Category Archives: Month in Review

March in Review

The Site

My feed isn’t quite the problem it was at one point, but I have noticed that the direct feed from the site seems to propagate more slowly that the Feedburner feed.  This is doubly bizarre as the Feedburner feed works from the direct feed, so there is some sort of voodoo going on there.  And then, for some reason, Blogger seems to have it in for my feed again as it is once again updating very slowly in some (but not all) blogroll side bars on that platform.  The mysteries of Google.

I took the VirginWorlds feed off the side bar for now as the site seems to be in a state of neglect.  It isn’t updating feeds correctly and some of the longstanding feeds have been taken over by new sites that are not related to MMO gaming.  I dropped Brent a note, but I think he may be busy with other aspects of his life.

Meanwhile, on the WP.com front, they are now pushing the new editor and stats page rather aggressively.  I can no longer edit a post from the main page without using the Fisher-Price “Babby’s First Text Editor” option, as they remove the “classic editor” link from it.  At least the classic editor is still available from within the admin page for posts, so I just have to go that route now to fix my inevitable typo.  And the new stats page is now the default, though you can can still get to the old one via a link down at the bottom.  I don’t mind progress… WP.com has improved things over the years… but this is one of those lessons in why re-writing things from scratch is often a bad ideal; you lose functionality that was added to the old code base over time.

Also, what is with this pop-up I get from WP.com every day?

Howdy yourself!

Howdy yourself!

I just click the ‘x’ to dismiss it most days, but yesterday I decided to click the up arrow just to see what I would get, and that also dismissed it.  I suspect they are not that interested in being helpful.

One Year Ago

I was thinking about the word “free” and how it really brings up negative connotations.  Basically, “free” is usually a scam, so why should we expect “Free to Play” games to viewed as anything else?

A year back my other blog, EVE Online Pictures, qualified for inclusion as an EVE Online fan site.  We’ll see if that gets renewed this year.  Meanwhile CCP lost money through “derecognizing” an asset which would turn out to be the demise of World of Darkness as a project for them.  CCP was also taking a stab at cosmetic options for ships.

I picked my 15 most influential video games, and got some other people to pick theirs as well.

WalMart was going to get into the used video game market.  Did that ever go anywhere?  I don’t shop at Wally World.

Something called MyDream wanted to be a Minecraft killer or some such.

It was the end of the line for Free Realms and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures as SOE chief John Smedley vowed never to make kids games again.  While over in EverQuest the 15 year anniversary included the introduction of instant level 85 characters.  I gave that a try and got lost immediately.

Facebook bought Occulus Rift.  Where is your VR now?

Brad McQuaid was a month past his unsuccessful Pantheon Kickstarter and I was wondering what the plan was.

In a set of short items, I also noted that EverQuest Next Landmark became simply Landmark, two of the founders of Runic games left the studio to try their luck elsewhere, while King, the makers of Candy Crush Saga, went public and are now one of the most shorted stocks on the market! (They were mentioned on the Planet Money podcast about shorting.)

The ongoing “Blizzard isn’t giving you…” series continued. while Diablo III: Reaper of Souls went live, an event which included the end of the auction house.  I had gone back to the game to try some of the changes.

Also on the Blizzard front, they managed to find a hook to get me to play Hearthstone… or at least a couple rounds of it.

I was also musing about WoW and when the expansion would launch and the stat squish and guild levels and pseudo-server merges and my insta-90 choice and Warlords of Draenor being $50… which was at least better than it being $60.  While, actually in the game the instance group took on Zul’Aman.

We formed something I ended up calling the “strategy group,” if only to distinguish it from the “instance group” which started out playing some Age of Empires II.

And I wrote another installment of my ongoing TorilMUD series, this time about the Faerie Forest.

Five Years Ago

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

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

I ran through GDC and had dinner.

I was waxing nostalgic for some flavor of Rome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 March

  1. Progression Server Progress in EverQuest
  2. Quote of the Day – A Treasure Trove of Turbine Turmoil
  3. WoW Tokens – PLEX with Price Supports
  4. Tech 3 Destroyers and Other Tidbits from EVE Vegas Keynote
  5. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
  6. Reviewing My Kickstarter History
  7. A Return to Writing about the Blogesphere
  8. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  9. Hitting 50 Yet Again
  10. A Sad Day for Sims
  11. Scylla Overshadowed
  12. Has Rift Only Been Around for Four Years?

Search Terms of the Month

eq2 is crap
[That is not an uncommon opinion]

how far away.is everquest next from launch
[How far away is the Moon from Tuesday?]

toontown axis
[of evil?]

qctffivhlbbgi
[Grundoon? Is that you?]

do you need help pitching a tent
[It is largely a mental exercise at my age]

EVE Online

I was bitching earlier in the month about being required to click on participation links, which can be annoying when there isn’t a war or a deployment in progress.  Then war were declared and that problem went away pretty quickly.  I have gone well beyond the minimum quota.  The war itself has been okay, though being in Reavers I have found myself a bit jealous that I haven’t been in-system for some of the cap fleet engagements.

Then there was this epic troll that got people worked up for about 30 minutes.  The EVE Onion got scooped on that one!  Also, deductive subscription numbers for Tranquility based on various tidbits that CCP has left laying about.

Lord of the Rings Online

I haven’t started playing it again, but earlier this month when I logged in to ensure I would get my monthly lifetime subscriber Turbine Points stipend (and to keep Gaff from usurping the leadership of our kin yet again) I ended up buying the Riders of Rohan expansion because it was on sale (1,747 points) and I had close to 11K Turbine Points socked away.  I am not sure what that will mean to anybody, including myself, except that all my characters got a new title.  Woot.

World of Warcraft

World of Garrisons continues on.  Seriously, having five characters in Draenor means daily garrison maintenance eats up a lot of my daily play time.  If only I could force myself to NOT do that, but the OCD gamer in me requires it.  The instance group has been out a couple of times doing things, and I have been spending some time working back through all of the zones to make sure I have finished up every single quest line, lest there be a follower I missed.  And I have spent a little bit of time with my Orc hunter, though he is still a project for later.

Coming Up

Tomorrow is just another day, right?

Anyway, after that, it looks like a lot of the same things on my agenda.

Yes, I got my copy of Pillars of Eternity like nearly everybody else.  And I have played a bit.  But, my garrison… and the war… must play MMOs!

Okay, I did start in on a run through one classic game from my past.  I’ll get around to posing about that at some point this month.

It looks like WoW Tokens will go live this month.  That will be interesting to watch.  How much gold will Blizzard sell you for $20?  And how will that compare to how much gold you will need to pay to get 30 days of play time?  I still suspect that those numbers will be different.

The five week expansion schedule for EVE Online means that there won’t be an expansion in April.  That is fine.  I barely noticed that last one… well, except for an issue I will get to later.

February in Review

The Site

I did have my first failure of my current Rube Goldberg MMO blogesphere feed this month when somebody decided that Pinboard, a key player in the chain of events that moves things from my Feedly feed to the sidebar of this blog, was picked to receive a DDoS attack for a couple of days.

FeedDownFortunately things came back together in a couple of days, but for a while there the side bar was back to depending solely on the VirginWorlds feed for links to posts on other blogs.

And then VirginWorlds feed started to have some problems.  I think there is an RSS problem in one of the blogs on Brent’s list, which is causing only a few sites to get picked up.  Plus Massively is no longer updating, long a staple of his feed.  And then another site on his list became a spam site and some odd things started showing up in the feed, so I took it off the side bar and dropped Brent a note.  We’ll see how that plays out.

One Year Ago

A lot of people got their panties in a twist about Steam tags.  It was the literal end of civilization as we knew it… for about 30 minutes.

EA handed over the running of Camelot Unchained and Ultima Online to Broadsword.

I spent some time with Warcraft III attempting to discover the pre-history of WoW.

There was Diablo III version 2.0, and the changes looked promising.

On the World of Warcraft front, we were still talking about Warlords of Draenor.  Pre-orders were announced an there was a rumor that the expansion would cost $60, which seemed a bit steep.  Also, insta-90s looked to be coming as a cash shop item.  Would all of that stem the tide on subscription decline?

Meanwhile, I finished the last of the LFR raids, witnessing the downfall of Garrosh Hellscream.  For all of the complaints about LFR, I enjoyed my raid tourism.  The instance group did Grim Batol, then made the jump to Pandaria before returning with slightly better equipment for Heroic Deadmines.

I was wondering why PvP seemed to be a requirement for all MMOs.

I got into The Edler Scrolls Online beta and declared it Skyrim-like enough for me, then never played it again.

Brad McQuaid’s Pantheon: Further Falling of the Fallen Kickstarter campaign was winding down, doomed to failure.  There was talk about what would happen nextPlan B anybody?

I ran another EVE Online screen shot contest to give away some items from the Second Decade Collector’s Edition which I scored for free… after having bought it for myself.  And then there was the monument and drone assist and campaign medals and the repercussions of B-R5RB to talk about.

And I wondered what was going to happen with people being given free reign in Landmark.

Five Years Ago

We learned SynCaine’s dirty secret.

I was invited to go play in the beta for the web based Crown of Byzantus.  It didn’t really stick with me, though I wrote about it a couple of times.

There was another press release or some such for a Wheel of Time MMO.  My call: It isn’t going to happen.

Ten Ton Hammer made a list of their Top Ten PvP MMOs, and there was some chagrin that Ultima Online didn’t make the cut.

For reasons I cannot recall, Conner at MMO Fallout started looking into how MMO companies ranked over at the Better Business Bureau.

There was an announcement for a new game… World of Tanks!

In World of Warcraft, the instance group got as far as Zul’Farrak in our horde adventures, though we were still forgetting we could use the Dungeon Finder.  Otherwise we were running around doing holiday events and the like.

Oh, the Dungeon Finder.  My first runs with that were… not so good.  I seemed to run into some cliche bad groups.

Meanwhile, WoW decided to emulate WebKinz and start selling stuffed animals that had codes for in-game versions.  They are still around.  My daughter wants the Windrider Cub.

The Azeroth Advisor went buh-bye.  Thanks 38 Studios!  I saved all the email tips they sent me, however they are all pretty much worthless post-Cataclysm.

Finally, there was Star Trek Online.  The head start ended, The game went full-live, I was fiddling with my super special pre-order collector’s edition junk, and I gave out some codes in a caption contest.  There was even some new content.  But by month’s end, STO faded for me.

New Linking Blogs

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 February

  1. WoW Insider Reborn as Blizzard Watch
  2. The Mighty Insta-90 Question – Which Class to Boost?
  3. The End of Sony Online Entertainment, the Coming of Daybreak
  4. On Departures from Our Corner of the Web
  5. Shot at Daybreak – First Casualties of the Acquisition
  6. A Warning to My Fellow Dummies
  7. Two Paths Forward – Blizzard Watch and Massively Overpowered
  8. Pet Battling Across Azeroth
  9. SWTOR Returning to that Fourth Pillar
  10. Too Late for Torchlight II?
  11. Quote of the Day – Skepticism Blooms
  12. Crowfall Kickstarter Commences

Search Terms of the Month

pirating star wars galaxies for emu
[You mean, for the pirate server?]

eq2 100% weight reduction bags
[I’m pretty sure weight is no longer a thing in EQII]

wow epic dungeon group
[Wow, have you come to the wrong place]

fastest way to get sky golem mount
[The auction house]

EVE Online

I started off somewhat active in New Eden.  There was a reavers operation going on in Period Basis, and those are always good for me because you can drop in at just about any hour of the day and find something going on.  Granted, “something” generally means shooting a structure, but that something is better than nothing.  And I can always tab out and do pet battles in WoW if there is no opposition.  But then that op wrapped up and there hasn’t been much else going on that I have been able to get to.

World of Warcraft

There are days when I feel like I am stuck in my garrison.  With five garrisons running, there are evenings when my play time is just about exhausted when I have finally done every little thing in every garrison and whatever daily quest and the daily pet battles and checking the auction house.

Coming Up

I actually have a couple of outstanding posts I haven’t gotten to yet.  That is “outstanding” as in “on my list of things to do” and not a measure of their quality.  The instance group went and ran the Iron Docks… like four times.  I just haven’t gotten around to putting that post together.

I also have a list of things to write about when it comes to WoW Patch 6.1.

There is another EVE Online expansion coming along, because every five weeks is the way they roll.

A couple of Kickstarter campaigns will be wrapping up, so there will be some dollar totals to write about.  And I am sure there will be something new on Daybreak front to talk about.

I am also waiting for Raptr to send out their 2014 game play summaries, so I can see where I wasted my time last year.  It is, frankly, one of the few reasons I still run Raptr.

Otherwise it will be March and something about a salt marsh harvest mouse.  There was so much going on in February, maybe things will just take it easy in March.

January in Review

The Site

Well, there is usual load of things to complain about when it comes to WordPress.com.  Their new “upgraded” stats and writing interfaces remain sluggish and feature poor compared to the originals.  Then there was the momentary stats debacle around the middle of the month, where suddenly they fumbled and misplaced a bunch of data.  I was checked my stats and saw page views actually going down.  And while they seem to have mostly fixed things, there are still a couple of days where things numbers do not add up.

I am plugged into just about every notification system of theirs I can find and they NEVER use any of them to mention problems or warn in advance of upgrades.  They prefer to keep everything locked down, rarely responding to any inquiry with anything besides clearly copied and pasted phrases.  There is a certain irony in that, with them running what is essentially a communications platform.

Still, better than dealing with Google… or Yahoo… or AOL.

Anyway, aside from my usual bitching and moaning about mishandled technology, I seem to have added a bunch of new followers to the blog over the last month and a half.  Back at the start of December the number was ~200.

People who “follow” the blog, as I am using the term here, have to have WordPress.com accounts and then opt-in to view posts in the rather mediocre reader interface that WordPress.com offers.  More complaining, I know, but really you are better off using RSS and something like Feedly or FlipBoard.

But by the middle of January I had gotten this little achievement from WordPress.com.

500Followers500 isn’t a huge number, but adding 300 in six weeks after a couple years getting to 200 seems… odd.  All the more so when many of those clicking the “follow” button seem to be not at all game, or even entertainment, related.

I suspect that there is some SEO related “secret” that has caused this surge in followers.  Or maybe it is a Twitter-like thing, as I notice that some of those who follow then unfollow rather quickly… though that may be because WP tied following and email notifications together at some point, meaning you cannot just sign up to see things in their reader, you also have to get email updates.  Or, at least you get an email about getting automatic email updates.  The actual email updates never arrive.  So dumb.

Anyway, welcome new followers!  I suspect that most of you will never read this!

One Year Ago

Do I need to say more than B-R5RB?  That was the biggest single battle in the history of EVE Online when it came to total ISK destroys, most of it in the form of 75 titans blowing up.  Lots of big numbers in that fight.  It made it to lots of non-gaming news sites.  And I was there.  I am on six titan kill mails to prove it.  The whole thing was a hell of an event after the crash at HED-GP earlier in the month.

That about spelled the end of N3 in the southeast as the Russians rolled in with CFC support.  My joke about the power blocs seemed to be true.  What could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, Blog Banter 52 was focused on the EVE Online community.  All sunshine and lollipops there, right?  Otherwise it was a pretty slow month in New Eden for me.

Speaking of bloodbaths, SOE announced they were going to close four titles, Free Realms, Wizardry Online, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, and Vanguard: Rise of the Saga.  Meanwhile, deadbeat Planet Side, which hadn’t netted a nickel of profit in years went 100% free to play.  Way to show favorites Smed!

Then there was how Hearthstone was going to inspire SOE to update Legends of Norrath, because SOE has been cast in the role of follower for a while now.  Also, never going to happen.

Then there was the question of when “Next” was, specifically EverQuest Next.  Things had gotten quiet already.

At least SOE made subscriptions cheaper, though not before pissing off their subscribers first.  SOE being SOE.

And then there was Lord of the Rings Online, which announced there would be no expansion in 2014… or raids or dungeons… which left people kind of wondering what was going to happen.  You want to know when people started to doubt the future of the game? It was with this.  I did point out that Turbine was not the only entity that tried to tackle Tolkien’s work, only to be brought up short at Helm’s Deep.

There was the Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen kickstarter.  Brad McQuaid was back, asking for too much money and promising too many features.  We know how that works out.  Even SOE closing his last title couldn’t push his pledge totals up to what he wanted.

Then there was World of Warcraft.  People were wondering what classes to boost to level 90. and what the so-called stat squish was really going to mean.  They also, in hindsight, pretty clearly broadcasted the Warlords of Draenor ship date, only few believed it.

Our own group was still running through the Cataclysm expansion, catching up from our year or so away from the game in places like Deepholm and the Vortex Pinnacle.  I was also lusting for living steel and making friends with the Netherwing at last.

What else?  Oh yeah, EA decided that maybe SimCity should be a SimCity game.  I was wondering if level cap upgrades were an aberration.  There was some naming policy shenanigans.  And there was my yearly MMO outlook for the year as well as the usual prediction.

Five Years Ago

Well, there was the usual set of ill-considered predictions.

Oh, and that Battlestar Galactia/Bohemian Rhapsody video on YouTube.  I liked that.

The first issue of The Official World of Warcraft Magazine shipped.

I was wondering how many people remapped they keys for games.

There was Hulkageddon II, from which I tried to draw lessons.  Always good for some gamer angst… and anger.

There was a certain amount of excitement on my part for Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.  January was the ramp up time for Pokemon hype.

The instance group was still warming up on the Horde side, making it as far as Razorfen Downs.

And the whole forever argument around Tanks and Healers vs. DPS?  We were going on about that back in January 2010 as well.  The Dungeon Finder brought this all into sharp relief.

But the month was primarily about Star Trek Online.  I was obsessed.

I was making making up polls and contests around that Del Taco shuttle tie-in and silly lists of things to do while waiting for open beta.

And when it finally arrived, I spent a lot of time with the character creator, some of it to make my first character and some of it just in the name of science.  I customized my ship and wondered how I could get rid of the shields in my combat screen shots.  Did they ever change that? And I pondered whether or not it was a good idea to get a lifetime subscription.  The poll results said it wasn’t, but I did it anyway.  The majority was correct it would seem.

Oh, I did do one other thing in January 2010.

New Linking Blogs

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 January

A surprise link from Crossing Zebra’s vaulted a four year old post to the top of the chart this month.  And the rest of the list was made up of mostly recent posts, which is a rarity some months.

  1. Some People REALLY Want to be Goons…
  2. And What of Another Middle-earth?
  3. The Mighty Insta-90 Question – Which Class to Boost?
  4. And What of Another Middle-earth?
  5. Last Minute Molten Core
  6. A Warning to My Fellow Dummies
  7. Have Basilisk, Will Travel
  8. Level 85 in EverQuest… Now What?
  9. Tech 3 Destroyers and Other Tidbits from EVE Vegas Keynote
  10. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  11. Making Friends and Influencing Capsuleers the Gevlon Goblin Way!
  12. The State of the Garrison Address

Search Terms of the Month

planetside 2 memes
[I don’t think PS2 is there yet]

( a$.32;?
[This actually brings people to a World of Tanks screen shot here]

where in the world map are the halls of montezuma
[Well, for a start, they’re pretty far from the shores of Tripoli]

prince of persia 4 pc game under 40mb
[Size isn’t everything]

sunny sex noob photos in 2015
[Really, you don’t want to go there]

EVE Online

It has been a semi-quiet month for me in New Eden.  I am with the deployment down in Immensea, but I keep missing fleets.  Timers seem to require us to form up just as we are sitting down to dinner at our house.  Still, I got on the kill board a few times and hopefully clicked on enough participation links to keep my CEO happy.

I did pull my second account out of the corp and let the subscription lapse.  Aside from the very rare need for a cyno beacon, I hadn’t really been using him.  So I am back down to one account.

EverQuest II

After some fun in Norrath, getting a couple of characters into the Rise of Kunark expansion I decided my vacation from Azeroth was over and let things settle.  I will likely return at some future date to continue my better-late-than-never journey through some of the EQII content.

World of Warcraft

I am all about the garrisons.  Or that is what it feels like some days with five characters in Draenor.  Every day I log in there is some garrison maintenance waiting for me.  I have to keep those followers active and those work order queues filled because… because… otherwise the won’t be active or filled!  Doing that has left me with a single level 100 character.  I still have three level 94s and a level 95 to work up to cap, plus I have this absurd dream about getting one of my long disused Horde characters up to level cap.  I am going to need another 13 month content drought.

Coming Up

The final days of Massively and WoW Insider are upon us.  On February 3rd they will go away, though the nature of their disappearance has yet to be announced.  Where will all of those URLs resolve to on the 4th, if anywhere?  We are rapidly approaching the last minute, though I doubt there will be any last minute reprieve from Vice-President for Being AOL Zorg.

I do have to look into replacements for both sites in my reader.

In EVE Online we have another expansion looming, while in World of Warcraft 6.1 patch is on the horizon.  I suppose I will stop fretting about how it is changing from day to day since WoW Insider won’t be keeping me up to date on that.

And by Grabthar’s hammer, I will get my ship undocked and fly around in Elite: Dangerous.  Also, Pokemon.  I must get back to Pokemon at some point.

 

December in Review

The Site

Welcome to the 100th month in review as well as my 377th, and final, post of 2014!  At least I am consistent in getting these posted on the last day of every month.

I actually changed the theme for the site… again… but this time I have actually stuck with it for a while… mostly because nobody has screamed bloody murder yet, like when I went to that dark theme.  There are still things I do not like about it (like the fact that it feels it can break/hyphenate words at the end of a line when it damn well pleases… it isn’t me doing that, I swear), but it has some advantages over the old theme, including being on WordPress.com’s actively supported list.  That should mean that new features should not break this theme the way the old theme used to get hosed now and again.

And, speaking of new features, WordPress.com has decided that, in addition to their brain dead “new and improved” post editing interface they need a new stats page as well.  I am not happy with it.

To be charitable, it does allow at least one more way to view traffic data.  But otherwise it is a muddle, a confused attempt redo something that already worked pretty well.  And worst of all, it isn’t hooked up right.  While it seems to know that the blog has been around since 2006, it shows now traffic until 2009.

The first few years don't count

The first few years don’t count… also, 2014 stats with 10 hours left in the year

There also does not appear to be a way to see total stats for the life of the blog, and those nice tables that I include at the end of every anniversary post (see the 8 year post for an example) are missing completely.

I am at a loss to see what WordPress.com is thinking, that somehow people are going to be happy with less functionality.  But that might just be me.  Anyway, I hope they don’t kill off the “classic” stats and dashboard in favor of this new bilge.

WordPress.com has their own year in review report for this blog (and my other blog).

One Year Ago

It was the final shut down for Warhammer Online.

It was also the end of the road for World of Darkness at CCP, which shut down the project and laid off much of the staff.

CCP did give me a copy of the EVE Online Second Decade Collector’s Edition.

Actually in EVE, I was looking at flying a dreadnought, looking at my hull tanking certificate, and actually went on a couple of ops, blowing things up in NS2L-4 and BW-WJ2.

Shroud of the Avatar was an actual thing.  You could log in and see stuff.  Granted, a year later it is still in alpha and has a long way to go, but at least progress is being made I guess.

Turbine threw their hat in the ring with their own insta-level scheme for Lord of the Rings Online.  It got you all the way to the doors of Moria.  I was not impressed.

Blizzard put a cash shop in World of Warcraft.  But don’t call those microtransactions, because they are not.

The instance group in World of Warcraft ventured under the sea and into the Mount Hyjal region, then ran through the Throne of Tides and Blackrock Caverns instances.  Meanwhile, I had an alt finish up The Burning Crusade for me.  And then there was my character a level cap, swamped with options including Timeless Isle.

I reviewed my goals and tried to sum up 2013.

I did some book reviews of a sort, looking at The Kindly Ones, The Circle, and some space operas.

Finally, we were very sad at our house last year when our cat Fred died.  We still miss him dearly.

Five Years Ago

Let’s see… a random reader wrote in to tell me that the social aspects of MMOs are insignificant.  I don’t think he understood what he was talking about.

People seemed to be getting worked up as to how you define content in an MMO.  Can you compare sandbox and amusement park content fairly?  Taking some of this to its logical extreme, I demonstrated something that trumped all MMO content.

Also getting people worked up was the catch in the whole free to play model, brought up by changes to the store in Battlefield Heroes.  That actually got responses all over the place.

The US release date for Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver was announced.

People were warming up for Star Trek Online.  There was a confusing array of pre-order options.  But it was missing some items I really wanted. (I think the awful early movie uniforms eventually appeared recently in the C-Store.)

In WoW we were busy wrapping up the holiday achievements, including wrapping up Pilgrim’s Bounty.

We were also playing with this new Dungeon Finder thing that showed up with WoW patch 3.3.  Automated cross-server instance group matching with random strangers?  It will never work.

The instance group, in its horde RP-PvP server form was hitting Gnomeregan and Shadowfang Keep, both of which seemed… much easier.

And I was officially epic… proven by the achievement.  Of course by that time, somebody already had all the possible WoW achievements.  Too epic to be believed.

Meanwhile, this horrible image was keeping me up at nights.  You just cannot unsee things once you have seen them.

Finally, there was an actual podcast interview with Erik “WoW isn’t easy enough” Estavillo.  He was a surprisingly good sport about being the subject of mockery.

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 December

  1. The Mighty Insta-90 Question – Which Class to Boost?
  2. Three Science Fiction Series Starters
  3. Preparing for Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby
  4. This is EVE and EVE is Different
  5. Blizzard Isn’t Giving You a Free Copy of Warlords of Draenor
  6. Tech 3 Destroyers and Other Tidbits from EVE Vegas Keynote
  7. Does PLEX Work Anywhere Besides EVE Online?
  8. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
  9. The Insta-90 Choice is… Death Knight
  10. Level 85 in EverQuest… Now What?
  11. Rhea Ushers in a New Era of Clones, Wormholes, and Graphics to EVE Online
  12. Reviewing my Predictions for 2014

Search Terms of the Month

money talk porno
[Enough money and porno will talk any way you want baby]

eq best plat farming location paladin
[Is plat still a thing of value in EQ? When I got that insta-85, I got 15K plat.]

when will wod price go down
[January is my guess.]

pokemon named by noob
[How about a Skitty I named “Kargath?”]

i skipped the starting quests in everquest, how do i go back
[I’ve been trying to go back for years. It is a futile quest.]

EVE Online

After wrapping up our deployment to Querious, I have been on a mild break from New Eden.  Deployments are bursts of high activity and lots of hours playing, so the pattern for me has been to take a break in-between, and doubly so during the holidays when things can be a bit busy.  However, a new year will bring a new deployment and new things to shoot.

EverQuest II

A burst of 10 year anniversary nostalgia hit and for a couple weeks in December EverQuest II was my main game.  I now have a level 74 berserker (previous high was a 62 swashbuckler) and am into the 2007 game content of the Rise of Kunark expansion.  It is a fine solo experience, with a mercenary to heal and a main that can tank.

Pokemon

While I am enjoying the latest outing, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, I have been playing through at a rather slow pace.  A month in and I am only at the 5th gym battle.  But I have also been playing through in a very systematic way, trying to check every side path and talk to every person I meet along the way.  Since the end game doesn’t do much for me, making the most of the story is my current plan.

World of Warcraft

After a burst of activity with the launch of the Warlords of Draenor expansion, where my first character hit level 100 and I started two more into the expansion, I got hit with a bit of garrison fatigue and took a bit of a break as I headed of to a vacation in EQII.  I have been back and playing more in the last week, but I fear I won’t get into a Molten Core group before the anniversary content is withdrawn.  I hit item level 614 last night.  Still have to get one more point and then actually find a group at a time when most people are done with the raid.

Coming Up

Holy crap, it is going to be 2015.  I spent so much of my life measuring the distance to the year 2000, which was going to be a big deal right (and not just some arbitrary number on a timeline) that I still have trouble grasping that the whole thing happened 15 years ago.

In EVE Online there will the Proteus expansion dropping soon.  Proteus stole fire from the gods, so that is a pretty big name to live up to. [Or maybe that was some other Greek deity.]

The final day of the Steam holiday sale is coming.  Will there be something to tempting to resist on the last day?

I am warming back up to my garrison in WoW, but I need more followers.  I am going to have to work on that in 2015.

Then there is the question of how long my vacation in EQII will last.  My basic goal of getting into the Rise of Kunark expansion was met.

And, finally, I have a goal to get some sort of forward looking predictions post for tomorrow.  Only I haven’t really started yet.  I have one written down.  Time to think outrageous thoughts.

November in Review

The Site

It was actually a pretty busy month here, traffic-wise.  You might think that odd, given that I spent nearly a week without a functioning computer and, thus, put up very little in the way gaming posts.  But Google seemed to take a shine to me this month, making November the month highest average daily page views this year.  It would have had the most page views as well, if it had 31 days.  That was all mostly thanks to people searching for Warlords of Draenor related topics, as you can see by the “most viewed posts” section below.

On the WordPress.com front, they continue to annoy me in various ways.  They broke a couple of things badly early in the month, but have since fixed them.  And they do persist in trying to push their new “improved” editing interface.  It is dumbed down and not very responsive to boot, so I remain with the old one and pray that they won’t make the new one mandatory.  And, just in case I forgot who I was, they put my portrait in one of the navigation menus.  I guess if you use multiple accounts that might be helpful, but it just wastes space for me.

WACircleSquare

Also, what is it with putting rectilinear avatar pictures into circles?  Google+ is big on this as well.  I made a square portrait with a white space around it so the horns on my helm would appear to be escaping the picture, but putting it in a circle ruins the effect.  I will be glad when this fad passes.

One Year Ago

TorilMUD, measured through its lineage via Sojourn MUD, hit the 20 year mark.  So I was playing that before there was any sort of Warcraft.

Time was running out on Warhammer Online, but they were going to give people a last chance to see the place… for free.  A pity I couldn’t get my account to work.

There was a scathing quote of the day about what “social gaming” had come to mean.

The Tears of Veeshan expansion launched in EverQuest II while we said farewell to EverQuest: Macintosh Edition.  Meanwhile, EverQuest veteran Aradune was back in play talking about a new MMO he had planned.

The Rubicon expansion for EVE Online went live, complete with lots of stats.  The update did not save us from the node crash at E-YJ8G.  Big fleet battles, with thousand of drones in play, were taxing the servers beyond their limits.  Meanwhile, there was the Long Guy Fawkes Day… another node crash, but only after 6 hours of crushing TiDi… and we were headed back to Curse again.

EVE Online community site EVE Bloggers found a new home at last.

BlizzCon rolled around, generating much excitement for WoW players with the Warlords of Draenor announcement, though few thought it would take a year for them to ship it.  I was already back and binging on the game, but the rest of the instance group came back as well after the announcement… and we basically did what we should have done a few years back, we got out the old group and picked up where we left off.

I was dropping bombs in War Thunder.

And, after having read Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire at its 20th anniversary, I got around to reading the other two books in the series.  The title of that post is a spoiler.

Five Years Ago

I was writing about how I had not changed the blog format since I started.  Sound familiar?

Our Thanksgiving entertainment was Rock Band 2.  While I was really bad at it, it was a lot of fun.  The next year we played Super Mario Bros. Wii, which I was also really bad at, but which isn’t nearly as much fun.  However, the kids liked it.  I rode along in a bubble most of the time.

And while Tech Crunch was exposing the odious practices favored by Mark Pinkus to get FarmVille and Mafia Wars profitable, the New York Times was gushing over this wonderful new virtual goods market, which I summarized and provided links to here.

I managed to get some playtime in with the original Torchlight, though there were some problems.  It turns out that if you bought the game from the wrong vendor, you could be a while waiting for patches.

The first LEGO Harry Potter game was announced, which I had anticipated would come to pass almost two years before it was announced.

Warhammer Online announced that levels 1-10 were going to be free, making me wonder if they were just going to breed a mass of level 1 twinks.  I think that is what the end result was.

In EVE Online, PLEX was off to a booming start.  The price of a PLEX has risen some since then (~300 million then, over 900 million ISK now).  Meanwhile, the first Hulkageddon was on and even I noticed something was amiss.  Eventually somebody pointed me in the right direction in the comments.

I wondered if fishing was really the secret ingredient for MMO success.

I got all nostalgic for Star Trek because of Star Trek Online’s impending release.

World of Warcraft and EverQuest II both hit their five year anniversaries.  Then I had the temerity to say that there were things that EQII didn’t do very well in my opinion.

On the WoW end of things, somebody was suing because they felt the game wasn’t easy enough.

Then there were Mr. T Mohawk grenades and a 24 slot Portable Hole, outrages both along with the $10 vanity pets.  And I was complaining about not getting the Headless Horseman’s mount during Hallow’s End.  Again, sound familiar?

I wrote a very short post about Pilgrim’s Bounty which went on to become the most viewed post on the site November of five years ago.

And the instance group started in with Ragefire Chasm, Wailing Caverns and Deadmines on the RP-PVP server.  Actual PVP occurred since we had to walk to the Deadmines.  We get called griefers for daring to engage in PVP on a PVP server.

New Linking Blogs

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 November

Search Terms of the Month

nobody likes to carol with yoda
[Because he’s all “With boughs of holly the halls be decked, yes! Hmmm?”]

photo tiger playing bagpipes
[I could find dogs playing, but no tigers]

tube tv vertical punctuation
[I prefer Zero Punctuation]

EVE Online

After coming off of a busy October, with deployments down south, I tapered off my time in New Eden a bit for the Warlords of Draenor launch.  It just so happened that we finished up our first post-Phoebe deployment just in time.  Phoebe has made travel more tedious in null, which both sides in the CFC vs N3/BL conflict of the moment have been trying to take advantage of.  Lots of talk about the CFC being forced to move between fronts via gates, but no mention of the Reavers reinforcing structures and knocking down towers in Querious while N3 is busy in Delve.

EverQuest II

I actually spent some time in post-cataclysm Norrath for the 10 year anniversary.  I didn’t adventure or even ear a single experience point to my knowledge.  But I did play around with housing and the new Isle of Refuge prestige house/zone we were given as an anniversary present.

Pokemon

Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire launched.  My daughter and I got our copies right on launch day thanks to oppressed workers in Amazon’s Fernley, Nevada shipping facility.  With this and Warlords of Draenor, I was wondering who would win out for play time.  WoW seems to have won for the most part.  The new Pokemon is good.  I am about 10 hours into it.  But the draw of WoW is stronger.  Gotta check up on my garrison!

Total War: Rome II

I managed to miss every Friday night game in November.  I was really tired this month, so it was tough to stay up past… 9pm.  It must be some urge to hibernate now that we have a bit of cold weather. (Cold for coastal California anyway.)

World of Warcraft

Big expansion launch.  Lots of players back in the game.  A beautiful new set of zones to play in.  Plenty of orc bad guys leading us on a merry chase.  But a lot of people are already level 100 in Warlords of Draenor.  Even with some down days and a meandering pace where I try to see it all, my first character in is already closing in on level 99.  I hope Blizzard has a game plan for dealing with most everybody at level cap in two months, or it is going to be a long 700+ days until the next expansion.

Coming Up

It will be December shortly, which will mean all sorts of end of the year, what in the hell happened sorts of posts.  I have some predictions to score and all that. (Plus more to write.)

CCP will be springing yet another new expansion on us in the form of Rhea.  Coming December 9th.  That will mean the end of skill point loss, the start of tier 3 destroyers, new wormhole space, and a bunch of things I have already forgotten.  I don’t know how things feel at CCP, but it is exhausting just keeping up with the changes on the outside.

We are in the midst of the Steam Holiday Sale, and I have purchased nothing so far.  And why do the Steam sales, summer and winter, seem to be coming earlier and earlier?

And, having been given a clean slate when it comes to… well… all the software on my computer, it will be time to decide what gets installed again.

October in Review

The Site

Not much to complain about this month.  I changed the site theme a few times one weekend, but still cannot find one that is better than the current theme on all fronts.

I converted a couple of much-used tags into categories on the blog, so if you want to pull up, as an example, all of my posts that were formerly tagged “Quote of the Day” or “YouTube” or “Null Sec,” they are now available under the Categories drop-down on the side bar.  That makes them just slightly more convenient to get to.

I do want to thank fellow New Eden resident JD who sent me two PLEX in game because he likes the blog.  While I have a media account (got that a few months back) for that other blog I run, I certainly could use the ISK that selling a couple of PLEX provides.  I have been living off of ship reimbursement money for a long time as I haven’t really been interested in any of the ISK making aspects of the game for quite a while now.  I do not sow.  My indolent life as a fleet op pilot has been extended, I do not need to go get a “real” job in New Eden quite yet.

So I immediately ran out and bought a new ship for the current deployment.

Basilisk at a wormhole

Basilisk at a wormhole

The Basilisk makes me a Reaver space priest of sorts… would that be a shaman?

One Year Ago

EverQuest: Mactinosh Edition was slated to shut down after a ten year run.  Meanwhile, EverQuest Live launched Call of the Forsaken, the game’s 20th expansion.  The Fippy Darkpaw server made it to The Buried Sea expansion.  Meanwhile, in EverQuest II, insta-level characters were set to become a thing.

With the release of Pokemon X & Y, which required upgrading to Nintendo 3DS hardware, I was saying farewell to the series.  Little did I know I would be pulled back in a few months down the road.

As part of some NBI event I attempted to recount all the guilds I had joined over the years.

Somebody was attempting to remake the old Kesmai game Stellar Emperor.

Path of Exile finished up beta and was officially live.

After a post-F2P boom, Trion went back to paring down the number of servers for Rift while its servers in China were shut down completely.

The instance group was still running Foundry modules in Neverwinter.

I was trying out War Thunder.  After failing to get through the tutorial for World of Warplanes, I opted for its competitor, which seems better suited for the inept like me.  I was able to get out there and be a target for other players while bombing at least.

In New Eden our gate camp deployment to the Curse region was wrapping up almost as soon as it started.  It felt like we had just snuck in.  It was time to go home to the quiet of Deklein for a while and wait for the Rubicon expansion.  While there I finally bought my first capital ship, an Archon carrier.  It went for its first jump and then stayed docked for almost a year.  Of course, I found out I had a lot of stuff sitting in hangars around New Eden.  Nine million things, to put a number to it.  And CCP was setting up classes for new players… which was great if you lived in the European time zone.

I was pondering the “journey vs. destination” question with MMOs while feeling a bit wistful that World of Warcraft holidays were not offering much new.

And we finally ditched AT&T DSL for Comcast cable-modem internet, resolving the bandwidth sharing problems at our house.

Five Years Ago

Last year at about this time Torchlight came out, giving a lot of people a Diablo-like injection of fun.  It didn’t have a lot of replay value for me.  Once I burned through the game once I was pretty much done, which made it unlike Diablo II, which I returned to a number of times.  But it was just $20 and gave us a taste of what Runic might be able to deliver going forward.

I was on a MUD history kick, with tales of exciting ways to die in Kobold Village, the Kobold Temple of the Unholy, getting lost in the Faerie Forest, and all the rooms in TorilMUD.

It was also the three year anniversary of the regular Saturday night instance group, and I presented a summary of what we had done.

A couple of us scouted the then newly Free to Play Dungeons & Dragons Online as a possible next game for the instance group, but it didn’t stick.

I was able to buy the Adventurer’s Pack for Lord of the Rings Online and get the Siege of Mirkwood expansion for free.  Not as good of a deal as monthly subscribers got I understand, but a decent deal.  Of course, LOTRO has changed a lot since then.

In World of Warcraft October that year saw me finish off both the Brewfest and Hallow’s End meta achievements.  I was still left with one achievement for each holiday though.  Fun was had with pumpkins and the Headless Horseman.

The instance group returned to Utgarde Keep to take on Utgarde Pinnacle, at that time the last five-person dungeon in Northrend.  We were victorious and gained the Northrend Dungeonmaster achievement.  But otherwise we were deciding on where the group should go next.

And Blizzard was busy merging everybody’s WoW account into a Battle.new account because… well, it wasn’t because of better security.

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 October

  1. Tech 3 Destroyers and Other Tidbits from EVE Vegas Keynote
  2. The Mighty Insta-90 Question – Which Class to Boost?
  3. Blizzard Isn’t Giving You a Free Copy of Warlords of Draenor
  4. Level 85 in EverQuest… Now What?
  5. The Insta-90 Choice is… Death Knight
  6. First Glance at WoW 6.0
  7. The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Super Caps…
  8. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  9. Notes from an Undisclosed Location in the Insmother Region
  10. Rome – City Assaults are Difficult
  11. Planetary Annihilation Goes Round and Round
  12. New Eden Alt Creation Becomes Easy with Phoebe

Search Terms of the Month

anyone like “fansy the famous bard” shown up lately?
[Not around these parts, no]

what to do with 30 cents on steam
[Wait for Valve to make a pricing mistake]

where is the first quest in stonetalon mountains
[I know where you’re stuck!]

“diablo iii” “auction house” admit
[Don’t worry, they admitted it was bad]

EVE Online

Null Sec started the month in a panic about the changes coming with the Phoebe expansion.  Free wheeling jaunts across the width and breadth of New Eden would soon be relegated to memory as crippling jump fatigue became a thing.  And then everybody seemed to decide to use the last couple of weeks to get in some last hits while prepping for the new reality.  The musical chair metaphor has been used to describe the reshuffle of alliance locations in null, and the music is about to stop.  It will be interesting to see the before/after map comparison.  And will there be any open space on the map for new players in the sovereignty game?

Total War: Rome II

This continues to be our Friday night game and we still have aspects of the multiplayer skirmish game to explore… not to mention just getting better at handling troops in the field.  One of the problems with being a long time MMO player is that I find skirmishes mildly unsatisfying over time.  Get your pieces out, fight the 20 minute fight, look at the result, reset.  As painful as it was at times, I think I preferred the long term campaign that Civilization V gave us.  I still do not love the AI in Civ V though, so I am not aching to go back to that.  As always, while playing the current game I am looking around for what might be the next.

World of Warcraft

If I don’t get the Headless Horseman’s mount today, the last day of Hallow’s End, I may very well scream.  I mean, up there in the “five years ago” section I mention us hunting him, and we didn’t get the mount back then.  Ah well, the random number generator will make you its bitch.

Otherwise it has been a month of tidying up, getting used to the changes with 6.0, enjoying having a bunch of free bag space, and otherwise killing time before Warlords of Draenor drops.  It is still theoretically possible that I could have a fifth level 90 character by then.  Or I might just max out archaeology at last.  We shall see.

Coming Up

Holy crap, November will be hella crazy when it comes to the games to which I pay attention.

There will be expansions to examine in EverQuest and EverQuest II.  Expansions to play in World of Warcraft and EVE OnlinePokemon Alpha Ruby & Omega Sapphire will show up on the back end of the month.  There will be BlizzCon and whatever Bilzzard is planning to spring on us, and then the World of Warcraft 10 year anniversary… and before that there will be the EverQuest II 10 year anniversary.

These are among the reasons why I haven’t bothered to grab Civilization: Beyond Earth or been very interested in Steam’s Halloween Sale.  My dance card is full.  My calendar of posts is filling up.  I am glad I decided to take the week of Thankgiving off from work.

And I am sure I have missed something on that list.  What else is coming up in November?

 

September in Review

The Site

What to complain about this month?  Yes, with the coming of a new game, the spam turns to follow.  And so there was an outbreak of ArcheAge spam caught in the filter this month.

ArcheAge Gold Spam

ArcheAge Gold Spam

But there is a host of spam caught in the filter every month.  Sometimes SynCaine is caught in there too.  However, that isn’t really much of a complaint.  Besides, if you bought ArcheAge gold, could you even log on to spend it?  So I will have to find something else.

How about stats?

The other day I was looking at the referrer stats on this blog and saw that my other blog, EVE Online Pictures, was sending me a bit of traffic.

In the morning 17 can seem like a lot

In the morning 17 can seem like a lot

I thought this was interesting as, since I own both blogs, I can match up the stats!  Because accounting!  So I looked over at the outbound stats for EVE Online Pictures and saw this.

That would be less than 17

That would be less than 17

The flip side shows just two clicks.  I am not sure if they are counted differently or just counted incorrectly, but something definitely seems amiss.  Stats are an illusion.

One Year Ago

We heard that Warhammer Online was slated to shut down in December.

We also got the official word that Blizzard would be killing the auction house in Diablo III.

SOE was getting over some of their Station Cash screw ups.

In general I wasn’t too excited about the expansion outlook on the MMO scene.

In EVE Online the Rubicon expansion went live.  Our corp had a little drama as Gaff plotted to overthrow our CEO and created a new corp, Black Sheep Down.  As is usual, he was good for the intrigue, but once he became El Supremo, he got bored and stopped playing.  Happens after every coup… and there have been a few.  We went from being literally the worst corp in TNT to… erm… well, that didn’t change I guess.  We did run out to null sec for a fight and I put my alt in the corp to bolster our numbers because there is a minimum height requirement or some such.

In general we were finishing up our deployment in Delve cleaning up after the TEST collapse and I hit 110 million skill points.  Also, there was the war between evebloggers.com and evebloggers.net.

The instance group, in a hint as to where we were headed, ran a series of WoW dungeon knock-offs in Neverwinter.

And it was time for the usual bout of autumnal nostalgia.  This time I returned to Azeroth, which made me ask the question, when is it nostalgia anyway?  My daughter and I and a friend had a plan to roll up some new characters on a new server.  Whatever it was, it felt like home.

And, finally, I covered the great resurrection exploit in TorilMUD.

Five Years Ago

I described some really old-school gaming… pre-computer… which involved hunting each other in cars.

There was a brief moment of nostalgia for Infocom games… or at least for the ads.  Honestly, I think the ads were better than some of the games.

I was still talking about my days of playing MUDs, with a description of getting to Kobold Village and the great bronze armplate smuggling get rich quick scheme.

And Turbine announced the Siege of Mirkwood expansion for Lord of the Rings Online, which brought out a little guilt in me, since I hadn’t even gotten to Moria.  I still haven’t, for that matter.

Then there was WoW.  We were really on a WoW binge that September.  I put up a poll about what instance we didn’t want to see made into an heroic, and the results were… unsurprising.

There were pirates and Brewfest and I managed to get my chef’s hat and all the sundry cooking achievements.  There was corpse spam and phasing and we ran through Ulduar and the Oculus. and trial of the champion.

And, finally, there was the three year anniversary of the blog, with the usual round of stats and trivia… oh, and the Nine Circles of MMO Hell.

New Linking Sites

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 September

  1. The Mighty Insta-90 Question – Which Class to Boost?
  2. Level 85 in EverQuest… Now What?
  3. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  4. Blizzard Isn’t Giving You a Free Copy of Warlords of Draenor
  5. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
  6. Eight Years of Link Rot
  7. Nostalgia, Name Wipes, and the Next Expansion in Azeroth
  8. Rome – A Shameful Display
  9. When Does an MMO Become a Foreign Country?
  10. ArcheAge Went Live and Everybody Went Crazy or Something
  11. Extra Credits – Free to Play Is Currently Broken
  12. Rift Joins the Insta-Level Club with Nighmare Tide Expansion

Search Terms of the Month

what time will servers unlock warlords of draenor on november…
[Doesn’t matter, the queue will keep you from playing anyway]

why is war lord of draenor $50
[Because Blizzard owns you, and me too]

firiona rift destroy
[I am pretty sure Norrath is her current target]

when does pokemon alfah safire and omega ruby come out
[I actually prefer your spelling]

Defense Grid 2

Long awaited, since the Kickstarter funded but not as fully as expected, I am happy to be able to play it now.  And with how Hidden Path Entertainment has put together the game, we can look forward to plenty of official and fan made updates.  It isn’t perfect.  They have some work to do on their administrative interface and I have found at least one serious “you shipped with that?” bug.  But actual game play is solid, so  I am a bit bemused at some of the rage about the game in certain quarters.  Basically, a few people seem upset that the game is… well… different.  The towers were changed and rebalanced and given new options, with certain go-to defaults being much less effective. (Cannon towers are no longer “I win!”)  On the whole it seems good to me, but some people just wanted more of the old game… which I can understand.  I played the hell out of that too.

EVE Online

Given that my previous three posts this month were about EVE Online, I guess I did actually play the game this month.  Or paid attention to it a bit.  I managed to get a couple more ships out of Delve and back up to our new staging system in Deklein.  There was also a bit of cleaning up the neighborhood in the north, as it had gone to seed a bit while we were away.  And then things got pretty quiet.  Even the regional intel channel has been quiet while I have been logged in.  What is Gevlon paying Mordus Angels for, if not to shit up our space?  Anyway, we’ve had to travel further afield, out to low sec to find fun of late.  And low sec is weird.  Security status means something there.  There are no warp disruption bubbles.  People don’t always shoot strangers in the face the moment they show up.  Gate guns shoot at you.  It is most queer and disturbing after three years in null.

Rome II

The strategy group has pressed forward with Total War: Rome II.  We seem to be doing okay as long as we fight against each other.  I think we are still mostly learning how to get the game to do what we want, or at least understand the limitations of what we can do.  The fights are interesting, but the fact that we, as a group of four, are pretty much limited to a variety of different skirmishes, which I can see getting old sooner rather than later… which is what happened with Age of Empires II: Age of Kings over time.  But I am not sure where we would head next.  Maybe Endless Legend or something from the list I made earlier this year?

War Thunder

I actually got out War Thunder and patched up to play for a bit.  I went out and dropped some bombs and then tried the whole tank side of the game.  The beginning level tanks are not the silly level of joy that they are in World of Tanks, but they also seem… more realistic maybe?  I’ve never driven a tank, so how would I know?  But there is a higher level of difficulty in just shooting stuff, your crew dies very easily if you take a solid hit, and the whole thing seems less arcade-like than WoT.  Is that a good thing?  I am not sure.

World of Warcraft

After the summer of working on the Loremaster achievement, I think I may have fallen off of that horse.  All the groundwork of the 1-60 achievements has been laid, so I can go back to it at some point, but my idea of doing all the zones in Outland at level became less fun and more chore as I moved through the zones.  I keep asking myself, “How did we do all of this with no flying mounts and effectively less power?”  So my WoW time has tapered off quite a bit.  That might not be a bad thing, as Warlords of Draenor is just about a month and a half away.  A rest from Azeroth might be appropriate, so as to be fresh when the expansion drops.

Coming Up

There is a blogging event called Bragtoberfest coming up.  I am not sure I understand it.

The Oceanus expansion for EVE Online is dropping today, so that will make some waves. (Ha ha!) I am not sure many doctrine fits will be affected by the first round of module revamps, though light missile launchers are on the list, which means that somebody might have to look at our Hawk or Crow fits I suppose.  Also, EVE Vegas is coming up in the middle of the month, which is about as close as an EVE Online event ever gets to me.  Unfortunately, I just wrote a big check for braces for my daughter, so that will have to wait for another year.

The ongoing ArcheAge: Tales from the Queue drama should no doubt subside at some point and people will start getting into the meat of the game… which should lead to some fresh new drama.  SynCaine is already hinting at some possibilities there. (As well as some of the promise.)

And, speaking of drama, maybe the whole “gamer gate” thing will subside soon.  One can only hope.  It seems to have devolved into two camps talking past each other, trying to score points more to impress their own team than to convince anybody of anything, and painting the other side as being in lock step with, or automatically condoning all actions of, the worst person on their respective “side.”  Bleh.

Finally, I have to think that we will see the big WoW 6.0 patch drop before the middle of the month, likely next week.  Blizzard has been talking about it, it has been on the public test realm for a while, and the launcher started letting people pre-download the files for the patch.  So it is a comin’!  And that will give us a few weeks to adjust to a lot of change before November strikes and we have BlizzCon, the Warlords of Draenor launch, and then the World of Warcraft 10 year anniversary.

Oh, and log on to WoW today if you haven’t recently.  Last day to get the Horde chopper for free.  I am not particularly enthusiastic about that whole Azeroth Choppers thing but, hey, free mount.