Daily Archives: August 31, 2022

August in Review

The Site

This month I want to ask if anybody has noticed any issues with getting email updates from the blog.  I bring this up because I sure have.

I monitor the email delivery mechanism on three different email accounts.  One of them, which is subscribed to get a weekly digest every Monday, has been going fine.  But the other two, which are supposed to get daily updates… something went way wrong at some point in July.  Here is the inbox for one of them.

Some gaps are apparent

It looks like delivery has picked back up again, at least on that account, but there were issues.

Meanwhile, on the other account setup for daily updates, those stopped on July 26th and have not resumed.

The main difference between the two is that the first is somewhat recent, having only run from about 2015 or so, while the other, which stopped on July 26th, has pretty much run since the earliest days of the blog.  There is a folder in there that has an email version of almost every blog post I have written over the last sixteen years.

So I am curious if anybody else noted an outage.

Or course, that might be a silly question to raise here.  If you subscribe by email and have stopped getting updates you likely aren’t going to get the update that includes this post.

Still, I thought I would try.

One Year Ago

It was Blaugust of course, and we had almost 50 participants as the event opened up.  I wondered if it was better to have one blog or multiple, I was on about my RSS feeds, and wrote something about motivation and passion.

Niantic relented on some of their post-COVID feature roll backs, most importantly the range at which you can access gyms and Pokestops.

The Enad Global 7 Q2 2022 financials included the announcement that Ji Ham, once acting CEO of Daybreak, would not be acting CEO of EG7.

The Q2 2021 results for Activision Blizzard came out.  It was hard to tell if the state of California lawsuit and the stories relating to it were having an effect on the bottom line for Blizzard yet.  I was fairly sure that Blizzard had beshat itself such that the company would drop their name from the company letterhead.  I mean, the stories were ugly.

That didn’t stop me from jumping into the Diablo II Resurrected beta however.

The instance group was getting its epic mounts in WoW Classic.  That done we went back to give Hellfire Ramparts another try as a group of four.  We also went back to Blackrock Depths (for probably the 14th time) to scare up some stuff for Ula to disenchant.

Honest Game Trailers and Carbot were doing videos about Burning Crusade Classic.

I continued my exploration of immersion, this time looking at EverQuest and then EVE Online.

I gave The Fermi Paradox a try.

In EVE Online the days of World War Bee wound down to an end.  PAPI tired of the siege and the Imperium was able to retake all of its space very quickly.

I also wrote two Friday bullet point posts.  Past me loves to do those just to annoy future me I am sure.

The first one covered New World being delayed, Switch sales numbers, FFXIV subscription numbers, the Chinese government being down on video games again, the one year anniversary of EVE Echoes, and another free EverQuest II character boost.  Kind of a lot in that one.

The second one brought up Richard Bartle’s Designing Virtual Worlds book being available for free, Quantic Foundry research about cross-gender play, EA making lock boxes slightly less bad, and a video looking at what happened with Vanguard and EverQuest Next.

Finally, there was the tale of the missing tree on our street.

Five Years Ago

ArenaNet announced the Path of Fire expansion for Guild Wars 2.

In Lord of the Rings Online the Mordor expansion went live with all sorts of new… activities.  I was able to get in and claim my expansion items.

In a Friday Bullet Points post I was looking at financial numbers from Blizzard, NCsoft, and SuperData.  I was also wondering if Raptr was dead.

Age of Empires IV was announced, or hinted at, or something.  I wasn’t sure it was a good idea.  And StarCraft Remastered was launched.

The summer blogger Fantasy Movie League wrapped up, with Liore winning.

I was feeling the urge to go play a flight sim game.  The problem is that I am bad at flight sims game and no longer having the patience to get good at them.

In EVE Online there was the Hakkonen deployment, where the Imperium went to go tangle with NCDot and Pandemic Legion on their doorstep.  I will just list out the post rather than trying to weave a narrative from all the links.

As part of the ops, and because of the seeming impending demise of POSes, I did a post about blowing up POS towers from each of the four empires.  As of this writing the Player Owned Starbase is still a thing in New Eden.

There was also an update for EVE Online in August, which among other things remove the captain’s quarters.  There was also the Alpha Strike event later in the month.  The monthly economic report showed Delve was still booming.  I hit 180 million skill points.

In other news, Vince Draken was asked to step down from CSM12 and Andrew Groen’s Empires of EVE came out in audiobook form.

I summed up my year of playing Pokemon Go.  I started late.  I was tempted to do that again this year… but I had too many posts already in August.

I was pondering replacing my aging Logitech G15 keyboard.  I haven’t yet, mostly because I would miss the LCD display… and because it still mostly works, even if it doesn’t light up quite the way it used to.  A year later and it is still there on my desk.

And, finally, a game dev was arguing that a good video game ought to cost $1,000,  which got me into rant mode as whiny entitlement tends to do.  And I was pretty sure we already had a game that expensive in the form of World of Warcraft.  Blizz was just smart enough to not ask for all the money up front.

Ten Years Ago

Star Trek Online was totally not dying and Star Wars: The Old Republic was totally not struggling as it shed more customers and announced it was going free to play.

Then Vanguard suddenly went free to play ahead of schedule, no doubt trying to get in early and avoid the crowd.

It was announced that NCsoft would be closing down City of Heroes.

Torchlight II gave us a launch date.  But not before giving us a date for a date.  But there was no date for the promised MacOS version.

Turbine delayed Riders of Rohan, but continued pushing the crazy stuff you would see.

SOE decided that you can afford integrity only after you pay the bills, and threw in with lockboxes.  What happened to the implied social contract?

Guild Wars 2 went live at last, thwarting Blizzard’s nefarious scheme.

Also live was Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the successor to the original Half-Life based Counter-Strike.

I was paid up on my 1 year subscription for World of Warcraft, but Blizzard wouldn’t let me cancel further payment.  They must have been concerned about subscribers, having dropped more subs than SWTOR had left.

Speaking of year long commitments, Trion liked that Blizzard idea so much, they did it themselves and gave us an ugly mount for it right away.  Oh, and they got rid of faction group restrictions.  What population problems?  The instance group started on its attendance slide, with just four of us trying Runic Descent.  At least we had instant adventures.  Or was that instant levels?

In EVE Online, there was a revamp of mining ships.  I listed them out and wondered which would become the most popular.  In the end, the Mackinaw won I think.  All the while CSM7 seemed intent on proving that the thing they loved most in EVE Online was themselves.

Meanwhile, having been asked by TEST to leave the war down in Delve, the CFC got into a scrap with Northern Coalition over moons.  We fought in Venal and some monkeys lost a titan.  We were staging in QPO for a thrust into Tribute with the goal of taking a forward base at UMI-KK.

AWESOMESAUCE.LIVE was announced.  Only the fact that it was later cancelled preserved my faith in humanity.

Finally, I took the crazy train out of Barstow and threw out a few movie reviews.

Fifteen Years Ago

I won something in a contest!  A Warp Drive Active Shirt!

And speaking of EVE Online, I started down the training path to get my alt flying a Hulk.  As with most such ventures, it began with mining in the modest Bantam frigate and the oddly shaped Osprey cruiser.  Also, our corp, the Twilight Cadre was founded.  I also wrote up a piece on how to find an agent in EVE Online (without external resources) that was one of the most viewed posts on this site for quite a stretch. It only took CCP four years to make the whole thing less convoluted.

I also had a wish list for the game that included ship skins and a training queue.  Got those… eventually!  And I was deep into learning skills. Then there was a post about RMT and how CCP was already selling ISK, if indirectly. And I was still doing the Revelations expansion new player tutorial.

The instance group was still in Lord of the Rings Online.  There were updates expanding the game and all sorts of offers to get people to subscribe.  I was more annoyed by that horse dialog you get when mounted and how understated leveling up could be.

I received a copy of the first issue of EQuinox, the official EverQuest II magazine.  It was… thin.  And it had a dark elf on the cover.  You would think there were no other races in Norrath with all the play dark elves get.

Meanwhile, Qeynos harbor was full of rumors about Sarnak!

Legends of Norrath was announced at SOE Fan Faire 2007.  I was not there, but I listened to the presentation live while IM’ing with Darren about what we heard.  I never actually played LoN during its existence, aside from opening up free packs I got hoping for in-game drops.  Other than that, I am just not the collectible card game kind of person.

I purchased the Richard Garriot’s Tabula Rasa Pre-Order box, only to find that getting into the beta, as was promised on the outside of the box, was not as easy as I had hoped.  You had to get access to the beta forum to get the information, and the beta forum was not letting people in!

In a strange turn of fate, I happened to take a look at PlayOn on the very day they posted their WoW Random Guild Name Generator.  So I posted a quick link to it, which in turn became my most viewed post for a long, long time.  The popularity was related to some Google algorithm which put up this site on the first page of searches related to guild name generators.

CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson stirred up the “why so much fantasy?” discussion about MMOs and I put out my own views, to which I now just link back whenever the discussion comes back up again.

I listed out five signs that would herald World of Warcraft becoming truly mainstream.  We did get an Azeroth version of Monopoly eventually.  I was presciently pessimistic about a Warcraft movie.

On the Guild Wars front, the final expansion for the game, Eye of the North, launched.  It differed from the previous two expansions in that you did not need to own any of the Guild Wars boxes in order to play.  Yes, everything came in boxes back then.  I still have the Eye of the North box.

Auto Assault, a strange and troubled MMO… vehicular MMOs are always troubled it seems… was shut down by NCsoft on this very day in 2007.

And, finally, it was ten years ago when TAGN hit the 100,000 page view milestone.  We have had a few more since then.

Most Viewed Posts in August

  1. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  2. The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
  3. New Eden and the Year of Disappointment
  4. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  5. CCP Lets EVE Online Players with Multiple Accounts Subscribe Secondary Accounts at a Lower Price
  6. 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
  7. Why is there Not Another MMO Like EVE Online?
  8. Why Be Mad at CCP?
  9. Blaugust Begins 2022
  10. CCP Takes Aim at Cloaky Campers in EVE Online
  11. EVE Valkyrie, Gunjack, and Sparc All Coming to an End on August 5th
  12. Meta putting its Best Foot Forward in the Metaverse

Search Terms of the Month

эффективная ферма стражей в майнкрафте
[We had one of those in our world]

гнозис и праксис в еве
[The Society of Conscious Thought ships have low skill requirements]

еве онлайн эзотерика
[By some measures I suppose]

Sometimes I do Russian search terms to be funny, but this month that was all I had.  Yandex has me covered in a way Bing never has.

Game Time by ManicTime

Two games?  Is that all I played in August?

Well, on my PC, yes.  As I note down below, the group slipped back in to WoW Classic pretty smoothly, even if we are still in Outland.  Anyway, the time split between the two was:

  • WoW Classic – 77.12%
  • EVE Online – 22.88%

Part of the reason that WoW Classic has dominated is that it is easy for me to chill for a bit in the evening and run some quests on an alt while listening to an audio book or podcast.  That was my end of the day relaxation this month.  Even with only two titles, I did end up playing a few more hours than I did in July.

EVE Online

I think I spent most of my time in game moving from one place to the next.  I got some extra ships out to our staging in Tenerifis just in time to turn around and start moving them back.  But I’ll get to that in tomorrow’s post.  I did undock for an op or two, but nothing of much note.  I kept my planetary industry going, my only source of income these days outside of my Imperium bonds.

Pokemon Go

There were some events and new raids to

  • Level: 42 ( 75.8% of the way to 43 in xp, 4 of 4 tasks complete)
  • Pokedex status: 725 (+8) caught, 746 (+7) seen
  • Mega Evolutions obtained: 15 of 22
  • Pokemon I want: I need a Torkoal for my Hoenn Pokedex
  • Current buddy: Quillfish (need to do 10 raids with him before he will evolve)

WoW Classic

The instance group landed back in Azeroth and it was such a comfortable and smooth return it is kind of hard for me to believe that we only returned this month.  I mean sure, The Burning Crusade is still nobody in our groups favorite WoW era and we are really just there to ramp up for Wrath of the Lich King Classic… but Nagrand is nice.  Seriously, we are reluctant to finish up there, because the next stop… the Blade’s Edge Mountains… another zone I am not in love with.  But we only have to get to 68 to be ready for Wrath, right?

Zwift

I have gotten into a new rhythm with Zwift now.  I had been doing short rides three or four times a week for a stretch, then we hit the great disruption of a new job and a new schedule.  Now I have settled down into longer rides on the weekends.  I am still not riding as much over all, but I am back to getting in at least an hour a week on the bike.

  • Level – 16 (+1)
  • Distanced cycled – 1,179.9 miles (+75.4 miles)
  • Elevation climbed – 47,612 (+3,275 feet)
  • Calories burned – 38,435 (+2,220)

Coming Up

Wrath of the Lich King Classic launches on the 26th of September.  The month will be a road to Northrend with the pre-expansion events kicking off, starting with the pre-patch, which landed YESTERDAY, which means we’ll have to figure out/remember what the class specs were like.

CCP should be returning to work after summer vacations.  Perhaps we’ll start getting some of the stuff they brought up at EVE Fanfest back in May.

Today is the last day for the Anor server in LOTRO.  I have to think about where to transfer characters from that or if I should even bother.  My main is probably worth moving.

And the blog will be celebrating another milestone next month, but we’ll get to that when the time comes.