Monthly Archives: August 2013

On The Far Side of Moria

The odd thing about Moria is that, as a region, it gets much better as you move along.

That seems like a way to drive people off… though if you seek to reward persistence, I suppose it has some merit.

The initial quests are dull, presented in the usual quest-hub style, and involve a lot of running back and forth.  You end up getting sent back out of Moria at first and then, once inside, areas are dark and narrow and not very interesting.  I can see why I gave up the last time around within the threshold of the area.  It is something of a let down after all the build up in Hollin.

Moria Zones

Moria Zones

This time I persisted.  First the environments got better.  I found the Waterworks to be quite the place to just run around and sight see.  The quests were about the same and involved running back and forth pretty much constantly.  I wore out the paths around the Rotting Cellar.

From there I made my way to the Redhorn Lodes, where the quests moved from the strict hub dynamic to what I would call a much more organic approach.

Plus it is really red-ish

Plus it is really red-ish

You end up picking up quests along the way… though it took me a bit to notice the “you have a new quest” indicator on the right side of the window, as I associate that with the seasonal/holiday events… and some you can turn in on the fly, some send you back to a hub, while others move you forward to a new location.  And, like the Waterworks, the environments were still a draw in and of themselves.

Giant dwarves everywhere

Giant stone dwarves everywhere

I then made my way into the Flaming Deeps which continued the more organic approach and sent me through more epic environments.  At the end of that I was level 59 and moving into Nud-melek.  There were a few of the “back and forth” quests at the top, but then it evolved into a “take your quest giver with you” set of objectives that brought me to the bridge of Kazad-dum, which was broken.

Like the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge

Like the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge

That was actually a pretty neat moment, and in my head I was all, “Wow, this is where Gandalf fought the balrog that was Durin’s Bane!”

And then the more logical part of my brain pipped in with, “You know, that didn’t really happen.  It was a made up story you dolt.”  Why can’t I let me enjoy my moment?  But I was immersed for a moment there.

Anyway, I stood there looking across the abyss, wondering how Turbine was going to get me across that gap.  There is a whole new zone to explore… an outdoors zone… on the other side.

If you stare across the abyss, does it get annoyed?

If you stare across the abyss, does it get annoyed?

I wondered if the orcs had built some sort of rickety contraption to get over the great gap that separates the first and second halls of Moria.

And would I trust this over such an abyss?

And would I trust this over such an abyss?

Or had the dwarves now swarming Moria built up some sort of crossing already?

And, as a secondary thought, where did all those dwarves come from?  The soon-to-be-broken fellowship of the ring passed through here… what… fifteen minutes before I got here?  Back in Hollin I was picking up their fresh trash, putting out their campfires, and generally acting as cover and janitorial service.  Makes you wonder what kind of ranger Aragorn really is.

But now there are hundreds of dwarves swarming the place.  They have set up encampments all over and created a regular goat subway system, with standard cross-town goats as well as a spoke-and-hub insta-goat transit service.  They have a settlement in the twenty-first hall with a bank, a crafting hall, an auction house, and regular postal service.  And I am pretty sure they were building a strip mall there with a Starbucks, a Noah’s Bagels, and a Chipotle.

Did I bump my head somewhere between Hollin and Moria and fall asleep for a year… or five… or twenty?  Is the war over?

And speaking of the war, what are all these dwarves doing in Moria screwing around with public transit projects?  Don’t they know Sauron needs to be defeated?

Yeah, sometimes it is a burden to have to live inside my head.

But after all of that, how I ended up getting to the other side of the chasm did not seem like a big deal.  We just walked around.

Chasm - Deep, wide, but not so long

Chasm – Deep, wide, but not so long

Yes, Moria’s main line of defense, the chasm with the single bridge that no army could cross if even a dozen dwarves opposed them, has a big old gap about two football fields up the way.  And it isn’t like this was something new, a landslide caused by a balrog hitting the bottom or anything.  If you look at the map, they built a road that followed that path.  There is a whole Durin’s Way bypass/business loop that lets you avoid the rush hour traffic over the bridge.

So Svanr, my personal dwarf quest giver, and I did some quests, then went ’round the bypass, then did a few more quests that involved killing some orcs and destroying a few mining carts..  I hit level 60 while that was under way.

Officially Level 60

Officially Level 60

I now only have five levels of experience boost left in my pocket.

Derudhs Stone

Actually, that is an old screen shot.  I think the stats now show the maximum level as 64, so once you hit 65, you have to find something else to put in your pocket.  Turbine will sell me an upgraded, good to level 74 version for just 495 Turbine Points if I so desire.

Anyway, from there, Svanr and I headed to the first hall, where he then brought me on a little quest for my first peek outside of Moria.

We see the Dim

We see the Dimrill Dale at last

The goal was to point me at the first quest hub on the path to Lothlorien.  Though it was an odd quest, as it happened in a special instanced version of the zone where the quest hub wasn’t active yet.  I just had to go there, click on somebody, come back to Svanr, then it was back into Moria again to finally finish up, get a new title, a new goal, and to ride back out on my own.

To the exit!

To the exit!

I was mildly disappointed to find that you cannot walk/ride through the gates of Moria.  There is a zone teleport in the first hall that drops you outside of Moria.  I get why they did it.  It is the gateway between expansions, so they need to keep people who do not own the expansion out.  Or they did at one time.  I think now you can travel through them all, you just don’t get the quests or some such.  Anyway, I have a new zone to explore.

To Lothlorien

To Lothlorien

I am standing on the edge of a new expansion.  Or close to the edge of one.  And who keeps putting down damp cups on all the maps?  Could Turbine not come up with a different “this map is either old and weathered or was once a Denny’s place mat” graphic?

Not here, but I can see if from here

Not here, but I can see if from here

It is possible I could make it into the Siege of Mirkwood this time around, finally finishing up the expansion I bought five years ago and starting the one I bought four years ago.

At this rate I might have to buy Riders of Rohan some day.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Throwing Itself Under the Subscription Bus?

I moan a lot about the price we pay… both in cash and annoyance… for games that go free to play.  That is, in many ways, a reaction to people that seem to believe that “free” really means “free” and that there is absolutely no downside to dumping the monthly subscription model.  I try to sum it up from time to time.  But I still see plenty of people giving the free to play model unconditional their love.

That doesn’t mean I have left planet Earth however.  I can see still the scoreboard.

The reality of the situation today is that, if you are a new MMORPG on the market, the barrier to entry for the vast majority of your competitors is pretty low.  A couple games can get away with just a monthly subscription plan at this point.  World of Warcraft, because it remains more popular than any five western MMOs you care to mention.  EVE Online, because it offers an experience unlike any of its competitors.

But after those two, the market is pretty much free to play, with a few niche subscription model games hanging about.  Darkfall stuck with the monthly subscription because it is a niche game.  Camelot Unchained will have a monthly subscription under the current plan, but it seeks a niche and not market dominance as well.

So if you are going to go into the MMORPG market and you want the maximum number of players to play your game, free to play seems to be the only way to go.

Unless, of course, you are bringing a brand new experience to the genre.

I mean, if you have something that people will seriously want and won’t be able to get elsewhere, then there is your market advantage.  If you believe in it, you can skip free to play and move directly to Go, collect $200, and get with the monthly subscription plan.

But you had better well and truly be right.  Because everybody seems to think they have something special.  And the last few who have put their money where their mouths were on being special enough to command a monthly subscription… SWTOR or Rift or The Secret World for example… had to retreat from those positions.

So if you have an MMORPG project under way and you are considering a monthly subscription plan as the sole method of playing your game, you gotta to ask yourself a question, “Do I feel like a special snowflake?”

Well, do ya, punk?

So it was a surprise to me yesterday when WildStar came out swinging with the monthly subscription model.  Carbine has some interesting idea, but for the most part the game seems to be a mild remix of the same old thing.  More evolution of the genre without any “secret sauce” in evidence.  They left themselves a “free” fig leaf with CREDD.  But if that makes a game free to play, then EVE Online is free to play as well.

And, in a one-two punch, I was surprised again today when The Elder Scrolls Online threw in with the monthly subscription model.

Of course, I remain surprised that they are making this game as an MMORPG in the first place.  The primary “win” for this game is to fill the demand for people who love The Elder Scrolls games and who want to play them with their friends.

In playing Skyrim, my biggest disappointment so far is that I cannot play this with Potshot and the rest of our regular group.  My daughter, on watching me play, her eyes wide as she took in the scenery, asked, “Is this multiplayer? Can I play with you?”

So my first question is why this isn’t being developed as a 4-6 player co-op game in the style of Borderlands, with a ton of DLC to help finance things?  I may be missing something here, but that seems like the win.

But no, it is going to go the MMORPG route.  And the team has a reasonable tale as to why they feel it needs to be subscription, which I would sum up as “we don’t want to pollute the game with all the necessary evils that a free to play game requires in order to make money.”  You should read that article in full and soak in what they are trying to say.  It points at a lot of the things I complain about in free to play, and it is refreshing to see a developer in the genre admit that they might be an issue for some players.  The usual line seems to be “suck it up.”

Maybe they are right in going that route.  Certainly the franchise would not be enhanced by an in-game cash shop, crazy mounts, pirate hats, and lock boxes.

And maybe they can afford to.  The Elder Scrolls is a pretty impressive franchise.  That name alone should sell a lot of boxes.

And perhaps they have a plan.  Maybe they are not shooting to eclipse WoW, but to meet a sensible goal that they know can sustain the business and let them keep the subscription plan that they feel best fits the tone they want to set for the game.

Or it could all be a crass attempt to grab as much cash up front as possible while keeping their servers from getting completely swamped on day one while they work on pink cow mounts, pirate hats, and “talk to the hand” emotes for the big free to play transition nine months down the line.

We shall see.

But the monthly subscription model appears to still have some adherents in the industry.  Not everybody appears to have drunk the cash shop Kool-Aid.

Do these two games, WildStar and The Elder Scrolls Online, have something special?  Do they have what it takes to sustain themselves on a monthly subscription model?  Or are we just watching two more victims of self-delusion headed for a fall?

And is the move by these two, plus Final Fantasy XIV, a last gasp for the monthly subscription model, just a chance to poke Smed in the eye again, or a harbinger of change?

Quote of the Day – Defending SWTOR… Badly

Was this supposed to be sarcastic?

kuja1988a

That was my exact thought when reading the Massively Hyperspace Beacon post Six misconceptions about SWTOR free-to-play.

The post purports to defend the SWTOR free to play model from people who “make it out to be something that it’s not.”

And yet, for me, the article managed to damn the game through defensiveness and hair splitting to the point that I really had to question if the author was secretly trying to undermine the game while pretending to be a fan.  Was this SynCaine writing under a pseudonym?  The author seemed more keen to reinforce than debunk a couple of his assertions.  For anybody looking to play the game for the first time, the post is not much of an endorsement.

I certainly had some trouble reconciling that post with the words of SWTOR’s lead designer, who says he has gotten religion about free to play, and who recently wrote:

One of my mantras about being a free-to-play game is that, in order to call yourself that, your evangelists have to feel good about telling their casual friends, “Yeah, you can totally play for free!”

I guess you can still feel a little guilt for not telling your casual friends that the restrictions on free will come early and often and will seem at times like they are specifically designed to make the game frustrating to play unless you pay.

Not that such methods makes SWTOR unique in any way.  I seem to recall that at one point somebody from SOE came right out and said that their model was to drive people to subscribe if they really wanted to play. [citation needed]  And LOTRO, which I have been playing a lot this summer, sure seems to have its hand out all the time, reminding me there is a cash shop almost constantly.

It comes with the territory, and doubly so with a subscription game that has been retrofitted into the model.

I have rambled on about my ambivalence towards the free to play model as currently implemented in popular MMORPGs.  I can see the upside.  New players, for example, are the life’s blood of such games, and free to play seems to be the only way to keep them showing up.  But I can also see the cost, the fact that revenue generation always gets a primary focus.  So if your model is based on unlocks and cash shop companions, that becomes the top priority and anything beyond that shares whatever resources are left.

The free to play model is certainly here to stay.  I am just not sure if were “there” yet when it comes to the model maturing into something I am really happy with.  But that might be a futile hope.

Has the WildStar Team Looked Into How is Krono Working for SOE?

The big news so far this week… at least at the point when I started writing this post… seems to be the announcement about WildStar’s business model.

Wildstar_logoWildStar is going for the classic monthly fee subscription model, which means they had better have something new and different to offer.  Given what I have seen so far, I hope their secret weapon is still under wraps, because the MMO market is pretty harsh these days.  The masses have spoken, and they do not like monthly subscriptions and won’t tolerate them without good reason.

And Carbine, WildStar’s developer, is working for NCSOFT (Didn’t they used to write it NCsoft?), which means the gun will be to their head from day one to make this work and work well.  NCSOFT’s record of closing down games indicates that they either have no compunction about shutting them down or they have no clue about what works for MMOs and end up backing a lot of losers.  Neither paints a happy picture.

So, yea, no pressure there Carbine.  Hope you have your shit well and truly together.

The alleged mitigating factor in the WildStar plan appears to be a PLEX-like item which they are calling CREDD.  As they put it on their site, after you buy the box and use up your “30 days with purchase” time, you have two options:

Option 1: Monthly subscription

Option 2: C.R.E.D.D.

So, the buzz after that has been people sorting themselves out into the love/hate sides of the subscription model, attempting to decipher exactly how this is “hybrid,” and generating inapt parallels to EVE Online and its PLEX scheme.

You all remember PLEX right?

This is PLEX

No longer this cheap in Jita

PLEX has been around for about four years at this point.  It has added to the usual EVE drama.  You buy PLEX from CCP and get it as an item in-game, which you can then sell to other people for the in-game currency, ISK.  You do this if you really need some ISK.  If you buy PLEX, you can consume it for 30 days of game time or use it for various account services.

PLEX works in EVE.

It works for various reasons, the most important of which is that everybody who plays EVE with any level of seriousness has to be part of the in-game player economy.  EVE is not World of Warcraft where you can say, “screw the auction house” and go run through the quest chains that lead you through the game and which keep your level of equipment… well… I hate to say “competitive” in a game like WoW… but you can get the basic job done, the bar being set low and the equipment being handed out readily making keeping you sufficiently over powered.

There is no escaping the economy in EVE.  You need it for your ship, for your fittings, for your implants, for your skills.  And the fact that ships and fittings and implants… and if you screw up, even skills… are constantly being lost to player action means that you keep going back.  You keep a few ships fit and ready to go.  You buy better fittings.  You change up fits that just are not working.  You spend a lot of ISK.

Or maybe not a lot.  If you are new, losing a frigate seems expensive.  Later on you’ll throw frigates away and laugh… if you last long enough in the game.

But another aspect of EVE that makes PLEX work is that the in-game currency isn’t an “I win” button.  Sure, it helps.  But if you can only afford to fly frigates, you can still find something to do.  And if a battleship lumbers up to you, you can run away easily.  Or, even better, you can tackle him, orbiting faster than his guns can track, and call in some friends to kill him.  Or kill him yourself and laugh, if you are skilled enough.

Look at Gevlon.  He has, through an admirable level of persistence, become quite wealthy in EVE Online.  He has made billions of ISK.  But has he “won” EVE?  Was all that ISK able to save TEST?  Is he powerful in-game in relation to his wealth?

I would say no.

Anyway, all of that is old news and has been discussed and argued over for ages at this point.  The take away from that is that WildStar does not sound like EVE, so the success of PLEX is not, to my mind, a reliable predictor of success when it comes to CREDD.  Feel free to correct me if you feel I am wrong.  I am no expert on WildStar.  But the two do not feel parallel.

No, WildStar’s CREDD seems like it might be closer to SOE’s Krono.

Krono has been out for almost a year now and it sounds a lot like PLEX and CREDD.

All About Krono

All About Krono

You buy it from SOE for real money and can turn around and sell it in-game to other players for in-game currency.  The last I checked it was available in EverQuest and EverQuest II.  While PLEX sounded like a viable plan in EVE from day one, I was a bit dubious about Krono.  (I was dubious about WoW supporting such a thing in theory as well.  Certainly the Kitten economy did not take the world by storm.) It seems like a decent idea.  It ought to work.  But it depends so much on the in-game economy, which can vary greatly from server to server, and which does not have anywhere near the buy-in you get in EVE Online.

I checked into the market price for Krono a few times early on, but haven’t heard much about it since.  So it isn’t clear to me if Krono has been a big win, a modest success, or is another one for the list of SOE science experiments that will never be spoken of again.  Did it get any mention at SOE Live?

The one ace in the whole that Krono had was the price.

Krono Pricing

Krono Pricing

A single Krono is $17.99, or two dollars cheaper than a month of SOE All Access, which starts at $19.99.  I looked into this pricing scheme in a post a while back.  It seemed like the one thing that might guarantee some Krono sales, since Krono can extended you SOE All Access plan by 30 days, just like it does a single game plan, and there are some price points where Krono wins for that.

Anyway, Krono seems like a much closer parallel to WildStar’s CREDD, so if I knew that Krono was a success, I think I would have more confidence in CREDD.

Of course, there isn’t a perfect parallel between any SOE game and WildStar.

Wildstar will be shiny and new, will be monthly subscription based, will have its own take on things, will presumably be different enough to stand out, and so on.  Meanwhile, SOE games are all free to play at this point and the games closest to Wildstar in model are pretty old at this point, with EverQuest standing at 14 years of age and EverQuest II at nearly 9.

On the other hand, some of the differences work in Krono’s favor.  The fact that some of the SOE games are older and have mature economies means that there are players out there with the cash in hand to buy Krono at a price that makes it worth acquiring Krono from SOE.  That might be an early days weak spot for WildStar.  Will its economy have evolved and produced enough wealth to make selling CREDD a viable option just 30 days after launch?  And if it has, if there is enough money in the market so quickly, is that really a good thing, or a sign that inflation will grip the economy?

That is a whole pile of questions and speculation without much in the way of answers.  Such is my usual method I suppose.

What do you think?  Is it going to work?

And, in another parallel, I do wonder where Krono fits into the EverQuest Next scheme.

EverQuest Next News Timeline

Cyanbane, one time helmsman for the EQ2-Daily podcast… at one time a pretty big deal in the EverQuest II fan base… has, like many of us, found his interest in Norrath rekindled by the revelations surrounding EverQuest Next.

Interesting times and all that.

Towards that end, and somewhat in the spirit of the old EQ2-Daily front page news feed, he has created what he calls The Timeline over at the EQ2-Daiy successor site, GuildM8s.

All the important info...

All the important info…

The intent is to gather all of the EverQuest Next related news and opinion posts into a chronological framework, with the starting point, day zero as it were, being SOE Live and the big reveal.

Now, there are certainly other places to get your EverQuest Next news.  All the big MMO sites are devoting time to the game, and some independent sites are springing up to focus on the game. Feldon, ever the master of all things EverQuest II over at The EQ2 Wire, has an EverQuest Next companion site up, The EQN Wire.  There is also EQN Extra that is focusing on aggregating news an opinion.

But The Timeline has its own unique nature, in that it does stack things in a timeline, so you can get a look at who was talking about what and when.  You can see bursts of activity when some new information shows up, and you can see things thinning out as news is discussed and digested.  This will be a way to track something I brought up last week, which is how well SOE keeps the excitement for EverQuest Next going.  Lots of white space on the timeline will mean “not so much.”

I could quibble about how effective space is being used in the timeline.  The whole thing feels really constricted in the vertical plane.  But it overall it is a new way to look at the EverQuest Next news.  Cyanbane is working on similar timelines for other games of interest.

The Timeline was announced on the GuildM8s forum in a post that includes a history of the EQ2-Daily site and podcast.    If you are like me, and appreciate such insights into the history of the net, that might be the more interesting piece to read.

At least until the next bit of EverQuest Next news shows up.

Is Your Faction Getting the Short End of the Stick?

Red Shirt Guy… you remember the Red Shirt Guy from BlizzCon, right… he got his own NPC in game… has an editorial up about the perception in World of Warcraft that the Horde is the favored faction and the the dev team prefers to work on things for the Horde to the detriment of the Alliance side of the coin.

Since he is a well established lore hound in addition to being a dedicated player, it was interesting to see his take on what has been a controversial topic from time to time.

Of course, the bias hasn’t always been that perceived the same way.  I recall a time when it was felt that the Horde was neglected because they did not have a “pretty” race.  And so they got blood elves.  And the Alliance got blue space goats.  Making things right or evidence of bias?

Anyway, this got me thinking about other games, and there are certainly times when I felt a faction was being neglected.

For example, when I started off in EverQuest back in 1999, I chose Qeynos as my starting place.  That was a mistake in some respects.  The city was somewhat neglected, was not the place to be if you wanted to craft, and was on the opposite side of a hostile continent from most of the player base.  They were all in Freeport where all the cool stuff happened.  So while I loved the Karanas, I still had to travel to Freeport time and again to by things or meet up with friends.

On the flip side of all of that, when it comes to nostalgia, being from Qeynos is now superior.  Freeport continued to be lavished with attention, getting a graphics revamp a while back.  Meanwhile, Qeynos remains in pretty much its original state, which is fine with me.

And the Freeport bias continued in EverQuest II, where at launch Freeport was a giant, over-wrought city or intricate detail.  And Qeynos was a nice place to live, but not very memorable.

In EVE Online there used to be some irregularities in the factions.  And I am not talking about the ships, which seem to favor one faction or another with each revision.  Long was the rule of the Drake and Hurricane battlecruisers before their nerfing.  But back when I was starting, there was a clear advantage to picking the Caldari faction and specific bloodlines and background, as you ended up with more, and more useful, skill points to start with.  That has since been fixed, but for quite a stretch there was a “right” choice when creating a new character.

And, to beat a nearly dead horse, there was Warhammer Online, where it sure felt like destruction had been given some better options when it came to character classes back when a lot of people actually played it.

You could go on.  the Guardians in Rift clearly got the better character models.  The dwarves and elves in Lord of the Rings Online get kind of crap starting zones in my opinion, while the hobbits just get a version of the human starter zone, then get jumped from Archet to the Shire, breaking the story line.

But you start to get to nit picking and things that are really opinion.  Some people might like the Defiant character models in Rift.

The question comes down to whether or not it really matters.  I think in a lot of cases, it really does not.  I got over the character models, you don’t spend much time in the starter zone, I’ve moved on to flying other ships, and once in a while it works out, as in the case of Qeynos.  Not that I let anybody forget the slight.

Of course, I am in favor of there being a more difficult faction available, something that makes the game more challenging for those willing to accept the assignment.

What about you?  Is there a faction getting a raw deal in your game?

Who Holds the Oldest Null Sec Sovereignty?

And other bits of sovereignty trivia that are on my mind.

December 2, 2009

We were chatting about the war and the shifting tides of color on the null sec sovereignty map, and the assertion was put forth that our alliance, TNT, has the longest continuous sovereignty claim in null sec.  Specifically, we have held the system K5F-Z2 since December 2009.

My thoughts, after some mild amazement, fell into the usual, “How do we know that is true?”  I have trained myself to be a bit of a skeptic, something I am trying to pass along to my daughter.

The first thing I did was look at the sovereignty maps for the December 2009 time frame.  That would show me large swaths of space that had changed hands when compared with the current map, thus eliminating those as possibilities.  The sov map archive is a treasure.

Sovereignty - December 3, 2009

Sovereignty – December 3, 2009

You can see the mention of K5F in the change list at the top left.  TNT doesn’t hold enough sov to actually show up on the map until a few months later, when the purple dot begins to show up.

The map itself is quite different from today, with many names that no longer exist, as well as a fair number that are still around.  RAZOR is actually in the same place now as they were back then, though they had a hiatus away before they returned to Tenal in the north.  The east has some familiar players, but has changed hands so many times that I doubt there are any challenges to the record there.  The Goons are in Delve… because “Goons in Delve” has the solidity of “white on rice” in the context of EVE.  We’ll see what happens when TEST evacuates.  And the only other possible contender for duration held seems to be Curatores Veritatis Alliance down in Providence.

However, CVA has had its problems over the years, losing and regaining sovereignty.  It looks, in manually clicking through systems they currently hold, that their oldest system only goes back to 2010.

So my half-assed attempt to verify the assertions appears to show that TNT’s claim on K5F-Z2 may in fact be the longest one currently running in null sec.

Now is the point when somebody shows up and proves me wrong.

What About Delve?

The word went out a week ago or so that, in the wake of losing Fountain, TEST was going to evacuate Delve and move to low sec space to do… whatever they think they are going to do there.  This struck me as a bit odd.  Various alliances have their own metrics for what makes them what they are, and I had a sense that TEST was one of those that felt they were only really a player if they held sovereignty in null sec.  I guess I was wrong on that.

In the wake of this there have been attempts to write this chapter of EVE in the usual irreverent manner.  Endie is also a treasure.  Meanwhile TEST continues to break apart and attack itself as people pick apart what went wrong.

I remain surprised at how space famous Gevlon has become in null sec.  You cannot fault him on the persistence front.  I think he has a home in EVE well beyond anything he had in WoW.

But, so far, nobody has really answered the question about what happens to Delve once TEST leaves.  The CFC has said they won’t let Northern Coalition take it, but that is a reactive position.  So who is going to be on the map in Delve come the end of the year?

More On Wallpapers

I wish I knew what was going on in the south of null sec.  I was happy in that sort of “Good for them, they deserve it” way when the Walltreipers Alliance, the one time shining stars of the fight in Delve last summer because of their Alamo-like stand in T-IPZB, showed up on the sovereignty map again as part of the tussle of alliances that took up holdings after the fall of Against All Authorities’ sov holdings.

Small Holdings

Small Holdings

I have no idea how the ended up there or whether the deserved it at all, really.  But it was a name I knew from an alliance that showed fighting spirit in the face of adversity.  Only, in looking for system sovereignty dates over at DOTLAN, I noticed that Walltreipers dropped all of their sovereignty.  So add that to the list of things I have no clue about.  I don’t know how they got there and I couldn’t tell you why they left.  But another name dropped off the sov map as C0VEN moved in.

Oddly, C0VEN appears on that map up above from 2009 in about the same place.

Addendum – If this story is correct, Walltreipers might be planning a trip back to Delve, thus linking my second and third topics.