Monthly Archives: October 2021

October in Review

The Site

It is the last day of the month and I know what you’re all dying to hear about.

You want to know how a month of ads went, right?  RIGHT?

Well, you’re going to hear about it anyway.  It is Halloween and that is my trick.  Treats come later, if at all.

For the month of October, up through yesterday, the ads on the blog earned a total of Fourteen Dollars and Eighteen Cents, not counting today, because the ad calculation for a given day only shows up the next day.

Results through October 30th

Not bad.  Better than I expected honestly.  It I can keep that going the Premium hosting plan will pay for itself.  Each ad served up is apparently worth about 0.0176 cents, so quantity matters.

I hope that all of the regulars have some sort of ad blocker running all the same, because some of the ads are a little too on the point relative to my writing I think.

This is an image of an ad, not an actual ad

Ula told me that she saw an ad for New World on the site at one point.  She even sent me a screen shot.

Once again, an image of an ad, not an actual ad

That sort of ad appearing here would greatly please me.

But I mostly see old people ads, which might be because the algorithm knows I am an old person.

Anyway, feedback on ads is always welcome.

In other site related news, after five weeks of going back and fourth with a random series of WordPress.com Happiness Engineers… they just put your email responses in a queue for whoever is up next… it looks like polls are working again and that the issues I pointed out have been mostly fixed.  Of course, the Happiness Engineers kept telling me I was wrong and everything was as it was supposed to be almost the whole time… when they were deigned to respond to my actual issue rather than just linking me to a help file that was not at all helpful… so I would send them an “I told you so,” but it would just go to some random person with no history on the topic.

Okay, one Happiness Engineer did, in fact, acknowledge the issue… actually multiple issues… I was bringing to them and even said they could reproduce them.  But my response went to somebody else and that was the end of all helpfulness.

Still, the whole experience was better service than I used to get when they just let rando unpaid volunteers do their support, which generally resulted in somebody giving an opinion about your blog rather than dealing with the actual issue.

One Year Ago

I started using that 34″ ultra-wide monitor.

Somebody at Google Stadia was ranting about making streamers pay.

Blizzard delayed the Shadowlands expansion.  But they were building up for the AQ war supply event in WoW Classic.  And we got a late November launch date before the month was out.  WoW seemed to be hanging on according to the Q3 2020 results.

I was also wondering if we were going to get a level squish with every WoW expansion going forward.  And then the big level squish patch hit and all our level 120 characters were suddenly level 60.  The only thing was to try it out, though it was a bit strange.  The new Exile’s Reach starter area was… new.  We put together a little group to try the level squished Northrend.

Ula made us an instance group video about our time in Sunken Temple.  Then there was the running of the Gnomes.  And then we started some prep for a little instance called Blackrock Depths.

Meanwhile, StarCraft II fell off of Blizzard’s active development list.

The EverQuest team announced the Claws of Veeshan expansion, the EverQuest II team announced the Reign of Shadows expansion, and the  Lord of the Rings Online launched their War of Three Peaks expansionette.

And in EVE Online World War Bee was in full swing, with PAPI finally trying to gain a foothold in Mother Delve.  That led to Guinness World Record setting battles, which CCP got us ready for by introducing a UI Only mode to the game.  That was some timing.  I’ll sum up the war as a list:

And outside of the war I did a bit of quiet mining in the new ore distribution plan.  The Reavers SIG turned six years old.  We got a Crimson Harvest event for Halloween.  The Howling Interdictors update gave us stasis bubbles.  And then there were the Triglavians.  They captured 27 empire systems and, with another update, they were yanked into a new Triglavian region named Pochven.  Farewell Niarja.

Sean Connery, the favorite James Bond of many, passed away.

Finally, there was the tale of the Canadian visitor.

Five Years Ago

Amazon’s game studio announced some games including the alleged MMO New World.  Being given almost no information about New World did not stop some people from banging the hype drum, boosting expectations, and generally setting themselves up for disappointment.  I wonder how that turned out?

Also announced was the Nintendo Switch, which would allow millennials to play video games at roof-top parties, if the trailer was to be take literally.

Civilization VI launched and became the first Civ title I did not acquire at the soonest opportunity.  It just didn’t excite me.  Instead I was getting my strategy game fix with Stellaris.

I reviewed the Mineserver Kickstarter campaign a year after its launch.  The units were nine months late at that point, with no end to the wait in sight.  The whole thing eventually failed to get off the ground.  Another Kickstarter crash and burn.

I made it to level 20 in Pokemon Go.  There was also a Halloween event.

Tom Chilton, of unfortunate quote fame, let out another one when he said that World of Warcraft had over 10 million subscribers again after the Legion expansion launch.  Blizzard, having taken a vow of silence on subscription numbers the year before, denied everything and claimed he was mis-quoted.

Over at Daybreak they were discontinuing game cards and taking H1Z1: King of the Kill off of Station Cash as an RMT currency.  They did give us firm dates for the two Kurnak based expansions for EverQuest and EverQuest II.

In EVE Online, while we were fortifying Delve our foes in the Casino War began to turn on each other, with Pandemic Legion and their followers declaring their intention to take Tribute and Vale of the Silent away from Circle of Two and TEST.  All I could do was give a Nelson Muntz, “Haw-haw!” at that turn of events.

Still, that wasn’t half as much fun as CCP declaring casinos against the EULA with the coming of the Ascension expansion.  Our foes would have to actually earn ISK in-game.  I wondered what that would do to the economy.

We also got the YC118.9 update which, among other things, meant the death of the in-game browser.  We did get breast cancer awareness skins.  Yay, pink skins!

At our end of New Eden there was a lot to do.  I was fighting the Blood Raider menace with my Ishtar and looking for ways to help the coalition.  Reavers turned two years old and were blowing up citadels and fighting over timers in Querious.  The coalition itself was ranging up into Fountain with a new doctrine.

And in World of Warcraft the Legion got its first post-launch content drop while my own enthusiasm for the expansion was starting to wane.

Finally, I was at EVE Vegas, but since it lasted through Halloween I didn’t post about it until November.  Also, a new version of my blogger feed was operating in the side bar.

Ten Years Ago

We all said farewell to Steve Jobs.

Tobold was predicting that CCP would go bankrupt in 2012.  I am never going to let that one go.

I summed up what I liked and disliked about Need for Speed: World.

I got Civilization II running on Windows 7 64-bit.  People still come here for that article.  I managed to get it to run on Windows 10 since then.  But it didn’t work back then with my original 16-bit copy, I had to get the 32-bit version, Civilization II Gold Edition.

I started another contest, this time for Azerothian travel posters.

I recalled the start of the alien invasion!

EA was planning to unify all of its free to play online games to use the same in-game currency… something that never actually happened… also, I think all the games on the list are dead now.

Nintendo was talking about augmented reality on their new 3DS console.  Five years later we got Pokemon Go… on iOS and Android.

The announcement of their Unity release got Gaff and I back to TorilMUD to mess around with the Tako Demon.  I had to work to remember some MUD command syntax to get his corpse afterwards.

Then there was BlizzCon.  The instance group was already bemused by Cataclysm, and the mention of Pandas did not revive our spirits.  Pet Battles seemed interesting at the time.  In coming to grips with the Pandaria announcements, I assumed that I would end up buying the expansion.

And then there were other WoW related things, like the announcement of the Guardian Cub, which some people predicted would be like PLEX in EVE Online.  Not quite, but it probably provided test data for the eventual WoW Token idea.

In EverQuest, on the Fippy Darkpaw server, after much complaining, SOE seemed to suddenly wake up and start doing things.  Problems were, you know, solved!  It was becoming a kinder, gentler server.  Sort of.

And then there was Rift.  We started scouting it as a potential home for in instance group after the disaster in EverQuest II.  The scouting went well enough that we all ended up in Telara.

Finally, I was sorting through many press releases and wondering where this so-called GDC Hall of Fame was.

Fifteen Years Ago

The site got a mention in VirginWorlds Podcast episode 33 while Blessing of Kings was telling me how to be a raider in World of Warcraft.

I was defending instancing and game company forums as well as moaning about the fact that I couldn’t find a decent video card for my AGP motherboard.  Also, Blizzard’s WoW patcher was pissing me off as well while Lore was mocking WoW groups. [Damn, that was done in Flash, so I guess it is gone now.]

Our Saturday night World of Warcraft instance group completed our first full dungeon run in the Deadmines.  That meant my first dungeon run write up.  And my second.  But we got it on our third try.  Then it was off to The Wailing Caverns.  Did anybody have a five player dungeon adventure path like WoW back then?

I decided in EVE Online that covert ops would be a good career choice.  It certainly sounds cool.  However, the effort was cut short when I got to some of the pricier skills.

When it came to the then upcoming Lord of the Rings Online, I was up in arms about pointy ears and monster play, while the approaching Age of Conan made me think more about Barsoom.

I felt that fall urge to run around in EverQuest,  no doubt prompted by another EQ nostalgia post, plus I wanted to take some pictures of Faydwer in order to compare them to the upcoming EverQuest II expansion, Echoes of Faydwer.

I also jumped into EverQuest II and got all confused (nothing new there) about the trade skill changes that occurred during the 10 months I was away.

And I spent some time carping about MMO pricing plans and wondering what pen and paper games might make good MMOs.

Twenty Years Ago

Dark Age of Camelot launched.  While I never played it… we were about to have a new baby in the house and we were having internet issues, and the world was falling apart due to 9/11… I had some friends who gave it a try.  I remember it being billed as “EverQuest without the suck” at some point.  Anyway, it is still alive, which is surprising because EA owns it.

Civilization III also showed up back in October of 2001, and I most definitely bought a copy of that.  I liked a lot of the ideas it brought, but it lost some of the raw simplicity of its predecessor.  I ended up playing a lot more Civ II even after Civ III was around.

Then there was Motor City Online, which was a bit of a precursor to Need for Speed: World.  I am kind of sad I missed it.  Of course, it was an EA MMO, so they scrapped it in less than two years, opting to go all in on The Sims Online.

Twenty-Five Years Ago

Marathon Infinity, the last of the Marathon series of shooters from Bungie came out.  That was the era of the awkwardly shaped software boxes.  I owned a copy.

Most Viewed Posts in October

  1. The Crimson Harvest Returns to EVE Online
  2. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  3. CCP Takes Aim at Cloaky Campers in EVE Online
  4. Robbing Some Space Banks
  5. The LOTRO Fate of Gundabad Expansion Targets November 10th Launch
  6. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  7. A Week in New World
  8. Watching Dune Part One
  9. CCP Releases the ESS Reserve Bank Keys and Hands Out ISK in EVE Online
  10. 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
  11. Word Ad Unleashed
  12. A Necromancer in Diablo II Resurrected

Search Terms of the Month

soe-game-today
[Not as many as there once were]

play civ 2 on windows 7
[Old OS and an older game]

ancient winter poncho
[I must insist, no Ponchos!]

всадник без головы 2.4.3
[Good luck with that, I never caught him]

Game Time from ManicTime

One game stands out on the list, and I will get to the reason why in its section below.  But it was generally a light month for me.  I did not play as little as I did last month, which was the least I played games since I started tracking my time, but it might be in contention for second place in that regard.

  1. Diablo II Resurrected – 83.52%
  2. EVE Online – 6.60%
  3. EverQuest II – 4.82%
  4. New World – 2.60%
  5. World of Warcraft – 1.07%
  6. Hearthstone – 0.76%
  7. WoW Classic – 0.44%
  8. EverQuest – 0.18%

I am not going to bother writing a section below about Hearthstone.  I played its new mode just long enough to earn the rat mount in WoW.  That is pretty much the sure fire way to get me to play.  And I really only logged into EverQuest to compare its version of the Overseer mini-game to the EverQuest II version.

Diablo II Resurrected

Clearly the game of the month for me.  That was in a large part because the inner ear infection I had after our trip to Hawaii just didn’t want to let go.  Even as I write this I still cannot hear very well out of my right ear, though the pain and most of the ringing has subsided.  The doc says it will get better over time, but you learn as you get older that your body takes a lot more time to recover from these sorts of things.

Anyway, with my head hurting I was really only good for a game that I could sit and click on, and that is where Diablo II Resurrected came in.  I am still playing it, even feeling better because it is still a game I enjoy, but at the start of the month it was all I could handle.

EVE Online

The post war quiet period continues.  I did actually get into a fleet and run off to a structure shoot late last week (kill here) just to keep up my record of getting on a kill mail every month for however many months I have managed that in a row.  If zKillboard is to be trusted, I have been on at least one kill mail every month since April of 2014.  That is kind of a streak.  Otherwise I have been logging in to check on events, get login rewards, and to keep up by PI stuff, though I have been pretty lax on that front.  Still, even with my low effort it netted me about 200 million ISK.

EverQuest II

As I mentioned in a post last week, I was suddenly filled with enthusiasm for EverQuest II, then I did the things I wanted to and kind of fell off.  I am still undecided about the next expansion, though that won’t come until late November or early December.  I also have to say that I still greatly prefer the EverQuest version of the Overseer mini-game.  I have no idea, for example, how to get new agents in the EQII version, while that is pretty much built in to the EQ version.

New World

The strange thing about New World is that I read a lot of news and blog posts about the game, and they almost all make me want to not play it.  That is generally the opposite of the norm, though I may very well have become more curmudgeonly with age.  Almost everything anybody writes about FFXIV makes me not want to play that either.

Still, I did log in a couple of times, if only to check out what Amazon gave me through their Prime Games program.  I haven’t even given a thought to transferring to a new realm or whatever.  At least there are no queues on my server, though the general lack of queues might point towards the direction the game is settling down into.

Pokemon Go

As with much else this month, I didn’t spend a lot of time with Pokemon Go, though I did go out and get a Pokestop daily, just to keep that streak bonus going.  It would have been a light month but last weekend our raid group binged on raiding and I ended up getting almost 150K xp out of that thanks to a timely luck egg.  I spent most of my Pokecoins on remote raid passes, but what else was I going to spend them on?

Level: 41 (92% of the way to 42 in xp, 4 of 4 tasks complete)
Pokedex status: 670 (+5) caught, 694 (+5) seen
Mega Evolutions obtained: 13 of 15
Pokemon I want: I need a Torkoal for my Hoenn Pokedex
Current buddy: Magikarp because he earns candy in 1km which I need for a task

World of Warcraft

It was Hallow’s End so I once more put forth a desultory effort to try and get the Headless Horseman’s mount.  I wasn’t all that into it, but I ran that dungeon at least once a day looking for that long denied drop.  It did not drop.  And so my record of failure on that front remains pristine.

WoW Classic

Since I detailed the instance group off into Diablo II Resurrected I haven’t spent much time in Burning Crusade Classic.  Though, as I pointed out in the D2R section above, I was also not really up to playing it for some of the month.  We’ll get back to it at some point.  We have not yet hit the point where we cannot overcome instances as a four person group.

Zwift

My attempt to exercise regularly has carried on fairly well so far.  My minimum goal remains a 20 minute ride three days a week and I have not fallen below that, though I have depended on the weekend, my makeup days, when work has been too busy for me to break free for a ride and a shower.

My distance so far is almost exactly the same as the drive from our house in Silicon Valley to Disneyland, at least if you could ride your bike down Interstate 5.  My stat totals:

  • Level – 10 (+1)
  • Distanced cycled – 372.4 miles (+107.5 miles)
  • Time – 20h 0m (+5h 32m)
  • Elevation climbed – 15,138 feet (+3,786 feet)
  • Calories burned – 12,296 (+3,513)

Coming Up

The Activision-Blizzard Q3 2021 earning call is on Tuesday, which should be interesting.  Will they cop to their problems on the Blizzard front or will they go with the usual anodyne phrases about post-expansion cycles and something about people going outside finally?  That will no doubt lead to a post here on Wednesday to cover how hard Blizz has been hit.

Some things are launching.  There might be an EverQuest and EverQuest II expansion, though at least one of those will likely wait until December just for the sake of timing, and the November one will no doubt come late in the month to avoid stepping on the LOTRO expansion, which will hit on November 10th.

The WoW Classic Season of Mastery will launch on November 16th.  There is also something called Endwalker that is going live on the 23rd.  That will probably be pretty quiet, right?  There won’t be a million blog posts about that I am sure.

Then, probably most important in my book, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl lands on November 19th.

Also on the list for November are new Call of Duty and Battlefield titles and the remaster of the original Grand Theft Auto trilogy,

Finally, an Elder Scrolls V – Skyrim Anniversary Edition launches on November 11th to celebrate a decade of Elder Scrolls V – Skyrim being ported and remastered for every platform known to man.  It seriously feels like the game has been out much longer than that given how often something new comes out about it.  I’d better go make sure I note that launch in the “Ten Years Ago” section of next month’s review.

Oh, and I am reminded that it is also IntPiPoMo, or International Picture Posting Month, in November.  The idea is to post 50 images to your blog, which I’ll probably do by just continuing to operate as normal.  Take the wins where you can find them.

Facebook, the Metaverse, and John Carmack

The metaverse is honey pot trap for architecture astronauts.

-John Carmack, Consulting CTO for Oculus VR

The metaverse has been much discussed in our little corner of the world here in 2021, largely due to Raph Koster and his Riffs by Raph columns over on the Playable World site where he has been writing about virtual worlds, multiverses, and the potential for a metaverse.  While he is clearly selling a vision as much for investors as for us, his self-promotion contains plenty of valuable insight.

There has also been something of a wave of NFT and blockchain proponents hyping their favored tech as the key ingredient for some future metaverse, though they can hardly drag themselves away from destroying the planet and scamming people with the virtual goods version of the property flip scam to be taken seriously.  They are are just modern incarnations of those who would sell the Brooklyn Bridge or investment opportunities in perpetual motion machines.  George C. Parker would be very much at home among them.

Steam went so far as to ban all titles that have NFT or cryptocurrency ties. (Scott Hartsman has a Twitter thread about why Steam might not want the liability that comes with those titles.)  Epic went the other direction immediately because Tim Sweeney’s idea of an argument is the automatic gainsaying of whatever his opponent says.  But Tim Sweeney says a lot of things, and he carefully caveated his statement to give the Epic Store an out.

But the big bombshell this week was Mark Zukerberg announcing his intention to create the metaverse and being so invested in the idea that he has changed the name of his company to Meta.

The memes based on this image are quickly becoming meta

My gut reaction to a Facebook owned metaverse requiring me to strap their Oculus hardware to my face and let them watch and exploit everything I do in their Horizon virtual world sim is a pretty strong negative.

The pitch has been put together in this 20 minute video which features Zuckerberg himself explaining how he wants to co-opt the metaverse idea and make it something he controls.  He isn’t so much promoting a metaverse so much as a “Zuckerverse” where he’ll be king.

Part of me sees evil based on what Facebook has become, but part of me also sees somebody who peaked in their 20s with an astounding success, becoming a billionaire over night, who now wants to top that.  Oh, and I also see somebody who has no idea what real people want or need… and maybe a bit of distraction from the bad odor Facebook is in right now as well.  Lots going on here.

And I am one of those people who read Snow Crash in the late 90s and have been hearing about the idea of VR since the mid 80s, so I am still in the target zone for online world ideas.  But Facebook driving it… well, a lot of people were annoyed/dismayed when Facebook bought Oculus back in 2014, and we were only angry because Facebook hosted crappy spammy social games and harvested our data. (Some fun links in that post. I think the Raph Koster one might be the most on the money, which doesn’t surprise me.)

More interesting and refreshing though has been the take by John Carmack, Consulting CTO for Oculus, which Facebook owns (and which is also losing its name), who gave the keynote speech for Zuckerberg’s event.  He seems much less convinced that the metaverse is an achievable objective in the way that is being presented.  The video of his presentation is embedded below, dialed up to just where he begins to speak about the metaverse idea.  He is a strong proponent of the idea, but not so much of the path it is on, and is keenly aware of the complications it faces.

The “architecture astronauts” he mentions in the keynote, from the quote I have at the top of the post, are those who like the big picture ideas of the metaverse while skipping over the details of how to actually make those big picture ideas work.

Carmack is very much about those details and points out quite a few issues with the idea of an Oculus VR based metaverse, not the least being the problem of the headset itself.  He compares it to the ubiquity of our phones and the challenge of reaching that level with hardware that you have to strap to your face and which blots out the real world, not to mention the whole motion sickness thing.  I mean, he still seems all in on a Facebook metaverse, he just just comes across as skeptical that they’re going about it the right way.

Anyway, there is a bunch there to digest and news stories abound about the Facebook announcement, so use your favorite search engine to find them, though if you want the best headline to come out of this, Vice has you covered.

Ars Technica also has a summary of the Carmack keynote if you don’t want to watch it, though I think watching it has much more impact.  There is also a nice Twitter thread that brings up key Carmack statements which is a quick read.

As for Facebook changing its name to Meta… does anybody actually call Google “Alphabet” now?  And what happens to The Meta Show, the weekly EVE Online Twitch show?  Does this help it or hurt it?

We’ll see what this looks like a year from now.

Addendum:  The Meta Show rebrands in light of the changes over the past week.

Fountain Frank announces The Facebook Show

The Group Pushes on to Duriel in Diablo II

Having made it through the narrow tubes of the Maggot Lair previously, the group formed back up to tackle the back half of Act II.  The last waypoint we had found was in the Far Oasis, so we went there to get started again.  We just had to collect some corpses for Kevin so he could raise his skeleton army to support us.  This left quite a loot pile in the middle of the desert.

Starting to see more runes drop

From there it was the usual search around the edge of the Far Oasis looking for the path to the next zone, the Lost City, with its waypoint and connection to our next quest objective.

As tends to happen, we found our way back into the Dry Hills zone before finishing our circuit and finally finding the path that led in the right direction.  Entering the Lost City zone saw the lights go out as a new quest was triggered.  Moving in the darkness in the new zone seemed to get us more spread out than usual and we managed to lose first Talon then Ulfar to the groups of mobs lurking in the dark.

Covering Ulfar’s corpse

Portals back to town helped reunite us, as well as getting the quest update about the darkness from Drognan in town once we found the waypoint, but we kept on the run around the edge of the zone until we found the pathway down to the Valley of the Snakes where the Claw Viper temple is located.

Now enter the Valley of the Snakes

The valley is quite small and the temple is in the center.  The temple is also built out like most of the underground areas of Act II, with plenty of room to maneuver save for the occasional doorway.

Getting down to the second level we found our way to the room of the Tainted Sun Altar.  Once the room was cleared, clicking on the altar yielded up the Amulet of the Viper, one for each of us, and updated the quest from Drognan as well, restoring light to the zones of Act II.

The amulet obtained

Back in town we took the Staff of Kings from the Maggot Lair and the newly obtained Amulet of the Viper and combined them in the Horadric Cube to create the Horadric Staff, which we would need later.  Until then that went back into our respective stashes as we headed next to the palace, where Jerhyn wanted us to do something about an infestation issue.

Now he deigns to let us visit

The palace is kind of a quick pass most of the time when I play.  It looks nice, but the levels are small and there are two ways down at each level, so it is often very easy to just bypass most of the mobs loitering around waiting to surprise you.

Some stairs down in the palace

We managed to grab the waypoint in the palace cellar, but it is one that I often don’t mind missing.  There isn’t much reason to revisit the palace that I know of and when you get down to the bottom level you’re going to leave via a portal anyway.

We found the portal at the bottom floor, but had once again managed to get spread out enough that it took a minute to get everybody back together.

All over the map looking for the portal

Through the portal lays the strangest part of Act II, and perhaps the strangest location in the whole game, the Arcane Sanctuary.

Fortunately there is a waypoint right where you enter it from the portal, which is part of why the palace waypoint generally isn’t missed.

The Arcane Sanctuary waypoint

We took a minute to go back to town and get ourselves prepared.  We were on a bit of a time limit that afternoon and I was expecting that we might only just finish up the Arcane Sanctuary before we had to stop, the zone being a bit of a slog at times.  The place is made up of narrow paths and single file stairs and little portals.  It is also sizable, being laid out like a four leaf clover.  The waypoint is at the center, with four stems leading out, each of which split after a way, leading you around in loops that form the leaves of the clover, coming back around to the stem when you complete them.

At the tip of three of the leaves is a platform with several chests.  At the tip of the fourth is the lair of The Summoner, the target for this part of the adventure.

Clearing out all the loops can be a long task, and I seem to always pick the wrong stem to start with and often end up having to work through at least two of them before I find the right one.

We, however, were in luck.  We picked the right path on the first try and actually seemed to get the easy way through that loop, landing us at The Summoner in almost no time, at least relative to my usual experience in that zone.  I don’t think I have ever gotten it right on the first try.

We stormed his platform and took him down, our main problem being that of getting as many of our minions to bear in order to speed the fight.  They were all over the place.

The Summoner down as our minions mill about

That brought us to the Canyon of the Magi, the waypoint before us.  We were now close enough to the end of the act that we were going to press on, head directly to the correct tomb, and wrap things up.

In the old days I would sit and farm all the false tombs in the Valley of the Kings, but with time pressure on us, we went to the right tomb, as indicated by the symbol in our quest logs.

The symbol we sought

Inside we set about looking for the chamber where we could use the Horadric Staff to unlock access to the final boss of Act II.  The tomb is rather full up with mobs, but as a group we were able to cut through them until we found the right room, placing the staff in the orifice (literally what it is called) to crack through the wall and open a passage.

The lightning is the key

Then it was time for a bit of preparation, making sure everybody had enough potions on hand.  I changed over to the paladin frost resist aura to give us a bit of help on that front, though in hindsight the might aura might have just let the skeletons slay the boss faster.  Once we were set, it was through the opening and in to face Duriel.

Everybody on Duriel… except the necro

The Duriel fight is the first tough boss fight in the game.  It is often the point where I use the one respec you get per play through to get serious about my build.  Duriel does a lot of damage and I always open up a town portal as soon as I enter his chamber.

Our army of minions managed to take him down, though Kevin lost about half of his skeletons and his golem along the way, while a mercenary or two bit the dust as well.

Duriel down for the count… the post-fight maggots are an odd touch

From there were ran to the back of the chamber to find Tyrael and hear his speech about the story so far.

Tyrael admonishes us for our tardiness

I actually made a video of his speech from the game about ten years back if you want the original sound and graphics.

After that it was back to town to say goodbye to everybody, then find Meshif to sail off to the next part of the story.

The boat is ready to set sail

And so we will pick up next time in Kurast and Act III.

WoW Classic Season of Mastery Goes Live on November 16th

Your chance to experience the rush and the crowds and queues, both in game and out, of a WoW Classic launch has returned

I bet they don’t line up this nicely in FFXIV

Blizzard has announced the launch date for their WoW Classic Season of Mastery servers.  Come November 16th 2021 in the US, or November 17th if you’re in Paris or beyond, you will be able to pile in to old Azeroth for another run through the game as it sorta was back in the day.  It will be a world-wide launch

The Season of Mastery Global Launch Times

If you’re jazzed to get back into semi-vanilla times again with your guild, you will probably want to get in there early and reserve a name for your main character.  You will be able to do so the evening of November 11th, at which time everybody with an active WoW subscription will be able to log in and reserve one name on one server.  Choose wisely and all of that.

There are some changes this time around when compared to the last run at a classic experience, which includes some pacing, difficulty, and quality of life changes I mentioned in a previous post.

While I am not exactly chomping at the bit for another run through a vanilla WoW experience… I think that might be more of a “once a decade” thing for me, I am sure there are plenty of people who missed it the first time around and raiding guilds who want to take another stab at the classic raids from the good old days.

Not mentioned so far that I have seen are the number of servers they plan to stand up.  We’ll probably get that soon as it will need to be decided on by the time they hit the name reservation day.  Of course, if things get swamped on the 11th then they might put more servers up before launch.

But if things are light… and given the mood about Blizzard right now that could be a possibility… well, I guess we’ll see.

But this completes the trifecta of nostalgia launches for 2021.  We got Burning Crusade Classic, Diablo II Resurrected, and now WoW Classic Season of Mastery.  I am happy with nostalgia trips, but it is tough to live on that alone.

The Crimson Harvest Returns to EVE Online

Halloween festivities have arrived in New Eden as CCP with the return of the Crimson Havest event.  Regarded by some as one of the better annual events, it is arriving a bit late this year, possibly due to the data center upgrades being performed by CCP earlier this week.

The Return of the Crimson Harvest

The Crimson Harvest comes along with other treats, all of which are included under the Halloween Horrors banner.

This year players will be able to choose which side of the event they wish to support.

EVE’s premiere Blood Raider seasonal event has begun once again, starting today and running until 9 November! This year, Capsuleers will be met in battle by the forces of the Order of St. Tetrimon, an Amarr religious order dedicated to the preservation of the scriptures of the faith. Join the Order in their campaign to drown this sanguine spectacle in laserfire, or for the first time ever take the side of the Blood Raiders, venerating the Harvest and painting New Eden in crimson!

Somebody will side with the Blood Raiders I am sure.  You get to pick which side in The Agency.

Sites for the event show up throughout New Eden, but some locations are better than others according to the patch notes.  Here are the details:

  • Crimson Gauntlet and Tetrimon Base combat sites can be found in most areas of space. These sites should be approached with caution, and capsuleers are advised to fly a battlecruiser, battleship, heavy assault cruiser, or even more powerful vessels if they wish to investigate these locations. Rewards for looting the battleship NPCs found at the end of the sites include items that can be traded for isk, skins, boosters, clothing and more!
  • Crimson Harvest Network Node and Tetrimon Network Node data sites are also appearing across New Eden. These hacking sites contain network node structures that can be accessed for more great rewards!
  • Advanced versions of the combat and hacking sites can be found within the areas containing the most heated fighting between Blood Raider and Tetrimon forces: the Blood Raider controlled systems within the Delve region and the low security systems within the Derelik region. These advanced sites are rarer and more challenging than the standard versions of the sites but they provide much greater rewards. Bringing a friend or two helps reduce the risk immensely, but beware of other capsuleers who may be searching for the same loot!
  • The most elusive and valuable strongholds of the Blood Raiders and Order of Tetrimon can only be found by obtaining a rare escalation from the advanced combat sites.

In addition there are the now traditional login rewards running during the event.

Crimson Harvest Rewards

The prizes include skill points, training accelerators, SKINs, and some fireworks.  As usual, Omega accounts get all the prizes, while Alpha accounts only get the top row.  Be sure to log in every day if you want to collect them all.

In addition, the popular Trick or Treat PvP flag has been set for the event, which boosts the drop rate for items for ships destroyed in PvP, with the dial being set to 90%.

More loot on the field

This will no doubt make some pilots quite happy.  Be extra careful flying your freighter through Uedama, the suicide gank capital of New Eden.

There are also various discounts on upgrading to Omega which include SKINs as well as some event theme SKINs returning to the in-game store.  There is also a a destroyer focused Proving Grounds event running that features boosts to Stasis Webifier range, Nosferatu and Energy Neutralizer strength, and Laser turret damage just to maintain the Blood Raider theme.

In addition to all of that, the patch notes also show that CCP is still adjusting the CRAB beacons introduced with last week’s update, with rewards and the requirements to build the beacons being changed up.

There was also an exploit notification posted about CRAB beacons.  Don’t get caught doing that trick now.  CCP is watching.  (Also, another reminder that players will find every flaw in CCP’s plans.)

Related:

Riding Out Panda Summer in Norrath

For whatever reason the announcement of the Visions of Vetrovia expansion for EverQuest II and the pre-expansion events got me stirred up and in the mood to go back to visit post-cataclysm Norrath.

I got in there and did the warm up quests, earned yet another currency for yet another vendor… I don’t think I have ever stopped to explore the number of currencies that game has accrued, but it is a substantial number… bought myself a jaunty pirate hat with a hope that it would make me look at least a bit like a pirate you’ve heard of… and then sort of ran out of steam.

All of which took me about two days, by which time I had pirate hats on five of my level cap characters.

All dressed up and no place to go really

Fortunately, there was still the annual Panda event to run, though I am beginning to suspect that the change over from “Days of Summer” name for the event might have been a bit last minute, given that the quest rewards still say the latter.

It must still be summer somewhere

The event isn’t exactly a huge effort.  It involves a weekly quest that sends you out to various location in Norrath in order to fetch a few things for Mei Lan.

In order to prolong the experience I decided to travel the old fashioned way… not that spires and bells transport system is all that slow, but it isn’t quite so direct as the map travel that subscribers get… and to make a serious effort not to look up any of the quests until I had least put in some serious effort into figuring them out on my own.

That mean a lot of flying about old zones, which is a bit like a walk down memory lane.

Swooping low in Butcherblock

As for the quests, well, I did okay.

Each week points to a specific zone and you have to go find three different things to complete the quest.  Most weeks I was able to get two pretty easily based on the quest details, but the third seemed to elude me.  A couple of times there was no real indication as to where that third item might be in the zone.  One time, in the Enchanted Lands, there was a clue in the name, but it was a name that corresponded to five locations, four of which I knew.  Failing with those I looked up the quest and found the fifth location… just a stone’s throw from the spires where I entered the zone.

Too many things named after Seamist around here

This week’s quest sent me off to Lavastorm, an original launch zone that was pretty fearsome back in the day, when the game was trying to make it clear that you shouldn’t be wandering out alone past level 20 or so.

The name is no lie, there is lava out there

But the quest clues for the zone were right on the money this time.  I was able to find them all without resorting to the web… which is probably a pretty low bar, but I’ll take what I can get.

These places are all on the map even

I collected all the items as well as picking up a few sparklies along the way, then headed back to the Sundered Frontier to turn in the quest to Mei Lan.  There we exchanged the usual end of quest banter that is almost, but not quite, humorous.

He is a bit of a literalist at times

That has a couple more weeks to play out, after which it will likely be time for the new expansion.  I am still thinking about jumping in to play it.  We’ll see how I feel when the date is closer.

BlizzConline Cancelled for 2022

We have gone from no BlizzCon during the pandemic to no BlizzConline now as Blizzard continues to thrash about in the spotlight of it current hostile workplace crisis.

BlizzCon in Blue

Blizzard announced in a post titled Reimagining BlizzCon that the planned early 2022 BlizConline even has been cancelled:

To the Blizzard community,

We’ve decided to take a step back and pause on planning the previously announced BlizzConline event scheduled for early next year. This was a tough decision for all of us to make, but it’s the right one.

Any BlizzCon event takes every single one of us to make happen, an entire-company effort, fueled by our desire to share what we create with the community we care about so much. At this time, we feel the energy it would take to put on a show like this is best directed towards supporting our teams and progressing development of our games and experiences.

Additionally, we would also like to take the time to reimagine what a BlizzCon event of the future could look like. The first BlizzCon was held 16 years ago, and so much has changed in the time since—most notably, the multiple ways in which players and communities can come together and feel like they are a part of something bigger. Whatever the event looks like in the future, we also need to ensure that it feels as safe, welcoming, and inclusive as possible. We’re committed to continual communication with our players, and we see BlizzCon playing a big role in that going forward. We’re excited about what we’ll do with the event when we revisit it in the future.

One more thing we wanted to make clear: even though we aren’t holding BlizzConline in February, we’ll still be making announcements and updates for our games. We’re proud of our teams and the progress they’ve made across our games. We have a lot of exciting upcoming news and releases to share with you. You’ll continue hearing about those through our franchise channels, with the talented people on the BlizzCon team playing a part in supporting these efforts.

We’ll miss seeing you, but don’t worry. We’ll be back together soon.

This won’t be the first time the company has skipped a BlizzCon event.  Back in 2012 they gave it a miss because the company was too busy (though, in hindsight one might ask “too busy with what?”), and in 2020, as mentioned above, the event was transformed into an online experience that was delayed until February of this year.

But to give even the online version a miss seems like a pretty strong statement about the level of discord that they may be seeing within the company due to the state investigation and the removal of a number people of leadership positions, starting with J. Allen Brack.

They do get in there and make sure we know that we’ll still be getting updates and announcements for their various titles, and I am sure if they came out and announced the next World of Warcraft expansion we’d be hard pressed to miss it.  But announcements are no substitute for having your community focused on you for hour long presentations.

Of course, aside from the expected next WoW expansion and maybe release dates for Diablo IV or Diablo Immortal, there isn’t much on the Blizzard radar right now anyway.

As to what a “reimagined” BlizzCon, online or otherwise, will end up looking like in the future is still very much up in the air I am sure.

Related:

The Group Ventures Out from Lut Gholein

When last we left off the group  was headed into Act II of the game.

In case you were confused

We landed in Lut Gholein and ran about to get the measure of the place.

I always favor Act II.  The first act feels like a warm up, which it is naturally enough.  It has the mood of the original Diablo and felt very familiar when the game first launched.  The second act is where the game starts to come together with me, where it shows it can be different and better.

It is also a change up from the brooding darkness of the first act… at least some of the time.  When you’re out in the desert and the sun is up… again, there is a day/night cycle that I haven’t quite figured out yet… and sabrecats or leapers are chasing you around it feels like a different game.

There was also the option of some new mercenaries.

Ulfar and I opted to trade in our rogue archers… and I forgot to reclaim that nice bow I had given mine, but all loot is transitory in life I guess… for a couple of the polearm wielding local mercenaries.  They also have the advantage of having auras.  I opted for one with the prayer aura, which heals a bit, while Ulfar went with the defiance aura, which gives a boost to defense.

I couldn’t recall if the auras overlapped, and being a paladin favoring the might aura to boost Kevin’s skeleton army, we were going to have three running potentially.  But once we got out of town by dropping down into the sewers for the first quest, the aura effects at our feet showed we were getting multiple effects.

Down into the sewers via the trap door

The various guides to the game always seem to point out that going into the sewers to chase down Radament is optional and that act can be completed without doing so, but I always do it.  Act II flies by so fast that it feels like a positive to spend a bit more time there.

Having gone down the trap door into the sewers, we ended up having to explore a bit more to find the steps down to the second level.

We also started running into some narrow passages, which become more common ac the act goes along.  As a solo character these can often be useful to channel a group of mobs down to single file so you can dispatch them one by one.  With a mass of followers along though it can be a bit of a pain.  Getting your followers through and into a fight can take a bit of finesse and you start to learn about collision.  You can run through your followers, but no hostile mobs or other players.  Your followers, however, have collision among themselves, so you often have to lure them through a narrow bit in order to get your skeleton army into action.

We pressed on, found the third level and eventually bumped into Radament, who obliged us by being in a bit of an open area, so we were able to storm in and attack on a broad front to take him down.

After the battle

You can also see three auras at our feet in that screen shot, if you look close.

Radament done in, we returned to town for congratulations and our rewards, which is that the merchants in town won’t gouge you for things quite as hard.  A price break is always appreciated I guess.

Then it was out into the desert, which I always find fun.  The wide open spaces suited out group and followers and hangers on, which began to increase.  Kevin had leveled up enough to add some more skeletons to his entourage, while Ulfar found he found summon two ravens in addition to his three wolves… I think the hawk helm he got as a drop added that as a bonus… plus an orange, glowy, floating squid that did a bit of healing if I understood him correctly.

By the stash with wolves and the squid

We were also starting to look pretty smart as our armor got upgraded.  That your look changed with your armor choices was kind of a big deal back in 2000 and I am glad to see that they really honed in on that with the remaster.  Our characters look a bit careworn and aged in the select screen, but the gear helps hide that.

Anyway, we scoured the desert looking for our first goal, the Halls of the Dead, which is in the Dry Hills, the second desert zone.  We gabbed the waypoint, then found the dungeon.

As a dungeon it is nice and dark, but not that big and, while segmented into rooms, they are all wide enough to bring an army to bear on the hostiles, which served us well.

It is also the place where you find that most important piece of the game, the Horadric Cube.  After the big boss fight in the Halls of the Dead we ended up with four of them on the floor to loot.

Loot all over the place

I was wondering how that would work out with four of us.  It had been so long since I played with a group that I couldn’t remember, and in Act I there is a scroll drop that gives you the Carin Stone sequence, but you only get one of those among the group.  But here four cubes dropped, so we all got to pick one up.

Then it was back to town and time to explain a bit of the cube.  As Kevin summed it up, it is a bit like the crafting table in Minecraft. It does a whole bunch of things.

That secured in our stash, along with all of our loose coins, we headed back out to the Dry Hills and in search of the Far Oasis, where the next dungeon lay.

Once again, the wide open spaces lent themselves to a group that seemed to like to spread out.  We got a bit spread out, but nobody got into too much trouble.  There was yet another waypoint to be found, and then the next dungeon, the Maggot Lair.

Into the Maggot Lair

The Maggot Lair is neat because it has a very different look and feel than anything you have run into so far in the game.

It is also a challenge.  Playing through solo with my necromancer this was easily the slowest dungeon run of the game.  Remember up above where I wrote of narrow paths and collision in the sewers?  That was but a taste of the Maggot Lair.

As a dungeon it is made up of a series of single file tubes with rooms or intersections along the way.  Getting into the tube in the right order can be a bit critical, and your followers, who have their own collision properties to work through, can be a pain to get where they need to be.

Making our way through

In that screen shot above you can see Ulfar and I on the right, way ahead of the followers, though close enough to get auras, which are stuck in order because Kevin is back a ways and our followers cannot get past his followers.

The optimal ordering seemed to be to get me, the paladin, out in front, with Talon behind me with her spear.  She had the reach to attack with her spear from behind me.  Then Ulfar behind her ready to launch molten fire past us into mobs.  And, in the back, Kevin and the follower armor, ready to spill into any room or intersection when we had the chance.

Things working to plan for once

That was the ideal.  We often ended up stuck between people, or Kevin out in front and me in the back, unable to swap order without finding a room or an intersection.  And we kept leaving followers all over the place.

Followers left about the map

Still, we managed to muddle through and, once we found the final boss room, opened up a portal in the tube and went back to town, stocked up on supplies, the arranged ourselves in the optimum order to be able to storm the boss.

It went well, even if there were a lot of disgusting squelching sounds along the way.  It is that kind of place.

The room after the fight

That gave us each our next piece of the quest chain, the head piece to the staff of kings.

Then it was back to town to sell loot, repair, and resupply.  Along the way Ulfar traded in his hawk helm for a goat horned helm that looked pretty special.  All of our looks were still getting better, save for possibly Kevin, who was still a bit of the aging rocker in aspect.

The four of us in town, plus the squid again

That is a lot better looking that the original graphics, which the game lets you peek at.

The circa 2000 look

The funny thing is that my brain by this point has accepted the graphical update as the actual game.  As I play through now it feels like it has always been this way, that it is the natural order of things, the way it should be.  I guess I have to give some credit to Vicarious Visions, who did the remaster, some credit for that.  It all feels like the real deal to me and I am a bit shocked at how primitive it used to look.

Anyway, that was all we had in us for the afternoon.  The rest of Act II awaits.

Watching Dune Part One

The big day came this past weekend; the new Dune movie arrived.  I was going to put off posting this until next weekend, but I finished up the post and the topic seems timely, so here we go with a Monday movie post.

That brief moment when they tell you it is a two part series

I am also going to put a mild spoiler warning here.  I discuss plot points of the story.  If you’ve read the book or seen the previous movie or mini-series, these plot points are well known to you already.  If you haven’t, well, they’ll probably be more confusing than spoiler-ish.  But if you want to go into the film clean, don’t read any reviews, including this one.

My wife and I had been talking about seeing Dune in the theater and then I saw that it was also going to be available to watch on HBO Max for the first month of its release… the hedging against small pandemic audiences continues… so we decided to sit on the couch and watch it instead.

I regret not seeing it in the theater on a really big screen a bit… but not enough to actually go out and do so.  It is quite beautifully shot and there were points my wife and I both said something like, “I bet that would have been spectacular in the theater,” but that is the way it goes.

I am also going to make a minor fuss up front here about this being “Part One,” but only because the studio seems to have gone out of their way to hide that fact.

None of the movie posters, ads, or other marketing I have seen says that this is only the first half of the book.  Even on HBO Max it just says Dune.  This seems to me like a particularly pointless, and even counter productive, act.

People are going to find out.  I knew about it before we saw the film from people complaining that the studio seemed to be hiding the fact.  Turning the book into two films certainly didn’t bother me, and it is not something without precedent in Hollywood.  People remember Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Hunger Games: Mockingjay were both two parters and neither seemed to suffer in the box office… though admittedly both were the final chapters in already established successful series on the big screen.

So I am at a bit of a loss about the studio trying to hide this fact.  Even in the opening credits, the title of the movie only appears for about five seconds, and only in the last two seconds of that appearance does it say “Part One.”  That is enough to miss it, which actually happened to my wife while we were watching, though that is one of the hazards of watching at home where there are many more distractions.

Having hidden the whole “Part One” thing, what are they planning to call the next movie, Also Dune? More Dune? Dune Dune? Or will they go full George Lucas and call it Dune Episode IX – The Fremen Ascendant?
Anyway, that was more words expended than the issue required, though there is more to consider on this front, which I will get to in a bit.

The film itself is very good, certainly relative to its 1984 sibling, about which I wrote last week.

The whole tale still needs a lot of explaining to get the audience on board as to what is actually happening, but it is done in a much more organic way.  Gone is the almost non-stop intonations and articulated thoughts of the main characters of the earlier outing as the script/director strive to show the situation through a series of less structured encounters.

People are still spilling forth more information than they might otherwise, but it doesn’t begin to approach the “Ben Stein lectures on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act” presentation to the audience that even the book spins perilously close to at times.  My wife said aloud at several points early on that the story was being presented in a much better fashion.

The film also dispenses with the Princess Irulan historical narration, which is in both previous adaptations and the book.  This version is firmly set in the here and now.  Or the “then” I guess, since this is ten thousand years in the future.

Things are not quite as grandiose in this telling either.  It is beautifully filmed and looks excellent on screen, but it is also more like to real life.  Things are dirtier or grittier or less well lit.  Uniforms are not as gaudy, ceremonies are more subdued, and House Harkonnen isn’t so obviously the bad guys.

I mean, they are still clearly the antagonists, but not quite in the almost comic book fashion of the 1984 film, where they were comparable to Batman villains.  Their evil is more banal, their greed more ordinary, their machinations less fraught, their maniacal laughter much more subdued.  The Baron is still weird and icky, but at least we aren’t spending a lot of time focused on his acne issues..

We also get a much closer look at the Emperor’s Sardaukar troops, establishing their loyalty and fanaticism.  The Emperor himself though, he gives the whole thing a miss, and we see only his herald delivering the news about Arakkis is being transferred to House Atreides.

The whole house swap plan still seems like a mildly ludicrous way to deal with whatever problem the Emperor is trying to solve… a problem that is not really explained at all… but the film does at least spend some time demonstrating how House Harkonnen screwed over House Atreides on the deal more fully than I seem to recall even the book doing.  House Atreides is clearly being set up for failure, and that is the part of the plan that is important in the moment.

The film spends its first 90 minutes with foundational material and setting up the coming conflict before House Harkonnen finally attacks to retake Arakkis with support from the Emperor’s Sardaukar.  There is the betrayal, the battle, the escape, the Baron, and all the bits and pieces you may recall from book, movie, or mini-series past.

The battle and aftermath gets things close to the two hour mark, after which we spend about 40 minutes with Paul and his mother traipsing about the desert, finding the Fremen and getting accepted by them which, while an important aspect of the story, is kind of a slow roll even when compared to the early exposition laden portions of the film.  And then the end credits show up and we’re done.  That was a bit of a surprise to my wife who, as I mentioned above, missed the two seconds flash of “Part One” in the opening.

Overall a strong outing, well written and performed, with a Hans Zimmer score that seems to live and breath with the film.  I enjoyed it.  Go see it in the theater if you can, if Dune and theaters are both your thing.

They trimmed back the cast of characters, no doubt to keep the focus of the story getting too diluted/confused.  So the Emperor and his plans are left out, along with the Spacing Guild and Baron Harkonnen’s other nephew, played by Sting back in 1984.  But Dave Bautista has chops enough to fill out all the nephew needs of this film.  Even the Bene Gesserit feels like it has been left behind after the Reverend Mother plays “What’s in the box?” with Paul early on.

But there is time for all of those who went missing in Part One to make their appearance in the second film, which will necessarily revolve around Paul rising to lead the Fremen and the reactions of House Harkonnen, the Emperor, the Spacing Guild, and the Bene Gesserit to the Fremen insurrection and the disruption of the spice trade.

That is, if we get a second film.

Part of the reason the studio might have been shy about the whole “Part One” things is that, as of this writing, the second film hasn’t yet been officially sanctioned.  There is a lot of vagueness about the future of the series at the moment, which I imagine mostly rests on how well Dune Part One does at the box office.

Given that the film barely cracked $40 million mark in the US on its opening weekend, which is good but not great, there does seem to be reason for doubt. (For comparison, Venom did $90 million, Shang-li did $75 million, No Time to Die did $55 million, and even Halloween Kills managed $49 million, all during the last two months.)  I am sure HBO kicked in a pile of cash to be able to show it on their service, but was it enough to make up for how many people they kept from going to see it in the theater.

I know at this point somebody is at least thinking “foreign box office!”  I would like to remind anybody going down that path exactly how many Warcraft sequels we got when it did so well overseas:  Zero.  Zero sequels.

So we shall have to wait and see and hope.  I want the next film.  My worry is that the current one won’t make the cut financially to warrant it.

This is also a reminder to those of us in the nerd faction about the popularity of the Dune IP.  I keep seeing people ranking the Dune series in importance culturally with Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.  That might just be for our demographic.

Meanwhile, even if the sequel does get the green light to go forward, we’re probably 2-3 years away from a release.  Maybe more.  That will give people time enough to go read… or re-read… the entire Dune saga.

Addendum: The sequel has been officially sanctioned.  The estimate is October of 2023 currently.

Honest Game Trailers does Diablo II Resurrected

By about the 30 second mark of this video I felt very seen.

 

I mean, I don’t play with random people online and I haven’t had much problem with the servers being offline… I play on BNet, but being in Pacific time zone has been good to me… but I am definitely ignoring a lot of newer and arguably better games to play something that’s mechanics are past the 20 year mark.

Also, I am pretty sure I have paid for Diablo II at least three times.  I kept a copy at work and another at home back in the day.  And, frankly, I am kind of interested in how it plays on console.  Is the Switch Lite screen too small for that to be a realistic option?

And while I am somewhat numb already to the sheer quantity of loot that drops, I do get kind of a surge when I get something like this out of the blue.

Just a chest in a building, maybe I should skip it…

That was in Act I on Normal mode.  The RNG hates me most days, then suddenly goes soft and throws me four rares out of left field that I will probably end up wearing through Act V because nothing else good will drop for the next month.

Anyway, there will probably be more posts about Diablo II Resurrected here because I post about what I play.