beyond sailing to a new land.  But it looks like dinosaurs might be on the menu.

The big news is that we’re up for another increase in the level cap, bringing the number up to 125.

There are new quests, new instances, new raids, new trade skills, new collections, and four new zones being added with the expansion.

  • Svarni Expanse
    • Located along the western shore of Vetrovia, lies what is known as the Svarni Expanse. The Svarni Gateway was once known as “Natimbi, The Broken Shores”, by the indigenous population.
  • Karuupa Jungle
    • Encompassing the entire southern half of the continent of Vetrovia is Karuupa Jungle. Much of the floor is covered by dense and twisting vegetation, making travel by foot a challenge, and particularly dangerous.
  • Mahngavi Wastes
    • Mahngavi Wastes encompasses the majority of the north-eastern most section of Vetrovia. This section of Vetrovia was the hardest hit during the Shattering and Rending, sending large sections of the landscape tumbling into the sea.
  • Forlorn Gist
    • The mysterious village that lies at the center of Vetrovia was once the location of a great city known as Qinimi, but nothing of the original structures remain, nor the structures built in their place by the invaders, known as the Muramite. No, what stands here now is a village without mercy, charity, or trust.

As with its EverQuest sibling, there are the usual four packages available if you wish to purchase the expansion.

Standard Edition – $34.99

  • Character Level 120 Boost

Collector’s Edition – $69.99

  • Everything from the Standard Edition
  • Legendary Mount: Artox, the Phantom Steed (for every character)
  • Legendary Mercenary: Villax Sneed (for every character)
  • Legendary Familiar: Svarni Painted Stork (for every character)
  • Prestige Home: Vacrul Castle (for every character)
  • Furniture Recipe: Vacrul (for every character)
  • Svarni Expanse Teleporter (for every character)
  • Visions of Vetrovia Painting (for every character)
  • Akashic Familiar Training Potion
  • Visions of Vetovia Weekly Overseer Adventure

Premium Edition – $139.99

  • Everything from the Collector’s Edition
  • Celestial Mount: Abzhu, the Evader (for every character)
  • Celestial Mercenary: Dakshesh, the Displaced (for every character)
  • Celestial Familiar: Floraform Gorilla (for every character)
  • Akashic Familiar Training Potion
  • Akashic Scroll Case

Family & Friends Edition – $249.99

  • Everything from the Premium Edition
  • Tradeable Standard Expansion
  • Tradeable Character Level 120 Boost
  • Tradeable Character Slot
  • Tradeable EXP/Vitality Potion
  • Tradeable Legendary Mount: Artox, the Phantom Steed
  • Tradeable Legendary Mercenary: Villax Sneed
  • Tradeable Legendary Familiar: Svarni Painted Stork
  • Tradeable Tradeskill Level 120 Boost
  • Akashic Familiar Training Potion x 2
  • Akashic Scroll Case x 2

In addition, for pre-ordering you get a feathered stalker pet and access to beta.

The base edition seems like a reasonable deal for more content, and if you’re behind there is even a level 120 boost to get you into the new stuff.  EverQuest II is the most scrupulous game I have seen when it comes to making sure you’re ready for the current expansion.  There is usually a chest of gear first thing upon arriving in the new content, just to make sure you’re geared up and ready to go.

The other editions… well, you have to decide what is worth the money to you.  I always love the painting of the expansion box art that you can hang in your house, but perhaps not for double the price of the base expansion.

I will say though, that all the tradable items in the Friends & Family edition makes it more attractive than its EverQuest counterpart.

The expansion is on its way.  Expect more warm up events to come along.

Related:

The Summon the Swarm Update brings CRABs and Tax Changes to EVE Online

The previously announced capital ship ratting enhancement has finally arrived in New Eden.  With the Summon the Swarm update the CONCORD Rogue Analysis Beacons (CRAB) can now be built and deployed in the game. (“Crab” is the in-game vernacular for somebody who rats or mines or otherwise focuses on gaining wealth, with “crabbing” being the verb, though it is often rendered as “Krab” because the term came from our Russian friends in New Eden.)

Calling all CRABs

According to the patch notes these new deployables, which can only be activated from capital ships, have four phases of operation:

  • 1 – Deployment
    • Anchoring III required to deploy, with restrictions in deployment locations.
    • Limited to Null and Low Security space.
    • Activation delay: 20 seconds
    • Maximum lifetime: 1 hour
    • Shield / Armor / Structure: 50,000 HP / 50,000 HP / 50,000 HP
  • 2 -Linking
    • Once deployed, it will be globally visible via the Overview for anyone to warp to.
    • After its initial Activation phase, it can then be Linked to by pilots in the following ships: Carrier, Dreadnought, Supercarrier, Titan.
    • For the ship that begins the linking phase, it will be locked in place in space for a duration of four minutes.
    • While linking, the following will be in effect: Tether Blocked (Debuff), Cloaking Disrupted (Debuff), Warp Drive Disabled (Debuff), Resistance Bonus of 10% (Buff to all resistance profiles, Shield/Armor/Structure).
    • After linking the above four statuses will clear after a duration of 60 seconds.
  • 3 – Scanning

    • After Linking, the CRAB will begin to broadcast a signal in the solar system that will attract the attention of Rogue Drone NPCs.
    • When Rogue Drones are in proximity of the CRAB, they will block the scanning progress and attack hostile threats in proximity to the CRAB.
    • The Rogue Drones must be destroyed to clear the perimeter so that the CRAB can continue its Scanning.
    • After 10 minutes of uninterrupted scanning, the CRAB will complete its analysis of the Rogue Drones and will have salvaged enough technology to reward players with new Mutaplasmids.
  • 4 – Reward

    • After successful scanning, the CRAB will have mutaplasmids from Rogue Drones inside of its cargohold .
    • For two minutes after scanning, the ship that initiated the CRAB during its linking phase will have exclusive access to the cargo hold of the CRAB.
    • After these two minutes pass, the CRAB will self-destruct with the generated mutaplasmids always safely being found in the wreckage (it will be a 100% chance to drop its contents when it self-destructs).

In order to keep these new modules under control so they don’t get run constantly and lead to some sort of economic overload, CCP has added the following items to limit their use.

  • Solar systems have a new property, “Signal Interference”.
    • Using the new CONCORD Rogue Analysis Beacon repeatedly in the same solar system will saturate a system with interference preventing the CRAB from being able to broadcast a signal that can be isolated. In practical terms, the CRAB will not be able to be linked to if interference is too high as the Rogue Drones cannot locate it.
    • Over time, Signal Interference will decay back down to a quiescent state. This state of decay is always ongoing and not attached to server downtime.
    • The time for a full recovery of a solar system with maximum signal interference is approximately 25 hours.
    • The User Interface has been updated to show Signal Interference in locations where appropriate.
  • Capsuleers now have a reserve of Complex Encryption Qubits (CEQs).
    • CEQs are used when initiating a link to the CONCORD Rogue Analysis Beacon.
    • Over time CEQs will regenerate back to their full reserve, and the regeneration is always ongoing and not attached to server downtime.
    • The time for a full regeneration of CEQs is approximately 22 hours.
    • As CEQs are only required by the CRAB, your current reserves will be visible in a tooltip on mouse-over of the CRAB in your inventory.

Blueprints for the new modules are now available from CONCORD and DED LP Stores.  A 5-Run BPC costs 20,000,000 ISK & 20,000 LP.

These rewards from CRABs include new Rogue Drone Mutaplasmid technology.  These ew Mutaplasmids come in four variations (Durability, Firepower, Navigation, Projection). Each variation will favor positively one attribute, with all other attributes having unknown results.

They also are sorted out by drone type, with heavy, medium, light, and sentry drone variations.  In addition, there are two wildcard modifiers, radical variations, for drones and fighters.

In order to use modified drones players will need to train up the new drone skill introduced with last week’s patch. CCP changed the skill name from ‘Rogue Drone Specialization’ to ‘Mutated Drone Specialization’ with this update.

CRABs are the headline for this patch, but there is another sizable change in the patch notes as well.  The three month tax holiday for NPC stations, which came in with The Grand Heist update back in July, has concluded.

The new base tax rates will be:

  • Sales Tax: 8%
  • Brokers Fee: 3%

The change to base, unmodified tax rates are now (holiday -> post holiday (pre-holiday):

  • Sales Tax: 2.5% -> 8.0% (Previously 5.0%)
  • Brokers Fee: 2.5% -> 3.0% (Previously 5.0%)
  • Total Taxes: 5.0% -> 11.0% (Previously 10.0%)

The minimum achievable tax rates for NPC stations, modified by skills, standings, etc, are now (holiday -> post holiday (pre-holiday):

  • Sales Tax: 1.125% -> 3.6% (Previously 2.25%)
  • Brokers Fee: 0.5% -> 1.0% (Previously 3.0%)
  • Total Taxes: 1.625% -> 4.6% (Previously 5.25%)

Buying things in NPC stations is now more expensive, and the shift to favoring Sales Tax over Broker’s fees means that player owned structures like the Tranquility Trading Tower in Perimeter will no longer be as attractive for sellers or lucrative for owners.

So those are the big changes with today’s update.  There are a few minor fixes… well, maybe not minor when it comes to the MacOS client… but nothing that changes game design.

Related:

Playing Diablo II Resurrected on Battle.net

Diablo II Resurrected has been my game of choice for a couple of weeks now for a few reasons, not the least of which was the server and queue issues that New World was having at its launch.

Seems a bit ironic now, doesn’t it?

We heard you liked queues

As I mentioned at the end of Friday’s post, Blizzard has a whole post up of their own about the problems they have been having and some of the fixes they have put in place, including that queue shown above.

I find the whole thing quite interesting, both because I am a bit impressed that 20 year old net code is holding up as well as it has, and because it is interesting to see how player behavior has changed over the two decades the game has been around.

The end game of Diablo II was always a grindy effort to get that perfect drop that you knew had to be out there.  The RNG is a cruel mistress in Diablo II.  My “almost done with nightmare” necromancer is still using some gear from Act II of normal mode because literally nothing better for my spec choice has deigned to drop.

But now, in 2021, the game is a solved problem, with guides to which specific mobs to farm for your item.  So people have been putting up BNet games, killing the mob, leaving them, and putting up a fresh one over and over in order to farm for items.  And, of course, that is rippling back on the servers and everybody else just the way it did in WoW when people were constantly resetting instances to farm a specific boss.

No new problems, just new circumstances.

Of course, this isn’t the first time BNet has had problems, and my gut reaction after having played Diablo and Diablo II at launch has been to simply avoid making BNet characters if at all possible.  A lot of the outrage about there being no local character mode for Diablo III wasn’t because we were all still keen to drag our computers over to a friend’s house for a LAN party, but because we’d all been there with online character before.

The Diablo III launch proved that point.

Then there is how quickly Blizz used to be in deleting your Diablo II BNet characters if you hadn’t logged on for a few months.

So the solution seemed to be to make offline characters.  They’re stored on your drive, the world is spun up and save locally, and you even get the same map for your ongoing local game.  One of the pissers about BNet games is that your exploration is always for naught once you leave your game.

And that was certainly my go-to when Diablo II Resurrected landed.  My first few characters were offline.

Then the group picked up the game and… well… there is no more LAN option, so if you want to play together you play on BNet.  So I started rolling up characters for non-group play on BNet as well, including my necromancer who has made it all the way through.  I might as well keep all of them together now that we have those three tabs of sweet shared storage… which I have totally filled up already.  I can’t bring myself to start tossing yellow and gold items until I am out of storage.  And I have been saving every rune, gem, or jewel as well.

Overall, playing on BNet hasn’t been much of a problem.  There are occasionally some network blips and we had a problem yesterday where I couldn’t join anybody’s game and they couldn’t join mine.  But I had been online and logged into BNet for a couple hours at that point playing one of my other characters, so the service seemed to have tucked me off in a corner on my own.  The issue was fixed by logging out and then back in again.

In the end, I have only see a queue twice so far.  The first time it was only a few people deep and I was connected in a couple of minutes.  That was Saturday when EU and US prime time was overlapping.  The second time, the 70 deep queue pictured above, was at 10:30pm Pacific time on Saturday night, which seemed a bit odd to me.  I guess people to the east of me were up late playing.  But Diablo and Diablo II were always games suitable to late night play.  Their atmosphere is enhanced by darkness and a late hour.

And even that queue was down to a single digit in the time it took me to go grab a drink and make myself an evening snack.

I don’t know what the policy is on character deletion there days though.  I hope they’re a little more lenient now that storage is a damn sight less expensive than it was 20 years ago.  The support site still says they’re purged if inactive for 90 days.  That was another reason to roll up a local character.  We’ll see how that plays out I guess.

No Time to Die First Take

We went to see No Time to Die this past Monday afternoon, which ought not to surprise anybody who read last week’s post about watching all the previous Daniel Craig Bond films.

This post contains spoilers.

I am going to put the title card in, then write a few more general paragraphs about the movie, then I will put a cut in and discuss spoilers below that.  Spoilers will not appear on the front page of the blog, but if you read this via RSS or came directly to the post then you are in danger of tainting yourself with them.

Again, spoiler warning.  You carry on from here at your own risk.

So, as noted, we saw the film on Monday at an afternoon matinee in a sizable theater with maybe a total of ten people on hand.  There is a reason we chose that time slot.  It was the first time we have been back to the theater since either Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker or Knives Out, both of which we saw during the holidays in 2019.

It has been a while.

And I will say that movie theater popcorn is every bit as good as I remember it.  It beats the crap out of home popped or microwave popcorn.  Really, they don’t even compare.  It was so good that I am sure it must somehow be destroying the environment or involve some sort of exploitation of labor.  Amazon probably runs the factory and the delivers services using entirely gig labor compensated as piece work with impossible to meet quotas.  But I savored it all the same.

James Bond, however, was a bit of a let down.

No Time to Die picks up where Spectre left off with James and Madeleine in Italy, together after having thwarted Blofeld.  They are in love and going to spend the rest of their lives together.  James says that they have “all the time in the world,” which I couldn’t help recalling is pretty much what George Lazenby said to Diana Rigg at the end of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service right before Diana Rigg dies.

Foreshadow much Bond?

Maybe, or maybe not.  We’re not to the spoilers quite yet.  Anyway, it turns out SPECTRE the organization (as opposed to the movie) is still kind of pissed off and they come to get Bond and there is a car chase and guns and a guy loses his prosthetic eye and when they get clear there is the question of who sold out whom and the relationship is off.

Then we get the opening credits, which were a bland montage backed by a bland theme song.  Completely forgettable.  If you’re a Billie Eilish fan, I’m sorry, but it just wasn’t enough to carry the opening.

After the credits it is five years later, a sinister plot is afoot and Bond, who has been in retirement in Ian Flemming’s old digs in Jamaica, gets pulled into things despite the fact that he’s off the list and there is already another agent sitting at the desk labeled “007.”

Anyway, he goes in, there is action, betrayal, a major double cross, more action, lots of gun play, an escape, another double cross, then a big reveal about how all of this a black project that is now in the hands of the bads.  More Bond digging, plot discovered, bad guys one step ahead, big chase scene, Bond gets away.  Then finally the big set piece infiltration op, facing the bad guy, then the grand finale, roll credits, the Daniel Craig era is over.

And it was okay.  Mostly on formula.  It looked good on the big screen.  There are, as always, boxes that need to be checked.  Action was done in the Bond fashion.  But, as with Spectre, the whole didn’t really come together into something greater than the box-ticking parts.

Having seen all five in the space of a week, my wife and I hashed out our ranking of the Daniel Craig Bond films as:

  1. Skyfall
  2. Casino Royale
  3. Spectre
  4. No Time to Die
  5. Quantum of Solace

I might give QoS the benefit of the doubt and put it ahead of No Time to Die, maybe… as at least it wasn’t two hours and forty five minutes getting somewhere.  If you’re going to be mediocre, at least be brief about it.  But my wife insisted it be at the bottom, so I’ll leave it there.

The odd thing about that list is that the best film, at least in our ranking, is the one that doesn’t get all bogged down in the shadowy world of mysterious global criminal organizations that control most everything behind the scenes… though the SPECTRE organization roster seems a bit thin in No Time to Die for an organization that claims to have people everywhere.

Anyway, we are at the spoilers section.  You have been warned.

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Return to the Mail Bag for some Headlines

Back in the middle bronze age of the blog I started in on a recurring feature centered on items that landed in my email inbox.  I was apparently committed enough to the bit that I even made a “Mail Bag” category, which means you can see on the side bar category list drop down that I managed to farm that for a good 16 posts between mid 2011 and late 2013. (The count is 17 now with this post.)

That time frame happens to correspond to the peak of the popularity of the blog, though I suspect my dropping the mail bag bit was not a key element in its subsequent decline.

Anyway, the idea was founded in the fact that, back when I started the blog, I created an email address just for the blog and blog related items.  It was a Yahoo address, which was the style at the time, and it appeared on my About page for many years.

Yahoo, back in the day… like a decade before I started the blog, but I had the picture handy

And I used to get a lot of email.  Not from readers, though that was not unheard of.  I still get the occasional email on that front.  The main senders were PR and marketing people with press releases to push and post ideas to suggest.

Somewhere around 2015 or so I changed the blog email address on the About page to a Gmail address (same user name though, wilhelm2451) because… reasons.  I think there was some worry about Yahoo at the time and how they might no longer allow free email or some such.

It has been a tough couple of decades for Yahoo.

Anyway, the swap was made and now anybody more recent than that time probably sends me email there… which is a very small number, because by 2015 this blog, and blogging in general, were in serious decline.

But I didn’t throw away the Yahoo account, and Yahoo didn’t end up breaking email or demanding payment or anything, so I still have the account.  I still even email some people from that account if our relationship started in that era.  Hey Bhagpuss.

The thing is, I still get a lot of email on that account.  A lot of press releases, PR items, and blog post suggestions from various agencies.  More on a typical day than I get on my blog Gmail account in a week.

Lately I’ve become a bit fascinated by the pile of stuff I get there.  I certainly didn’t sign up for all of those mailing lists.  Somebody must have just collected a random set of web site email addressed and sold them to unwitting PR people.

I often just let it all collect and then delete it in great bunches, but sometimes I let it sit and gather and then wander through it to see what is there.  I don’t think I have received a single item that has prompted a blog post in years.  But still it keeps coming in.

So, in furtherance of very little other than my own amusement, I gathered the last sixty or so subject lines and pasted them below, just to give you a simulation of what it is like to open my inbox at the end of any given week.

  • Newsweek’s Atari VCS Review: Retro Tech Meets Geek Chic!
  • OUT DAY: BEDROOM POP AUTEUR ZEPH RELEASES DEBUT SCARED OF EVERYTHING EP ON NEON GOLD
  • TV Priest (Sub Pop) start first UK headlining tour | Guestlist available on request
  • Swedish BrainTech Company Mentalytics Signs Agreement with Kia
  • Survios Sells Over One Million Copies of CREED: Rise to Glory, Inspired by Hit MGM Franchise, Across All Platforms
  • STEM Toy of the Year Nominee Roto Brain – Sample?
  • Jooki Kids’ Streaming WiFi Speaker Available for Review – Screen-Free Music & Audio Book Entertainment 
  • ‘Len’s Island’ gets new gameplay trailer – moves launch date to 26th November
  • Virtual tickets are now available for AWE USA 2021!
  • Starlight Alliance debuts on Steam and Nintendo Switch [review copies available]
    Gaming and the Sustainability Problem: Console Power Consumption Increases by Up to 2,520% [Infographic]
  • One of the World’s Top-Selling Video Game 3D Artists
  • CNBC Transcript: Chipotle Chief Diversity, Inclusion & People Officer Marissa Andrada and Chipotle CFO Jack Hartung Speak with CNBC’s Kate Rogers Live During CNBC’s @Work Summit Today
  • China’s Impact On The Gaming Industry Is Going To Be Massive
  • North of Nowhere Launches a Kickstarter!
  • New Gameplay Trailer Out Now for ‘They Always Run,’ Set to Launch on October 20th, 2021
  • Pinball Expo 2021 October 27th-30th
  • DoubleDice develops decentralized gaming platform allowing multiple games in a no-house/no-casino setup – democratizing the gaming industry
  • OKLOU SHARES GALORE ANNIVERSARY EP + DEBUT AMERICAN TOUR WITH CAROLINE POLACHEK
  • New York’s Bambara announce new mini-LP “Love Is On My Mind” | Out February 25th on Wharf Cat Records | UK + EU headline dates announced for 2022
  • The Journey thru Infertility, Family, and Creating a Bountiful Life
  • Minecraft most malware-infected game on the market with 228k users affected
  • Stocking Stuffer: Gaming deodorant for your forehead – actually a sweat liner for your VR headset
  • Google Play Quarterly Revenue Jumped to $21.5B, Almost Double than App Store
  • Enter the Multiverse & Discover Every Spider-Man Variant [Infographic]
  • Pinball Expo 2021 located at Schaumburg Convention Center
  • Silverbacks announce new album “Archive Material”
  • Self Esteem reveals “Moody” video ahead of release of highly anticipated album Prioritise Pleasure (out 10.22 on Avenue A / Fiction Records)
  • iRacing Petit Le Mans glory for RLR eSports Porsche GT3 duo
  • Is a Metaverse Possible?
  • DreamHack Anaheim To Take Place in Feb 2022
  • AP Style Reminders, Scary PR Pitches & More
  • New research reveals how you can take up to $339 off your new PS5 and Xbox Series X
  • WATCH: “I’m On A High” by Rick Eberle (music video premiere)
  • The Number of Twitch Streamers Plunged by 1.8 Million YTD, Average Viewership Down by 20% Since May
  • New GamePlay Trailer Out, Cradle of Sins, Brings VR & PC Players Together in an Adventurous Multiplayer Game
  • [CORRECTED]: Users globally spent over 140,000 years watching Twitch in H1 2021
  • Press Release: 2 IN 5 PEOPLE ARE CONTENT CREATORS: SHURE UNVEILS FINDINGS FROM FUTURESOURCE’S NEW STUDY
  • Review/video Consideration – Striking visuals spooky Fairy tale – Puzzle platformer – Tandem a tale of shadow
  • Email Vulnerability Pandemic. Are All Emails Worth Opening?
  • Quick Pitch: The Gen Z EV That’s GAS –Alexis
  • NEW RELEASE: ‘FAR CRY 6’ The Music of Yara – Music by Various Artists
  • Data: San Jose is the most expensive major metro for household bills
  • Xbox Players Most Toxic on Voice Chat, Swearing 6 Times per Minute
  • Greatest Music of All Time Podcast
  • Introducing Lowel EGO LED™ Light
  • Kills Birds share the anthemic and incendiary “Cough Up Cherries” | New album “Married” out 12th November
  • NEWS RELEASE – REDBOX Expands Distribution Footprint of its Streaming App to the PlayStation5 Console
  • Little Bug, a lovely adventurous platformer is coming to Switch and Xbox consoles later this year
  • Aloof release date revealed. Super cute puzzle-fighter is coming to Nintendo Switch
  • STEVE JONES PROMOTED TO PRESIDENT OF GEARBOX SOFTWARE
  • It’s not the same old internet
  • GKIDS To Release Mamoru Hosoda’s BELLE In Theaters January 14, 2022
  • Nintendo Switch Outsold PS3 and Xbox 360 with 90.5 Million Units in Lifetime Shipments
  • Environmentally conscious underwater adventure SAMUDRA heading to Steam
  • Revealed: The highest earning games per player – Clash of Clans a billion dollar earner
  • Fintropolis uses Minecraft to teach students about money – Over 1M Downloads in First 25 Days
  • EXPERT INTERVIEW OPP: Overdose CRISIS: Highest Number EVER; Rehab Owner and former addict weighs in

To be fair, that one at the top of the list about the new Atari VCS, which arrived just last night, also showed up on every other email account I check regularly.  They are more serious about finding me than most.

There is quite a bit of music related press releases landing in my inbox, which is odd because any long time reader would probably be able to suggest a half a dozen more suitable blogs than my own for that.  Once again, hi Bhagpuss!

And there are a number on the list that really look like they might be on topic for the site, but which end up being either a bit skimpy… that one about swears on Twitch streams was the result of somebody watching the first 15 minutes of 100 videos on YouTube, which doesn’t exactly feel like a sufficient sample size… or are sponsored and hosted by online gambling sites.

The Is a Metaverse Possible? pitch seemed interesting, given Raph Koster’s current project.  It is pushing a book from Frank Rose, The Sea We Swim In, which seems to be more focused on manipulating your fan base with your stories than the technical feasibility, or practical implementation, of the whole metaverse idea.  Looking him up, the same author wrote a book on immersion a decade back.  Maybe I’ll look into that.  But no meat in there for a post despite he promise of the subject line.

Such is life online.

And I didn’t even think to look in the spam folder on the account, though peeking in there it seems that not much gets flagged as spam.

Anyway, there wasn’t much of a message behind this post other than to give yet another peek into what goes on here at TAGN.

Remaking our Diablo II Group

After the three of us played Diablo II Resurrected on an off week, the return of Beanpole brought up the question of whether we should get back to Outland in WoW Classic or keep running in Diablo II.

Diablo II, being something different, won out, though Beanpole did suggest we would do just about anything to forget how to play our classes in WoW.  But now Diablo II is an instance group thing.

A larger group meant a restart with fresh characters.  We hadn’t gotten that far before, so it wasn’t a huge burden to re-roll.  And, in re-rolling it was a chance to try a new class.  There was some discussion as to what we ought to play, and Potshot asked if it would bother anybody if he played an assassin, a class locked as female.  I immediately say no, indicated that we would likely make fun of him at some point, which I guess was enough to throw that idea in the bin.  We’ll probably have to roll up a group at some point where Ula plays a barbarian and the three men play female classes.

But for now the boys each grabbed a male class, Potshot going with druid, Beanpole grabbing the necromancer, while I went with a paladin.  Paladin was kind of on my over-played list, but I thought it might be different with a group due to the aura thing that paladins get.  Ula went with an Amazon, which gave us the following characters.

  • Talon – Amazon
  • Ulfar – Druid
  • Ernest – Paladin
  • Kevin – Necromancer

Beware Kevin

Then we had to spend a bit of time sorting out how to play Diablo II again, as Kevin hand’t played it in many years and even I was still remembering things.  The whole skills and talent tree and right click swap assignments and accidentally hitting the W key which swaps you weapons were all refreshed.

Hanging out in the Rogue Camp while things get sorted

Still, we were out into the world soon enough, fighting the first few creatures as we made our way around to the Den of Evil, the first quest objective of the game.  We made our way into there and set about clearing it out.

Down in the Den of Evil

It was time for a couple of teachable moments.  Kevin got himself killed in a scuffle with a mini-boss, but I was able to open a town portal for him to get back quickly.  We also learned a bit about BNet issues.

You can see the four of us, Talon, Ernest, Kevin, and Ulfar in that picture.  Ernest has his might aura up, and you can see it glowing at the feet of everybody save Ulfar.  He was in the game, but somehow wasn’t fully connected.  It also turned out, as we went back to the rogue camp, that he couldn’t use the portal that I had to put up, and had to cast his own in order to return quickly.

We thought maybe the problem would sort itself out, so went off after Blood Raven.  However, even though we finished up that fight successfully, I noticed when we were going into the crypt in the graveyard, that Ulfar was still not getting my aura.

No aura for you

He also had to take his own town portal home yet again.  He could see mine, but couldn’t enter it.

We did a bit of disconnecting and reconnecting after that and eventually got everybody on the same page connection wise, with everybody getting the paladin aura and able to use each other’s portals.

Of course, after the Blood Raven quest everybody got a rogue mercenary.  With four of those, and Kevin’s growing skeleton followers, and Ulfar with a couple of wolves, we were starting to become a bit of an army.

From there it was on from the Stony Field, through the dark tunnel, and into the Dark Woods and the Tree of Inifuss for the scroll for Akara.  Being the old hand at this, I insisted that we explore a bit more to get the waypoint in the Dark Woods.  We would be needing that later.

From the waypoint it was back to the rogue encampment and Akara.  By that point we’d been playing for quite a while.  We were just warming up as a group so things were going a bit slow.  But I got everybody to come along for one last push.  I figured we could get to Tristram easy enough.

So it was back to the Stony Field and the Carin Stones, which opens the portal to Tristam.  Then it was into the portal and into town to rescue Deckard Cain and clear the place out.

Clearing out the town square while Cain waits in his cage

We cleared the town out, freed Deckard Cain, who took a portal back to the rogue camp, then swept around the town to make sure we got everything.  I made sure we found Wirt’s corpse and that somebody grabbed his leg.  I will do the cow level some day, I swear.

Then it was back to the Stony Fields, because the waypoint was next to the Carin Stones.  No point in wasting a town portal scroll while we were still poor.

Leaping back into the Stony Field

Then it was back to the rogue encampment, where Deckard Cain thanked us and promised to identify all our items, which is also a bit of a gold saver this early on in the game.

So that brings us up to where we stand in Diablo II Resurrected.

That actually wasn’t last weekend, but the weekend before, which was probably a good thing.  Apparently Diablo II Resurrected is doing very well, to the point that the servers were falling over last weekend, at least during EU prime time. (I played in the evening Pacific Time and never saw a blip, but by that time the load had passed.)

Blizzard actually has a long post about the troubles the servers are having, which is in part because the code from 20 years ago didn’t face as much traffic as it is getting now, and because people are starting new games in rapid succession to farm specific mobs for drops because the end game of Diablo II has always been trying to get some crazy rare item in the rain of loot that litters the game.

There is a list of things they are doing to handle the problem.  People have been making a comparison between this launch and the Warcraft III Reforged launch.  But that feels like a false comparison.  Both saw problems, but not the same problems.

Warcraft III Reforged launched missing a lot of features and some petty restrictions that left a bad taste in the mouths of many.  Blizzard ended up having to offer refunds on demand.

Diablo II Resurrected feels more like it delivered what it promised.  It isn’t anything new, just better looking.  But that seemed to be the right mix to get enough people on board to swamp the servers trying to recreate a 20 year old experience.

EVE Online is Back with Native MacOS Support

Back in the day CCP used to support a native MacOS client.  It was finicky… I once ran it on the wrong MacOS version and got some very odd results… but it mostly worked.  Then Apple swapped over to Intel processors and it became possible for CCP to just use WINE emulation to run the Windows client on Macs.  There was some extra work to do to support that, including contributing code to the WINE project, but it was a lot less effort than maintaining two clients.

And then recently Apple left Intel for their own new M1 processors which led to EVE Online MacOS players potentially being unsupported if they purchased the new machines.

This swap by Apple also prompted Intel to launch a petulant “Apple Sux!” ad campaign because I guess they think Apple will never ever buy another chip from them again or something.  But that is another story.

So CCP was left with a choice.  Given that they are still optimistically talking about growth and working on the new player experience, they opted not to ditch almost 10% of the PC market, which meant going back to native MacOS support.

While 10% might sound like a small loss, CCP knows how many MacOS users they have, so it might be worth it to them.  Also, the 10% number vastly understates the number of systems that might actually be able to run EVE Online.  There are a lot of base model Windows boxes sitting in enterprises and on desks all over the world that aren’t even in the running.  When I go to visit the sprawling medical center where my doctor resides, I walk by dozens of PCs… one at every reception desk, one at every nurse’s desk… they all little desks now because the need to access their PCs… one in every exam room, two in my doc’s office, and more in spots I whose function I could not identify.  And not even one of them is likely ever to load up any video game more complicated that Solitaire… and only that if the IT department hasn’t purged it.

Anyway, the path back to a native client culminated with yesterday update and the new EVE Online X Apple era, whatever that means.

Times Apple? Ten Apple? Kiss Apple? I don’t know

Post update there is a transition from the old WINE version to the new native version which is covered in detail in the patch notes.

To celebrate the update and transition back to native support, CCP has some login rewards for us that run for five days.

Included in the rewards are the usual skill points and SKINs, but there are special Quafe Zero Green Apple flavor SKINs.  While they aren’t the classic old blue Quafe SKINs, they are still good.

And the is also some Quafe Zero Green Apple flavor boosters to go with the event as well.  Per the packaging:

Capsuleers can now enjoy Quafe Zero Green Apple, the new flavor of New Eden’s favorite performance drink with the potency of a booster!
A taste explosion that will help avoid ship explosions, the Green Apple edition of Quafe Zero provides the benefits of increased agility and power with Zero drawbacks!

Benefits:
+5% Agility, +5% Capacitor Recharge Rate. Duration: 1 hour.

Quafe Zero Green Apple is fortified with a proprietary mix of performance enhancers, oxidizers, and natural fruit juices designed to push your abilities to the limit.

The secret is in our patented fulleroferrocene nanite delivery system, which attaches our exclusive pro-capsuleer formula directly to the neurons you want, not the ones you don’t. The result is an immediate and direct boost to your performance, with Zero drawbacks!

For maximum experience overload Quafe Zero Green Apple has been further enhanced with proprietary Quafe nanoparticles responsive to popular brands of subcranial nanocontroller personal enhancements, such as the LD-X100 range from Lai Dai!

So make sure to login and collect your SKINs, skill points, and boosters.

Yesterday’s patch also made some changes to the Dynamic Bounty System thresholds, whatever that means, and continued the iterating on the new skill window and skill plan functionality.  They have already fixed the most egregious issues, like the huge amount of empty space, but there is still tuning to do.

And a new skill was added, Rogue Drone Specialization, which is required for using the new modified rogue drones.

Not present in the update was the capital PvE ratting mechanics, previously announced as Summon the Swarm, which are still brewing on the test server.  That still needs some work.

Related:

The Terror of Luclin is Coming to EverQuest

The next EverQuest expansion, the 28th in the series, will be Terror of Luclin as the elder Norrath title takes its turn getting back to the moon.

The Terror of Luclin approaches

The lead in for the expansion says:

The shadows cast by the light of Luclin have been whispering of intrigues. The Akheva are on the move, striving to reassert their power and rebuild their moon-wide empire. Amidst the turmoil of their actions, rumors abound. Mayong Mistmoore has been seen on Luclin. The only known truth is that the master vampire has since disappeared into the shadows and even his devoted followers and sycophants have begun to worry.

Clearly something is stirring on the moon of Luclin. What secrets or magical power was the Lord of Mistmoore seeking? Is he trying to usurp another god? Do you have the strength to peer behind the shades and track down the vampire lord to prevent whatever evil he is plotting?

The Mistmoores on the moon I guess.

The expansion announcement lists out the features coming with it.  This time around there is a boost in the level cap, bringing that to 120 levels.

  • Level increase to 120.
  • 7 Expansion Zones
  • New Raids, Quests, and Missions
  • New Spells, Combat Abilities, and AAs
  • New Collections
  • Teleport Item Key Ring – every character on your account will get a 10-slot Key Ring to store teleportation items! You can add slots with marketplace items as you need them.

A lot of that is what one might consider the standard boilerplate of an EverQuest expansion.  They have been sparing with the level cap increases, doling them out every couple expansions, but the rest is par for the course.  More stuff to do, more places to see.  And when you’re on expansion 28, who is to argue with success?

The expansion is also now available for pre-order and available in the four packages that have become the standard.

Standard Edition – $34.99

You get the stuff listed above and a shadow weapon cosmetic item if you pre-order.

Collector’s Edition – $69.99

  • Standard Edition items plus:
  • Contract of the Stonegrabber (for every character)
  • Umbral Plains Mushroom (for every character)
  • Goblet of Adventure III x 2
  • Terror of Luclin Painting
  • Bloodbound Satchel
  • Zelniak Saddle
  • Metamorph Wand – Lightcrawler
  • Teleport Item Key Ring Slots (5 Slot Packs) x 9

Premium Edition – $139.99

Collector’s Edition items plus:

  • Umbral Plains Scrying Bowl (for every character)
  • Bloodbound Satchel
  • Ten Perfected Augmentation Distillers x 2
  • Shared Goblet of Adventure III x 2
  • Owlbear Saddle
  • Metamorph Wand – Rockhopper
  • Visage of the Akheva

Friends & Family Edition- $249.99

Premium Edition plus:

  • Bloodbound Satchel
  • Shared Goblet of Adventure III x 2
  • Tradable: Terror of Luclin
  • Tradable: Heroic Character
  • Tradable: Zelniak Saddle
  • Tradable: Owlbear Saddle
  • Tradable: Teleport Item Key Ring Slots (5 Slot Packs) x 9
  • Overseer Pack x 30
  • Halfling Heritage Crate x 5

Now, if you ask me, I am going to say that $250 is a tall price to pay for an EverQuest expansion.  I don’t know that there is $215 worth of fluff in that package over what you get with the base expansion.

However, the fact hat Daybreak keeps selling the Friends & Family Edition likely means somebody is buying it… a couple years back it was reported that half of expansion buyers splurge for something above the bask pack… and you don’t have to sell that many to make it worthwhile.

Anyway, that is the expected EverQuest expansion for 2021.  It is already in beta and will no doubt ship some time between now and mid-December.

Words with Strangers

It has come to this.  It is 2021 and I am writing a blog post about a Zynga game.  This time it is Words with Friends.  Though I guess I do have a Zynga category on the blog, so at least there is some history there.

Happy FarmVille Memories

Stranger still is that this is my third attempt at a post about the game since 2019, at least one of which got bogged down in a 750 word aside about Zynga, Mark Pincus, and that time Richard Garriott thought it would be a great idea to get in bed with the company, which all took on a life of its own and had to be abandoned.  I’ve written about all of that before.

Time to start with a fresh page.

So what is Words with Friends?

It is a blatant rip-off of Scrabble, but in this day everything is a blatant rip-off of something else, so it is hard to hold that against it.  If we turned our collective noses up at that sort of thing there would be little new to play.

And I like Scrabble.  We used to play it after dinner at Thanksgiving until it began to turn into a blood sport and we had to stop to maintain family unity.  Unfortunately, on mobile, EA holds the rights to Scrabble and have produced a monstrosity that is both buy to play AND littered with ads AND is broken every other build according to a friend who persists in trying to play it, having spent the money.

Instead I play Words with Friends because at least you don’t have to buy it up front.  Also, my daughter started playing it and asked my wife and I to play and then they both stopped after two weeks and I kept on going.

At its simplest it is an only rip-off of Scrabble, so the board will look familiar to any who have played the old staple.  And all the usual moves are there.  You can play a word, pass, swap out tiles, forfeit, or piss off the other person who is winning by taking your damn time to play.

The Words with Friends screen

I play on the iPad in landscape mode, which I find optimal, but you can play on your phone if you so desire.  Just make sure you have unlimited data or a WiFi hot spot nearby.

However, this being the online version of a board game, there are some differences and quirks.

To start with, you can only play against a single opponent.  That keeps everything simple, keeps one slug from holding up a whole group, and all that, but it does cut out some of the interesting flavor that a multi-sided game can bring.  I have been known to feed the person to my left big scoring opportunities just to be sure the person to my right… usually my mother-in-law…. won’t win. (She is a bad winner and a worse loser… but more entertaining and less insufferable as a loser.)

And then there is the fact that you can only play valid words.

This might seem like a “well, duh” to the uninitiated, but there is a whole dynamic to words and bluffing that comes into the live board game.  I once played the word “ponys,” declaring it to be the plural of “pony” in a game and, because nobody had successfully challenged one of my words up to that point, the rest of the table let it pass fearing I might pull some sort of Old English variation out of the Official Scrabble Dictionary sitting there on the corner of the table. (I was bluffing.)

So there is no bluffing in WWF.  But, beyond that, there is the opportunity for what I call the “brute force” play, where you just shove letters at the board where you have something like a triple word score hoping you’ll find something that sticks.  And since WWF uses a combined US/UK dictionary, and the two countries divided by a common language can’t agree on how to spell anything more complex than “cat,” brute force opportunities abound.

And then there is cheating.

It is certainly easy enough to put your letters into Google and see what words will show up.  And I am sure if you Google “Scrabble cheat” you will find sites to help you, or lists of words that have a “Q” and no “U,” or even apps that will help you find the optimum word.

Top of the results in the App Store

I am always mildly suspicious of people who never have a turn where they end up playing that 5 point, two letter word.  But they can be hard to suss out because the game has its own, built-in, monetized cheating as well.

Up at the top of the board you may have seen these three tokens.

The Three Sanctioned Cheats

Those three are, from left to right, Word Radar, Swap+, and Word Clue.

Word Radar shows shows you all the possible places you can play one of your tiles based on the in-game dictionary.

Word Radar in Action

It will also sell you the best scoring moves for 30 coins, coins being the primary in-game currency, which I will get to in a bit.

Word Clue will offer you a moderate good word to play, highlighting the spot on the board and the letters in your hand.

And then there is Swap+, which lets you swap tiles without losing your turn.

As you can see, I have 99+ Word Radar tokens, 99+ Word Clue tokens, and 30 Swap+ tokens, so you can probably figure out what I use the most.

There is also one more token, Hindsight, which will tell you what the best move was after you have played.  I have 99+ of those as, in most cases it isn’t much use.

Which brings us to how the game earns money.

Ads.  The game is mostly about serving up ads.  When playing against another player, after each move, you get an ad.  I may write a post about the wide variety of ads that come up, the ones that are good, the ones that are bad, the ones that are broken, the devious and downright shitty things they do with the dismiss button, and how I can tell when my wife is looking at the Macy’s web site on her computer because I start getting Macy’s ads for the things she is searching on.

The ads are a deal breaker for some.  For me they are part of the challenge, and I am well practiced in spotting how to dismiss ads in the quickest possible fashion.  The biggest downside of the ads is that they require constant network traffic to load them up which will eat into your battery run time.  Not as bad as Pokemon Go, but it is noticeable.

Ads are the baseline revenue stream, but Zynga will also happily sell you things.  Coins, for example, to buy those sanctioned cheats.

Fortunately you can also earn coins by completing daily and weekly tasks, which I always go out of my way to do.  I save up my coins and spend them on Swap+ tokens.  You can also earn the tokens themselves, which is why I have 99+ of the other three tokens I so rarely use.

And then there are whole packages you can buy with special portrait frames, colorful tile sets, emojis that you can send to your opponent with your play (which I have never seen anybody use ever), and even some ad free time, though the prices are ludicrously high.  I think the last time I saw an ad free package it was $39.99, which is a screw job level of price.

But that is all there to harvest whales.  The ads are where the steady income flows.  And you can tell that they worry about that.  Apple’s new opt-in requirement for ad tracking has them fretting a bit.

If you have 82% then you don’t need me, right?

Anyway, with all of that I still play daily.  You can find me using my usual handle, Wilhelm Acturus, if you are just dying to beat me in Scrabble.

Now that we’re here at the end of the post, I realize that I have left the title somewhat unexplained, though I imaging that you can probably guess the meaning.  Since my wife and daughter stopped playing I have ended up in matches against a host of random strangers.  There is a whole match making mechanic and it pushes likely opponents at you, so I have ended up playing against a regular group of people who are mostly women whom I tend to think of as being my grandmother’s age.

And then I remember my grandmother would have been 102 last week and has been dead for 25 years and that I am now the age I remember her being, so perhaps I have found my demographic.

The September MER Shows EVE Online in a Post War Mining Boom

CCP was out early this month, getting the September MER posted before the end of the first full week.

EVE Online nerds harder

Unfortunately we have another MER with a missing region, and I don’t just mean Pochven, which has yet to make the cut.  This time around Period Basis did not get included.  Regions have gone missing in the report in the past and that is apparently a small enough error in CCP’s eyes that they won’t bother with a revision.  Period Basis isn’t a huge region, so its absence won’t tilt the numbers dramatically.  Just know that it isn’t there.

Mining

I expect that we will see Delve in the top five for September and that overall mining value will go up with the changes we saw in last week’s update, where ice availability was doubled and Mercoxit spawns were increased.

-From my August MER Review

I made that minor prediction last month and it seems to have come to pass.  It is nice to be right now and then, even with a gimme prediction.

Overall mining output jumped from 21.95 trillion ISK value mined in August to 32.77 trillion ISK value mined in September.

When it comes to the most productive regions, Delve did indeed bubble up into the top five as expected, landing in the number two position.

  1. Genesis – 2.15 trillion
  2. Delve – 1.80 trillion
  3. The Kalevala Expanse – 1.69 trillion
  4. Vale of the Silent – 1.51 trillion
  5. Fountain – 1.39 trillion
  6. The Forge – 1.38 trillion
  7. Metropolis – 1.11 trillion
  8. Domain – 1.07 trillion
  9. Malpais – 908 billion
  10. Syndicate – 874 billion

The odd one on the list is Genesis, an empire region with a mix of high and low sec systems.  According to Reddit, Dock Workers and some allies are setting up a mining empire there.  But overall null sec regions now represent half the list, a change from June 2020 after the big mining nerf, when 9 of the 10 top regions were high sec.

Meanwhile, mineral prices kept to their decline, no doubt helps along with the boost in Mercoxit spawns which should have helped the morphite shortage.

Sep 2021 – Economic Indices

Since the value of minerals mined is a function of the market price, 30 trillion ISK in ore mined in September is still less ore than 30 trillion ISK mined two years back when the price was very low.  We will see if the increased output can keep pace with the falling prices.

Production

Things still have not kicked up much on the production front since the big industry changes back in April.  It still doesn’t make sense to produce many of the ships whose requirements were changed, capital ships especially, so most people are getting by on what they had before the update.

September 2021 – Production vs Destruction vs Mined

There was a bit of a post-change surge as it looked like there was going to be an epic end battle to the war, and that has carried on somewhat with the Imperium rebuilding its regions while Brave and TEST try to settle down into new space far from Delve.

CCP showed production value overall at 101.98 trillion ISK, up about 5 trillion over August.  I expect that might settle down a bit once the post-war rebuilding effort cools off.

The top regions for production in September were:

  1. The Forge – 19.26 trillion
  2. Delve – 11.47 trillion
  3. Lonetrek – 7.44 trillion
  4. The Citadel – 7.38 trillion
  5. Vale of the Silent – 7.28 trillion
  6. Sinq Laison – 3.95 trillion
  7. Fade – 3.85 trillion
  8. Domain – 3.07 trillion
  9. The Kalevala Expanse – 2.99 trillion
  10. Placid – 2.81 trillion

As always, The Forge, Lonetrek, and The Citadel all feed the Jita market and are always in the top five.  Delve was up slightly in amount, but otherwise stuck in second place due to the rebuilding effort in the region.

Destruction

The was was over in August, but there was still plenty of cleanup work going on… I was on two Keepstar kills in September… the war was mostly over and so the destruction level started to trend down a bit, dropping to 31.41 trillion ISK, about 5 trillion down from August.  The top regions were:

  1. The Citadel – 2.01 trillion
  2. Vale of the Silent – 1.74 trillion
  3. The Forge – 1.66 trillion
  4. Delve – 1.35 trillion
  5. Metropolis – 1.34 trillion
  6. Lonetrek – 1.31 trillion
  7. Genesis – 1.09 trillion
  8. Esoteria – 1.07 trillion
  9. Sinq Laison – 1.04 trillion
  10. Geminate – 995 billion

The Citadel is up top, being home to Uedama, the favored ganking choke point in high sec since the Trigalvians took Niarja away from us last year.  It is the place where Catalyst destroyers blow up.

MiniLuv keeps itself busy.

Vale of the Silent is home to a low grade conflict, while The Forge was more ganks.

Delve is on the list, mostly due to remaining clean up and an opportunistic period during the rebuild.  You have to hold the ihub in a system for 35 days before you can start putting up Ansiblex jump gates.  Once up, travel becomes considerably safer.  During the wait for that a few groups took advantage of people gating for travel and got in some kills.

Trade

ISK keeps New Eden going, but trade was down a bit in September, ringing in at a 607 trillion ISK total, down  40 trillion from August.  The top regions for trade were:

  1. The Forge – 449 trillion (Jita)
  2. Domain – 43.55 trillion (Amarr)
  3. Delve – 16.73 trillion (Imperium)
  4. Sinq Laison – 15 trillion (Dodixie)
  5. Lonetrek – 14.74 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  6. Metropolis – 9.27 trillion (Hek)
  7. Heimatar – 7.34 trillion (Rens)
  8. The Kalevala Expanse – 6.21 trillion (PanFam)
  9. Vale of the Silent – 4.98 trillion (Fraternity)
  10. Essence – 4.34 trillion (Gallente High Sec)

Those are the same ten regions in the same order as August, so things have carried on as before.  Some were down a bit, a few were up, but it was mostly the same.

ISK Faucets

And then there is where the money all comes from.

Sep 2021 – Faucet end of the chart big chart

That is hard to read, I know, even if you view it full size.  Somebody at CCP has much better eyes than mine if they’re making charts with such tiny print.

But the current order of things stayed about the same in September, with commodities remaining the top faucet, bringing in 35.7 trillion ISK.  NPC bounties and ESS payouts combined stayed about the same as last month, ringing in at 29.47 trillion ISK.  I suspect the Period Basis numbers would have bumped that up a bit more.

Sep 2021 – Top Sinks and Faucets Over Time

Going into September NPC bounties and commodities were running neck and neck, and then CCP had an in-game event and commodities saw a spike as people turned in their drops.

Missing from that top ten chart are Redeemed ISK Tokens, which saw a huge spike previously, enough for that to break into the chart, knocking blueprints off the list.  Well, now that most people have redeemed their tokens, it is off and blueprints are back on.  I guess that means the chart isn’t really the “top ten sinks and faucets over time” but “this months top ten sinks and faucets and their three year history.”

For commodities, you can see how they are broken out on this chart.

Sep 2021 – Top Commodity Items Over Time

The event items fell into the Overseer’s Personal Effects line, boosting that up as the month closed out.  Triglavian Data, which are drops from Abyssal Pockets, fell off a bit during that as people swapped to the more lucrative event path.

As for NPC bounties, Delve continued its come back, topping the list for September.

  1. Delve – 2.22 trillion (Imperium)
  2. Vale of the Silent – 2.11 trillion (Fraternity)
  3. Outer Passage – 1.45 trillion (TEST)
  4. The Kalevala Expanse – 1.39 trillion (PanFam)
  5. Fountain – 1.34 trillion (Imperium)
  6. Malpais – 1.06 trillion (PanFam)
  7. Tenal – 956 billion (Fraternity)
  8. Querious – 951 billion (Imperium)
  9. Oasa – 911 billion (Fraternity)
  10. Tribute – 891 billion (Fraternity)

The null sec blocs are back to crabbing to prepare for the next big war.  It is the necessary prerequisite if your going to burn trillions of ISK a month in a campaign.

Related: