Daily Archives: November 30, 2012

November in Review

The Site

Not much changed around here lately. Even the header image has been pretty static of late. I just haven’t come across an inspiring screen shot I guess.

I think my biggest site related activity has been updating tags and categories now and again. I often do that as I go back and look at older posts, in the never ending search for consistency.  But recently I have been updating some posts as part of a plan.

For example, about a year back, when I think I finally decided that the month in review post was going to be a regular thing… one must not be hasty… and created a category for it. However, that meant that the previous 50+ month in review posts were not properly categorized. So I have been going back and re-doing those slowly but surely. The main pain is that they, by design, link back all over the blog and so I end up with a bunch of ping-backs to myself that I then have to go back and delete. Blog world problems, I know.

I do not know if anybody ever uses tags or categories on the site, aside from me. But I use them quite a bit, so I will continue to try to maintain them. Anyway, I think I got them all, so now we can all bring up my month in review posts.  Go us.

Oh, and I hit the publish button rather than the save button two days early. I hate that.  You cannot undo that and it makes for a bit mess.  Ah well.  If you saw this early in RSS, lucky you.  Or unlucky you, depending on how you view these monthly posts.

One Year Ago

I looked back at the Star Wars Extended Universe novel Heir to Empire, which turned 20 years old. That might be my most coherent piece on the site.

In EVE Online, the upcoming Crucible expansion had a chance to remove the Incarna stink from the game. Oh, and ship trails were back. And Hulkageddon V was announced… about six months early it turns out.

I reviewed my 2011 MMO outlook. Rift appeared to be the unlikely winner, while DCUO had already gone F2P.

And, speaking of going F2P in under a year, I had my first peek at SWTOR in the beta. Pre-NDA drop, I used SWG to describe the game as nothing new. Then the NDA dropped and I bitched some more. I did not find the game fun, cancelled my pre-order, and went back to Rift.

And then there was EverQuest II going free to play on all servers, which made me wonder what else in the SOE line up might follow suit.

And then Vanguard started showing inexplicable signs of life.

On the Fippy Darkpaw server, the Scars of Velious was complete and the Luclin expansion went live. Also, breaking the retro aspect, Fippy Darkpaw players got the same new hot bars that all EQ players got with the new expansion. They actually worked like hot bars in other games now.

In Rift, we made it to Meridian and then faced our first boss while learning the rules of their LFG tool. Oh, and the damn Yule rifts were up before Thanksgiving. I swear, it gets earlier every year.

We learned of the real money auction house in Diablo III. An auction house focus for the game? I’m sure that will work out great.

And also on the RMT front was the Guardian cub pet in WoW. I did a couple of price checks on those, but somebody should probably go back and see how prices look a year later.

Oh, and WoW had lost 2 million subscribers. But it was still insanely profitable.

Torchilght II was delayed because we had other things to play, right?

AOL shut down Wow.com. That doesn’t mean what you think.

I announced the winners of my Azeroth travel poster contest.

Google was pissing me off by changing up Google Reader. I am still annoyed by some of the features they axed, but at least they fixed the layout so you could reduce the huge amount of white (read: wasted) space in the new default layout.

And we said farewell to LEGO Universe.

Five Years Ago

I was going on about MMOs on a single server again, focusing on EVE Online and why its unique set of circumstances allows CCP to get away with everybody on one shard.

I was thinking about all that vendor trash that just disappears.

I was moaning about EverQuest and accessibility again. I need to get over that.

I hit level 60 for the first time in EverQuest II and was also claiming my four year veteran rewards.

I hit 10 million skill points in EVE and bought my first Drake. (I’m now past 27 million points and on my third Drake! [2008 comment, I now have nearly 90 million points and have owned many Drakes.])

My daughter and I were playing LEGO Star Wars: The Compelete Saga on the Wii.

And the instance group was finishing up Sunken Temple in a way that gave us a before and after snapshot of the WoW 2.3 patch.

New Linking Sites

The following blogs have linked this site in their blogroll, for which they have my thanks.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in November

  1. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  2. A SWTOR F2P First Impression
  3. The War Against Super Capitals at Q-VTWJ
  4. A Guild Wars 2 First Impression
  5. Complex Gaming Declares EVE Online Best PC Game of All Time
  6. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
  7. Rambling About Motivation and What Makes a Good Story
  8. Punching Holes in British Tin
  9. SWTOR Update 1.5 – A New Hope
  10. Nineteen Years without Raising the Level Cap
  11. Woke Up this Morning, Got Yourself a Gun
  12. In the Hardware Doldrums

Search Terms of the Month

kobold candle meme
[I would dearly love it to be a meme]

wilhelm arcturus goons on a titan
[Hey, I have a screen shot of that!]

gambar macan putih animasi keren
[Indonesian… something about white tiger animations]

EVE Online

It has been a quiet month in EVE.  The war against Northern Coalition faded away.  I went on a few of the final ops, but nothing happened beyond Robin Williams going back to Neverland.  For the first time since I went to null sec, I have nothing on my kill board for the month, not even a structure.

NC fell back and now hold no null sec sovereignty.  The space in Tribute and The Vale of the Silent have been doled out to allies.  So it has been a month of training and deciding what to do next.  There may be a bright spot on the horizon though.  DBRB was tweeting about a new war, starting today!  We should know more about that soon.

EverQuest II

Autumnal nostalgia this year has come in the form of a desire to go back to EverQuest II.  And so I have been running through post-cataclysm having a good time.  But nostalgia runs are different from playing an MMO seriously, something I have a half-written post about.  Look for that next week I think.

Oh, and they launched an expansion or something, didn’t they?


I have been avoiding Rift a bit since the Storm Legion came out.  The instance group has been kind of spread out in levels between 42 and 50 for the last couple of weeks, so we have been working on that.  That explains the lack of posts on the subject, as one can only really say so much about instant adventures.

The other reason is that my other characters have been struggling to get their harvesting skills up to Storm Legion levels.  You need 290 to be able to harvest in the expansion, but in the old game harvesting tapers off dramatically around 260.  So I have spent an inordinate amount of time with just one character trying to get harvesting up.  And I have three more to go.  That has lead to avoidance and me running around in EQII instead of Rift.

World of Tanks

My flurry of activity here has tapered off a bit.  I still play a match or two a night.  I am happy in my StuG III.  I am working on training up its crew slowly but surely.  I accumulated enough experience to train for the JagPz IV, but then spent all my game cash on upgrades for my other German tank destroyers.  Binocular periscopes for all my commanders!  I have so far resisted the distraction of the British tank tree.  We shall see how long that last.

Coming Up

All sorts of “end of the year” crap, right? I will have to sum things up, review a couple of posts, make a list or two.  The usual stuff.

The instance group is all level 50 now, so we can start running instances together again.  Three more left in the old world, then there is Storm Legion.

I will probably have more to say about PlanetSide 2.  I meant to do a post already, but I really need screen shots, and screen shots do not seem to be working with my PlanetSide 2 install.  Screen shots seem to be a common issue out there, so I am in good company I guess.  In the mean time, I will just have to get out Fraps and get some pictures that way, because it is either get a picture that illustrates my point or spend six paragraphs describing what I mean in detail.  A picture may well be worth a thousands words, and with my writing, you might consider that a bargain.

Farewell to Paragon City

Tonight at midnight Pacific Standard Time, City of Heroes will be shut down.

Or sunsetted.

Or whatever it is they have chosen to call it.  But it will be gone all the same.  The heroes will be told to hang up their capes and move on with their lives.


CoH will join Tabula Rasa, Auto Assault, and Dungeon Runners, on the list of closed NCsoft MMORPGs.

The closure was announced back in August, which galvanized a chunk of the CoH player base.


Those players protested, created petitions, and questioned whether NCsoft was exploring any alternatives besides simply closing the game.  Even as time ran out there was hope of a Disney miracle.

But, at this point, it does not look like there will be any last minute reprieve.

The appointed hour approaches.

Among other things, CoH is another former subscription MMORPG that looked to boost its bottom line by going free to play.  However, we are now in an age where free to play is the norm.  Subscription only MMOs are now the rare breed. “Free” is no longer the inducement it once was.  And so, while reportedly still making money, CoH became a very small percentage of NCsoft sales, being folded into the “other” category for the last quarterly report.

I think if City of Heroes had been more core to the NCsoft corporate story, the way EverQuest is to SOE, we would have seen a lot more work on the part of the company to keep it around.  However, from NCsofts point of view, CoH might seem like Cryptic’s game.  A game that NCsoft published, then bought out, which was never a huge source of revenue for them, and was always something of an outsider.

Heroes are ever loners.

It is Lineage that is to NCsoft what EverQuest is to SOE.  It is core to their culture, popular in their home country, and still bringing in a lot of money after 14 years.  City of Heroes is just something in the “other” category, soon to be struck from the list altogether.

And so it goes.

How soon until there is a private server?  Somebody must be working on that.