I was actually warming a bit to WordPress.com’s new stats page, in part to the face that it lets you download the data in CSV format. I like that. Not enough to make me give up the old stats page, but at least I have a reason to go to the new one.
So I was afraid I might not have anything to complain about here… and then I noticed that they took away the tool tips from the calendar in the side bar.
You used to be able to mouse over a date and it would show you the titles of the posts that were published on that date, which was a REALLY handy feature for somebody like me who goes back and reviews old posts. So WordPress.com makes me rage again. How did this help anything?
Also, in the run up to the 10th anniversary of the blog I am adding a “Ten Years” ago section to the month in review. Unlike the one and five year sections, this won’t link to posts I made quite yet, but will bring up news and like foundation items related to things I’ve covered here.
Finally, tired of trying to fine a pair of new linking sites every month, something I have managed for all but two months so far during the life of the blog (or 110 time out of 112 tries) I am going to retire that section. Instead I will feature a couple of sites from our little corner of the internet. We shall see how that works out.
One Year Ago
The Elder Scrolls Online announced they were ditching their mandatory subscription model.
We bid farewell to Massively and WoW Insider as AOL pared down their web content presence yet again.
At long last Runic was poised to deliver the Mac OS version of Torchlight II. I just didn’t care any more.
Anet surprised exactly nobody and announced a Guild Wars 2 expansion.
Elite: Dangerous was making me feel like an incompetent boob… well, more so that usual.
Smed took the bait and wrote “money grab” in a tweet, which then became a gaming news headline. Of course, he was also saying things about disgusting carebears and telling us things were not MMOs when they were clearly labeled as such.
Sony players were told they would get as much as 450 SC for the great downtime of 2011, while the lawyers would pocket $2.75 million.
PlanetSide 2 got a record for what I considered a somewhat dubious achievement.
The Lord of the Rings Online Producer’s Letter wasn’t impressing me, to the point I was wondering whether anybody else might create an open world Middle-earth game.
In WoW I got in and did the 10th Anniversary Molten Core event at the last minute. The instance group was discovering that you had to be level 92 to do just about anything in Gorgrond. I was also opining about garrisons in Draenor. I had five after all.
In EVE Online it was time to usher in YC117. There was also a video about the age range of the New Eden player base, the Proteus expansion, Gevlon was making more friends, and the Reavers deployed again, passing though Thera on the way,
And we had to say goodbye to our little Trixie cat.
Five Years Ago
TERA was trying to win notice by telling people how they had boars in their game! BOARS! Can you imagine?
EuroGamer tried to tell us PlanetSide 2 would be out by Q2 2011.
Rift, on the other hand, gave us a more believable release date.
It was time to start messing with the then new EVE Online character creator.
DC Universe Online launched. I played in the beta just long enough to remind myself I am not a superhero kind of guy. Sales of the game were pretty evenly split between Windows and PlayStation 3, but play time seemed to be impacted by American Idol when it came to the console side of the house.
Of course, that was back during the subscription era of MMOs, when Smed was telling us what paying a subscription to lead us to expect.
I used Google to tell me World of Warcraft’s five most pressing issues at the time.
Meanwhile, the Twilight Cadre was back in Azeroth in force and checking out Cataclysm. We got our first guild achievement. Our group of new characters, four worgen and a gnome, went through Westfall and all its phasing magic, wailed in the Wailing Caverns, before settling down to a pattern of doing three instances every Saturday night. I wasn’t sure if we had skilled up a lot or if the game had been dumbed down that much, but clearly the 1-60 game in Cataclysm was proving to be not much of a challenge.
The official World of Warcraft magazine was asking me to renew my subscription, though they weren’t really up to mail merge technology it seems.
There was some cool stuff in Cataclysm. I like the balloons. Redridge, never one of my favorite places, got turned into a fun solo experience. And there was the Murloc combat ability. But otherwise, the game was starting to lose us.
And, finally, Pokemon was coming to town.
Ten Years Ago
SOE announced that they were going to merge EverQuest II servers a little more than a year after the game went live, trimming the server count down by folding 10 low population servers into 10 low to medium population servers. The reason given is that the world was sooo big that the population was too spread out. I’m pretty sure most people thought that the game had just lost too many players to WoW to make that many servers viable since MMO populations are rarely evenly spread but tend to form a bubble in the latest content.
Nintendo, which was still selling the GameBoy Advance (and would continue to here until 2008) announced the first major update to their crazy two screen DS handheld platform. The new Nintendo DS Lite would end up being, in my opinion, one of the finest handheld consoles ever, with sharp screens, a compact form factor, excellent finish, and great battery life along with continuing the backward compatibility with the GBA. The only problem I ever had with my cobalt blue unit involved me getting old and being unable to read text on the screen without glasses.
Featured Sites of the Month
So for the inaugural run of this, and I am not sure really what I want to do here aside from not go scouring blog rolls every month, I am going to call out a blog:
Bhagpuss, writes about all sort of MMORPGs I no longer, or never will, play. He is, in his own way, the anti-elite player, being more interested in setting, story, and exploring the corners of things. And his blogroll side bar makes for a good reading list.
Then for a bigger site I want to mention:
Feldon keeps track of all of the information you need to know about EverQuest II without feeling the need to fill space with a lot of fluff. Excellent signal to noise ratio. I wish every game I played had a site like EQ2 Wire dedicated to it.
Most Viewed Posts in January
Search Terms of the Month
[I think you might have your fingers on the wrong keys]
heir to the empire 20th anniversary audiobook
[Wow, Google has sent you to a relevant result!]
fans unsubscribe wow over flying in draeno
[I think they unsubscribed long before that was an issue]
[They are many and varied]
With the onset of patch 2.4.0 and Season 5 I found myself playing a lot more Diablo III. I was previously somewhat indifferent to the whole “seasons” thing, having started out on Season 4 only to give up after an hour or so. I think I made better choices this time, particularly by picking a class I already liked and upping the difficulty, so I ran through and made it to level cap. I am in the third chapter of seasonal achievements. We shall see if I can stick it out through all of them and collect the goodies.
A modest month in New Eden picked up when Reavers and KarmaFleet deployed down to Querious. Things started out fun, but then locals got in a panic about Goons. Now we are dodging much larger fleets, which can carry its own sort of satisfaction. Somewhere along the way we even took sovereignty in a system for a bit, just because.
Minecraft has felt some neglect this month, though mostly because I finished another big project and am thinking about what to do next. I also have a couple of posts I want to do about what has been up. Aaron is our most active user of late, and he has built quite an array of devices that I will want to feature at some point.
It will be February tomorrow, but it will still be gray and gloomy… which is fine with me. Of more bother is the Super Bowl 50, which is happening about 15 minutes up the road from our house. A zillion fans, press, and hangers on are about to descend on the valley, so it might be a good time to leave.
In EVE Online we have the February update coming up, which will include skill stripping and selling. Meanwhile, the Reavers/KarmaFleet deployment is expected to last for a while.
It will also be the height of the CSM silly season with many a plea to get out the vote as though there were a candidate one could vote for that would have any effect on anything. Stabs wrote something about “regulatory capture” when the opposite is actually the case. This is just CCP co-opting critical player groups so they can pretend like they are listening. It is all PR and it has been since it the plan was announced back in 2008.
As for other MMORPGs… well… I guess I don’t play any other MMORPGs these days. Minecraft and Diablo III both scratch bits of that itch I suppose. I’ll probably have a post about that.
That isn’t much going on in February, but I am sure I am forgetting something.