What a month. There was nothing much of note new on the site, but gaming life and blogging time and all of that was subject to some changes as the COVID-19 pandemic confined so many of us to home. Fortunately my job is doable from home, but being there at my desk all day long does suck some of the joy out of gaming or writing. If I’ve already been in my chair for nine or ten hours, there isn’t a lot of joy in staying there for a few more to play a game or write.
At least I can go sit on the couch and play Pokemon Sword.
Good thing I got that for my birthday early in the month, as they are sold out now. I have not yet succumbed to the mounting pressure to get Animal Crossing: New Horizon though. My daughter loves it, but she isn’t sure it is a game I would like.
Otherwise it has largely been a constant series of, “Wait, did that happen this month? It seems so long ago now.” moments as the world falls further into whatever it is that we have going on now.
One Year Ago
I dug up my old Macintosh PowerBook 190cs, which I didn’t even remember I still had, and thought about writing about some of the games still on it. However, I was unable to get it onto the network, so screen shots were difficult to obtain and I ended up running out of steam on the whole thing for the time being.
Activision Blizzard was hedging a bit on what effect their layoff of 8% of the company might produce.
Perfect World Entertainment officially killed of the Foundry in both Neverwinter and Star Trek Online, ending their player made content experiment.
Steam decided that they really did need to curate games on their site, a decision pushed by their inept handling of Rape Day. The Epic Game Store, always eager to capitalize on Valve’s foibles, declared that there would be no porn in their store.
Gamigo killed off the Rift Prime retro server due to lack of popularity. It remains my opinion that the Storm Legion expansion killed the game the first time around, so having it do it again was no surprise.
A data center move brought down and kept offline Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online for longer than expected.
Over at Massively OP they were talking about “niche MMORPGs,” a term as ill-defined as most in the gaming world. Honestly, one could argue that MMORPGs are a niche genre.
Over at GoG.com we got a version of the original Diablo, and while it felt primitive it was still very playable and pretty damn good.
Niantic finally allowed players to change teams in Pokemon Go, allowing me to swap from Team Mystic to Team Instinct.
I was giving Path of Exile a shot again with their Synthesis update.
In EVE Online the March update brought new restrictions to Alpha clones. They could no longer run level 4 or 5 missions. People could buy skill books straight from their character sheet… for a bit of a markup. CCP was also tinkering with null sec anomalies. They were worried about too much ISK in the economy. Skill Points though? They were just handing those out.
There was a video of Burn Jita 6 in full 4K.
CCP Guard announced he was leaving CCP after 16 years of service.
In New Eden there were two notable ship losses, the first Komodo titan to die and a rare Gold Magnate. I also got a ship blown up as part of my Myrmidon Experiment, though that was a much less expensive loss.
There was also the EVE Ather Wars tech demo, which went well enough, even if it did not get as many players in space as the company had hoped for.
But Katia Sai was being celebrated for visiting every system in New Eden.
I was pondering the proposed level squish for World of Warcraft. My guess was that Blizzard would be too risk-averse to do it, but I was proven wrong later in the year at BlizzCon. Blizz also revived Wintergrasp, the huge battleground from Wrath of the Lich King, which was fun to visit again.
Runes of Magic turned ten and I reflected on its place in the tale of the genre.
But the big news was EverQuest turning 20 years old. I reflected on its history and celebrated its anniversary. I covered what the team had to say, which included some good news as well as a bit of hubris.
And I was still doing my own play through of some EverQuest content. I got a mercenary for my cleric, traveled to distant zones via dangerous paths, and even hit level 50. It was a lot easier to get there than it was back in the day. It was quite the tourist excursion!
Five Years Ago
I hit level 50 yet again.
The Elder Scrolls Online dropped the subscription business model.
EA closed down Maxis as an entity within its organization. It is what EA does best.
It was a Turbine roast as an insider spilled the beans on problems that have plagued the developer of Lord of the Rings Online.
Rift hit its four year anniversary, but it felt like it had been around for longer than that.
In New Eden I attempted to fly an Ibis from Immensea to Deklein. Then there was a rumor of war as the usual suspects attacked our sovereignty in Fountain. That called for a big old move op which, in post-Phoebe New Eden, meant caps taking gates. Then there was that system our foes took. And once they were evicted from Fountain, it was time for a punitive expedition to Delve.
And The Mittani declared that the power blocs of New Eden would never die. We shall see.
My daughter and I tried out Diablo III on the PlayStation 3.
I put together a review of my Kickstarter history… I should do that again.
Finally, it seemed as though some of the MMO news sites were paying attention to bloggers again… at least briefly.
Ten Years Ago
With the March 2010 month in review I was able to announce that the site had passed the one million page view mark. A minor milestone.
I was waxing nostalgic for some flavor of Rome.
EA was saying very stupid things about how many subscribers Star Wars: The Old Republic would need. It is never too early to set the bar for failure. Also they were threatening to taint 38 Studios.
I was also wondering about greater challenges in MMOs. Must all paths be equally easy?
The instance group was beginning to embrace the Dungeon Finder. However, after Mauradon we found we still had to do a chunk of external legwork to prepare for our Sunken Temple run. I also got a chopper along the way, on my birthday no less.
And, finally, that whole Derek Smart/Alganon thing was just kicking off.
Fifteen Years Ago
Monolith, backed by Sega and Warner Brothers, launches The Matrix Online in the US. It hits Europe a month later. The title is soon taken over by Sony Online Entertainment, which runs it until its closure in 2009.
The Bloodline Chronicles adventure pack is released for EverQuest II. It is free for Station Access subscribers. Among other things it gives the game destructible walls.
Twenty Years Ago
Sony launched the PlayStation 2. Available initially only in Japan, it had ten launch titles.
Most Viewed Posts in March
Search Terms of the Month
camelot unchained massive refund requests after terrible announcment
[Somebody knows what they’re looking for]
online rpg apple iie
[That is going to be a bit or a stretch. A MUD maybe?]
does concord intervene during killing spree in eve online
[All normal CONCORD rules apply]
null sec infrastructure to spawn mining belts
what plane in war thunder has the most bombs
[Going to guess it is the B-29]
wilma flintstone memes
[I don’t even]
Game Time from ManicTime
Time tracking shows I spent most of my play time with WoW Classic.
WoW Classic – 64.13%
RimWorld – 13.25%
Pokemon Sword – 10.93%
EverQuest – 5.10%
EVE Online – 4.32%
EverQuest II – 1.92%
World of Warcraft – 0.34%
You would think I would be further along, but I always find time to potter about. Also, Pokemon Sword isn’t tracked by ManicTime, being on the Switch and all, but the save page in the game gives you an elapsed time played report with each save, so I can include it in the mix.
While I did not spend that much time in New Eden in March, the time I did spend was fairly active. There was a move op north to Venal, followed by some fights, and then a move op home. Structures were shot, ships exploded.
With the 21st anniversary going on I decided to poke my nose in while my all access subscription was still running. I used the heroic upgrade on my cleric from last year’s anniversary, which promptly made his spells an unfathomable mess. But I did end up playing with the new Overseer feature. While it has a mobile game air to it, the EQ version has more depth than the EQII one does, so I do keep logging into play it.
I fear my momentum has faded in EQII. After grabbing the expansion last year and driving a few characters up to the level cap, both for adventure and crafting, I sort of lost interest and wandered off. I did a bit of the Overseer thing, but it isn’t all that compelling.
My drive to the level cap slowed down somewhat. The friend rewards, which are worth 100,000 points when you hit the highest level, drove me the last couple of months. However, daily gifts have tapered off as people hole up at home and can’t get out to Pokestops.
Level: 38 (83% of the way to level 39)
Pokedex status: 526 (+14) caught, 556 (+11) seen
Pokemon I want: Lucario, which is tough because I never any in the wild.
Current buddy: Dewatt
As noted previously, I got Nintendo Switch Lite and a copy of Pokemon Sword for my birthday, which was about a week before we all had to go into hiding, so that is some timing. I am three gym leaders in so far and it is shaping up to be a pretty solid entry in the genre. The villainous team is a little more buffoonish than normal, but we’ll see how that plays out. I just have to get myself setup to pull screen shots from the game so I can post about it.
RimWorld got the Royalty expansion, which adds a new dynamic to the game. I have that out and played through some. But even if you do not get the expansion, the launch of it also brought a bit update patch for the base game that includes a lot of nice improvements.
World of Warcraft
As usual, my time spent in retail WoW was mostly around Darkmoon Faire, though I did log in to grab a map of Gnomeregan for a post, and found that I had forgotten that they had nerfed some of the outside area as well.
A lot of time spent playing WoW Classic. I was grinding for a mount and working on some alts, but the big effort was around UIdaman where, after three weeks, we took down Archaedas. Now comes the time to prep for Zul’Farrak.
It is Blapril, so expect some blogging reflective posts and as much linking out to other participants as I can manage.
It is also April Fools tomorrow, though given the current state of the political scene in the US, I am not sure anybody will notice. Much of the last couple of months has involved public figures saying things that should have ended with “April Fools!” but somehow did not… more so than usual.
EVE Fanfest should have been kicking off soon, but that was cancelled in what seemed like forever ago, though it was just a month back. Still, it has been reported that CCP will have some news and a new trailer for us.
And it seems like a fine time for video games, especially online games. But April promises to be as relentless with bad news as March was, so the end of the month will probably feel like another year has gone past.