Category Archives: entertainment

Blapril Prep Week is Almost Over

It is Thursday already.  Or I think it is.  I went to my Wednesday morning meetings yesterday… unless that was a dream.

Anyway, the week is heading towards its close and I haven’t done much Blapril prep.

But that is probably okay for me.  I didn’t plan on doing much in the way of prep in any case.  I’ll worry a bit about coming up with enough posts and write out a list of some possible topics and, if history is any indication, events will overcome any plans and I won’t use half the topics I list out anyway.  Basically, with more than a dozen years of momentum writing a post every week day, I will probably just muddle through as always.

The Blapril commeth

However, if you are still thinking about joining in on Blapril by starting up a new blog, reviving an old one, or just joining along with your current one, it is not too late to get going.  This is only prep week, the first of six official weeks.

  • March 29th – April 4th – Blapril Prep Week
  • April 5th – April 11th – Topic Brainstorming Week
  • April 12th – April 18th – Getting to Know You Week
  • April 19th – April 25th – Developer/Creator Appreciation Week
  • April 26th – May 2nd – Staying Motivated Week
  • May 3rd – May 9th – Lessons Learned Week

Not sure if you can make it to the end?  Don’t worry about it.

Back in the early versions of Blaugust, the idea was to get out a post a day for a whole month.  But then the chill era took hold in Blaugustan, and it became less about hitting an arbitrary number of posts over a given time frame and more about connecting with other bloggers and sharing ideas and what one might call “community.”

You can still do a post a day.  There is a special rainbow achievement for that.  But if you’re new to the whole thing, there is an award for that, and if you make five posts you’ve earned an achievement.  And, for a lot of people, five posts will be more than enough.  It does take a special sort of mania to want to post every single day and not everybody wants to create a giant memory book of their online gaming life.

Anyway, if you are new and considering joining in, there are some posts up for you.  Belghast has some of the essentials:

There is also some sage advice out there that may help you along with the blogging process:

You can also find what passes for advice from me around here under the Blaugust tag. (You’ll see this post if you click there, but if you scroll down you’ll find past efforts.)  Like Bhagpuss, I have gone on about editorial style and blog comments and some of the finer points, but my basic philosophy remains that it has better to have written something, even something you’re not happy with, than to not write at all for fear of not achieving perfection.

Nobody who writes regularly should be completely happy with their work.  To be a writer is to be unhappy yet willing to go at it again in the hopes of a better result, or so I have been told.  Maybe you should care more about getting better than I do to be a “real” writer, but I am still ahead of somebody who never hits the “publish” button.

So, if you’re feeling it, give it a try.

And if you want more insight, there are plenty of participants in the mix now.  The current list of participating blogs (and vlogs) is:

The latest version of that list is available on the media kit page for the event.

There we are.  If you join in, you’ll get on the list.  If not, come and visit.

April Fools at Blizzard 2020 is Centered on Overwatch

This year it seems it was the Overwatch teams turn to embrace the day, or at least be the theme of the day.

Googly eyes at the hero select screen

It has become something of an annual tradition here to cover what Blizzard has been up to every April Fools.  There have been years where the company has put a lot of effort into various items for the day and there have been years where April Fools has barely been a thing at Blizzard.

This year seems like an outlier, with a different feel altogether.  In the past the level of effort has often correlated to highs and lows with the company itself.  Last year, for example, was not a great year for the company, so it wasn’t surprising that people had little time for this sort of thing.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic raging around the world, I was curious to see if there would be any mirth on the first at all.  Blizzard has been giving players benefits in light of the crisis, like an xp boost in WoW and unlocking all the heroes in Heroes of the Storm and co-op commanders in Star Craft II.  It would be completely understandable to give the whole April fools thing a pass.  But a little bit of humor in the right dose wouldn’t go amiss either.

And some of these ideas take a while to put together.  I am going to guess that the giant cat that Bhagpuss wrote about over in Guild Wars II wasn’t rolled up over the weekend but planned well in advance.

Which brings us to Overwatch and its googly eyes on heroes at the select screen, and in the play of the game clip at match end, which I mentioned above. (This came as a tip from Blueline Basher.  The screen shot is one from many in the forum.)

Following on that, over in the Heroes of the Storm forums there were April 1st PTR patch notes posted that included the addition of a new hero, Mercy.  I got that Mercy was an Overwatch hero, but I know so little about HotS that I couldn’t really tell if the patch notes were a joke or if somebody on the team unironically posted an update on April 1st.  And then I watched the video linked in the patch notes, which doesn’t really reveal itself until the very end.

 

The other Blizzard games, Diablo III, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, and World of Warcraft have all been quiet so far as April Fools is concerned.  No news items or fresh blue posts with an April 1 date.  It is still early in the day on the west coast, so maybe something else will pop up, in which case I will add it here, but for now that is all I have seen.

Update: We now have the annual WoW April Fools patch notes, in draft form, for patch 8.8.8.  Icluded in the notes:

  • High Dwarves
  • Kul-Tiran Worgen
  • Highmountain Goblins
  • New Essences
  • Class Updates
  • New WoW Classic Flavors

If you are jonsing for a Blizzard April Fools joke beyond those your best bet is to look at past efforts.  You can look at the posts I have done over the last decade:

If you want to go back further than that, there is the official Blizzard April Fool’s archive, though that stops at 2015, which is probably meaningful in some way.

In a way I am kind of happy they did something this year, if only to keep the long tradition alive.  They haven’t missed a year since 1999, even if some years have been rather sparse.

For other games you can check out the post over at Massively OP where they are trying to round up the MMO front.

Other April Fools items:

March in Review

The Site

What a month.  There was nothing much of note new on the site, but gaming life and blogging time and all of that was subject to some changes as the COVID-19 pandemic confined so many of us to home.  Fortunately my job is doable from home, but being there at my desk all day long does suck some of the joy out of gaming or writing.  If I’ve already been in my chair for nine or ten hours, there isn’t a lot of joy in staying there for a few more to play a game or write.

At least I can go sit on the couch and play Pokemon Sword.

My new Switch Lite

Good thing I got that for my birthday early in the month, as they are sold out now.  I have not yet succumbed to the mounting pressure to get Animal Crossing: New Horizon though.  My daughter loves it, but she isn’t sure it is a game I would like.

Otherwise it has largely been a constant series of, “Wait, did that happen this month? It seems so long ago now.” moments as the world falls further into whatever it is that we have going on now.

One Year Ago

I dug up my old Macintosh PowerBook 190cs, which I didn’t even remember I still had, and thought about writing about some of the games still on it.  However, I was unable to get it onto the network, so screen shots were difficult to obtain and I ended up running out of steam on the whole thing for the time being.

Activision Blizzard was hedging a bit on what effect their layoff of 8% of the company might produce.

Perfect World Entertainment officially killed of the Foundry in both Neverwinter and Star Trek Online, ending their player made content experiment.

Steam decided that they really did need to curate games on their site, a decision pushed by their inept handling of Rape Day.  The Epic Game Store, always eager to capitalize on Valve’s foibles, declared that there would be no porn in their store.

Gamigo killed off the Rift Prime retro server due to lack of popularity.  It remains my opinion that the Storm Legion expansion killed the game the first time around, so having it do it again was no surprise.

A data center move brought down and kept offline Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online for longer than expected.

Over at Massively OP they were talking about “niche MMORPGs,” a term as ill-defined as most in the gaming world.  Honestly, one could argue that MMORPGs are a niche genre.

Over at GoG.com we got a version of the original Diablo, and while it felt primitive it was still very playable and pretty damn good.

Niantic finally allowed players to change teams in Pokemon Go, allowing me to swap from Team Mystic to Team Instinct.

I was giving Path of Exile a shot again with their Synthesis update.

On the LOTRO Legendary servers the Mines of Moria expansion opened up.  That sent me off to Eregion in search of legendary weapons and such.

In EVE Online the March update brought new restrictions to Alpha clones.  They could no longer run level 4 or 5 missions.  People could buy skill books straight from their character sheet… for a bit of a markup.  CCP was also tinkering with null sec anomalies.  They were worried about too much ISK in the economy.  Skill Points though?  They were just handing those out.

There was a video of Burn Jita 6 in full 4K.

CCP Guard announced he was leaving CCP after 16 years of service.

In New Eden there were two notable ship losses, the first Komodo titan to die and a rare Gold Magnate.  I also got a ship blown up as part of my Myrmidon Experiment, though that was a much less expensive loss.

There was also the EVE Ather Wars tech demo, which went well enough, even if it did not get as many players in space as the company had hoped for.

But Katia Sai was being celebrated for visiting every system in New Eden.

I was pondering the proposed level squish for World of Warcraft.  My guess was that Blizzard would be too risk-averse to do it, but I was proven wrong later in the year at BlizzCon.  Blizz also revived Wintergrasp, the huge battleground from Wrath of the Lich King, which was fun to visit again.

Runes of Magic turned ten and I reflected on its place in the tale of the genre.

But the big news was EverQuest turning 20 years old.  I reflected on its history and celebrated its anniversary.  I covered what the team had to say, which included some good news as well as a bit of hubris.

And I was still doing my own play through of some EverQuest content.  I got a mercenary for my cleric, traveled to distant zones via dangerous paths, and even hit level 50.  It was a lot easier to get there than it was back in the day.  It was quite the tourist excursion!

Five Years 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.

Ten Years Ago

With the March 2010 month in review I was able to announce that the site had passed the one million page view mark.  A minor milestone.

FarmVille.  We all tried it as research for Shut Up We’re Talking #60.  We didn’t inhale.

ran through GDC and had dinner.

I was waxing nostalgic for some flavor of Rome.

EA was saying very stupid things about how many subscribers Star Wars: The Old Republic would need.  It is never too early to set the bar for failure.  Also they were threatening to taint 38 Studios.

I was also wondering about greater challenges in MMOs.  Must all paths be equally easy?

I held an April Fools contest, which got a few entries.

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver launched and, after some delay,  I was picking that initial Pokemon.

I was still invested in Star Trek Online… I was trying…. well, they were giving us lifetime subscribers some perks.

In EVE Online I hit 50 million skill points.  I also had my first Tengu.

World of Tanks was staring to announce some of their progression trees, starting with the Russian and American sets.  Those have changed a lot since then.

The instance group was beginning to embrace the Dungeon Finder.  However, after Mauradon we found we still had to do a chunk of external legwork to prepare for our Sunken Temple run.  I also got a chopper along the way, on my birthday no less.

And, finally, that whole Derek Smart/Alganon thing was just kicking off.

Fifteen Years Ago

Monolith, backed by Sega and Warner Brothers, launches The Matrix Online in the US.  It hits Europe a month later. The title is soon taken over by Sony Online Entertainment, which runs it until its closure in 2009.

The Bloodline Chronicles adventure pack is released for EverQuest II.  It is free for Station Access subscribers.  Among other things it gives the game destructible walls.

Twenty Years Ago

Sony launched the PlayStation 2. Available initially only in Japan, it had ten launch titles.

Most Viewed Posts in March

  1. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  2. How Many People Play EVE Online?
  3. Overseer Feature, Progression Servers, and Free Heroic Characters Coming for EverQuest Anniversary
  4. The State of Voice in 2020 with a Poll
  5. The March Update Brings Market and Moon Changes to EVE Online
  6. New Servers and Server Merges and More with the EverQuest Anniversary
  7. The Windstalker Leaves Norrath
  8. The Passion of the Overseer
  9. Visiting the Katia Sae Monument
  10. An Uldaman of Vague Memories
  11. Blizzard in the Badlands
  12. Seeking the Hydrocane

Search Terms of the Month

camelot unchained massive refund requests after terrible announcment
[Somebody knows what they’re looking for]

online rpg apple iie
[That is going to be a bit or a stretch. A MUD maybe?]

does concord intervene during killing spree in eve online
[All normal CONCORD rules apply]

null sec infrastructure to spawn mining belts
[infrastructure hub]

what plane in war thunder has the most bombs
[Going to guess it is the B-29]

wilma flintstone memes
[I don’t even]

Game Time from ManicTime

Time tracking shows I spent most of my play time with WoW Classic.

WoW Classic – 64.13%
RimWorld – 13.25%
Pokemon Sword – 10.93%
EverQuest – 5.10%
EVE Online – 4.32%
EverQuest II – 1.92%
World of Warcraft – 0.34%

You would think I would be further along, but I always find time to potter about.  Also, Pokemon Sword isn’t tracked by ManicTime, being on the Switch and all, but the save page in the game gives you an elapsed time played report with each save, so I can include it in the mix.

EVE Online

While I did not spend that much time in New Eden in March, the time I did spend was fairly active.  There was a move op north to Venal, followed by some fights, and then a move op home.  Structures were shot, ships exploded.

EverQuest

With the 21st anniversary going on I decided to poke my nose in while my all access subscription was still running.  I used the heroic upgrade on my cleric from last year’s anniversary, which promptly made his spells an unfathomable mess.  But I did end up playing with the new Overseer feature.  While it has a mobile game air to it, the EQ version has more depth than the EQII one does, so I do keep logging into play it.

EverQuest II

I fear my momentum has faded in EQII.  After grabbing the expansion last year and driving a few characters up to the level cap, both for adventure and crafting, I sort of lost interest and wandered off.  I did a bit of the Overseer thing, but it isn’t all that compelling.

Pokemon Go

My drive to the level cap slowed down somewhat.  The friend rewards, which are worth 100,000 points when you hit the highest level, drove me the last couple of months.  However, daily gifts have tapered off as people hole up at home and can’t get out to Pokestops.

Level: 38 (83% of the way to level 39)
Pokedex status: 526 (+14) caught, 556 (+11) seen
Pokemon I want: Lucario, which is tough because I never any in the wild.
Current buddy: Dewatt

Pokemon Sword

As noted previously, I got Nintendo Switch Lite and a copy of Pokemon Sword for my birthday, which was about a week before we all had to go into hiding, so that is some timing.  I am three gym leaders in so far and it is shaping up to be a pretty solid entry in the genre.  The villainous team is a little more buffoonish than normal, but we’ll see how that plays out.  I just have to get myself setup to pull screen shots from the game so I can post about it.

RimWorld

RimWorld got the Royalty expansion, which adds a new dynamic to the game.  I have that out and played through some.  But even if you do not get the expansion, the launch of it also brought a bit update patch for the base game that includes a lot of nice improvements.

World of Warcraft

As usual, my time spent in retail WoW was mostly around Darkmoon Faire, though I did log in to grab a map of Gnomeregan for a post, and found that I had forgotten that they had nerfed some of the outside area as well.

WoW Classic

A lot of time spent playing WoW Classic.  I was grinding for a mount and working on some alts, but the big effort was around UIdaman where, after three weeks, we took down Archaedas.  Now comes the time to prep for Zul’Farrak.

Coming Up

It is Blapril, so expect some blogging reflective posts and as much linking out to other participants as I can manage.

It is also April Fools tomorrow, though given the current state of the political scene in the US, I am not sure anybody will notice.  Much of the last couple of months has involved public figures saying things that should have ended with “April Fools!” but somehow did not… more so than usual.

EVE Fanfest should have been kicking off soon, but that was cancelled in what seemed like forever ago, though it was just a month back.  Still, it has been reported that CCP will have some news and a new trailer for us.

And it seems like a fine time for video games, especially online games.  But April promises to be as relentless with bad news as March was, so the end of the month will probably feel like another year has gone past.

The February MER and Initial Mining Changes

We ended up with a late in the cycle monthly economic report for February last week.  Some times they pop up in the first week and some times in the last week.

EVE Online nerds harder

While I have quit posting about the MER every month, in at least a general news sort of way, this was an MER I was waiting for as February saw the introduction of the plan to reshape the mining landscape of New Eden, kicking off with a radical nerf to asteroids.

The net result was fewer asteroids to mine in belts and anomalies, and the yield from the remaining asteroids was set to be much lower.  So I figured we might see some impact on the MER for February.

To assess impact however, you have to have context.  If I just tell you there was 28.6 trillion ISK worth of ore mined in February, that number has no anchor, no way in which to tell if that is big or small, up or down, or what might have had an impact.  So I grabbed the data from three MERs to see if we could see a trend.

For December the mining total was 30.2 trillion ISK, with the top ten regions being:

  1. Delve – 3.79 trillion
  2. Esoteria – 1.89 trillion
  3. Oasa – 1.35 trillion
  4. Malpais – 1.16 trillion
  5. Domain – 1.16 trillion
  6. The Forge – 1.02 trillion
  7. The Kalevala Expanse – 966 billion
  8. Querious – 965 billion
  9. Outer Passage – 933 billion
  10. Sinq Laison – 799 billion

The top four are null sec regions and are the locus of activity for four big groups, Imperium, TEST, Fraternity, and PanFam.  After that we get two high sec regions, Domain and The Forge, which also happen to host the top two trade hubs in the game, Amarr and Jita.  Then there are two subsidiary null sec regions for PanFam and Imperium, then a remote corner of null sec, then finally another trade hub region.

We’ll call that the new  normal for now.  During the Chaos Era the high sec regions around trade hubs rose on the lists, but have settled back down some.

In January there was a total of 34.5 trillion ISK in mineral value mined, with the top ten regions being:

  1. Delve – 4.09 trillion
  2. Oasa – 2.15 trillion
  3. Esoteria – 1.79 trillion
  4. Domain – 1.41 trillion
  5. The Kalevala Expanse – 1.28 trillion
  6. Fountain – 1.15 trillion
  7. Querious – 1.13 trillion
  8. The Forge – 1.11 trillion
  9. Malpais – 1.09 trillion
  10. Sinq Laison – 854 billion

Mostly the same cast of characters.  Outer Passage dropped out and Fountain, another Imperium subsidiary region.  There was also a war going in the north centered on Venal which may have drawn off some PanFam and Fraternity players.

And finally we get to February, the month of the change, when mining value totaled 28.6 trillion ISK in value and the top regions were:

  1. Delve – 2.40 trillion
  2. Domain – 1.68 trillion
  3. Oasa – 1.44 trillion
  4. Esoteria – 1.13 trillion
  5. The Forge – 1.11 trillion
  6. Feythabolis – 861 billion
  7. Sinq Laison – 821 billion
  8. Lonetrek – 791 billion
  9. Malpais – 748 billion
  10. Fountain – 729 billion

The top ten regions generally look to be down when compared to previous months, though the null sec regions listed all host organizations that went more fully to war around Venal in February.  That was when the Imperium deployed the new Goon Expeditionary Force there.

Meanwhile, the mining total for New Eden, while down some, doesn’t look to be down as far as one might expect given the radical nature of the nerf.  Why is that?

I think there are three things that play into that.

First, the change went in mid-month, so we do not have a full month of a starvation economy to look at yet.  If that is correct, the March total number should dip even further.

Second relates to how those numbers are calculated.  As I have oft repeated, minerals and ore are not ISK faucets.  They have no value in and of themselves.  There is no “minerals” line on the sinks and faucets graph.  You cannot vendor them for ISK.  So their value can only be measured by the market price.

How CCP comes up with that number is still opaque to me.  Their data shows it is based on two baskets of prices, one for high-en minerals and one for low-end.  But the specifics I do not know.  But I do know that if the price of minerals goes up then if people mine the same amount of minerals, then the value of the total amount mined will still go up.

So what has happened to the price of minerals?

February 2020 – Economic Indices

Mineral prices, that yellow line at the bottom, appears to be ramping right up from its nadir in November 2019.  Mineral prices are way up, as is the primary producer price index (PPPI) which is a measure of the cost to produce items and which tends to follow the price of minerals in its ups and downs.

That rise in mineral prices has likely softened the drop of the overall mined total as, even if there were fewer asteroids to grab, and they yielded less when processed, the market value of the end result was higher.  Tritanium, the most common mineral, was floating around 6.25 ISK per unit just before the change, while it was running over 7.60 ISK per unit at the end of the month.  That doesn’t seem like a radical change, but it had been down around 5 ISK in November and you need a lot of trit if you’re building things.

So, I suppose for this, we will have to see how things follow on with the March MER to get a good idea as to how hard this hit.  Or maybe April.

Why April?

I said there were three things that might play into this, and that was only two.  During February and March moon mining has remained a source of basic minerals.  That is changing.  CCP has announced that after all current moon chunk cycles are complete, basic ore and minerals will be largely removed from moon mining operations, the only exception being R4 moons, which are currently not worthwhile for much beside basic ore and minerals.  Those are getting nerfed too, but they get to keep a little of the basic stuff.

And you only have to fly through Delve with mining platforms visible on your overview to get a sense of how much moon mining might be adding to the basic mineral flow.  So while the March MER will be interesting, it seems like April will show an even greater change.

The End of Liberty Squad

I first posted about Liberty Squad back at the start of last year.  The group was formed as a USTZ effort to deploy out of Delve and find fights in other null sec regions.  When I joined up we were off to Geminate to pick fights with Pandemic Horde.

The Liberty Squad forum bee

There was always a bit of a problem with Liberty Squad in that the membership had a large overlap with Reavers, such that either one or the other could deploy, but both could not… unless they went somewhere together… as they mostly the same people.  But that wasn’t a huge issue as Asher, the head of Reavers, is a lot more involved in coalition-wide operations these days, being one of the rare sky marshals to run a campaign and not quit the game in exhaustion once it was done.

Anyway, we got word earlier this month from Cainun that the leadership of Liberty Squad was going to take their corp out of GSF and go try something new.

By now, I expect many of you have either heard some rumors, or noticed some movements. Come this time tomorrow, the Terrifying League of Dog Fort will have left the alliance. With them go Thomas, Zed, Mapache, and myself, on a new misadventure of our own making. Liberty Squad will be without leadership, and I expect will be closed as a result. Some have expressed an interest in trying to step up to take over the reins, but those possibilities are not mine to decide, or attempt to influence.

It has been a fantastic 18 months building, and running this squad regardless of its ups, and downs. Our Uemon deployment in particular, will always be one of the more fun periods I’ve spent playing this game. It has been a pleasure running this squad, even with all you meme-riddled bastards making every drake related remark imaginable every 15 seconds on fleets. I wish all of you the best in your search for fun, and enjoyment in this terrible little game we all play. :911:

FC grants you eternal permission to always bring your Drake from now on, fly well.

And so it goes.  I actually met most of that group at EVE Vegas last year.  They all got Liberty Squad buttons from me, including a special Canadian Drake one for Zed.

My EVE Vegas buttons

It is a bit sad to see that group go.  I flew with them many times and their fleets were a lot of fun.  But when your friends want to run off and try new things you wish them well and hope they find what they are looking for.

With this announcement there was an attempt in the forums to drum up support for a new group to be called Freedom Squad.  This made me chuckle a bit both because USTZ groups seem to always have to play on faux patriotism as a gimmick and because we had a Freedom Squad back in the day, the remnants of which became the core of Reavers.  However, this attempt was shut down pretty quickly by a director.

The thing is, creating a group to cater to those of us who just want to deploy to foreign parts was nationalized by the coalition with the formation of the Goon Expeditionary Force earlier this year.

I’m not sure which one is our forum bee yet

I think that came about because there is always some of us who want to know when the next war or whatever is going to happen and the coalition finally decided to harness that drive officially rather than leaving it to the sometimes random attention of smaller, self-formed groups that tend to depend on a small leadership group.

Which doesn’t mean those groups are going away.  Reavers and Space Violence and Black Ops are all still around.  But none of them are open to all comers these days.  They are selective.  So the GEF scratches the deployment itch for all and sundry who just want to go on the road and shoot structures… or get fights, which also happens some times.

Things change.  People move on.  Spaceships remain.

CCP Removes Most Basic Ore and Minerals from Moon Mining

CCP finally announced the long awaited/feared/expected Moon Mining update to the New Eden mineral starvation plan.

An Athanor pulling a moon chunk

Back in the middle of February, when Fanfest was still on and the Corona virus was something happening mostly on cruise ships and in other countries, CCP landed a radical hit on mining output.  The asteroid count in mining anomalies was reduced and the ore yield per asteroid was cut dramatically across the board.  The only thing left untouched were moon mining operations, though we were told we should expect the following soon:

  • Complete removal of all basic ore types from all moons
  • Adjustments on ore volume extracted per day, per moon
  • Adjustments on moon ore type yields of basic minerals

And today’s announcement came back with most of that.  I’m not sure about the middle item, but perhaps that gets effectively changed with the other updates, which were:

  • All basic ores (Veldspar, Scordite, Pyroxeres, Plagioclase, Omber, Kernite, Jaspet, Hemprphite, Hedbergite, Gneiss, Dark Ochre, Spodumain, Crokite, Bistot, Arkonor), will be removed from moons. In some cases, they have been replaced with Moon Ore.
  • All basic materials (Tritanium, Pyerite, Mexallon, Isogen, Nocxium, Zydrine, Megacyte) will be removed from moon ore DNA (refining materials output table below) with the following exceptions:
    • R4 moon ores (Bitumens, Coesite, Sylvite, Zeolites) keep their original yield of Pyerite & Mexallon (Tritanium was removed).

I will have a post on Monday about the mineral starvation plan so far via a look at the February monthly economic report, but it looks like the sparks might not really fly until we see what the April numbers are.  Expect the prices of minerals and everything made from them… which is everything… to rise.

The changes went into effect immediately, so that is the way things are now.  Any moon chunk pull that was in progress got to keep the old ore/mineral output, but all new pulls get the new thin soup.

Reactions in the forum thread about this change are about as expected.

Blapril is a Promise that Blaugust is Bound to Keep

Pardon that mangled quote but I always feel like I have to find a different title when a bunch of people are writing about the same thing.

And, if you’ve been around the blog neighborhood, you may already know what I am talking about, and that is Blapril.

The Blapril commeth

Blapril is Blaugust come early.  Blaugust is the annual festival of blogging that Belghast runs, but with so many people at loose ends and with the general oppressive sense of the world, he thought it might be time for a community activity.

And while I am not thrilled with the name… everything is down hill from Blaugust I suppose, which works so well… I do applaud the idea.

Belghast has a full post about the event here with the usual options.  The schedule, which you may indulge in or ignore as suits you, is set out as follows:

  • March 29th – April 4th – Blapril Prep Week
  • April 5th – April 11th – Topic Brainstorming Week
  • April 12th – April 18th – Getting to Know You Week
  • April 19th – April 25th – Developer/Creator Appreciation Week
  • April 26th – May 2nd – Staying Motivated Week
  • May 3rd – May 9th – Lessons Learned Week

That gives you six weeks of potential blogging motivation.

To get involved you can do some or all of the following:

  • The first step is to fill out the Sign-Up Form for Blapril 2020 which can be found here. Only those who have signed up will be given credit towards the awards.
  • Next make sure you are active on the Blaugust Discord and the link for that can be found here. This is the third year we have been active on Discord and it is a community that has managed to stay evergreen throughout the years. Maybe even share your content each day in the appropriately named “share-your-content” channel.
  • When you share your content on social media please use the hashtag #Blapril2020 for tracking purposes and to make it easier for those watching the event to find fresh content.
  • Mingle with your other Mentors and Participants because this is a community event, and part of the fun is getting to know the community. These folks represent a social structure that you can lean on for advice in the coming years. I personally deeply value my ties with other bloggers that I have built up over the last decade of doing this thing.
  • If you are so inclined there is a “gaming-together” channel on Discord for impromptu grouping in various games while the event is going on.

If you have a blog already, sign right up and get involved.  If you don’t have one, now would be an opportunity to get one going.

The participant list so far is:

That isn’t a huge number.  A lot of those people were still hanging around the Discord channel and chatting from last Blaugust.  But it isn’t too late to get involved.