Category Archives: Month in Review

November in Review

The Site

I got another WordPress.com achievement this month.

A thousand of you hit that button

A thousand of you hit that button

In the context of WordPress.com, a follower is somebody with a WP.com account that follows your blog so they can view updates in the WP.com reader.  This surprises me both because I am not all that fond of the WP.com reader and because I muted notifications about new followers a while back, so wasn’t really keeping track at all.  Also I turned off that little floating thing that has the “follow” button, so I am not sure how people even do the follow thing here at this point.

But now I have accrued 1,003 followers in the last 6 years, which is when “follow” became a thing on WP.com.  If you know how, you can find a list of all of your followers.  Mine is 51pages long and full of people I don’t recall.  But my third follower ever was Stargrace.  She has been pretty busy of late.  And follower 1,000 was Adam Harkus, who is a guitarist and travels.

Of course, a thousand isn’t all that many people and this month has actually seen another drop in page views.  The previous time I mentioned it, Google was the reason.  There was a date after which referrals from Google dropped by about 25% daily.

This month however Google has remained steady.  Instead the drop has come from referrals from other blogs and related sites.  I don’t know if the election and its aftermath has everybody otherwise occupied or if I am just wrote dull stuff this month… I certainly did not write much about WoW and haven’t been in a war in EVE… but on average a good 100 people a day simply aren’t clicking on links that lead to my site.  Life in blog lane.

One Year Ago

The launch of Fallout 4 caused a dip in porn viewing on the internet.

Nintendo announced they were re-releasing Pokemon Red, Blue, & Yellow on the 3DS Virtual Console.

BlizzCon was approaching and I laid out a “need vs greed” list of things I thought would happen at the event.  But before BlizzCon there had to be the Q3 quarterly results.  The big news was that World of Warcraft held steady and had 5.5 million subscribers.  However, Blizzard said they were not going to talk about subscription numbers any more.  They would be talking about Candy Crush Saga though, having purchased King for 5.9 billion dollars.

Then BlizzCon came and I had to score my list.

It also slipped out a bit early that the WoW Legion expansion would not hit until summer 2016, September 21 being the last possible date listed, which seemed a long ways off.  I wasn’t yet ready to return to the game.  I used gold to grab a WoW Token for 30 days of play time and spend the most of it just earning that money back running missions in my garrison.

I dipped my toe back in Lord of the Rings Online for a bit.

Still playing Minecraft, I finished up the Great Northern Road and highlighted the guardian farm that Aaron built.

In New Eden, the Parallax expansion was released, the last named monthly update in Syndicate to be released.  From then on names were reserved for big expansions while monthly updates were simply know by their date.

There was also the start of the ill-fated Fountain War Kickstarter campaign, which was plagued by hubris, gaffes, bad ideas, and “Grrr Goons” hostility.  Not that it didn’t deserve some of the latter as it was a clusterfuck and was not winning fast enough.  It was finally cancelled before the clock ran down, but it left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth.

There was also a Fountain War video which was better received… but then nobody was asking for $150,000 to produce it.

Meanwhile, another member of CSM X got cut.  Not a Goon.

CCP Quant took his EVE Vegas presentation and made it the first of the monthly EVE Economic reports to be publish.

And actually in the game, the Reavers were down in Wicked Creek to spar with TEST.  We were not there long, but it was one of those deployments that generated its own legends in the SIG.  We were called back because a small war was brewing in Cloud Ring against some foes, old and new.  Some had no sov and were hitting us from low sec.  We fell on them when we could in what was being dubbed the “Kickstarter War.”  Herein lay some of the seeds of what would be called the “Casino War” and, later, “World War Bee.”

Over at Daybreak, EverQuest II got the Terrors of Thalumbra of expansion while EverQuest got expansion number 22, The Broken Mirror.  There was the Phinigel “true box” progression server coming up for EverQuest.  The EverQuest II server consolidation was wrapping up, on Stormhold the Kingdom of Sky expansion was voted down, and the game turned 11, all of which I covered in a single post.

Daybreak also shut down Dragon’s Prophet, which lives on in Europe under another publisher.

Smed, gone from Daybreak, wanted to stop talking about money when it came to video games.

And finally, I had a test… a Star Wars test… for those wishing to date my daughter.

Five Years Ago

I looked back at the Star Wars Extended Universe novel Heir to Empire, which turned 20 years old. That might be my most coherent piece on the site.

In EVE Online, the upcoming Crucible expansion had a chance to remove the Incarna stink from the game. Oh, and ship trails were back. And Hulkageddon V was announced… about six months early it turns out.

I reviewed my 2011 MMO outlook. Rift appeared to be the unlikely winner, while DCUO had already gone F2P.

Speaking of going F2P in under a year, I had my first peek at Star Wars: The Old Republic in the beta. Pre-NDA drop, I used Star Wars Galaxies to describe the game as nothing new. Then the NDA dropped and I bitched some more. I did not find the game fun, cancelled my pre-order, and went back to Rift.

And then there was EverQuest II going free to play on all servers, which made me wonder what else in the SOE line up might follow suit.

Then, suddenly, Vanguard started showing inexplicable signs of life.

On the Fippy Darkpaw server, the Scars of Velious was complete and the Luclin expansion went live. Also, breaking the retro aspect, Fippy Darkpaw players got the same new hot bars that all EverQuest players got with the new expansion. They actually worked like hot bars in other games.

In Rift, we made it to Meridian and then faced our first boss while learning the rules of their LFG tool. Oh, and the damn Yule rifts were up before Thanksgiving. I swear, it gets earlier every year.

We learned of the real money auction house in Diablo III. An auction house focus for the game? I’m sure that will work out great.

And also on the RMT front was the Guardian cub pet in World of Warcraft. I did a couple of price checks on those, but somebody should probably go back and see how prices look a year later.

Oh, and WoW had lost 2 million subscribers. Remember when that was a big deal?  But it was still insanely profitable.

Torchilght II was delayed because we had other things to play, right?

AOL shut down Wow.com. That doesn’t mean what you think.

I announced the winners of my Azeroth travel poster contest.

Google was pissing me off by changing up Google Reader. I am still annoyed by some of the features they axed, but at least they fixed the layout so you could reduce the huge amount of white (read: wasted) space in the new default layout.

And we said farewell to LEGO Universe.

Ten Years Ago

Our World of Warcraft Saturday Night Permanent Floating Instance Group finished up Blackfathom Deeps,The Stockades, Shadowfang Keep, and started in on Razorfen Kraul.

In EverQuest, I picked up The Serpent’s Spine and tried running a new character though some of the new level 1-70 content.  I also set out a minor goal of taking screen shots to compare Faydwer in EQ and Faydwer in EQII that lead to posts about Kaladim and Kelethin.

And in EverQuest II, the Echoes of Faydwer expansion came out.  Once I found a copy and got past the patching process and into the game, I made a fae swashbuckler and went to town.

the Revelations expansion hit in New Eden, my first expansion update in EVE Online.  I followed the general wisdom and made sure I had a long skill training the night before.

The Wii and the PlayStation 3 were both released in the US.

And the maker of the ubiquitous ZMud client announced a replacement product called CMud.  I tried the demo version, but since ZMud continued to work for me, I stuck with that.

Most Viewed Posts in November

  1. Make My Alpha Clone
  2. Pokemon Go Account Hacked and Recovered
  3. EVE Online Passes 50K Players Online Again
  4. Election Night in Fountain
  5. The Demise of BattleClinic
  6. WoW Legion Sales Numbers Stacked Up Against Past Launches
  7. EVE Vegas – Like Finds Like and Other Things
  8. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  9. Pondering That Legion Level 100 Boost
  10. Projecting on BlizzCon 2016
  11. Ascension Day in EVE Online
  12. Scoring My BlizzCon Projections

Search Terms of the Month

why isn’t torchlight 2 more popular
[There is probably a long post in that. For me, it just wasn’t as compelling as Diablo III was]

eve online goonsquad war even when “alpha clone” -state
[I really want to know what they were looking for]

minecraft 1.11 were do you find the new woodland mansion
[I think I actually answered that one this month]

swg source code download for private use
[They try to limit that to just scoundrels]

Spam Comment of the Month

Thank you for sharing superb informations.
[I just like the plural at the end there. Give me all your datas!]

EVE Online

I did not end up playing very much EVE Online this past month, which is odd, because we got the Ascension expansion. That was a big deal, with Alpacas and new explosions and such.  But it was also a month where the Imperium was mostly at peace.  I went on a couple of ops into Fountain where we take pot shots at The-Culture.  But otherwise Delve has been pacified, Querious filled, and anybody who wanders into our space gets caps dropped on them.  Since I often only log in for strat ops, quite times can often lead to low play times.

Minecraft

The surprise entry this month, as my activity there of late had been rather listless.  But it too got an expansion which spurred an exploration drive as I sought out a woodland mansion of my own and then worked to link it up with the rest of our infrastructure.  It is a game where having a project can make all the difference.  Now what to do with that mansion?

Pokemon Go

The double experience holiday event helped push things along for me, as have the new daily first and seven day streak bonuses.  And I got a Snorlax from a 10km egg, which is now my highest CP Pokemon, ringing in currently at 2,185.

Current end of month stats:

  • Level: 24 (+2)
  • Pokedex status: 99 (+20) caught, 129 (+16) seen
  • Pokemon I want: Ditto
  • Current buddy: Ivysaur

Pokemon Sun & Moon

A new game for the core Pokemon RPG fans.  And a pretty decent entry in the field, as it walks the tightrope path between sticking to the core essentials and bringing new things to the franchise… besides new Pokemon.  My daughter and I have been playing it, though I think she is up on it because a couple of her friends at school play Pokemon as well.  My influence wains, but I’ll take any play time I can get with her.  And at least one of her friends has said it is so cool that her dad plays Pokemon too.  Hah!

Stellaris

I started out this month gangbusters on Stellaris.  And then I got past the hump and figured out the early game, only to fall into the abyss of the mid-to-end game that can really drag on as empires settle in and wrestle with each other over the scraps, form federations, and then stare at each other while the victory conditions remain way out of reach.  The Civilization end-game problem writ on a galactic scale.

World of Warcraft

Azeroth has been rapidly falling out of favor around here.  I certainly played less WoW than any other game I called out this month, and at least one I did not. (I played some Age of Kings at one point.)  Part of that has been something of a reaction to the pre-flying achievements needing mythic dungeon runs or a crazy rep grind, depriving me of the sort of longer term goal that might keep me going.  And then Blizzard has been breaking things.  I was getting back into pet battles, right up until a patch broke the PetBattle Teams addon.  Without that, sorting through 500+ pets to make a team for a given fight is just too annoying.  And for some reason, I can no longer send things via email to my alts, breaking a crafting thing I had going on.  So WoW may be on its way out for me very soon.

Coming Up

The final month of 2016, the year that will be that year for some time to come, looms.  There is still time for and additional disaster and a few beloved celebrity deaths.  But still, there is limited time left, though I am still predicting some sort of horrible New Year’s Eve ball dropping fiasco that will take out Anderson Cooper, Kathy Griffin, Carson Daly, and Ryan Seacrest live on national TV.  Guy Lombardo never faced such peril.

Otherwise, what have we got for December?  Probably a Steam holiday sale, even though we just had a Steam autumnal sale.  Steam sales have lost their edge.

I’ve got the usual five posts to write, looking forward and back, reviewing predictions and making new ones, and generally wrapping things up for the year.

There is a rumor that Pokemon Go will get new Pokemon in December.  No Man’s Sky is supposed to get an update to make things better, though the current $60 price makes it too pricey for me to gamble on just yet.  There will likely be the usual EVE Online monthly update, maybe with a holiday event.  Holiday events will be going on in all the usual games.

And for some of us it will be wet and cold out, which will give is a fine excuse to stay inside and play video games.

October in Review

The Site

I just flew in from Vegas and boy are my arms tired.

What I am calling Version 6 of the MMO Blogger feed in the side bar seems to be working.  At least it is not “down” more often than not, which was an issue with the previous version.

Of course, I was feeling pretty proud of it, and then at one point in the middle of the month, the feed totally missed about 20 posts that it should have picked up for no reason I could determine.  I wondered if one of the feeds I had added in recently might have caused the hiccup, but there hasn’t been an issue since then.

Meanwhile, over at my other site I got this badge from WordPress.com.

1000 posts

1000 posts

This struck me as a bit odd as I the site is well past the 1,200 post mark.  And then I remembered that, as part of the experiment when I started it, I used a different name to post under so as to not influence it from this blog.  And then… after about 200 posts I guess… I decided to stop doing that.  So there we are, 1,000 posts since I made that change.

One Year Ago

I opened up the month with a post about the Mineserver Kickstarter campaign, a little box that promised to make hosting easy!

Then there was the now perennial complaint about customers being too cheap to by any and every 99 cent game.  It is because your 99 cent game sucks.

In EverQuest II, the Desert of Flames expansion unlock votes passed on Stormhold and Deathtoll, which made me ponder the pacing of nostalgia.  Daybreak seemed to want to go faster.

Daybreak also have expansion announcements for EverQuest and EverQuest II that included pricey special editions.  Milk ’em while you got ’em I guess.  But PlanetSide 2 was having problems attracting subscribers.

EverQuest II was consolidating servers, so it was farewell to Crushbone.

In Lord of the Rings Online, server consolidation was just getting under way as well.

Crowfall was still in development, but had announced some costly RMT castles.

Guild Wars 2 launched the Heart of Thorns expansion.

I picked up the Reaper of Souls expansion for Diablo III and made it through Act V.

My wife and I went to EVE Vegas where we partied and heard about the planned Citadel expansion.  I brought some give-aways for the trip, which I covered, along with Pirate’s Little Helper, in a Friday bullet points post.

Meanwhile, in New Eden I was very impressed with the multi-buy feature that came in with the previous month’s Vanguard release.  I was also wondering if space priests were a problem.  I also went pipe bombing for the first time.  The month’s Blog Banter wanted to know about my PC.  And Reavers celebrated their first anniversary.

And the sad tale of CCP and White Wolf came to an end as CCP sold off the subsidiary and its neglected IP, World of Darkness.

Finally, in Minecraft, Aaron began his draining of an ocean monument, and I was interested in bases, several of which sprang up as I worked on the Great Northern Road.

Five Years Ago

We all said farewell to Steve Jobs.

Tobold was predicting that CCP would go bankrupt in 2012.  Not there yet.

I summed up what I liked and disliked about Need for Speed: World.

I got Civilization II running on Windows 7 64-bit.  People still come here for that article.  I am not sure it even still works.  But it didn’t work back then with my 16-bit copy, I had to get the 32-bit version, Civilization II Gold Edition.

I started another contest, this time for Azerothian travel posters.

And I recalled the start of the alien invasion!

EA was planning to unify all of its free to play online games to use the same in-game currency… something that never actually happened… also, I think all the games on the list are dead now.

Nintendo was talking about augmented reality on their new 3DS console.  Five years later we got Pokemon Go… on iOS and Android.

The announcement of their Unity release got Gaff and I back to TorilMUD to mess around with the Tako Demon.  I have to remember some MUD command syntax to get his corpse afterwards.

Then there was BlizzCon.  The instance group was already bemused by Cataclysm, and the mention of Pandas did not revive our spirits.  Pet Battles seemed interesting at the time.  In coming to grips with the Pandaria announcements, I assumed that I would end up buying the expansion.  Another bad prediction from last year.

And then there were other WoW related things, like the announcement of the Guardian Cub, which some people predicted would be like PLEX in EVE Online.  Not quite, but it probably provided test data for the eventual WoW Token idea.

In EverQuest, on the Fippy Darkpaw server, after much complaining, SOE seemed to suddenly wake up and start doing things.  Problems were, you know, solved!  It was becoming a kinder, gentler server.  Sort of.

And then there was Rift.  We started scouting it as a potential home for in instance group after the disaster in EverQuest II.  The scouting went well enough that we all ended up in Telara.

Finally, I was sorting through many press releases and wondering where this so-called GDC Hall of Fame was.

Ten Years Ago

The site got a mention in VirginWorlds Podcast episode 33 while Blessing of Kings was telling me how to be a raider in World of Warcraft.

I was defending instancing and game company forums as well as moaning about the fact that I couldn’t find a decent video card for my AGP motherboard.  Also, Blizzard’s WoW patcher was pissing me off as well while Lore was mocking WoW groups.

Our Saturday night World of Warcraft instance group completed our first full dungeon run in the Deadmines.  That meant my first dungeon run write up.  And my second.  But we got it on our third try.  Then it was off to The Wailing Caverns.  Did anybody have a five player dungeon adventure path like WoW back then?

I decided in EVE Online that covert ops would be a good career choice.  It certainly sounds cool.  However, the effort was cut short when I got to some of the pricier skills.

When it came to the upcoming Lord of the Rings Online, I was up in arms about pointy ears and monster play, while the approaching Age of Conan made me think more about Barsoom.

I felt that fall urge to run around in EverQuest,  no doubt prompted by another EQ nostalgia post, plus I wanted to take some pictures of Faydwer in order to compare them to the upcoming EverQuest II expansion, Echoes of Faydwer.

I also jumped into EverQuest II and got all confused (nothing new there) about the trade skill changes that occurred during the 10 months I was away.

And I spent some time carping about MMO pricing plans and wondering what pen and paper games might make good MMOs.

Most Viewed Posts in October

  1. Legion So Far…
  2. Pokemon Go Account Hacked and Recovered
  3. *BOOM* Headshot! Gambling Down with the EVE Online EULA Changes for Ascension
  4. Make My Alpha Clone
  5. The Economy of New Eden Without Gambling
  6. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  7. Amazon’s New World
  8. The Schadenfreude War
  9. World of Warcraft Reported to be Sitting at 10.1 Million Subscribers
  10. WoW Legion Sales Numbers Stacked Up Against Past Launches
  11. Fighting the Blood Raider Menace or How I Rat
  12. Civilization VI Launches

Search Terms of the Month

is everquest still active 2016
[2016 says yes!]

trion worlds vs ea
[Trion has better quality, but are still punching up in that fight]

Spam Comment of the Month

For some reason tactical flashlights and hardcore porno got superseded for a few days by spam comments with the name “metal building erection” which makes the 12 year old in me giggle… which is why I got beat up as a 12 year old, as giggling wasn’t generally accepted at my middle school, the social structure of which was modeled on Lord of the Flies.

EVE Online

In New Eden I have been reviving some old skills, learning some new ones, building up my ISK reserves, and generally enjoying not being at war or moving everything I own across space.  There is a small conflict brewing in Fountain where we can find fights and there is Asher’s fight club plan for Querious to implement.

Minecraft

I have been working on a project now and then in Minecraft.  There is a humorous post in it, I just haven’t gotten around to finishing the project… though sometimes I am not sure any Minecraft project is ever done… or writing it up.  Some Day.

Pokemon Go

My wife and I carry on playing.  She is still ahead of me, at level 25.  A few changes went in this past month.  You now get a bonus when attempting to capture a Pokemon of a type for which you have a gold medal… the gold medal you get for catching 500 of that type, which must mean you are well practiced.  And then there is the change to “seen” Pokemon in the Pokedex.  Previously you got credit for having seen a Pokemon only if you attempted to catch it but then had it escape.  Not, in line with the core RPG titles, you get credit for having seen a Pokemon even if you have only seen it in a local gym.  This is how my “seen” number jumped by 50.

Current end of month stats:

  • Level: 22 (+4)
  • Pokedex status: 79 (+18) caught, 113 (+50) seen
  • Pokemon I want: Snorlax
  • Current buddy: Bulbasaur

Stellaris

While everybody was playing Civilization VI, I finally bought Stellaris, which came out back in May.  That seemed to be sufficient time to let it mature, because it seems pretty good.  That ate up most of my free gaming time for the last week or so of the month.

World of Warcraft

As noted, I have been dragging my feet in the WoW Legion expansion.  I made it through Stormhein, hit 110, and then started wandering off to older content just because.  Not sure why the malaise, but there it is.  Here at the end of the month I have been getting on daily to run the Headless Horseman instance in the vain hope that maybe, this year, the mount will drop for me.

Coming Up

November is going to be a pretty big month in my favored corners of the video game world.

First, there will be BlizzCon, which is this week, November 4th and 5th.  I don’t think we will hear very much about World of Warcraft… and there won’t be any Chris Metzen there to rally the fans… but there is hope for other things.  We shall see.

Then on the following week the EVE Online expansion Ascension goes live with a huge amount of changes and new things to shake up New Eden, not the least of which are Alpha Clones, the CCP version of free to play.  I expect chaos and exploits and extended down time. [The Ascenion expansion has been moved to November 15 now, so at least it won’t be hit by the expected election day DDoS attack.]

Then on the week after that we get the one-two punch as EverQuest II and EverQuest both launch their annual expansions on November 15th and 16th respectively.  Kunark, long a favorite place in Norrath, is the theme of both expansions.

After all of that, there will be the Pokemon Sun & Moon launch.  I already have that pre-orderd from Amazon, so it should show up on the 19th.

And finally it will be the Thanksgiving holiday and maybe I will be able to catch up with everything.  I am sure there is more going on in November, but that will likely be enough for me.

September in Review

The Site

I finally got around to tinkering with the MMO Blog feed on the side bar, something I proposed to do a couple of months back.  My operating suspicion, given the sporadic reliability of the feed over the last ten months and my attempts to fix the problem via other vectors, was that some individual feed was screwing things up for everybody else.  As it stood, the old feed was drawing from a bucket in Feedly that contained nearly 200 blogs.

Top of the list... not sure why CZ is at the very top...

Top of the list… not sure why CZ is at the very top…

The idea was to have a lot of blogs in there so that even irregular writers would get their turn on the side bar.  A lovely idea, but when nobody is showing up on the side bar for what seemed like 18 out of every 24 hours, not a viable one.  So I created a new category in Feedly and routed it via IFTTT to Pinboard, where it gets turned into an RSS feed that I can display via a WordPress.com side bar widget.

I then moved just ten of the blogs from the original category to the new one, a set of the “regulars” from the neighborhood, put the widget in the side bar (moving the old one down to the bottom, just to compare reliability), and watched it grow.

That seems to have made the feed more reliable.  Since then I have been slowly adding a few blogs at a time, so that the count is up to 30 at this point. (You can tell when I add somebody because their last few posts suddenly show up at the top of the list.)  I will probably cap it out at 50 or so, rather than push things to the point where it breaks again and then have to dial back to find the culprit.

Also, I thought this month would have the lowest page view count since 2008… recent charts in the anniversary post will give you that scale… and then I posted twice about World of Warcraft this week and pulled out of that dive.  Now I am no further back than 2009.  Go me.

There is your blogging lesson of the month; if you want to be popular, post about WoW.

One Year Ago

The blog turned nine years old.

Some survey said it could guess my age based on my video game preferences.

World of Warships officially went live after its open beta.

As part of the Heart of Thorns expansion, the Guild Wars 2 base game went completely free.

Also on the free front, WildStar went free to play, bowing to the realities of the current MMORPG market.

In World of Warcraft, the ability to fly was finally unlocked in Draenor… provided you had all the achievements.

In Diablo III I was looking at the whole season thing.

Lord British was on again with some quotes, allowing that Blizzard could do some things well… like Diablo.  But he was more on about sandbox games, like his upcoming Shroud of the Avatar, because sandbox games generate news headlines.  His example was EVE Online, though it wasn’t clear to me that SotA was going to get the same sort of coverage.

In Minecraft I was making friends with the zombie pigmen and using a utility to see a map of our world.  I needed that map as we were all out exploring.  Aaron was kicking of our transit hub in the roof of the nether and I was ruining Xydd’s neighborhood.  Meanwhile, our hosting service was going out of business.

On the Daybreak front I was reflecting on the status of EverQuest Next five years after it had been announced.  There were expansion plans for EverQuest and EverQuest IIThe Ruins of Kunark expansion was unlocked on the Ragefire progression server while the vote for the Desert of Flames expansion was up on the Stormhold server.  Daybreak also killed off enforced raid rotation on Ragefire, having “fixed” the underlying issue finally. There was talk of the new server names for the coming server consolidation in EverQuest II.  I am not sure I liked the results.

In EVE Online I was happy, in the age of Fozzie sov, that towers still gave kill mails.  Even CCP seemed to think that maybe blowing things up was better than sov wands.  They were also considering going back to bigger expansions, putting less emphasis on the monthly updates.  The monthly updates still had names for the moment… the Vanguard monthly update for example… but that would go by the end of the year.

Asher Elias started off his podcast and led us off to a fight with Ron Mexxico, who was one of his early guests, and brought us to Cloud Ring in Fozzie Claws.

The monthly EVE Online blog banter… which seems to have died off recently… wanted to know what we would do were we put in charge of the development of New Eden.

Finally, I was reflecting a bit on lifetime subscriptions and noting Asheron’s Call downtime, Lord of the Rings Online server transfers, the Drunder server in EverQuest II, and Windows 10 in one of my Friday bullet point posts.

Five Years Ago

I did the great survey of blogs that had, at one time or another, included this site in their blog roll over the last five years.  Only 28% of them were still up and active.  There was also the five year anniversary post and all that it entailed.

I implied that Tobold’s mother a llama.  This had NOTHING to do with him not having a blog roll.

I was totally going to resist Steam selling me Rift for cheap.  That didn’t work, and I ended up playing for about a year or so.

Star Trek Online announced it was going free to play, though I couldn’t imagine how it wasn’t already.

In LOTRO, the Rise of Isengard expansion came out and I almost didn’t notice.  Which was odd, because we were kind of playing LOTRO still.

The Goons were going to wreck the EVE economy by blowing up high sec ice miners.  Another vast Goon conspiracy.  I was being nostalgic for my earlier days in EVE.

GameSpy had a post about re-imagining Diablo as a first person perspective game, which was met with much derision.  Me, I liked the idea and even had suggestions for further topics in that vein to explore.  Meanwhile, Diablo III was pushed out to the middle of 2012.

In other Blizzard news, the Official World of Warcraft Magazine went belly up after just five issues.  And then there was a drop in WoW subscribers.  They lost 600,000 players, though I wasn’t one of them… yet.  Good thing they never lost more than that…

I was still playing Need for Speed: World pretty regularly.  I was filming police chases, avoiding police chases, and buying the squarest ride in the game.

In EverQuest, on the Fippy Darkpaw server, the retro experience was made complete by “guilds behaving badly” when it came to contested content.  Some GMs came up with unorthodox ways to resolve conflicts.  Somewhere along the way I got my SOE Authenticator, which I never use.

ArenaNet said something about private GuildWars 2 PvP servers.  I wonder how that would play today?

EA/BioWare gave us a release date for SWTOR at last, so I could start fretting about pre-orders and grace periods.  While I wasn’t in beta yet, BioWare was asking how I was enjoying it.

There was no word about life on Planet Michael.

And, finally, I was wondering how 9/11, which took place just a couple months before the birth of my daughter, would influence her view of the world relative to my own.  This was triggered by her trip to New York, where she visited the Nintendo Store.

Ten Years Ago

We are now officially at the point where I can just link back to old posts for this section.  I will still include the occasional outside item that I missed back then, or things that became meaningful in the context of the blog as time moved on.  Or just stuff that seems interesting.  Have to keep these sharp for when the “Twenty Years Ago” section becomes a thing!

There was the first post.  I still haven’t covered all of the topics I promised 10 years back.

After that I was straight into the EverQuest nostalgia, an oft recurring topic here.  The Serpent’s Spine expansion came out for the game.  I would get to that in a bit.

LEGO Star Wars II – The Original Trilogy launched, setting the casual path for future Traveller’s Tales LEGO based games.  My daughter and I would later play this on the Wii, but that was still out in the future.

Pokemon Diamond & Pearl, the first core Pokemon RPG titles for the Nintendo DS platform shipped in Japan.  They wouldn’t reach US shores for another six months.  Again, another series that would show up here as time moved on.

Green Monster Games, later 38 Studios, was unveiled to the public by founder Curt Schilling with R. A. Salvatore and Todd McFarlane as part of the creative team.

I was into EVE Online, which I began playing just about two weeks before I started the blog.  My first post about it concerned the tutorial, then I went on to my impressions.  I already had EVEMon up and running, because you cannot play EVE Online without it.  And, while I was hardly aware of it, the first titan had been built in New Eden.

I was musing about games slated for the future, including Star Trek Online and Lord of the Rings Online I had reservations about both.

I kicked off my old school gaming reminiscences with a post about Stellar Emperor as it was back in 1986.  That was 30 years ago.  Damn continuous motion of time.

The instance group formed up for adventures in Azeroth.

I wrote the first “Month in Review” post.  I am not sure WHY I decided to do that, but it became a thing as here I am doing the 101st such post a decade later. (About four years ago I decided month in review should have its own category, so I went back and edited each and every last one to put them all in that category.  Fortunately, being a once a month thing, it was easy to figure out if I missed any or not.)

I also wrote something about Saga of Ryzom in that month in review post, which might be the one of the few times I ever wrote anything about it.

But the smartest thing I probably did in that first month was link out to Brent at VirginWorlds in a post, which got him to notice my brand new blog, which kind of got me into the club pretty quickly as well as getting me my first comment.

Featured Sites of the Month

[none – I forgot]

Most Viewed Posts in September

  1. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  2. Pre-Ordering WoW Legion at a Discount
  3. Legion So Far…
  4. WoW and the Case for Subscription Numbers
  5. WoW Legion Sales Numbers Stacked Up Against Past Launches
  6. Pokemon Go Account Hacked and Recovered
  7. CCP and the Elephant in the Room
  8. A Decade Under the Influence of Online Games
  9. CCP Has a Plan for EVE Online Free to Play
  10. WoW Legion? There’s an App for That!
  11. Delve Conquest Complete
  12. Honest Game Trailers – Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney

Search Terms of the Month

how to get listed in Yahoo News
[Pretty easy, pay them money. Half of their “news” is just ads.]

pokemon go what mean you have4 attempts left before locked out

“lucy bradshaw””piss people off”
[To be fair, she didn’t make that last version of SimCity on her own.]

why do they say tosh is clown shoes
[I got nothing, but I am blaming Tesh for you getting here.]

h1z2 wymagania
[At first glance that seems obscene, but it turns out to be Polish.]

Spam Comment of the Month

Whether gamers sell a Pokemon Go account or World of Warcraft character, they are in danger of being audited by the IRS.
[I am sure the IRS is all over that like green on Ben Franklin’s ass.]

EVE Online

There was a deployment to Querious with Reavers which was cut short as our list of goals was largely accomplished without fighting.  Groups seemed eager to move further away from the Imperium.  So it was more a month of tinkering and PvE for me.  I kill Blood Raiders, ran Purity of the Throne sites, tried to figure out PI, and generally boosted my cash reserves.

Pokemon Go

The wife and I continue to play this.  My daughter is so past it though, and it annoys here when we talk about it.

Current end of month stats:

  • Level: 18 (+7)
  • Pokedex status: 61 (+22) caught, 63 (+23) seen
  • Pokemon I want: Ghastly
  • Current buddy: Bulbasaur

Minecraft

Our Minecraft server has been pretty dead this past month, though I only know this since I actually played for a bit.  I have a blog post in progress about the game, but not the one you want.  Also, considering another resource consuming, scenery marring grand construction project.  After months of war, final defeat, moving to and then conquering a new region, having a quiet month wasn’t a bad thing.

World of Warcraft

The first full month of WoW Legion has now gone by.  I have a character at level cap, I have one zone left to run through, and then all the things that come after that.  I have enjoyed it so far, the zones are good, the quests are high quality, the usual characters and references are about, but I haven’t been overly enthusiastic for it or chomping at the bit to play.  I think that is just me.

Coming Up

As noted, I have been doing a couple of things in Minecraft I may write about.  There is also an update coming that will include llamas, because of course it will.

In doing the ten year anniversary post I dredged up a bunch of old topics I might want to go back and revisit after so much time has passed.  I try to not simply write stuff, hit post, and forget about it.  I like to go back and re-read posts and see how my views may have changed.

EVE Vegas is coming up at the end of the month and I will be attending.  More details on that later.  There is a war going on in New Eden of some interest, even if we’re not directly involved.  And the CSM 11 Summit meeting notes got released today, so maybe there will be something in those to dissect.

On WoW I will begin my assault on Stormheim and probably continue making hexweave bags.

I suppose we will hear more about the upcoming EverQuest and EverQuest II expansions.

And that is all I can see given my own limited horizons.  What else is coming in October?

August in Review

The Site

I guess the site news this month was participation in the annual Blaugust event.  This year is was a more chill Blaugust.

Blaugust_2016

For the Relaxed Edition of Blaugust, you got to choose what sort of posting goal you were going to pursue.  You didn’t HAVE to do a post a day.  So, feeling a bit worn, I chose the “weekday posts” plan, which is what I usually do anyway.

And the, of course, I posted every day of the month anyway, this being post number 36 for August.  Go OCD Wilhelm.  I actually have leftover posts I didn’t finish.

I did manage to post them all to the Blaugust forum on Anook as some sort of proof that I was in the event.  Anook seems kind of dead this year however.  Gamer social network sites, still not a viable business plan yet.

Anyway, I should go nudge Belghast, the founder and administrator the Blaugust event, and see if I can bump up my commitment on the list to “every day,” since that was what I ended up doing.

I will likely do a further post-event summary next month, but Psychochild already has his up if you need something like that right now.  Be sure to leave a comment!

One Year Ago

It was Blaugust and a lot of people played along.

I told the strange tale of my first automotive test drive.

Project: Gorgon had Kickstarter success at last, then there were stretch goals, the grand total, and mapping out a plan going forward.

Blizzard, on the other hand, was facing bad news as WoW subscriptions dropped to 5.6 million, the lowest since December 2005.  In order to drown that our, Blizz had a big WoW announcement planned later in the week.  There was much anticipation.  I speculated on what it might be, but it turned out to be the WoW Legion expansion announcement, sans cinematic.  Of course, once they announced it, everybody wanted to know when we would get it.

In EVE Online, it was all about Fozzie Sov.  People were complaining.  We had to take sov from allies in order to transfer it, at which point MOA temporarily scooped up a couple systems. Crazy days!  The Galatea expansion addressed some of our issues.

Then the Imperium went to Providence to test out the new sovereignty mechanics… and to purge the Jamylites with the blessings of Maximilian Singularity VI.  The resulting conflict is all under the Provi War tag here.

Meanwhile, CCP was doubling down on VR, adding EVE Gunjack to their lineup.

Turbine was warming up for the great LOTRO server upgrade and merge effort.

Daybreak was also planning server consolidations, these for EverQuest II.  They were also working on a server for misfit players, which seemed like a dubious idea.  And on the Stormhold server, the first expansion unlock vote came up.  The players said “no” to the unlock.  And in EverQuest, on the Ragefire and Lockjaw servers, the inevitable enforced raid rotation schedule was implemented, with an eye to keeping out casuals it seemed.

In Minecraft, I was discovering fire and putting our world up on a hosting service to share it with friends.  Xydd joined up and began working a lot on the nether, while Skronk began his own building project, as I tinkered with dungeons.  We had a setback with our hosting service.  It was a good thing I was keeping backups.

And I wrote a little something about the passing of Robert Conquest.

Five Years Ago

Blizzard announced some crazy idea that you would have to be logged on to Battle.net at all times to play Diablo III.  Glad that never came up again.  Oh, wait

SOE finally got a comprehensive server status page, and Scars of Velious opened up on Fippy Darkpaw.  I was wondering if they had “made good” with customers after the great hacking in April/May of the year.

I hit 70 million skill points in EVE Online and prepared to check out after the summer or rage.

I was back playing LOTRO for a bit.  I made it into Moria, then went looking for hoes.  I also wrote a post summing up my relationship with LOTRO up to that point.  It’s complicated.

Wargaming.net announced World of Battleships.  They have since changed the name to World of Warships, because we cannot have enough games we can shorted to WoW yet.  This got me musing on battleships and related games.

Meanwhile, World or Warplanes (another WoW) got a web site with cool pictures and stuff.

David Reid was telling people that Rift had ONE MILLION CUSTOMERS.  How one actually defines a customer was left as an exercise to the student.

I was still playing some Need for Speed World.  I was enjoying destructible terrain, though the weekend the police broke lead to some different destruction.

I mentioned some of the little things I liked in MMOs.

I was wondering about World of Warcraft Magazine issue 5.  It seemed to be very late.

And Namaste put out a Very Short History of MMOs video.  Wasn’t there a follow up video?

Ten Years Ago

This is the last time I have to do this before I can simply re-run five year old “Five Years Ago” segments, which is good, because bugger all seems to have happened a decade back this August, judging from what I was able to scrape up from Wikipedia year and month entries.

AOL, which apparently is still a thing even today (I strongly suspect my mother-in-law still gives them money every month), bought the GameDaily site which, in a case of foreshadowing, was eventually disappeared into the Joystiq brand.

The original Saints Row launched… on the frickin’ XBox 360.  Eventually its popularity brought sequels to the PC Master Race.

I started playing EVE Online on August 29, 2006.  That must have been my last “pre-blog” MMO start.  It was certainly another stepping stone on the way to the blog, as I felt I have to tell somebody about the horrible new player experience.  Some things never change.

I was also mucking about somewhat aimlessly in World of Warcraft, stuck in the bag-stuffing morass that was Stranglethorn Vale of old, trying to get past the level 40 slump on a few characters, and wondering if it might be time to run back to EverQuest II.  If only I had a regular group to do something like run dungeon content in Azeroth!

Features Sites of the Month

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

Ah SynCaine, the raider who burned out on WoW and who has been damning it ever since.  Somebody who can flame bait like no other, the only person on who regularly comments on my blog whom my mother thought was “mean.”  In many ways the anti-me in posting, always blazing in the purity of his point where I tend to hedge.  He’s been a pain in the ass for almost the lifetime of this blog, but without him, what would our little corner of the internet be?  Also, he is in GSF now, so Imperium solidarity.

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

The site isn’t what it once was, and I’ve long since been stricken from the list of blogs covered.  But it is still a place of great MMO blogging significance to me, the cornerstone of a group of bloggers who crossed paths in posts and comments and cross-links over the last decade.  And, as I mentioned earlier in the week, the VirginWorlds podcast archives, which was at its peak from 2006 into 2008, is a treasure.  I still go back and listen to some of the old shows now and again, as Brent often captured what people were thinking and saying about various games so well.

Most Viewed Posts in August

  1. Executive Outcomes Leaves The Imperium
  2. Breaking into Delve
  3. Pre-Ordering WoW Legion at a Discount
  4. Cross Country to Frostfire Ridge and the Bloodmaul Slag Mines
  5. WoW and the Case for Subscription Numbers
  6. The Pokemon 20th Anniversary Continues with an Arceus Event and More
  7. I Bet Blizzard Really Wants to Mention Subscription Numbers About Now…
  8. Pondering That Legion Level 100 Boost
  9. Can Better PvE Save New Eden?
  10. Who Has Successfully Changed Horses Midstream?
  11. Fresh from the Legion Invasion Event
  12. Demon Invasion? What, Me Worry?

Search Terms of the Month

middle earth gamea for 2017
[Maybe LOTRO will still be around…]

85 beastlord where to molo
[Get your mojo on when you molo!]

eve online drop outs
[EVE University issue?]

i free won warlods of draenor
[I bet you did]

will clone wars adventures come back
[No, it will never come back]

Spam Comments of the Month

Don’t make your site look like a Christmas tree. It’s a complete turn off.
[Unless, of course, it is Christmas]

Don’t forget to keep records of your cost for your ISP (Internet Service Provider) , email campaigns, online marketing cost, PPC (pay per click cost) and BC Ecommerce.
[um, right-o!]

diy clock kit
[Yeah, we know how home made clocks work out]

EVE Online

We completed the move to Delve and began taking over the region, one constellation at a time, raising the ADMs as we went.  We are about two thirds done with that.  At some point the casino barons paid Progodlegend one trillion ISK to bring TEST down to Delve to fight us.  Comedy has since ensued, including trapping a TEST/NCDot Machariel fleet in a dead end constellation and camping them there, forcing them to either die running the gauntlet or self destruct. (31 kills so far.)  One guy even ejected from his Machariel to avoid giving us the kill mail, allowing Jay Amazingness to jump into the ship and fly it off.  Good times.

Minecraft

It has been a slow month for me in Minecraft.  I’ve been on a bit to tinker, but I do not have a big project currently to which to devote myself.  I was working on a bit of a rail line upgrade and beautification task.  But that is a long, long project with all the rail I have laid.  Of course, I’ve also had other games to play this month as well, so I haven’t really sat down and thought about Minecraft much either.

Pokemon GO

Since I actually own an iPhone now, I started playing Pokemon GO.  Current end of month stats:

  • Level: 11
  • Pokedex status: 39 caught, 40 seen
  • Pokemon I want more of: Eevee naturally
  • Surprisingly rare catch: Geodude – Those are usually pretty common in the the Pokemon RPGs

World of Warcraft

Lots of WoW play time this month.  After wandering about a bit aimlessly after the 7.0 class apocalypse and garrison nerfs, the Legion pre-launch events hit and I was down with that and leveling characters up and trying to formulate some plan.  And then the expansion hit yesterday.  We’re finally there.

Coming Up

There is a whole new WoW expansion, what do you think I will be spending my time with?

EVE Online will probably be pretty quiet next month, with just the Delve conquest to finish up and maybe a Reavers deployment to recover the Jacket Dispersement Station in ED-L9T.

Just kidding, the lid is coming off in the EVE Online community with the announcement of a complete change up to boosting and a free to play plan coming in with the needs-a-name-now November expansion.  Crazy Viking game devs in action again.  I will likely have something to say on that front, though I am waiting for the dust to settle a bit.

Also, as noted at the top, there will be some sort of summary and linking out to everybody post about Blaugust.  And, given that this is my 120th month in review post, those capable of simple math might expect some sort of anniversary post to well up at some point in September.

I am not sure I will have time for much beyond that.  What else will need to be covered in September?

July in Review

The Site

Nothing exciting happened to the site itself this month.  The scheduled post notification, which still uses the “new comment” icon most of the time, is still annoying.  I haven’t quite gotten around to looking at the blogger feed in the side bar just yet.  So all I have is that at some point this month I passed the 4,000 post mark.

Quantity... has a quantity all its own...

Quantity… has a quantity all its own…

Also, I still have some storage space left, which a concern given the number of screen shots I upload.

One Year Ago

I was feeling a bit of the summertime MMO ennui blues.

Project: Gorgon was off with another Kickstarter campaign.  Would the third time be a charm? (Spoiler: yes.)

Need for Speed: World shut down, so I said farewell to Palmont.

Derek Smart began what would become is crusade against Star Citizen, detailing why he felt we would never see the game that was promised.  It could have ended there, but RSI responded in a way guaranteed to turn it into a fight and took away his Rear Admiralty.   Game on!

In Minecraft I was learning about not falling off of things, bringing light to dark places, and accumulating materials.  Also, sheep stole my mine cart.

I was mucking around in War Thunder for a bit.  It is a pain to return to the game because there is always a huge update required.

Over at Daybreak, there was a vote up for the EverQuest progression server Ragefire about speeding up the unlock of Ruins of Kunark, as well as talk about raids and such.

On the EverQuest II side of the house, there was a beta for its first nostalgia servers.  I avoided the beta but was there when the servers went live… for the big surprise, the return of the Isle of Refuge, adding to the nostalgia experience.

And while that was going on, it appeared to be the end of Smed at Daybreak.

In New Eden my alliance, TNT, handed over its last system in Deklein. We then lived in Tribute.

The Aegis expansion hit… but there was a delay between that and other bits of what we now call Fozzie sov to be deployed.  But entosis link modules were finally able to take sov as the month rolled along.  So we started to learn by doing.

There was a plan in the Imperium to bring in care bears to mine and rat in order to raise ADMs so that our now much reduced space holdings would remain secure.

At one point Mordus Angels managed to claim some sovereignty in Pure Blind!  Can you imagine?  Crazy times!

Meanwhile, in the cash shop… erm… New Eden store, more skins were being rolled out.  Or, rather, the same skin on more ships.  The blog banter of the month was on about attributes, and I was bitching about never having enough jump clones.

On the Azeroth front, Blizzard said they would be announcing the next World of Warcraft expansion… right after the Q2 quarterly report was released, which raised some suspicions in me.  What would the subscription numbers look like if they felt they needed a big announcement to distract from them?

And I finally got my copy of Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls from the Kickstarter… only two years late.

Five Years Ago

Google+ was already starting to become annoying.

I tried Civ WorldI didn’t like it.

In EVE Online, the results of the emergency CSM Incarna summit were released with CCP basically saying, “Ooops.”

I hit level 50 in LOTRO, got into Eregion, and actually saw the door into Moria.   Only a couple of years had passed since I bought the expansion. Gaff was ahead of me, as usual.   Meanwhile, Isengard was in beta, but nobody was supposed to talk about it.

Getting lost… rules.

EA, BioWare, and their new Origin service got together and combined my accounts without bothering to mention they were doing it in advance.  Just another day at EA as I understand it.  Customers come behind their own convenience.  Still, I was interested in their authenticator and how it stacked up against others.  Can you actually buy those yet without getting the CE?

Speaking of authenticators, SOE made one available as well that looked just like the Blizzard model.  But they cannot be swapped, one for the other.  I got the official line from VASCO on that.

And on the SOE front, they announced that they were going to revamp Freeport, which I took as a waste of time.  (Plus, of course, Qeynos got shoved off until later.)  I am still not convinced that either revamp was worth the effort of the time spent downloading the assets.  But I am not sure Beastlords were either.  They seemed pretty broken when they launched.

The instance group wrapped up our last adventure in EverQuest II Extended.  There were a number of way the game wasn’t right for us.  It wasn’t just the ugly mounts.

The pending closure of Star Wars Galaxies led to interest (and concerns) about SWG emulation.

But PlanetSide 2 news was coming.  I think they are in closed technical alpha at this point.

I started playing Need for Speed: World, a driving MMO.  It wasn’t a bad game with the right music playing.

Zynga helped reveal the two faces of Tobold.

And World of Warplanes was announced, which got me wondering if this might not be a spiritual successor to Air Warrior of old.

Ten Years Ago

July 2006 was some sort of barren wasteland for related news.

Microsoft was talking about a device to challenge the iPod and denying they would ship an XBox 360 with an HD DVD drive.  Being on the mark half the time is pretty good for them.

EA was trying to retain people by giving out more stock options while Take-Two Interactive was being investigated over stock grants.

The ESA announced they were downsizing their yearly E3 conference.

The Civ IV – Warlords expansion came out on Windows and Super Dragonball Z launched on the PlayStation 2.  Woo hoo.

Featured Sites of the Month

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

I have my own EVE Online picture blog, but Mark726 at EVE Travel goes way beyond that, finding the various attractions in New Eden, documenting them, telling you where to find them, and how dangerous the journey might be.

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

Connor has been running MMO Fallout for over seven years now.  He covers MMO news that doesn’t always make the big news sites.  It is not unusual to see Massively note MMO Fallout as an initial source for a story.  If you want to know about what is up with Jagex or NCSoft or some other non-headline grabbing companies, it is a site that should be in your feed.

Most Viewed Posts in July

  1. WoW and the Case for Subscription Numbers
  2. Titans Down in Okagaiken Trap
  3. The 7.0 Patch Looms
  4. Pre-Ordering WoW Legion at a Discount
  5. The Pokemon GO Phenomenon
  6. LOTRO Headed for the Grey Havens?
  7. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  8. Cross Country to Frostfire Ridge and the Bloodmaul Slag Mines
  9. Last Moves Before the Big Move
  10. Defeat in the North and New Destinations
  11. Pointed Towards Delve
  12. Last Minute Garrison Gold Grubbing

Search Terms of the Month

orcs fucking
[What I get for using the phrase “more fucking orcs” in a post I guess]

دانلود بازیهای پورنو برای
[This is what the Ayatollah said would happen]

where is darkrai in pokemon emerald
[Nowhere, as it happens]

eve online on kindle
[I don’t think that meets the system requirements]

world of warcraft legion will suck
[There is always somebody…]

origin unifies your gaming life
[Unity is over rated]

EVE Online

It was time for a change of direction in New Eden.  After a strong start to the month, where we bagged some titan kills, The Imperium gave up its war in the north, postponed the reconquista indefinitely, and set its sights on Delve, the traditional place for Goons to invade.

And then we spent the rest of the month packing our stuff and hauling 41 gates/13 jumps south through hostile territory.

EverQuest II

I wasn’t expecting to play much in Norrath.  My account was set to lapse soon.  However, the Race to Trakanon server came up and I used my last few days to get to level 10 and collect a “one for every character on your account” mount as a prize.  Worth the effort to me.

Minecraft

I have spent some time in our Minecraft world, but I haven’t had a real project to focus on.  so I built another base with a giant structure along the great rail loop.  I am thinking about trying to build some sort of city skyline in the near distance along the rail line, with lit up windows so if you take the rail line at night it will look like… well… a city skyline at night with windows lit up.  We’ll see.

Pokemon GO

Since I do not actually have a smart phone, Pokemon GO hasn’t really been much of a game for me, personally.  And yet it is everywhere.  It is something those birthday cards that list out what was going on during the year you were born will mention decades from now.  As to whether or not it will survive as a game, I couldn’t tell you.  But it has gotten to much press to be forgotten now.

World of Warcraft

There was the roll up to the 7.0 patch… and after that I sort of lost interest.  The game is in a strange spot for me, as I am somewhat interested in playing, but not so much that I want to get out and do things with my level 100s.  When I have played, it has mostly been with lower level alts.

Coming Up

Considering what an empty month August can be, with so many people on vacation, there are actually some things coming up.

There are the Olympics, provided anybody is going to show up and compete.

There will be a chill Blaugust event according to Belghast.  Sign up today!

WoW Legion pre-launch events will be kicking off, and people who pre-ordered the expansion directly from Blizzard will have access to the new Demon Hunter class on August 9th.  Scrubs like me who got the 20% Amazon Prime pre-order discount will have to wait until the box shows up on or around the expansion launch date.

And then there is the big WoW Legion expansion launch on August 30th.  Will the servers be ready for it?  How long will the queues be on opening night?  How many people will show up?

In New Eden we should be done moving to Delve and ready to attack the region in force.  Lots of player groups in the area likely to oppose us.

Plus we will have to see how Pokemon GO fares as time wears on, school starts, and gyms are taken over by increasingly higher CP Pokemon.

June in Review

The Site

In the land of WordPress.com, another new feature/annoyance was introduced this month.  There is a little alerts icon at the top right of the browser window when you are logged into WordPress.  It announces when somebody leaves a comment or follows the blog or when your page view stats see a spike.  Generally I see the latter only with my other blog, where more than 30 page views in a single hour is cause for mention.

But WordPress.com added a new notification in June.  This one pops up to tell me that a scheduled post has, in fact, been posted as scheduled.

O'rly...

O’rly?

The problem for me is that every single post that goes up here is scheduled in advance.  While that is only one or two notifications a day, they aren’t something I really need.  I already have a notification scheme in place that doesn’t require me to be sitting in front of a browser and logged into the blog.  Additionally, the notification uses the “somebody left a comment” icon, so inevitably I go to the blog, see that icon, wonder who left a comment, and am rewarded with a reminder I didn’t need.  Not the worst affliction in history, but I am still looking for a way to turn that off. (Actually, they finally changed the icon to something unique, but I’m still annoyed.)

Meanwhile I am getting a little tired of seeing this in my side bar.

FeedDown

My MMO blog feed seems to be down quite often of late.  At first I thought it must be related directly to my Rube Goldberg implementation.  But I have a second feed, for Gaming Company news, down at the bottom of the side bar, that uses the same process, and it is never down.

But that feed gets relatively few new items in it on a daily basis.  The main feed potentially  draws from more than 200 feeds a day.  And given the times it appears to be down most frequently… which tends to correspond with times when most bloggers in my feed seem to post… makes me wonder if it is struggling to keep itself up to date, or just won’t display when an update is pending.  Anyway, I may pare down the list of blogs it draws from to just a few to see if that changes the reliability.  I’d like to have lots of blogs able to appear, but I would also like the list to appear a bit more regularly as well.

One Year Ago

There was a cheer for the NBI class of 2015.

I was wondering what Turbine would do after they cancelled Infinite Crisis.  I was also looking for a summer game to play.

After waffling before a live audience, Blizzard finally caved and said there would be flying in Draenor.

Remember that time we killed a Mordus Angels Revenant?  It seems like everybody has killed one by now.

Also in EVE Online we got the Carnyx expansion, which had some of the initial Fozzie Sov features.  So we were out sov-wanding station services, though Dominion sov quirks still ruled the day in our fight at ED-9LT.  We then headed back north thinking maybe our friends in Querious would come visit us some day… *cough*

The coming of Fozzie Sov also meant further consolidation of holdings to make sure we could defend our space.  TNT got pushed out to Tribute to share space with the Circle of Two.  We saw how well that worked out.

And then there was Burn Amarr.  I took some screen shots.  And I splurged on ship skins.

Over at Daybreak they were talking about special servers for EverQuest II at last.  It looked like we might get some sort of progression server, for which there was a poll.  And then another poll, looking for a name.

Meanwhile, over in EverQuest, they were still working on how to deal with raiding on the Ragefire server, and the Ruins of Kunark unlock vote was upon us.

I was playing Neko Atsume on the iPad… back when it was only in Japanese!  I was also going on about 64-bit OS requirements finally coming to video games and an old grievance of mine.

My daughter suddenly wanted to play The Sims.  That lasted for about three days.  This is why I make her wait a week on any sudden new fad she want to follow.

The Steam Summer sale came and went and I bought nothing.  That turned out to be the last sale with the traditional daily specials format.

I brought up the F2P business model yet again based on a quote over at Massively OP which, if nothing else, got a long comment from Brad McQuaid on the subject.

And, finally, I played Minecraft with my daughter for Father’s Day, which led to a whole new adventure in gaming.

Five Years Ago

I had to get out my Monty Python and the Holy Grail DVD.

Team Fortress 2 went free to play.  Begin the hat-based economy!

I was wondering if people were picking on Lord British.  This was before he started talking about his “ultimate RPG” and made it a very entertaining sport.

We were not playing WoW, but guild accounts were being hacked.  And we were not even among those 600K WoW players that supposedly went to Rift.

LOTRO announced the Rise of Isengard expansion and offered up a exp boosting item for pre-orders.

I was wondering what launch conditions would be like for SWTOR.  Of course, I sort of figured it might launch before mid-December.

LEGO Universe announced it was going free to play.  At our house, my daughter enjoyed it for a bit, but eventually dropped it for Animal Jam.

CCP began a slow and deliberate campaign of alternating between shooting itself in the foot and sticking said foot in its mouth, all in the name of the Incarna expansion.  And my sentry drones were still boring.  And then LulzSec brought them down.  At least they had finally made it much easier to find an agent in the game.

SOE announced a new version of Station Access, its “all games for one low monthly price.”  Called SOE All Access, which had a price of $19.95 a month.  This was a welcome drop from the previous $29.99 a month price.

However, by this point, SOE had dropped The Matrix Online and had just announced they were killing Star Wars Galaxies, so there were certainly less games to play.  Of course, that was also back when they had some games that were not free to play.

At least SOE was up and running after the PSN/SOE outage.  A pity they fumbled the marketing opportunities offered by their make good plan.

The instance group had finally gotten out of the damn starter zone in EverQuest II Extended, but the game still wasn’t sitting well.

On the Fippy Darkpaw time locked progression server, the Ruins of Kunark expansion was opened up and then “finished” in short order.

Ten Years Ago

Paul McCarty turned fucking 64 already and could probably afford to buy the entire Isle of Wight at that point, regardless of how dear it was.

Sonic the Hedgehog turned 15, which I guess means it is 25 now.  Maybe I shouldn’t do call backs to birthdays.  But relevant gaming history was a bit light a decade back, so I felt like I needed some filler, which explains the first three items in this section.  Come September it will be better.

Bill Gates announced that he was planning to relinquish his remaining full time positions at Microsoft in order to focus on his foundation.  Though Steve “Uncle Fester” Ballmer had been CEO since 2000, Gates was still Chief Software Architect and Chief Research & Strategy Officer (along with being chairman of the board).  As of today he still retains the position of Technology Advisor to current CEO Satya Nadella.

EverQuest II got the Fallen Dynasty adventure pack, the last such pack until 2015’s Rum Cellar.

Nintendo finally shipped the Nintendo DS Lite in Europe, though $3.2 million worth of them went missing en route from China.

Half-Life 2: Episode One was released as Valve briefly tried to pay attention to the core of their biggest franchise at the time.  Still waiting for Episode Three.

Featured Sites of the Month

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

Rohan has been at it for more than a decade now digging into the nuts and bolts of game mechanics as well as bigger picture issues.  While World of Warcraft has been a prime focus, he has delved into other titles along the way.

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

I am a little bit late in pointing at this, give that the NBI 2016 event ends today.  But I haven’t been able to keep up with the event in any case, it having taken to Discord.  Still, it has weekly summaries of this year’s event, which includes the new bloggers joining in and the blog posts done in support the whole thing.  Hopefully there will be a final event summary post tomorrow so I can crib the list of new blogs for a post of my own.

Most Viewed Posts in June

  1. WoW and the Case for Subscription Numbers
  2. Remembering Spaceship Warlock
  3. Blizzard Admits that WoW Expansions are Just Going to Take Time
  4. Thrill of the Hunt Not Thrilling Enough, Being Removed from New Eden
  5. RAZOR Leaves The Imperium
  6. One Hundred Million Copies of Minecraft
  7. Scenes from the Saranen Undock
  8. Return to Draenor
  9. Minecraft 1.10 The Frostburn Update
  10. Hurricane Massacre
  11. A Carrier Dies in Deklein
  12. Landmark Goes… Live

My post about the Warcraft movie was in 13th place, but on the Chinese version of the blog it is totally at the top of the list.

Search Terms of the Month

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[A tolerance for losing expensive ships?]

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[Megathron]

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[Must involved Brexit somewhow]

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[Yes, yes they do]

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[Mixing up your Forgotten Realms areas aren’t you?]

Spam Comments of the Month

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EVE Online

Just to annoy people with another inapt WWII analogy, so popular with sideline pundits over the course of the war, we seemed to have our Battle of Britain Adlertag in Saranen.  After trying to sit on us and hold us down for weeks in the system, during which we undocked to fight again and again against superior forces, where we were losing the ISK war daily, and were feeding the hostiles many kills, our foes got tired of the whole thing and went away.  Now we just have to liberate Europe… erm, the north.  Maybe the MBC will attack the Russians.  Of course, if we really want to beat this analogy to death, that ends up with them making satellites out of the eastern half of the area and a new cold way or some such.

Anyway, we’re still in Saranen, but with the letup on pressure, we have begun to push back into null sec again.  For us, the war, the same war that has been going on since January, continues.

EverQuest II

I did spend some time pottering about on the Stormhold progression server.  I continued moving along at a leisurely pace.  What I might call my “main” there is just level 25, but I spent some time crafting with him, so his crafting level past 30 now.  And then I used his skill, he is an armor smith, to equip and alt that I ran up to nearly 20 before I set him to crafting as well.  Pretty much usual story in EQII, just at a slower pace.

However, with the return to WoW, I suspect my time here is at and end.

Minecraft

I passed the one year mark for playing the game.  Our world continues to get sporadic attention, though after finishing one grand project, the rail loop, I am looking for another.  Minecraft pretty much took the time slot that used to be filled by a secondary fantasy MMORPG, which is why EQII has fallen off the “games I play” section of the side bar.

World of Warcraft

My daughter and I are back in WoW, though just yesterday she confided with me that maybe we came back a little too early.  She is stuck with one level 100 on the horde side and a level 91 on the alliance side and isn’t keen to do level cap stuff or run through Draenor again.  We’ll see if we can find something while waiting for the pre-Legion 7.0 patch.

As noted, I have made unlocking flying in Draenor my goal, which has given me a series of things to do on a regular basis without it becoming too grindy.  I did warm up a couple of the trade skills so I could get my tailor cranking out hexweave bags again.  Bigger bags are always good.  So I am reasonably content for the moment having a few goals that won’t take huge efforts.

Coming Up

There are a few posts I have planned already, including a salute to NBI Class of 2016, if I can find a definitive list of them somewhere… or even if I cannot… some sort of summary of where I ended up in EQII and what I liked (or did not like) so far with the Stormhold progression server, what I am up to in WoW in some more detail, and some mention of the original PlanetSide, which goes dark tomorrow.

On the WoW front, there is a reasonable chance that the pre-Legion 7.0 patch will drop around the end of this month.  I would not expect it to hit earlier than July 26th.  August 2nd seems more likely, as that would give us four solid weeks with it before WoW Legion goes live.  More than that “feels” like it might be too much, with August 9th being the latest date I think it will hit.  We shall see.

Amazon also delivered my copy of LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  If I can get some time in front of the TV, I will play it and probably end up writing about it.

The Steam Summer Sale is going on right now, and will wrap up this coming Monday.  I haven’t posted about it.  But then I haven’t bought anything either.  I haven’t even been logging into Steam to get my daily trading cards during the sale.  I am bad at Steam.

May in Review

The Site

The only thing I have about the site is a brand new error that comes up from time to time in my side bar feed.  It looked to be a pretty big issue at the beginning of the month.

Missing link IFTTT

Missing link IFTTT

It calmed down some after that.  I still haven’t figured out the pattern that causes it. if it is specific blogs or not.  But the feed fails to load far more often than it shows that error, so one problem at a time.  Of course, I don’t know why it fails to load either, especially when a second feed of game company news, which uses the exact same process, seems to load almost without fail.  Welcome to the internet.

Meanwhile, in news from elsewhere my other site, EVE Online Pictures, turned 8 years old this month.  No big analysis post about it, though if you want to know its traffic numbers, here are the page view stats.

EVE Online Pictures - Eight Years of Page Views

EVE Online Pictures – Eight Years of Page Views

One Year Ago

There was another Newbie Blogger Initiative, for which I wrote a post.

The whole World of Warcraft “flying in Draenor” explosion started when Blizzard announced that they probably wouldn’t allow flying in that, or any future, expansion.  Lots of people spoke up.  I linked to a bunch of them.

It was not a good month for World of Warcraft.  Subscriptions were down to 7.1 million… and then they banned 100K accounts, so make that an even 7 million.

In the Warlords of Draenor expansion itself I was mostly going garrison stuff and pet battles.

Carbine announced that WildStar would be going free to play after continuing poor financial performance.

EVE Online turned 12 years old.  CCP was offering fan site the option of a free account OR receiving a PLEX every month.  I actually attempted to opt-in for the PLEX, but never heard back.  Was that option ever really a thing?

The war in Fountain and Delve was over, NCDot had been crushed yet again, and we were moving back north as our empire contractedEntosis stuff was looming.  Black Legion caught us taking a badly planned convoy through KVN-36.  Meanwhile, down in Querious, the Reavers were playing with Ravens.  Up in the north, TNT was moving out of Deklein and into Tribute as part of our Fozzie Sov plans.  And I hit 140 million skill points.

Then Daybreak went for a crowd pleaser by launching a new time locked expansion server named Ragefire. It was such a crowd pleaser that it couldn’t handle the crowd.  In addition to some first night problems, you simply couldn’t log in most of the time.  They worked on a login queue and some zone instancing technology from EverQuest II and eventually opened up another server named Lockjaw to take care of the crowding.

TorilMUD, the MUD on which EverQuest was largely based, softened its death penalty.  A sign of the times.

There was word of a Warhammer Online private/pirate server for those who missed the departed game.

And I was playing LEGO Star Wars on the PlayStation 3 while the freshly minted Imperium was going to try and play H1Z1.

Five Years Ago

May 2011 was the time of the great Sony outage, with the PlayStation Network down for 24 days and Sony Online Entertainment down for 13 days.  It was a communication fiasco from start to finish, with bad updates almost daily.  About all they could do was promise us all goodies for when they finally came back up.

CCP was starting the build up to the Incarna fiasco with the introduction of Aurum.

On the Fippy Darkpaw time locked progression server, there was agitation to vote NO on unlocking the Kunark expansion.  Such agitation shows up with every unlock vote.  But no vote failed until Gates of Discord came along.

The instance group was in EverQuest IIwhen it was up… and trying to get the hell out of the starter area.  We managed it, but it took a lot more time than I would have thought.  We started in on some dungeons and got ourselves a guild hall.

World of Warcraft subscriptions started to decline, down to 11.4 million (oh noes!) while Trion started offering free server transfers in Rift.

My daughter was asking me about Dungeons & Dragons.  There was a thread going about making better MMO players.  There were clearly some bad players about.

And finally, as hot as things seemed to be around here, there was no rapture.  You just couldn’t buy a break that month.

Ten Years Ago

World of Warcraft lead designer Rob Pardo was named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people for 2006.

The Wii “steals the show” when it comes to the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3.  Despite a drop in attendees, there are long lines to try out Nintendo’s new console.  This was the last E3 before the “new format” of 2007 and 2008.

The ESRB changed the rating for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from “Teen” to “Mature” in part due to topless female art assets in the game that could be accessed by mods.  Former California Assemblyman Leland Yee (and now Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate number 19629-111) took time out of his organized crime activities to slam the ESRB for missing these hidden art assets.

Featured Sites of the Month

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

Eri/Jewel is still in her blogging prime, tackling new games, writing about old favorites, linking out to the blogesphere, and a regular podcaster as well.

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

As pets in WoW eventually transformed into a Pokemon-like mini-game, the “gotta catch ’em all” aspect needed a guide book.  Warcraft pets is the place to go to find out what pets you are missing and how to obtain them.

Most Viewed Posts in May

  1. WoW and the Case for Subscription Numbers
  2. The Pokemon 20th Anniversary Continues with a Darkrai Event and More
  3. There is no 85%
  4. Industrial Revolution
  5. Blizzard and the MAU Reality
  6. What is Vanilla WoW in Any Case?
  7. The Warcraft Movie Approaches
  8. A Murder of Fax Machines
  9. Google Tells Me Nearly All Games are Dead
  10. The People You See in Space
  11. Citadels in Saranen
  12. Chasing Asher’s Phantasm

Search Terms of the Month

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[Haven’t we all]

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[I think mine are more delusions of grandeur]

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[You must be looking for the Fountain War]

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[Noticed that too, did you?]

Spam Comments of the Month

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[Why pay for animal sex pics?]

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[I am not sure I like the sound of that]

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Diablo III

I thought about Season 6 for a bit.  I even started a new character.  Well, an old character really, as I used the rebirth option to restart my barbarian from back at launch.  His gear was so bad that he was unplayable anyways, so why not restart him.  I played him for about an hour, logged off, and haven’t been back since.  Maybe I’ll be up for Season 7.

EVE Online

Of course, for me, the war has been going on in New Eden.  We have been evicted from the last of our sovereignty.  We retook a couple of systems, and even still hold one, but that is a token effort at best.  Yet we still form up and fight our foes when they don’t heavily outnumber us and still hunt their ratters and reinforce their systems.  It is a battle of wills and we shall see who tires of it first.

EverQuest II

I have continued meandering around in Norrath.  After writing about my slow progress, I actually played some more and am up to level 25.  At least I haven’t been distracted by a host of alts, which is my usual problem in MMOs.

Minecraft

The rail loop project continues.  I have chosen my path and built a bridge already (a post on that later) and am looking for a site about midway to the mesa biome for one final production camp.

Pokemon

I did not play much Pokemon in May.  I made a little progress in Pokemon Blue, essentially finishing up the Silph Co. HQ building.  I spent most of my time just downloading the various special Pokemon that Nintendo made available this month, with a side journey to FanimeCon this past weekend in order to collect Street Passes.

Coming Up

There are ongoing reports that there will indeed be a Newbie Blogger Initiative for 2016.  However, the forums at NBI HQ appear to be untouched so far.

There was a patch to EVE Online today, YC118.5, which would normally get a blog post out of me.  However, aside from new integrated analyzers that are good for both Relic and Data sites, the patch is mostly just fixes.  (And some music.)  Plus, I already had a regularly scheduled blog post for today, this one.  I guess that wasn’t really a “coming up” item, but I didn’t know where else to put it.

The war in the north will carry on into June.  Everybody is moving into Saranen, but we’ll get to that in a post later this week I am sure.

The Warcraft movie is a week and a half away here in the US.  The reviews have been mediocre, which likely won’t influence fans, but may mean the difference between success and failure at the box office.  Word of mouth can influence that, but it will have to spread beyond those who are already fans.

We are also in the run to the WoW Legion expansion, which will hit at the end of August.  The expansion is now in closed beta, but the date I am waiting for is when the WoW 7.0 patch will hit.  That will be the time to start thinking about resubscribing for me.

As mentioned over the weekend, Daybreak is going to take Landmark live on the same day that the Warcraft movie hits in the US.  Not that I think one will have any impact on the other.  Meanwhile, the company has some more special servers planned for both EverQuest and EverQuest II.  Subscribers only, please.

And then there the possibility that a Steam Summer Sale might be showing up this month.  We shall see.