December in Review

The Site

The end of another calendar year has arrived.  As it approached I did make it to the milestone I was attempting to achieve, posting for one thousand days in a row.

A four digit number

That and a double sawbuck will get me something at Starbucks.

I am actually up to 1,008 days in a row today, having a bunch of year end stuff to finish up.  And I’ll hit 1,009 tomorrow for sure.  But at some point soon I’ll take a day off and break the streak.

It was actually not a bad month for traffic here at TAGN, though that was largely due, once again, to somebody rolling up on the site in the middle of the night and viewing all the pages.  Or something.  I don’t know.  I just woke up and found I was about five thousand page views ahead of the norm that day.

The middle finger, in the nicest possible way

So an uptick this month, but not exactly representative of the trend around here, which is all down hill.  The new year will no doubt revert this momentary spike.

One Year Ago

My daughter and I finally got the Pokemon remake we had been waiting for with Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.  All Pokemons were go!

There were end of year summaries where I wrote about how much time I spent on Reddit, what channels I was watching on Twitch, I reviewed the answers to my questions for 2021, and then there were the highs and lows of 2021.

I was wondering what the FFXIV Endwalker expansion might do to WoW’s numbers.  Then there was the WoW Community Council, where Blizz selected members that pretty much aligned with their own outlook.  It seemed a bad year for Blizz and I was wondering what the biggest blow to them was in 2021.

EverQuest II got the Visions of Vertovia expansion while EverQuest got the Terrors of Luclin expansion.  But those were barely news compared to how much coverage the hint that they were making a Marvel superhero MMO was getting.

While Potshot and I had tried out Forza Horizon 5 on XBox Live, I went off and downgraded to Forza Horizon 4 on Steam, where it was on sale with all the DLC content.  Also, it was set in the UK and I wanted English (and Italian) cars.  It seemed like a bargain and lots of fun despite not being the latest offering.

The instance group was still playing New World.  We were out to find that Azoth staff, needed for dungeons.  Finding that got us to the Amrine Expedition. The first run went poorly, and the second run ended without killing the final boss.  The third time we managed to finish it off.

Meanwhile, our server was starting to decline, though not as much as some.  Still, we got merged into a new one. I was also feeling the pain of not allowing alts on a server.  But we did get the Winter Convergence event.

And then there was EVE Online, where CCP began inflicting the New Dawn permanent austerity plan on players.  My view of the state of New Eden was somewhat grim.  They even fumbled getting the MER out.

There was the Winter Nexus holiday event in New Eden, I commemorated a decade in null sec space, and I got my year in review video from CCP.

I was also wondering what, if anything, came before PLEX in the industry.  And then, in a Friday bullet points post, I noted that Daybreak acquired Magic the Gathering Online, Crowfall had found a new owner, and Perfect World Entertainment had been embraced by the Embracer Group.

Five Years Ago

We got the Ring of Scale expansion for EverQuest.

Nintendo and Game Freak released what might end up being the last Pokemon title to arrive on their handheld hardware in the form of Pokemon Crystal for the Virtual Console.

I was kind of bummed when Blizzard took away my sunglasses.  But I was still out fishing and doing pet battles in World of Warcraft.  And, most important of all, I unlocked flying in the Legion expansion.  I also spent some time trying to find an objective way to measure my favorite WoW expansion.

CCP launched the Arms Race expansion for EVE Online which included expanded Alpha Clone abilities and special skill injectors just for them.  The Agent Finder also got moved into The Agency completely.  Meanwhile, the Yule Lads weren’t delivering presents to us in New Eden.  We had to go find them ourselves.

I also hit a tipping point in the game, where now most of my time playing was now in null sec.

Actually out in space Reavers were deployed into Pure Blind and were quite active in December, with the following posts about fleet ops:

There was the usual set of review posts for 2017.  I looked at my predictions, my MMO outlook, highs and lows, and some MMO bloggers.

And there was, of course, a Steam Winter Sale.  I was in the “not enthusiastic” part of my relationship with Steam.

Ten Years Ago

I wrote a post looking at 50 years of James Bond.  It included ranked lists for people to argue about.

There was my standard Highs & Lows post for the year gone by, and I reviewed my questions for 2012.

Turbine announced that they were bringing back Asheron’s Call 2.  That ended up going mostly wrong in the end.

I was deep into my World of Tanks binge.  I was up to the KV-2 on the Soviet heavy line, choosing that path after the three way split at the KV-1. (And the T-28.)  I was also still working on the German tank destroyer line.

We were having a bit of fun in Need for Speed: World.  I even made a holiday video.

In Rift we were having some trouble getting a full group together, so we were doing some lower level instances as a group of four.  I was also struggling with the whole dimension thing.

Gaff and I took a quick peek into EverQuest II.  Nostalgia didn’t last long.  I also took a one-time shot at Wizardy Online.  It just wasn’t a game for me, but not every game has to be.

I was looking back on a year in null sec in EVE Online.  The Retribution expansion went live.  Also I hit 90 million skill points.

I crammed together all the ads I could find from the EVE Online splash screen.  The then new launcher killed off those ads… sort of.  They’re just elsewhere now, but not so easy to screen shot.

Fifteen Years Ago

December 2007 seemed to be a busy time for the SOE.  First there was the whole “moving a whole guild from test to a live server” brouhaha.  Then there was the rumor of SOE being purchased by Zapak Digital Entertainment.  And, finally, there was the deal with Live Gamer to take over transactions on the Station Exchange servers, at which time Smed himself said that this did not mean that they were going to open the flood gates of RMT on any of their servers not currently served by SOE’s own Station Exchange RMT plan.  All of which I wrapped up in one post.

Another EverQuest Nostalgia Tour was off to the usual activities, including grousing about keyboard settings.

I put up my predictions for the “Next EverQuest II Expansion,” the whole “predicting Kunark” thing from the year before having gone to my head.  I was also looking at crafting after the Rise of Kunark expansion shipped.  I hit level 61 and then 62, but I wouldn’t get much further for a long time.  And I was looking at shrunken owlbears and trolling in Darklight Woods.

The Saturday Night Instance Group was in World of Warcraft and finishing up Blackrock Depths.  This was back in the days where you didn’t just run an instance in 15 minutes with some strangers then queue up again in dungeon Finder for the next one.  Our first run got us through the detention block, our second run got us to Lord Incendius, and our third run finally finished off the instance and got us on our way to Marshall Windsor and Lady Prestor.  That was basically four Saturday nights dealing with one instance.  Good times.

I was also happy about a feature of the WoW Armory.

Dr. Richard Bartle brought up the “why so much fantasy” question for its regular beating to death.

was interviewed over at World IV blog.  That was back when I was somebody I guess.  And blogs were still a thing.  I had to reset that link to the Internet Archive.

I was annoyed at Lord of the Rings Online, which was updating a lot of files and killing my video card, but still wasn’t giving me a horse.

lost my first battlecruiser to pirates in EVE Online.  Meanwhile, after pissing away a lot of ISK on invention, I was not getting a lot of results.

We also got the Trinity expansion, which had some issue… like deleting the boot.ini file on people’s drives.  #NeverForget

CCP was also telling people to get out of Jita, it already having grown to be the trade hub of New Eden.  A couple of jumps over in Hageken somebody built one of the first space designs I had seen.

I bought a new gaming computer full of Quad Core goodness.

X-Fire was still a thing and putting out stats about what their users were playing, including MMOs.  EVE Online figured on the list, as it did on the F13.net poll about MMOs.

There was a Duke Nukem Forever trailer, just six years after the last one.  The game still wouldn’t come out until 2011 and remains the yardstick for delay to which even Chris Roberts may still aspire.

And the best selling PC games of 2007 were:

  1. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
  2. The Sims 2: Seasons
  3. Command & Conquer 3
  4. The Sims 2: Bon Voyage
  5. Supreme Commander
  6. Lord of the Rings Online: The Shadows of Angmar
  7. The Orange Box
  8. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  9. BioShock
  10. The Sims 2: H&M Fashion Stuff

Twenty Years Ago

The Sims Online launched, the first of a number of half-hearted attempts by EA to find success in the virtual world space without simply buying another company that had some success.  Misunderstanding the meaning of virtual worlds to paying customers, and perhaps the meaning of The Sims to that very dedicated player base, the game was reported to feel like and endless grind to do things like make pizzas in order to be able to afford to do things.  Since I was told that by one of the designers, I’m going to stick with that point of view.  The game would eventually be shut down in the summer of 2008, having survived pretty long for an EA effort.

Twenty Five Years Ago

Quake II launched, which I recall being mildly controversial and leading to a Quake vs. Quake II division in the community.

The Pokemon anime episode Cyber Soldier Porygon aired, causing hundreds of kids to have seizures due to the rapidly flashing animation.

Also my wife let her recently laid off boyfriend… me… move in with her for reasons I still don’t quite understand.  Any objective outside observer who had ever seen my apartment would have called it a bad idea I am sure.  Also, I had a cat.  An unemployed man with a cat.  What was she thinking?

Thirty Years Ago

Westwood Studios releases Dune II, arguably the first real-time strategy game and the one that serves as the template for its many imitators.  Some nerds at a company called Silicone & Synapse are obsessed with it and decide to make their own RTS, but allowing multiple players.

At a company Christmas party everybody who worked on our “Teleport Gold” project got a video game console, either a Super Nintendo or a Sega Genesis.  I was disappointed to get the latter, but we ended up playing a lot of NBA Jam on it.

Forty Five Years Ago

The Atari 2600 was on store shelves everywhere and I got one for Christmas.

Most Viewed Posts in December

  1. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  2. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  3. Flight in Pre-Patch Outland
  4. 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
  5. Faction Warfare Updates Kicking Off in EVE Online
  6. WoW Shadowlands Sales Stacked Up Against Past Releases
  7. Making the Grey Pit in Valheim
  8. The RimWorld Biotech Expansion
  9. CCP Lets EVE Online Players with Multiple Accounts Subscribe Secondary Accounts at a Lower Price
  10. The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
  11. The Level 70 Boost Question for Wrath Classic
  12. The Federal Trade Commission Sues to Block Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Search Terms of the Month

all least of fantasy westward journey and thier names
[Not sure I can help with that]

which outlands area has least amount of group quests
[I think Zangarmarsh has the most soloable group quests]

2009 minecraft realms
[Only back in 2009]

world of warcraft collectible coin set alliance
[I am sure it is out there somewhere]

Game Time by ManicTime

Well, at least I played four games on my PC this month rather than just two.

  • WoW Classic – 62.71%
  • EVE Online – 31.90%
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga – 3.05%
  • Valheim – 2.34%

EVE Online

As you can see by the time tracking above, I actually spent a bit more time in New Eden this month.  There was the big battle at H-PA29, which kept me logged in for a few hours.  But then I also got myself invested in some ISK making in order to revive my bank account, which has been dwindling since the end of the war.  I want to have enough financial padding when the next big event comes along.

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

I picked this up on Steam, though there is a longer tale about it than that, which I will get to in the new year.  But I did get some play time in with it.

Pokemon Go

My wife and I, having hit 43 last month, started the big climb to level 44.  11 million xp to get there.  I suspect I will be ringing in 2024 and not be there yet.

  • Level: 43 (10% of the way to 44 in xp, 0 of 4 tasks complete)
  • Pokedex status: 746 (+2) caught, 764 (+3) seen
  • Mega Evolutions obtained: 21 of 25
  • Pokemon I want: Pachirisu
  • Current buddy: Golisopod (just because he looks cool)

Valheim

The advent to the Mistlands update got me to dig out our old world and set it up again, then run out and get myself killed in the new content.  That is always the way of things.  I didn’t find a lot of time for Viking life after that, but it is still there as an option.

WoW Classic

I made it to level 80 with my first character and the group got together and did a couple of instances.  But the back half of the month saw a lot of family and work events getting in the way, so I didn’t spend as much time in Wrath Classic as I might have.  I also pretty much punted on the holiday events there.

Zwift

I fell off the wagon… or the bike I suppose… in the back half of the month.  Again, the holidays will do that to you.  My dedicated ride time is generally Saturday and Sunday mornings, and when Christmas and New Years fall on Sunday, they get in the way.  Still, I did not slack off completely.

  • Level – 17
  • Distanced cycled – 1,399 miles (+47 miles)
  • Elevation climbed – 54,409 (+1,387 feet)
  • Calories burned – 43,140 (+1,194)

Coming Up

2023.  That’s the year.

Well, you likely know that tomorrow will be some sort of New Year’s prediction post.  There are also a few more end of year wrap up posts to be done.

But most of all, I feel like a nap.  Are we all good with that?

3 thoughts on “December in Review

  1. Pingback: Time to Loot Journal: December 2022 – Time to Loot

  2. Jeff Howe

    These posts must be a lot of work but as a long time reader, I do enjoy them. They certainly bring back memories of things. Thanks for all the musings over the years and have a great 2023!

    Like

  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Jeff Howe – The longest part of this post is doing the one year ago section. I have to go back a year and go through the month post by post and organize things a bit.

    Because I have been somewhat consistent over the years I can usually just copy and paste the what I wrote for the four years ago for the five year section and then what I had in my five years ago month in review post for ten and fifteen and beyond years.

    This is why typos sometimes carry forward and I occasionally miss references in ten and fifteen years ago that will say five or ten.

    Like

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