Well, I made it to the end of 2020, and I should be happy about just that I suppose, though it isn’t like the world will change dramatically tomorrow, or the next day, or on January 20th, or whenever. The same problems will face us and the same people will block whatever solutions might help people or alleviate problems.
One thing that happens today is that Adobe officially stops supporting Flash. You might have seen a few messages like this of late.
This has absolutely nothing to do with the blog, but it is a moment of passing for a bit of code that had a huge influence on the web. It has its roots back in the 90s in tech that powered games like Spaceship Warlock and Myst and was a gateway for many budding game devs to create projects that could be played by others. There was a whole era of crappy Flash games in the early 2000s, some of which were not all that crappy really.
And it was the underlying tech for a lot of web animation of that era as well. Homestar Runner was entirely done in Flash, as were many other greater and lesser known projects. (Shout out to Chris Coutts’ Tales for the L33T: Romeo + Juliette back in the day.) It got into a lot of places.
But a lot of stuff will just fall by the wayside and disappear. Flash got a bad reputation, especially for security issues, but it helped build the web as we know it today. And so we say farewell to it and the games it fostered. This is why Farmville is also going away today. Marc Pinkus went on at length on Twitter about the game, leaving out the bits where he stole it from another company and did a bunch of dodgy stuff for revenue and helped create the aura of Facebook games as “spammy pieces of shit.” So it goes.
Anyway, here we are at the end of the year and post number 405 for 2020. It was going to be post 404 with a cute “not found” joke, but then that titan fight happened last night.
405 puts 2020 behind 2019, which had 412 posts, but one ahead of 2018, which hit the 404 mark. Did I make a joke about it back then?
One Year Ago
After many slipped dates and fan push back, Daybreak decided to shut down PlanetSide Arena, their attempt to re-capture some of that battle royale lightning that H1Z1 held briefly when it launched.
On the bright side, EverQuest launched its 26th expansion, the Torment of Velious.
I also made a pilgrimage of my own in old Norrath.
CCP experimented with a day of no downtime. I heard later that this caused problems and the next downtime had to run long. You just have to reboot New Eden once a day I guess.
CCP also brought in the HyperNet Relay gambling mechanic, the new wallet UI, and the Kicking over Castles update to make blowing up structures a bit easier. We got the Naughty or Nice holiday event which included a station to refurbish melted snowballs.
The holiday season also came to WoW Classic and EverQuest II.
Blizzard introduced battlegrounds to WoW Classic early to stem the completely predictable carnage that came about from the introduction of the honor system. We also got the key chain and paid character transfers.
In WoW Classic we hit our peak group size as six of us ran off to the Scarlet Monastery graveyard. Back in vanilla a bunch of dungeons allowed raid groups of 10 players. Skonk and I also got our paladins out for the Test of Righteousness class quest.
We were also back in Gnomeregan for some quest clean up with Earl. I had to swap to my pally so he could tank. And then we went back with a different group mix. Then we went back in again to get Moronae the Crowd Pummeler 9-60. Finally, we went back to Scarlet Monastery to run through the library.
Then I reviewed my WoW Classic characters four months into the launch.
On the retail WoW front I broke the story of the rejected squish ideas.
I was still running around tuning up my main in EverQuest II until the Blood of Luclin expansion launched. Getting to Luclin was a bit of a chore, at least the first time through. From there the run to level cap was pretty quick.
And, it being December, there were the usual reflection on the year gone by. I looked at my games played, reviewed my 2019 predictions, looked at the books I read, and reviewed highs and lows of the year.
I also did a Decade in Review post about gaming related stuff.
And then 2020 hit. But that is another tale altogether.
Five Years Ago
Thanks to The Force Awakens coming out, George Lucas was in the news and rationalizing his “Han didn’t shoot first” change. I wasn’t buying it. There were certainly other things he could have changed.
It was December, so I had to go over the usual posts, scoring predictions, looking back at the highs and lows of the year gone past, looking forward to what I might play 2016, and something about the inevitable Steam holiday sale. I also made a chart to show what MMOs I was playing in 2015 because everybody else was doing it. I totally forgot to make that chart again this year.
There was the Operation: Frostline expansion in EVE Online.
In New Eden I got blow up trying to slip a Caracal out of Fountain. It happens. On the other hand, I did get my first kill mark on another solo op. I also hit 150 million skill points, an achievement soon to be made trivial by skill injectors.
The much reviled Fountain War Kickstarter was finally cancelled, as it was clearly not going to get anywhere close to its $150K target. But was that going to bank the flames of the brightly burning Goon hate? (hint: no)
On the EverQuest front, the Phinigel “true box” server opened, a retro progression server that was supposed to keep people from multi-boxing groups.
Ten Years Ago
That December I had one of my all-time most popular posts, Talking Cats Playing Pattycake! You can thank me for not taking the hint and going all talking cats, all the time. Or hate me for not doing that. Take your pick. And We Didn’t Start the Fire? Nothing.
But I still had kitty pictures. Awww.
I still think that if you label a window “Currency” it ought to show all your currency, not just the odd-ball stuff.
I was still feeling the sting of ThinkGeek teasing us with the iCade at April Fools, all the more so because some pretenders were on the scene.
Turbine was giving away 10,000 Turbine Points, which comes out to real, and possibly taxable, value in real world dollars. The comments on the post were obviously not from tax professionals.
I visited EverQuest for long enough to find a house. And then I was out of money.
In EverQuest II they were starting the run up to vampires.
And I summed up what we knew about The Agency to that point… which was bupkiss.
In World of Warcraft, Cataclysm launched. If you weren’t in the beta, there were still scams promising to get you in. There was the digital pre-order, which worked for me. And one final hardware upgrade we needed at our house before the expansion launched. And then there was picking a new character for the re-rolled instance group in Azeroth.
The U.S. release date for Pokemon Black and White was announced at last.
Fifteen Years Ago
CCP dropped the Red Moon Rising expansion on EVE Online, introducing a host of new ships including titans and motherships. They also introduced a new tutorial and new player experience, so some things never change.
Asherons Call 2: Fallen Kings, the sequel to Asheron’s Call, was shut down by Turbine. Revived again some years later, it and its predecessor were both shut down when Jeffrey Epstein, Columbus Nova, and/or Daybreak Game Company acquired the MMO portion of Turbine and created Standing Stone Games. The open question remains as to who might own the AC/AC2 IP at this point. Warner? Daybreak? EG7? Jeffrey Epstein? The Russians? [Edit: Massively OP says that WB still owns it, which means it is as dead as any IP can be.]
Twenty Years Ago
The second EverQuest expansion, The Scars of Velious, launched. The icy continent of Velious brought frost giants, Coldain Dwarves, and more dragons to Norrath. It also introduced The Sleeper, a once per server event.
Most Viewed Posts in December
Search Terms of the Month
what were brad’s aradune stats in everquest
velius porno 69 ano 14
[Make up your mind]
will scaling kill wow boring
[It wasn’t the best feature in BFA certainly]
how to rush through all wow expansions
[You don’t even have to do that any more]
eve dodixie losing status
[I’m not sure it had much to begin with]
can you buy skill points in eve online?
[Yes. Next question.]
eve skill pints per isk comparison
[That’s a bit more difficult]
Game Time from ManicTime
My game play time went in something of a reverse flow in December. I came off the big WoW Shadowlands binge at the start of the month, focused a lot on WoW Classic in the middle, and then World War Bee activity picked up in the back half of the month, culminating in last night’s titan slaughter fest.
- EVE Online – 53.14%
- WoW Classic – 34.20%
- World of Warcraft – 11.78%
- About Us – 0.88%
Oh, and I played About Us for about 90 minutes in the middle of all of that.
There was still World War Bee to keep me busy. With the enemy camped on our doorstep fights have been easy to come by. Somebody is always trying to provoke the other side into doing something dumb. I’ve seen fights over anything from bait titans to a bait Raven in T5ZI-S. And then there was the Catch deployment, where Reavers went out to join in with The Initiative to lay siege to Legacy Coalitions backfield… some more. And then there was the battle in M2-XFE yesterday and early this morning. We will have to see how that affects the war.
We got released to start working our way to level 50 this month. The xp climb is very steep, but there are also a series of tasks, sort of feats of strength, to accomplish before you can level up, even if you already have the xp. The big one for level 41 is to catch 200 Pokemon in a single day. I managed that sitting in the parking lot at the ER at just after midnight where a couple of Pokestops were close by. (Daughter is fine, but why do these things always happen so late at night?) They don’t let people hang out in the ER due to COVID-19, so I had little else to do while I sat and waited for a few hours.
Niantic also started releasing Pokemon from the Kalos region (Pokemon X & Y) into the game.
Level: 40 (50% of the way to 41 in xp, all but one task complete)
Pokedex status: 611 (+18) caught, 637 (+21) seen
Mega Evolutions obtained: 9 of 9
Pokemon I want: Still need some Unova Pokemon to fill in the gaps
Current buddy: Zwelious
World of Warcraft
What else was there beside the Shadowlands expansion? I made it to level cap, chose a covenant, and have messed around with that some. I am not as taken by the whole thing as some… I don’t feel compelled to log in every night… but I am not unhappy with it either.
I think “Blacksmithing and Blackrock Depths” sums up much of my time in WoW Classic this month, though I did spend some time with my alts as well. Doing the blacksmithing stuff got me to get my druid out to harvest kingsblood and my pally out for any spare iron, and I ended up playing them as well. I also did a bit of the Winter Veil activities, though not the whole routine.
But, as noted at the top, a change of arbitrary numbers won’t change the plight we’re in. Tomorrow is just another day and it is quite possible the new year will vie with the old when it comes to total misery caused.
Here you can expect the usual. There will be a post tomorrow looking into the new year. I have a 2020 games post still brewing. Otherwise I will likely play the same games, write about them in the same style, and report and comment on bits of news that are related.
We still need to go back to Blackrock Depths in WoW Classic. Shadowlands is still calling.
There is a rumor that PAPI might try to make a big push against the Imperium come January. I suspect if they can break into 1DQ1-A or Helm’s Deep they will have destroyed enough of our stuff to declare victory and go home to rest for a bit. It has been a long war of sustained combat. And, as mentioned in my earlier post today, there was that big titan battle over a Keepstar timer. Will that change anybody’s plans?