Well, I got this achievement at least.
Otherwise is was mostly life as usual for the blog. WordPress.com broke links, waffled about it for a couple of days, then fixed them again. Pretty good for them, as they still sort of worked while they were broken.
And then there was the ad revenue. This month the site served up more ads than ever, coming close to 125K ads displayed compared to 99K last month. However, revenue was down. December’s 99K ads were worth a little over $23, while the 125K ads this past month were worth just about $16. Ad quality clearly plays into the revenue side of things, and I didn’t get high quality ads this time around. Still, $16 keeps me on track to pay the annual hosting for the blog at the Premium service level, which runs $99 a year.
One Year Ago
For my new year’s post I chose to ask questions rather than make predictions. I’ve always been told that there are no bad questions, though that statement usually precedes attempts to prove it wrong.
I also reviewed the games I played in 2020 and attempted to guess what I might play in 2021.
There was that GameStop stock craziness.
I wrote a timeline of SOE/Daybreak Games.
The Steam Winter Sale ended with awards and stats.
I was wondering what LOTRO needed, since it clearly needed something.
People were wondering when we were going to get Burning Crusade Classic, with the current rumor being early May, which seemed too early to me. But we ended up getting it in early June, so I guess it wasn’t that far off.
The instance group was still working on Blackrock Depths, this time for a love potion. Then we went off to Dire Maul East for a change of scenery. Dire Maul North proved too much for just the four of us. We also hunted for recipes out in the Burning Steppes. Meanwhile, my paladin was catching up to the group in levels.
And then there was World War Bee, which kicked off the new year with the another huge titan battle, though this time the results were much more one-sided. The war bullet points:
- PAPI Thwarted at Final M2-XFE Keepstar Timer by the Early Bird Imperium
- 26 Weeks of World War Bee
- The Imperium Retakes the NJU-QV Constellation in Delve
- World War Bee Six Month Review
- 27 Weeks of World War Bee
- Quantum Cores Now Required in Upwell Structures
- Life on the M2 Hell Camp
- 28 Weeks of World War Bee
- United Eden Login Event comes to EVE Online
- 29 Week of World War Bee
- CCP Offers Up Broken Monthly Economic Report for December
And, finally, January 20th was a happy day.
Five Years Ago
As with most years here at the blog, it began with predictions.
Nintendo was telling us all about the Switch console, due in March.
That also led me off onto a semi-sarcastic rant about an EverQuest successor.
It was also high noon for Asheron’s Call and Asheron’s Call 2.
With a new iPad I lost all my progress on Candy Crush Saga, so forswore the title forever.
I was also tallying up the results of my purchases from the Steam Winter Sale. I don’t get why people like Stardew Valley so much. Just not my thing I guess. I did play a stretch of Train Valley however.
In EVE Online I hit the 170 million skill point mark. All those skill points and I still don’t use my capital ships. After a false start we got the first update of YC119. It had music. It was also the kick off of the CSM election season.
And in Diablo III we were waiting for the Darkening of Tristram event. I ran through it quickly once, and then again to get some more achievements. It was kind of neat, but it wasn’t the original Diablo.
Ten Years Ago
I updated the About Page to its “Infrequently Asked Questions” format. Has it really been like that for five years already? It is probably due for an update.
There was that whole SOPA thing. We still live in peril of its return.
I struck a couple of games from my watch list, as it seemed I would never go back to play them again.
I bought an iPad for our cats… judging by the pictures.
LEGO Universe joined the ever increasing list of departed MMOs when its free to play conversion failed to save it from extinction.
SOE gave us the subscription matrix for the EverQuest free to play transition. As part of that conversion, EverQuest Mac was targeted for extinction as well. (Spoiler: It survived… for a while) Meanwhile, somebody had an EverQuest cocktail shaker on eBay.
Prompted by comments from others, I asked why those who sought an old school MMO experience were not out playing Vanguard.
Blizzard said they were going to be too busy in 2012 for a BlizzCon. Speaking of Blizzard, I hit level 85 at last in WoW. And then there was a panic about Diablo III maybe launching in February. (It didn’t)
Turbine announced that their fall LOTRO expansion would be Riders of Rohan.
There was an odd divergent current about Star Wars: The Old Republic, with some declaring it dead already (one month in) while others were still in “best game ever” mode. My favorite (now deleted, but still on the Internet Archive) angry post called it a hate crime.
I was starting to moan… more loudly… about how free to play makes an MMO focus heavily on cash shop content… to the detriment of the game in my opinion. This was prompted, no doubt, by those wings. Smed, on the other hand, was very happy about free to play.
In EVE Online the war against White Noise came to a close, leading to a quiet time in the north. But a conflict with Raiden was looming. during the lull, I recalled my first PvP death in EVE and celebrated that Garde drones now actually went *pew* *pew*. Boring no more!
In Rift, the instance group was kicked off its server. We regrouped on a new server. We were also warming up and starting to work as a group again in the Iron Tombs and the Darkening Deeps. That last was a struggle.
The Type 59 tank was pulled from the cash shop in World of Tanks.
And, finally, there was Pop Muzik.
Fifteen Years Ago
I wrote 59 blog posts, which remains a monthly record here at TAGN. Of course, that was before Twitter, so I was more likely to do shorter posts. If I had the patience I would track the average word count per post per month over the life of the blog to see how I changed from short posts to more of a long form/long winded approach.
I gave a brief recount of 2006 in what I find is my first high/low post on the blog. I had forgotten that I had done that post. I also uninstalled some games I was no longer playing. I was also looking forward towards Lord of the Rings Online.
Blintz, my fae swashbuckler in EverQuest II was just digging into Zek, The Orcish Wastes, one of my favorite zones in post-cataclysm Norrath, as well as hunting for Blood Talon in order to get my dwarven work boots.
Scott Hartsman described some of the goals for the EverQuest II expansion that would eventually become The Rise of Kunark. I also discovered that Sony slipped a promo for the Transformers movie in with the Echoes of Faydwer installation. That was back when SOE was under Sony Pictures.
I played in some of the Vanguard open beta, once I got it downloaded. The team was still working on a lot of polishing and features. The launch date was announced somewhat late, but when the game actually launched (on the same day as the much maligned Microsoft Vista), I declined to buy the box even though it was on Station Access. I thought one of the game’s potential flaws might be the inability to make a “hot” character. A female half-elf was the best I could manage. The character models were not pretty despite a profusion of sliders and options in the creation process.
Blizzard launched The Burning Crusade without the usual first day disasters that generally accompanied expansions back in the day, though I couldn’t figure out why I bothered to buy a copy. I was wondering how long it would hold its $40 price tag. It stayed at that price for quite a long time. These days we sometimes get a discount before a game even goes live.
Given that expansions were on my mind, I was wondering what the best timing for expansions really was. EverQuest was still doing two a year back then, while Blizzard took more than two years to get to its first one.
I gave a brief review of Massive Magazine issue #2.
And I found that SOE had provided the industry standard definition for the word “soon.”
Twenty Five Years Ago
The original Diablo shipped, stirring up a new genre in its wake, the ARPG. You can still find a playable version of the original at GoG.com.
Thirty Years Ago
Atari Corporation, as it then existed, dropped production, sales, and support for the Atari 2600, the Atari 7800, and the Atari 8-bit computer family. The 2600 series was supported for 15 years from launch, and has since been renewed in emulators in software and hardware form many times.
Forty Years Ago
Sega launches Zaxxon, with modeled a 3D environment with an isometric perspective and was, as I recall at the time, amazing looking. I could just sit and watch the demo run in the arcade.
Most Viewed Posts in January
- Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
- Probing and Hacking for Fun and Profit in the EVE Online Doctor Who Interstellar Convergence Event
- Doctor Who and Daleks Invade EVE Online with the Interstellar Convergence
- CCP Takes Aim at Cloaky Campers in EVE Online
- 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
- Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
- Embracing the Iron Age in Valheim
- Microsoft Plans to Acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 Billion, Promises Joy and Community
- Daleks are Coming to EVE Online
- The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
- Predictions in the Face of 2022
- The Army of Mango Alliance Attempts a Self Destruct to Flee Fraternity
Search Terms of the Month
goonswarm propaganda best
[I mean, it is pretty damn good at times]
[Yes, though without the special paper]
[See ‘eve fax’]
r-arkn aom keepstar
[Those are not like EVE Online marauders]
Game Time from ManicTime
The month saw New Eden back on top as I ran the Doctor Who event to see what it was all about. I had a bit of a Stellaris binge and EverQuest II were not far behind.
- EVE Online – 26.29%
- Stellaris – 22.95%
- EverQuest II – 21.56%
- Pokemon Pearl – 19.10%
- New World – 9.11%
- Forza Horizon 4 – 0.66%
- World of Tanks – 0.34%
Things continue to churn in New Eden. Even in peace there is always some destruction and drama going on. I saw somebody complaining on /r/eve that null sec wasn’t warring hard enough to keep them entertained, but we blew up and looted a staging Keepstar that might have been the biggest loot pinata in video game history. You just can’t please some people.
There was also the Doctor Who event, which I ran through. I’ll have a write up on it as it ends at downtime tomorrow. Safe to say, like the game itself, it had its ups and downs and was likely inscrutable to any outsider.
I hit the level cap again playing through the Visions of Vetrovia expansion. It actually wasn’t that hard, as I wrote late last week. It was, however, very much an EQII experience, which is neither a good nor a bad thing necessarily, but it is a thing. I also managed to touch very little of the actual expansion content, because the game is focused on instanced play. However, they do tend to offer solo versions, so there is still more to explore.
Forza Horizon 4
Some driving was indeed done, but I have hit a point where I got the driving need out of my system for a bit and where I have done a lot of the easy things in the game and the map is such a mess of things to do now that when I do log in I spend too much time trying to figure out where I should even go next. And then I drive around way too fast and crash through fences, hedges, trees, and whatever else gets in my way. At least that never gets old.
The holidays finally ended there last week. Some people leave the tree up too long I think. The groups spent a few play sessions trying to get to the next dungeon in the game, the one at level 35. We’re not exactly speeding out way through the game, but we’re not in a big hurry either.
Pokemon Shining Pearl
I made it through to the Elite Four and defeated Champion Cynthia, thus pretty much completing the central story of the game. But, in Pokemon, there is always more to be done. I still have more to catch before I can even begin to claim I have caught them all.
Another month climbing the long, long road to level 50. I didn’t really do much out of the ordinary, a few raids, spun a Pokestop daily, and managed to get in one of the local gyms to earn some coins regularly. I also managed to miss a day and got my daily catch and daily spin cycles out of sync, which always annoys me. But I have them aligned again now.
Level: 42 ( 19w.7% of the way to 43 in xp, 4 of 4 tasks complete)
Pokedex status: 680 (+3) caught, 700 (+3) seen
Mega Evolutions obtained: 15 of 18
Pokemon I want: I need a Torkoal for my Hoenn Pokedex
Current buddy: Inkay
Having purchased some of the latest DLC for the game, I dove in and played. As I noted, I would consider it a classic “one more turn” game that can keep you up past your bedtime, but technically it doesn’t have turns. But it will keep you up late dealing with each new update or event that comes in. And if they’re coming in too slowly, you can just speed the game up.
World of Tanks
I poked about in this for a bit at the beginning of the month, so I have some stats for 2022 I suppose. But once I got on the Stellaris binge in the evenings, my tank time sort of dried up.
I have been at making sure I get on the bike 3-4 times a week. I think the fact that I post this here is a motivator because, even though I am sure I am the only one that pays attention to my numbers, that they’re out in the open makes me self-conscious about them.
As for distance, I have now essentially gone from our house, though Portland, Oregon, and just over the Columbia river into Washington state.
- Level – 12 (+0)
- Distanced cycled – 684.5 miles (+100,1 miles)
- Time – 1d 12h 8m (+5h 12m)
- Elevation climbed – 29,501 (+5,088 feet)
- Calories burned – 22,811 (+3,385)
We’re already a month into 2022 and, while it is cliche to say so, what the hell? Time goes by too fast.
February should bring us the Activision Blizzard Q4 2021 and 2021 overall financials. We’re all eager to see that I am sure… though with Microsoft buying them, I am not sure how much they really matter anymore. And once Microsoft swallows them I doubt they’ll be more than an obscure line item on the MSFT financials. Enjoy it while it lasts I guess.
Daybreak has a few things going on, including an odd new Lore & Legend special server for EverQuest II and a 64-bit upgrade for EverQuest. Also, they’ll no doubt be picking the EverQuest Community Resource Council, but that is all hush hush.
Guild Wars 2 has the End of Dragons expansion slated to launch last I checked, and it will include fishing. So keep an eye open for that.