Daily Archives: February 28, 2023

February in Review

The Site

Traffic was down for a lot of the month, and not just because February only has 28 days.  Google traffic, which represents almost all traffic above and beyond the 100 or so regulars who hit the site every day or so, has continued to taper off.  I don’t know why, the algorithm just hasn’t favored me.  And, while Bing and its fellow travelers have once again acknowledged my existence once more, the 55 referrals they mustered didn’t really pick up the slack.

I did have a bit of luck with Facebook this month.  It is generally good for a couple views a day if I remember to go there and manually put items from the TAGN Facebook page into my main feed.  But I decided to post that CSM PvE post in the EVE Online Facebook group and it got some traction there.  I usually don’t post there or on Reddit because it attracts too much flak, but the Facebook group users kept all their comments on Facebook where I could easily avoid reading them.

Meanwhile, I got another lesson in how quality ads mean low value payouts.  At the end of January and start of February there was a five day run of absolute garbage ads.  For example, January 30th saw 2,900 ads displayed to people for a total earning of two cents.

Da Fuq were they showing people?

Now, I don’t make a lot on ads, just enough to pay for the hosting, but two cents a day is pretty bad for the number of ads served.  I know some days they simply don’t serve up ads because they don’t have anything in the queue, and I guess I appreciate them finding some ads, but those were some cheap ass ads.

The streak ended on February 5th when things got back to normal-ish.

Woo hoo, 36 cents collected!

But low traffic and low quality ads mean I might clear a good six dollars on the site this month.  Not exactly enough to let me retire early.  If I keep at that rate it won’t even pay the annual hosting fee.

One Year Ago

Nintendo was shutting down more remaining services for the 3DS, so I looked at my activity on that fading platform.

Blizzard was moving towards cross faction raids and dungeon groups and I was watching videos about how the game had changed since the vanilla days and what got left behind.

Blizzard was also down a bit in the Q4 2021 quarterly financials, but with the Microsoft acquisition in motion, Activision Blizzard had gone to the minimal level of effort for financial reporting.

I was playing EverQuest II and the Visions of Vertovia expansion and working on my mercenaries and mounts. I needed to up my game to wrestle with some of the level cap content.  There was also a new Lore & Legend server.

Meanwhile, just before its 23rd birthday, EverQuest was upgraded to 64-bit.

Enad Global 7 has a good Q4 2021, with Daybreak making up the lions share of the game revenue.

I reviewed the EVE Online + Doctor Who event, which was actually pretty good.  The it was on to the Guardians Gala event.

Dracarys member Satoshia found a CCP presentation about World War Bee on the CCP press site, a presentation that the company apparently never presented and disappeared from the site shortly thereafter.  But I grabbed a copy and pulled out some of the details.

Meanwhile, as CCP prepared for Fanfest with some big promises, Pearl Abyss was talking about how they were going to bring blockchain into their games.  CCP was also updating the MER data.

Meanwhile, I let main account lapse due to CCP being dumb about the economy, which led me to wonder what I could fly as an Alpha clone.  Alpha clones don’t get a lot of jump clones, this I learned.

The instance group was still playing New World and working our way towards Starstone Barrows.  However, server merges kicked us to a new world in New World as the population kept declining.  We did make it to Starstone Barrows and its pink beams, but being a group of four we couldn’t finish it.

I was also looking into Lost Ark, another title on Steam that Amazon was publishing.  I played through the opening weekend of the game on Steam.  It was good enough that the group abandoned New World for this new title.  That meant learning how to play together in another game.

Even CarBot got in on the Lost Ark hype.

I was reflecting on the fact that, viewed from the correct angle, I have sort of been playing the same game for 30 years.  Sort of.  And then I wondered what it would have been like if the games had been even more similar, like what if EverQuest had been based on Forgotten Realms?

People were talking about films they had watched at least seven times.  I had a list of titles that met that criteria.

And there was still binge watching happening at our house as I covered Yellow Jackets, Yellowstone, and a couple other titles.

Five Years Ago

I was wondering if EA might be a better company if they were owned by Microsoft.

Trion Worlds announced that Rift Prime would launch on March 7th, putting it a good two weeks ahead of the previous estimated “spring” opening.

SuperData Research released their review of 2017 and it seemed to be missing a key title.

In World of Warcraft it was Battle for Azeroth pre-order time.  I bought it so I could start unlocking allied races.  Not that I needed more alts.  I also did a little raiding with leashes and got the Mr. Bigglesworth drop.

In New Eden the Monthly Economic Report showed a dip in activity , at least in overall NPC bounties, as we all turned to the Million Dollar Battle that January.

CCP was also proposing changes to the CSM election process as well as updating their game news RSS feeds.

The February update for EVE Online saw a change that allowed players to attack Upwell structures at any time and changed it so that unfueled structures only had one timer after hitting the shields rather than two.  That led to a spike in destroyed citadels.  There was also the Guardian’s Gala event and CCP still calling mission spaces “dungeons.”  The coming March update promised players a new ship.

In game I hit the meaningless milestone of 190 million skill points.

Actually out in space, Pandemic Horde gave up their space in Fade and Pure Blind to move to the Vale of the Silent, leaving a hole in null sec for somebody to fill.

Daybreak finally declared H1Z1 out of early access, but the battle royale market had already moved on.  Fortnite, significantly, was now available on PC and consoles.

And Extra Credits was going over the whole lockbox thing some more… back when that channel was about video games.

Ten Years Ago

Raptr sent me a summary of my 2012 gaming.

Google changed how image search worked, causing a precipitous drop in page views.  Google giveth, and Google taketh away… though they have been heavy on the taketh front for the last couple of years.

I wrote of the problem with Bond villains.  And it wasn’t that they failed to drive Jags.  I also looked at the Netflix remake of House of Cards.

RuneScape joined the rare breed of MMOs with an old rules, nostalgia focused server. called Old School RuneScape.

I tinkered with Prose with Bros on the iPad.  That was amusing for about two weeks.

In something of a breath of fresh air in an argument dedicated to absolutes and bad analogies, with some game devs equating buying used games with piracy, EA admitted that the used game market wasn’t all bad and that the ability to trade in games might be propping up new game sales.  They still wanted to kill used games like everybody else in the industry, but at least they were attempting a moment of honesty about it.

The MOBA version of Warhammer Online was declared dead before it even left beta.  The good metacritic score for Warhammer Online remained of little value.

A group got together to create an Age of Empires II: Age of Kings expansion called Forgotten Empires.  This was before it was announced that Age of Kings would be updated and brought to Steam.

Blizzard and ArenaNet were both offering deep discounts on their MMOs.  I opted for Guild Wars 2, which had an awkward start for me.

The instance group was still without a quorum and a fantasy title to call its own.  We were playing a bit of World of Tanks, which gets awkward with four.  I also made some short videos about Crushing your VK and a cliff diving BDR GB1.  And I was working on my Soviet heavies as well as the French heavy tree.

In EVE Online we went back to EWN-2U, the scene of my first real epic null sec battle.  But null sec was pretty quiet, so we also spent time just flying in circles.  The Goons did produce a nice guide to EVE Online in the form of a .pdf called Thrilling Internet Spaceship Stories.

I was considering the REAL problem with levels and was wondering why nobody else did in-game music the way Lord of the Rings Online did.

And I answered the magic question, just how many times do you have to sign or initial things when closing escrow on a home refinance?

Fifteen Years Ago

The month started out with our Pirates of the Burning Sea enthusiasm waning.

The instance group was kicking off its Outlands efforts, after running the required equipment upgrade quests, with Hellfire Ramparts, though first we ran through lower Blackrock Spire and got access to Upper Blackrock Spire.

In EVE Online I lost my Drake to pirates in Rancer.  I wasn’t going to pay any ransom.  And I managed to make a tech II blueprint as I was getting invention going.  I was also wishing for a few things from the game.

Turbine announced that Lord of the Rings Online had extended its agreement with Tolkien Enterprises out until 2014, with an option to go to 2017.  As a lifetime member I applauded this extension.

I went to GDC up in San Francisco and had dinner some members of the VirginWorlds Podcast Collective plus Alan “Brenlo” Crosby, and got pictures to prove it. (I had a beard then… and I have a beard now… this is becoming a winter routine for me.)

My daughter got a Nintendo DS for Valentine’s Day.

We played a little KartRider, which never made it to North America in its original form.

I defended myself against some slander about me being a dwarf.

I summed up the annual EverQuest Nostalgia Tour.

I decided that there was hope for a real science fiction MMORPG.

And I found out my blog was worth $61,534.86, though I couldn’t figure out how to cash in.  Since then, the value of the site has gone down.  A lot.  I blame social media.

Twenty Years Ago

EverQuest Online Adventures, the PlayStation 2 version of EverQuest, launched.

Meanwhile, EverQuest launched The Legacy of Ykesha expansion, which introduced the Froglok race.  It was also the first attempt at an all digital release.  Download demand was high enough that SOE went ahead and burned a CD version for retail sale.  Despite demand, it is generally viewed as a middling, low content expansion.  On progression servers Daybreak generally gives it very little time to itself or lumps it in with the next expansion, Lost Dungeons of Norrath in its release cycle.  That was part of the problem of them doing two expansions a year.

Nintendo released the GameBoy Advance SP, a GameBoy that looked like a flip phone.

And A Tale in the Desert kicked off with its first telling.  2021 saw the start of its 10th telling.

Thirty Years Ago

X-Wing launches on PC and Star Fox on the SNES, two influential space dogfight sims.

Most Viewed Posts in February

  1. Views on Improving EVE Online PvE from the CSM Summit
  2. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  3. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  4. Blizzard Continues to Disappoint – Mike Ybarra Edition
  5. Still on Twitter
  6. 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
  7. The EverQuest Team Expands on their UI Engine Roadmap Update
  8. The Cataclysm Classic Question
  9. Making the Grey Pit in Valheim
  10. The LOTRO 2023 Roadmap – No Consoles, No UI Updates
  11. The WordPress App vs the JetPack App
  12. What Was the Peak Era of WoW Crafting

Search Terms of the Month

lotro private service
[What happens in Bree stays in Bree]

eq night of shadows maps
[Got you with the image search, didn’t I?]

локации майнкрафт большой домик
[You have to buy a map from an NPC to find a mansion]

скачать игру на пк секс игра гей
[I’m pretty sure Putin would not approve… publicly]

Game Time by ManicTime

My ratio of game play went back to being dominated by WoW Classic this month.

  • WoW Classic – 79.21%
  • EVE Online – 12.54%
  • Diablo III – 8.25%

That said, I spent the less time playing video games this past month than I have since I started tracking my play time.

Diablo III

I poked my nose back into the game with the coming of Season 28.  We will see if this is the farewell tour before Diablo IV shows up and how I feel about the title more than a decade down the road.

EVE Online

I managed to get on a couple of homeland defense fleets over the course of the month.  They were to defend local ESSes from robbers.  The main doctrine for that is based on the Rokh battleship, something I haven’t flown since the war.  Trivia: most of the kill mails I was on this month were me in a Rokh without my rigs fit.  Classic “rigs in cargo” mistake.  But at least I didn’t accidentally link to the ESS like that one guy in a fleet.

Pokemon Go

The Vivillon hunt continues.  I have evolved four so far and, with my wife and I trading the scatterbugs we have collected from various friends, we can each evolve 15 of the 18 once we have enough candies.  The elusive regions for us remain Sandstorm, Icy Snow, and Meadow.

We also did a lot of raids during the Hoenn event, and actually went outside with some friends like Niantic demands.  A lot of raids and a lot of lucky eggs later and… we still have a long way to the next level.

  • Level: 43 (42% of the way to 44 in xp, 1 of 4 tasks complete)
  • Pokedex status: 756 (+6) caught, 771 (+4) seen
  • Mega Evolutions obtained: 23 of 34
  • Pokemon I want: Three specific Scatterbugs; Sandstorm, Icy Snow, and Meadow
  • Current buddy: High Plains Vivillon

WoW Classic

We got out there and finished up the Lunar Festival as a group… and then I at least let Love is in the Air pass without putting in any effort.  I guess I am only good for every other holiday achievement fest in WoW Classic.  And then it was back into dungeons.


It was a slow month for exercise.  I ride on the weekends and we were away on a trip for one weekend… and another weekend I just didn’t feel like it… and then I got sick and really didn’t feel like it.  Being on a trip is a legit excuse.  We even made up for it by walking a lot.  But that other weekend is a warning sign.  It is very easy to simply not get on the bike.

Anyway, I’ll try not to slack as much next month.

  • Level – 18
  • Distanced cycled – 1,520 miles (+27 miles)
  • Elevation climbed – 58,891 (+1,053 feet)
  • Calories burned – 47,599 (+765)

Coming Up

I try to force myself not to start each of these with something like, “is it March already?” but I am starting to feel that way more and more as I get older.  I used to think this was because a month is no longer as large a percentage of my life as it was when I was 35 or 20 or 8. But I am starting to believe it is just a memory condition of getting old.  What happened last month?  I guess that is why I write a blog.

But on to March 2023, when EverQuest will celebrate its 24th anniversary.

Blizzard will be out there trying to drum up some cash with a Diablo VI open beta.  Can then recognize pre-oder revenue for that?

There is a State of the Goonion planned for next Saturday, which usually means the Imperium is off to attack somebody.  We shall see if that means some action in EVE Online.

And, of course, I am going to get on that damn exercise bike every weekend.