June in Review

The Site

I was going to grouse about WordPress.com changing up the blog admin UI yet again, especially since it appeared to be change merely for the sake of change, but what is the point?  Having pretty much perfected Word in version 5.1a hasn’t stopped Microsoft from revamping its UI over and over in the intervening 20 years.

I will just illustrate what a crank I can be.


Instead I am going to grouse about something that may actually impact the site, the demise of Google Reader.  My secret hopes for a reprieve or an integration into Google + appear to have been folly.


And when iGoogle goes away in a couple of months, Google will just be a search engine again as far as I am concerned.

Google Reader has been, for years at this point, the most common RSS reader listed in my blog stats by a wide margin.  It is simple, they have only pissed off people with UI changes on rare occasions, and most people likely to be reading blogs seriously probably already had a Google account, so there was little friction getting into it.

With its pending demise, there has been a lot of talk about what services to look into.    But only six weeks ago half of the people who responded to my poll on the topic said they were still using Google Reader.  Since then, NetVibes has started climbing in my stats, as has The Old Reader.  But Google Reader still tops the chart.

After tomorrow though, Google Reader will be no more.  And I wonder if the absence of an easy to access, basic RSS app like Google Reader will end blog reading for some portion of the community.

Expect yet another poll on the subject this week.

One Year Ago

I was asking people about voice software again.  That poll is still open.

I went on about the ridiculous nature of material tiers for MMO crafting.

My daughter finally found a game she liked on the PS3.

The first Civilization V expansion came out offering, among other things, a performance boost to those who paid.  Meanwhile, the story about the decade long game of Civ II came to light.

Everything we knew about EverQuest Next was declared obsolete.  It wasn’t all that much really.

On the Fippy Darkpaw server, the Gates of Discord expansion was finally unlocked, but not before there was a tie vote.

Turbine announced the Riders of Rohan expansion, the first LOTRO expansion I declined to buy.  For somebody still in Moria, it seemed to offer few benefits for its increased price relative to past expansions.

In Rift I hit level 50, which is a special thing in game, and started tinkering with the then new instant adventure option.  Trion also announced the Storm Legion expansion, a sign of success for most subscription based MMOs.

In EVE Online I hit 80 million skill points and was playing Lemmings in DBRB’s fleet.

And, finally there was Electronic Arts which, as part of its ongoing mission to be seen as the most arrogant company in gaming, tried to tell people that Origin was the Nordstrom to Steam’s Target level business model, unintentionally insulting Nordstrom, which actually cares about customer service before the fact, not just after it has screwed the pooch yet again.  EA says they “get it” but I have my doubts.

Five Years Ago

The big news was Blizzard announcing Diablo III.  Of course, they didn’t announce a ship date.  Still, we were all primed for the announcement, there having been a surge in Diablo II nostalgia at the time.

The Empyrean Age was upon us in EVE Online, if you could stay logged in.  CCP went looking for a fix and found one eventually.  When I could get a break on connectivity I went out to try a factional warfare mission.  It did not go well.  After that I moved back to Amarr space again and started in on level 4 missions.  And while that was going on, the skill point meter rolled over to 20 million.

Meanwhile, around the house, Summer began and it found us playing with LEGO and Pokemons.

Norrath was calling as SOE launched their huge Living Legacy marketing campaign.  I picked up some nifty stuff in EverQuest, but never really got rolling with EverQuest II during the promotion.  Of course, not everybody was happy about the campaign.  The phrase “a slap in the face” was used by some. I never got around to a post about that involving the prodigal son (I still have the notes) though I did wonder what sparked this campaign.

And in Azeroth the instance group struggled through the Mana Tombs and started in on the Auchenai Crypts.  We were struggling, this being long before the great re-spec of 2009.

New Linking Blogs

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 June

For some reason my “Feedback Issue” post, which was almost unanimously shot down by comments here declaring that it is a practical impossibility to hide numbers from users so we shouldn’t ever try, was posted to Reddit.  That in turn got a lot of people to come view it, though no visitor from Reddit left a comment about it either here or back on Reddit.  Another internet mystery.

  1. The Feedback Issue – Which Weapon Should I Use?
  2. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  3. PlayStation 4 Wins
  4. To War! We are Invading Fountain!
  5. What is it with Me and Storm Legion?
  6. Quote of the Day – The Strategy for the Conquest of Fountain
  7. EVE Online – The Odyssey Begins
  8. Walltreipers Alliance Defeated – Conquest of Delve Complete
  9. Meeting Up in Rift After the Big Change
  10. Thinking On Tank Crew Skills
  11. Neverwinter at First Blush
  12. Quote of the Day – It’s All About the Equity

Search Terms of the Month

humor planetside 2
[Then move away slowly, maintaining eye contact]

ccp eve online patch day humor
[A long and storied history there]

ccp bankrupt
[Still no]

mmos that have music
[Regrettably, all of them insist on it despite most coming up with forgettable pap]

team edward to norrath game
[I knew that vampire race would be an issue]

EVE Online

The war in Fountain dominates my time there.  Fleet ops are frequent enough that I can generally find one to join in on to help do my part in the war.  And even the ones you expect to be dull, like following Suas around to blow up SBUs, can turn out exciting when Retirement Club decides to send out a Munnin fleet to stop you.  Not that any fleet with Suas leading is ever dull.

How the war is going… well… that is a different tale altogether.  Both sides claim to be winning.  Neither side can actually produce irrefutable evidence that this is the case.  So it seems like the fail cascade has yet to come.

Lord of the Rings Online

Back in Middle-earth, my main character… and I am trying hard to focus on just the one character… has passed through all of the well worn content I am so familiar and comfortable with and is in that 40-50 gap before Moria.  It looks like I might get a second character into the nearly five year old expansion.  But can I get him out the other side and into Mirkwood?


Trion has gone all-in on the free to play front, making the cash shop the interface for all your currency transaction in-game.  Unlike LOTRO of EQ2, where you can avoid opening up the cash shop, in Rift any vendor transaction requires you to go into the the den of RMT.  Will this constant exposure to RMT currency goodies lead to greater success?  I suppose we shall see.  Right now we are in the happy time.  Check back in a year.

Coming Up

The war in Fountain goes on, so I suspect that will continue to dominate my time in New Eden.  Moria looms in LOTRO.  There is a possibility that the Saturday night group might all be on at the same time at some point, though given that we have only managed that feat once so far in 2013, I wouldn’t put money on that.

Summer means that there will be a Steam Summer Sale at some point.  Given that I don’t play most of the games I have on Steam as it is… will probably have no bearing when something I want but don’t need is marked down some crazy amount.  I am looking for Skyrim under $20.

A new expansion for Civilization V will be out soon.  I pre-ordered.  It will add in more features that were back Civ II, like trade routes.  I would just play Civ II for that, but I still cannot find the damn disk.  No idea where I lost it.

5 thoughts on “June in Review

  1. bhagpuss

    Very happy with Feedly, especially on a Tablet. Prefer it to Reader so Google did me a favor there. I have Inventory Full all backed up and only my innate laziness stops me moving it from Blogger to another platform. I am done with Google emotionally. Trust once lost is very hard to regain and I don’t think they care much about whether I trust them or not at this point.

    Mrs Bhagpuss has moved to Rift full-time entirely due to F2P. Not because she couldn’t have played any time she liked since last November when we bought the Storm Legion plus 12 months access package. No, she has no interest in playing Rift whatsoever. She has a great interest, however, in spending the 20k credits they gave us on housing items and building a variety of increasingly baroque Dimensions. Oh and fishing. She likes that, too. I’ve been trying to get back into Rift but so far it’s resisting me at every turn. It seems like a very hard MMO to have fun in these days, even with vast stores of cash shop currency and loyalty benefits out the wazoo.

    I also had a post linked on Reddit last month and it brought me a load of traffic and no comments whatsoever, from which I conclude that Reddit must have a lot of quiet folks who like to read and then mind their own business…


  2. Random Idiot

    Eve related:

    How the war is going… well… that is a different tale altogether. Both sides claim to be winning. Neither side can actually produce irrefutable evidence that this is the case. So it seems like the fail cascade has yet to come.

    I wonder why you think it has to end with a fail cascade?


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Random Idiot: I suppose it does not have to end in a fail cascade for one side or the other. Some agreement could be reached.

    But my experience with sovereignty warfare over the last 18 months has been that two side butt heads until one gives up and evacuates to low sec space. That is what happened to White Noise in Branch, Raiden in Tenal, Nulli Secuda in Delve, and Northern Coalition in Tribute and Vale. That is the “one side is clearly the victor” scenario. Unless you have that, it can be tough to tell who the victor really is, as both side will spin that they won.

    Depending on how you look at it, TEST has either bought themselves some fail insurance or already has one foot out the door, as they decided to stage their operations from low sec space from day one. TEST has been on the defensive for the whole war, and when that is the case, the only “win” scenario is not to lose.

    They come into B-D, our staging system, to fight, but they haven’t threatened the system in any way. One TEST guy commented here that the system was listed as “vulnerable” meaning that sov blockade units had been deployed on it, which is a required step for taking a system. He failed to note that they were CFC units in place, keeping TEST and allies from deploying them.

    Anyway, my point was more that things were inconclusive at this time.


  4. HarbingerZero

    “I am looking for Skyrim under $20.”

    Haven’t we all. I can’t believe they still have it up as high as they do, especially with the new GotY…err, whatever all inclusive version name they came up with this time…has launched.


  5. Random Idiot

    But my experience with sovereignty warfare over the last 18 months has been that two side butt heads until one gives up and evacuates to low sec space.

    aah, I misunderstood your use of ‘fail cascade’…


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