Category Archives: Diablo III

April in Review

The Site

Well, the MMO Bloggers Feed in my side bar got a last minute reprieve when IFTTT decided not to cut off Pinboard support on April 4th.


Pretty much the synopsis…

That was probably a good thing as my experiments with Delicious created RSS feeds have been a complete flop.  Not only do they have ads injected into the feed… which I get, they have to make money somehow… but something between Delicious and isn’t picking up the feed as it updates.  So while I look at the raw RSS and see new things being added, the feed just sits with the first couple of items.  Bleh.

Meanwhile, nobody has suggested anything about the Google+ syndication issue I mentioned last month, which I am going to take as a sign that either nobody really cares about Google+ syndication or nobody noticed that my posts stopped appearing there.  Probably the latter.

In addition, because I have a Google login that I use to comment on Blogger sites, I made a blog over there to point to this one since my Google profile only likes blogs they host.  But as I was tinkering with various RSS and feed options, I thought I figured out how to get anything that posted here to also post straight to that site as well.  I put that in place but never actually tested it.

Imagine my surprise when I passed by the blog half way into the month and found that it worked.  So I renamed the site The Redundant Ancient Gaming Noob.  The only problem is that it takes the post as published and never picks up any revisions, so all my original typos are there. (And I am too lazy to go fix them… though it takes a while to poll, so if I fix them right after I hit the “Publish” button… which, due to some lesser known physical property of the universe,  is the only time I can actually see my own typos… then I can catch them in time.)  Still, it seems to work.  Not sure it is much use and I figured the whole thing our about nine and a half years too late for me to jump ship to the Blogger platform.

And, finally, I thought I might not have anything to complain about when it came to this month, and then they decided to change the interface for doing inline links in such a way that they are more annoying AND you can easily delete them by accident.  Since that is a feature I use constantly… just look at them all in this post… that bit of nonsense has had me fuming for days.  It is like they never think things through.

One Year Ago

As ever, it was April Fools at Blizzard and elsewhere.

Elsewhere, EA was still selling lots of Sims titles, but were cutting online games like Need for Speed: World.

In what I thought must be an April Fools joke, Daybreak said they were not going to do any more expansions for EverQuest II.  Instead it was going to be DLC like the Rum Cellar.  A rum idea if ever there was one.  Likewise, though EverQuest was getting a new progression server, it seemed like it was the end of the road for expansions in old Norrath.  Also, that logo, totally not stolen.

Of course, why would you even need an official progression server, since Daybreak declared Project 1999 totally legit.

And speaking of rum ideas from Daybreak, they were also pushing people off of their forums and on to Reddit.  How were they going to lock threads and delete posts there?

CCP was talking about ship skins in EVE Online, in hopes of finally finding the right formula for the Mosaic expansion.

In New Eden the war was still going in Delve, including a big fight at ZXB-VC, while the Reavers were doing their work in Querious.  Not only that, but we were also decked out in our spiffy new jackets… well, some of us were.  I was trying to be in both fronts of the war. The Reavers front was the place to be though.

The Imperium was declared, with Max Singularity VI as our spiritual leader.  Also, Karma Fleet was launched and Xenuria got in and was a Goon for like ten minutes!  How crazy was that?   I’m sure that will never happen again.  Right?

Blizzard’s WoW Token idea went live, and the US regional version immediately dropped below the opening price.  They also had a beta for the Legacy of the Void expansion for which I was not prepared.

The instance group was doing Auchindoun and Skyreach in Draenor… after which we were fresh out of dungeons until we all hit 100.  After that I was leveling up some characters and complaining about little things in WoW.

Meanwhile, the war of the rings in Lord of the Rings Online was dragging out into its eighth year.  Is this Mordor or Afghanistan?

While we’re there, Guild Wars turned ten.

And there was this Liebster thing, which feels like it happened a lot longer than just a year ago.

Five Years Ago

Of course, there was some April foolery both here and at Blizzard.

I also wrote something about magic quadrants.

Sanya Weathers had one of the best quotes about MMO gamers ever, made all the more amusing by its truth. released a completely new version of their original WWII Combat Mission series. released World of Tanks.

SOE’s spy themed MMO, The Agency, was officially cancelled.

We got a PlayStation 3.  And then the PlayStation Network got hacked.  At least I could still play Blu-Ray disks and stream Netflix.

The instance group got together and decided to try out EverQuest II Extended, the one-time separate free to play version of EverQuest II.  However, the game immediately began to kick us in the teeth for daring to do solo content as a group.

Being there in EQIIx also meant looking at what the cash store had to offer.  Some of this stuff is gone now in the post merger era of EQIIFlying mounts are still around.  And some idea, like selling max-level characters, would have to wait a while to come back.

And Potshot and I were still playing EverQuest.  We moved on from Unrest to Lake Rathetear and spent an evening there.  Then it was on to Kerra Island and finally we made it to Runnyeye, at which point SOE also went down due to the PSN hacking.  That pretty much ended our EverQuest adventures for 2011.

I did have to explain EverQuest to my daughter.  Her foundation in MMOs is World of Warcraft.

Ten Years Ago

ANet releases its first post-launch Guild Wars expansion, Guild Wars: Factions. It only took them a year, too.  Right, Blizzard?  See?

Auto Assault went live, perhaps the first “troubled at launch” MMO I am personally aware of that fails to get past its issues.  The game ends up being shuttered by NCsoft 19 months down the road.  It is, for a while, the poster child for MMO launch failures.

Nintendo announced the name of their new console, slated to replace the GameCube.  Known up to that point only by its code name “Revolution,” Nintendo said it was going to call it the “Wii.”

Viacom spent $102 million to purchase Xfire.  According to Viacom: “Xfire and its users fit squarely into the Company’s multiplatform strategy to build an engaging universe of music, gaming, entertainment, news, networking and interactivity for focused audiences.”  They also thought NeoPets were worth splurging on as well.

Featured Sites of the Month

For this month’s featured MMO Blog I want to bring your attention to:

Kirith Kodachi has been plugging away for more than a decade at his blog.  While not initially about MMOs, he fell into EVE Online at about the same time I did (I beat him by 10 days), at which point it began to take over his blog, a situation that persists through to today.  EVE is just a crazy game that is fun to write about, and it has been interesting to watch our parallel, yet very different, trajectories through New Eden.

Then of the “other” site of the month, I want to point you at is:

While zKillboard now gives you something of a battle report with its related kills option, I much prefer the output from the Battle Report Tool.  It draws data from zKillboard to piece together the raw details about who shot whom and which ships got blown up and how much ISK it was all worth.  While I am not all about the kill mails, I do like looking at battle reports this site generates in order to understand what happened.  I often have a sense in a battle if we’re doing well or not, but this helps quantify what just happened.

Most Viewed Posts in April

Well, I can write every day of the week about EVE Online, but nothing brings in traffic like a World of Warcraft post.

  1. April Fools at Blizzard – 2016
  2. Blizzard, Nostalrius, and the Classic Server Question
  3. Will Nostalrius Drama Shift the Sleeping WoW Giant?
  4. War Footing, War Fever
  5. FCON Leaves The Imperium
  6. SMA Leaves The Imperium
  7. World War Bee – What’s in a Name?
  8. WoW and the Case for Subscription Numbers
  9. Google Tells Me Nearly All Games are Dead
  10. The Russian Complication
  11. FCON Shows Up in Immensea
  12. CSM 11 Announced – Xenuria Wins at Last

Search Terms of the Month

Claude Ring
[Once I saw that, I made an alt with that name]

origin unifies your gaming life
[The way your mom organizes your trading cards]

legion gonna suck
[And haters gonna hate]

if you change world of warcraft payment plan do you get a refund

lotro level store
[I don’t think the cash shop is quite there yet]

what do you get after you complete the national pokedex
[Your life back?]

Diablo III

I haven’t really played much Diablo III this past month, except to go in once Season 5 ended to clean up my storage situation.  It is nice to have everything combined into the common storage, but the fact that the game mails you all of your seasonal stuff was kind of a pain.  Okay, maybe I should have recycled some of those legendary items I held onto, because it took a while to collect all the items and then sort them out into different boxes.

EVE Online

The war goes on.  On the down side, we’ve lost almost all our sovereignty.  On the up side, we don’t have to go very far to find fun.  There has been an almost continuous supply of fleet ops from Saranen for the last few weeks.  I am starting to think the war effort depends mostly on Boat holding out.  He has been running fleets every day for hours at a stretch.  Best fleets to be on though.

Oh, and there was the Citadel expansion that has the potential to change everything in New Eden.

EverQuest II

I have pottered around on the Stormhold nostalgia server off and on this month.  EQII is less of a solo game for me than others.  I don’t think I have ever played for more than a week or so without ending up in a guild with at least a few people I know.  But it is fun.  The pace is slow and it is relaxing if I have a couple of free hours.  My shadow knight is level 22 and fumbling around between Nek forest and Butcherblock.


I swear I meant to do a Minecraft post this month.  Actually I have a few.  But I never quite got there.  News of the moment from the war in New Eden and Blizzard managed to preempt tales of building.  Still, if I look at Raptr, I spent more time in Minecraft than any other game in April… though that might be because Raptr stopped tracking EVE Online when I upgraded to the new launcher.  Doh!  I have to remember to manually enter that time, and I forget more often than I remember.


I have been carrying on with Pokemon Blue.  Another gym badge down.  Progress has been slow in part because it remains the fourth item on my list of things to play of late, and because it is a game I don’t play sitting at my desk in front of my computer.  As such, I never launch Pokemon by default, I have to actively want to play it.  Still, I have time to finish.  Pokemon Sun & Moon are not due until winter.

World of Warcraft

I did not actually PLAY WoW in April, aside from logging in to check something out on a level 20 character.  But I did write about it.  I didn’t even write that much, but if you look at the top posts for the month, WoW was definitely a big topic.  The whole vanilla/classic/special server thing opened up a lot of emotions and I am sure we are not done with it yet.  I know I am not.

Coming Up

Summer is coming, and May is its harbinger… at least out here in Silicon Valley where despite what the calendar says it can feel like Summer from some point in April through until November.  Not sure that means much for the blog, aside from the fact that I might write more with the window open in the evenings.

The war in New Eden will carry on and we shall see who has the greater endurance.  CCP though, I am going to bet we are going to see a lot of post-Citadel patches in May.

The Warcraft movie is just a month and ten days away, so I expect to see Blizzard ramping up on that pretty strongly while trying to go back to ignoring the whole vanilla server drama it stirred up by shutting down Nostalrius.

Speaking of Blizzard, their latest title, Overwatch, will go live this month.  I am not really interested in playing myself… and my daughter, who wants to play, is fuming about the lack of MacOS support… but another game from Anaheim means that much less focus on WoW.  It isn’t a zero sum thing, but a company can only put out so much PR before it is trying to talk over itself.

Also, isn’t Daybreak supposed to ship Landmark this spring?  May is the last full month of spring left this year… well, that and 20 days of June.  That will be a thing.

I will write something… or finish writing something… about Minecraft.

And… what else is coming up in May?

Google Tells Me Nearly All Games are Dead

There is a game you can play with Google… well, there are probably many, but this is one of them… where you enter the name of something, followed by “is” to see what pre-filled search suggestions come up.  These results are driven by what people have searched for previously.

As I was playing this game the other night instead of doing something important, I began to notice a trend in my searches.  It seemed like Google was declaring most everything dead.

Sure, sometimes that was apt.


Abe Vigoda, after being reported dead by mistake on multiple occasions over the years, does indeed now sleep with the fishes, having passed earlier this year.

And sometimes the result wasn’t so spot on:


I’m pretty sure somebody would have mentioned if he was dead… or a mack daddy.

I decided to see if that trend held for video games on my side bar.  First on the list was, of course, EVE Online:


Given that “EVE is dying…” is practically an meme at this point, that wasn’t too surprising.

Likewise, EverQuest, at 17 years of age got a similar result:


At least it wasn’t both “dead” and “dying” I suppose.  Of course, that last item lead me to World of Warcraft:


Three of those aren’t so good, “dead,” “dying,” and “boring.”  Even EVE Online didn’t get “boring” as a top result.  That lead to a series of other titles, all of which at least got dead as a result:





I had a whole run there where “dead” wasn’t just a result, but the top result.  Then I started branching out from MMOs:



I finally hit a game where “dead” wasn’t the top result, though I am not sure that was a good thing:


Even Minecraft got “dead” as a result, though at least it was in fourth position, which was practically an endorsement at this point:


Hey, “awesome” came before “dead!”

Landmark was odd, but I think it suffers from having a generic name:


Still, I think “dead” might be in there just for it.

Then, finally, I hit a game that wasn’t dead:


League of Legends is only “dying,” not “dead.”  Also, it is “gay,” which I think says more about the demographic that is searching for things about it.  Still, it is doing better than Heroes of the Storm:


“Dead,” “dying,” “bad,” and “free!”

Then at last, I hit a search where “dead” wasn’t even a result:


I’m not sure Hearthstone was really winning with that draw.  I mean sure, “dead” wasn’t on the list, but the rest was hardly an endorsement.

Friday Bullet Points Come Around Again

We are at the last weekend before taxes are due in the US… I am not sure why we got a reprieve until Monday, but I won’t argue… and I just got a “so sorry, but not really” message from one firm informing me that they won’t be sending me that last tax document I am waiting on for at least three weeks.  So I will be learning about filing for an extension this weekend.  Go me!

Meanwhile, I am back to things on my list that I want to mention but couldn’t quite get a whole post together for.

The Goblin Leaves New Eden

I knew when Gevlon left WoW and came to New Eden that sparks would fly.  I have said on multiple occasions that Gevlon and EVE Online seemed like a perfect match.  And, I must say, I was not disappointed.  Over the years he has managed to stir shit up and annoy people on a regular basis, which speaks to a certain level of effectiveness in his mission.

However, his “ISK = power” theory having been proven on the large scale by I Want ISK in the Casino War and the shift in ISK earning potential to the major military powers coming with the Citadel expansion… the rich get richer… has led him to liquidate his assets and leave the game.

I will miss his focus on New Eden. Of course, that is probably something a social would say, so it will likely just annoy him.  Where will the Goblin land next?

Brave Bastion

CCP announced the return of the Alliance Panel to EVE Fanfest 2016, because nothing ever goes awry there.  The lineup looks like an odd mix.  Certainly one of these things is not like the other.

Fanfest 2016 Alliance Panel

Fanfest 2016 Alliance Panel

There is only one alliance on the panel, Scary Wormhole People [WHBOO], that isn’t directly involved in the current Moneybadgers vs. Imperium war.  They seem to be shooting everybody about equally.  In addition, WHBOO is an alliance with only a single corp, so I think they might be pushing a definitional line somewhere with this.

Meanwhile, I suspect that, in being the only Imperium alliance amongst four foes, things will be rough for The Bastion [BASTN] on the panel.  Given the strong “if you are still in The Imperium then you are a horrible person” vibe running through the war’s narrative, I am not sure I would want to show up at EVE Fanfest this year, much less stand up and speak.

Leaks Bite Mittens in the… Press

There is an article up over at the International Business Times which, among other things, calls EVE Online “The Most Boring Video Game In The World.”  Not a great article, though I did get a chuckle when Richard “Lord British” Garriott was identified in a picture simply as “another “Eve Online” player.”

I have to think that the whole article was at best a mixed win for CCP’s marketing group.

Focus on The Mittani makes up a good chunk of the post, which includes this caveat about what he says,

But it is almost impossible to take what Gianturco says at face value. An arch manipulator, he is keen to promote his side’s view of the current conflict, and in leaked chat logs shown to IBT after an interview with him, Gianturco boasts that the media (and IBT in particular) are “eager to print whatever I’ll tell them.”

And so it goes for the self-described Vladimir Putin of New Eden.  I am pretty sure GARPA is even now working on an unloggable chat tool.  The hellwar demands it!

Still Smarting

Speaking of hellwars, the persistence and effort Derek Smart has put into his personal war against Star Citizen continues as epic post number 11, Star Citizen – Extinction Level Event, hit his blog this past week.  The legal threats seem to have subsided from his posts, as have the almost constant references to his own game, Line of Defense (which itself is set to leave Steam).  Instead he is focused on savaging Star Citizen business plans, schedules, promises,  customer relations, and the current level of quality… and memes, his post has lots of memes in it.

Diablo III Season 5 Ends Today

Diablo III Season 5 ends today.

Hrmm, that seems a bit redundant.

I wanted to note the date, but I do not really have much else to say other than I enjoyed Season 5, right up until the moment I finished the set dungeon and got the last of the base achievements…

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

…and then I totally stopped playing Diablo III again.

Still, I will probably log in again once the season closes to see how my crusader integrates back into my regular cast of characters.  He certainly brings a lot of gold and recipes to the mix.  We shall see if I come back for Season 6, which starts on April 29th.

Anyway, that is what I had on the list

March in Review

The Site

This month, many words about the site.

For reasons unclear to me, the automatic syndication to Google+ stopped working for me in the last month or so.

Well, technically, it still works perfectly for me… but only for me.  Everything that gets syndicated is shared only with myself.

GPSharedOnlyWithYouAs far as I can tell, nothing has changed at my end.  The transition seemed to have happened somewhere between the 22nd and 23rd of last month, because on the 22nd things were sharing just fine!

GPSharedPubliclyBut after that items were only shared with myself.  Looking through Google+ for some setting or change brought me no joy, while the settings within are minimal.

Looking at the support forums though, it appears I am not the only one seeing this issue.  However, given that is not answering any threads opened about the topic, instead choosing to close them without comment, seems to indicate that I am not going to find a solution there.  I have a manual work around, but that requires me to go into G+ every day and republish every item.  And then they appear twice in my own feed, which is kind of annoying.

So, if you were following my blog via Google+… which I think would make you Potshot, Tipa or Brian Green, my G+ following being fairly limited… and you noticed I suddenly stopped posting there, this is why.  Of course, if you only follow me there then you may never see this.

Elsewhere automatic syndication remains active, so I am still a menace on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

Meanwhile, in the midst of a somewhat sleepy month here there was a sudden spike in page views when Reavers CO Asher Elias posted my Higgs Anchor Rigs tale to /r/eve.  That was a big enough one day boost to secure that post the top spot on the “most viewed” post list below and to prove that people in /r/eve/ will click on just about any link put in front of them.

Then there was this:

Which made it sound like my MMO Blogesphere side bar feed was about to die.  Since that came up I got a notification that my Rube Goldberg implementation only has until April 4th, then it is gone. Time to figure out a new course on that one I suppose, because it is the one thing readers here click on regularly according to the stats.

Addendum: Got a note this evening indicating that IFTTT and Pinboard might come to some agreement that will keep them working together.  At least it won’t shut down on Monday as planned.  We shall see.

And then, in a minor odometer moment, one of my post categories actually rolled into four digits.  With this post, the top five most used categories (aside from “entertainment” which is everything here) now are:

  1. EVE Online – 1,000
  2. World of Warcraft – 999
  3. EverQuest II – 612
  4. EverQuest – 492
  5. Lord of the Rings Online – 360

CCP wins the race to one thousand.  Is this an EVE blog or a WoW blog now?  Random people keep telling me it has to be one or the other.

One Year Ago

I hit level 50 yet again.

The Elder Scrolls Online dropped the subscription business model.

The Crowfall Kickstarter campaign was still running.  I was wondering if they had a mid-game plan.  They really didn’t, but the campaign still brought in $1.7 million, double what was asked.

EA closed down Maxis as an entity within its organization.  It is what EA does best.

It was a Turbine roast as an insider spilled the beans on problems that have plagued the developer of Lord of the Rings Online.

Rift hit its four year anniversary, but it felt like it had been around for longer than that.

I was wondering what a progression server would look like with EverQuest II.  But it was Sweet 16 for EverQuest, which was getting a new progression server for its birthday it seemed.

Blizzard announced that they were going to go ahead with their PLEX-like idea, the WoW Token.  The instance group was in the Iron Docks and farting around in garrisons.

CCP was talking about the next stage of the proposed sovereignty changes for EVE Online.  There was the Scylla release, which was overshadowed by Fanfest.  Also, the members of CSMX were announced.

In New Eden I attempted to fly an Ibis from Immensea to Deklein.  Then there was a rumor of war as the usual suspects attacked our sovereignty in Fountain.  That called for a big old move op which, in post-Phoebe New Eden, meant caps taking gates.  Then there was that system our foes took.  And once they were evicted from Fountain, it was time for a punitive expedition to Delve.

And The Mittani declared that the power blocs of New Eden would never die.  We shall see.

My daughter and I tried out Diablo III on the PlayStation 3.

I put together a review of my Kickstarter history… I should do that again.

Finally, it seemed as though some of the MMO news sites were paying attention to bloggers again… at least briefly.

Five Years Ago

Rift officially launched.  And while I wasn’t playing, the social media options integrated into the game made it feel like I was there.  And I don’t mean that in a good way.

Pokemon Black and White came out, which became the theme for my birthday.

World of Tanks was talking about going live in April.  There was, of course, a pre-order offer.  There always is these days.

Potshot and I made it to GDC thanks to Darren, where we were able to hobnob with the likes of Brian Green and Damion Schubert.

March of five years ago found me spending time in EverQuest.  It was on the Fippy Darkpaw progression server last year, which at that point was still set in the original EverQuest zones.  Potshot and I were doing some classic things, like getting stuck in the Ocean of Tears and making alts.  And running out of money.

There were the newbie armor quests to work on, which required travel to Freeport at one point, something as hard as we remembered.  We also visited Unrest, North Karana, the Desert of Ro, and Najena.

It was also the 12 year anniversary of the EverQuest launch, and nobody was more surprised that I that I was playing the game 12 years later.  But no corpse runs please.

The instance group, still in Cataclysm Worgen form, spent a couple of nights in Scarlet Monastery and then went to Razorfen Kraul.

I put up a poll asking people which of several items in my drafts folder (current population: 57) I should buckle down on and finish.  I think almost everything on the list except the winner is still in my drafts folder.

And I came home one day to find the TV had died.  Emergency CPR (read: banging on the damn thing) brought it back to life temporarily, but clearly a replacement was going to be needed.  It was, after all, a few years older than EverQuest.

Ten Years Ago

World of Warcraft hit 6 million subscribers.  Eventually it would double that number.

Twitter launched, but who in the hell wants a platform limited to just 140 characters?

Brent, going by the “Prognosticator” handle back then, launched the VirginWorlds podcast which began what was, for me, the golden age of MMO podcasting.  His site is still up and chugging away and you can go and listen to VirginWorlds episode 1 if you care to relive the world of possibilities that seemed to be ahead of us for MMOs back then.  It was a different time.

Featured Sites of the Month

For this month’s featured MMO Blog I want to bring your attention to:

Belghast, who runs the blog, is in the “must post every day” club.  If there are 31 days in the month, he’ll have 31 posts on his site.  He doesn’t even take weekends off.  And every day he posts many words about the MMOs and other games he plays.  Then, every August, he runs a community event called “Blaugust” where he invites his fellow bloggers to join him in his post-a-day routine.  I’ve kept up with him each time so far.  He is also much more active in fostering community in our corner of the internet.  I talk about that community once in a while, he tries to make it really a thing.  Oh, and he does a podcast as well.  I get tired just thinking about all that.  So go visit him and say, “Hi!”

Then of the “other” site of the month, I want to point you at is:

I remember when Meclin first went to null sec and told me about this site.  It seemed confusing, but I was mining in high sec in the same system every day.  I didn’t need all that.  And then I went to null sec, and the site became as necessary is air.  I have said in the past that EVE Online’s in-game map is a very impressive.  Show it people who don’t play and they will be in awe.

But it isn’t very useful.

Yes, it is more useful than it used to be, but it still mostly getting by on looks alone.  And the new map is even more slanted in that direction.  So if you want to know what is where, what the best route is, who owns what system in null sec, or what systems are being attacked, DOTLAN is THE place to go.  I am constantly looking at the site and regularly use screen grabs of maps there for posts.  I need to donate some more money to Wollari just thinking about all that.  You do too!

CCP also did a community spotlight dev blog about DOTLAN a few years back if you want to read more about it.

Most Viewed Posts in March

  1. Me and the Medium Higgs Anchor Rig
  2. Betrayal at M-OEE8
  3. The Imperium Abandons the Vale of the Silent Region
  4. EverQuest Next and the End of the Classic MMORPG
  5. The WildStar Headshot
  6. Setting Sail with Yacht Fleet
  7. Upgrading to Minecraft 1.9
  8. Will EVE Online Get a Bounce from M-OEE8?
  9. SOE and Its MMORPGs
  10. Market Saturation and the Cash Shop
  11. Skill Injectors, Meet Experience Injectors
  12. Contemplating that Last Stand at VFK-IV

Search Terms of the Month

how to 2 box everquest on phinigel true box server
[You are  a bad person]

syncrude shutdown march
[I think SynCaine is planning to carry on]

how many characters are in wheel of time
[Too fucking many]

pantheon rise of the fallen will the trolls be playable
[No, the trolls will remain in the forums and comment threads]

playstation how to use daybreak cash?

psn soe settlement how to use daybreak cash?

ps3 how to use station cash?

how to use daybreak cash psn dcuo

bought dc market cash but can’t use it
[There is some problem with Daybreak Cash on PSN I guess]

Diablo III

Well, I carried on and played through Season 5 right up until the moment I competed the set dungeon for the final baseline achievement… and then I totally stopped playing.  There is a lesson in that somewhere.  Anyway, it is off my currently playing list and will likely remain so until at least Season 6 starts… whenever that happens.

EVE Online

To put it mildly, shit got real in our small… now smaller… corner of null sec.  The war has been given a few names.  The Second Great War, or World War Bee, starring Goonswarm in the role of Band of Brothers.  Noizy dubbed it The Casino War, because one side is being proudly financed by an online gambling site. (Making it one of The Mercenary Wars in Matterall’s expansive write up.)  Then this week it was suddenly The Easter War, because CCP likes… bunnies and Cadbury eggs?  Seriously, CCP claims this is what most people are calling it, but I never heard the term until they started using it this week.  I get the feeling that, in hindsight, we might end up calling this the Propaganda War, as spin on both sides is getting quite thick.

Anyway, I expect we will be seeing a lot more of that from both sides as the war continues.  It will all be a good read a year from now.

EverQuest II

After writing about all sorts of Daybreak topics this month, including the cancellation of EverQuest Next, I had a rather unsurprising urge to go wander around Norrath.  I picked EQII and the Stormhold server for my focus, and spent some time doing the quest lines in The Commonlands.  It was both nostalgic, a lot of things haven’t changed in 11 years, and a bit disappointing, a lot of annoying things haven’t changed in 11 years.  Still moving myself slowly forward in hopes of getting to Nek Forest.


I wasn’t playing too much Minecraft until our server bill started to loom.  That got me in and playing as I was looking for a new home.  I settled on Minecraft Realms, which has worked out well so far.  That got me back in and working on a huge new “public works” project, which I will post about at some point… as soon as I get around to posting about my last such project.


Pokemon celebrated 20 years back in February and I bought a copy of Pokemon Blue for the Virtual Console from the Nintendo eShop.  As I spent some time traveling early in the month, I actually got to spend some time focused on the game. (Nothing like a couple of five hour plane trips to make time for that.)  I have been pleasantly surprised by the game, though perhaps not for the obvious reasons.

Coming Up

Tomorrow is that day where the unfunny think they are funny, the grumpy act grumpier, and the wise treat any headline as though it were posted on Reddit.  It is only for a day, but since nothing on the internet is ever fully gone, your regrettable mistakes will last forever.

The war New Eden will carry on.  After the hammer blow of the CO2 betrayal, things feel like they are hitting a new equilibrium, with a war of attrition over command nodes running every night.  Each side either needs a new tactic, a new defection, or the other side to stop showing up to make big gains.  Rumors say that there will be an official State of the Goonion tomorrow.  One has to ask if April Fools is setting the right tone?

Meanwhile, the new expansion looms, bringing with it citadels and capital ship changes.  Will that change the face of the war, and will the war still be going when it hits?  April promises to be interesting.

As noted above, I hope to make it to Nek Forest in EverQuest II.  I am not sure how well nostalgia will sustain me there however.  The original version of the zone was a punishing horror show, so I don’t really miss that.  The last time I did anything in the zone though, the whole thing had turned into a tedious amount of running half way across the zone and back for quest updates.  Maybe Echoes of Faydwer will go live by then.  I already have a crafting guild request to go to Butcherblock, which won’t be live on the server until that expansion hits.

I also want to buckle down and finish Pokemon Blue… then write about it.  Or maybe just write about it.  Something.

And I need to figure out a new scheme for my side bar.  My current plan is to try Pinboard’s mortal enemy Delicious.  A test version is even now lurking at the bottom of the side bar.  If that doesn’t work out though, it will be back to a static blogroll for a while.

Diablo III, Season 5, and the Set Dungeon

As I left things last time I had but one achievement left between me and finishing off the main achievements for Season 5; completing the set dungeon.

My first runs at it made it seem like a distant goal.  But a few people chimed in with advice in the comments of that last post.

The first thing I did was swap out the gem on my sword, giving up my health per hit for additional thorns damage.

Then I started running bounties in order to find more gear that would add to my thorns total.  The swap on my weapon actually let me boost myself up to Torment level VI for bounties.  So I started running those in hopes of some decent drops.

So many drops.  So little worth keeping.  The gear haul does start to wear on you after a bit, when you’re looking for one type of attribute in a sea of random drops.  Still, I did end up getting a few more achievements… Torment VI seems to be a plateau for some boss kill achievements… and I ended up seeing a couple new places along the way, such as Whimsydale.

Into colorful unicorn and teddy bear land...

Into colorful unicorn and teddy bear land…

Eventually I picked up a piece here and there that improved my thorns, giving me a base amount of about 135K damage.  At that point I was into Torment Level VII bounties.

That seemed like a pretty decent amount.  Trading out for some of the skill suggested in the comment thread as well, I decided to give the set dungeon a try.  I just had to hit a couple of goals and I would be done.

Thorns of the Invoker set dungeon requirements

Thorns of the Invoker set dungeon requirements

I went in and found one of the elites.  I closed in, put up iron skin and consecration and… was actually able to kill him successfully as required.

The first elite done in

The first elite done in

Suddenly, this seemed doable.  I just had to kill four more… and get hit with those 75 spears… all without dying.

I had just one elite left on that first run when I walked into an open area and got mobbed by hostiles and died.  Dungeon failed, everything reset.  Still, it seemed within my reach.  Yet in a half dozen more runs I got nowhere as close as I did on that first one.  I gave up for the evening.

I went back the next night to try again.  Again, the whole thing seemed like I ought to be able to manage it, it was just a bit finicky.  After a few false starts I seemed to be on my way.  Then I hit an barrier I wasn’t expecting.  There is a third goal that shows up on your quest tracker when you enter the set dungeon, requiring that you slay 157 mobs along the way.

I figured that this was a minimum number.  As it turned out, it was a boundary condition that you could not cross before you finished off the two main objectives.  So at one point I had four elites in and only need a couple more spear hits when I killed that 157th mob and the whole thing failed on me yet again.

Success on kills means failure on everything else...

Success on kills means failure on everything else…

That rather poorly worded objective was a real kick in the teeth.  I spent the rest of the evening never quite getting as far.  I was tiring of the whole thing again, so I decided to give it one more chance.

As it turned out, I got a pretty good start, with three elites… the most difficult bit… showing up almost immediately.  That really helps.  I was able, with a few close shaves, to get in the five elites and then the 75 spears.  That left me with about 30 monsters still to kill, which I did with great care until I got that last one… and boom, I was done!

Set Dungeon Complete

Set Dungeon Complete

I missed the timer, which is required for mastery but not for the Season 5 objective.  I was not set for Season 5.

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

Of course, there are post Chapter IV seasonal achievements to be earned.  Almost as soon as I wrapped up that chapter I was being told there was more goals in store.

Season 5 - Not Done Yet

Season 5 – Not Done Yet

There is a whole list of Season 5 achievements listed out over on Reddit.

But I think I might be done with Season 5.  I got to where I planned, I managed to pick up what seems like a lot of gold (200 million after doing all my gem combines) and I had my fun.  It might be a good time to take a break.  I’m not worn out on the game yet, and sometimes it is best to go out on a high note.

What will Season 6 bring?

February in Review

The Site

Here we are, another month gone by as we move through the tenth year of the blog.  Despite the extra day we get this year… the third leap day for the blog… it has been a quiet yet active month here.

It was quiet because I was pretty much gone for a week as we went to Hawaii for my wife’s birthday.  I wrote a few posts in advance, but nothing spectacular.


Obligatory “I was in Hawaii” picture featuring Diamond Head

But then it was busy because somehow, even with that interruption, I ended up writing 29 posts this month, if you include this one.  Things happened I guess, like the DUST 514 shut down announcement (I wrote that post while waiting for my wife to get ready to go to the airport!) and skill injectors and the Pokemon 20th anniversary.  Another lesson that, if you have low standards, you will never run out of things about which to write I suppose.

One Year Ago

Sony Online Entertainment ceased to be, having been sold off to Columbus Nova and rebranded as Daybreak Games Company.  The launch was not auspicious to my mind, with Columbus Nova issuing a questionable press release while the new company shed many old hands.  Still, classic Norrath seemed to be safeNew progression servers for EverQuest were announced fairly quickly thereafter.

H1Z1 was out in early access (or “recently launched” according to Colubus Nova) and having some issues.  Polygon took my own point of view in stating that if a company is out there taking money for a game then they felt entitled to review it as it stood.

The Crowfall Kickstarter campaign launched and the game quickly hit its initial goal.  Meanwhile, I was wondering how Nebula Online, another project with a Kickstarter, was going to make any money.

Massively and WoW Insider were recreating themselves as Massively OP and Blizzard Watch.

I was still playing WoW , which still had 10 million subscribers, while looking towards the 6.1 patch was due.  I was doing pet battles and looking at my addons.

I was also still flailing about a bit with Elite: Dangerous.

Star Wars: The Old Republic seemed headed back to that vaunted fourth pillar.

The Tiamat expansion hit EVE Online, unleashing the Svipul menace.  CCP was bribing people to vote in the CSMX election. And for the monthly blog banter walking in stations came up again.  I was also figuring out how to change my space clothes and Reavers were making a difference.

The now defunct BattleClinic had just finished their site overhaul, allowing players to mine more data out of their kill mails.

Then there was Juche.

And, finally, a farewell to Leonard Nimoy.

Five Years Ago

At one point I was declared influential.  We got over that pretty quickly though.

Hulkageddon IV came and went.  We all survived.  And then there was the new character creator in EVE Online.  It had… options.

LOTRO had a welcome back event… even though it is free to play.

There was yet another sign of the coming apocalypse.

NetDevil got pulled out of LEGO Universe.

Nintendo was banging the drum for Pokemon Black and White.  We were certainly ready for it at our house.

Van Hemlock was slumming back in MMOs for a bit.

I was taking a look at the holy trinity of roles through a historical lens.  It wasn’t always Tank/Healer/DPS.

The instance group was still playing World of Warcraft Now we just get nostalgic about it.

World of Tanks.  It was in beta and set some sort of bogus record.

Rift was getting ready to launch.  People were freaking out in the absence of calm words.  Personally, I wasn’t buying into the game.  Who needed a WoW clone when we had WoW?

Nostalgia was officially on with the launch of the Fippy Darkpaw Time Locked Progression server.  Characters were rolled.  Low level zones were crowded and experience was slow.  But the tour was a go.  We hit the Qeynos Hills, Blackburrow, West Karana, and the Qeynos SewersImportant spells were rediscovered and camping trips were planned.  Not everything was as we remembered it, but it made for a pretty darn good nostalgia adventure.

And while that was going on, SOE shipped the Destiny of Velious expansion for EverQuest II.  But I couldn’t be bothered.

And, finally, one of our cats was on top of the refrigerator.

Ten Years Ago

EVE Online reached the 100,000 subscriber mark, back when companies talked about such things publicly, and launched the Bloodlines expansion.  That expansion, which basically complicated character creation and made everybody go Caldari, would be the current state of the game when I made my first character in New Eden a few months down the road.

James Cameron was jumping onto the MMO bandwagon with Multiverse Network, which was going to lower the barrier to entry for MMO creation.  The plan was for there to be an MMO released alongside his next movie, but Avatar had to go it alone in the end, while Multiverse Network shut down in 2011.

SOE launched the Kingdom of Sky expansion for EverQuest II, which became the first bit of content that I did not buy for the game.  I never purchased the expansion, getting it for free as part of the later Echoes of Faydwer expansion.  It marks the line between “classic” and “new stuff” in my brain, as illogical as that seems ten years down the road.

Dungeons & Dragons Online went live.  I remember picking up the box at Fry’s and reading the label on the bottom of the box that declared the game required group play, that no solo play was supported.  I put the box back on the shelf and moved on.  How times have changed.

Featured Sites of the Month

For this month’s feature site I want to bring your attention to:

While I remain confused as to what to call him some days… the blog is the “Nosy” gamer, but he goes by “Noizy” when he signs his handle… his is the blog you go to if you want to see somebody track and follow up on topics like illicit RMT in EVE Online and other such goings on.  He is a respected source in the EVE Online community.

Then of the “other” site of the month, I want to point you at is:

This is a long form blog that delves in depth into video games and other related digital entertainment topics.  Posts come up about weekly, but they usually dig deep into the meat of the topic at hand.  Take a look at the table of contents for the site.

Most Viewed Posts in February

  1. WoW and the Case for Subscription Numbers
  2. MMOs and their Middle Age Problems…
  3. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  4. First Night of Skill Point Trading in Jita
  5. Pokemon 20th Anniversary Download Events Kick Off with Mew
  6. CCP Continues to Confound Recognized Financial Expert
  7. Further Anecdotes from the Skill Injector Front in New Eden
  8. Diablo III Season 5 and into Chapter IV
  9. Our Automated Farms in Minecraft
  10. DUST 514 to Shut Down on May 30, 2016
  11. LOTRO and the Great Server Merge
  12. Quote of the Day – CSM members have no agency

Search Terms of the Month

elder scrolls online 1 million
[I wouldn’t pay that much, wait for a Steam sale]

need someone to hack my empires and allies accnt
[Wouldn’t you be better of just letting that go?]

what expansion is fippy darkpaw in
[They were trying to unlock Underfoot back in July 2014…]

wow token useless for free players
[For specific definitions of “free” I suppose]

Diablo III

I have carried on with Season 5, finding fun in chasing down the various goals and achievements laid out for this round.  This has led me to my highest level character yet in the almost four years since the game launched.  That probably says something, though I am not sure what.

EVE Online

The month started with the Reavers and some of KarmaFleet down in Querious having a good time brawling with the locals.  Then we got called back home because we had a real war… or as real of a war as we can manage these days… to fight.  The Casino War, pitting the Coalition of the Billing against SpaceMonkey’s Alliance.  So that has been the main focus for the last couple weeks, with content being delivered to our doorstep fresh daily.  And it looks set to continue on.

Meanwhile, the theme of the month seemed to be skill injectors.  I have yet to be in a fleet since they were introduced where somebody hasn’t announced they have a new ability thanks to injecting billions of ISK worth of skill points straight into their head.

Finally, we seem to be ending up the month with server issues and extended downtime.  I hope that isn’t a sign of things to come.


It has been a quiet month on the Minecraft front.  I’ve still played some, and Aaron built another automated device for us, but there hasn’t been much to write about.  However, the 1.9 update looks like it is finally threatening to arrive, and that should stir things up a bit.

PlanetSide 2

In a moment of odd timing, just as the Casino War was heating up to the point that Reavers were called back home, The Imperium decided we should go play PlanetSide 2.  The deal to get us there was no doubt struck with Daybreak ages ago, so the timing was what it was.  Still, it is free to download and a pretty easy game to jump in and out of.  I’ll be interested to see if it sticks.


Pokemon turned 20 years old just two days ago, which got me focused on the game somewhat.  There is a series of legendary download events over the course of the year to celebrate.  And the next installments in the core RPG game, Pokemon Sun & Moon were announced three days back, so we have those to look forward to.  Meanwhile, the most immediate action was the release of the original games, Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow, on the 3DS Virtual Console.

In order to experience the origins of the series, I grabbed a copy of Blue, while my daughter picked Red.  We shall see how far we get.

Coming Up

What is coming up next month… aside from the dreaded start of Daylight Savings Time?  For a week or two I will be extra groggy every morning as I try force the reality of my sleep pattern to line up with the illusion that is time.

As noted above, there is the distinct possibility that we will get the Minecraft 1.9 update in March.  That could lead to some fun as we try to upgrade our server.

In EVE Online the CSM XI elections kick off today.  That will mean something to somebody I am sure.  There will likely be a March (YC118.3) Update coming, though I am not sure what we’ll get besides fixes.  I am not sure what features are slated to hit before the big Citadels expansion later this year.  Are we getting that new watchlist update?  And, of course, the Casino War will carry on for a while I am sure.  We’ll see who gets tired of nightly content first I suppose.

There may or may not be some PlanetSide 2 times worth writing about.

I will no doubt have something to say about Pokemon Blue as I play to discover just how far the series has evolved in 20 years.  I played quite a bit yesterday and I was actually a bit surprised at where things stood “in the beginning” as it were.

And I suspect that Season 5 of Diablo III might be winding down for me.

Diablo III and my Great Leap Forward in Season 5

One of the quirks (and drivers) of a gear drop driven game like Diablo III is that sometimes you can go for ages and get little or no advancement in your gear… and then suddenly it rains upgrades on you.

After the last post, where I was wondering how to get through the Season 5 Chapter IV objectives, I was at Torment II and running Adventure Mode in hopes of picking up a drop or something that would boost me past that.  I needed to be at Torment IV to finish things off.

I got a couple small upgrades, enough that I tried to jump straight up to Torment IV, but that was too much.  So I went back to Torment III where I was still struggling a bit.  And then I got the drop that changed everything.

And it wasn’t even a piece of gear.

No, it was a recipe for a sword called Griswold’s Perfection.  Honestly, the recipe wasn’t all that great to look at, but I happened to have enough materials to make 10 swords, so I decided to see if I could get one worth upgrading to.  Nine of the resulting swords were so-so, not much of an upgrade over what I was already swinging, but there was one that stood out from the rest.  It had much higher damage than the rest, decent strength and vitality buffs, and a socket for a gem.

The Sword

The Sword

It doesn’t look like much, but once I had that in my hand, Torment III eased up so much that I went right to Torment IV.  Then my streak of “luck” began.  I was carving through adventure mode and ended up on a level with unicorns and flowers and teddy bears to kill.

Death to all that is cute!

Death to all that is cute!

I am not sure that was actually lucky, but it was something I hadn’t seen before.

Then I was able to kill a treasure goblin in another area and it left its portal open so I was able to enter The Vault for the first time.

Gold Everywhere!

Gold Everywhere!

My immediate gold problems were solved as I went from having about 4 million gold to having more than 40 million gold after that run. (Granted, I immediately burned almost half of it doing gem combines, but I was still way ahead.)

After that I decided to start in on the Greater Rift level 20 objective.  I had two tokens to enter greater rifts already, so headed on in.  The first run was a big success, I beat the timer by a large margin, and it opened me up all the way to Greater Rift level 18.  It also gave me a nice legendary ring and an interesting gem to mount in it.

The Nagelring with the Boon of the Hoarder gem

The Nagelring with the Boon of the Hoarder gem

I love me some “life per hit” bonus, and the gem pretty much has gold raining on me for adventure mode runs, so I won’t have to spend all my vault money.

The second run went equally well.  Again I was well ahead of the timer and got a nice ring drop and a gem to go in it.

Oculus Ring with Boyarsky's Chip

Oculus Ring with Boyarsky’s Chip

If there is something I like as much as “life per hit” it is more thorns damage.  That opened me up to Greater Rift level 24, but I was out of tokens.  So I ran a Nephalem rift to get another, then set off on the Greater Rift level 20.

I was a bit worried when it started off, as monsters were few and far between, so the hourglass line on the timer was getting ahead of my own progress bar.  It actually took me a while before I found a few elites and a boss or two before I was able to catch up.  By the time things got close to the end though I was out in front of the hourglass.  The final fight went well and I had cleared the GR20 objective.

Greater Rift 20 completed

Greater Rift 20 completed

That should have completed my Thorns of the Invoker set.

But I didn’t seem to have them.  I got a bit miffed at them going missing and logged off, thinking I must have missed something along the way.  And then I remembered that the set pieces show up in the mail, which is a pretty subtle icon down in the lower left corner.  So I logged back in and collected them.  I was now all suited up… and fearsome.  The bonuses for the set are pretty nice, especially since I had been working on getting thorns stats for my gear. [You can see all my gear here.]

Thorns of the Invoker set bonuses

Thorns of the Invoker set bonuses

I went out and tried it on a few bosses.  I hit Zoltun Kulle first and killed him so fast I got two achievements.  One was for killing him in less than 30 seconds, though I doubt I took more than six.  I upped the difficulty to Torment V and was still able to slay stuff crazy fast compared to what I was used to, trash going down in a hit or two, elites fading in half a dozen.  In fact, that efficiency actually lead to a couple of deaths.  Once in a while I will kill a group of elites that explode on death so quickly that I will end up eating all the death explosions in one blow and dying myself.  Problems of the powerful I suppose.

At that point I only had two objectives left for chapter IV.  One was equipping a legendary in every slot, and I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t have that one yet.  And then I noticed that my belt was only a level 66 legendary and the slots all have to have level 70 items, so I quickly fixed that for just long enough to check it off the list.

That just left the set dungeon.   I looked up where that was located and ran off to give it a try.

Where the set dungeon starts...

Where the set dungeon starts…

There my power was not effective and things went very badly.

As I understand it, the set dungeons are all a bit… finicky I guess.  You have to go in and kill several things in a specified fashion without dying yourself.

So for this set I had to go in and kill five elites.  Five elites, which had to die while I was standing in my active consecrate circle, while I had iron skin active.  First I had to figure out how to get those two on my ability bar at the same time.  Google told me to go to Options and select Elective mode.  Once that was set, I gave it a try, and failed.  And tried again, and failed.  And over and over and over again.

I would put myself at 20+ attempts in about 15 minutes, as I was failing very quickly.  I would either die, which was pretty easy to do, since the elites could almost one-shot me, while the trash was hitting me for a quarter to half of my health… dying ends run… or kill an elite but either consecrate or iron skin would have faded… and killing an elite in the wrong way ends the run.

Basically, it seems like a very simple task, but I managed to mis-time things or die every single time.  I watch a couple of videos about the run, which both pretty much said, “This is easy, just kill the elites while in your consecrate while iron skin is up” without going into any further detail.  So I gave up for the moment.

So that is where I stand on Season 5 right now; one objective away from completing chapter IV.

Chapter IV - So close

Chapter IV – So close

I am going to have to find something more informative on that set dungeon, because I was clearly getting nowhere.

Anyway, I have the set from the season and I think I can bump myself up to Torment VI if I want to chase some achievements.  Or, I can lower it down and probably accomplish some of the speed run achievements.  I imagine at Torment I in story mode I would just have to run through things and watch mobs explode as I passed… which, I have to admit, is kind of fun for a while.

And this is as far as I have gotten with a character in Diablo III, so Season 5 has worked out for me on that front.