Daily Archives: November 30, 2010

November in Review

The Site

I changed the theme of the site for only the second time since I started it.

And, as happened last time, I changed it back about 30 minutes later.

So, if you happened by the site at one point last week, or last night when I put the theme back up to take a screen shot, you might have seen this.

Pilcrow Theme… Whatever a Pilcrow is

I didn’t like the font.  And the way the side bar looked.  And a few other tiny details that began to gnaw at mean within minutes of changing to the theme.

I’m going to have to buy the CSS editing option from WordPress.com and just alter this theme to change the minor details I don’t like.  Yeah, that won’t be opening up a can of worms or anything.

One Year Ago

I was writing about how I had not changed the blog format since I started.  Sound familiar?

Last year our Thanksgiving entertainment was Rock Band 2.  While I was really bad at it, it was a lot of fun.  This year we played Super Mario Bros. Wii, which I am also really bad at, but which isn’t nearly as much fun.  However, the kids liked it.  I rode along in a bubble most of the time.

And while Tech Crunch was exposing the odious practices favored by Mark Pinkus to get FarmVille and Mafia Wars profitable, the New York Times was gushing over this wonderful new virtual goods market, which I summarized and provided links to here.

The first LEGO Harry Potter game was announced, which I had anticipated would come to pass almost two years before it was announced.

Warhammer Online announced that levels 1-10 were going to be free, making me wonder if they were just going to breed a mass of level 1 twinks.  I think that is what the end result was.

In EVE Online, PLEX was off to a booming start.  The price of a PLEX has settled down some since then.  Meanwhile, the first Hulkageddon was on and even I noticed something was amiss.  Eventually somebody pointed me in the right direction in the comments.

I wondered if fishing was really the secret ingredient for MMO success.

I got all nostalgic for Star Trek because of Star Trek Online’s impending release.

WoW and EQII both hit their five year anniversaries.  Then I had the temerity to say that there were things that EQII didn’t do very well in my opinion.

On the WoW end of things, somebody was suing because they felt the game wasn’t easy enough.

Then there were Mr. T Mohawk grenades and a 24 slot Portable Hole, outrages both.  And then there were $10 vanity pets.

I wrote a very short post about Pilgrim’s Bounty which went on to become the most viewed post on the site this November.

And the instance group started in with Ragefire Chasm, Wailing Caverns and Deadmines on the RP-PVP server.  Actually PVP occurred since we had to walk to the Deadmines.  We get called griefers for daring to engage in PVP on a PVP server.

New Linking Sites

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Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts for November

None of which I posted in November of this year.

  1. Pilgrim’s Bounty – Cooking Catch Up
  2. Fighting Blood Elf Porn
  3. How I Got My 5,000 Turbine Points
  4. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  5. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  6. LOTRO – Comparing VIP with Free
  7. A Quick Pass Through GDC 2010
  8. Saturday with Red 5
  9. World of Warcraft Magazine – Issue 2
  10. WoW Account Hacked – This Just Keeps Happening
  11. Getting Upper Blackrock Spire Access
  12. EVE Online Screen Shot Contest Winners

Most Common Search Terms in November

  1. pilgrim’s bounty cooking
  2. zombrex
  3. elf porn
  4. turbine points
  5. the ancient gaming noob
  6. guild names
  7. pilgrims bounty cooking
  8. lego x-wing
  9. wow account hacked
  10. thorin oakenshield
  11. lego x wing
  12. blood elf porn

People want their elf porn, their X-wings, and their Pilgrim’s Bounty cooking advice.

Search Terms of the Month

one does not simply tank cat into mordor
[Tank cat?]

boggle faerun
[The official Forgotten Realms word game]

hilarious turkey pictures
[Really? You got here with that?]

EVE Online

I was getting ready for Incursion this month, since it sounded like it had some interesting PvE stuff as part of the expansion.  And then it got delayed.  And while I understand why it got delayed, I was hanging around explicitly for that.  Now I’m PLEX’d out to the end of December and all I’ll likely do is train during that time.

Well, I can always figure out where I want to put those 4.8 million skill points I’ll be getting when learning skills go away.  That and look at the new salvage ship.  That part of Incursion we’ll get early.  I probably won’t buy one though, as new ships in EVE are always over priced.

EverQuest

Tourism.  A once a year thing.  Visited a few of my characters.  Looked at some old haunts.  Stuggled with the keyboard layout.

EverQuest II Extended

I have been impressed with EQII Extended.  It is nice to be on a server with large and active population that includes a large group of new players.  Of course, because I have Station Access, I am in there as a Gold member.  We’ll see if my enthusiasm remains when I drop down to Bronze. (Hey, SOE, why can’t I buy the Silver option when I am Gold but planning to let me Station Access expire?)

Lord of the Rings Online

The reduced instance group has had a great run in Middle-earth over the summer.  We rolled up a new group and followed the epic quest line to the very end of the Lone Lands and into level 30, avoiding the North Downs almost completely. (Aside from that journey to Trestlebridge quest that Frederic the Edler has that we all did on our own just to get rid of that nagging ring over his head.)  We did not make it to Moria, though we’re closer than we have been in the past.

I wouldn’t mind continuing in LOTRO, but the missing member of our group is back and since he would have to catch up to us at level 30, he was not very enthusiastic.  So it will be back to Azeroth instead.

I’ll still peek into Middle-earth though.  The joys of a lifetime subscription.

Pokemon SoulSilver

Did I mention that I completed the National Pokedex?  In your face Ash!

That finished up Pokemon SoulSilver for me.  Now we rest and wait for Pokemon Black and White this springs.

Total Annihilation

This game is 13 years old and is still fun to play.  Clearly one of my three favorite RTS games of all time.

World of Warcraft

Cataclysm in one week.  It is almost here.  The sundering patch has changed the game world, and the game, in many ways.  There will be much to explore and experience, both in the 1-60 levels as well as 80-85.

Not sure what we’ll do about 60-80 though.  Northrend is fun… and now remote, what with the portals all gone and having to actually travel… but the Burning Crusade?  How can I say this nicely?  It’s not you Kil’jaedan, it’s me.

Coming Up

Probably too much stuff about Cataclysm.  Really, I’m sorry in advance if you hate it, but that is where the instance group is headed.

With a week left before Cataclysm, there is still some time for EverQuest II Extended.  I have at least one more post left on the subject.

And the end of the year is nearly upon us.  I am going to have to go back and look at all that nonsense I predicted back on January 1st.  Did any of those people move to Canada?  My only hope is a last minute announcement of the cast of the Warcraft movie.

Meanwhile, in the In-Game LOTRO Store, Crafting Materials!

Lord of the Rings Online dropped a huge update yesterday that included new content, a vault update, a barter token wallet (at last!) and a lot more stuff available on which to spend your Turbine Points.  No, really, that is a really long list of new stuff to buy.

Among the more interesting items are crafting materials.

I got yer crafting materials right here

They include:

Scroll of Lesser Craft Acceleration

Provides a 25% bonus to experience earned from crafting. Lasts 10 minutes.

Apprentice Ingredient Pack

Apprentice Ingredient Packs can be used in place of traditional ingredients. These can only be used on recipes in the Apprentice crafting tier. NOTE – Items crafted with Ingredient Packs are bound to account and cannot be traded to other players.

Journeyman Ingredient Pack

Journeyman Ingredient Packs can be used in place of traditional ingredients. These can only be used on recipes in the Journeyman crafting tier. NOTE – Items crafted with Ingredient Packs are bound to account and cannot be traded to other players.

Expert Ingredient Pack

Expert Ingredient Packs can be used in place of traditional ingredients. These can only be used on recipes in the Expert crafting tier. NOTE – Items crafted with Ingredient Packs are bound to account and cannot be traded to other players.

Artisan Ingredient Pack

Artisan Ingredient Packs can be used in place of traditional ingredients. These can only be used on recipes in the Artisan crafting tier. NOTE – Items crafted with Ingredient Packs are bound to account and cannot be traded to other players.

Master Ingredient Pack

Master Ingredient Packs can be used in place of traditional ingredients. These can only be used on recipes in the Master crafting tier. NOTE – Items crafted with Ingredient Packs are bound to account and cannot be traded to other players.

Supreme Ingredient Pack

Supreme Ingredient Packs can be used in place of traditional ingredients. These can only be used on recipes in the Supreme crafting tier. NOTE – Items crafted with Ingredient Packs are bound to account and cannot be traded to other players.

Recipes

The LOTRO Store has had over 100 new recipes added to it for items both new and old!

Seems that LOTRO learned something from EverQuest II Extended.  EQIIX has been selling crafting materials for a while now.  And something to speed up crafting experience… EQII had those as veteran rewards ages ago.

Recipes though, EQIIX doesn’t sell recipes does it?  No advanced crafting books available for Station Cash?  I wonder why not?

Of course, EQIIX has a very active broker right now, something that LOTRO lacks.

Once it gets done patching, I’ll log in to see how this all works.

Now if they would just automate server transfers for characters and get those in the LOTRO store.

The Other LOTRO Store, A Symptom with No Cure

Poor Aragorn, son of Arathorn, King Elessar Telcontar, reduced to shilling for mouse pads and coffee mugs.

Don't Touch MY Coffee!

There, in the Warner Brother’s Online Store, tucked back in the corner behind all the Lord of the Rings Movie Official Merchandise, there are two coffee mug styles and three flavors of mouse mat.

Is that it?

I suppose, working in high tech, I might be totally the wrong person to judge the usefulness of either, having been given by various companies and at a myriad trade shows, enough mouse pads to cover the playground at my daughter’s school and enough coffee mugs to drain an Olympic-size swimming pool.  None of which is enhanced by the fact that I:

  1. do not drink coffee
  2. use a trackball, not a mouse

And while I might be the worst possible marketing scenario for these items, I have to think that some combination of Cafe Press and gifts from people who don’t really know what you like must have killed the market for coffee mugs and mouse pads to some major degree.

And it isn’t like I would be totally adverse to some merchandise that represents one of my favorite games.

At one time, before it faded from too many washings, I proudly wore my “I got the Babel Fish” T-Shirt.  Likewise, I had a very nice Net Hack T-shirt that from the Lore Sjöberg, back when he was making T-Shirts.  I even have a Meridian 59 T-Shirt around here somewhere, though I wore it one day when we were painting the house this summer so now it has a not insubstantial amount of Kelly-Moore “Lemon Grass” on it. (Sorry Brian.)

I would buy some stuff… if you offered decent stuff.

But no, we get coffee mugs and mouse pads… and the infamous EverQuest Zippo lighters.

It's like they never saw Beavis & Butt-head

They have actually, finally, sold out of 8 of the 16 different lighters offered at the SOE Station Store.  I think they’ve been in the SOE store since 2000.  A tough break if you were going to finally break down and buy that lighter with the Wizard logo on it.  They probably have plenty of Ranger logo lighters left though!

But then SOE marketing has never been long on taste… or sense.

This is what they think of people who play Free Realms

And don’t even get me started on Figure Prints.   That is all I need, a World of Warcraft dust catcher.

Though, to be fair, Blizzard has licensed out and you can get some decent WoW themed T-shirts or hoodies.  And the EVE Online store also has a few acceptable items, though I’m not buying a model battleship.

I just don’t wear T-shirts out and about that much any more… except when I am painting the house apparently.

What I want is a nice polo shirt, or better still, a good, solid, 100% cotton, crew-necked sweat shirt… not a hoodie, I hate hoodies… but a classic pull-over sweat shirt!  One of those with your game logo on it would do me nicely.

Is that too much to ask?

How about you.  What do you want?