Category Archives: Pokemon Go

The Search for Vivillon

My wife and I are kind of late to the party on this.  We depend on a friend of ours to keep us up to date on Pokemon Go, but she wasn’t up on this one… or was holding out on us maybe.

While my wife and I play Pokemon Go regularly, I don’t follow the news of it as closely as I do, say, EVE Online.  So my first hint that something was going on was when I noticed people on my friend’s list were saving a lot of my daily gifts as postcards, a little used feature of the game up until this point… so far as I can tell anyway.

I ignored this for a bit, thinking it odd but whatever… however, when in persisted for a couple of weeks I went out to look it up and found out we had completely blown by the Vivillon launch back in December and Niantic’s plan for it.

Vivillon, which also happens to occupy position #666 in the national pokedex, is a seventh generation Pokemon that came in with Pokemon Sun & Moon and is one of those
“gotta catch em all” specials that doesn’t just have a couple of evolutions, but also comes in 20 different color variations.  I forget how they worked that in Sun & Moon, but I am sure the online trading post was hot with exchanges across the world to get the versions people were missing.

Pokemon Go is more “real time” than the core RPG series, lacking a Pokemon auction house of sorts.  So the plan was to make the various Vivillon versions available via gift exchanges.

When you get a gift from a friend you save it as a postcard… hence the behavior I noticed… and when you collect enough you get a Scatterbug that appears.  That is the larval state of the Vivillon and you need 125 candies to get it into its full splendor.

The trick is that the location of the postcard dictates which color variation of the Vivillon you end up with if you evolve that particular Scatterbug.  They even have a map that shows you where in the world you need to have friends send you gifts if you want that particular flavor of Vivillon.

Where to find Vivillon… sort of… also, no China, no Russia

You should probably click on that to see if full size.

The 18 variations of Vivillon that are currently available… they are holding two in reserve I guess… are the following locales:

  • Archipelago
  • Continental
  • Elegant
  • Garden
  • High Plains
  • Icy Snow
  • Jungle
  • Marine
  • Meadow
  • Modern
  • Monsoon
  • Ocean
  • Polar
  • River
  • Sandstorm
  • Savanna
  • Sun
  • Tundra

So now you don’t just need Pokemon Go friends around the world to help level you up or get regional raid targets, you also need them for Vivillon.

There is probably a Discord server somewhere that broker’s friendships to fill that obsessive need to collect them all.  I just haven’t looked yet.

Instead, I am making friends the old fashioned way… by hooking up with random strangers on the internet.  Or on Twitter, in my case.  But the internet has paid off so far and I have managed to get at least the base level Scatterbug for 11 of the 18 Vivillon variations.

My success so far

But that leaves me with 7 more to collect.. leaving aside the couple thousand Vivillon candy I’ll need to evolve the whole lot… for which I need to get at least one Scatterbug.

I am currently missing:

  • Garden
  • Icy Snow
  • Meadow
  • Ocean
  • River
  • Sandstorm
  • Sun

You’d think, being in California, I would have Sun covered… but we’re a High Plains area.  So I have to work on finding some friends in those areas. (My trainer code is 3216 2939 2424 if you happen to be in one of those places… or if you need some High Plains gifts.)

And, of course, I need more gifts to feed the maw of this mild Pokemon Go obsession.

Niantic and a Pokemon Go 2022 Review

Still not done talking about 2022 as Niantic sent me an email inviting me to check out my year in review with Pokemon Go.

Back to 2022 once more

Well, technically, it was for ALL Niantic games, but I have only ever played the one for more than a short time, so Pokemon Go it is.  That is pretty much all I care about from Niantic.

On the one hand, I will give Niantic some credit for waiting until 2022 was done and not chopping it off at some point in November or December just to get in on the end of year frenzy before the calendar changed.

On the other hand… um, what does this even mean?

Wilhelm Arcturus 2022

That is the summary card you get to download from your year in review… but the whole summary doesn’t seem to be focused on much more than that.

I made 17 friends in 2022… half of which were a raid group we met at the community center during the anniversary event while we were out with our own friends to raid.

My longest friendship is 1,621 days and happens to be with my wife.  I am going to guess that friends became a feature of the game around June 2018.

And I walked 2,078 km, which was more than 41% of my friends.

You know what would have been more interesting?  Just about anything to do with the game itself?  How many Pokemon did I catch?  How many excellent throws did I have?  How many raids was I in?  You know, actual things I did.

I get it, this is my Niantic profile and is supposed to be game agnostic I guess… but here’s the thing; being a Niantic customer doesn’t interest me in the least.

And then, of course, there is my title, “Explorer,” which has no context around it whatsoever.  I got that title because… why?  And what other titles might I have gotten?  What titles did my friends get?  What does it mean?

I went to look at my second account… because of course I have a second account… to see what title I ended up with there.  I don’t play that account very often, but seeing the title awarded didn’t exactly clarify anything.

Wakanda Jones was a Steady Shipmate in 2022

Steady Shipmate eh?  Is there a sea shanty tied in with that.

So, as you may have guessed from the blog, I am a bit of a fan of these sorts of year in review summaries.  Reddit and Twitch and CCP managed nice little updates about what I did in the past year which had some meaning.

But Niantic… that doesn’t seem like it was worth the effort.

Of course, maybe I am being too hard.  You can go to Niantic’s site and see what your own year was like.  Maybe the title you earned will have some meaning to you.

Also, if you’re doing the Vivillion event, I am in the high plains region and my trainer code is 3216 2939 2424.  I could use some ocean, monsoon, or savanna friends.

December in Review

The Site

The end of another calendar year has arrived.  As it approached I did make it to the milestone I was attempting to achieve, posting for one thousand days in a row.

A four digit number

That and a double sawbuck will get me something at Starbucks.

I am actually up to 1,008 days in a row today, having a bunch of year end stuff to finish up.  And I’ll hit 1,009 tomorrow for sure.  But at some point soon I’ll take a day off and break the streak.

It was actually not a bad month for traffic here at TAGN, though that was largely due, once again, to somebody rolling up on the site in the middle of the night and viewing all the pages.  Or something.  I don’t know.  I just woke up and found I was about five thousand page views ahead of the norm that day.

The middle finger, in the nicest possible way

So an uptick this month, but not exactly representative of the trend around here, which is all down hill.  The new year will no doubt revert this momentary spike.

One Year Ago

My daughter and I finally got the Pokemon remake we had been waiting for with Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.  All Pokemons were go!

There were end of year summaries where I wrote about how much time I spent on Reddit, what channels I was watching on Twitch, I reviewed the answers to my questions for 2021, and then there were the highs and lows of 2021.

I was wondering what the FFXIV Endwalker expansion might do to WoW’s numbers.  Then there was the WoW Community Council, where Blizz selected members that pretty much aligned with their own outlook.  It seemed a bad year for Blizz and I was wondering what the biggest blow to them was in 2021.

EverQuest II got the Visions of Vertovia expansion while EverQuest got the Terrors of Luclin expansion.  But those were barely news compared to how much coverage the hint that they were making a Marvel superhero MMO was getting.

While Potshot and I had tried out Forza Horizon 5 on XBox Live, I went off and downgraded to Forza Horizon 4 on Steam, where it was on sale with all the DLC content.  Also, it was set in the UK and I wanted English (and Italian) cars.  It seemed like a bargain and lots of fun despite not being the latest offering.

The instance group was still playing New World.  We were out to find that Azoth staff, needed for dungeons.  Finding that got us to the Amrine Expedition. The first run went poorly, and the second run ended without killing the final boss.  The third time we managed to finish it off.

Meanwhile, our server was starting to decline, though not as much as some.  Still, we got merged into a new one. I was also feeling the pain of not allowing alts on a server.  But we did get the Winter Convergence event.

And then there was EVE Online, where CCP began inflicting the New Dawn permanent austerity plan on players.  My view of the state of New Eden was somewhat grim.  They even fumbled getting the MER out.

There was the Winter Nexus holiday event in New Eden, I commemorated a decade in null sec space, and I got my year in review video from CCP.

I was also wondering what, if anything, came before PLEX in the industry.  And then, in a Friday bullet points post, I noted that Daybreak acquired Magic the Gathering Online, Crowfall had found a new owner, and Perfect World Entertainment had been embraced by the Embracer Group.

Five Years Ago

We got the Ring of Scale expansion for EverQuest.

Nintendo and Game Freak released what might end up being the last Pokemon title to arrive on their handheld hardware in the form of Pokemon Crystal for the Virtual Console.

I was kind of bummed when Blizzard took away my sunglasses.  But I was still out fishing and doing pet battles in World of Warcraft.  And, most important of all, I unlocked flying in the Legion expansion.  I also spent some time trying to find an objective way to measure my favorite WoW expansion.

CCP launched the Arms Race expansion for EVE Online which included expanded Alpha Clone abilities and special skill injectors just for them.  The Agent Finder also got moved into The Agency completely.  Meanwhile, the Yule Lads weren’t delivering presents to us in New Eden.  We had to go find them ourselves.

I also hit a tipping point in the game, where now most of my time playing was now in null sec.

Actually out in space Reavers were deployed into Pure Blind and were quite active in December, with the following posts about fleet ops:

There was the usual set of review posts for 2017.  I looked at my predictions, my MMO outlook, highs and lows, and some MMO bloggers.

And there was, of course, a Steam Winter Sale.  I was in the “not enthusiastic” part of my relationship with Steam.

Ten Years Ago

I wrote a post looking at 50 years of James Bond.  It included ranked lists for people to argue about.

There was my standard Highs & Lows post for the year gone by, and I reviewed my questions for 2012.

Turbine announced that they were bringing back Asheron’s Call 2.  That ended up going mostly wrong in the end.

I was deep into my World of Tanks binge.  I was up to the KV-2 on the Soviet heavy line, choosing that path after the three way split at the KV-1. (And the T-28.)  I was also still working on the German tank destroyer line.

We were having a bit of fun in Need for Speed: World.  I even made a holiday video.

In Rift we were having some trouble getting a full group together, so we were doing some lower level instances as a group of four.  I was also struggling with the whole dimension thing.

Gaff and I took a quick peek into EverQuest II.  Nostalgia didn’t last long.  I also took a one-time shot at Wizardy Online.  It just wasn’t a game for me, but not every game has to be.

I was looking back on a year in null sec in EVE Online.  The Retribution expansion went live.  Also I hit 90 million skill points.

I crammed together all the ads I could find from the EVE Online splash screen.  The then new launcher killed off those ads… sort of.  They’re just elsewhere now, but not so easy to screen shot.

Fifteen Years Ago

December 2007 seemed to be a busy time for the SOE.  First there was the whole “moving a whole guild from test to a live server” brouhaha.  Then there was the rumor of SOE being purchased by Zapak Digital Entertainment.  And, finally, there was the deal with Live Gamer to take over transactions on the Station Exchange servers, at which time Smed himself said that this did not mean that they were going to open the flood gates of RMT on any of their servers not currently served by SOE’s own Station Exchange RMT plan.  All of which I wrapped up in one post.

Another EverQuest Nostalgia Tour was off to the usual activities, including grousing about keyboard settings.

I put up my predictions for the “Next EverQuest II Expansion,” the whole “predicting Kunark” thing from the year before having gone to my head.  I was also looking at crafting after the Rise of Kunark expansion shipped.  I hit level 61 and then 62, but I wouldn’t get much further for a long time.  And I was looking at shrunken owlbears and trolling in Darklight Woods.

The Saturday Night Instance Group was in World of Warcraft and finishing up Blackrock Depths.  This was back in the days where you didn’t just run an instance in 15 minutes with some strangers then queue up again in dungeon Finder for the next one.  Our first run got us through the detention block, our second run got us to Lord Incendius, and our third run finally finished off the instance and got us on our way to Marshall Windsor and Lady Prestor.  That was basically four Saturday nights dealing with one instance.  Good times.

I was also happy about a feature of the WoW Armory.

Dr. Richard Bartle brought up the “why so much fantasy” question for its regular beating to death.

was interviewed over at World IV blog.  That was back when I was somebody I guess.  And blogs were still a thing.  I had to reset that link to the Internet Archive.

I was annoyed at Lord of the Rings Online, which was updating a lot of files and killing my video card, but still wasn’t giving me a horse.

lost my first battlecruiser to pirates in EVE Online.  Meanwhile, after pissing away a lot of ISK on invention, I was not getting a lot of results.

We also got the Trinity expansion, which had some issue… like deleting the boot.ini file on people’s drives.  #NeverForget

CCP was also telling people to get out of Jita, it already having grown to be the trade hub of New Eden.  A couple of jumps over in Hageken somebody built one of the first space designs I had seen.

I bought a new gaming computer full of Quad Core goodness.

X-Fire was still a thing and putting out stats about what their users were playing, including MMOs.  EVE Online figured on the list, as it did on the F13.net poll about MMOs.

There was a Duke Nukem Forever trailer, just six years after the last one.  The game still wouldn’t come out until 2011 and remains the yardstick for delay to which even Chris Roberts may still aspire.

And the best selling PC games of 2007 were:

  1. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
  2. The Sims 2: Seasons
  3. Command & Conquer 3
  4. The Sims 2: Bon Voyage
  5. Supreme Commander
  6. Lord of the Rings Online: The Shadows of Angmar
  7. The Orange Box
  8. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  9. BioShock
  10. The Sims 2: H&M Fashion Stuff

Twenty Years Ago

The Sims Online launched, the first of a number of half-hearted attempts by EA to find success in the virtual world space without simply buying another company that had some success.  Misunderstanding the meaning of virtual worlds to paying customers, and perhaps the meaning of The Sims to that very dedicated player base, the game was reported to feel like and endless grind to do things like make pizzas in order to be able to afford to do things.  Since I was told that by one of the designers, I’m going to stick with that point of view.  The game would eventually be shut down in the summer of 2008, having survived pretty long for an EA effort.

Twenty Five Years Ago

Quake II launched, which I recall being mildly controversial and leading to a Quake vs. Quake II division in the community.

The Pokemon anime episode Cyber Soldier Porygon aired, causing hundreds of kids to have seizures due to the rapidly flashing animation.

Also my wife let her recently laid off boyfriend… me… move in with her for reasons I still don’t quite understand.  Any objective outside observer who had ever seen my apartment would have called it a bad idea I am sure.  Also, I had a cat.  An unemployed man with a cat.  What was she thinking?

Thirty Years Ago

Westwood Studios releases Dune II, arguably the first real-time strategy game and the one that serves as the template for its many imitators.  Some nerds at a company called Silicone & Synapse are obsessed with it and decide to make their own RTS, but allowing multiple players.

At a company Christmas party everybody who worked on our “Teleport Gold” project got a video game console, either a Super Nintendo or a Sega Genesis.  I was disappointed to get the latter, but we ended up playing a lot of NBA Jam on it.

Forty Five Years Ago

The Atari 2600 was on store shelves everywhere and I got one for Christmas.

Most Viewed Posts in December

  1. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  2. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  3. Flight in Pre-Patch Outland
  4. 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
  5. Faction Warfare Updates Kicking Off in EVE Online
  6. WoW Shadowlands Sales Stacked Up Against Past Releases
  7. Making the Grey Pit in Valheim
  8. The RimWorld Biotech Expansion
  9. CCP Lets EVE Online Players with Multiple Accounts Subscribe Secondary Accounts at a Lower Price
  10. The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
  11. The Level 70 Boost Question for Wrath Classic
  12. The Federal Trade Commission Sues to Block Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Search Terms of the Month

all least of fantasy westward journey and thier names
[Not sure I can help with that]

which outlands area has least amount of group quests
[I think Zangarmarsh has the most soloable group quests]

2009 minecraft realms
[Only back in 2009]

world of warcraft collectible coin set alliance
[I am sure it is out there somewhere]

Game Time by ManicTime

Well, at least I played four games on my PC this month rather than just two.

  • WoW Classic – 62.71%
  • EVE Online – 31.90%
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga – 3.05%
  • Valheim – 2.34%

EVE Online

As you can see by the time tracking above, I actually spent a bit more time in New Eden this month.  There was the big battle at H-PA29, which kept me logged in for a few hours.  But then I also got myself invested in some ISK making in order to revive my bank account, which has been dwindling since the end of the war.  I want to have enough financial padding when the next big event comes along.

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

I picked this up on Steam, though there is a longer tale about it than that, which I will get to in the new year.  But I did get some play time in with it.

Pokemon Go

My wife and I, having hit 43 last month, started the big climb to level 44.  11 million xp to get there.  I suspect I will be ringing in 2024 and not be there yet.

  • Level: 43 (10% of the way to 44 in xp, 0 of 4 tasks complete)
  • Pokedex status: 746 (+2) caught, 764 (+3) seen
  • Mega Evolutions obtained: 21 of 25
  • Pokemon I want: Pachirisu
  • Current buddy: Golisopod (just because he looks cool)

Valheim

The advent to the Mistlands update got me to dig out our old world and set it up again, then run out and get myself killed in the new content.  That is always the way of things.  I didn’t find a lot of time for Viking life after that, but it is still there as an option.

WoW Classic

I made it to level 80 with my first character and the group got together and did a couple of instances.  But the back half of the month saw a lot of family and work events getting in the way, so I didn’t spend as much time in Wrath Classic as I might have.  I also pretty much punted on the holiday events there.

Zwift

I fell off the wagon… or the bike I suppose… in the back half of the month.  Again, the holidays will do that to you.  My dedicated ride time is generally Saturday and Sunday mornings, and when Christmas and New Years fall on Sunday, they get in the way.  Still, I did not slack off completely.

  • Level – 17
  • Distanced cycled – 1,399 miles (+47 miles)
  • Elevation climbed – 54,409 (+1,387 feet)
  • Calories burned – 43,140 (+1,194)

Coming Up

2023.  That’s the year.

Well, you likely know that tomorrow will be some sort of New Year’s prediction post.  There are also a few more end of year wrap up posts to be done.

But most of all, I feel like a nap.  Are we all good with that?

November in Review

The Site

The site crossed the six million page view mark earlier this month.

That took almost exactly four years from the previous time I mentioned total page views, outside of my annual blog summary post, which was when it five million page views.

TAGN Highlights – Nov 2022

I suspect, with the current rate of traffic decline, that I will never see page views hit the seven million mark.  My main hope on that front is Elon Musk and Mark Zukerberg making social media so unpalatable that blogging becomes a thing again.  But wishing good to come from evil is generally a forlorn hope.

You may, if you are one of those people who likes to try to reconcile data presented them (go you!), wonder about the imbalance of visitors versus views.  Visitors represent daily unique users, and any user that does something that causes another page to load generates an additional page view, so the ratio of page views to visitors has been, historically, between 1.6 and 2.3 on the site.

Yeah, those two numbers seem out of whack still, even with that bit of info, so I’ll ad some more.

WordPress.com didn’t start counting visitors until the very end of 2012.  So the site had more than 2.6 million page views recorded before counting the first visitor.  If you deduct that from the six million you get about 1.8 page views per visitor, well within the zone.

And, since we’re on the topic, that ratio has been going down over the years.  2013 saw a 2.3 ratio, while 2021 was down to 1.6.  2022 looks to be up to 1.7, but total page views pretty much collapsed this year, so is in the running to be the lowest traffic full calendar year in the history of the blog.  Go me.

One Year Ago

I got an odd award for a blog I barely started.

Blizzard was in a place where literally anything they did looked bad or desperate.  In their earnings, WoW Classic and Diablo II Resurrected were keeping the company’s revenue going.  They were also trying to win some support by rolling out a community council. On other fronts the company was just looking bad.

They were also fiddling around with a Season of Master WoW Classic server option.  I didn’t feel I needed to go back to vanilla so soon, so let it launch without me.

We were playing D2R ourselves, rolling through Act III and into Act IV.  Meanwhile, I was soloing an necromancer into Hell difficulty while Carbot had ideas for new updates.

And then it was into New World, where we tried to group up and create a company of our own.  Honest Game Trailers had some insight on the game as well.

We learned that we would be getting a 64-bit client for EverQuest. EverQuest II turned 17 years oldLOTRO launched the Fate of Gundabad expansion.  Meanwhile, EG7 was talking about future plans including a Marvel Universe MMO.

In EVE Online I was trying to sum up the post-war view from Delve.

CCP announced the return of Fanfest after the Covid hiatus.  The Alliance Tournament was running.  I watched some of week one,

But all eyes were on the economy, were CCP’s delivery on promised prosperity seemed unlikely with the announced mining changesThere were protests in Jita. as it seemed like the company was going all in on permanent scarcity.  The MER showed things were still down.

I tried out Forza Horizon 5, something that cost me just a dollar.  I even got Potshot to come play with me, though linking up with friends was a typical Microsoft disaster.  We also did some World of Tanks.

It was also time for the launch of the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remake that my daughter and I had been waiting for.

I looked into why Harry Potter: Wizards Unite failed.  There was also some more binge watching.

Five Years Ago

It was BlizzCon.  Blizzard, while pretty much ignoring the Diablo franchise, did announce the next World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth, as well as WoW Classic.  There was much discussion after BlizzCon wrapped up.  I brought up a list of things that would likely be different in WoW Classic compared to live.

Actually in WoW I was into Suramar and my class hall campaign, timewalking in Northrend, and picking up again with pet battles.  The WoW thirteenth anniversary event was timely as it gave a boost to faction gains, something I was working on to unlock flying.  Also, as predicted, I failed to get the headless horseman’s mount yet againThis is fine.

In EVE Online we were off on what would become a nearly year long deployment to the north of New Eden.  I was worried about these upcoming Alpha clone skill injectors.  CCP also had a screen shot contest.  And I did a write up about the Neocom II app for iOS and only got a few material facts wrong.

I was trying to get my copy of ZMud 7.21 up and working again.  This comes up every so often.

I had to get ZMud going so I could finish up my post about the Elemental Glades in TorilMUD.

EverQuest II became a teenager, turning 13.  For its birthday it got the Planes of Prophecy expansion.

In Minecraft I was touring our world looking at some of the epic structures.

There was some crazy talk out of EA.  And that was before the Star Wars: Battlefront II fiasco started to boil over, with Disney stepping in to check EA.

Pokemon UltraSun & UltraMoon launched, marking the end of new Pokemon titles for the Nintendo handheld line.

And a video on YouTube ended up prompting a long discussion about how much it costs to make a video game.  It no doubt costs even more now.

Ten Years Ago

We said farewell to City of Heroes.

Pong turned 40.

Star Wars: The Old Republic made their free to play transition.  Hot bars were for sale.

dipped a toe into GuildWars 2.

I was feeling in the doldrums about computer hardware.

The Register was wondering if Second Life was a failure.

SOE was on their usual autumnal roll.  They introduced Krono, their PLEX-like currency.

PlanetSide 2 went live.  I even patched up and tried it.  Pity about it becoming aim hack central so quickly.

EverQuest II Chains of Eternity went live, leading to some EQII reflection on my part.

The EverQuest expansion Rain of Fear launched, leading to one of my occasional ponderings about how long the game will go on.  Meanwhile, on the Fippy Darkpaw server, the Dragons of Norrath expansion was unlocked.  That marked the potential end of my coverage of the server as SOE seemed uninterested in promoting it or anything about it.  I was only getting updates when they went wrong.

Over in Rift we were patching up as Storm Legion went live.

The British tank tree showed up for the first time in World of Tanks.

We were running movie ops in EVE Online while I was wondering how the Retribution expansion might change events like Burn Jita.  As it turned out, it did not change things one whit.

Time Magazine wrote up their 100 Best Video Games of All Time while Complex Gaming gave us a list of 50 with EVE Online at the top.

Turbine, grasping at straws at this point, relaunched Asheron’s Call 2, a decade after it first launched.  Or maybe it was in December of 2012.  I have conflicting sources.  However in the end, different decade, same result, abject failure.

And I was rambling on about motivation and what makes a good story in an MMO.

Fifteen Years Ago

I was going on about MMOs on a single server again, focusing on EVE Online and why its unique set of circumstances allows CCP to get away with everybody on one shard.

CCP also changed the name of player groups from gangs to fleets, befitting a game about ships.  Player usage of the terms took a while to catch up.  I think I still heard people talking about “gang links” at least five years later.  CCP also announced that their Power of Two campaign boosted subscriptions past 300,000 and broke a record when the game passed 50K players online at once.

I was still mining away in New Eden, trying to optimize my yields.  I also hit 10 million skill points in EVE and bought my first Drake.  Also, the Trinity expansion launched.

I found an old parody screen shot from the early days of Air Warrior.

I was thinking about all that vendor trash that just disappears.

I was moaning about EverQuest and accessibility again.

Also it was time for the Rise of Kunark expansion, if I could find a copy.  You had to buy that stuff at retail stores back then.  But I eventually found a copy and took the boat out to Kunark.  I hit 58, 59, and then level 60 for the first time in EverQuest II.  I was also claiming my four year veteran rewards.

SOE was still working on fixing Vanguard.

My daughter and I were playing LEGO Star Wars: The Compelete Saga on the Wii.  I even put together a review of it.  Still one of my favorite games on the Wii.

And in World of Warcraft the instance group was finally all level 50 and taking on the remains of Maraudon. Then we were off to up Sunken Temple in a way that gave us a before and after snapshot of the WoW 2.3 patch. (Which took forever to download back then.)  I was also trying ride on the outside of a boat.  I hate missing the boat.

Tabula Rasa launched, beginning its short run before being shut down by NCsoft.  The cover shown in the Wikipedia article still makes me want to say, “Multipass.”

Also launching a decade back was Rock Band.  You could now play the drums.  Take that Guitar Hero!

Finally, Perpetual announced that Star Trek Online would be delayed leading to another headline contest.

Twenty Years Ago

Bungie put out their RTS Myth: The Fallen Lords, which I remember being pretty excited about after seeing a demo.  And then I went off and played Total Annihilation and forgot about it, while Bungie eventually went off to create Halo and mostly forgot about it as well.  Now I suddenly want to play that RTS again.

Also, the last episode of Beavis & Butt-head aired and the bladder testing epic Titanic opened in theaters. (I had a large soda and the last hour of the movie is constant water moving and flowing…)

Fifty Years Ago

Atari launched Pong, the arcade console title that would make the company famous and rich.  Many memorable titles would come later, but Pong and all its variations (including Breakout, which Steve Wozniak designed) were at the root of the company’s success.

Most Viewed Posts in November

  1. Flight in Pre-Patch Outland
  2. Faction Warfare Updates Kicking Off in EVE Online
  3. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  4. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  5. The RimWorld Biotech Expansion
  6. 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
  7. The Level 70 Boost Question for Wrath Classic
  8. A Week of Musk Era Twitter
  9. The Uprising Expansion comes to EVE Online
  10. RimWorld Ideology
  11. The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
  12. CCP Takes Aim at Cloaky Campers in EVE Online

Search Terms of the Month

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[Nielsen shut down SuperData in 2020]

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[It certainly isn’t Muninns Online anymore]

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[The star in the middle provides the power]

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[They sure were fun back then]

особняк вход майнкрафт
[The front door worked for me]

Game Time from ManicTime

Another month where I played just the same two games… well, I have three on the list, but I only farted around in retail WoW to see the changes the Dragonflight pre-patch brought, and to peek in on launch day.  I didn’t really “play” for any serious definition of the word.

  • WoW Classic – 90.76%
  • EVE Online – 7.66%
  • World of Warcraft – 1.58%

EVE Online

I really did not do much in New Eden in November.  You would think, what with the big Uprising expansion hitting, that I would find lots to do in the game… and I guess you would be wrong.  Faction Warfare isn’t my thing… and there wasn’t a lot else in the expansion for me.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Every update doesn’t have to be about me.  But I only logged in to keep the training game going and to update my PI for most of the month… and to collect login rewards.  Lots of skill points to be had there.

And I blew all those skill points right away, so I now have five additional jump clones.  Totally worth it.

I was also at risk of blowing my “be on at least one kill mail every month” streak, which I have managed to keep going since April of 2014, having not undocked in anger all month long.  But then, on the last day of November I was at my desk and a homeland defense fleet came up and I was able to log in quickly and help blow up a half a dozen Pandemic Horde pilots that were running around Delve.  And thus my streak was maintained for another month.

Pokemon Go

My wife and I finally hit level 43 in Pokemon Go.  I mentioned hitting level 42 in last year’s November in review post, so that took 12 months to accomplish.  And now the path to level 44 is even longer.  We’ll probably get there in 2024.

  • Level: 43 (1% of the way to 44 in xp, 0 of 4 tasks complete)
  • Pokedex status: 744 (+4) caught, 761 (+4) seen
  • Mega Evolutions obtained: 21 of 25
  • Pokemon I want: Pachirisu
  • Current buddy: Golisopod (just because he looks cool)

WoW Classic

We have been carrying on pretty well in Northrend, in our own slow and steady way.  People have been level 80 for weeks and weeks now and we’re just hitting 74.  We’re in no hurry… though maybe we should be.  Retro servers tend to be fast moving and I am not even sure what the phases are for Wrath Classic.  Still, we’re happy for the moment.

Zwift

I did manage to gain a level.  I think that unlocked some new socks or some such.  Zwift does cosmetics, but they are all earned the hard way and I am not that big into the whole scene.  Still, I have hit a few milestones in the game.  I have a blog post brewing about it.

  • Level – 17 (+1)
  • Distanced cycled – 1,352 miles (+51 miles)
  • Elevation climbed – 53,022 (+1,382 feet)
  • Calories burned – 43,140 (+1,321)

Coming Up

It will be the last month of the year once more and the holiday season will be in full swing.  Every online game will have some sort of event, there will be holiday sales, and all sorts of stuff going on.

It will also be time for the usual gamut of end of year posts.  I will be summing up all sorts of thing as well as reviewing my predictions.  I went back to take a peek at them and… I think I was in something of a mood when I wrote them.  I got a few right, most wrong, as usual.  But was I wrong on the things I wanted to be wrong about?  We shall see… somewhere around the 15th if I follow the usual pattern.

October in Review

The Site

Happy Halloween for those of you who indulge… and, uh, welcome to another Monday to those who do not.

Seeking the Headless Horseman’s Mount back in 2009

I kept the daily posting streak going another month.  I just have to make it to Christmas to break into four digits.  Otherwise it wasn’t a very eventful October for the blog.  WP.com didn’t break anything.  No posts got any particular special attention.  Just another month of blogging.

One Year Ago

In a bit of irony I unleashed ads on the site in order to pay for the premium WordPress.com plan, otherwise they would be unleashing ads on the site.  But at least I am getting some of the money now I guess.

Facebook changes its name to Meta and Mark Zuckerberg announced they were going all-in on the idea of a VR based online metaverse.  John Carmack had some issues with the plan.

Acting EG7 CEO Ji Ham spoke about the company and its plans.  Meanwhile EverQuest announced the Terror of Luclin expansion and EverQuest II announced the Visions of Vertovia expansion.  It was also Panda time in EQII.

Those expansions got me on to a bit of a comparison between the EQ expansion machine and WoW.

Blizzard announced the WoW Classic Season of Mastery plan, set to launch in November, an attempt to give a slightly different vanilla experience… and a temporary one at that as it was closing down as I wrote this.

There would also be no BlizzCon 2022.

We were getting into Diablo II Resurrected as a group.  We remade our group after a bit, working our way through the first act.  We got stuck into Act II pretty quickly, making it through to the end.

On my own I played a necromancer through the first difficultly level.  I was playing on Battle.net for some reason, where there were queues to get online.

Carbot and Honest Game Trailers had their own special D2R videos.

Amazon Games’ New World was live and I was trying to play… though there were issues.

In EVE Online there was a bit of a mining boom in the wake of World War Bee.  CCP was also going back to native MacOS support.  CCP also introduced CRAB beacons to the game and changed the tax structure.  And then there was the return of the Crimson Harvest event.

the Reavers SIG turned seven years old.

I also did an EVE Online Friday Bullet Points post about Quasar, Totality Day, Faction Warfare, mega skill point offers, monocles, and an exploration of the new user experience.

In my series on immersion I tackled Minecraft.

I wrote something about Words with Friends 2.

At home we were getting ready for No Time to Die by watching the previous four Daniel Craig Bond films… and rating them.  And then we went and saw it and I wrote a bit of a review.

Likewise, with the coming of the new Dune movie (part I) we watched the 1984 version of the tale.  The new film got a bit of a review here too.

Five Years Ago

I wrote about how we used to yell and sell in Waterdeep back in TorilMUD, which predates that auction house stuff we have today.

RimWorld was eating up a bunch of my gaming time.

The then still in early access H1Z1 had King of the Kill removed from its name, reverting back to just H1Z1.  This was due to as-yet-still-unrealized plans by Daybreak to bring the game to China where they couldn’t have “kill” in the name.  They have since changed their mind and renamed the game again.  It is now H1Z1: Battle Royale, or maybe Z1 Battle Royale.  It is honestly hard to tell/care at this point.

In New Eden I had finished up my time with the Warzone Extraction event.  I also remapped my attributes, something that affects the learning rates of skill.  You don’t do that lightly as you’re stuck with the remap for a year.  I also went and rounded up data cores.  I should probably do that again.  It has been a year.

I was headed to EVE Vegas and wrote up my report when I returned.

The Reavers SIG turned three years old.

In space we went out to Aridia to clean up the neighborhood.

As the month headed towards its end CCP released the Lifeblood expansion for EVE Online which changed moon mining, upgraded The Agency, and added a bunch of PvE content.  There was also a joke about lighting farts to be made.

However, following EVE Vegas, where VR was heavily emphasized, and the Lifeblood expansion, CCP had a round of layoffs and effectively stopped developing for VR.  Among teams hit hard was the community team.

I hit level 30 in Pokemon Go.

And I returned to World of Warcraft, having taken a break.  I once again failed to get the headless horseman’s mount.  And I was wondering if Blizzard would announce the next WoW expansion at BlizzCon.  It seemed pretty likely.

Ten Years Ago

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series.  That made the second time in my life, which was one more than I had any reason to hope for.

Disney bought out Lucasfilm, claiming ownership of Star Wars.  Panic ensued.

Zynga was well into its troubles, leaving me to wonder how Lord British viewed his partnership with the imploding company.  Certainly the Zynga business plan seemed… childish?

I had a sudden crescendo of activity around World of Warcraft, culminating in Blizzard finally letting me cancel my subscription.  There was the Panda launch and people declaring success or failure.

Instead I was off in the Emerald Dream pirate server attempting to relive what WoW was like back in 2006.  In involved a shovel.  Vanilla WoW nostalgia drove a sudden surge of traffic to the blog.

The first Project: Gorgon kickstarter kicked off.

I was invited on a pre-release tour of the Storm Legion expansion in Rift.  Then there was the big update to the soul system, some adventures in Lantern Hook, and the Autumn Harvest Festival.

In World of Tanks the word of the day was Sturmgeschütz.

Storm Eagle Studios was again worried about my marriage.

There was some trolling about free to play.

Lord of the Rings Online launched the Rider of Rohan expansion.  I eventually picked it up for Turbine Points… or LOTRO Points… or whatever.  I haven’t actually played through it yet.

In EVE Online we got the Retribution expansion that updated all that crime watch stuff.  At least visible timers ended up being cool.

EVE-Kill was looking for donations to keep everybody’s then-favorite kill board up and running.  It has since died, so I guess that didn’t work out in the long run.  Also in that post, there was a new EVE site up called The Mittani dot com (worst name ever), something about sound in EVE Online (who knew?), and the dawn of miner bumping.  This is why I hate those bullet point posts one, five, and ten years later.

I was off on a CSAA killing mission that got me accused of cognitive dissonance.  I was feeling warm and cozy in null sec.  We were also pursuing our foes in Tribute and the Vale of the Silent.

I was wondering how EA Louse’s comments about Star Wars: The Old Republic were holding up two years after he made them.

I was complaining about games (or, in my 30+ year old example, a game master) that try to impose their story on your character.   I don’t mind being a part of the overall story, but my characters have their own stories and motivations and I do not like it when games put their own words in my character’s mouth.

And, finally, there was the case for seat belts.

Fifteen Years Ago

For about 20 minutes the blog had a different theme.

In EVE Online I finally finished my training and was actually flying a Hulk!  Being mining focused, I went out and calculated which asteroids were the most profitable to mine.  Veldspar rated surprisingly high.  I was also calculating the cost of producing light missiles, probably the only time I really used a spreadsheet for EVE Online.  “Spreadsheets in Space” is a lie.

I also figured out that with 120 billion ISK and a year of training, I could fly a Titan, but I couldn’t fire the main weapon system.

Blizzard made its first big cut in the amount of experience needed to get to level 60 in World of Warcraft.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

There was SOE’s Station Access Savings Calculator.

EA announced it was buying BioWare for $860 million.  It seemed like MMOs might be in EA’s future again, as BioWare was already known to be at work on one.  Meanwhile, I was trying to work up a set of criteria on evaluating whether an MMO would be a success or not.

I was going on about THE REAL PROBLEM with voice chat in video games.

Mario Kart Double Dash was our Wii game of the moment.  My daughter was also playing Webkinz, though some of her friend’s got their mothers to play for them.

I found one of the rare Golden C-3P0 mini figures in a LEGO package.  I was also looking at the stack of old Dungeons & Dragons books at the used book store up the street from work. (Both my work and the book store are long since gone.)

The instance group finished up Zul’Farrk and went after one wing, then the other, in Maraudon.  We were closing in on level 50 across the group.  I also got a horde character to level 40… I think he is still level 40 today. I was also excited to get a 16 slot bag drop!  Also, being able to craft from items in the bank, as we now can, would have helped me a lot.  Meanwhile I finally read some quest text closely.

Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising was put on indefinite hold, which lead to a headline contest.

In the post-launch downturn for Lord of the Rings Online, Turbine was out polling players about what they wanted… and what they would pay for.

As usual, with the coming of autumn, the rains, and a new expansion I again became nostalgic for EverQuest.  I was also playing around with some ideas for Secrets of Faydwer packaging.

Also, Team Fortress 2 launched as part of The Orange Box package from Valve.

Twenty Years Ago

The Planes of Power expansion for EverQuest launched.  The introduction of planar zones, and especially the Plane of Knowledge, changed the game dramatically.

Twenty Five Years Ago

Age of Empires and the first Grand Theft Auto launched.

Most Viewed Posts in October

  1. Flight in Pre-Patch Outland
  2. The Level 70 Boost Question for Wrath Classic
  3. The RimWorld Biotech Expansion
  4. The Crimson Harvest and Related Halloween Events Return to EVE Online
  5. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  6. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  7. RimWorld Ideology
  8. The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
  9. Meta Horizon Worlds Stands on Legs of Lies
  10. The Crimson Harvest Returns to EVE Online
  11. The New World Brimstone Sands Update Launches Today
  12. CCP Lets EVE Online Players with Multiple Accounts Subscribe Secondary Accounts at a Lower Price

Search Terms of the Month

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[I never saw that crop as a farmer]

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[Probably long gone by now]

why does wintergrasp have a back door
[Escape?]

can thin clients play pc games
[Web games I suppose]

porn customized games
[Admission that we all have our own flavor of porn?]

Game Time from Manic Time

As I mentioned last month, a patch of ManicTime broke the ability to report summaries, at least for free accounts, so now it just groups by executable, which means WoW and WoW Classic end up the same on the summary list, even though they are broken out in the daily reports.

  • WoW Classic – 93.73%
  • EVE Online – 4.61%
  • World of Warcraft – 1.21%
  • New World – 0.45%

Fortunately, I didn’t play much beyond my core titles this month, so I was able to break them out even with this change.  But if I ever start playing both classic and retail WoW it will be a chore.

EVE Online

It was a quiet month in New Eden.  We started off with a Reavers deployment to some NPC null sec space with an eye towards getting mixed up in some conflicts up north.  But then very little came of it.  People were busy and targets of opportunity were rare.  So I mostly kept my PI going and logged in to collect the seasonal rewards.

New World

I did log into New World a couple of times as I noted during the month, just to see how things were playing out.  I didn’t feel any real compulsion to jump back into the game… Wrath Classic is the top of my list right now… and any return of the group might have been thwarted due to the fact that Ula’s house went missing in the server consolidations and there is no reimbursement for that right now.  That was most of her in-game cash taken, not something that will inspire a return.

Pokemon Go

We made some friends at the park while out playing, so I have some xp incoming from ongoing friend gift exchange milestones.  It looks like level 43 might be within reach next month.

  • Level: 42 (93% of the way to 43 in xp, 4 of 4 tasks complete)
  • Pokedex status: 740 (+7) caught, 757 (+6) seen
  • Mega Evolutions obtained: 20 of 25
  • Pokemon I want: Pachirisu
  • Current buddy: Golisopod (just because he looks cool)

World of Warcraft

I did not spend a lot of time in WoW this month.  I logged in before the pre-patch to take a few tries at getting the Headless Horseman’s mount… and failed to get it yet again.  Every year since 2008 and no mount.  Then I went in after the pre-patch and didn’t know how to play my character and couldn’t read the tiny new UI and didn’t want to invest the time to figure it out because I had better things to do.

WoW Classic

As the time break above indicates, here is where I spent most of my gaming time.  We have the group playing together.  We even managed to finish the first dungeon, Utgarde Keep.  And then I have alts to work on, so lots of asynchronous game play options.  It is happy times in WoW Classic right now.

Zwift

I missed a weekend on the bike this month.  My routine has become to ride in the morning on the weekend, but I had to travel one weekend this month.  I had also hit a stride previously where I was riding well beyond my minimum goal, but I have fallen back to just hitting that number and stopping.  Not a great month for exercise.

  • Level – 16 (+0)
  • Distanced cycled – 1,301 1,244 miles (+57 miles)
  • Elevation climbed – 51,640 (+1,988 feet)
  • Calories burned – 41,819 (+1,587)

Coming Up

There are some anniversaries in the offing, with EverQuest II and World of Warcraft both hitting 18 as the month goes by.

There is the mini-expansion in Lord of the Rings Online set to launch, plus we will no doubt be getting more information about the EQ and EQII expansion launches.

And the month will end on the launch of WoW Dragonflight, which I am sure will be huge.

Outside of video games, there will be the ongoing slow motion train wreck that is Twitter under Elon Musk to watch.  I expect that this will become a business school case study in how not to do a merger, but we shall see.

But my eye is most closely watching what CCP will be doing with EVE Online.  They have announced or started testing quite a few interesting things.  But CCP has ever been full of promise but problematic in execution.  They have a big chance to break free from what I called The Year of Disappointment.

September in Review

The Site

Last month I was on about email subscriptions and how they appeared to have broken for a stretch, then started back up.  Well, they seem to be completely broken again.  WordPress.com working its magic yet again.  So if you’re one of the 45 people WP.com thinks still subscribe via email… that number dropped suddenly as well… you’re probably not reading this.  Sorry?

Also, I have somehow carried on posting every single day, bringing the tally up to 916 days in a row.

Another meaningless milestone

That means I only need to do that for 84 more days to hit 1,000.  And there are 92 days left in the year.  I could get there by Christmas and give myself boxing day off… unless I have waited until the last minute for all of those end of the year posts.  We’ll see I guess.

That is about it for the 17th September in Review post… well, except for all of the usual stuff below.

One Year Ago

It was time to sum up the labors of Blaugust once more.

It was also anniversary time as the blog turned fifteen.  Also, WordPress was talking about putting “sponsored content” into blogs.

I also wrote something about 35 years of connected computing, it marking the anniversary of purchasing my first modem back in 1986.

I was wondering if the level squish had been a good idea a year after Blizz did it.  I still wonder if it was today.

In Burning Crusade Classic the instance group managed to get through the Blood Furnace as a foursome.

But we were kind of slowing down on that, and on our radar was Diablo II Resurrected, which launched at last.

Daybreak announced the Visions of Vertovia expansion for EverQuest II.  Then it was time for the Pandas and the pre-expansion catch up.  Meanwhile, over in EverQuest there was something about perks… for sale of course.  And Lord of the Rings Online announced the Fate of Gundabad expansion.

Meanwhile, Amazon finally launched New World.  Having played in some of the beta cycle, I was moaning about how the vision for the game had changed.

In EVE Online it was once again time for Caldari Union Day.  We also got the Gateway quadrant update, which included yet another new player experience, as well as a UI update for skills that once again proved that the one thing CCP UI designers value over all else is wasted empty space in the middle of informational elements.

CCP was also telling us that 24 million pilots had played EVE Online, though they were not clear about what that really meant.

The New Eden monthly economic report was showing us the impact of the end of World War Bee.  Meanwhile, CCP remain on its path to make players poor, their solution to MUDflation, while I was looking to my own finances in game.

Things were still happening though.  We blew up a Keepstar in Catch and CCP helped up blow up botters in Yulai once again.

I was getting setup with Zwift and our new exercise bike.  A year later I am still using it regularly, even if the stages of every ride remain the same.

We were also binge watching Ray Donovan and all of the Helen Mirren versions of Prime Suspect.

My wife and I went to Maui where we were involved in some minor driving adventure.

Finally, it had been 20 years since terrorists brought down the World Trade Center and I was reflecting on how it was very much a dividing line in history.

Five Years Ago

The blog turned eleven and so I brought out an elf.

I was talking about a typewriter.  The first typewriter I used.  I still have it.

Raptr announced that they would be shutting down at the end of the month.

GuildWars 2 launched their Path of Fire expansion.

Destiny 2 launched.  That’s an MMO, right?

Pokemon Gold & Silver were made available via the 3DS Virtual Console.

Crimson Leaf Games announced MegaWars – Dawn of the Third Age.

I took a look at Daybreak 30 months into is existence.  And, as I did that, we got the bad news that EQ2 Wire was shutting down after covering the game for nine years.  Then Daybreak announced that the Fippy Darkpaw server would be merged with the Vulak server… probably a few years too late to make any difference.

In EVE Online CCP gave us a heads up as to the coming Lifeblood expansion, complete with trailer.  Last I checked the site was still up, but running pretty much unattended.

I was running on about meaningful PvE progression in New Eden and going on about return on time invested and content on demand.

In space I was doing the Alpha Strikes event while the August MER showed that deploying to Hakonen cost the Imperium in mining and ratting revenue.

Then came the Warzone Extraction event to celebrate the non-VR version of the soon to be in maintenance mode EVE: Valkyrie.  It was a tough event by EVE Online PvE standards and I am sure it killed some newbies.

But the big EVE Online news of the month was The Judge betraying Circle of Two, selling their Keepstar to the Imperium (who later sold it to TEST) and the camp in 68FT-6 as alliance members tried to escape from their former home.  GigX was banned and CO2 seemed doomed.  It was one of those “Only in EVE” sort of events.

Andrew Groen was planning some EVE Online history lectures via a new podcast.  That only lasted five episodes before he went back to writing books on EVE Online history.

In a bullet points post I noted the passing of the EVE Gate site, that CCP cancelled their deal with Nexon for Japanese EVE Online support, that Ultima Online was talking about free to play, and that Daybreak wasn’t going to be handing out any more free content in Norrath for the foreseeable future.

And finally Chris Roberts was unironically talking about developer optimism in an interview.

Ten Years Ago

The World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria launched, adding a panda race to Azeroth, right on Ultima Online’s 15th anniversary.   I think the shark jumping trope jumped the shark that day.

I was falling out of WoW myself, though still not allowed to unsubscribe. Being locked out of the Theremore event due to item level helped kill any enthusiasm I had for staying with the game.

Torchlight II showed up.  I was still waiting for the Mac OS version so I could play with my daughter.

In the land of EverQuest, the Rain of Fear expansion was announced, while EverQuest II went straight to truth in advertising and revealed an expansion called Chains of Eternity.

On the Fippy Darkpaw server, Omens of War went live and was finished.

SOE was talking about some form of Wizardry that was online.   PlanetSide 2 was planned for the end of the year… sort of.  And then there was Player Studio and all that implied.

The next chapter in the Darkfall saga was announced.  And they had a new game/expansion or some such.

In EVE Online, the CSM was looking for a way to… well… screw most of the people who actually vote for the CSM.  I stranded my null sec Drake in Jita and I compared Traffic Control to a hostile FC.

In a more serious vein, the real world reached into our game took a fellow player.  Even tragedy cannot displace idiocy though.

My goal to get my fourth class in Rift, a mage, to level cap before Storm Legion had me in Stonefield.

BioWare, not done with their trend of announcing public metrics they eventually failed to meet, committed themselves to a new content schedule for SWTOR.  Later we found out that “adding items to the cash shop” counts as new content.  Meanwhile, I pondered the SWTOR lore choice.

The Lord British saga continued as he opted to jump in bed with Zynga!  He, of course, expressed great fondness for Zynga, while I wondered what his sith name would be, since he was clearly going the Anakin Skywalker route.

I remembered Spaceship Warlock.

Free to play was still under discussion.  An article in Game Developer Magazine included the warning to not assume profitability just because people are going on about revenues.  And yet all I hear about are revenues when it comes to free to play.

The people at Stormpowered Studios started in against marriage.

And the blog turned six and felt very clever about it.

Fifteen Years Ago

I summed up my first year of blogging, the first in a long series of anniversary posts. I also participated in a meme… back when that wasn’t an picture thing… about the power of four.

Auto Assault was gone, another NCsoft title shut down.  I was wondering if Tabula Rasa might follow suit.

I started thinking about what an expansion would look like for Lord of the Rings Online.  I was also browsing in Othrikar.  But I was more curious as to why the game just wasn’t as much fun as, say, World of Warcraft.

On the Wii it was Mario Party 8 and the Virtual Console.

In EVE Online I finally fixed the sound driver issue that was making the game crash. Hah, I used to run EVE with the sound on!

In other New Eden events, I was flying the Mammoth as a hauler to support mining ops in my Retriever.  Jet can mining and training up to Mining Barge V and salvaging.  I was also getting lost with the corp and station interface.  Another wish list there.  At least I found the “warp to 0” options quickly.  I still wasn’t quite sure what people meant by “tank” in the game though.

I was still running missions and had advanced to cruisers on that front.  And I was losing them as well.  I also had to queue to log in because there were 21K people in the game.  Traffic control was coming up as well.  CCP was working on the issue.

Our summer vacation from Azeroth was over with the return of Earl.  We were back to running instances, starting with Zul’Farrak.  Of course, then we realized nobody had the mallet, so we had to go get that.  I still have it in the bank.  I was also out searching for mithril.

SOE announced that their combined Station Launcher would be available for beta soon.  I don’t think it ever left beta before it was finally scrapped.

I was reminiscing about the Thundering Steppes in EverQuest II, a zone I was playing in less than three years before.  Early onset nostalgia I guess.

There was the loaded question about who counts as “press” in a world where blogs exist.  People seem determined to embrace arbitrary rules on that front, something that always leads to suppression of opinions with which they disagree.

And finally there were naked zones and wondering how to make PvP (and PvE) better.

Twenty Five Years Ago

Ultima Online launched.  Raph Koster has some accumulated memories of the game from over the years and a link to a video… and then he wrote some more about the game as it came about, what influenced it and what it influenced.  He was back with another post for the 25th anniversary.

A little title called Total Annihilation also launched 20 years ago today.  With a real three dimensional environment and line of site constraints, it was ahead of its time and remains an underrated title to my mind.  Cave Dog, the developer, went bust ages ago and, through the twists and turns of the video game business, Wargaming.net of World of Tanks fame ended up owning the rights to the title.

Forty Five Years Ago

Atari ships the Atari 2600 Video Computer System, getting the retail channel all setup for the best Christmas ever.

Most Viewed Posts in September

  1. Flight in Pre-Patch Outland
  2. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  3. The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
  4. The Level 70 Boost Question for Wrath Classic
  5. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  6. 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
  7. A Brief History of Goon Leadership
  8. CCP Lets EVE Online Players with Multiple Accounts Subscribe Secondary Accounts at a Lower Price
  9. Sixteen Years of Driving the Blog
  10. Arrival in a Level Squished Northrend
  11. What Will it Mean to Have a Bunch of 20 Year Old MMORPGs?
  12. Where Does WoW Classic End?

Search Terms of the Month

seedofthedead “fail”
[Um, sure]

portable hole bag price
[Too damn much]

dune adventures in the imperium sand and dust download pdf
[That sounds pretty interesting really]

Game Time from ManicTime

Another month with two titles, with pretty much the same ratio between them.  I did, however, spend about 20% more time actually playing video games this past month, so I guess I shared that extra time out equally.

  • WoW Classic – 77.8%
  • EVE Online – 22.2%

At least I think it was just those two titles.  There was an update to ManicTime and, while the daily stats remained normal, the rolled up stats for the month got messed up and now seemed to be associated with the executable rather than the window name.  So, for example, WoW Classic and retail WoW both run as the same name, so I just see time for World of Warcraft.  Now I know I mostly played WoW Classic, but I did spend a bit of time in retail WoW redeeming that dragon mount and poking around.  But I cannot tell how much time.

As always seems to happen, my time tracking app seemed to get screwed up eventually.

EVE Online

Something must have happened in New Eden, I spent some time there.  I guess there were a couple of move ops home, my Planetary Industry to tend to, and at least one fleet op… the one where I lost the insured Ferox.  That was a net win.  I only have eight more in my hangar.

Pokemon Go

Still working our way towards level 43.  It may still be a while.  I did, however, finally get a Torkoal this month.

  • Level: 42 ( 82.7% of the way to 43 in xp, 4 of 4 tasks complete)
  • Pokedex status: 733 (+8) caught, 751 (+5) seen
  • Mega Evolutions obtained: 15 of 25
  • Pokemon I want: Pachirisu
  • Current buddy: Golisopod (just because he looks cool)

WoW Classic

It was the big run up to Wrath Classic and getting mains and alts leveled up and then that first brief look at Northrend.  Really, it is about as simple as that.  We leveled up mains, leveled up some alts, and made Death Knights.  And we were happy doing it.

Zwift

I have somehow kept this up for over a year.  I may have to do a post about that.  But here are my stats as of today.

  • Level – 16 (+0)
  • Distanced cycled – 1,244 miles (+64 miles)
  • Elevation climbed – 49,652 (+2,040 feet)
  • Calories burned – 40,232 (+1,797)

Coming Up

October is likely to be very much about Wrath Classic.  We’ll be heading there as a group this weekend for the first time.  Eventually we’ll get to the first dungeon and will have to work out how to get past the Prince Keleseth fight.  It will be tough with only four of us, but we’re working on ideas.

In EVE Online there could be some happenings… though Hurricane Ian ravaging Florida means that our Alliance leader is offline.  I do hope he is okay.  I’ll trade some downtime for his safety.

Also, CCP is starting to roll out some of the things they presented at Fanfest.  There might be actual game news to cover.

Otherwise Daybreak will be ramping up for its range of content launches in Q4 and holiday event will start showing up.

August in Review

The Site

This month I want to ask if anybody has noticed any issues with getting email updates from the blog.  I bring this up because I sure have.

I monitor the email delivery mechanism on three different email accounts.  One of them, which is subscribed to get a weekly digest every Monday, has been going fine.  But the other two, which are supposed to get daily updates… something went way wrong at some point in July.  Here is the inbox for one of them.

Some gaps are apparent

It looks like delivery has picked back up again, at least on that account, but there were issues.

Meanwhile, on the other account setup for daily updates, those stopped on July 26th and have not resumed.

The main difference between the two is that the first is somewhat recent, having only run from about 2015 or so, while the other, which stopped on July 26th, has pretty much run since the earliest days of the blog.  There is a folder in there that has an email version of almost every blog post I have written over the last sixteen years.

So I am curious if anybody else noted an outage.

Or course, that might be a silly question to raise here.  If you subscribe by email and have stopped getting updates you likely aren’t going to get the update that includes this post.

Still, I thought I would try.

One Year Ago

It was Blaugust of course, and we had almost 50 participants as the event opened up.  I wondered if it was better to have one blog or multiple, I was on about my RSS feeds, and wrote something about motivation and passion.

Niantic relented on some of their post-COVID feature roll backs, most importantly the range at which you can access gyms and Pokestops.

The Enad Global 7 Q2 2022 financials included the announcement that Ji Ham, once acting CEO of Daybreak, would not be acting CEO of EG7.

The Q2 2021 results for Activision Blizzard came out.  It was hard to tell if the state of California lawsuit and the stories relating to it were having an effect on the bottom line for Blizzard yet.  I was fairly sure that Blizzard had beshat itself such that the company would drop their name from the company letterhead.  I mean, the stories were ugly.

That didn’t stop me from jumping into the Diablo II Resurrected beta however.

The instance group was getting its epic mounts in WoW Classic.  That done we went back to give Hellfire Ramparts another try as a group of four.  We also went back to Blackrock Depths (for probably the 14th time) to scare up some stuff for Ula to disenchant.

Honest Game Trailers and Carbot were doing videos about Burning Crusade Classic.

I continued my exploration of immersion, this time looking at EverQuest and then EVE Online.

I gave The Fermi Paradox a try.

In EVE Online the days of World War Bee wound down to an end.  PAPI tired of the siege and the Imperium was able to retake all of its space very quickly.

I also wrote two Friday bullet point posts.  Past me loves to do those just to annoy future me I am sure.

The first one covered New World being delayed, Switch sales numbers, FFXIV subscription numbers, the Chinese government being down on video games again, the one year anniversary of EVE Echoes, and another free EverQuest II character boost.  Kind of a lot in that one.

The second one brought up Richard Bartle’s Designing Virtual Worlds book being available for free, Quantic Foundry research about cross-gender play, EA making lock boxes slightly less bad, and a video looking at what happened with Vanguard and EverQuest Next.

Finally, there was the tale of the missing tree on our street.

Five Years Ago

ArenaNet announced the Path of Fire expansion for Guild Wars 2.

In Lord of the Rings Online the Mordor expansion went live with all sorts of new… activities.  I was able to get in and claim my expansion items.

In a Friday Bullet Points post I was looking at financial numbers from Blizzard, NCsoft, and SuperData.  I was also wondering if Raptr was dead.

Age of Empires IV was announced, or hinted at, or something.  I wasn’t sure it was a good idea.  And StarCraft Remastered was launched.

The summer blogger Fantasy Movie League wrapped up, with Liore winning.

I was feeling the urge to go play a flight sim game.  The problem is that I am bad at flight sims game and no longer having the patience to get good at them.

In EVE Online there was the Hakkonen deployment, where the Imperium went to go tangle with NCDot and Pandemic Legion on their doorstep.  I will just list out the post rather than trying to weave a narrative from all the links.

As part of the ops, and because of the seeming impending demise of POSes, I did a post about blowing up POS towers from each of the four empires.  As of this writing the Player Owned Starbase is still a thing in New Eden.

There was also an update for EVE Online in August, which among other things remove the captain’s quarters.  There was also the Alpha Strike event later in the month.  The monthly economic report showed Delve was still booming.  I hit 180 million skill points.

In other news, Vince Draken was asked to step down from CSM12 and Andrew Groen’s Empires of EVE came out in audiobook form.

I summed up my year of playing Pokemon Go.  I started late.  I was tempted to do that again this year… but I had too many posts already in August.

I was pondering replacing my aging Logitech G15 keyboard.  I haven’t yet, mostly because I would miss the LCD display… and because it still mostly works, even if it doesn’t light up quite the way it used to.  A year later and it is still there on my desk.

And, finally, a game dev was arguing that a good video game ought to cost $1,000,  which got me into rant mode as whiny entitlement tends to do.  And I was pretty sure we already had a game that expensive in the form of World of Warcraft.  Blizz was just smart enough to not ask for all the money up front.

Ten Years Ago

Star Trek Online was totally not dying and Star Wars: The Old Republic was totally not struggling as it shed more customers and announced it was going free to play.

Then Vanguard suddenly went free to play ahead of schedule, no doubt trying to get in early and avoid the crowd.

It was announced that NCsoft would be closing down City of Heroes.

Torchlight II gave us a launch date.  But not before giving us a date for a date.  But there was no date for the promised MacOS version.

Turbine delayed Riders of Rohan, but continued pushing the crazy stuff you would see.

SOE decided that you can afford integrity only after you pay the bills, and threw in with lockboxes.  What happened to the implied social contract?

Guild Wars 2 went live at last, thwarting Blizzard’s nefarious scheme.

Also live was Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the successor to the original Half-Life based Counter-Strike.

I was paid up on my 1 year subscription for World of Warcraft, but Blizzard wouldn’t let me cancel further payment.  They must have been concerned about subscribers, having dropped more subs than SWTOR had left.

Speaking of year long commitments, Trion liked that Blizzard idea so much, they did it themselves and gave us an ugly mount for it right away.  Oh, and they got rid of faction group restrictions.  What population problems?  The instance group started on its attendance slide, with just four of us trying Runic Descent.  At least we had instant adventures.  Or was that instant levels?

In EVE Online, there was a revamp of mining ships.  I listed them out and wondered which would become the most popular.  In the end, the Mackinaw won I think.  All the while CSM7 seemed intent on proving that the thing they loved most in EVE Online was themselves.

Meanwhile, having been asked by TEST to leave the war down in Delve, the CFC got into a scrap with Northern Coalition over moons.  We fought in Venal and some monkeys lost a titan.  We were staging in QPO for a thrust into Tribute with the goal of taking a forward base at UMI-KK.

AWESOMESAUCE.LIVE was announced.  Only the fact that it was later cancelled preserved my faith in humanity.

Finally, I took the crazy train out of Barstow and threw out a few movie reviews.

Fifteen Years Ago

I won something in a contest!  A Warp Drive Active Shirt!

And speaking of EVE Online, I started down the training path to get my alt flying a Hulk.  As with most such ventures, it began with mining in the modest Bantam frigate and the oddly shaped Osprey cruiser.  Also, our corp, the Twilight Cadre was founded.  I also wrote up a piece on how to find an agent in EVE Online (without external resources) that was one of the most viewed posts on this site for quite a stretch. It only took CCP four years to make the whole thing less convoluted.

I also had a wish list for the game that included ship skins and a training queue.  Got those… eventually!  And I was deep into learning skills. Then there was a post about RMT and how CCP was already selling ISK, if indirectly. And I was still doing the Revelations expansion new player tutorial.

The instance group was still in Lord of the Rings Online.  There were updates expanding the game and all sorts of offers to get people to subscribe.  I was more annoyed by that horse dialog you get when mounted and how understated leveling up could be.

I received a copy of the first issue of EQuinox, the official EverQuest II magazine.  It was… thin.  And it had a dark elf on the cover.  You would think there were no other races in Norrath with all the play dark elves get.

Meanwhile, Qeynos harbor was full of rumors about Sarnak!

Legends of Norrath was announced at SOE Fan Faire 2007.  I was not there, but I listened to the presentation live while IM’ing with Darren about what we heard.  I never actually played LoN during its existence, aside from opening up free packs I got hoping for in-game drops.  Other than that, I am just not the collectible card game kind of person.

I purchased the Richard Garriot’s Tabula Rasa Pre-Order box, only to find that getting into the beta, as was promised on the outside of the box, was not as easy as I had hoped.  You had to get access to the beta forum to get the information, and the beta forum was not letting people in!

In a strange turn of fate, I happened to take a look at PlayOn on the very day they posted their WoW Random Guild Name Generator.  So I posted a quick link to it, which in turn became my most viewed post for a long, long time.  The popularity was related to some Google algorithm which put up this site on the first page of searches related to guild name generators.

CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson stirred up the “why so much fantasy?” discussion about MMOs and I put out my own views, to which I now just link back whenever the discussion comes back up again.

I listed out five signs that would herald World of Warcraft becoming truly mainstream.  We did get an Azeroth version of Monopoly eventually.  I was presciently pessimistic about a Warcraft movie.

On the Guild Wars front, the final expansion for the game, Eye of the North, launched.  It differed from the previous two expansions in that you did not need to own any of the Guild Wars boxes in order to play.  Yes, everything came in boxes back then.  I still have the Eye of the North box.

Auto Assault, a strange and troubled MMO… vehicular MMOs are always troubled it seems… was shut down by NCsoft on this very day in 2007.

And, finally, it was ten years ago when TAGN hit the 100,000 page view milestone.  We have had a few more since then.

Most Viewed Posts in August

  1. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  2. The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
  3. New Eden and the Year of Disappointment
  4. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  5. CCP Lets EVE Online Players with Multiple Accounts Subscribe Secondary Accounts at a Lower Price
  6. 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
  7. Why is there Not Another MMO Like EVE Online?
  8. Why Be Mad at CCP?
  9. Blaugust Begins 2022
  10. CCP Takes Aim at Cloaky Campers in EVE Online
  11. EVE Valkyrie, Gunjack, and Sparc All Coming to an End on August 5th
  12. Meta putting its Best Foot Forward in the Metaverse

Search Terms of the Month

эффективная ферма стражей в майнкрафте
[We had one of those in our world]

гнозис и праксис в еве
[The Society of Conscious Thought ships have low skill requirements]

еве онлайн эзотерика
[By some measures I suppose]

Sometimes I do Russian search terms to be funny, but this month that was all I had.  Yandex has me covered in a way Bing never has.

Game Time by ManicTime

Two games?  Is that all I played in August?

Well, on my PC, yes.  As I note down below, the group slipped back in to WoW Classic pretty smoothly, even if we are still in Outland.  Anyway, the time split between the two was:

  • WoW Classic – 77.12%
  • EVE Online – 22.88%

Part of the reason that WoW Classic has dominated is that it is easy for me to chill for a bit in the evening and run some quests on an alt while listening to an audio book or podcast.  That was my end of the day relaxation this month.  Even with only two titles, I did end up playing a few more hours than I did in July.

EVE Online

I think I spent most of my time in game moving from one place to the next.  I got some extra ships out to our staging in Tenerifis just in time to turn around and start moving them back.  But I’ll get to that in tomorrow’s post.  I did undock for an op or two, but nothing of much note.  I kept my planetary industry going, my only source of income these days outside of my Imperium bonds.

Pokemon Go

There were some events and new raids to

  • Level: 42 ( 75.8% of the way to 43 in xp, 4 of 4 tasks complete)
  • Pokedex status: 725 (+8) caught, 746 (+7) seen
  • Mega Evolutions obtained: 15 of 22
  • Pokemon I want: I need a Torkoal for my Hoenn Pokedex
  • Current buddy: Quillfish (need to do 10 raids with him before he will evolve)

WoW Classic

The instance group landed back in Azeroth and it was such a comfortable and smooth return it is kind of hard for me to believe that we only returned this month.  I mean sure, The Burning Crusade is still nobody in our groups favorite WoW era and we are really just there to ramp up for Wrath of the Lich King Classic… but Nagrand is nice.  Seriously, we are reluctant to finish up there, because the next stop… the Blade’s Edge Mountains… another zone I am not in love with.  But we only have to get to 68 to be ready for Wrath, right?

Zwift

I have gotten into a new rhythm with Zwift now.  I had been doing short rides three or four times a week for a stretch, then we hit the great disruption of a new job and a new schedule.  Now I have settled down into longer rides on the weekends.  I am still not riding as much over all, but I am back to getting in at least an hour a week on the bike.

  • Level – 16 (+1)
  • Distanced cycled – 1,179.9 miles (+75.4 miles)
  • Elevation climbed – 47,612 (+3,275 feet)
  • Calories burned – 38,435 (+2,220)

Coming Up

Wrath of the Lich King Classic launches on the 26th of September.  The month will be a road to Northrend with the pre-expansion events kicking off, starting with the pre-patch, which landed YESTERDAY, which means we’ll have to figure out/remember what the class specs were like.

CCP should be returning to work after summer vacations.  Perhaps we’ll start getting some of the stuff they brought up at EVE Fanfest back in May.

Today is the last day for the Anor server in LOTRO.  I have to think about where to transfer characters from that or if I should even bother.  My main is probably worth moving.

And the blog will be celebrating another milestone next month, but we’ll get to that when the time comes.

June in Review

The Site

I guess the only real news about the site is the whole Bing delisting thing I posted about this past Sunday.

Bing stats running into June 2022

As I poked at that further I found that even just “wordpress.com” did not return results related to that actual domain, so I suspect that Bing just decided blogs there were all trash and they shouldn’t bother indexing them.  But then they index Tumblr, so who knows what the logic is?

I opened up a support post in the forum about it and got the usual amateur hour, garbage response that I have come to expect from WordPress.com support.  I mean, it is better than when they used to use volunteers that treated their opinions as facts, but they still don’t bother to think about the problem before sending an answer.

But, after almost 16 years there is almost no upside to trying to drag my blog somewhere else.  The devil you know and all that.

The upshot of which is that if you’re one of those people hasn’t bookmarked the site and who just types TAGN into a search engine to get here… again, the most popular search term to bring people to the blog… then don’t use Bing or DuckDuckGo.  But if you are using them, you probably can’t find me now, so happy trails to the four people who were finding me that way.

One Year Ago

The inevitable Steam Summer Sale arrived again.

It was no surprise when Facebook announced that they would be forcing Oculus users to login with Facebook credentials eventually.

In old Azeroth renewed, all eyes were on the Dark Portal because Burning Crusade Classic was launching.  The masses poured through the portal, leaving Ironforge and Orgrimmar empty.

While we went through the portal, we still had some things to finish up, so Ula and the replacements went to StratholmeEven a week later I was still working with alts back in vanilla.

Eventually though we got on our way and took a run at Hellfire Ramparts.  It did not go well.  And neither did our second run, though we were doing the instance with a group of four.

But there were other things going on in Outland.

Amid all of that, I was wondering where “classic” would actually end for WoW and what were the general prerequisites to even launch a successful nostalgia server.  Of course, even with success, Blizz was somehow letting the air out of the experience.

We also got the word that Diablo II Resurrected would be launching in September.  A lot of hopes were pinned on that title. (Hopes well rewarded in my opinion.)

Elsewhere, it seemed like Enad Global 7 was actually advertising for EverQuest, a change from the Daybreak era.

And in EVE Online the pace of World War Bee seemed to be slowing.  All my New Eden posts in one list:

And on the telly we watched Army of the Dead on Netflix.  We were also binge watching more series.

Five Years Ago

Nintendo announced Pokemon UltraSun & UltraMoon as well as Pokemon Gold & Silver for the Nintendo 2DS/3DS Virtual Console.  Now it seems that the former were to be the last bit of Pokemon for the Nintendo handheld lineup.

Daybreak opened up the Fallen Gate progression server for EverQuest II.

There were Sega Genesis and Atari 2600 retro consoles being promoted, trying to milk a bit of that NES Classic magic.  I was not impressed, as there had been many Atari 2600 hardware and software retro options for ever.

Meanwhile Microsoft announced the Age of Empires Definitive Edition.  Nostalgia everywhere!

The Ashes of Creation Kickstarter campaign closed with a big take.

I tried out Atlantic Fleet, a ship combat simulator.  I also played some Mini Metro, which I picked up from the Steam Summer Sale.

Following my retro-flavor-of-the-month plan, I went back to give Guild Wars 2 a try.  Is GW2 old enough to be retro yet?  Anyway I rolled up a new character and followed the zone path, that being the most obvious thing to do.  I made it into the Harathi Hinterlands and level 40 before I wore out on the game.

Minecraft had its World of Color update, version 1.12 for those who like numbers.  Microsoft was talking about unifying all of the versions of Minecraft… except for the original, now called the Minecraft: Java Edition.  I was looking back at two years of playing Minecraft.

CCP released the June 2017 update for EVE Online, changing the naming scheme once again.  That update nerfed null sec mining some more, tried to reign in super carrier ratting without nerfing fighter PvP capabilities, launched the Rogue Swarm event, and gave the game a colorblind mode.  Also, it had music.  We would soon lose music with updates.

The New Eden Monthly Economic Report showed that Delve not only ratted and mined more than most, but also had a big market and a lot of production going on as well.  Aryth called the MER the best recruiting tool the Imperium ever had.  If you wanted to make ISK, the MER told you where you wanted to be.

In space I was there to shoot a Raitaru, get in on a Keepstar kill, and cover some tower repairs in Fountain.  My alliance joined the Keepstar club.    And I opened a controversial topic in asking whether or not EVE Online was a gank box or not. (My observation after that is, for some people, any PvP is too much.)

And that whole Blogger Fantasy Movie League thing started, initiated by Liore the ringer.  I sort of set a format in that first week that I carried on with.

Finally, Blizzard gave us a date for the Necromaner mini-expansion for Diablo III.

Ten Years Ago

I was asking people about voice software again.

I went on about the ridiculous nature of material tiers for MMO crafting.

My daughter finally found a game she liked on the PS3.

I was ranking how I liked to get my gaming news.

The first Civilization V expansion came out offering, among other things, a performance boost to those who paid.  Meanwhile, the story about the decade long game of Civ II came to light.

Everything we knew about EverQuest Next was declared obsolete.  It wasn’t all that much really.

On the Fippy Darkpaw server, the Gates of Discord expansion was finally unlocked, but not before there was a tie vote.

Turbine announced the Riders of Rohan expansion, the first LOTRO expansion I declined to buy.  For somebody still in Moria, it seemed to offer few benefits for its increased price relative to past expansions.

In Rift I hit level 50, which is a special thing in game, and started tinkering with the then new instant adventure option.  Trion also announced the Storm Legion expansion, a sign of success for most subscription based MMOs.

In EVE Online I hit 80 million skill points and was playing Lemmings in DBRB’s fleet.  We also ganked a Chimera that was scammed into jumping to the VFK beacon.  This upset people.

And, finally there was Electronic Arts which, as part of its ongoing mission to be seen as the most arrogant company in gaming, tried to tell people that Origin was the Nordstrom to Steam’s Target level business model, unintentionally insulting Nordstrom, which actually cares about customer service before the fact, not just after it has screwed the pooch yet again.  EA says they “get it” but I had my doubts.

Fifteen Years Ago

I got all Buddhist on the subject on the raiders vs. non-raiders rift. I think what I said could be applied to some current controversies.

I ran down my list of complimentary comment spam.

I did a poll asking which software people used for voice coms.  At the time, almost nobody who responded was using game-integrated voice software.  Most people were using Ventrilo.

I took a picture of my gaming setup.  Still the same table and mouse fifteen years later.  The monitor and keyboard were upgraded not that long ago.

We heard that Pirates of the Burning Sea would not only be published by SOE, but would be available via a Station Access subscription.

We were still playing Lord of the Rings Online.  Hitting level 20… not for the last time… I was out at the Forsaken Inn… also not for the last time.  The instance group, minus Earl, finished the first epic book… again, not for the last time.  And server queues, something common at launch, were starting to disappear after just two months.  This was odd, since the last great server queue experience was with WoW, where queues went on for over a year on some servers.

Vanguard, which announced server merges… again, not for the last time… gave rise to a discussion about future proofing games.  I held that just making system requirements huge… something that was an issue with Vanguard… was not the same thing.  I did wonder what would have happened had WoW had higher system requirements back in 2004.

After letting Blizzard’s announcement of StarCraft II sink in, I put up a post about the original StarCraft back when it was our office game of choice.

Darren was all worked up about crafting being the suck, so I started trying to list out all the things that might be wrong with crafting. Then Tobold suggested the whole “figure out recipes by trial and error” idea and I ran screaming from the room.

I said nice things about “Opinions of the Misinformed.”  Elsewhere in EVE Online the Revelations II expansion launched.

Also, the iPhone launched, moving smart phones from a curiosity into mainstream, indirectly enabling the “Don’t you guys have phones?” comment at BlizzCon 2018.

Twenty Years Ago

Neverwinter Nights, a BioWare title that would create many an aspiring game designer, launched.

Forty Five Years Ago

Budding Apple Computer launched the Apple II computer.  A successor to the Apple I, which came as a build-it-yourself kit, this was iconic beige case that ruled school computer labs for a decade.  A year later I would go to middle school at a campus that backed up to their Mariani Drive facility, and they setup a computer lab for us.  It wasn’t the first computer I ever used, but it was the one that set my mind towards owning a computer.  I would managed that eventually.

Atari, now five years old, opened the first Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theater.  In its initial incarnation you paid a flat fee for a wrist band that let eat all the cheap pizza and play all the video games you wanted for a set time limit.  Honestly, kind of a dream come true for me at that age.  The business model changed over the years, going to more traditional arcade tokens, though the pizza remained substandard.  But kids don’t care.  Most recently the rodent mascot was being given the heave-ho as the chain remodeled all of their store fronts for a new look.  But it will always be a wristband, all you can eat/play place with animatronic entertainment to me.

Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, rich from having sold Atari to Warner, the first of many owners of the brand, bought the rights to the Chuck E. Cheese idea from Warner/Atari before the month was out.

Fifty Years Ago

Atari corporation was founded in Sunnyvale, California.  An early commercial success in video games, I am pretty sure Pong was the first video game I ever played.  A little over five years later they would dominate the home video game market with the introduction of the Atari 2600.  I wheedled my way into getting one for Christmas that year.  It also made inroads into home computers with its Atari 400 and 800 models.  And then came the great video game crash… which Atari precipitated by pushing some really sub-standard titles and the company was sold and sold again to the point that the name today has been slapped onto everything from gimmicky hotels to crypto currency.  A sad destination for a once powerful brand, but it remains a name that attracts attention no matter what dumb ass scheme somebody tries to use it for.

Most Viewed Posts in June

  1. Gallente Federation Day and the Federation Grand Prix Return to EVE Online
  2. CCP Promises “a very special offer” if you Link Multiple EVE Online Accounts to the Same Email Address
  3. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  4. CCP Lets EVE Online Players with Multiple Accounts Subscribe Secondary Accounts at a Lower Price
  5. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  6. The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
  7. 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
  8. A New Kind of Blackout Comes and Goes for EVE Online
  9. Josh Strife Hayes and The Immoral Design of Diablo Immortal
  10. EVE Fanfest 2022 Keynote Hot Take – Meh
  11. CCP Takes Aim at Cloaky Campers in EVE Online
  12. EverQuest Launches the Vaniki and Yelinak Progression Servers

Search Terms of the Month

how to find tropical ocean in minecraft
[It is a warm ocean, and I supply a link in that post now]

jinthalor altar safely
[Probably not unless you’re level 60]

eve online how to get biosecurity skins
[Project Discovery or buy them in Jita for cheap]

eve plex prices dying
[Do you mean getting more expensive?]

eve online rising plex prices
[Yeah, what this person said]

Game Time from ManicTime

Valheim held the top of my play time numbers again in June, but wasn’t as dominant as it was in the previous two months.  Meanwhile, Minecraft… well, it is very easy to slip into it and spend a lot of time doing not much.

  • Valheim – 44.27%
  • Minecraft – 32.09%
  • EVE Online – 19.51%
  • Diablo Immortal – 2.85%
  • V Rising – 1.28%

In addition, two new titles made the list, Diablo Immortal, which I have already written about and uninstalled, and V Rising, which I will mention below.

EVE Online

The CSM17 election was held and the results came in.  In a surprise to nobody, null sec candidates won a majority of the seats, eight in all.  In addition a war has started up in the south east of null sec around Catch and Impass.  Otherwise, all was normal in New Eden.

Minecraft

Our group decided to give the new 1.19 version of Minecraft a go.  Things have changed quite a bit since we last played.  We started a new world with a specific seed, but still need to find our way back into the groove of the game.

Pokemon Go

Another slow progress month in Pokemon Go.  Not a lot of time to get out and take gyms or do raids or even spin a Pokestop.  Real life is just been in the way too much.

Level: 42 ( 58% of the way to 43 in xp, 4 of 4 tasks complete)
Pokedex status: 714 (+3) caught, 738 (+4) seen
Mega Evolutions obtained: 15 of 21
Pokemon I want: I need a Torkoal for my Hoenn Pokedex
Current buddy: Lycanroc

V Rising

I alluded to V Rising, a recently in early access base building survival title in another post, because it seemed like it might be the next thing for our group after we finished the plains in Valheim.  But once I bought it, I didn’t get very far because I hated the movement/camera control system.  It reminds me of the Wizardry Online method, which I complained about in a post almost a decade ago.  WASD movement is relative to the camera, which doesn’t move automatically, but which can be moved, at least horizontally. I hated it.  And there was no map or mini-map in the starting area, which combined with the movement scheme meant I felt lost and then the sun came out and whatever.  It is early access, maybe that will get better some day.  But for now it is on my list of Steam titles I have played for about an hour.

Valheim

Our second run at the game took us through about two and a half months of play before we defeated the boss in the plains and finished up the progression the game had to offer.  The second run was good, and I will have some more to say about it.  The game has progressed, but it still ends where it did last year.

Zwift

As with Pokemon Go, the change in home routine has disrupted my exercise routine.  I did finally cross the one thousand mile mark.  That puts me at an average of about 100 miles a month, so you can see how much that has tapered off.

  • Level – 15 (+0)
  • Distanced cycled – 1,039.9 miles (+51.8 miles)
  • Time – 2d 6h 57m  (+4h 52m)
  • Elevation climbed – 42,293 (+2,093 feet)
  • Calories burned – 34,213 (+1,643)

Coming Up

It is summer… so not much I guess?

CCP will go into summer vacation hibernation.  The Steam Summer Sale will end next week.  Wrath Classic is probably still two months away.

I guess I’ll be posting about Minecraft and whatever happens in the latest war in null sec.

May in Review

The Site

Once again I had a plan.  I figured that my daily streak might be fun to end on day 777.

The target number

That was going to be the final number.  But then it fell on a Sunday and I had something scheduled for Monday and I only just remembered to screen shot that milestone before it was gone and now I am closing in on 800.  So maybe that will be the end of the streak.

As I have said in the past however, ending the streak will both be a relief and a let down.  The pressure will be off, but then if I ever decide I want to break my record I am literally 800 days away from getting there.  Or maybe it doesn’t matter and I should just ignore it.

One Year Ago

Nintendo finally announced the remake of Pokemon Diamond & Pearl that my daughter and I had been waiting for.

I was wondering how long the $15 subscription could hold out.  Turned out to be almost exactly one more year before EVE Online went to $20 a month.  But I was still trying to make some sort of point about pricing.

Enad Global 7 was telling us about some of the plans they had for Daybreak as well as their plan to put all their titles on their 4Games platform.

Daybreak was trying to make PvP a thing in EverQuest II again with the Tarinax server. while they launched the Mischief and Thornblade servers for EverQuest.

I finally hit level 60 in WoW Classic.  It only took 20 months.  We moved slowly… also, we got hooked on Valheim for a few months.

We gave Dire Maul East another shot.  I swapped my paladin into the group for a Dire Maul run, then one more before the big changes hit.

Meanwhile, there was a possible June 1st launch date for Burning Crusade Classic leaked, something that was quickly confirmed.  Of course, there were complications, like cloning and its associated cost.  (They rolled back the initial price later.) There was also the beta, which did not impress me.  The first load test seemed like it had problems, and the second had its own issues.

But the Burning Crusade Classic pre-patch came without delay, which changed things for us.

And, as Burning Crusade Classic loomed, I reflected on the WoW Classic experience.

The Activision Blizzard Q12021 results were in and, surprise, WoW was the key revenue driver.  There would also be no BlizzCon for 2021… and that was before the scandals started to hit.

In Valheim we were decorating our base with trophies,

I was also fiddling around with War in the Pacific.

And then there was EVE Online where World War Bee was still chugging along… sort of.  There were also some changes from CCP landing, including the big industry update that made capital ships too expensive to bother building.  The null sec slump was about to hit.

I also had a random tale about working in a grocery store back in college, we were binge watching Fear The Walking Dead, experiencing Tenet,

And my other blog, EVE Online Pictures, turned 13 years old.

Five Years Ago

Nintendo announced the new 2DS XL hardware.  It seemed like a deal, since all it was missing was the somewhat unloved 3D option.  But it was a bit of a tease because the whole DS platform was done in Nintendo’s eyes.

Being a bit down on crowdfunding MMOs, I was wondering who was backing Ashes of Creation.

Daybreak was giving out free level boosts… again… in EverQuest II.

Over in the land of Everquest, the new Agnarr limited progression server went live with a promise never to progress past the Lost Dungeons of Norrath expansion.  I wondered about the life of progression servers and if this attempt to make a perma-retro server might extend beyond Daybreak.

I returned to the land of the ten dollar horse of legend, Runes of Magic.  Once a trailblazer, an Asian MMO built for the west and designed on the free to play model, in some ways it is very much stuck in time.  And I am not just talking about the archaic patcher.  It still feels like it did back in 2009.  Which isn’t a bad thing, really.  Look how popular retro servers are now.  And it isn’t a bad MMO either.

I worked my way through to the first big city, explored the cash shop, and carried on through the month until the grind started to surpass any sense of nostalgia I was feeling.  As with many such games, if I was playing with a group it would have been fine, but as a solo venture it had its limits.

EVE Online turned 14 years old.  I was again looking at the monthly economic report where Delve was leading null sec in ratting and mining and the Rorqual remained the top mining ship.

The May update for EVE Online gave us new PLEX and the Blood Raiders ship yards.  New PLEX was a money making opportunity for some.  New PLEX went well enough that CCP decided to covert the Aurum they gave away for free sooner than expected.  And then there were the new small skill injectors.

The first Blood Raiders ship yard showed up in Period Basis.  I went to go visit it.  After some trial and error the Imperium went old school and reinforced it with a mass of T1 frigates.  I missed the destruction (and TEST swooping in with interceptors to steal the loot) but still managed to get blown up by the leftover Blood Raider forces.  A dread can one-shot an Ibis.

In other ops in New Eden we went to a brawl around an Astrahus in Catch and I manged to get my Cerb blown up trying to catch up with the fleet, which gave me an opportunity to try flying an interdictor.

In a bullet points post I noted that Blizzard called Overwatch its eighth billion dollar franchise, but I couldn’t figure out what the other seven might be.  Has Blizzard even had eight things one might call a “franchise” at this point?  Also, SuperData was splitting WoW into East and West versions again.

And I rather optimistically suggested that the Mineserver Kickstarter project might still happen.  Ha, ha, ha, I can be so naive.

Ten Years Ago

I played Portal finally.  Now Zoidberg makes the cake joke!

I wrote about camping rare mobs and how this all came from the fact that MUDs used to crash pretty often.

There was the start of the first Newbie Blogger Initiative thing.

On the Fippy Darkpaw server, The Gates of Discord unlock vote shut down that expansion.  This caused some hard feelings.  And then it failed the vote again.

38 Studios went tits up due to managerial incompetence.  Not how you run a start up.  But the myth of what greatness might have been lives on, fostered primarily by those whose reputations would benefit from such tales.

The instance group was clearing out King’s Breach in Rift.

Diablo III came out and… error 37.  Then error 75.  And installer problems.  High expectations, huge sales, its always online nature, and memories of past Diablo games probably doomed it the eyes of many.  Still, we played it a bit.  I compared it to the beta version of Torchlight II, its primary foe in the click to kill genre.  I moaned about atmosphere and the influence of WoW on it.

And then I complained about talent trees.  Most people seem to like them more than I do.

But mostly I was on about EVE Online.  There was a summary of the first Burn JitaHulkageddon V came and sort of went.  There were spoils from the war in the north to be handed out.  OTEC actually got out there, putting aside differences, to defend its financial interests.  We blew up an IRC CSAA in Cobalt Edge.  There was a question as to whether PLEX was cheating.  I mined in null sec for the first time and didn’t know where to put stuff.  There were stats about Escalation and Hulkageddon and just ships being blown up in general.  And I made a post around John Smeldley’s tweet about Drakes and new missile graphics.  He dropped me a note in reply.  Turns out he is not only a huge EVE Online fan, but was in the CFC as well.  As Mittens would say, one of us.

Fifteen Years Ago

The then common discussions were going around, what made WoW so successful and what games might contend with WoW?  Some of the so called “contenders” were pretty silly picks.

Speaking of Blizzard, they also announced they were going to back to the StarCraft franchise with StarCraft II.  About time indeed!

The instance group was focused on LOTRO for the first time.  I had things to complain about, especially the state of the economy.  And, only a month in we spotted a level 50 player.  That must have been some hard work, as the game sort of petered out at about level 35 back then.  Still, Middle-earth was a pretty place.  It even had rainbows.

Dungeon Runners, the short lived NCsoft MMORPG launched

Vanguard was heavily in the news.  Sigil fell and SOE stepped in to pick up the pieces, though I wondered how long before the many problems with the game became attached to SOE.  I was also wondering about the impact of the game’s system requirements.

I was wondering how many more expansions EverQuest would have, while pointing out that you could get the game and all the expansions for only $15.

The owners of Allakhazam, long a staple of EQ knowledge, sold off their gold selling RMT wing, thus removing that taint and a host of gold selling ads from the site.

SOE officially announced the Rise of Kunark expansion for EverQuest II, keeping the game firmly on the nostalgia train.  Meanwhile, I had a suggestion for the new Arasai race.

Finally, there were some podcasts I thought people should listen to again.  I am not sure you can get most of them any more.

Twenty Years Ago

Final Fantasy XI launched.

Most Viewed Posts in May

  1. EVE Fanfest 2022 Keynote Hot Take – Meh
  2. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  3. A Return to Stellaris
  4. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  5. 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
  6. The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
  7. CCP Promises “a very special offer” if you Link Multiple EVE Online Accounts to the Same Email Address
  8. Reflecting on EVE Fanfest 2022
  9. CCP Takes Aim at Cloaky Campers in EVE Online
  10. Is EVE Anywhere Anything to Care About?
  11. CCP Releases the ESS Reserve Bank Keys and Hands Out ISK in EVE Online
  12. EVE Online and Damage Meters

Search Terms of the Month

machine on 25-5-2022 demon diablo coyotes
[No idea on this one]

star citizen citadel
[Are they copying those too?]

секс симулятор онлайн для геев
[I am sure they are out there]

карта майнкрафта
[I recommend them]

Game Time from ManicTime

So what did I play this month?  On my PC it was just two games.  Just two.  Granted, it was a busy month, and my play time was down around where it was last month, which was well off my usual pace… but still, just two?  Yup, and really it was mostly one.

  • Valheim – 86.68%
  • EVE Online – 13.32%

Valheim did almost all the heavy lifting for my MMO needs right now.  I didn’t log into Lost Ark or go back to see what was fixed in New World.  It was either the Viking afterlife or the dystopian Viking space future for me in May.  If there hadn’t been a couple of big ops in EVE Online the percentages would have been even more lopsided.

EVE Online

The GEF deployment continued as we pushed FI.RE out of another region and then rolled into Tenerifis, their home region.  Fights happened, things carried on, content was created.  But it did seem that we eventually hit the end of their flood plains as we reached the last constellation before Detriod.

Pokemon Go

Some progress made, but it was kind of a tough month for Pokemon Go for me.  Not a lot of time to get out and take gyms or do raids.  Also, they raised the price of remote raid passes and took away the weekly 1 coin remote raid pass.

Level: 42 ( 52.8% of the way to 43 in xp, 4 of 4 tasks complete)
Pokedex status: 711 (+5) caught, 734 (+4) seen
Mega Evolutions obtained: 15 of 21
Pokemon I want: I need a Torkoal for my Hoenn Pokedex
Current buddy: Lycanroc

Valheim

As you can see above, this is where I spent most of my time.  We’re not in a rush, but there is always something to be done, something to explore, so new thing to discover.  And, of course, there have been new things added since we last played.

Zwift

I have been trying to work cycle time into my new routine with home and work, both of which changed up on me considerably.  So far, I haven’t found a way to get back on the pace I was on before, doing 100+ miles a month, but I am still getting on the bike… just not as often.

  • Level – 15 (+1)
  • Distanced cycled – 988.1 miles (+50.2 miles)
  • Time – 2d 4h 9m  (+3h 28m)
  • Elevation climbed – 40,200 (+984 feet)
  • Calories burned – 32,570 (+1,511)

Coming Up

Diablo Immortal lands later this week, with the release of the mobile version and the opening of the beta for the PC version.  I am still surprised that Blizzard made a PC version, but I guess they figured out who their core fan base is.

We are also supposed to hear about what special deal CCP will be offering to players who link 3 or more accounts on the same email address.  This could be great… or it could be a wet fart.  We shall soon see.

The EVE Online CSM elections are coming up as well.  There is always some drama in that I suppose.

Otherwise summer is on the horizon, though for me, like a lot of people in the US, summer really starts with Memorial Day, which was yesterday, and ends with Labor Day in early September.  But it does mean that the inevitable Steam Summer sale will likely appear.

April in Review

The Site

It has been a busy month.  I was away for 8 days and have been dealing with elderly parent issues even when I have been home.  Then I started a new job mid-month, which is always a huge change and brings its own fresh dose anxiety.

And yet, somehow I found time to write 33 blog posts this April.  Is my hobby really video games, or is it blogging?  Also I managed to keep up the daily post streak, which I said I was going to probably let go of at the 500, 600, 700, and two full years marks.  And yet here we are at day 761.  Go me.

As for the blog itself, it continues to chug along under the weight of my words.  Traffic has been down since the big Google Page Experience change back in February, when the altered their algorithm to favor sites that met their “good experience” criteria.  That led to a noticeable drop in traffic from Google.  Before that Google was sending me 300+ referrals a day, since then their referrals have broken the 200 mark only once.

You get used to the new normal pretty quickly though, and it can be interesting to see what still grabs Google’s attention and what does not.  For example, I apparently jumped on the Antiwordle bandwagon just in time.

Google Search Console Says

Also, if you get the blog updates via email you may have noticed a change.  WP.com started sending them out formatted for mobile devices.  But not for everybody  I get the daily update sent to two different email addresses just to keep an eye on it.  The more recent of the two gets the new format, while the older one… does not.

The older one dates back to the start of the blog and seems problematic overall.  For years it used to get an update of posts from the previous day at about 5am local time very reliably.  Now the update comes at all hours, or not at all some days.  It will go a week with nothing and then an email will arrive a 2pm with a week’s worth of posts in a single email.

The new one isn’t free from issues.  It seems sporadic on the delivery time and it misses a day now and then, and there is never a make up email.  So something isn’t perfect in the email delivery.

One Year Ago

April Fools was a quiet affair at Blizzard.

I put up a poll asking what part of the month in review posts people liked the most, and this section topped the results.  So I guess I’ll keep it up.

We got the word that Nielsen was shutting down SuperData Research, which it had acquired a couple of years earlier.  There would be no more monthly revenue charts to argue about.

Raph Koster was talking some more about his latest project, giving us an unreadable chart to illustrate a point about player economies.  He was also talking about cloud computing, which got me to write about the pros and cons of the thin client idea.  Raph came even came by and left a comment on that post.

The instance group was still hot on Valheim.  I was out scouting for base locations out in the plains biome.  Once we slew Moder, we started working on an island base on the coast of a plains area.  We were becoming good at dealing with deathsquitoes.

The plains has its own residents to take on. Meanwhile, we kept expanding our base, setting up a farm in it.  I was also out exploring even more.  I also got to battle Yagluth, the final plains boss, on another server.

Runes of Magic had their “biggest server ever” setup for the 12th anniversary of the game.

I was wondering if Lord of the Rings Online was in maintenance mode.  But EG7 has renewed their commitment to it since.  Over on the EverQuest front, the Mischief random loot server was coming online.

I also logged in and played a bit of WoW Classic.

In EVE Online World War Bee was still carrying on after 10 months.  However, CCP chose to introduce industry changes that made capital ships so expensive to produce that nobody was willing to go “all in” on another M2-XFE type battle.  PAPI would not commit its supers and titans to anything  besides structure grinds under a cyno jammer until the retreat from Delve a few months down the line.  The EVE Online posts from April 2021:

On the media front I wrote about Godzilla vs Kong and watching The Walking Dead.  I also wrote about out PS3, which turned 10 and had been used mostly for playing BluRay disks and streaming.

I was on about how throwing money at bogus MMO Kickstarter campaigns was no way to fight “big dev.”

And, finally, in a Friday bullet point post I mentioned the Diablo II Resurrected Alpha, EG7 completing its purchase of MMO publish Innova (which, a year later, they found themselves divesting themselves from), more about Runes of Magic, and CCP talking about the FPS shooter they said they weren’t talking about.

Five Years Ago

There was, of course, April Fools, but Blizzard didn’t seem up to its usual level of effort.

Blizzard did make the original StarCraft free to play, no April Fools there.

I was wondering if the plan to make mobs scale with your ilevel was going to make going back to World of Warcraft a chore.  It seemed like a bad idea, but in the end it didn’t seem to matter much.

I was going on about the 3K Blissey problem in Pokemon Go.

Meanwhile I was finishing up Pokemon Sun and still felt like playing Pokemon, so went back to Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.

There was the Lord of the Rings Online ten year launch anniversary.   We would finally get to Mordor later that year.

Daybreak announced the Agnarr server for EverQuest, a retro server designed to stay retro as it would not progress beyond the Lost Dungeons of Norrath expansion.

In EVE Online Reavers were out camping Circle of Two in Impass, shooting their ratters and such.  Asher later told us that this was to have us in place as they had a CO2 director ready defect.  This was before The Judge did his thing.  However that did not come to pass.

I was going on about corpses in New Eden, which have their own special place in the game.  I was also on about force auxiliaries and titan losses.

In Iceland EVE Fanfest was under way.  They had a presentation that gave some interesting data about what happened in New Eden over the last year.  CCP also announced the winners of the CSM12 election and when/where EVE Vegas would take place.  And there was a talk on the plan to convert Null Sec stations into citadels.  We’re still waiting on that last bit.

I also started looking at the New Eden Monthly Economic Report as a regular monthly item, something set off by how much ratting and mining was being done in null sec.

I sharpened up my scanning skills, all the better to hunt MTUs.  Also, according to CCP I lost 5 billion ISK in space wealth since the month before.

In Minecraft I finished up the long road to the northern forest mansion; it took an hour to ride it on a fast horse.

And then there was the crazy story of the Nintendo NES Classic, which they stopped producing even though it remained sold out everywhere.

Ten Years Ago

April 2012 set a daily page view record.  What is it about April?  I know you are going to say “April Fools,” but the record was actually set because of the Burn Jita event.

Yeah, the Burn Jita event.  It made for my most popular YouTube video ever.  And it lead right into Hulkageddon V and its OTEC connection.

Elsewhere in EVE Online, the LEGO Rifter got 10K votes, the War in the North seemed to be winding down with RAZOR back in Tenal and six fleets stalking Venal. Raiden managed to lose a bunch of sovereignty, by accident, which finished that up.  All that was left was to say we didn’t want that region anyways.  We also made conga lines, experience time dilation, and followed DBRB through high sec to kill some super caps.  And Seleene became the chairman of the Galactic Student Council.

I was also syndicated occasionally on EVE News 24.  I don’t think I got paid for all of that.

I made a list of small features I wanted other MMOs to copy.

Lord of the Rings Online hit the five year mark.

Potshot and I were wandering around EverQuest again, looking for lost dungeons.  We were not buying any $25 bags though.

In Rift, the instance group was driven out of King’s Breach.  But Trion added in fishing, so we could do that instead.

And it was April Fools at Blizzard.

Fifteen Years Ago

Back in April 2007 we were wondering what was going to happen with Sigil Games Online after their less than stellar Vanguard launch. (*snort*) I threw out a few paths that the game might follow going forward, one of which proved to be correct.  Soon we would be free from the rambling posts of Aradune.  There was a failure of vision to be corrected.  But I bought a copy all the same.  It was marked down.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Windows Vista, which launched the same day as Vanguard, was facing failures of its own, with Dell having to reintroduce Windows XP as an option for customers.  I know my own company was buying XP systems until Windows 7 came out… and became the new Windows XP.

In EverQuest II Gaff and I visited Emperor Fyst, I ran around in Nektropos Castle with the Everling clan, and complained about experience in Splitpaw.

While our WoW group was winding down for the summer, with Earl off to Broadway, the remaining four of us went off to Middle-earth with the launch of Lord of the Rings Online.  We had been playing in the beta, but eventually it came time to buy the game and sort out the founder’s options.  I had my first impressionsTitles were a thing!

I answered the musical meme question, “Five Reasons Why I Blog.”  Remember when those were “memes?”  Also, that seems awfully early in my career to be answering that sort of question.

I was also on about the pros and cons of player wipes, the requirement that one be able to solo in MMORPGs, and the problem of translating mechanics between games.

Van Hemlock was leet.

Nintendo launched Pokemon Diamond & Pearl in North America at last.  The EU would have to wait until July to get their copies.

Our Wii finally came out of the box.

And, finally, I had a problem with a video card that eventually had to be RMA’d, which sounds a lot like this April. I hope this won’t turn into a yearly thing.

Sixty Years Ago

One of the earliest computer video games, Spacewar! came into being, being initially playable on a DEC PDP-1 minicomputer at MIT.  This would evolve and move onto other platforms over the years, including an arcade version that I used to play in middle school in the late 70s.

As I wrote back in 2014, you can play the original Spacewar! in emulation over at the Internet Archive.  You can also play the Valve reproduction of the arcade game on Steam, if you know how to install it.

Most Viewed Posts in April

  1. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  2. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  3. CCP Raising the EVE Online Subscription Price to $20 a Month Starting May 17th
  4. The Trainwreck of 21st Century Lord British
  5. 20 Games that Defined the Apple II
  6. CCP Takes Aim at Cloaky Campers in EVE Online
  7. The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
  8. April Fools at Blizzard 2022 in the Shadow of Many Things
  9. The One with the Lawyer from BASF
  10. Wordle and Things Like Wordle
  11. What Makes Housing Worthwhile in an MMO?
  12. The Coming of Wrath of the Lich King Classic

Search Terms of the Month

Another all Russian edition.  I guess the war hasn’t stopped search terms.

дайсон сфер программ
[I think they have those in Stellaris ]

моды на бамбук
[Things pandas like]

ферма призмарина
[Aaron made one of those in Minecraft for us]

космические корабли ив онлайн моделька
[Not really sure on that one]

фон майнкрафт особняк
[I have a few screenshots here that might serve]

Game Time from ManicTime

Well, you can see where I spent most of my game play time this month.  Granted, as I said above, I was away and busy for quite a bit of the month, so the sum total of hours is the lowest of any month so far this year… half of what it was in January… but it is still a non-trivial amount of time spent messing around.

  • Valheim – 91.76%
  • EVE Online – 6.41%
  • LOTRO – 1.15%
  • Lost Ark – 0.69%

I was actually a bit surprised to see that I had logged into Lost Ark in April.  It feels like a long time since I last touched it.

EVE Online

It has been a bit of a month for CCP.  I have more posts talking about the game than about actually playing the game.  But, then, I haven’t been playing too much of the game, so maybe it isn’t all on CCP.

The deployment to the southeast of null sec carried on.  There are fights now and then, but I wouldn’t call it a war.  I managed to go on a few ops, got on my kill mail for the month, and basically did the minimum participation thing due to being busy.

The campaign does not sit still because I am busy though, and the staging stations keep moving forward, so I am behind one staging system and have ships strewn across three old ones.  My hope is that I’ll be able to get two expensive ships back home some day and then YOLO or asset safety the rest.

Lord of the Rings Online

Hey, it turned 15 this month.  Imagine that.  I did log in for a bit, though I probably spent more time patching up, and collected my anniversary gifts on what was probably the wrong server in hindsight.  Whatever, my bags were nearly too full to collect the gifts in any case, laden with gifts from previous years as they were.  There were some nice and generous items for 15 year veterans.  Maybe some day I will use them.

Lost Ark

Well, that ended quickly.  The sure fire sign that I wasn’t really all that into a game is that I simply stop even thinking about logging in.  And it isn’t like Lost Ark is out of sight.  It is there on my favorites list in Steam and I am in there every day to play Valheim.  I just don’t click on Lost Ark anymore.

Valheim

Back to ValheimAs Potshot noted, its worldliness is a draw for our group.  So we’re back with a fresh start, and doing a slow roll forward, not in any hurry to get to the next boss or whatever.  Ideally we’ll get the update for the Mistlands before we’ve tapped out again.  We got another tease about that biome, but it is still in the distant future.

Pokemon Go

Some Pokemon was played, though not so much as past months.  The mega evolutions might be a bigger deal going forward as Niantic has finally figured out that an expensive, temporary evolve isn’t all that viable for any but the most dedicated players.  That sure isn’t me.

Level: 42 ( 43.5% of the way to 43 in xp, 4 of 4 tasks complete)
Pokedex status: 706 (+9) caught, 730 (+9) seen
Mega Evolutions obtained: 15 of 21
Pokemon I want: I need a Torkoal for my Hoenn Pokedex
Current buddy: Lycanroc

Zwift

I fell off the bike this month, though at least it wasn’t literally.  I was away and then the new job meant trying to craft a new daily routine where I still need to find a spot for exercise.  I did manage to peddle a little bit on the weekends, but I am definitely off my stride for the moment.

  • Level – 14 (+0)
  • Distanced cycled – 937.9 miles (+37.7 miles)
  • Time – 2d 1h 37m  (+2h 12m)
  • Elevation climbed – 39,216 (+5,316 feet)
  • Calories burned – 31,059 (+983)

Coming Up

As I understand it, on Tuesday Blizzard is supposed to officially announce its long hinted at Warcraft mobile game.   Will it get a PC version as well to stop people from playing it in phone emulation mode on their PCs the way Diablo: Immortal did?  I guess we’ll find out.

Then, by this time next Saturday we’ll know all the things that CCP has planned to announce at EVE Fanfest.

Otherwise a lot of things will just carry on as before.  I suspect that Valheim will continue to dominate what play time I have when it comes to May.