As is usually the case, my post on April 1st about what Blizzard was up to for April Fools was the traffic peak of the month, and likely the traffic peak for the year, largely driven by Google throwing me a bone and showing me in the search results for related terms. You can see my Google search stats below.
That is an enviable click through rate as I understand it.
April second saw an increased level of activity as well as people continued to check in on what Blizzard was up to. But after that traffic slowed back down to the usual reality of 2019, which is about 500 page views a day.
Even April 1st was down, ringing in at roughly one fifth of the amount of traffic I got on the best April Fools, which was back in 2013. But I was getting a lot more traffic back in 2013, averaging about 1,500 page views a day. I am coming to the point of view, looking at old traffic and search terms, that writing about Pokemon was the secret to traffic. Writing about WoW isn’t bad, and all the better if you have a rant about the game as shaking your angry fist at Blizzard still gets people stirred up, but Azeroth can’t really hold a candle to Pokemon.
Hell, even with April Fools the month of April barely had more page views than March, even accounting for one less day. Maybe writing about EverQuest trumps WoW as well. There is certainly a lot less competition on that front.
One Year Ago
April Fools at Blizzard was mostly about World of Warcraft.
Having unlocked the four allied races available with the Battle for Azeroth pre-order, I was set to take a break from Azeroth until the per-expansion events started. The August 14th launch date had been announced.
Ultima Online‘s Publish 99 introduced a free to play option.
Speaking of things Lord British has touched, I also played some Shroud of the Avatar and then tried to figure out who it was really targeting. That I uninstalled it later probably meant I wasn’t on that list. I have not gone back to it since.
Pokemon Go got field research as a new activity.
For EVE Online Fanfest was on in Iceland, where the keynote announced the coming Into the Abyss expansion and the Triglavian menace. There was a lot of other news and tidbits out of the event, which I tried to sum up on the following Monday. CCP also got recognized by Guinness for the Million Dollar Battle.
Actually in game, we were busy up in Fade and Pure Blind, such that I am going to just list out all those posts as bullet points:
- A Tower Without Stront
- Notes from the Pure Blind Front
- Another Structure Delivered to Fade
- Fade and the Art of Structure Maintenance
- Rising to the Occasion in Fade
- Capital Ships Battle in VFK-IV – What Year is This?
- Escalating Battle Sizes in Fade
- A Return to Quiet in Fade
Good times in space.
But, in the end, the most bizarre moment of the month was probably when Daybreak, asked if Russian sanctions might affect them, went straight to declaring that they have never been owned by Columbus Nova, despite having told us they were for owned by them since the acquisition from Sony. Then they went on to try and gaslight the internet (always a recipe for success) including editing their own Wikipedia page to remove all mention of Columbus Nova, then issued more statements, and then had a round of layoffs, all of which just succeeded in bringing more attention to their absurd situation, to the point that I had to write a summary post just to keep track what the hell was going on.
All of which could have been avoided if Daybreak had just said, “No, sanctions will not affect us.” A warning to PR professionals everywhere.
That kind of took the air out of the announcement that the Angarr server on EverQuest had reached the Planes of Power expansion.
Five Years Ago
Spacewar! for the PDP-1 was up via emulation on the internet archive.
The Elder Scrolls Online launched, hitting its planned April 4th date. I did not play.
I was diving in to Pokemon X & Y, having returned to Pokemon at last.
The strategy group played a game of Civilization V that ended with a win via nuclear terror.
The Kickstarter campaign for the book A History of the Great Empires of EVE Online kicked off. We were also watching Pantheon: Rise of the Something was splutter along after failing its Kickstarter campaign.
In EVE Online proper there was Burn Jita 3, which seemed like less of a thing the third time out. There was a video. Then there was the CSM9 vote. At least there were only 36 candidates on the ballot.
In null sec we were shooting Black Legion things, because that is what we did in the CFC. I was just happy to be using lasers, those skills having been trained up amongst my 120 million skill points. There were also some posts about being space famous and an attempt at in-game blackmail.
But on the broader CCP front, World of Darkness was officially cancelled.
On the iPad I was playing Hearthstone and QuizUp… for about a week.
Turbine announced that Beornings were coming to Lord of the Rings Online.
SOE gave me a key for seven days of Landmark, so I went and tried it out. SOE also announced H1Z1 and began their love affair with Reddit and got their new All Access plan running. While on the old school front, Dave Georgeson said SOE never plans to shut down EverQuest.
Ten Years Ago
Dave Arneson passed away. He was, with Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, that so-influential gaming system that has shaped how we view fantasy swords and sorcery games for over 30 years now. There would be no World of Warcraft as it is today without Dungeons & Dragons.
We also saw the launch of SOE’s Free Realms, which stuttered a bit on day one. Soon though they had millions of people signed up for the game, but since it was free to play, not a common thing at the time, that was no indication of revenue. My daughter tried to sign up four times, so that was at least four out of the millions. SOE was advertising the game heavily on Cartoon Network. But FR did not run on MacOS, and my daughter was running on an iMac at the time. I knew she has signed up because her email used to get routed to me.
In EVE Online I was mulling over the Apocrypha expansion and configuring up a Cerebus to try out as a mission runner. I was also doing invention to make tech II missiles, which meant data cores and research agents and such, and pondering the idea that maybe using your skills should increase your skill points or something.
As usual, there was much ado about World of Warcraft.
- PETA was planning some event in WoW. I still have trouble believing this wasn’t a joke.
- In a blinding flash of the obvious, Nielsen reported that a lot of guys play WoW.
- There was Noblegarden, or Blizzard Easter, and its egg collecting frenzy.
- There was my daughter and I trying to swim to Silvermoon to find a pet for her hunter.
- I couldn’t find a copy of The Burning Crusade at Fry’s.
- After hitting level 30 my daughter, my mom, and I were all riding around together on our night elf cat mounts.
- And the instance group, after a hiatus, got back together, did a warm up run in the Shadow Labyrinth, then went on to finally collect the head of Ingvar the Plunderer. After that it was on to The Nexus.
I was looking back on two years of the Wii and the games we played on it.
On the TV we were apparently watching Castle and Dollhouse.
And then there were new comers as we brought home two wee kittens.
Fifteen Years Ago
City of Heroes launched in the US. Closed down by NCsoft in 2012, the game has been much in the news this month past month regarding emulators and such.
Most Viewed Posts in April
Search Terms of the Month
does tetris get faster
[Ladies and gentleman, somebody who has never played Tetris!]
is fortnite popular still
[Fortnite is popular still]
orcs gay game pc download
[Not willing to play a gay orc online game?]
[You are well advised to put that in quotes]
what did brisc rubal do
[Won in the end]
[Google says that is Russian for “LEGO Hogwarts”]
Game Time from ManicTime
There are a lot fewer games on the list this month. March had ten games on the list, while April has just four. And I didn’t leave any off just because they had a tiny percentage. I appear to have played just these four on my computer.
- World of Warcraft 72.52%
- EVE Online 15.21%
- Minecraft 9.78%
- EverQuest 2.49%
The total hours played was down a bit, but not by much. I just played a lot of WoW in April.
The low key conflict in the east against Pandemic Horde, NCDot, and the rental areas of both carries on. I did not spend as much time on ops as I did last month… some nights you cannot just jump in not knowing if an op will last 30 minutes or 3 hours… but I did get in and play. I got my PAP links and on a couple of kill mails to prove I am still alive.
And, of course, there was the whole CSM13 drama where Brisc Rubal and two other players were banned in a very public way only to have CCP roll back the whole thing based on further investigation. This was all apparently because somebody thought it was odd that somebody else was selling their Molok titan and felt the need to report it.
After the big 20th anniversary Norrath nostalgia binge that was March, EverQuest fell a bit by the wayside. I logged in a few times, as the anniversary experience bonus carried on into April a bit, and was revived for Easter weekend, but otherwise there wasn’t much to report there. I suspect EQ will not make the list for May.
This came up because we got the Village and Pillage update which added a bunch of new stuff to the game. My daughter helped hype this up a bit in our house, as a group of her friends have a server. That got me going on figuring out the new stuff and exploring yet again.
We had a reasonably good month of Pokemon Go at our house. My wife and I being on the same team now helps. Thanks to the luck of simply being at the right place at the right time we even managed to participate in a few level 5 raids. That was exciting. However, I wasn’t aware how hard actually catching the legendary Pokemon after those raids can be. I threw a stream of Golden Razz Berries to try and help, but did not catch a single one. Ah well.
Level: 36 (+0)
Pokedex status: 410 (+9) caught, 441 (+10) seen
Pokemon I want: Meltan, but I still have to catch a damn Aerodactyl to get one
Current buddy: Luxio
World of Warcraft
I guess if you wanted to summarize my April play time, you could just say I played WoW. I got in with Darkmoon Faire, then hit the pet battle bonus week, and then there was the WoW 8.2 Rise of Azshara preview that got me on board to unlock flying and there we go. Also, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I was big on pet battles. I did potter around a bit with at least one allied race alt. My Highmountain Tauren is now in his low 30s. But he started at level 20 and the prospect of getting him up to level 120 currently fills me with boredom.
EVE Online will turn 16, so there will be the usual gifts and giveaways and such. There was also some speculation that we might get the named expansion in May, but now that seems like it might come in June.
Around mid-month we should get the Q1 2019 quarterly results for Activision Blizzard. We shall see if it brings good news, and if good news means laying more people off.
In WoW we will probably hear more about the Rise of Azshara update. I suspect they will have the achievement unlock requirements for flying set. But the speculation is that it won’t release until June or even July.
I will carry on some with pet battles… on a new alt… and getting my rep up to exalted on my main. Maybe I will actually bring an alt into BFA. Probably my hunter.
LOTRO… I sort of fell off the wagon when it came to LOTRO. I got into the Mines of Moria on the legendary server and actually made my way through the first couple of areas. Then all those other games I played in March sprang up, so I never made it back. I think I missed the 12 year anniversary in April. Oh well. Maybe I will make in back in May.