Category Archives: EverQuest II

August in Review

The Site

Well, I already wrapped up Blaugust in the previous post and, this being my 42nd post in August,  With this I managed to cover at least the “post every day” aspect of the event.

That done, I can go back to my usual routine of complaining about WordPress.com.  This month they did a couple of things to annoy me, the primary one being the addition a little floating control bar to the bottom right of the site.  This is what it looks like to me.

WPCustomizeIf you are logged in to a WordPress.com account, you will see it as well, though it you are on somebody else’s site it might look more like this.

WPFollowI found it distracting and annoying almost immediately, so when WordPress.com eventually got around to putting up a post about it, I was in there immediately with a comment asking if I could turn it off.  I got the expected “but it is a wonderful thing, why would you want to turn it off” level of response.  WP can do no wrong in their own eyes and all changes are improvements.  Or maybe I am just a grumpy old man.

I did get a direct response from one of their staff offering up a way to turn it off in CSS, which I have not tried yet.  That was both unexpected and literally the high point of my customer experience relationship with WP.

While I had that person’s attention, I asked why WP implements changes on their production servers and then gets around to telling people about them half a day or more later.  There is almost always at least a six hour gap between “Wait, what happened?” and WP actually telling people what they did.

Unfortunately, the response I got was that they don’t always tell people about changes… I already knew that, as they screwed up how embedded links work in the editor this month and didn’t post about that… which, while a frank admission of their policy, didn’t actually explain why they thought that policy was a good idea.

I try to imagine making changes first and telling customers later in my job and I can only picture people’s heads exploding.

Anyway, I got a CSS fix that appears to remove the floating bar.  However, in giving this to me I was told that they would be moving features from the perfectly serviceable and stationary menu bar at the top of the page to this annoying winky blinky tool bar in the future, so I might have to turn it back on again at a later date.

The CSS, should you have access to such things on your WP.com hosted site, which requires at least having purchased the Custom Design option, is:

#actionbar {
display: none;
}

You can pop that into the CSS window in the Customize editor and you should be set.  Enjoy.

If you are not logged in or do not have a WP.com account, I am sure most of this is pretty meaningless to you.

One Year Ago

I was marveling at the prescience of some quotes from GDC 2007.

We had a couple more SOE games close.  Vanguard saw some touching tributes, while Wizardry Online pretty much passed without comment.  Then Dragon’s Prophet launched without comment, which I suspected might be a sign.

The last ever SOE Live tried to get us excited about EverQuest Next again.  Otherwise it was sort of business as usual on the Norrath front.  I wished for more than I got certainly.

Project: Gorgon was having a Kickstarter and was asking for $100,000.  I was dubious.

Google was forcing me to make bad referential post titles.

Our months long Civilization V game wrapped up with victory for mattman and China.

DarkFall introduced another PLEX-like currency, DUEL.

I was wondering what to do about Raptr.

Blizzard gave us a date when they would tell us the launch date for Warlords of Draenor,  then eventually told us November 13th.  Meanwhile WoW subscriptions were down 800K during the long summer of mild discontent.  But people were in the beta for the expansion at least.

I took my lormaster project into Outland and content from The Burning Crusade., staring with what I consider the worst zone in the game.  Then I had to search hard in Terokkar, and had trouble in Nagrand.

We also had that whole 10 Years, 10 Questions thing about WoW to write about.

EVE Online gave us the Hyperion expansion, which included burner missions that killed a lot of player ships.  I was on about hats in New Eden.  We also deployed to Delve, because we always deploy to Delve at some point during the summer, and hung around towers.  There was also a fight at our staging system.

And then there was the first Blaugust, from which I at least got a post out of a questionnaire.

Five Years Ago

Let’s see… five years ago people were hating on GameStop for selling used games, which was equated with stealing.  That was before GameStop actually started officially stealing.

Massive Blips went away.  I miss it.

I made my position on raspberries perfectly clear.

Yahoo had a couple game related lists.  I love lists.

Cryptic and Atari announced they were doing the game Neverwinter.

Runic started talking about Torchlight II.

Stunt Rock.  I need say no more.

EverQuest Next was announced at Fan Faire, and I was wondering about the lessons SOE has learned after a few turns of the EverQuest wheel.  We’re still pretty much in the dark as to when (and if) we will ever get EverQuest Next.

In the real world, boars were starting to become more like their MMO counterparts.

WoW account hacking was still a big deal, though getting to be common enough as to not be news on an individual level any more.  People have their views on whose fault it is.  But was any game facing as much account hacking as WoW?

My daughter got into the WoW Cataclysm beta.  She got me some screen shots of StormwindSouthshore and the Barrens.  This, by the way, probably killed her interest in Cata when it finally did ship.

Blizzard got a serious judgement against somebody running a for-profit WoW pirate server.

The instance group, done in WoW and on the now usual summer hiatus, was spending some time in Middle-earth, which required a bit of selling.  We made it through Othrongroth, and to the North Downs and the Lone Lands.  I finally found my way to Evendim, which I had never  managed to visit before.  It was in a state of change, pre-quest revamp but after they added in the boat routes.

And, finally, in EVE Online, there was the PLEX story we had all been waiting for.

New Linking Blogs

The following blogs have linked this site in their blogroll, for which they have my thanks.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in August

  1. LOTRO and the Great Server Merge
  2. WoW Legion – Slouching Towards The Broken Isles
  3. When is WoW Legion?
  4. In Which I Predict The Next Big World of Warcraft Feature
  5. WoW Needs Expansion Badly – Subs Fall to 5.6 Million
  6. Mordus Angels Overrunning West Pure Blind!
  7. The Invasion of Providence – ADM Can Save Your Systems
  8. WoW and the Token Subscriber
  9. The Imperium goes to Providence!
  10. The First EverQuest II Progression Server Polls and Some Details
  11. The Evolution of Fozzie Sov
  12. Leaving Providence

Search Terms of the Month

wow legion broken iskies
[Wait, what?]

why is my computer crashing in new pvp zone in lotro
[I thought Turbine said people don’t PvP in LOTRO]

2017 new middle earth mmorpg
[Only in your dreams]

yarljdjdjdjdjjdjdndjxj
[You’ve been using Bing again, haven’t you?]

Diablo III

A co-worked has been talking about Diablo III and, with the coming of a new patch, I did spend a bit of time playing the game this month.  The game still looks very good and I remain quite happy with the post-auction house state of the game.  The game is just a bit too far down my list of things to do for me to get very far in it.

EVE Online

In New Eden August was a month of complaining about and testing Fozzie Sov.  Lots of sovereignty holding entities are not happy with it, though in the grand tradition of EVE Online, plenty of groups that do not hold, and have no interest in holding, sovereignty were gleeful in expressing their satisfaction that somebody else was unhappy.

Think of it as sort of the traditional MMO “raiders vs. non-raiders” or “pvp vs. pve” player conflicts, only cranked up to 11.

CCP did tweak Fozzie Sov some this month with the Galatea expansion and promised to look into further changes.  Meanwhile, the first big operational test of Fozzie Sov happened with the five day war in Providence which was mostly great fun for those who participated.

EverQuest II

As with Diablo III above, I have been keen to play a bit of EverQuest II, on the Stormhold TLE server at least, but haven’t really found the time to do very much.  At least the population of the server voted to push the Desert of Flames expansion off for another 30 days, so I am not behind on expansions yet!

Minecraft

This is the game that has eaten all of my play time recently.  It is one of those games where, once I come up with a plan, I can invest hours of digging up and placing blocks while trying to light my environment and fighting off zombies and skeletons and what not.  And when I don’t have a plan I go explore or mine or modify and improve what I have already built.  Oh, and patch over holes in things cause by creeper explosions.  They are the bane of the builder in survival mode.

World of Warcraft

My account is still active, but I have no desire to log in.  It will lapse eventually and then I will have to decide whether or not to spend some gold to keep it active or not.  We’ll see.  I did log in once, but logged back out within five minutes.  I also logged into Heroes of the Storm because, as a Warlords of Draenor owner, I get some sort of special mount there.  I didn’t actually play any HotS, but I got my mount

Coming Up

September will be probably start off here with me cleaning up all the topics I accrued in my attempt to make sure I had something to write about every day during Blaugust.  As I noted in my wrap up of the event, I ended up with more half finished drafts at the end of the month than I started with.

Other than that, I cannot think of something coming up in September.  I suppose there is flying in Draenor coming tomorrow.  Something worth noting, though I am not sure I have much to say about it otherwise.

There is the usual EVE Online expansion coming, titled Vanguard.  But the every six weeks train for those has ended up making them less special, as I suspected they would.

I think Lords of the Rings Online will start letting people transfer off of the closing servers at some point next month.  Or maybe that was October.

Otherwise, aside from those and another blogiversary, which means a great big post full of numbers and lists, I don’t see anything spectacular on the horizon.  I am sure I am forgetting something.

So September is mostly about settling down, getting back to school, the end of summer, and all that… which generally means more time to play games, so I have that to look forward to.  Maybe it will even rain.

 

Stormhold and Deathtoll Players See Their Shadow, 30 More Days of EverQuest II Classic

Another poll result for the EverQuest II Time Locked Expansion servers.

That is Daybreak's graphic for the idea

Wooo! Nostalgia!

Last weekend I was imploring players on the Stormhold server to vote no on unlocking the Desert of Flames expansion a mere 30 days into the life of the server.  Too soon!  Too soon!

DoFUnlockPoll1

Well, the results are in and have been posted to the forums.

Thanks to all on the TLE servers who participated!

DEATHTOLL: Voted “NO” on the expansion. The 2/3rds requirement was not met by a long shot.

STORMHOLD: Voted “NO” on the expansion. The 2/3rds requirement was not met by an even longer shot.

We will re-run the Desert of Flames Expansion vote again on Sept. 20 – 27 for one week!

Woo hoo!  Another month for me to get my act together and get a character past… oh, I don’t know… level 20 maybe?

Seriously though, I felt pretty strongly that 30 days was an awfully quick time frame in which to get the player base to level 50 and ready for more content.  I know that some people rushed through and are even now complaining on the forums about being bored.

As somebody pointed out in the forums, the vote actually runs through tomorrow.  But EverQuest Franchise Executive Producer Holly “Windstalker” Longdale decided to announce the results early as the voting was strongly against the unlock to the point of being extremely unlikely to change between now and when voting ends.

The question is now more about how long the server will be held in the “classic” EverQuest II state.  The rules say that if there are three failed unlock votes in a row, the voting moves to every 90 days.  That could lead to a long stay in the land of classic.

Stormhold – If You Are Slow, I Urge You “Vote No!”

It occurs to me that I had not been really keeping track of all of the poll results when it comes to the EverQuest II Time Locked Expansion PvE  server.  That server, Stormhold, has had a few polls already during its short tenure, plus the series of polls that led up to the launch of the server.

Specifically, the result of this question, posed to EQII player back in the middle of June.

PSPollUnlock02I do recall thinking back then that, at least for the base, level 1-50 game, even 60 days seemed like a short run.  But the fact that the poll to unlock Desert of Flames is up and running now, I am going to guess that the “vote every 30 days” option must have won the poll.

A quick check of the forums shows that, while they did not spend much time announcing poll results (They announce every Tuesday downtime. But poll results? Not likely), they did finally update the FAQ for the TLE servers in that regard, with the relevant passage being:

Players will have the option to vote to unlock content every 30-days. The voting period will last a week, and it will take a majority vote of 2/3 (or more) of the server votes to unlock the next expansion. If the server votes not to unlock the next expansion, the vote will start again after 30-days.

If the server chooses not to unlock content three times in a row, the votes for the next expansion will change to 90-days in-between votes. This will reset back to 30-days in-between votes after an expansion is successfully unlocked on your server.

30 days between expansion unlocks is crazy talk in my view of the world.  At that rate Stormhold could be a normal live server before it turns a year old.  So I was clearly going to vote no, and all the more so since I have spent nearly as much time playing as I would have liked.

The server is still active, the low level zones are still running multiple versions every time I log in, and because I am a slacker who has spent all my play time in Minecraft of late, I voted “no” for the unlock.  Desert of Flames can wait.  If you rushed to level 50 in under 30 days, go make an alt.

DoFUnlockPoll1

If I wanted to be behind in expansions on an EQII server, I could go play on any of the live servers.  As noted on the server consolidation post, I have that option on three servers already.

Unlike the EverQuest Time Locked Progression servers, to unlock an expansion here requires a 2/3 Yes vote.  I wonder if… or when… there will be enough “yes” votes to move the game along.

Meanwhile, I had best find some time to play my level 15 Shadow Knight.  He can’t idle forever or I will be behind an expansion.

The Isle of Misfit Players – We Like Your Money, We Just Don’t Like You

So in the very active world of EverQuest II of late… is anything else going on at Daybreak, because they don’t seem to be talking about anything besides EverQuest and EverQuest II… another idea has come bubbling to the surface; Drunder – The Prison Server!

Fortress of Drunder is included on the Drunder server

A simulation of a player being sent to Drunder?

Announced in the forums as the prison server experiment, All EverQuest Executive Producer Holly “Windstalker” Longdale described it like this:

We are very busy here on the EQII team and we have something coming up we wanted to make you aware of — a little experiment.

Later this week we plan to release a server we are calling “Drunder,” which is a “prison server.” What does that mean, exactly? Ultimately, players who are caught breaking our rules and disrupting EQ2 live server gameplay will be flagged for this server, and no others — ever. Characters on these accounts will be copied to Drunder (the “prison server”) and can never leave or transfer to another server.

This is a server our Customer Service Game Masters have requested over the years in order to manage disruptive players. They will determine who goes there. As gamers, we recognize there are some players who like to step outside our rules.

Drunder will get no customer service support and it will require a maintained membership to access and play. Rather than disrupt live servers in an attempt to join the “prison server,” players can use our /petition system and ask to join Drunder. To be clear: You won’t be able to move individual characters to this server, while maintaining characters from the same account on another server. This is a ONE-WAY trip for an entire account forever.

Ultimately, players who break the rules – or want to – will have a world of their own to do… whatever they will.

As I said, this is an experiment. We wanted to see what happens given it’s not a very common option.

Let’s see where this takes us…

No doubt named for the Fortress of Drunder in the Eastern Wastes (and yes I had to look that up) it is now… um… a thing to talk about I guess.  And talk people have.

Some of the reactions were predictable.  There has been the usual amount of “OMG, my pet issue/idea hasn’t been addressed, but you have time to work on that!?!” which both fails to understand that the world is not a perfect zero sum game and ignores the possibility that maybe this is addressing an issue that was costing the team cycles already.  Still, time was expended on this, so one can at least legitimately ask what the end goal really is.

Then, of course, there were the people who wanted to go and play on this server!  Special server!  Greater challenge!  Battle a sea of annoying problem children in Norrath!

But, as Holly’s post says, this isn’t a “make a character/transfer a character” server, this is a place where your whole account is banished forever.  You can petition to go there if you want, but you’ll be there for good.

The interesting part for me is that the players will get no customer service… which I guess is expected… and will have to have an active Daybreak All Access account to play.

Dude, I'm not even that close to you

I hear even the NPCs will be wary on Drunder

You must pay for the privileged of being banished!  Wasn’t that something from the movie Brazil, where the accused had to pay the bill for their own interrogation, leading a guard to implore Sam Lowry not to hold out too long as it could ruin his credit rating?

So I am curious to know how many will pay to be on this server.  Some will, I am sure, but will it be enough to sustain even the minor cost of running the server?  And will they still get their Daybreak Cash stipend and have access to the cash shop and be able to buy expansions or adventure packs or whatever Daybreak is selling?

It just seems odd.

Of course, what you have to do in order to get sent there is deliberately vague.  You cannot lay down strict rules because people will push the envelope or, like the guy who claimed he couldn’t be charged with gross indecency because he had only been incident 143 times, look for technicalities or loopholes or make the fairness argument because their infractions were less serious than somebody else’s in their opinion.

In the end though, I don’t know how this will play out.  What sort of relationship does this lead to.  Is it going to be some sort of Escape from New York dystopia, players raging against other players, griefing and annoying all who come within range?  Will the players unite and defy the company and form their own community?  Will Drunder even be noticeably different from the current servers?  Will people just quit?

However, if the EverQuest II team did this in order to attract some media attention for their game, they have certainly won on that score.  Feldon over at EQ2 Wire has compiled a list of major gaming… and a few non-gaming… sites that have picked up and reported on the prison server idea.  That is enough attention that they might have to really go through with it and report on it regularly.

Of course, if they really want to make this a really interesting experiment, they ought to let people volunteer to be GMs on the server and watch how that plays out.

Meanwhile, we’ll see who in the neighborhood opines on this.  So far I have seen:

EverQuest II Server Consolidation Plan Announced

The EverQuest II producer’s letter from earlier this month mentioned that there would be some form of server consolidation coming to the game in order to concentrate populations so that each server had the critical mass to maintain a sense of life, fun, and community.

In the Pillars of Flame

Otherwise it can be lonely out there…

Well the form has been revealed, the plan announced, the servers to be merged indicated, all in another forum post by EverQuest executive producer Holly “Windstalker” Longdale.

First, there is the Anotonia Bayle server, where all the cool kids play.  That will remain unaffected as it has a large enough population as it is.

Server Group 1

  • Butcherblock
  • Crushbone
  • Oasis

These three servers will be merged into a single server that will be given a new name with a theme based on the Desert of Flames expansion.  You can suggest possible server names for the new server in this forum thread.

Server Group 2

  • Everfrost
  • Guk
  • Unrest

These three servers will be merged into a single server that will be given a new name with a theme based on the Kingdom of Sky expansion. (bleh!)  You can suggest possible server names for the new server in this forum thread.

Server Group 3

  • Freeport
  • Nagafen
  • Permafrost

These three servers will be merged into a single server that will be given a new name with a theme based on the Rise of Kunark expansion. (No Echoes of Faydwer?!?)  You can suggest possible server names for the new server in this forum thread.

You will note in that the long suffering PvP server, Nagafen, is part of that final group.  It will be merged into the other two and its population will become PvE players like the rest of us.  The only option for any sort of open world PvP in EverQuest II will now be the Deathtoll Time Locked Expansion server, which requires a Daybreak All Access subscription to play on.

Since Freeport is one of the more active current servers, after Antonia Bayle, I suspect Nagafen was thrown in there on the assumption that players will simply stop logging in with the loss of the PvP option.

The European and Asian servers, Storms, Valor, Split Paw, Harla Dar, and Sebilis were not mentioned, so are likely to remain untouched for now.  And, of course, the special Time Locked Expansion servers, Stormhold and Deathtoll, remain popular (and profitable) and have a ways to go before there will be any talk of merging them into other servers.

Feldon over at EQ2 Wire has put together a handy graphic to illustrate what is happening.  I was tempted to steal it, but I’d rather send him some traffic for putting in the effort.  It is nicely done.  Go take a look.

This is not the first server consolidation that has happened for EverQuest II.   There was at least one way back in the early days to push together populations after the initial swell of subscribers were deemed to be well and truly gone.  But since then the servers have soldiered on pretty much as they were left.  The game never as many servers as EverQuest had, both because an EverQuest II server can support a larger population and because the game itself was never nearly as popular as its predecessor at its peak.

There is also no word yet on how Daybreak will handle names, guilds, shared bank space, and all the sundry details that can further complicate an already complex task.

The impact on me will be… slight.

As it so happens, I have characters on three of the servers being merged.  They are on Crushbone, where I started back at launch, Guk, when we went to go play with Revelry & Honor back during the ViginWorld podcast era, and Freeport, where the excitement of the EverQuest II Extended experiment caused a revival of interest in the game here.

And, of course, none of those three are being consolidated together.  I guess that means I won’t have to figure out to do should Vikund on the Crushbone server have to be consolidated with his server copy clone Vikund on the Freeport server.  So all I will have to do is remember three new server names and wait to hear about the mechanics of the merge plan.

Such is life in the MMO lane.  No game stays at its peak population forever.  EverQuest has done this enough times than I cannot remember where some characters now live.  Earlier this month we got the official plan for the Lord of the Rings Online server merge operationRift has had to consolidate a couple of times, going as far as getting rid of the cross-faction wall to help populations.   And even World of Warcraft did what I would call a “soft” server merge, where they connected lower population servers together so that they would share the same world a year ago, long before subscription numbers dropped back to 2005 levels. (That server linking idea actually worked well for me, as it let me have double the characters on what was effectively the same server, Eldre’Thalas and Korialstrasz.  I make too many alts.)

I suppose at least we will never have to worry about a server merge with EVE Online.

July in Review

The Site

The site got its 25,000th comment back in June, which I mentioned on Twitter at the 24,999 mark, and then totally forgot to follow up on.

So now, a month later than anticipated (if only by me), I can declare that the 25,000th comment was left by Silverangel of Kitty Kitty Boom Boom who left a tangential comment about the size qualities of .gif files on a post about 64-bit gaming!

But that is the way blogging frequently is.  You can write 2,000+ words on a topic, include one sentence about a some unrelated item, and THAT sentence will be what gets a comment.  I find this phenomena hilarious, though I must also admit I am frequently that person as well, making the essentially off-topic comments on a post because something catches my eye.

Anyway, there is no prize for this, just a hastily created achievement unlocked graphic.

Because achievements!

Because achievements!

Of course I saved in .gif format.

One Year Ago

There was a site put up by eBay about game return on investment.  Unsurprisingly, it indicated that used games are a deal in that regard, so you should go buy some on eBay.

There was the passing of yet another Steam Summer Sale.

SOE forgot to pay their domain name registration.  Meanwhile, Landmark was available for a deep discount after the Steam Summer Sale, leading to speculation about its future.

SuperData Research was listing out the Top Subscription MMOs while not defining what they really meant by the term.

Anarchy Online introduced a PLEX-like currency, GRACE.

The community manager for LOTRO was busy telling raiders and PvMP players that they weren’t getting any new content because they added up to less than 10% of the player population.

I finished up Pokemon Y on the 3DS.

In my attempt at the loremaster achievement in WoW I ran through Desolace, Feralas, and Thousand Needles one week, Felwood and Un’goro Crater the next.  Then it was Winterspring, Swamp of Sorrows, and the Blasted Lands, the Cape of Stranglethorn, and the final bit of the Eastern Kingdoms.  I was on a roll.

in EVE Online we were commuting to Delve, where maybe there was going to be a war, and chasing Brave Newbies around (then getting pipe bombed) when there wasn’t anything going on.  That was back when we owned Delve.  Fights went on sporadically for a while and many a Rupture was sacrificed simply try a fresh doctrine.  So many Ruptures.  Apocs did better.

Meanwhile the Crius expansion hit New Eden, making industry better… it did get better, right?

In EverQuest, on the Fippy Darkpaw Time Locked Progression server, the vote to unlock the Underfoot expansion failed, making it the second expansion ever to get voted down, the first being Gates of Discord nearly two years before.

With that I was wondering what other MMOs might go for the retro nostalgia server thing.  Not WoW, that is for sure.

I was also on about housing in MMOs, what has really worked for me and what has fallen flat and why.  This included some projection as to what garrisons might end up being in WoW.

Our epic game of Civilization V saw expansionism and direct conflict with the Aztec empire.

Five Years Ago

The late Paul the octopus created the largest page view day ever in the history of the blog, later to be surpassed by Cats playing Patty Cake and Alamo.

I was told I write like Cory Doctorow… or maybe Ian Flemming.

My daughter was Banned from Club Penguin.  Tears were shed, lessons were learned.

EverQuest II Extended, the free to play EverQuest II, was announced.  I wondered whether trying to play it without paying at all would be a challenge in and of itself.  Meanwhile, there was some evidence that EQII accounts had value.  That stunning news no doubt got them going on the authenticator they announced at Fan Faire this year.

I completed 100 levels in The Agency: Covert Ops.  I was unemployed, what can I say?

StarCraft II launched.  I still haven’t bought a copy.  I’ll wait for the battle chest in a couple of years.  It isn’t like I am going to be very good at it this time around.  I was barely adequate at the original.

Hulkageddon III ended, and it even had a video wrap-up.  And then PLEX was made transportable in space.  I wonder if they waited for Hulkageddon to be over for that?

In another Summer hiatus season, the instance group started another run at LOTRO.  This time it was Bung who was out, having the dual issues of moving and having a new baby to care for.  Those of us in Middle-earth hung out with old friends.  That put off deciding who my main character was, by letting me roll another one!

Blizzard gave up on some of their RealID plans thanks to much public kvetching.  Shortly there after, the ESRB came out against Real ID as being bad for consumer security while proving they too were bad for consumer security.

Blizzard revamped Parental Controls again.  As much as I have griped about them, they are better than any comparable controls I have seen, even in games that offer that as a feature.

World of Warcraft Magazine issue #2 showed up.  Issue #4 would arrive 9 months later.  No word on issue #5 as of now.

And, finally, somebody was trying to make yet another flying car that failed to live up to our expectations.  Have none of these scientists ever seen The Jetsons?

New Linking Sites

The following blogs have linked this site in their blogrolls, for which they have my thanks.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in July

  1. The First EverQuest II Progression Server Polls and Some Details
  2. SOE Finally Gets a REAL Server Status Page
  3. A Call for Space Carebears
  4. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  5. Next WoW Expansion to be Announced August 6th, Just After Subscriber Numbers Get Released…
  6. Learning to do the Fozzie Sov Shuffle
  7. Quote of the Day – The Dreaded Rear Admiral
  8. Quote of the Day – Smart Money
  9. Ain’t No Cure for the Summertime MMO Ennui Blues
  10. EverQuest II Time Locked Expansion Servers Today
  11. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  12. Sheep Stole My Mining Cart

Search Terms of the Month

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[Don’t be that person]

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[I’d say you answered your own question]

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[I think that is one of those “pick two” situations]

empires and allies zynga scew up
[Yes indeed!]

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[Well, yes, but it is shared adversity experience]

EVE Online

Fozzie sov came and New Eden began to burn… or sizzle… or whatever it is that happens when you turn on an Entosis Link module.  Pulsating within a little green circle?  Anyway, there are a lot of systems in play according to Timer Board. (400+ as of the moment I am writing this.)

Reavers have been out hitting distant regions to test the new system while Pure Blind has been an ongoing fight due to the fact that almost nobody in The Imperium lives there.  Still not sure if the sov changes are better or are simply going to make more alliances collapse in exhaustion.

EverQuest II

The Time Locked Expansion servers opened up, and I rolled up on the PvE flavor, Stormhold.  So far, so good.  It isn’t the old days, but it is different enough from the Live servers to be an experience unto itself.  There is a lesson in this.

Anyway, I have a level 11 SK in Freeport, am having a good time, and am looking for a guild, since there is no way I am going to create one myself.

Minecraft

Minecraft remains a thing I have been playing.  There is, as I mentioned, a certain peacefulness to the game.  My daughter stopped playing and now only watches me over my should now and again, until it becomes too frustrating to bear, then she has to walk away.  I don’t do things the right way.  That is what it is like being 13.

War Thunder

This sort of slipped off of my rotation.  I think Minecraft and EverQuest II ate up the bit of time that I had been devoting to the game.  Also, I was motivate by the daily prize thing for a bit, as at Day 25 there was a possibility of getting something useful.  Instead I got a gambling token thing that was pretty much no value.  My gut response was a bit negative.

World of Warcraft

I haven’t logged in since the week that the 6.2 patch went live, so I should probably take WoW off of my “Games I Play” list and move it to “Games I Watch.”  There hasn’t been any frustration or a wave of “I’m so sick of this game!” or anything, just zero motivation to log in.

Coming Up

Activision-Blizzard results for Q2 2015 will be announced on August 4th, followed by the next WoW expansion on August 6th.  The subscription numbers they report will likely determine whether or not Blizzard felt they needed some immediate good news and/or a distraction in August rather than waiting for BlizzCon.

And it is a good thing that is coming, because next month is also Blagaust and we’ll need stuff to post about, and those two dates will be grist for the blogging mill!  We can’t count on Derek Smart to keep us entertained all the time!

Meanwhile, a friend at work has been talking about Diablo III, so I started poking my nose into that a bit.  We’ll see if it goes anywhere in August.

And then I have some new projects coming up at work, my daughter goes back to school in the middle of the month, and I have been summoned for Jury duty as well, so it might end up being a tough month for posts.

Finding Nostalgia on the Isle of Refuge

I jumped onto the Stormhold server in EverQuest II once I was home from vacation last week, and from the look of things I was clearly not alone.  The Isle of Refuge was a popular spot, spawning multiple copies to handle those also seeking a fresh server in post-cataclysm Norrath.

That is a lot of colonies of the Queen

That is a lot of colonies of the Queen

I haven’t made it off the isle yet, but reports indicate that Qeynos and Freeport and Antonica and the Commonlands and the Frostfang Sea are likewise seeing multiple versions spawn.

Okay, Frostfang Sea isn’t really a nostalgia destination, but the housing is very nice.  I will probably end up using the base housing there rather than the box-like apartments in Qeynos or Freeport when it comes times to shack up.

Anyway, I jumped in and rolled up what for me is the default EverQuest II character, a barbarian berserker, and started off on the isle.  But I wasn’t really feeling it.  Too many berserkers on too many servers I suspected.  I decided that for the full nostalgia effect I might have to go back and roll a templar, which was my first character class back in 2004.

Nostalgia on Wayne!

Nostalgia on Wayne! Nostalgia on Garth!

I went down that path, taking the boat ride and starting off on the isle again, but still wasn’t feeling it.  The lure of a plate wearing healer wasn’t enough.

Then, thinking on Bhagpuss’ post and his choice of a Shadowknight (almost wrote “Death knight” there) made me wander off in that direction.  I rolled up a SK, which made me realize that I couldn’t remember ever going to the Freeport version of the Isle of Refuge before.

The boat ride is the same, though the Freeport Captain Varlos seems to have some person space issues.

Dude, I'm not even that close to you

Dude, I’m not even that close to you

I had also never rolled up an SK before either.  There are a number of classes in the game I have never played, no doubt in part because the game launched with 24 playable classes (and only 4 character slots), and while I tend to avoid cloth wearing casters as a general rule, not playing an SK seemed to be a long missed opportunity.

So off I went with that, finding that both the class and the quest chain on the isle were giving me a new experience.

Still trying to figure out where that bee was hiding the chest he dropped...

Still trying to figure out where that bee was hiding the chest he dropped…

That gave me the impetus to run through most of the the isle.  I had no recollection of any of the isle, so I wonder if my one Freeport character took the option to just skip the isle and head straight to town with a boost to level 5, which was something you could do at one point.  I think.  Maybe?

Anyway, it was all new and fun and such, but it wasn’t really nostalgia, being new stuff and all.  Or was it?  Does having a new experience in an old context count?

So I started thinking about how things played out in 2004 and what was missing from the mix today that was going on back when the game launched.

And one big change from the original context is a guild.  Back in 2004 I showed up in the game with a whole set of players from TorilMUD that joined up with an EverQuest guild to form our own guild early on.

Our day one guild on Crushbone

Our guild on Crushbone… I left for a bit then came back… Pretty quiet now…

As such, the early days of EverQuest II were very much a group event, as we spent a lot of time together exploring the world and figuring out the game.  In fact, I’d say that the game, such as it was back in November of 2004, was likely only tolerable in a group environment where we could work through and figure things out together.

So maybe the Freeport side of the world, which I have never really spent much time with, is the right choice as there will be some sense of newness to go along with the long familiar context of the game.   But I am clearly going to have to find somebody else to play with, which means finding a regular group or guild, something I always find difficult.  Without that I will likely play for a bit, taper off, then stop.  Something to work on.  Anybody on the Freeport side of things?

Meanwhile, I might roll up a couple more likely characters.  Surprisingly I still have a couple of character slots left and, honestly, a few characters I could delete and never miss if push came to shove.  My main motivation would be to get that 16-slot bag.

In the Daybreak Store

In the Daybreak Store

I went off to find that bag as soon as I ran into the old school problem of running out of bag space almost immediately because I dared to work on my harvesting skills a bit.  That bag has been a savior.