April in Review

The Site

As I predicted, posts were a little more sporadic this month due to the pressures of work.  Having two product releases to do in a month will distract you.  Still, we shipped on time.  I’ll get to how much good that did me.

I am a bit bummed that the links from Blogroll Please seem to have dried up.  There are no paid links at the top of the side bar at the moment.  At its peak, those links were covering my subscription fees and buying me an expansion now and again.  That I am fully up to date with Lord of the Rings Online is probably thanks to those links.  Now I haven’t heard from them in a couple of months.  Such is life.

One Year Ago

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

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

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

As usual, there was much ado about WoW.

And then there were new comers.  A year ago we brought home two wee kittens.

Tiny Trixie and Fred

Of course now, a year later, we have a giant pile of cats sleeping around the house.

Fur at rest

At least they seem to be comfortable with our older cat, Oscar.  But the three of them take up a surprising amount of space on the bed at night.

New Linking Sites

I would like to thank the following site for linking here.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in April

  1. April Fools at Blizzard
  2. Pokewalker Yellow Forest WiFi Event
  3. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  4. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  5. Battle of the Immortals – Key Features
  6. iPad Arcade Stand April Fools
  7. WoW Dance Battle System!
  8. Getting on the Greed Steed
  9. In Defense of the New EQII Subscription
  10. Lil’ XT Reactions
  11. April Fools Contest – The Winner
  12. A Little Bit of EVE Blackmail

Spam Comments of the Month

“I have really been becoming all uncomfortable and zonked out there recently as a result of hitting some potent cannabis these days… Any of you people struggling with this? Might be I just simply ought to trim down the volume Im burning right?”

“Hey, is it feasible in order to really purchase grass within the law on the internet? In a case where u guys have, will you suggest obtaining some people any more?”

[Both of these were on my post about playing FarmVille.  This stuff just writes itself.]

Strangest Pingback of the Month

A post out there in the blogesphere about the Ayatollah Khomeini (not that one) links back to my posts about Blackrock Depths.  Not sure how that worked out.

Lord of the Rings Online

With the three year anniversary of LOTRO, I patched up the client, which was surprisingly quick and starting poking around in Middle-earth last weekend.  Of course, this put LOTRO into play for what the instance group should do between hitting the Outlands and the release of Cataclysm.  That will bring up the challenge of which server.  I have characters in the low 30s on Windfola and Nimrodel, but we could just start fresh on another server.  And then we may just go on discussing this whole plan until Cataclysm hits.

Runes of Magic

We had a pretty vigorous week in Runes of Magic, and then we have sort of tapered off.  There is a lot of interesting aspects to the game, and lots to explore, but I think we have to get the whole group over there and make it “the game” for it to stick with us.

Star Trek Online

I patched.  Crap.  That’s all I did all month.  Too much sword play going on.  I swear I’ll play more next month.  They have new veteran rewards coming out.  I might need that free respec.

World of Warcraft

Into Northrend with my daughter.  My mother is close behind.  My daughter swings between wanting to get a level 80 character with which to farm Wintergrasp (she watches me whenever WG is up) and just wanting to see what other buildings in Goldshire she can climb on top of.  She can get on top of the Inn and the Blacksmith pretty readily.

The instance group is getting close to 60 and has a couple more dungeons to do before we level out of classic Azeroth and have to ask ourselves what we do next.  We do still have those three new level 80 instances we could run with our alliance characters.

Coming Up

We’ll see who reads through all that text and actually gets to this part.

I am going to predict that blog posts are going to get more sporadic still in the coming months.  I was notified on Wednesday that I, along with most of the R&D staff at my office including everybody who reported to me, was being laid off.

Oops.

Well, after 12 years, three acquisitions, and at least a dozen rounds of layoffs over the last 8 years, I was probably due.  Today I have to go in, hand over my laptop, phone, and badge and collect my last paycheck.  I’ll sign a document releasing the company from all obligations next week and they’ll give me 16 weeks of severance and that will be that.  I will join the unemployed and become a lagging economic indicator.  I hope all those articles about how we’re coming out of this recession are true.

And while that might seem to give me MORE time to blog and play games, it is more likely to disrupt the stable ecosystem of my life.  There was a nice little pattern of starting posts and editing pictures before bed in the evening, finishing up posts before I went to work, and then editing and posting them while I ate my lunch at the office.  That structure sustained me through more than 1500 posts.  Its absence will likely cause me to post less.

Anyway, you can see why I am bummed about the Blogroll Please thing.  I wasn’t going to get rich with those links, but they would have been enough to pay for our home internet connection.  Maybe I will copy Tobold and put up a PayPal donations button.

So we shall see what the future brings.  Instance group posts will still make it I bet, but there might not be so much filler in between.

22 thoughts on “April in Review

  1. Anjin

    Holy crud. Best of luck with the inevitable job search.

    Although I dream every day about what I would do if I didn’t have to work every day, I still remember when I was last fired. It’s not conducive to game.

    I’ll keep checking back in case a button goes up.

    Like

  2. Aillas

    Good luck with the job search!
    This happened to me last year (well, late 2008 on into 2009). Although it was tempting to go bananas into playing MMO’s, I put myself on a stricter play schedule to avoid wasting away too much time. And I cut back some other expenses to help my budget out.

    Like

  3. badelf

    The kittehs are adorable. If we ‘awww’ed” them, though, in a comment attached to the same post where you tell us you lost your job, that might be construed as uncaring. Maybe.

    I’m sorry you got laid off, that has major suckage attached to it. And awwwww, what cute kittehs! See? (I am sincere in both statements, however.)

    Like

  4. We Fly Spitfires

    Doh, sorry to hear about your job. 16 weeks pay isn’t bad though and I’m sure you’ll find something else within that time.

    I’ve never heard of that blogrollplease thing before and, tbh, I didn’t even notice you had something like that on your site! How does it work exactly?

    Like

  5. Brian 'Psychochild' Green

    Sorry to hear about the job. :( Don’t know what industry you work in, but hopefully it’s one where you can find a job and not be too disrupted. I can sympathize, I had no contract work (except for a few hours of legal consultation) last year. I’ll keep you and your family in my thoughts.

    And, of course the kitties are cute! We got a new one a few months ago, and he’s grown into a little terror. But, wouldn’t trade him for anything.

    As for LotRO servers, if you decide to start fresh I’ll recommend the Firefoot server. I have a stable of established crafters, so I could make you all the items your little hearts would desire if you can gather materials. Drop me an email if you do that. I can also get you into a pretty cool laid-back kinship. :)

    Like

  6. Stabs

    Very sorry to hear about your redundancy. Best of luck with the jobhunting.

    Do keep blogging, it’s always a delight to read you.

    And yes the cats are quite wonderful. I do think the second picture needs a caption though.

    Like

  7. Toldain

    There are times when I hate the way the valley does business, but 16 weeks of severance definitely mitigates a lot. Best of luck in your job hunt.

    Like

  8. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Thanks for the kind words. The big shock of all of this, aside from the fact that I didn’t expect it to happen until the end of June, is now I have to go back to that age old question, “What do I want to do when I grow up?”

    The gut reaction, at this point, is to try and find the same job elsewhere, hopefully for something close to the same pay. That is both unlikely to happen and not necessarily the best plan. 12 years ago I started off as a QA project lead and have since done personnel management, project scheduling and management, release management, builds, IT , purchasing, and have run a successful (rare in our division) off-shore group in India. A couple of those could be careers in and of themselves.

    And this is Silicon Valley. Every job I could ever want is here somewhere.

    Be warned however, being laid off is likely to spur me into a few non-gaming posts about my career.

    @Stabs – Redundant means that there is somebody else there to do your job. They were cutting payroll and, as I found out on Thursday, only afterward trying to figure out how to keep things going. There was a lot of denial going on.

    @Toldain – They valley can be hard core, but I actually work for an Ohio company and the HR people grumble constantly about how they have to treat people in California differently. The HR guy who came out to give us our packages rolled his eyes and called CA a “hot state.” They have to do things like, you know, pay us our accrued vacation time when we get laid off and they can’t lay down onerous, long-term non-compete terms like they do elsewhere. It isn’t the valley that sucks, it is big business that bites.

    Like

  9. Mycroft

    Sorry to hear about the job situation, especially after the two product releases successfully shipping on time, and best wishes for the future prospects.

    I really enjoyed the “Swimming to Silvermoon” post, nice story. :)

    Like

  10. Jalann

    Be sure to mention that you managed people in India. That goes a long way these days.

    My wife works for a company called Getinterviews.com
    They rewrite people’s resumes in a professional Style. You should look at their services, or another service like that.

    Like

  11. Kirith Kodachi

    Sorry to hear about the job loss, Wilhelm. Here’s hoping you get back on your job feet soon. I;ve been laid off myself once, not an experience I’d redo.

    Like

  12. cyanbane

    Sorry to hear about the job situation. In a weird way these things kinda work themselves out for the better in the end. I am sure that will be the case.

    Like

  13. Brutal

    have been enjoying reading your blog for a while , saddens me to hear about the Job loss . I went through the same situation a year ago so i can symphatize . I am in the valley myself , and I know my company has openings on the sw team, and will gladly put in a referral . shoot me an email if you are interested .

    Like

  14. Eric

    Sorry to hear about your layoff ! Good luck getting a new job soon !

    These posts are always fun to read btw, hope you can keep it up.

    Like

  15. SynCaine

    Put up a donation link, I’ll funnel some DarkFall-gained funding your way, all I ask back is your carebear soul.

    Sorry to hear about your job though, losing a stable thing like that is always upsetting, no matter the actual quality of the job itself. But 16 weeks is a long time, long enough in fact to take a little breather before getting back out there hopefully. Plus they paid you for vacation right? At least take that time to relax. Best of luck, and I’m sure your work-related posts will be as interesting to read as everything else (I mean hell, you make facerolling WoW instances sound interesting).

    Like

  16. Genda

    Sorry to hear. I have also been laid off, and I’m in the market as well. I’m experiencing the same thing, deciding to go back to something that I have done before. I’ve posted less during these months, so I know what you mean there.

    I applied to a game company here in Austin, and I’ve had an interview, so prayers in that regard would be much appreciated.

    And as far as the cats go, awww. We got 2 kittens not long after we lost Panama in February (article on my blog) and they are starting to assert their sleeping rights, so I get that too.

    Best of luck to you, thanks for sharing here and thanks for your always well-written posts.

    Like

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