There are a lot of months where I am really scratching my head and wondering if this section of the monthly review is worth the effort. And there there are months like this were I have something strange to share and I am glad I have it.
For reasons unknown, March saw a rise in users from Kazakhstan.
The countries are generally sorted by the population of English speaking citizens, but somehow our friends in Central Asia made the cut early in the month.
The Kazakhs fell off somewhat past mid-month, allowing Sweden and France to overtake them by the end of the month. Still, that was a bit unusual.
Also, for those of you following the new JetPack app that WordPress.com has been pushing, I left the old WordPress app on my phone until the day they threatened to pull the stats from it… and they did, indeed, pulls that stats from it. I can still view and edit posts, but stats are a no-go.
On Year Ago
Nintendo announced the coming of Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.
Blizzard gave us a date for when they would announce their next expansion. and it sounded like Diablo Immortal might finally launch in 2022.
I was kind of done with EverQuest II and Visions of Vertovia after a couple month run. The game itself was getting a community resource council, such councils being in vogue again. I have no idea what became of that.
EverQuest turned 23.
The group was still playing Lost Ark. I was on Twitch getting drops for watching people play the game… or, in truth, not watching but just leaving Twitch open in the background.
My solo character was moving along in Lost Ark, seeing epic battles and getting a stronghold and figuring out what was shared between characters on my account. All of that got me looking at Steam achievements and some issues there. But it was the flavor of the month. Even CarBot was into it with videos. I even made it to level 50, which is some sort of break point in the game.
The group itself ran through the Morai Ruins and a couple other instance while looking for mokoko seeds… and more mokoko seeds.
When it came to EVE Online I recounted five bad ideas that never seem to die… though it was really ten bad ideas, because EVE Online is like that.
On the side of good ideas, CCP had a PLEX for Good campaign for Ukrainian refugees. The usual details followed, and they ended up raising more than half a million dollars.
Of course, CCP can never just have a win. They also started selling full fit ships with the Prospector pack, a move so brazen I started wondering if their current economy destroying plan was put in place just to sell ships for cash. This led to a streamer protest, a new kind of blackout for the game.
I was sure we were going to get some sort of crypto or pay to earn announcement next, what with Hilmar tweeting (and the official EVE Online account retweeting) about how he was pals with a pack of crypto grifters.
Meanwhile, the MER showed that economic activity was clearly slowing down.
Actually in New Eden, the GEF SIG was moving to Esoteria to shoot at FI.RE because they were letting Pandemic Horde use their structures to attack us. Then it was into Feythabolis.
I was trying out Combat Mission: Red Thunder and FreeCiv… and the Ideology expansion for RimWorld. I was also wondering when we might go back to Valheim. But I stopped playing Words with Friends. I think variations on Wordle replaced that.
Finally, we were binge watching too many mysteries at our house.
Five Years Ago
Project: Gorgon made it to Steam.
Shroud of the Avatar left early access.
EverQuest turned nineteen and launched a new server.
In EVE Online the player run Burn Jita event was back for 2018. Many ships were destroyed and I took a bunch of screen shots and tried to count the cost.
Up in Pure Blind we killed some dreads and I got a kill mark on my guardian.
CCP let out more details about the road to CSM13. There was a pretty short interval in which to register your candidacy.
The March Update for EVE Online dropped the jump fatigue cap to four hours and introduced The Hunt event.
There was an INN editorial about the metaphorical masks we wear in EVE Online. I asked if we donned the masks on purpose or if our masks were shaped by the game itself. I was also blog warring with SynCaine over the idea of instanced null sec battles. It would break the game in my view.
Rift Prime went live and I spend a good chunk of time playing that. I was in the guild The Fishing Defiants with Liore and some of the cats she used to herd. The daily gifts and the chat could be overwhelming.
I played through Freemarch pretty quickly and moved to the east end of Stonefield. Trion was tinkering with the experience curve, but they gave us some informational tidbits about the server.
And a Kickstarter campaign for the World of Warcraft Diary looked doomed from the outset. But the author vowed to regroup and return.
Ten Years Ago
Dave Georgeson of SOE said MMOs should never die. A noble sentiment at the time, it rang a bit hollow just a year and five SOE MMO closure announcements later. Business is business.
I got a seven day pass to Azeroth from Blizzard. It was nice. I had some fun, but I wasn’t ready to go back full time yet.
Meanwhile, Blizzard was saying they were blindsided by the popularity of the auction house in Diablo III. They were nearly a year late on that revelation.
On a similar theme, EA launched a new version of SimCity, pretty much ignoring the obvious expectations the franchise came with. I could only wonder if they learned anything from their efforts.
The instance group was doing some Rift content as a four player group. This was the time of our long hiatus, though we got a full group now and again. And when it was just the three of us, we ended up playing Neverwinter Nights 2 instead.
In EVE Online we were chasing around Deklein, flying the Tech Fleet doctrine, and bagging a carrier or two.
EON Magazine was closing its doors, marking the end of an era in EVE Online.
EverQuest hit its 14 year anniversary, and there was some talk about the camera view’s influence on the game’s popularity.
I was still playing World of Tanks and had hit the 2,000 battle mark. I was out there with the KV-3 and the ARL 44.
I finished up all the things in Wayfaerer Foothills, which sort of ended my time in Guild Wars 2.
Then there was the Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter campaign, which seemed more marketing tool than funding effort, and which hit its number in 11 days. Still, Lord British felt the need to stir the pot by declaring most game designers suck… and are lazy… and are not as good as him. Then he claimed he was taken out of context and not just saying things for cheap publicity. As the month closed, his Kickstarter was wrapping up, but Camelot Unchained was coming.
It was announced that Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings was getting updated to run on modern machines with better graphics. That set me on five other older games that I wished would get a similar revamp, which I think was more useful than just declaring that game developers need to innovate.
Finally, I was looking for input on some actual, real world things.
Fifteen Years Ago
I was again ruminating about the whole “Why So Much Fantasy in MMORPGs?” thing, this time on the shores of chaos.
We started to see the end of the “Brent hand picks the news” era over at VirginWorlds. The reign of myself and CrazyKinux was near to an end.
I got a Nintendo DS Lite and my own copy of Pokemon Diamond for my birthday! Then a copy of Pokemon Pearl showed up as well to complete the set. On Friday’s I was looking for a balloon.
EverQuest celebrated its 9th anniversary. A very nice time line print of the game was posted over at the EQ Dev blog to celebrate, along with a video.
In Lord of the Rings Online some sites were speculating about future expansions. And then Turbine announced The Mines of Moria! Meanwhile, I was trying to give out some founder’s referrals. I never gave them all out and, at this point, I don’t think they are a thing anymore.
In World of Warcraft, patch 2.4 was the latest end-of-the-world panic. I was trying out Alterac Valley trying to get a mount, not reading that I needed to get exalted reputation to buy it. I was also racing against a boat. Meanwhile the instance group made it to Shattrath and then hit the Blood Furnace while my wife and her friends were drinking apple-tinis.
In EVE Online I learned that there was a cap of fifty days on production lines. I was also trying to break up with an R&D agent and fitting out a new Drake. We got a “log off” button with the Trinity 1.1 patch.
Official forums were the talk again for a bit, as Marc Jacobs said he wasn’t going to have them for Warhammer Online. No, the Warhammer Herald (to be created in the image of the Camelot Herald) was going to be enough. Well, we know how that worked out.
It was announced that SOE would be moved in the Sony organization from reporting up through Sony Pictures to reporting in through the PlayStation organization. There was also the EQ2Flames drama where the forum was uninvited from all future participation in SOE events, at which point the site went all out to burn any remaining bridges with SOE. (From VirginWorlds Podcast #109)
And, finally, fifteen years ago Gary Gygax left us. We still miss him because we still feel his influence every day.
Twenty Years Ago
March 2003 saw the end of production for the original GameBoy and GameBoy Color models from Nintendo, which had been produced since 1989.
In North America we got Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. There used to be a lag time between the Japanese launch and the localized launches for the rest of the world.
Shadowbane, another run at the “open world PvP will be great!” idea for MMORPGs, launched back in 2003. Another victim of the “wolves and sheep” issue… sheep will leave if they are constantly terrorized by wolves… it managed to stumble along through various reworks until finally closing in 2009.
Ashen Empires also launched back in March of 2003. While it has been through multiple owners and its own series of revamps (they finally added a freaking quest log to the game in 2020), it carries on as of this writing.
Twenty Five Years Ago
StarCraft hit the shelves 25 years ago today. As I recall we all went to Fry’s at lunch to buy a copy the day it came out. You can still buy a remastered copy from Blizzard if you want, or download the original for free last I checked.
Thirty Five Years Ago
On March 8, 1988 Activision changes its name to Mediagenic because “reasons.” (Activision remains the name of a subsidiary, along with Infocom and their business software unit.) In 1991 Bobby Kotick buys into the company and changes the name back to Activision in 1992.
Most Viewed Posts in March
- More than 6,000 Players Clash in X47L-Q as Keepstar Battles Commence in Pure Blind
- Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
- The LOTRO 2023 Roadmap – No Consoles, No UI Updates
- Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
- 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
- D-Day for Diablo IV – Blizzard Announces a June 6th Launch Date
- The Cataclysm Classic Question
- Pax Dei offers a Vision of EVE Online in a Medieval Setting
- The WordPress App vs the JetPack App
- The Age of Diablo
- CCP Once Again Fails to Read the Room, Announces Funding for Blockchain Title
- Making the Grey Pit in Valheim
Search Terms of the Month
does baelgar knock back
[Bael’Gar does knock back]
nihilist sculpture death corpse cosmos universe
[Pretty sure this is in New Eden somewhere]
[There are some still]
Game Time from ManicTime
I’ve decided to stop posting the ManicTime numbers monthly. They have an odd effect on me in that I feel the need to record and write about anything that appears on the list which has, at times, inhibited me from actually playing games now and then. I’m going to leave the app running, but it will be more for that end of the year “what did I play” sort of thing.
It was a busy month in New Eden for me, at least relative to recent months, perhaps the busiest month since the end of the last big war when we were dogging PAPI’s retreat from Delve. According to the Imperium participation app I went on 20 fleets in March. Only a few were on the front lines in Pure Blind though. Instead my main effort was in the Alpha Clone homeland defense fleets. My alpha alt got on way more kill mails than my main this month. Maybe I left the wrong character at home.
Another month of saving postcards for Scatterbugs in order to evolve Vivillons. I have now evolved seven of the eighteen and have the Scatterbugs for eight more that I will be able to evolve once I have saved enough box tops… or postcards.
- Level: 43 (52% of the way to 44 in xp, 1 of 4 tasks complete)
- Pokedex status: 760 (+4) caught, 774 (+3) seen
- Mega Evolutions obtained: 24 of 34
- Pokemon I want: Three specific Scatterbugs; Sandstorm, Icy Snow, and Meadow
- Current buddy: Amaura
We carried on in Northrend. As I noted in my six month passing post earlier this week, Wrath has its charms and there are clearly things I still enjoy about it. We still have some dungeons left to run there too. But if Valheim got the Ashlands biome finished, I might suggest it was time for a change of scenery… at least until phase 3 of Wrath lands.
After a slow month in last month it was some work getting back on the bike again, what with travel, being sick again, and just not feeling like it. And, of course, after months of building up some endurance I feel like I am back at square one. But I did get on the damn bike.
- Level – 18
- Distanced cycled – 1,542 miles (+22 miles)
- Elevation climbed – 59,347 (+456 feet)
- Calories burned – 48,155 (+556)
Well, you know what tomorrow is. Expect a post, but maybe not the post you expect.
This week also saw me hit the three year mark for posting every day, something that has become a bit of a burden. This post is day 1,098 in a row, and tomorrow, for which a post has already been written, will be 1,099. If I am smart I’ll take Sunday off, break the streak, and not worry about this sort of thing ever again.
Otherwise it is April, and that means I need to get my taxes done. And my mother’s taxes too. Don’t ask, it isn’t a happy story. As I have managed to procrastinate this long, I expect I might be spending some evenings working on that rather than playing video games.
For what it is worth I enjoy them. Esp the lookbacks to feel some nostalgia.
FYI… Not April Fool’s.
You should try running instead of Zwift. Indoor biking sucks.
While I have become very comfortable in expecting a post from TAGN every day and would be quite disgruntled to find there wasn’t one, I do advocate breaking the streak, just for the reset value. My own daily streak only lasted nine months but I was glad to see the back of it when it went.
Given the number of regular features and the games and topics you always post on whenever anything changes, however, I suspect there will be few days when you don’t have something postworthy to hand anyway, so as readers we’ll continue to be very well-served, I’m sure.
Kazakhstan is pretty far down my list of countries per visit. Maybe you have a developing fanbase out there?
The staying power of Age of Empires II has been amazing. I played it in its original form as a kid, and I would have never guessed it would have even thrived today.
I get a good number of views from Kazakhstan on my blog which is currently running posts about jet engines.
Hmm I read the site fully through RSS feed normally. Does that count for ‘visits’ ? (from The Netherlands)
@easy – I can’t. I used to run track and cross country, but managed to fracture both my ankles at various points so running just hurts too much. (The one that hurts the most I rolled coming off a curb while out running.)
Does walking hurt, too? I suggest trying little by little, the pain should subside. Lotion is motion.
It was painful when I started running but now it’s all bueno, took me half a year to get there.
@Easy – It isn’t that simple. I’m close to 60. I rolled my left ankle 35 years ago and it still aches when it gets wet. I am one of those people who can tell when it is going to rain. I have tried to get back to running in the past and it is too high impact.
Short of installing a lap pool, and there is no way I am going to do that, the indoor bike is my best option for a low impact work out that can get me sweating.
@Trenjeska – No, reading in Feedly doesn’t register here. But that is fine. I publish a full content RSS feed so people won’t HAVE to come here every day. And Feedly says I have 14K followers on their site, though I am not sure I believe them. But who knows. I’m just curious about the people who do show up here now and again.
60? damn! I guess normal recovery rules cease to apply at that point. Looks like you are done for.