September in Review

The Site

Well, the big news here this month was probably that the place turned fourteen.

Just like California State Highway 14… sort of

Perhaps a lesser achievement, with this post I will have posted every single day for the last six months.

While I have posted more than once a day cumulatively in 9 of the last 14 years, I think my previous “post every day” streak was about four months in duration.  Every day for six months took a bit of planning at times.  News and my own game activity do not come in a nice steady flow, and I was out of town for a week when we drove our daughter off to college.

That this streak corresponds with me having worked from home for the last six months straight is probably not a coincidence.  While I wrote about feeling some gaming malaise due to being at my home desk all day, for some reason that does not seem apply to writing.  Or maybe not to the same degree.

One Year Ago

There was the usual anniversary post, this time for thirteen years.

I summed up the labors of Blaugust 2019, linking out to everybody.

It was September and there were five MMO news items I was still waiting for.

Daybreak put PlanetSide Arena into early access.

Standing Stone announced the Minas Morgul expansion for Lord of the Rings Online.

In Pokemon Go, Niantic added Pokemon from the Unova region.

In EVE Online we were coming to the end of the blackout in null sec.  The monthly economic report for August showed that it has a big impact on ratting and mining.  I followed up with a post showing the changes since January.

On top of the blackout, CCP changed cynos, only allowing normal cynos to be lit by force recon ships, which immediately shot up in price.

All of this generated a lot of discussion about how CCP should “fix” the game, which I felt was expecting too much from the company at this point.  There is no going back to the 2013 peak numbers.

Amid all that, Asher called the Reavers together for a deployment to the east.  We passed through Legacy space, where we were allowed to use their jump bridges, because they wanted us out there to help them with their own war.

In WoW Classic the instance group scraped together enough silver to create a guild.  After some begging for signatures, Crag Boar Rebellion was born.

I looked at our progress a week into WoW Classic.  Ula had found the white kitten already.  Then we were off to Westfall.  I also had a druid running through the night elf starter area.

We leveled up enough to head towards the first instance, Ragefire Chasm.  That mean getting to Orgrimmar.  We got in and to the instance, only to find out that the meeting stones did not summon back in vanilla, wrecking our first plan.  We made another plan and managed to get everybody in for our first dungeon run.  Ula even made a video of the run.

Then we started preparing for the Deadmines while doing some more running around Azeroth.

Blizzard was offering free realm transfers already to try and shift people off of crowded servers.  Then there was a DDoS attack that made things even worse, and a layering exploit… maybe.  More servers were added, arrests were made, and Blizz put out some videos about making WoW back in the day, which I put together in a single post.  By the end of the month things were starting to calm down a bit.

I seemed to be enjoying the whole WoW Classic experience, so far as I could measure.  And so did a lot of people.  SuperData said it was driving subscription growth.  I tried to compare the experience to the EverQuest progression server ride.

And, finally, I did a bullet point post about the LOTRO Legendary server, Homeworld 3, how Google Stadia will fail, and the EVE Echoes alpha.

Five Years Ago

The blog turned nine years old.

Some survey said it could guess my age based on my video game preferences.

World of Warships officially went live after its open beta.

As part of the Heart of Thorns expansion, the Guild Wars 2 base game went completely free.

Also on the free front, WildStar went free to play, bowing to the realities of the MMORPG market.

In World of Warcraft, the ability to fly was finally unlocked in Warlords of Draenor… provided you had all the achievements.

In Diablo III I was looking at the whole season thing.

Lord British was on again with some quotes, allowing that Blizzard could do some things well… like Diablo.  But he was more on about sandbox games, like his upcoming Shroud of the Avatar, because sandbox games generate news headlines.  His example was EVE Online, though it wasn’t clear to me that SotA was going to get the same sort of coverage.

In Minecraft I was making friends with the zombie pigmen and using a utility to see a map of our world.  I needed that map as we were all out exploring.  Aaron was kicking of our transit hub in the roof of the nether and I was ruining Xydd’s neighborhood.  Meanwhile, our hosting service was going out of business.

On the Daybreak front I was reflecting on the status of EverQuest Next five years after it had been announced.  The status moved to “cancelled” eventually.

There were expansion plans for EverQuest and EverQuest II.  The Ruins of Kunark expansion was unlocked on the Ragefire progression server while the vote for the Desert of Flames expansion was up on the Stormhold server.  Daybreak also killed off enforced raid rotation on Ragefire, having “fixed” the underlying issue finally. There was talk of the new server names for the coming server consolidation in EverQuest II.  I am not sure I liked the results.

In EVE Online I was happy, in the age of Fozzie sov, that POS towers still gave kill mails.  Even CCP seemed to think that maybe blowing things up was better than sov wands.  They were also considering going back to bigger expansions, putting less emphasis on the monthly updates.  The monthly updates still had names for the moment… the Vanguard monthly update for example… but that would go by the end of the year.

Asher Elias started off his podcast and led us off to a fight with Ron Mexxico, who was one of his early guests, and brought us to Cloud Ring in Fozzie Claws.

The monthly EVE Online blog banter… which seems to have died off recently… wanted to know what we would do were we put in charge of the development of New Eden.

Finally, I was reflecting a bit on lifetime subscriptions and noting Asheron’s Call downtime, Lord of the Rings Online server transfers, the Drunder server in EverQuest II, and Windows 10 in one of my Friday bullet point posts.

Ten Years Ago

Well, there was that whole four year anniversary thing.

Planet Michael, the Michael Jackson virtual world, was announced.  How is that coming along?  The Twitter account have been pretty quiet since… 2011.

The whole David Allen, Derek Smart, Quest Online public blame and shame fest ended when Quest Online gave David Allen some money and he went away.  Derek Smart could not help but throw in a couple final comments.  Good thing he’s been quiet since then… *cough*

CCP was talking about Public Fleets and such that were planned for their Incursions expansion.  We wouldn’t actually see them until December, but there was talk.

More interesting was a guide to suicide ganking in EVE Online put up by TooNuRacoon.

Meanwhile, I was kicking off my EVE Online screen shot contest.  All of the entries have since been posted on my other site.

I tried turning an old joke into an MMO joke.  Some people got it.  Some did not.  Some got angry, because this is the internet and that is what people do on the internet.

looked at cloaks in MMOs, and how little they resemble what we would call a cloak in the real world.

In World of Warcraft I finally got that Brewmaster achievement.

Lord of the Rings Online flipped the switch and went free to play.  We were truly among the free (to play) peoples Middle-earth then.  There were some issues with Turbine Points, though I did get my 5,000 point pay-off.

The instance group was still summering in Middle-earth.  The group was finally into the meat of the Lone Lands.  We also tried some skirmishes and talked about Anderson Cooper.

In LOTRO I also ran into somebody who was looking for a social environment similar to old EverQuest.  I wonder if he ended up on Fippy Darkpaw which, for a short time, had all the best aspects of early EverQuest.

Fifteen Years Ago

Over in EverQuest II the Desert of Flames expansion launched, the first full expansion for the alleged EverQuest successor.  (There were a couple of adventure packs, The Bloodline Chronicles and The Splitpaw Saga, that were released before.)  While it was a quite stunning new place in Norrath, I was really against those flying carpet mounts.  They just were not very “EverQuest” to my mind.  I have since softened on that opinion, SOE and Daybreak having added so many more hideous mounts to the game since then.

Meanwhile, in EverQuest, where two expansions a year was still the norm, the Depths of Darkhollow, the tenth expansion for that game… only six and a half years old at that point… went live.

Twenty Five Years Ago

Sony jumped into the console wars in the US as the PlayStation finally arrived in the here.  It had already been available in Japan for almost nine months, so quite a bit of anticipation had built up.

Thirty Years Ago

Wing Commander, the first entry in the series, and the root of Chris Roberts’ fame, launched.

Most Viewed Posts in September

  1. SuperData and Wavering WoW Subscriptions
  2. The Fall of Niarja and the Shape of High Sec
  3. CCP is Just Going to Keep Selling Skill Points for Cash
  4. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  5. Top 25 EVE Online Corporations Graph – The End Number
  6. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  7. WoW Tokens Five Years Later
  8. Getting Upper Blackrock Spire Access
  9. Time to Earn some ISK
  10. EverQuest II at Fifteen and the Memories of What Could Have Been
  11. The September EVE Online Update brings Quantum Cores to Upwell Structures
  12. The 49-U6U Fight Foreshadows Battles to Come

Search Terms of the Month

eve what amkes delve so valuable
[The bees]

how to kill marksp
[The mark needs to be skinned first]

eve online can you transfer skill poikts
[With skill extractors/injectors]

any public keepstars in eve?
[There is one in Perimeter]

Game Time by ManicTime

Total time tracked playing was down a bit from last month, which itself was the lowest month for time played up to this point, so I hit a new low.  And I wasn’t even away for a week like I was last month.

  • EVE Online – 59.86%
  • WoW Classic – 25.99%
  • Diablo II – 10.70%
  • Crusader Kings 3 – 3.13%
  • World of Warcraft – 0.32%

Crusader Kings 3

I bought, against my better judgement, everybody’s favorite medieval reality TV simulator based entirely on some many people in my various feeds going on about it.  Peer pressure.  I will say that it is not as incomprehensible as its predecessors, both of which I own.  Hell, I own all the Paradox strategy catalog, so my buying this was inevitable.  I just thought I could hold out until it was on sale.

Diablo II

I finished my play through of Diablo II, completing the main game and the expansion.  I am not sure how much further I will go with this.  The cow level is still there, waiting for me.  But there is an issue that might make that difficult, which I will get to in a post next month.

EVE Online

World War Bee continues to occupy my time in New Eden.  There are plenty of small skirmishes and what not to join in on.  We also had our first real battle that escalated to supers.  The server situation kept it from going all the way to titans, but both sides seem ready enough to go there.  The invasion itself still remains at the gates of Delve.

Pokemon Go

Another good month for Pokemon Go.  Our informal raid group has managed to catch anything new that pops up and I only need one more Mega Charizard raid to have enough tokens to get the second mega evolve registered in the Pokedex.  The Mega evolutions with their limited duration, remain less than useful overall however.

Level: 39 (94% of the way to level 40)
Pokedex status: 577 (+5) caught, 602 (+1) seen
Pokemon I want: Need some Unova Pokemon to fill in the gaps
Current buddy: Fraxure

World of Warcraft

I once again squandered that sweet, sweet double XP bonus and spent very little time in modern Azeroth.  I am sure I will regret that some day, but not today.  All I did was the usual Darkmoon Faire routine and a bit of poking about.  I am sure I will spend more time there next month though.

WoW Classic

The instance group finished up Sunken Temple at the start of the month, then went on a bit of a hiatus as Skronk and Ula moved in real life.  That echoes back to the early days of the instance group when, during the first year, I think most of us ended up moving.  So it is almost a tradition when we’re doing vanilla content I suppose.  Somewhere along the line Ula found the time to make a video about our Sunken Temple runs.  Otherwise I poked around with a couple of alts and made some progress there.

Coming Up

The big thing next month will be the launch of the new World of Warcraft expansion, Shadowlands.

The question is whether or not it will launch on the 26th as planned.  This comes up because we haven’t gotten the pre-expansion patch yet.  Bets were on it landing yesterday, but then Blizzard pulled the candidate back from the test server and now… now I give it even odds that Blizz will push the expansion launch into November. (Look for titles launching in November that will now accused Blizzard of moving the launch date specifically to target them.)

Having a few weeks with the pre-expansion patch is kind of important because that includes all the expansion story build up, usually spread out over some time.  I suppose they could condense it, or just punt on it altogether to make the ship date.  But since either would be in Q4 2020, I suspect that the revenue recognition aspect of it won’t make a difference.

So we have that to look forward to.

Then there is EVE Online, where World War Bee will move into its fourth month.  I am sure that will keep me busy and continue to provide me with fodder for a weekly post.

But CCP also plans to drop their latest mining nerf on New Eden as they attempt to “fix” the economy on the backs of the players.  CCP won’t explain their plan beyond a “trust us” level of response, but given their track record, trusting them seems a bit of a mug’s game.  They do not exactly have a Paul Volcker level of stature when it comes to economics.  After all, who created the mechanics that caused the problems they are now trying to fix?  But there isn’t a lot the player base can do but go along for the ride or walk away.  I’m in for the ride.

Then there is also that rumored LOTRO mini-expansion.  And it is about the season where Daybreak starts talking about expansions for EverQuest and EverQuest II, so that may develop as well.

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