Daily Archives: December 31, 2011

December in Review

The Site

WordPress.com continues to try to improve by doing things that just set my teeth on edge.

The redid the UI recently.  They have gone to an all “hover over and pop-up” menu system for the admin page side bar, so when I push the mouse out of the way of what I am typing, I seem to be prone to bringing up menus which proceed to get in the way of what I am typing.  I just like menus that activate when you click on them, not menus that eagerly jump up just because the cursor showed up in their neighborhood.

And then they removed the link at the top of the admin pages that brings you to the main page of your blog.  This is, of course, one of the things on the admin page I used to use all the time, popping between the admin page and the actual blog front page.  It isn’t gone completely, it is just in the third level of one of those little pop-up menus.

Finally, they did a very nice little year in review link for blogs.  You can see a version of it at my other site.  Unfortunately, the one for this site is… well… wrong. (If you are a bit clever, you can figure out how to see it by looking at the other one I just linked.) It includes a batch of bad data from a couple of months ago when they screwed up (or fixed, as one story went) how they count page views.

Ah well, the theme of the modern age seems to be progress without reason.

Or maybe I’m just getting more cranky in my old age.

One Year Ago

Last December I had my all-time most popular post, Talking Cats Playing Pattycake!  You can thank me for not taking the hint and going all talking cats, all the time.  Or hate me for not doing that.  Take your pick.  And We Didn’t Start the Fire?  Nothing.

But I still have kitty pictures.  Awww.

I still think that if you label a window “Currency” it ought to show all your currency, not just the odd-ball stuff.

I was still feeling the sting of ThinkGeek teasing us with the iCade at April Fools, all the more so because some pretenders were on the scene.

Turbine was giving away 10,000 Turbine Points, which comes out to real, and possibly taxable, value in real world dollars.  The comments on the post were obviously not from tax professionals.

I visited EverQuest for long enough to find a house.  And then I was out of money.

In EverQuest II they were starting the run up to vampires.

And I summed up what we knew about The Agency to that point… which was bupkiss.

In World of Warcraft, Cataclysm launched.  If you weren’t in the beta, there were still scams promising to get you in.  There was the digital pre-order, which worked for me.  And one final hardware upgrade we needed at our house before the expansion launched.  And then there was picking a new character for the re-rolled instance group in Azeroth.

The U.S. release date for Pokemon Black and White was announced at last.

And I wrote something that looked sort of like a review of Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw’s book “Mogworld.”

Five Years Ago

My daughter and I were chasing Rudolph across the Frostfell zone in EQ2. We did that again this year.

Digg starting listing podcasts and there was a call to help Digg some of the MMO related podcasts. Some podcasts went up in Diggs since then, others… well… and that has all fallen by the wayside since then.  Hey, at least Fear the Boot is still podcasting!

Podcast           Diggs Dec 06    Dec 07
EQ2-Daily                21        21
Fear the Boot            33        80
Massively Online Gamer   32       200
VirginWorlds             27       191

The Commonlands in EverQuest got a make over. The two zones also got combined into a single zone.

I compared the Butcherblock chessboard in EQ and EQ2

I correctly predicted the venue for that year’s EQ2 expansion, Kunark, which I will never let anybody forget.

And the instance group did Gnomeregan and started in on Scarlet Monestary.

Oh, and I had a Christmas story from 1977.

New Linking Blogs

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

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in December

  1. And Now I REALLY Want That SWTOR Authenticator
  2. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  3. What I Saw at the End of the Galaxy
  4. Hulkageddon V: Unholy Union – Coming Soon
  5. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  6. To Soar with Titans, To Sow Destruction!
  7. Victini Available for Download Again Through Dec. 31
  8. LEGO Lord of the Rings: The Video Game – It Could Happen
  9. Three Generations of the Caldari Navy Issue Raven
  10. Lord British: About Tabula Rasa… and Ultima 8…
  11. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  12. Deklein Will be Rid of Goons by February

The Top Search Terms for 2011

It is always humbling to see that most of my search engine traffic comes from interest in Pokemon, the SF Giants logo, elf porn, and from people who are probably trying to make home made bombs with triaminoguanidine nitrate (the shortened form of which is “tagn”).

  1. zorua
  2. world of warcraft
  3. how to catch zorua
  4. how to get zoroark
  5. giants
  6. tagn
  7. blood elf porn
  8. pokemon black download
  9. zoroark
  10. how to catch zoroark

I am not sure how people get here via the search term “world of warcraft.”  I am on something like page 97 of the results for that… even for images.

Raptr

I was hoping I could sum up with stats from Raptr to list out my most played games for 2011, but there are some issues with that.  To start with, Raptr doesn’t always seem to catch when certain games launch.  Rift and EVE Online do not always get counted.

Second, while Raptr will tell me what games I played the most over the last week and the last month, it then jumps straight over the previous year and goes straight to all time most played.  You would think that a service like Raptr, which to be honest is totally unnecessary to the gaming experience, would feed a few more stats your way.  The only reasons I can see for using Raptr is to track you own gaming time and see what your friends are playing.  The community aspects of their site do not do much for me, as I don’t really need yet another Facebook alternative to ignore.

Anyway, I started using Raptr in October of 2010, so my all time stats are almost good for the past year.  And so, without further complaint, the list is:

  1. EverQuest II Extended (which no longer exists!)
  2. World of Warcraft (I guess I played a lot when Cata shipped)
  3. Lord of the Rings Online (Got to Moria!)
  4. EverQuest (Fippy Darkpaw fun!)
  5. Rift (Current home of the instance group)
  6. EVE Online (It never logs you out)
  7. Civilization V (as always, just one more turn)

Maybe Raptr will give us access to more stats before 2012.

EVE Online

I came back to EVE for the graphics update, but stayed for 0.0 space.  We will see how long that lasts.  I have been trying to get involved, but I can only play so much so I am not sure if the corp will be interested in keeping me around.

I have also yet to get to the riches of null sec.  Even with Gaff fronting me a ship and some expensive fittings, I am down a good 400 million ISK on the venture so far.  Gotta make some ISK at some point or I will be space broke in a month at this rate.

But it is a different world out in 0.0 and I am out there to see new things.  So far that has been a success.

Rift

The instance group has been off doing things for the holidays, so we have not been playing much Rift.  I did some of the Fae Yule stuff and got enough snowflakes to buy my characters each a santa hat as well as a couple of Rudy dogs.  But playing solo, where my lead character is up to level 38, has been wearing on me a bit.  It is good as a group, but as a solo venture it is just another fantasy MMORPG very much in the WoW mold, and I am feeling a bit tired of that at the moment.

Star Wars MMOs

It was the passing of Star Wars Galaxies and the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic.  I poked my nose into one and let the other just pass on by.  But there is no doubt that SWTOR will be the focus of much discussion in 2012.

World of Tanks

I did get out WoT for a bit this month.  As always, it is fun in small doses.  I actually had enough gold left over from the launch-day buy-in that I was able to buy the Type-59 tank.  So now I am one of those guys.  But the bracket the Type-59 plays in is probably the most fun I have had since bopping around in the tier 1 tanks.  It sure beats struggling up the mid-brackets in any case.  And since I really do not play that much… maybe three matches on a night I actually play… maximizing fun for the minimum effort clearly serves my needs.

Diablo-like Games

I have had Diablo II out, Path of Exile, and, most recently, Torchlight, just to compare the Diablo-ness of these titles in preparation for the possible launch of Diablo III and/or Torchlight II in 2012.  We’ll see how that works out.

Coming Up

Well, it will be a new year tomorrow, which means that I will probably have some prediction-like post up in the next day or two.

There will certainly be the further (non) adventures of Wilhelm in EVE Online.  I have at least one more thing to write about, and I am still stuck out at Burger King, so maybe I will see a big fleet battle.

The instance group will be back together soon I hope.  I mean, we’ve only done one instance in Rift.  It would be nice to double that.

I am tempted to try out a Beastlord in EverQuest II.  The hunter class in WoW was always my favorite solo class and, likewise, my lead character in Rift is a rogue who has majored in the ranger pet class, which plays a lot like a WoW hunter.  We shall see how the Beastlord stacks up.  Certainly the EverQuest version was not very much like the WoW hunter.

And, finally, I am feeling like another contest.  I think I have one just crazy enough to work.  I just need to figure out a prize.

I Beat Some Little Girls at Laser Tag

My daughter picked laser tag as her birthday activity this year, a step up from last year’s ice skating party in my opinion, because I got to participate.

So we headed down to our local Laser Quest with a pack of her friends and a few parents, where my wife had reserved a party plan which included two rounds of laser fun and a party room, checked in, got suited up, and went to war.

It was a free for all game, so there were no team and you could shoot anybody.  I did team up with some of the little girls from time to time because, in addition to our group there was a pack of teenage boys in the game.  The match ran for 20 minutes and, despite it being cold out and there being a “no running rule” to which I strictly adhered, I came out of there winded and sweating.

And much to my surprise, when they announced the results of the match, I had the top score.

Not bad for a guy close to 50 and at least 15 years older than the next oldest person in the match, one of the other dads in our group.  And he’s a fireman.  So I was pretty happy about that.  My wife said I was acting like a 9 year old at that point.

They even gave us a print out of our score.

Wilhelm Ranked #1

Of course, being a data nut, I thought the printout was pretty cool.  It shows you the list of people you hit (everybody picks a handle for each match), which of their sensors you hit (front, back, laser, or shoulder), and your point total (10 points per hit), in addition to your shooting percentage, who hit you and where, and your total score.

I was interested to see that the actual laser gun, which has multiple sensors on it, was the place I hit most.  It is clearly the biggest target.  So for the second round I told the kids to aim for the laser if possible.

We also agreed to team up, even though it was another free for all match.

Some of the Team Getting Suited Up

An iPhone 4s in a dark room lit only with black lights… not going to get you your best picture ever. (Are there any good digital camera options for indoor flash photos?)  Still, that is most of us, with my daughter and I in the back.

So in the great big indoor room, we took over one of the up stairs positions and sniped a lot, which is what I did for the most part in the first round. (All that training in Desert Combat paid off, I became the annoying sniper guy who got the top score.)  We did end up assaulting one of the other upstairs locations to flush out a group of teenage boys who had hold up in there.  It was a bloodbath.

As a group we did much better during the second round and there were relatively few friendly fire hits.  I managed third place this time around, with fireman dad getting second, and one of the teenage boys (R2-D2) getting both first place for the match and the high score for the day at that location.

All in all, it was a blast.  The gaggle of 9-10 year old girls all seemed to have a lot of fun and there was talk of coming back from most of them.  My daughter wanted to forget the cake and presents and play another round right then.  I suspect we might see a couple more birthday parties at Laser Quest this coming year.