Monthly Archives: February 2022

February in Review

The Site

Another month flies by and we are at the 186th month in review post.  Part of getting older is wondering how time goes by so fast.

I did, however, get another meaningless achievement this month.

700 Days in a Row

We’ll see if I keep going.  If I get to the end of March I will have gone two years straight.

February was also a light month for traffic.  It is already a short month and world events seemed to draw people away over the last week.  I get that.

The odd bit is that ad revenue was way down relative to the dip in traffic, barely cracking the $10 mark.  And it seems a different problem from last month, where ads served was way up but revenue was down, reflecting low quality ads being pushed.

This time around ads served was way down as well, much more so than the down turn in page views might suggest.  Either more core audience all has adblock loaded up… and I commend your good sense in that… or ads simply aren’t being served up.  Some checking showed that there was at least some of the latter going on.

Checking from my iPad with Safari, which is not set up to block ads, I was seeing nothing come up for a couple of days.  I don’t know if that is WordPress.com’s problem or the ad broker they are using, but the well of ads was running dry at times in February.  That never seems to happen with Words with Friends.

We’ll see how next month goes.  I’m still on track with my goals even at $10 a month from ad revenue.  That is enough to pay for the premium hosting package.

One Year Ago

It had been a year since the first documented death in the United States from Covid-19.

It was also the end of Silicon Valley retail staple Fry’s Electronics.

Nintendo announced that they were going to finally do a remake of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl.

Out of nowhere, so far as I could tell, Valheim showed up.  I took a look and very soon our group was playing together.  We went out hunting deer, along with the first boss, set sail to find the Black Forest, stormed ashore and setup a base, fought trolls and smelted bronze, then set sail to find the Elder, the second boss, fought an epic battle with that, and wandered into the plains and died to deathsquitoes.  It was quite a time.

Then there was BlizzConline (and Blizzard’s 30th anniversary), which was spoiled a bit by leaks, but which featured the Burning Crusade Classic announcement along with Diablo II Resurrected and other news items.

The Activision Blizzard Q4 2020 earnings call showed WoW was carrying the ball for Blizzard, while SuperData Research showed WoW up on the Shadowlands launch and ongoing WoW Classic momentum.

Actually in WoW Classic, I was working on my paladin, who was catching up to the group, we spent some time getting materials for enchanting, and we were still working on Blackrock Depths, though we got down to the final quest there.

In EVE Online, World War Bee carried on, with PAPI starting to come out of their post M2-XFE slump and CCP’s economic changes sending mineral prices climbing.

And I went on a bit about the difficulty of entering the MMORPG market.

Five Years Ago

Daybreak shut down Landmark less than a year after it officially went “live.”  That’s what extended early access will do to you.

In EVE Online applications to run for CSM12 opened up.  The CSM itself was reduced from 12 members to just 10.  That allowed CCP to potentially fly all members to summits, but also reduced the likelihood of more voices outside of null sec being elected.

Blog Banter #79 explored the benefits and pitfalls of being a long time veteran of New Eden, while CCP posted a nice graph tracking the 25 largest corporations over time.  The graph only had starting numbers, so I provided the ending numbers.

We also got an update that introduced insurance to citadels and kicked off the Guardian’s Gala event.

Actually in game I was blown up by battle Rorquals as well as spending time moving my stuff to a new home system, sitting on a titan, sitting on a Keepstar, survived my first capital op, and dipped my toe into the spectacle that was Burn Jita 2017.  I also had a new favorite EVE Online screen shot.

I wasn’t playing World of Warcraft, but that didn’t stop me from trying to find information about it in Activision Blizzard’s annual financial report.  Good luck there.  I didn’t even bother this year.  Meanwhile, in an unexplained turn, SuperData Research divided WoW into East and West on its monthly Top Ten chart.  I still suspect that was an attempt to make Overwatch look better.

Not only was I not playing WoW, I wasn’t playing any fantasy MMORPGs.  Standing Stone was trying to get me to log into Lord of the Rings Online with the promise of a new mount.

I was confronted by a metaphor for a MMO Kickstarter projects when somebody decided they wanted to make an Apocalypse Now based MMO.

I was still working on the mansion road in Minecraft.  I hit a setback along the way… fell into lava surrounded by creepers… but still made it past the half way point.

And finally, after taking a bit of a break, I was back into Pokemon Sun, working my way towards filling the Alola Pokedex.

Ten Years Ago

I made a video celebrating the first year of the instance group, which formed up back in 2006.  It was focused on what was essentially vanilla WoW and had a serious nostalgia vibe to it.  It got some views.

Then I made a video about Sunken Temple in the same vein that pretty much nobody watched.  That instance always got mixed reviews.  (And my video of the EVE battle at EWN-2U was more popular than both combined.)

Somebody stole our guild on Lightninghoof.

And Blizzard was making money, optimizing clients, and selling new mounts.

In EVE Online, the war in the north had gone kind of quiet.  There were some big battles over tower (e.g. EWN-2U, which was my first epic fleet battle, and 92D-OI), but the sov grind had not begun.  There was some fun around VFK.  I also noted that a “green” kill board seemed to be the norm for individuals.  Meanwhile, CCP was making money and giving us the occasional fun statistics about the game.

Trion gave us actual loot pinatas as well as a check box to turn off exp in Rift.

And, probably most importantly, we got standardized build templates for common rolesRift’s soul system is still deep and complex for those who want to theory craft, but for mere mortals it became possible to just get a workable build and go play.

As a group in Rift we made it to the Darkening Deeps.

I also figured that, due to the way Rift was progressing, it wouldn’t go free to play unless WoW did.  Wrong on that in the long term I guess, it went free to play ages ago now.

On Fippy Darkpaw, the Planes of Power expansion opened up.  For many the PoP expansion marks the dividing line between what counts as “classic” EverQuest and what is considered “the new crap.”

And EverQuest Mac was saved from the chopping block, going free for… as long as it stays up I guess.

Fifteen Years Ago

I wrote a lot of posts.  Not the 59 posts of the month before, but 41 is still a lot of posts.  Half of them seem to relate to stages of heritage quests in EverQuest II.

Back then Kendricke (remember him?) dropped by with the news that Sony Online Entertainment applied for a trademark for “EVERQUEST II RISE OF KUNARK,” thus confirming my guess from December that Kunark would be location of the EverQuest II expansion due near the end of 2007.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office site did not show anything for my guess for the 2008 expansion. (Return to the Planes of Power FTW!) The USPTO did show that SOE at one time had the trademark for, “EVERQUEST: THE DEMISE OF ARADUNE,” which was mildly ironic from a Vanguard point of view. I wonder what they had planned for that title?

Of course, SOE also announced a price increase for Station Access shortly thereafter, always a buzz killer. This was immediately blamed on Vanguard.

Meanwhile, SOE launched The Buried Sea expansion for EverQuest.

I also started off in the Lord of the Rings Online open beta which eventually lead to the instance group spending the spring and summer in Middle-earth before returning to Azeroth.

And speaking of Azeroth, a year ago we were just starting to get into the fun that is Uldaman. And somewhere along the line I swapped out my rogue Blintz for my paladin Vikund, who has remained with the instance group ever since.

I also compared how long it took me to level a swashbuckler up to level 40 in EverQuest II versus how long it took me to get a hunter to the same level in WoW. 

Also, Gaff got flight form in WoW and was really happy with it.  There is flying in WoW, and then there is druid flight form, which is in a league of its own.

I listed out five insane MMO things I wanted, which were not all that insane.  Includes the first time mentioning that I wanted EverQuest redone using WoW’s engine.  I was also on about people picking famous names for their characters, how WASD was messing with my typing, and something else about modelling stealth.

I was looking into the distance to see what Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising might offer.

Peggle launched.  Do you remember Peggle?  It was from PopCap.  Do you remember PopCap?  The game was all the rage on the GFW Radio podcast.  Do you remember the GFW Radio podcast?  Do you remember GFW?  How about Jeff Green?  You know I met him once, way back when he covered modems for MacWeek.  Anyway, it all ended up at EA, including Jeff.

And, finally, my wife got me a Wii for Valentine’s day that I couldn’t use until Easter!

Twenty-Five Years Ago

Mario Kart 64 launches, the second version and maybe the first truly great entry in the Mario Kart series of games.  This one is worth buying whenever Nintendo revives it on later platforms.

Most Viewed Posts in February

  1. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  2. Guardians Gala Returns to EVE Online for YC124
  3. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  4. CCP Takes Aim at Cloaky Campers in EVE Online
  5. The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
  6. Embracing the Iron Age in Valheim
  7. 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
  8. Pearl Abyss Promises a Blockchain Economy while CCP Prepares for EVE Fanfest
  9. The CCP World War Bee Press Briefing
  10. Off to Another New World in New World
  11. Looking Into Lost Ark
  12. Opening Weekend with Lost Ark

Search Terms of the Month

john carmack create facebook horizon world
[I don’t think you can lay that all on him]

Разработчики установили в eve online стальной памятник девушке
[I’m not sure they were really a “girl” technically]

огромный дом в майнкрафте локация
[Where ever you want to build it]

everquest ruins of kunark back of box
[I don’t think I have that here]

Game Time from Manic Time

Well, there was a bit of a change up in the list this month.  Two weeks ago EQII was at the top and Lost Ark wouldn’t have made the list.  I did, at one point, think about playing Crusader Kings III.  There was an update, and I like the stories that come out of it for other people.  I even patched it up and got it ready, but didn’t end up playing.

  1. Lost Ark – 42.78%
  2. EverQuest II – 37.23%
  3. New World – 10.61%
  4. EVE Online – 5.92%
  5. Pokemon Pearl 1.80%
  6. EverQuest – 1.65%

EVE Online

The month started out with my account lapsing and me spending some time figuring out what I could do as an Alpha clone.  That developed into me mostly not logging on at all once the Guardian’s Gala login rewards were over.  I suspect there is a message in that.  Like many other aspects of the game, free to play hard mode is much harder in New Eden than it is in other MMOs.

EverQuest

The game turned 64-bit, which was a thing I guess.  It was enough to get me to update the client, create a new character, and play through some of the tutorial again.  I kind of enjoy that once in a while.  I had some mad vision of doing a year long event to run a character from creation to level cap, all in the 64-bit era… and then I wandered off and did something else.

EverQuest II

I came into February very strong on EQII, playing it more than anything else for the first half of the month.  I got several character up to the new level cap for both adventure and crafting and started working on the adventure signature quest line… and kind off fell off there.  Expect a post about that this coming week.

Lost Ark

This sort of came out of nowhere for me, and was a bit of a slow burn at that.  With EQII tapering off and not logging into EVE, I had a hole in my play time just when Lost Ark showed up.  I tried it on a lark, kind of liked it a bit, kept playing, and started getting into it.  Here, at the end of the month, it was my most played title.  I had to convert it from a tag to a category here on the blog because the instance group started playing it.

New World

Ah, New World… I don’t hate it, but it does manage to disappoint on such a regular basis.  Amazon games is working on it still, but their list of fixes for February was a bit underwhelming.  That, and being dropped into a new server where the bad things people have been talking about started affecting our game play… and it was time for a break.

Pokemon Go

The month ended with the Johto Tour, which was a good day’s fun.  My wife and I did the free part of the event, because $12.00 is kind of a big ask for a bit of content, and were happy enough with that as it took us nearly all afternoon to finish up.  The downside of the event was that it very much focused on past content, so was a good catch-up for newer players, but there were no new Pokemon out there for us.  I did get a shiny Raikou though.

Level: 42 ( 27.9% of the way to 43 in xp, 4 of 4 tasks complete)
Pokedex status: 685 (+5) caught, 705 (+5) seen
Mega Evolutions obtained: 15 of 18
Pokemon I want: I need a Torkoal for my Hoenn Pokedex
Current buddy: Floette

Pokemon Shining Pearl

Playing this remake was a good time, but I have to admit that once I got through the Elite Four and Cynthia, I was kind of done playing.  That is the culmination of the story, the basic win scenario, and after that everything is somewhat self-directed.  I’ll do a final thoughts write up on the game at some point.  Overall though, I quite enjoyed it.

Zwift

Much to my surprise, I am still doing this regularly… three or four times a week… six month down the road.  It would be very easy to just stop, and there are times when I want to skip even my rather minimal routine.  But somehow I have carried on.  This must be what adulthood is like.

Meanwhile, my distance cycled puts me about from my driveway into the middle of Salt Lake City, Utah, which is where the Winter Olympics were held 20 years ago.  I didn’t watch them then, and I didn’t watch them this past month in China either.  Keep on peddling.

  • Level – 13 (+1)
  • Distanced cycled – 774.8 miles (+90.3 miles)
  • Time – 1d 16h 55m (+4h 45m)
  • Elevation climbed – 33,855 (+4,354 feet)
  • Calories burned – 25,924 (+3,113)

Coming Up

March is upon us and it is Mardi Gras tomorrow.  Most people won’t care, but a branch of my family is from New Orleans, so it will be jambalaya, red beans and rice, and king cake at our house tomorrow.  Laissez les bons temps rouler!

March also brings my birthday.  Pokemon Legends: Arceus is on my list, so I might be playing that later on this month.

Then there is Lost Ark.  No doubt this will come up a few more times on the blog.

There is a possibility that CCP will makes some changes that might loosen up the economy and make larger scale warfare viable again in null sec.  I’ll go back to Omega for something interesting.  The battleship changes look interesting to a lot of people.  But EVE Online is still in kind of a messy state.

I might try to figure out what Elden Ring is.  A lot of people are suddenly into that in my Twitter feed, but telling me it is like Lost Souls doesn’t help me, because I never played that.  Also, it is $60, has some issues, and I don’t get how the co-op works, so I can wait.

Carbot Plays Lost Ark

A short item for Sunday, a video from Carbot Animations.

The joy of Carbot is the simple animation style that somehow captures the feeling of things with a seeming minimum of detail.  And so it goes again with Lost Ark.

That is clearly the Berserker class.  I have one of my own and the ridiculously oversized sword is a giveaway.  It does indeed get dragged on the ground when running around at times.

That sword just gets dragged… also, my cat seems to be riding on it

But once the Berserker starts swinging it, it can clear the room

Time for some whirlwind

Also very much on point, the paucity of drops from mobs at times.  As I mentioned previously, xp and rewards are very much a thing from quests and bosses and not the mobs you otherwise meet.

 

Enad Global 7 Posts Strong Q4 2021 Results with High Hopes for MTGO

Enad Global 7 posted their Q4 2021 and overall 2021 financial results this week.

Enad Global 7

As reported elsewhere, it was a good quarter for the company, with revenue up significantly.

While services made a huge leap in revenue, with the split between services and games being 60/40 in Q4 2021, the whole revenue stack for Q4 2021 dwarfs what it was for Q4 2020 when EG7 was in the process of acquiring Daybreak.

EG7 Q4 2021 slide 8

That said, while Daybreak remains the dominant part of EG7’s game segment, and grew slightly in Q4, I do wonder why it didn’t grow more.

Q3 vs Q4 Games Revenue

Those values are in Swedish Krona, but it is close enough to equal to the US Dollar at the moment as to make no difference for a chart.  Q4 saw Daybreak launch three expansions, with Lord of the Rings Online, EverQuest, and EverQuest II selling virtual boxes with price points as high as $250 for the super deluxe friends and family packs, which would at least lead me to assume that Q4 ought to see a significant bump.  I mean, you don’t ship content packages like that unless they are making you money.

Now, I don’t have the same chart break out for Q2 for a direct, ongoing comparison, and maybe they account for pre-orders in Q3 rather than Q4 (though generally you only count revenue when you deliver a product), but it is still something that makes you wonder.

Anyway, the classes I took on finance and accounting were all more than 30 years ago at this point, so my opinions do not carry a lot of weight.

Instead, I’ll move on to the forward looking statements, as there is a slide dedicated to EG7’s 2022 plans.

EG7 Q4 2021 slide 16

In the short term they have a couple of games in the pipeline.  They are also expecting Lord of the Rings Online to see an uptick due to Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power streaming series, which is slated to premier in September.

Then there is Magic The Gathering Online, which I will get to in a moment, along with some mergers and acquisitions they have going.  I wonder who is left worth buying?

While the business focus is “2022,” the last time around things in the medium term seemed more likely to come to pass in 2023.  Big updates for LOTRO and DCUO were previously mentioned, so MTGO is the new piece in that picture.

And then there is the long term, which looks somewhat different that it did in the Q3 2021 presentation, with a promise of new products based on EverQuest and H1Z1, along with DCUO.  That is new.  I am not sure what it means, and after the folly of EverQuest Next I am not about to get invested in any fantasies about what it might mean, but there it is.  And H1Z1?  They can’t let that go, but there is still nobody actually working on it either last I heard, so I don’t even know where to go with that.

Missing is any reference to the Mavel IP MMO being developed, mentioned as part of the Q3 2021 presentation, which was probably the most widely reported thing EG7 has ever announced.  It is mentioned in passing in the Ji Ham statement at the top of the interim financial report, but that isn’t exactly top billing, so that might be far enough out that they don’t want to wear out its popularity too quickly.

And then there is Magic the Gathering Online, which gets a slide all to itself.

EG7 Q4 2021 Slide 4

EG7 announced this deal back in December, and we’re getting a little more detail now.

“Acquihire” generally means to buy another company to get their development team as opposed to their product line, though given that this is being billed as a license deal with no upfront purchase (free to play acquisitions!),  “aquihire” might be the wrong term, but I am not sure what the right word would be.

But the result is that the team that was working on MTGO now works for Daybreak and are carrying on developing and supporting the live game.  EG7 is highlighting this, and it is a big deal with some revenue heft behind it.

But deals like this don’t happen when a title is doing super awesome and revenue is expected to keep growing.  Magic the Gathering Arena, which is available on mobile devices, as opposed to the Windows only MTGO, is said to be the new hotness for digital MTG fans, with a superior business model and all that.

I am not saying that EG7 is being too optimistic.  MTGO is still a substantial business and an immediate addition to their revenue stream.  They are winning on this deal from day one.  And there is no doubt a solid, core player base invested (literally and figuratively) in this title.  But there is a reason that this deal isn’t getting anything close to the amount of press the Marvel IP announcement did.

Anyway, that is 2021 for EG7.  On to 2022.

Related:

The January EVE Online Monthly Economic Report with More Data Format Changes

After getting two MERs last month… well, three if you count the December redo of mining data… the January 2022 MER landed this week with some more changes to data formatting.

EVE Online nerds harder

There is some extraneous data in some of the .csv files and some new HTML versions of the charts in the mix now.  The latter are kind of cool as you can mouse over to see data broken out, but I can’t embed them in my posts, so they are not that much use except for data extraction, and we need them for that because CCP appears dead set against giving us the new mining data in .csv format.  (CCP Larrikin did respond in /r/eve about the changing data formats (scroll down to the next message), but nothing about the lack of raw data to go with the pretty new HTML charts.)

Production

January saw production rise from 109 trillion ISK in value in December to 130 trillion ISK in value in January according to the regional data.

Jan 2021 – Production vs Destruction vs Mined

Unfortunately, there is a pretty wide discrepancy between the regional data and the data provided that is used to create the chart above, which shows production, destruction, and mining value.  That data shows only about 90 trillion ISK in production.

That is still up from the 83 trillion the same data set shows for December, but it still brings into question the consistency of the data provided by CCP.

As for the regional data, if we take that to be the gospel, shows the following topping the production list.

  1. The Forge – 24.69 trillion (High Sec)
  2. Delve – 14.6 trillion (Imperium)
  3. Vale of the Silent – 9.29 trillion (Fraternity)
  4. Lonetrek – 8.46 trillion (High Sec)
  5. The Citadel – 8.27 trillion (High Sec)
  6. Domain – 5.06 trillion (High Sec)
  7. Fade – 4.92 trillion (We Form V0LTA)
  8. Sinq Laison – 4.55 trillion (High Sec)
  9. Heimatar – 3.5 trillion (High Sec)
  10. Malpais – 3.29 trillion (PanFam)

As for why production was up, January did see the Doctor Who event run for most of the month and it required players to produce filaments as part of the event, so I am going to guess that was a part of the jump.

Destruction

January saw destruction about on par with the December numbers.  The big battle over the loot pinata in R-ARKN in Esoteria didn’t seem to boost the numbers that much, though players stole more than they destroyed.

Overall the regional stats report about 34 trillion ISK destroyed in January, up from 33.25 trillion ISK in December, while the production/destruction/mining data puts destruction at 33.66 trillion ISK, which is about as close as CCP ever comes to reconciling those two tables.

The regional data puts the following regions in the top ten for destruction.

  1. Vale of the Silent – 2 trillion
  2. The Forge – 1.92 trillion
  3. Lonetrek – 1.7 trillion
  4. Delve – 1.49 trillion
  5. The Citadel – 1.41 trillion
  6. Esoteria – 1.28 trillion
  7. Pochven – 1.27 trillion
  8. Metropolis – 1.24 trillion
  9. Sinq Laison – 1.11 trillion
  10. Genesis – 1.02 trillion

Trade

Total trade was valued at 623 trillion ISK, up from the 604 trillion ISK number in December though, once again, the Doctor Who event had elements that encouraged players to buy and sell on the market, and it was often necessary early on in the event to buy some of the more rare drops that way, so it no doubt helped move the total up a bit.

The top ten regions were the usual suspects.

  1. The Forge – 450 trillion (Jita)
  2. Domain – 47.33 trillion (Amarr)
  3. Lonetrek – 17.78 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  4. Sinq Laison – 16.57 trillion (Dodixie)
  5. Delve – 15.46 trillion (Imperium)
  6. Metropolis – 10.22 trillion (Hek)
  7. Heimatar – 8.07 trillion (Rens)
  8. The Kalevala Expanse – 7.09 trillion (PanFam)
  9. Vale of the Silent – 5.21 trillion (Fraternity)
  10. Essence – 4.46 trillion (Gallente High Sec)

ISK Faucets

Show me the money.  And there was money flowing into New Eden as usual, as the top of the sinks and faucets chart shows.

Jan 2022 – Faucet end of the chart big chart

For those like me whose old eyes struggle with tiny print, even when that image is enlarged, the top items are:

  • Commodity – 44.2 trillion
  • Bounty Prizes – 23 trillion
  • Incursion Payouts – 12.5 trillion
  • ESS Bounty Payouts – 9.7 trillion
  • Trig Invasion Payouts – 8.7 trillion
  • Agent Mission Rewards 3.6 trillion

Commodities are down a bit from December, though up still from November.  But both December and January had events that help feed that number.

The chart of sinks and faucets over time looks like this for January, with a post-event drop off at the end of the month for commodities.

Jan 2022 – Top Sinks and Faucets Over Time

Commodities, broken out into the various flavors.

Jan 2022 – Top Commodity Items Over Time

You can see where the event items get lumped under Overseer Personal Effects, the line that spikes for the events in December and January.

The one that remains interesting to me is the Bounty Encrypted Bones line, which come from both ESS bank thefts and ESS Reserve Bank thefts.  You have to turn them in to an NPC to get your payout, so no doubt some get destroyed on the way, but that line remains somewhat low… maybe 30 billion ISK an increment… relative to the trillions of ISK that were in the reserve banks when CCP put the keys in game last July.  There was talk of big payouts and alliances said they were going to nationalize reserves banks in certain regions.  But six months later things remain a bit dry on that front.  The keys are annoying to acquire, the locations are random when you do, and the payout for a single key is rather small.  Rather than a pipeline of riches it feels more like a soda straw of bonds being siphoned off.

And then there are the bounties, which in the regional stats add up to a total of 30.67 trillion ISK, but 32.7 trillion ISK in the cropped chart at the top when you add bounties and ESS payouts.  Some day this will all add up on different charts, but today is not that day.

The top regions for bounties according to the regional stats were:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 2.37 trillion (Fraternity)
  2. The Kalevala Expanse – 2.02 trillion (PanFam)
  3. Delve – 1.85 trillion (Imperium)
  4. Fountain – 1.66 trillion (Imperium)
  5. Malpais – 1.06 trillion (PanFam)
  6. Querious – 982 billion (Imperium)
  7. Tribute – 940 billion (Fraternity)
  8. Oasa – 939 billion (Fraternity)
  9. Insmother – 925 billion (FI.RE)
  10. Catch – 912 billion (Imperium/Others)

Again, some of the usual suspects as Fraternity, PanFam, and the Imperium work to fatten up their ISK reserves in this time of relative peace.

Mining and Mining Related Things

The part of the MER that has gotten more complicated, the place where some data in .csv files would go a long way towards making analysis easier.

To start with, we still have the ISK value of mined materials in the production/destruction/mined chart up at the top of the post.  That totals out to 32.84 trillion ISK.

But we also have a new chart with the MER that shows the ISK values for various stats per region, which mostly matches the regional stat data in the .csv file, but which also includes mining value as well, something no longer in the .csv file.

Jan 2022 – Summary of Regional Stats

If you expand that image to full size and tally up the values shown for mining, you get 27.79 trillion ISK, if I have added it up correctly.  That is about a 5 trillion ISK gap, and I would tend to favor the value from the new chart, since that would seem to be one drawing from new data sources as CCP Larrikin mentioned.

That is also kind of a low number.  Not as bad as the 16.48 trillion ISK in the first version of the December MER that CCP subsequently replaced, but still a good 10 trillion ISK shy of the November number, which again makes one wonder about the mining changes and the alleged prosperity we’re supposed to be reaping.

There is also another new chart that ranks the regions by value.

Jan 2022 – Mining Value by Region

That lines up with the other new chart, and gives another digit of precision, so we can get a top ten out of that pretty easily.

  1. Delve – 1.94 trillion (Imperium)
  2. Vale of the Silent – 1.35 trillion (Fraternity)
  3. The Forge – 1.04 trillion (High Sec)
  4. Metropolis – 1.02 trillion (High Sec)
  5. Domain – 958 billion (High Sec)
  6. Outer Passage – 946 billion (TEST)
  7. Malpais – 891 billion (PanFam)
  8. Fountain – 834 billion (Imperium)
  9. The Kalevala Expanse – 797 billion (PanFam)
  10. Etherium Reach – 761 billion (PanFam)

Save for Delve, those are all down noticeably from the pre-patch numbers in November.

And then there are the new numbers, which are by volume and which do not come with data broken out in a .csv file.  I don’t have the patience to go through all the regions, one by one, in the HTML version to get a tally.  I need to get some sleep at night.  But I did grab the top ten regions for each output.

First there is Asteroid Mining.

  1. Sinq Laison – 2.66 billion m3 (High Sec)
  2. Metropolis – 2.24 billion m3 (High Sec)
  3. Lonetrek – 2.18 billion m3 (High Sec)
  4. Heimatar – 2.02 billion m3 (High Sec)
  5. Domain – 2.00 billion m3 (High Sec)
  6. The Forge – 1.99 billion m3 (High Sec)
  7. Delve – 1.80 billion m3 (Imperium)
  8. The Citadel – 1.40 billion m3 (High Sec)
  9. Tash-Murkon – 1.39 billion m3 (High Sec)
  10. Essence – 1.18 billion m3 (High Sec)

That is looking like a high sec focused list, with only Delve making the cut outside of safe empire space.

Over time Asteroid mining looks like:

Jan 2022 – Asteroid mining over the last 12 months by volume mined

The volume is up a bit, but that waste mark at the bottom starting in December shows how much is just falling by the wayside.

For gas harvesting the top ten regions by volume were:

  1. Aridia – 15.60 million m3 (Low Sec)
  2. Placid – 15.28 million m3 (Low Sec)
  3. Delve – 14.77 million m3 (Imperium)
  4. Lonetrek – 14.54 million m3 (High Sec)
  5. The Forge – 13.60 million m3 (High Sec)
  6. Vale of the Silent – 12.54 million m3 (Fraternity)
  7. Outer Ring – 11.37 million m3 (NPC Null Sec)
  8. Curse – 10.40 million m3 (NPC Null Sec)
  9. Solitude – 10.31 million m3 (High/Low Sec)
  10. Fountain – 8.90 million m3 (Imperium)

That is more of a mix of regions, with high, low, and null sec all on the list.  It is nice to see low sec at the top of a chart now and then.

Gas mining over time looks like:

Jan 2022 – Gas mining over the last 12 months by volume mined

What that chart shows is that maybe CCP needs to make wormhole space a region by itself for these charts, as it gets completely missed in the regional listing.  The violet color is wormhole space, and it is clearly the gas huffing center of New Eden.

As mentioned last month, gas got a boost back in April with the industry revamp, which explains that spike.

For ice mining the top regions were:

  1. Metropolis – 3.30 billion m3 (High Sec)
  2. The Forge – 2.95 billion m3 (High Sec)
  3. Delve – 2.71 billion m3 (Imperium)
  4. Vale of the Silent – 1.64 billion (Fraternity)
  5. Domain – 1.64 billion m3 (High Sec)
  6. Lonetrek – 1.57 billion m3 (High Sec)
  7. Everyshore – 1.56 billion m3 (High Sec)
  8. Kador – 1.28 billion m3 (High Sec)
  9. The Kalevala Expanse – 1.02 billion m3 (PanFam)
  10. Tash-Murkon – 834 million m3 (High Sec)

This is more of a mix of high sec and some key null sec regions.  Ice over time looks like:

Jan 2022 – Ice mining over the last 12 months by volume mined

Ice volume continues to trend up.  As with the gas chart, there is a spike on the ice chart, this time in September, which is related to CCP increasing ice availability after the jump fuel crisis at the end of World War Bee when suddenly thousands of capital ships needed to travel across New Eden.

Finally there is moon mining, and the top ten regions for that:

  1. Delve – 5.09 billion m3 (Imperium)
  2. Domain – 3.26 billion m3 (High Sec)
  3. Vale of the Silent – 3.00 billion m3 (Fraternity)
  4. The Forge – 2.16 billion m3 (High Sec)
  5. Outer Passage – 2.01 billion m3 (TEST)
  6. Insmother – 1.93 billion m3 (FI.RE)
  7. Metropolis – 1.83 billion m3 (High Sec)
  8. Kador – 1.81 billion (High Sec)
  9. Genesis – 1.75 billion (High Sec)
  10. Querious – 1.53 billion m3 (Imperium)

The surprise there isn’t that Delve is on top… busy bees are mining day and night… but that so many primarily high sec regions made the cut.  Granted, they all have some low sec systems, where moon mining can take place, but otherwise such mining is only allowed in 0.5 security status systems.

Moon mining over time looks like:

Jan 2022 – Moon mining over the last 12 months by volume mined

That chart shows that a) there are clearly some mining operations on the same cycle causing those regular spikes and b) low sec doesn’t really enter into it as the vast majority of moon mining is null sec and high sec.

And so it goes.  Anyway, as I always mention, these charts and many more are available with the download package that is part of the MER blog post.

Related items:

 

Playing Together in Lost Ark

Having managed to guild up and group up in Lost Ark, the next step in the game was for the group to actually play together.

Welcome to Lost Ark

Fortunately Lost Ark, like New World, has a main set of story line quests that guide you through the game.  And, Lost Ark doesn’t bypass instances the way New World did… or at least it hasn’t yet.

What the game doesn’t do is help you out figuring who is where on the quest chain, at least not directly.  It does, however, give you a list of all of your completed quests, sorted by type, and listed in the correct order, so you can figure it out without a lot of effort by just comparing notes.  And, frankly, that was enough.

I had said on Discord that we should all get past the point where you get your pet, which led to a bit of confusion because you only get that quest once per server.  Lost Ark shares your pets and mounts and a few other things between your characters on the same server.  This is how I ended up with all three default mounts, I picked a different color with each character I created and noticed that my past picks were also available.

Anyway, we got that sorted, Ulajoon had already done the pet quest, but Sneetch needed to do it.  Eventually we got ourselves sorted and three of us rode out to roll up the quest chain.  I was ahead of most of the group, having stopped at The Snake’s Gem, which sends you into an instance.

Main line quests are orange

Ulajoon was part way there and Sneetch was a couple of zones away, so we started working our way towards the instance, one quest at a time.

Riding on to quest completion

While I was ahead in levels and down the quest chain, I wasn’t worried about slaying mobs getting me further out front, because mob xp is trivial.  Most mobs are with 1 or 2xp at a point when levels are already in the tens of thousands to complete.  Questing is the only viable way to level up, grinding won’t do it for you.

Also, the zones in Lost Ark are… not really zones, are they.  I mean, technically they are, but in the spirit of the great overland zones of EverQuest or World of Warcraft, they are kind of small and not very memorable.  They are more a setting for specific encounters, so you go up the narrow path and into the open area to kill some things, or find something, or maybe battle a boss, then you go down another path to a camp with a triport teleport station to turn in a quest and get another one, which sends you on down the line to then next little zone.

This isn’t necessarily bad.  They remind me a bit of Diablo III zones, though not as crafted to support the story.

The instances, however, have been quite memorable so far.  Those are the highlights along the way that give flesh to the game.

The three of us did fairly well overland.  Nandru joined us further on down the line, giving us a group of four made up of:

  • Ulajoon – Gunslinger
  • Nandru – Artillerist
  • Sneetch – Sharpshooter
  • Tistann – Deadeye

While we are all gunners, there is a bit of variety in our skills.  Ulajoon and Tistann are just female and male versions of the same class, with the same abilities, though she was hot on the close range pistols while I was favoring the shotgun and its nice knock-back ability.

Sneetch, as a sharpshooter, carries a bow that would make Ted Nugent jealous.  It looks like a bat-kite on his back.  But for crazy weapons, the award goes to Nandru and the artillerist class.  We’re all a bit goofy, blasting our way across the game, but Nandru’s weapon is something else.

Nandru has a big weapon

When he showed up and started shooting and using special attacks, I was laughing.  That big thing he is hauling around has a mini-gun, a grenade launcher, and a flamethrower as part of its special attacks.

We got ourselves up to the step before the instance, then had to wait a bit on some technical issues.  Nandru and Ulajoon recently moved and have a new house with a new router and new internet service, and there have been some lag and disconnect issues to sort out.  We had some idle time while that was worked out, but we got to a point where connections were stable enough to go into the instance.

All together in The Snakes Gem

It was my first time into an instance in a group, so we were learning as we went.  When Ulajoon ran to it the first time, we all got a pop-up asking for the go/no go response, something like a ready check.  If somebody doesn’t say “Yes” to the alert, then you are all back outside still.

But once we got everybody to click “Yes” we were in, with a new instance quest to guide us.

Quest coloring, with blue being the quest for the instance

We also went into the instance in normal mode rather than hard.  I was thinking hard might be better as a group, as it seemed fairly easy to run solo with my paladin. However, it became clear early on that difficulty scales with group size… or we’re even worse at this game than I imagine.

I am going to go with scaling to preserve my ego.  And we did okay.  It was some work and a lot of staying mobile and drinking potions, but it was fun and a bit frantic as we went.  I was worried with four rather squishy DPS players in the group… I had a paladin leveled up and on that quest as well in case we needed somebody in armor to stand up front… but, as I said, we did okay.

I took zero screen shots during the run, which speaks to how busy I was running and gunning as we moved through.  I believe Ulajoon died during one of the boss fights, but we managed to carry on otherwise, making it to the end.

So, we came here for this?

We completed the quest, leveled up, and were still all together.

It had been a somewhat long evening with interruptions, so we stood together to play the song of escape to leave the dungeon.  I don’t know what they gave gunners electric guitars, but now we look like a Spinal Tap tribute band.

Rock on! Sleeves are optional!

And, after that I said that everybody should hold where they are on the quest line, that we’ll get back together and pick up from where we left off.  Which we can do without having to avoid playing the game because, unlike New World, we can have alts.

Anyway, this was a bit of a test run on an easy, early instance.  We’ll see how it goes as we get further down the line.  The next big instance is a pretty one with some interesting boss fights that will be a challenge with our group.

EverQuest II Launches the Kael Drakkel Lore and Legend Server

The Norrath team has hit another item on their 2022 roadmap this week as they launched the new Kael Drakkel Lore & Legend server for EverQuest II.

Lore & Legend time

The theme of this server is going back to run older content.  When you create a character at the main screen, there is a new option for Lore & Legend

The one on the far right

You then go through the usual character creation process, choose Qeynos or Freeport as your home, pick a name, then launch yourself onto the Kael Drakkel server.

There you start off at level 90 in The Great Divide, the start of the 2011 expansion Destiny of Velious content, with a full set of gear and adept skills.  It is almost heady to be in that era of the game with stats and bonuses on gear in double digits and attacks that aren’t counted up in the millions of points of damage.

From there you can carry on into the Destiny of Velious content, or you can go back to older zones, at which point you will be auto-mentored down to an appropriate level for the content.  I dropped myself into Antonica and found myself at level 15.

Of course, the EQII downleveling system is a little aggressive, so you’ll be at least a bit overpowered and ready to take on most any encounter you come across.  That said, I did see my power bar move in combat, so it isn’t like the current live meta where, unless some mob has a power draining attack, you can just keep on using your combat skills forever.

The purpose of the server is to run the older content and claim achievements.  There are 1,800 achievements available on the server, so there is a race to see who can collect them all first.

Achievements also earn you earn you special tokens which you can spend at the achievements vendor.

Some more tokens for you for… overseer level 5!

I am semi-interested in this whole idea, just to go run the older content.  We’ll see if I find the time though.

There is even a trailer for the launch.

 

The server info and FAQ are available on the EverQuest II site.  Launch night saw six instances of The Great Divide zone, where you land once you join the game, indicating some interest in the idea.  We will have to see how it plays out.

Addendum:  I forgot to point out, as I generally do, that in order to play on any EverQuest or EverQuest II special server you must be a subscriber.  Free to play is for the regular live servers only.

Moving to Lost Ark

The instance group decided this past weekend to give Lost Ark a try.  This had less to do with Lost Ark being seen as an awesome destination well suited to our play style and more to do with our ongoing bemusement with New World.

Welcome to Lost Ark

While there has been no shortage of issues with New World since its launch, we have spent most of our time on lower population servers where we were not feeling the full weight of Amazon’s incompetence.

That changed with the latest round of server merges that pushed us onto a much more active server.  Last week there server saw a number of PvP battles over the territories in the game and it quickly became clear than the defenders were using some sort of exploit to crash the server in order to fend off attacks.  Ula reported on Discord a particularly miserable time on Friday with constant disconnects as the Marauder defenders were doing things to bring down the game.

And, as with every other exploit so far Amazon seems to think this is fine and no penalties are levied on those breaking the game for their own benefit.  New World feels more and more like a failed experiment.

Don’t mind if we do

Lost Ark, on the other hand, seems to be thriving for now.  It is not without its problems, especially if you’re trying to get into the game in Europe, where they had to create a whole new play region.  (Note to Amazon, more people actually live in the EU than the US, so if you think you need to divide the US into east/west regions, then that might apply to the EU as well.)

It is also free, on Steam, and different enough from previous games we’ve played… WoW Classic, Diablo II, and New World being the recent list… to not feel like we’re just playing a reskin or a WoW clone.  Say what you will about Lost Ark, it has its own thing going on right now.  And it does, in fact, have fat, colorful pinata mounts in the cash shop if you so desire.

That meant getting us all together, which is always a task.  I started playing early and was on one of the original US West servers, which was overloaded and wasn’t accepting new characters.  Ula came along shortly after me, but after that server was locked out, so rolled up on another server.  Potshot soon followed and we convinced Tankerbell to download the game on Saturday, and were soon all playing characters on the same server.

Names were kind of an issue.  Amazon, with an eye towards server merges again I guess, made naming at least regionally unique, and possibly unique across their entire version of the game, so finding a name took as much time in character creation as anything else.  I was on early enough to get a couple of my standard names, but it was a chore.

We were, of course, all at different levels doing different things, so there was talk about making a new set of characters to play together.  I blurted out that we should all make gunner class characters, which seemed ripe for comedy, and everybody said yes and suddenly we had four gunners running around.  Specifically:

  • Ulajoon – Gunslinger
  • Nandru – Artillerist
  • Sneetch – Sharpshooter
  • Tistann – Deadeye

With characters set, we had to find each other.  We exchanged friend invites, then I created a guild, which only cost 2,000 coins and was more straightforward than I expected.

Do you seek the font of knowledge?

The name itself is a rerun from the EverQuest guild we created when the Vox server went live back in… oh my, was that all the way back in 2012?  Time does fly.

Way back in the day

I started inviting people, though there seems to be a 2 day cool down period after accepting an invite during which you are stuck at the newbie rank.  Or at least that is what I think the message means.

But, I also found that you can apply to join a guild, which doesn’t require somebody to be on and able to accept before a timer runs out, so I was able to get a couple of alts in.  Once the timer runs down I can promote people and we can have officers able to invite alts on the fly and all of that.

There is actually a lot going on with guilds in Lost Ark, with tasks and levels and research and weekly tasks and bloodstones all mentioned in the guild UI.  And there isn’t a lot of information out there, so we’ll have to figure all of that out as we go.

Also, the guild history is running on a clock other than either of the western US time zones it seems… and maybe a day behind as well.  Not a big deal, but odd.

And then I created a chat tab for just guild communications because the general area chat, which was garbage early on has now progressed to be almost completely gold seller spam.

Welcome to every free to play MMO launch ever

Area chat is pretty much useless now in any popular area.  Amazon has said they plan to limit access to area chat to characters level 35 and above at some point, but they have yet to specify when that will happen.  It is on their list of top issues.  Of course, Amazon has been contributing to chat spam in its own way, so go figure.

Then we started trying to get together in a single location, which is how we all learned about channels.

Lost Ark has consistently been passing the one million concurrent player mark since launch according to Steam DB, which is fairly impressive, since the total player base is likely multiple times that amount since we don’t all log on at once.

Downward slope! Everybody panic!

When Ulajoon, Tistann, and Sneetch first got into a group together we were all in Pridehome and could see the markers for the others on the mini-map… also, cheers for a mini-map after playing New World… but couldn’t see each other.  The group display on the right showed the others in the group grayed out and a channel number next to each.

As one might expect with a game hosting a million people concurrently but with not that many servers per region… compare it to something like the number of New World servers we ended up with… the game runs multiple versions of the same zone in parallel.  And, for whatever reason, they decided to call them “channels” as opposed to “phases” or “instances” or whatever.  I guess that is a good enough name once you know what it means, but I always think of a “channel” as a dedicated communications conduit rather than a plane of existence.  Maybe I am just thinking too small.

Anyway, after some thrashing about, we found that you could “change channels” using a drop-down located above the mini-map.

No remote needed to change channels

That deciphered, we were able to actually see each other for the first time in game.

Ulajoon, Sneetch, and Tistann together

Sneetch wasn’t yet in the guild at that point.  Also, it took a couple minutes to decipher what the blue bar was above the heads of others in the group was.  It turns out to be a health bar, which is fine, it is just aqua blue isn’t the usual color for such things… and I would point to the the group listing on the side of the screen where everybody also has a health bar colored in red.

Group listing

Anyway, we were now set to venture out in the world together.  We will see how bad of an idea an all gunner group is going to be.  At least you can have alts in Lost Ark, so we can swap out if the balance is wrong.

And, despite being different sub-classes of gunners, all of the male characters sport the same look.

Gunners Sneetch and Tistann

The shako hat is fine, reminiscent of the old rifle regiments of the British Army, but I am not sure about the whole skin tight sleeveless top look.  I mean, I wish I had abs like that.

Anyway, we’re all grouped up and ready for adventure.

Alpha Clones Can’t Jump

Having let my account lapse into Alpha status, I immediately started looking into what I could do which, on the face of it, was a bit absurd as part of the reason I let my account lapse was because I wasn’t really doing much of anything in New Eden save go on a fleet now and again to keep my participation up so as to not get kicked from KarmaFleet (which is a fairly low bar to clear) and to get on a kill mail at least once a month to keep my trend since May 2014 going.

One of the things I figured I could do was run off and explore, there being a hard to scan down Heron fit available.  You cannot be cloaked as an Alpha, so you need to be hard to find if you’re going to wander around in hostile space.

I had tried the Heron fit, which came from Johnny Splunk of Signal Cartel, an EVE player I have actually met and talked to a few times at EVE Vegas, on one of my never been Omega accounts a while back and had one sitting around in the Amarr Empire, which is close enough to Imperium space that I figured I could go pick it up.

As it so happened I had a clone sitting in Keberz, which is the high sec system connected to HED-GP and Catch, so flew my other Alpha down there, dropped the Heron in the Fortizar where I had the clone, and contracted it to Wilhelm.

Then I logged that account out, logged in as Wilhelm, and clone jumped to the Fortizar in Keberz.

Which, of course, means that the title of this post is a lie… but I wanted to go with the 30 year old movie reference, so you’re stuck with it.  Also, the title of my previous post about Alphas was a lie as well, as I found out later that there are two skills under Resource Processing that I could train into… Reactions I and Gas Harvesting I & II… which means that I am not at the maximum Alpha state that I thought I was.

So I am an unreliable narrator and also off on a tangent.  Back to the tale.

Alpha clones can jump, and I landed just fine in Keberz.  What I could not do, however, was install a fresh jump clone.  I would not be jumping back to Keberz for another easy pickup.

As an Omega I had all of the Infomorph related skills trained out to level V and honestly wish there was a Super Advanced Infomorph Psychology because I feel like I need about five more clones just to keep up with all of my cloning needs.

I have clones in Jita and Amarr for market and shipping needs, one in Fora from back when you had to go to a system that sold skills in order to buy them (which has training implants in it, so I haven’t deleted it), five clones in 1DQ1-A for various implant load outs, and then a couple more at strategic points that might be handy to get to, including Keberz.

A few of my clones

You can have ten total with skills maxed out and I almost always had ten installed.  When you are an Alpha clone however, your ability to get into the Infomorph Psychology skills is fairly limited.  Basically, you can train Infomorph Psychology I and that is it.

1 out of 15 levels available

With that you can install just one jump clone.  So the clone management window tells me that I have 9 out 1 clones installed.

It does not lie

That was 10 our of a maximum of 1, but I took the screen shot after I jumped to Keberz.

On the one hand, I am grateful as to how CCP handled that, not simply destroying all of my jump clones.  On the other hand, I am going to have to be very careful about which clones I jump to and what I do.

I did managed to pick up the Heron I wanted and flew it back into Imperium space without any mishaps.  Then I went out, found a wormhole, and flew around exploring.

Heron out doing its thing

And a while of that reminded me that I don’t really know much about exploring and that scanning and probing are not high on my list of fun things to do in the game.  The Heron is too fragile and Alpha skills are to low to do much in any case.  So I found my way back to Delve and put the Heron back in the hangar until I need it for something.

Summing Up my Nintendo 3DS Play Time

Nintendo is making it clear that the Wii U and 3DS gaming platforms are coming to the end of their supported life.  As with the Wii before them, they are turning down services and trying to make it clear that the future, as far as their platform exclusive titles are concerned, is on the Switch.

This past week it was announced that the Nintendo was set to turn off Virtual Console support as of March 2023, after which no new purchases or fresh downloads would be allowed.  This set off some wailing and gnashing of teeth, but if history is any sort of lesson, this was inevitable.  Even Sony, which supports their hardware long after it has been supplanted by newer models, eventually ends that support… though push back got them to extend support for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita stores after they initially announced those were to be turned off last year.  But that is merely a stay of the inevitable execution.  The PlayStation 3 launched in 2006.

Anyway, in order to soften the blow or to turn the pending demise of the platform into a moment of nostalgia, Nintendo has put up a page that allows you to explore your Nintendo 3DS and Wii U memories.

Soon memories and some hardware will be all that is left

I saw that Aywren had posted about her memories, so I went to check out when the site had to say about my own play time.

Of course, I never had a Wii U, so that part of the report was not much use to me, but I did have a Nintendo 3DS XL.  In fact, I had… have… still have sitting on my desk, still charging… a pair of them, including the final revision of the line, the 2DS XL.

The final incarnation of the dual screen line

I’m still a tad bitter about that, having bought and moved onto the unit at just about the exact moment that Gamefreak declared that there would be no more core Pokemon RPG titles on the platform.

Why would that irk me?  Well, I think the play time report they provided illustrates that.

It is Pokemon all the way down…

The top three on the list are Pokemon Sun, Pokemon Y, and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.

The prime games for me

Those three titles alone add up to 440 of the 518 hours of play time I recorded on the console.

Other titles that they show beyond the top three include:

  • Pokemon Omega Ruby
  • Pokemon Ultra Moon
  • Pokemon Blue
  • Pokemon Silver
  • Pokemon Bank
  • Pokemon Sun & Moon Special Demo
  • Poke Transporter

Given that it takes 30 or so hours to play through the main story of a Pokemon game, there is enough time left unaccounted for to have played a couple of those titles through.  I know I played through Pokemon Blue for the 20th anniversary of the series, there being a blog post about it.

Pretty much the only non-Pokemon apps on the list were YouTube, Netflix, StreetPass Mii Plaza, and Mario Kart 7.  I doubt I spent much time with any of them on the 3DS.  I certainly only tried Netflix and YouTube to see what watching video was like on the unit.  It was no substitute for an iPad… or even the average smart phone.

So that is my time spent on the Nintendo 3DS.  That might have been past my peak of Pokemon play times… I put 243 hours alone on Pokemon SoulSilver on the old cobalt blue Nintendo DS Lite… but it was still an era that saw a decent amount of play time.

The Switch Lite I now own hasn’t seen anywhere close to that much play time, but the platform is still young.

64-Bit EverQuest Arrives Successfully

The promised update from the 2022 roadmap came and went this week without much in the way of drama.  Yes, they announced the servers were up and then brought them back down minutes later.  But everything was up and running again well inside the 8 hour time frame the team announced.  EverQuest is now running as a 64-bit application on client and server.

EverQuest, the classic

That probably doesn’t really mean much today.  The game still loads up and patches today the same way it did last week… at least if I remember to run it as Administrator.

Which I forgot to do again

EverQuest certainly isn’t the first older title to make the jump to 64-bit, or even the first Daybreak title, since Lord of the Rings Online has already gone there.

And it probably doesn’t need the upgrade as badly as, say, EVE Online needed it.  Large battles were causing the EVE Online client to cross the 2GB memory access barrier of 32-bit and crashing clients.

But perhaps it is a prerequisite for the “new UI engine” that was at the “beyond 2022” end of January’s roadmap.

I do wish that the Norrath team would do an old school CCP-like dev blog about how the tech will help them.  I know that they need to go there in order to ensure that EverQuest (and later this year, EverQuest II) remain active and viable titles in a world where 64-bit operating systems are now the norm and support for 32-bit will eventually go away.  It will be a while.  It took going to 64-bit Windows 10 for Microsoft to finally end 16-bit support (RIP my original Civilization II disk), so it is best to get upgraded now rather than wait until the end is nigh.

Still, it has been quite a ride from 1999, when apps that required 8.3 file names were still around, to today when my phone probably has more computing power than my first dozen computers all combined.

EverQuest in 1999

I did actually roll up a fresh character, a dwarven berserker, on the Vox server, just to see if things were running okay.  I don’t know if I will play him very far… I have started many a new character over the years, and most of them end up lingering between levels 17 and 24… but it is my first character in the 64-bit era of EverQuest.

Anyway, with 64-bit comes new system requirements, which you can find posted on their site.