Category Archives: Valheim

Decorative Trophies for our Valheim Main Base

Work on the current round of construction on out main base has about wrapped up.  I am sure once we get the promised “hearth and home” update, which is set to expand building options, there will be further plans.  But for now it has settled and have a roof over out head… something missing during a stretch of the construction.

The main base as it currently stands

The problem with our base is that I built the first survival hovel right next to the trophy runes and that is a protected area that you cannot encroach into with your building.

The early hall seen from about the same spot

Now, with a main hall setup to maximize comfort in order to grant the maximum rested buff timer, we were looking for some more decor.  It was long the plan to hang up trophies of the various bosses in the main hall.

The first up on the wall was Eikthyr, the lightning stag, whose trophy is quite handsome.

Eikthyr in Chains

We also had an extra Bonemass trophy sitting around, though it is mostly just a blob and not very attractive.

That left The Elder and Moder to find.  We had only done Moder once, and just Crowbar and I, so we decided to head out and do the fight again.  I had marked a number of spots where dragon eggs could be found and we had actually set up the barricades again at the end of the last fight, so we were able to summon Moder pretty quickly.

Everything in place for Moder

We even went ahead and did it as night was falling.  Our gear was pretty much all upgraded to the plains level, so we felt we were ready.  Moder was summoned and off we went.

A poison arrow hits as Fergorin jumps out of Moder’s way

Despite a couple of interruptions by other mobs and the fact that Moder flattened all of our construction, we were able to bring her down without too much drama.  It just takes a bunch of arrows.

So we had the Moder trophy as well as some more Moder’s tears to store away in the crafting boxes.

Moder up in the main hall

That done, we decided we needed The Elder.  That took a minute to get settled because we had to think a bit about where The Elder was even located.  The now neglected Elder Base was the destination once we found the portal there.  Portal proliferation is an issue.

We had a pile of the seeds needed to summon him, plus a resupply of arrows, so we kicked off the event and went after him.

Return of The Elder

Being the second boss, we were more than geared up for him.  There was no drama like our first run at him.  I eventually eschewed the bow and just waded in and started beating on him with Frostner.  He was soon down and his trophy up in the main hall, though he didn’t seem all that happy about his fate.

Quiet you!

Of course, twenty minutes later, when digging through the storage boxes to try and find the serpent trophy I had nabbed some time back I ran into another trophy of The Elder, so the trip wasn’t really all that necessary.  (And I never did find the serpent trophy, which is sad, because it was very nice.  We’ll have to get another.)

The only trophy missing from our collection is Yagluth.  We’ll get to him when we’re ready.  There is a spot waiting for his immense crowned skull.

April in Review

The Site

Achievements.  WordPress.com introduced achievements this month, though they have had something akin to that for a while.  I’ve been getting notifications about the blog anniversary or when I get a record number of “likes” on posts in a single day for quite a while now. (43 is the current record.)  But I received an email from them announcing that they were expanding that, and on the first day they were available I received a pop up announcing my current post streak.

My first achievement

Today is, as an aside, my 398th day streak.  If I can manage to post two more days I will hit the nice round number of 400.

Anyway, that’s okay.  It is easier for me if they keep track of such things.  But starting this when you’re almost 15 years into the blog thing is also a little odd.  I am never going to surpass my all time most popular day/month, which was back in 2013.  I mean, it isn’t as bad a EVE Online introducing their Activity Tracker and just ignoring all activity that went before, but there are some peaks I am never going to achieve again.

Also, it really needs an achievements page, some place where it shows me what they’re tracking and what my current count is.  If you’re going to go for gamification, go all the way dammit.

One Year Ago

April Fools at Blizzard introduced googly eyes into Overwatch and gave us the traditional WoW patch notes, and that was about it.

I took a look back at WoW Tokens five years after their debut.  It also seemed like BlizzCon might not happen, after all, live events were being cancelled everywhere, though Blizzard was looking into alternatives.

In Battle for Azeroth I managed to unlock flying.

Over in WoW Classic the group was starting prep for Zul’Farrak by visiting the Altar of Zul and Jinha’alor.  That was sketchy enough that we spent a session just leveling up before we made our way down to Gadgetzan to start some quests there, with the expected diversion into Feralas.  I also found a crypt in the Badlands to explore.

Everybody being at home due to the pandemic led us to do a Blaugust blogging community event early.  Christened Blapril, we had a prep week, figuring out what to write week, a “getting to know you week” where I wrote about a road trip, listing out our favorite video game series, and then something about motivation.

Meanwhile, in WoW Classic news, Holly Longdale was now on the team, phase four was in place, some servers were still over populated, and Blizz was sending out some surveys about how to handle Burning Crusade Classic.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons released just in time for the pandemic and seemed to be everybody’s favorite game on the Switch for a while.

EVE Online was introducing their second quadrant, Eclipse, and kicking off The Hunt event.  The Hunt also coincided with the introduction of new implants.  There was also a PLEX for Good event for Covid-19, and the capsuleer generosity login campaign, and the Surgical Strike update that nerfed damage resistance modules.

CCP also started the ongoing daily login rewards thing, where you get some skill points every 30 days you log in.  The rewards were not great, but skill points are skill points.

And the beginning of the campaign season for CSM15 kicked off. while the monthly economic report was showing CCP’s mineral drought was raising prices.

CCP introduced a new Avatar model on the test server, so I finally got to fly a titan.  The pandemic brought players back to New Eden and the PCU passed the 40K mark for the first time since 2017.

Out in the east of null sec I was out with Black Ops dropping on PanFam ratters and miners.  And then there was a road trip north to fight the Conifers.

And, finally, I revealed my actual first computer.

Five Years Ago

I wondered about the concept of the last good day in the context of MMOs.

DC Universe Online was ported over to the XBox One, one of the fruits of the separation from Sony, which allowed Daybreak to publish on consoles other than the PlayStation.

The whole Blizzard versus Nostalrius issue blew up when the company sent the private/pirate server a take down notice.  Blizzard actually responded to things, but those hoping that they might actually get an official nostalgia server were not optimistic at the time.

We did get a ship date for WoW Legion.  And, for once, nobody complained about Blizzard targeting a competitor with their chosen date.  At least not that I heard.

The Casino War was going badly for the Imperium.  I mean, sure, Dinsdale Pirannah was predicting a Goon victory, but he was in a small minority.

The Mittani held a state of the Goonion and logs documenting CO2’s betrayal were released, but that didn’t stave off black Thursday in Tribute as TNT’s holdings got steamrolled.  The war was getting serious.  First SMA and then FCON left the Imperium.  FCON showed up in Immensea soon afterwards while Darius Johnson tried to take advantage of the war by attempting to restart the original GoonSwarm.

There was a short Russian complication in the northeast that threatened to widen the war, but which eventually blew over.  No relief for the Imperium was to be found on that front.

There was to be no last stand at VFK-IV.  We pulled back to the Quafe Factory Warehouse in Saranen and attempted to fight back against the tide while I wondered what would constitute a victory.

There was some talk of names for the war.  I did not like the names coming from either side and stuck with Casino War, the name which Nosy Gamer coined months earlier and which went straight to the heart of the conflict.

Outside of the Casino War, I took a look at two books about EVE Online.  There was a Rooks & Kings video from the Serenity server. The Citadel expansion was released, bringing Upwell Consortium structures to New Eden.  There was a Blog Banter about what the most important announcement out of Fan Fest was.  And Xenuria made it onto the CSM at last.

I also gave Pokemon Blue a try and was surprised to see how fully formed the first versions of Pokemon really were.

Google was telling me that pretty much every game was dead.

And there was, as always, April Fools at Blizzard.

Ten Years Ago

Of course, there was some April foolery both here and at Blizzard.

I also wrote something about magic quadrants.

Sanya Weathers had one of the best quotes about MMO gamers ever, made all the more amusing by its truth.

Battlefront.com released a completely new version of their original WWII Combat Mission series.

Wargaming.net released World of Tanks.

SOE’s spy themed MMO, The Agency, was officially cancelled.

We got a PlayStation 3.  And then the PlayStation Network got hacked.  At least I could still play Blu-Ray disks and stream Netflix.

The instance group got together and decided to try out EverQuest II Extended, the one-time separate free to play version of EverQuest II.  However, the game immediately began to kick us in the teeth for daring to do solo content as a group.

Being there in EQIIx also meant looking at what the cash store had to offer.  Some of this stuff is gone now in the post merger era of EQIIFlying mounts are still around.  And some idea, like selling max-level characters, would have to wait a while to come back.

And Potshot and I were still playing EverQuest.  We moved on from Unrest to Lake Rathetear and spent an evening there.  Then it was on to Kerra Island and finally we made it to Runnyeye, at which point SOE also went down due to the PSN hacking.  That pretty much ended our EverQuest adventures for 2011.

I did have to explain EverQuest to my daughter.  Her foundation in MMOs is World of Warcraft.

Fifteen Years Ago

ArenaNet released its first post-launch Guild Wars expansion, Guild Wars: Factions. It only took them a year, too.  Right, Blizzard?  See?

Auto Assault went live, perhaps the first “troubled at launch” MMO I am personally aware of that failed to get past its issues.  The game ended up being shuttered by NCsoft 19 months down the road.  It was, for a while, the poster child for MMO launch failures.

Nintendo announced the name of their new console, slated to replace the GameCube.  Known up to that point only by its code name “Revolution,” Nintendo said it was going to call it the “Wii.”

Viacom spent $102 million to purchase Xfire.  According to Viacom: “Xfire and its users fit squarely into the Company’s multiplatform strategy to build an engaging universe of music, gaming, entertainment, news, networking and interactivity for focused audiences.”  They also thought NeoPets were worth splurging on as well.

Most Viewed Posts in April

  1. April Fools at Blizzard 2021 is a Very Quiet Affair
  2. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  3. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  4. What Does LOTRO Need?
  5. Robbing Some Space Banks
  6. Embracing the Iron Age in Valheim
  7. CCP is Just Going to Keep Selling Skill Points for Cash
  8. SuperData Reviews 2020 Digital Game Revenue
  9. Death on the Plains in Valheim
  10. Diablo II Act Five and some Thoughts
  11. The Altar of Zul and Jintha’alor
  12. How Close to Half Way in WoW Classic?

Search Terms of the Month

lists for a game where a man is in a village who goes put of the village to catch bulls sometimes pixels or bee or catch fish and go to the village to sell them and also have magical power like thunder,fire etc and also fight things like octopus,and trolls apk pure games
[That is some search term]

holly longdale height
[a bunch of results for this, and she is tall]

underwood champion typewriter models with tabulator and backspace keys
[Another very specific search, but I do have a typewriter post here]

can you build tunnels in valheim?
[No, you have to dig a ditch then roof it over]

Game Time from ManicTime

In April I actually played a few more things besides Valheim.  Granted, I still played a lot of Valheim, but a few other titles got their turn.

  1. Valheim – 70.20%
  2. WoW Classic – 13.48%
  3. EVE Online – 8.13%
  4. War in the Pacific – 5.46%
  5. Runes of Magic – 1.91%
  6. LOTRO – 0.43%
  7. World of Warcraft – 0.39%

My overall play time for the month was less than the time I spent playing Valheim last month though.

EVE Online

The war in Delve saw a bit of a slump for much of the month of April.  The Imperium and its allies were mostly focused on burning down the space that Legacy Coalition left in order to colonize Delve, Querious, and Period Basis.  However, things are apparently spicing up a bit now, with PAPI making some efforts to take the remaining constellation in Delve.

Meanwhile, CCP implemented its big industry changes.  Now we just need about six months for the supply chains to settle down before we can tell how much everything is going to cost.  Also, it would be kind of nice for CCP to ease up on the mineral starvation thing.  We shall see.

Lord of the Rings Online

In writing about the game again this month… and complaining about the state of the game in general… I did log in for a bit to bang my head against the legendary item mechanics just to remind myself how much I dislike being, for example, in the middle of an instanced quest mission and having the game pop up and tell me I need to go back and reforge my weapon.  That and the teeny tiny eyestrain-o-vision of their UI and horrible iconography (which, honestly, was a day one problem) on my wide screen monitor makes the game unplayable so far as I am concerned.  But don’t worry, SSG has… no intention of fixing any of that.  Oh well.

Pokemon Go

We slowed down a bit after the burst of raiding activity our group had at one point.  We also missed out on a weekend event that had a decent chunk of xp related to it.  But, the balance on that was it had an hour time limit on it and I only logged in and noticed it was happening when there was 12 minutes left to go.  I still actually still managed to capture all but two of the Pokemon needed before time ran out.  But close doesn’t win you the prize.

Level: 41 (23% of the way to 42 in xp, 2 of 4 tasks complete)
Pokedex status: 633 (+5) caught, 662 (+2) seen
Mega Evolutions obtained: 11 of 13
Pokemon I want: Need Eevees for the level 42 tasks
Current buddy: Eevee

Runes of Magic

I jumped in to take a look at what GameForge had going on for the title’s 12th anniversary, including the new super bonus server they setup in the EU region.  In reviving my account (I am still out a bunch of diamonds) I started getting updates from them in email again including special items… which were delivered (eventually) to my NA region characters.  I can have one or the other, but not both I guess.  Otherwise the game is still busy and playable if you’re into the F2P bag rental plan.

Valheim

We defeated Moder and set up a base in the plains.  We have harvested enough resources that I think everybody in the group can get their gear upgraded fully.  We actually have something of a dark metal glut, as it isn’t used for very much.  Otherwise things have slowed down somewhat as April got some of us outside and in the yard.  Yagluth is the only current boss left for us to slay, otherwise we have been base building, exploring, and gathering resources.

War in the Pacific

A war game in the mix!  I bought this in April and… well, there is a story to be told here.  I will have a post or three about the game I am sure.  Let’s just say that, so far, I have not bested the Empire of Japan.

World of Warcraft

Once more I went in to do Darkmoon Faire stuff and collect the free battle pets that came our way this past month… though I had a little trouble with the latter.  Maybe that will be a post.  I felt like posting about it at the moment it happened, but distance is making me care less and less about that particular transaction.

WoW Classic

After being  idle on this front for quite a while I got back out to start working a bit in anticipation of the coming of Burning Crusade Classic.  The expansion is coming, though how far away it is still remains a question.  But I will have at least a couple characters ready to step through the dark portal when it arrives.

Coming Up

May brings our daughter home from her first year of college.  Due to Covid-19 the school skipped the usual spring break stuff so as to wrap up the semester a bit early.

Meanwhile, we’ve had little rain out here on the west coast, so it is time to prepare for another summer of fires.  Last year we went from fires being in some distant part of the state to being able to see the smoke coming off of them in the middle of Silicon Valley.  This is probably going to get worse unless we get some last minute rain or everybody gets out and starts raking I guess.

It seems quite possible that we will get the pre-expansion event for Burning Crusade Classic this coming month.  The time seems ripe and Blizz has been putting up notes in the character select screen to remind us that we may soon have to choose a path forward for our characters.

In New Eden the war against the Imperium will no doubt carry on.  The current level of effort by the attackers does not portend an early exit by the Imperium.

CCP will also finish vetting candidates for the CSM16 election and we will get the final candidate list.  The election, however, does not happen until June.

Showdown with Yagluth

On our server we’re still pottering about in the plains, gathering resources, building bases, and exploring.  There is no hurry to get to what is currently the final boss, Yagluth.  In fact, we need to go back and slay Moder again just to get a head to hang on the wall in the main base.

But over on the Cat Context server, they were ready to go.  You may remember them from Fantasy Movie League or, more recently, my preview run at The Elder, where I went over to their server to give the fight a try before we did it on our server.  (That fight went well, on our server most everything went wrong.)

I asked if I could tag along again for their attempt and they graciously invited me to join in.

On our server I used some of the resources we were stockpiling and finished upgrading Sigwerd’s gear, save for his weapon.  I decided to stick with Frostner for now, rather than going for the Porcupine.  I grabbed a few fire resist potions, as I heard that was a requirement, loaded up on some arrows, and then logged off and on to their server.

Once there I found my way through their portal network… every world ends up simulating a regional airport plan with portals eventually I guess… and ended up with the group out on the plains biome at a portal build close to Yagluth’s altar.

The group together

It looked like we were ready to get straight to it, until it was mentioned that they hadn’t actually collected the totems yet.  You need five totems to summon Yagluth.  The totems come from fuling camps, so we set out to go find some camps.

This, of course, went comically bad.  We somehow were never able to pull less than four fulings at once and often got more.  And, as night fell, we ended up running into wandering packs of fulings as in addition to the groups from the camps.  Everybody died at least once, and a couple more than once.

Down in a pack of fulings

Maybe Corr didn’t die.  He seemed to be around to cover people as they ran back.

There he is, back where I died

Anyway, after much comedy on the plain the totems were eventually secured and we ran all the way back to where we started, to Yagluth’s altar, to get set up for the fight.

Back and ready to go

As with past boss fights, you set up items, click on the altar, and the boss shows up.  There is also the standard rune stone there with some cryptic clue about what you’re supposed to do.  This one is perhaps a bit less helpful than others have been.

What does that even mean?  Is he a fuling then?

We ate some food and took our fire resist potions, then Corr did the needful and we were greeted with the big intro message.

Ah, there we go

He rose up out of the ground and came for us.

Funny, you don’t look like a fuling…

It is hard to see in any of the screen shots, but he is a giant skeletal torso.  His legs have gone missing, which just makes him moving about that much more creepy.

Also, he has his own heavy metal sound track.  Generally I keep the music turned down, listening, especially in the plains, being such an important survival trait, but Aure said we had to turn that up once the fight began.  He has a Swedish metal sound track that seems wholly appropriate to his character and the fight.  So I turned that up and we carried on.

The fight was fairly straight forward.  He throws around some fire, so you can end up with a burning DOT on you, but the fire protection potion mitigates that to such an extent that you might not even notice.  Fire hasn’t been a strong damage type in Valheim so far.   I’ve set myself alight on so many campfires that my resistance to fire is probably maxed out.  Certainly surtlings in the swamps never did me much harm with their fire attacks.

Of course, I didn’t stand in the fire to find out exactly how harmful they might be.  He slams his fists down for a big AOE hit with an after effect and breaths fire now and again.  We seemed able to avoid most of that and nobody died during the fight.

The plan was to sit at range and hit him with frost arrows, but that was taking time.  Eventually we just moved up into melee range, got in close behind him, and use whatever weapon special attack we had.

Yagluth at melee range

The Frostner big swing attack was doing a lot more damage for me than the bow was able to manage.  But Yagluth is a skeleton of sorts, and piercing weapons and arrows tend to be less effective on those in the game.

So we got in there and beat on him and dodged his attacks until we finally brought him down.

Victory over Yagluth

After that it was clean up time.

He drops several items called “Yagluth Thing” that currently have no use in the game, but which will no doubt be used to unlock whatever the next level of crafting is in Valheim.  And, of course, you get the trophy, which is a giant skull with a crown, which you go hang up on the last stone back at the spawn point.

Hanging the trophy

That unlocks a new buff which gives you a boost against fire, frost, and lightning.  But there isn’t much else.  According to the wiki, fuling base attack events cease with Yagluth’s defeat, though I have heard that fulings also become more common in the world as well, like skeletons, and will show up at night in other biomes.

And that is about it.  Sure, Yagluth’s skull makes a great conversation piece in any trophy room or display, so going back to slay him again to have one to hang up in your base is a likely scenario.  But Odin doesn’t show up or free you from Valheim, as Hugin mentioned back when he dropped you into the world.  The All Father hasn’t finished enumerating the tasks required of you yet, so you get to hang out and wait until he… or the small team in Sweden… gets around to it.

We have Yagluth’s location scouted out… we found that rune stone on our first real run into the plains… and I have explored the map around it and even set up a portal a short distance from the altar.

Yagluth’s Island

When we’re feeling ready, we can go get him.  But we’re not in any hurry.  While I am sure we want his head for a trophy, his buff isn’t all that alluring at the moment and his death does not yet unlock anything new.  We’ll get to him some time though.

Further Exploration in Valheim

I have to admit that one of the draws of Valheim for me is the obscured world map that you have to go visit in order to reveal what is there.  But there have always been something of a limit on how far a field one might dare go.  I have run into some surprised when trekking through strange territory.

Oh hey, you’re new

Early on, when your gear is in the first tier or two, you have a lot to fear.  I had to be wearing just the basic leather armor in that screen shot because that was the first troll I spotted, so I certainly wasn’t wearing any troll hide.

Going out into strange territory could turn into a mess pretty quickly, especially if you found yourself straying from the merely hazardous black forest into the downright deadly plains.

Still, I have kept on carefully widening the area we have uncovered on the map, poking my nose into places and wandering along the edges of the more dangerous areas.

Spying out the plains

However, for the moment I am now at the pinnacle of gear in a game where a few additional points of armor can make a huge difference in your survival.  While a two star fuling is still a hazard that I need to take care with, the fear of deathsquitos is largely gone.

He’s a mean one

Once able to one shot me, those plains buzzers would be a mere annoyance were I not keen to collect their stingers for arrows.  I move towards each once I spot, take their attack on my shield, then swat them out of the air.

Come at me bro!

So I no longer fear to wander the plains, or any other biome at this point… though I still try to avoid being out at night in the plains when groups of fulings are wandering about looking for trouble.

A greys vs fulings gang fight on a biome border

And I have been using this sense of… if not impunity, at least strength… to get out and explore farther afield.  And the basic tool of exploration in Valheim is the boat.  Nothing moves as quickly or can steer clear of trouble or annoying entanglements.

At sea exploring

I chose the Karve over the longboat due to the nimble nature and shallow draft.  I have had the longboat out before and it is great for hauling, but I’ve also gotten it wedged into some tight places reminiscent of the recent events in the Suez Canal.  The Karve is just easier to deal with for exploration, especially when that channel you were sailing up turns out to have an isthmus that you either need to dig out or carry the boat across.

This time I was able to dig through between fuling attacks

So I have been sailing quite a bit over the last week or so, passing landmarks and finding new places to camp.

Another Bonemass spawn location

I wonder what it would have been like fighting Bonemass right on open water.  Well, if we were going to be up a tree either way, probably the same I guess.

Part of my plan has been to find safe-ish locations adjacent to the as yet unused biome types in order to put down portals that we can use later as a foothold for exploration.  Ideally I try to find a stretch of meadows in the vicinity.  Not only is that generally safe, but usually has a supply of wood near by and often comes complete with some pre-existing structures to work with as a starting point for a base.

Coming ashore at one of the many little meadows bases I have set up

So far I have found a couple of potential footholds near mistlands biomes.  I haven’t gone into them to explore, mostly due to the level of darkness that is enforced in them.  I suspect having that helmet light is going to come in handy when we end up there.

And, on one of my voyages southward, I ended up on a new biome, called the ashlands.

Welcome to the ashlands

I was actually on the edge of the mountains, which is why it is snowy.

I was a little bit paranoid walking into the new biome as there were flaming creatures visible stalking about the terrain.  And then I realized they were just surtlings, which I have faced often enough in the swamps, so need not be afraid.  More coal and cores!

So we have a small base setup near that for future use.  I am continuing my voyages while I am up to being able to tangle with the largest creatures currently in the game.

In Our Base on the Plains in Valheim

As I wrote previously, it seemed clear to me that we were going to have to build a base in the plains once I had read that barley and flax would only grow there.  Some sort of farm would need to be set up.  And then, of course, there was the next tier of metal.  While we could haul it back to our ever sprawling main base, my experience with collecting silver from the mountains indicated that a forge and smelter in the area would be viable.

So when Crowbar pointed out a likely island in the plains, we set about making a somewhat utilitarian outpost on the spot.

Plains island base

The first priority was production and a few of the first items laid down, once we had laid out a stone pad foundation, were, from left to right, a windmill, a smelter, a kiln, and a blast furnace.

The production corner of the stone pad

The windmill might be my favorite of that group, if only because it made the behavior of the wind in the game something to notice beyond when I had set sail.  The wheel and tail assembly at the top rotate with changes in the wind, facing into it like a real windmill.  But it also brought to my attention that the wind doesn’t blow at a fixed rate.  While I suspected that it might when out on the Karve, it is hard to tell.  But the windmill blades spin relative to the speed of the wind, or not at all if the air is calm.

Which would all be so much trivia if it didn’t affect how well the windmill worked.  You use it to grind harvested barley into barley flour for cooking, and how fast it grinds is directly proportional to the speed of the wind.  I understand that you can mess up your production with poor windmill placement, though we seem to have done okay.  It grinds away and we have an excess of flour now.  The only bothersome bit was the sound of the spinning blades, which in the right wind sound a bit like heavy footsteps running towards you.  Tuned into sounds, as you have to be when you play Valheim, that gave me a start a few times before I got used to it.

The smelter was built to process iron scraps, since I knew we would need some of that.  I also hauled some copper and tin from another base to get us some bronze in case we needed a bit.

The kiln I might have skipped on.  All it does is make coal, and you can bring coal through a portal.  But it also doesn’t take much to build.  I remember when five surtling cores seemed like a big investment.  Now we have a chest full of them sitting around.  So there it is.

And then there is the blast furnace, which makes all sorts of noise as it smelts black metal scraps.  My main disappointment was that it doesn’t replace the smelter.  Oh well.

But not everything can sit around outside, so we put up some buildings.

Buildings in the plains base

They are in the form of my “I ain’t building no damn chimneys” mis-matched roof design, something I borrowed from the roof venting in our own house.  They started as a mirrored pair, then I roofed over the part in the middle since I was tired of getting wet walking between the two or when using one of the portals there.

The building on the left became the indoor crafting area.

The crafting room

There we have some large storage chests, which was as good of a reason as any to get some iron, as they keep down the chest clutter a bit.  I am also all in on iron torches, which stay lit much longer than the wooden kind.

Next to that is the spinning wheel which turns flax into linen thread.  That thread is required for many of the gear upgrades.  The spinning wheel is dull compared to the windmill.  You just fill it up and it spits out spools of thread.

Then there is the artisan table, which requires Moder’s tears to construct, and which enables to building of the blast furnace, spinning wheel, and windmill.

And then there is a fully upgraded forge for crafting with our new found materials.  Behind me in the screen shot is an upgraded workbench for items requiring that.

The workbench

That is used mostly for making needle arrows and the occasional lox hide cloak.

The other building is the sleeping quarters, which is pretty compact.

The sleeping quarters

There are four beds on a platform over the hearth, which seemed very Russian to me, though maybe having a bed over the stove in a peasant izba is a bit out of date.

There is also enough decoration to boost the comfort level to 14, which gives 18 minutes of rested state, something that boosts stamina and health regen.  I also put up cooking racks to roast up some lox meat on demand.  I thought about building a cauldron as well, but the cooking area at the main base is just a step through a portal and we have a lot of supplies built up there for food.

Finally, there is the field.  We split out the compound to give us room to grow barley and flax when we found it.  I started off with just a bit of barley too.

Carefully planting my first bits of barley

Soon though I had a field of barely, enough that we pushed out the far wall to give ourselves a bigger field.  And then we found some flax and I went to town on growing that.

Flax and barley on a foggy morning

You can see I have the flax well spaced.  Early on, when we only had a little, I was paranoid about losing any of the crop.  Now our chests are spilling over with the excess and I am a little more free with it.  But I have still stored some away at other bases just in case.  We have a strategic reserve of flax and barely stashed away.

Overall, despite the utilitarian plan for our base, it has actually shaped up into a nice little outpost.  Things are handy but not in the way, the island location keeps us safe, and supplies are just a portal or a short walk away.

And, of course, it is on the plains, which can give one quite a pleasant view when the weather and the sunlight decide to cooperate for a bit.

Looking out from over the front gate, another day on the tenth planet

We’ll probably get in trouble with some eco type for importing a few firs and a strand of pine trees into the plains… invasive species… but they look pretty good out there.

Meeting the Neighbors in the Plains

Having carved out a little corner of a plains biome and successfully fortified it as a base, it was time to look further afield.  It was time to go introduce ourselves to the locals.

Plains island base

I will say, for openers, that the island location that Crowbar picked has worked out well.  We occupied enough of the place that nothing spawns there or on our causeway to the mainland.  Even NPC raid events seem to have trouble dealing with the location.  We had some skeletons beating on the doors once, but when we got the  ground shaking message about a troll raid they all spawned at the far end of the causeway and fought with the local spawns while Crowbar and I sat on the wall taking shots at them with our bows.

In fact, the only mob I’ve seen come up the causeway without being invited (by arrows) has been Odin, and he hardly counts.

Just leave your pamphlets on the mat

But out on the far side of our moat awaits the plains and all the mobs that wander it.  Well, the few mobs that wander it I suppose, as there isn’t a lot of biodiversity.

There are, of course, the deathsquitos, the first plains mob to slay me, and for quite a while an absolute terror in my eyes.  Now, geared up considerably since then, they are, like real mosquitoes, more of a nuisance.  They can be a pain if they show up in the middle of a fight or spawn in a group of six (which happened to Crowbar and he still managed to kill five of them), but when I see them out on the plains I move straight towards them, shield up to take their attack, then bonk them with the hammer.

Come at me bro!

Their needles make the highest damage arrows in the game, so I will go out of my way to farm them.

And then there are the Lox, the mighty bison that wander the plains… or sit around waiting for you to show up and shoot them.

Shooting Lox from Rocks

If you can find a vantage point from which to shoot them they’ll run around all confused.  That guy far off, he came back.  They are drawn to their spawn point it seems.  And they are worth shooting as their meat makes for mighty food.

And then there are the fulings, the goblins of the plains.

The new neighbors not happy to see me

You kill the deathsquitos for arrows and the Lox for food, but the fulings are the main target in the plains, and they are all over the place.  They are also the most dangerous due to being social and traveling in groups.  That is especially true at night when they wander far and wide in groups of 3-5, which can be a nasty shock if you’re just trying to get back to base after a long day of hunting.

And while fighting them out in the open is fun, it is their bases that are the big draw.  That is the source of barely, flax, and the totems to summon the next boss… and black metal scraps, which are the next tier for some gear.  I mentioned building the blast furnace to smelt it immediately after slaying Mode.

My first run in with a furling base was a tower, which turned into a bit of a slog as, once I cleared the fulings outside, the few inside refused to come out.  I sniped a couple off the top of the tower, but ended up having to go in hand to hand for the last two… one of which was a two star furling and killed me with one shot when I missed a block.  Oops.

But that was close to base so I was able to run back and finish things off, getting to the top of the tower and the chest there, which held eight barley.

On top of the tower

From that bit much barley was grown.  But flax, that took a lot longer to find.  Crowbar and I started scouting for more bases, and in our wide area of plains there were a few to choose from.

Crowbar, ever tactical, built up a platform on one of the giant stones that are scattered about the plains, thinking to snipe the fulings.

Shooting down from a great height

Unfortunately, the stone was a bit too far away to be effective, so we ended up just sneaking up to the base, surmounting a nearby stone, and sniping from there.

Popping the furlings from range

We were able to clear the base, which only had a scattering of fulings, two shaman, and no berserkers pretty easily.  They were all spread out enough that we didn’t get more than three at a time.

The base had some more barely… that quickly became common in our inventory… and some black metal, but no flax.

We moved on to the next base, another tower, and then the next after that.  There we had some fun with berserkers.

Eat that poison arrow!

Once again we had a rock to run to and shoot from which was too steep for the fulings to climb, so we could snipe from safety.  However, I managed to run out of stamina on a bad pull where we got a bunch of fulings and couldn’t get back up on the rock.  That was another corpse run.

Back for my gear

The run back was a bit dicey, but I have learned to eat some food and build up some hit points before I make the attempt.  I ended up outrunning two groups of fulings and a deathsquito successfully.

We cleared the camp, and found some more barley, plenty of black metal scraps, and a couple more totems, but no flax.

Int wasn’t until we were about five furling camps in before we finally ran across a few flax planted in a bed.  We grabbed that and headed back to our base to cultivate it.  That was a bit of a long haul and I ended up putting up two more portals in the base named Scout1 and Scout2 so we could run around and drop a portal to get back home when we needed.

Our plains domain

On the map the furling camps are marked FC and the current positions of our scouting portals are SC1 and SC2.

Of course, you cannot haul the black metal scraps back through the portals, so we have ended up running those back the old fashioned way.  When we first got there I would run them into the meadows biome and that camp, then haul metal by boat up to the plains base, but I’ve gotten confident enough to just keep running the whole way these days.

Except at night.  Like I said, groups of fulings roaming around can be an issue when you run into them.

And my usual worry, that this new method of metal procurement would be a bottle neck to production… well, we have ended up with a lot of black metal scraps to refine.  Iron though, which is required for the armor upgrades… that I have ended up having to haul in by boat from across the straights and the Bonemass swamp.

Sailing through a storm

But our supply situation is coming together.  More on that next time.

Little House on the Plains

Having defeated Moder in somewhat less time than we might have anticipated, Crowbar and I immediately set out to scout some plains biomes for a potential base.  I was ready for this, having spent some time out and scouting for a plains biomes for that very purpose.

Spying out the plains

While I had a few candidates, the best bet still seemed to be the base we had built up as a staging point to tackle Bonemass.  It had the advantage of being in a nice open meadows area… which I had since planted with trees for a wood supply… not too far from plain both north and south, connected to a mountain biome for stone, and a short sail from the swamp Bonemass was in, which also happened to have a select of crypts for iron scraps.

My camp across the straights from Bonemass

We would need to haul resources to this new base because of the whole “no metal through portals” thing and because the plants… barley and flax… we would need to cultivate only grow in the plains.  So we would have to commit to a full base/farm complex to get things done.

The first thing I had done after the boss fight was bring some Moder’s tears through to that staging base and build a blast furnace, mostly just to see it, but also to process some of the metal scraps we had collected from furlings.

The first blast furnace

I had thought for a bit that maybe we could just base in the meadows and simply farm in the plains, but the base was a bit of a hike from the plains in either direction, so it felt like we would have to at least move the base closer.  Fortunately it wasn’t much of a base, just a building, a portal, a smelter (for Bonemass iron), and that blast furnace.

So Crowbar and I set out to scout for a good site for a base, encountering some of the local wildlife almost as soon as we hit the line between meadows and plains.

Some more lox meat for the table

We’re still working on the best way to tackle a lox, but kiting them with bows seems to be pretty effective.  You just have to watch out for other things while you’re running around.

Deathsquitos no longer elicit the terror they once did, back when when we were younger and had just defeated The Elder and ended up having to die multiple times on a corpse run.  I still keep a sharp eye out for them to take them down at range with a bow, but my armor is good enough now and my hit points high enough from food that I can survive that first hit and turn to smack one as it comes in for another run.

A bugged bug

I shot that particular deathsquito about a dozen times before I was satisfied that it wasn’t actually there or active.  But I kept an eye on it all the same.

The furlings though, I can still get in over my head there.  A normal furling on the plains is no problem.

This guy? No problem

But you can take a shot at one and suddenly find out he had 3-5 friends and things can get out of hand very quickly.  And the one star and two star versions hit considerably harder than you might expect.  A miss-timed block against a two star furling is an invite to being one-shotted.

We’ll work on that.

We ran across a set of ruins on the edge of the meadows that had some base potential.  It even had the rune stone that revealed the location of the next boss, Yagluth.  So we had that marked down.

The ruins on the edge of meadows

But we kept on scouting until we found a little island not too far into the plains, just on the coast, which seemed a likely spot for a base.  It would be secure from the wandering residents and on the water so we could ship in metal that couldn’t come by portal.

The island spotted

So we walked back to the staging base and collected up some essentials… wood and stone and some iron and so on… so we could make workbenches and a stone cutter and a portal, piled it all into a Karve I had handy, and set sail back up the coast to the island.  The Moder power came in handy as the wind was straight against us so I was able to fix that.

We landed and got out hoes and picks and set about scraping out a level area.  Crowbar put up a small building and I built the connecting portal to the staging base.  We were then able to jump back and pull in more supplies.  The staging base also had a portal to a mountain base I had built.  I broke down that portal, brought the materials through to the new base, and set it up there so we could start hauling in stone for walls around the place.

We ended up working away for a few hours and then again the next day, until we had a nice little base built.  We built a causeway to the mainland once we were feeling secure.

Plains island base

I planted those trees because I had some beech seeds on me.  They were going to be a wood supply, but they actually make the base easier to spot when sailing by, so they will probably remain as they are.  The also look nice.

I then reworked the portals so that there was a direct connection from our main base at the spawn point to this new base, and from there you could jump to the staging base or the mountain base.

Portal routes to the new base

I should probably bring the Bonemass portal through to the plains base as well, as we’ll likely need to hop over there to harvest some iron scraps from the crypts the haul back.

I also did some scouting to get a sense of how much plains biome we have to work with.  In my journey I ended up circling our area and spotting quite a few furling camps.  We will need to assault those to find barely and flax.

Our plains area

You can also see the spot where I died to a two star furling while doing a scouting run around the mountain biome to see how big that was.  I ended up having to run back naked across the whole biome to grab my stuff, wolves chasing me.  Fortunately I ate a serpent stew, lox meat, and some sausage so I had a lot of hit points and stamina.  Then, at my corpse, a deathsquito latched onto me and chased me back.  Fortunately they cannot hit naked fleeing people.  Also, it decided to fight with the wolves once they caught up, so I was able to keep running and eventually put my gear back on.

So we have a lot of area to explore.  The furling camps feel like a group exercise.  Once we get some flax, which is suppose to be rare, and start growing it, we can begin upgrading our gear.

Life on the plains.

Tackling Moder

We had been ready to fight Moder for a while, largely due to the fact that not only was the largest, silver rich mountain biome yet found in the game happened to be right up the slope from a base we had built out ages ago, but Moder’s altar was in the middle of that as well.

Looking down at the altar

So all of that mucking about building up a staging base and setting up was largely dispensed with.  We built a couple of satellite bases up the mountain, so we could just portal ourselves there, but otherwise we were able to set right to work harvesting the bounty of the mountains.

Seriously, I have criss-crossed other mountain biomes and received nary a ping on the wishbone, while with our local mountains I have twice had to two silver nodes being so close together that the wishbone gives confusing feedback in its game of “hotter colder.”

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of our satellite bases was setup just above Moder’s altar, with a portal to get us there quickly.

Take the left portal please

The main problem with getting to the fight was just getting a group of us together with enough time to do it.  It has been a busy spring.  So while we’ve all been able to jump on and work on this and that, the fight took a while to materialize.  I didn’t want to go solo Moder.

Timing was such that Crowbar and I ended up doing a duo attack on Moder.  Fergorin had been on earlier on Saturday, but said that he might not be able to get back on, so we were clear to try if we had it in us.  And we did.

Among other things, I had already cleared out the area around the Moder altar, not wanting to get hooked up in terrain obstacles.

Looks at that nice clear altar area compared to the above picture

We got ourselves setup, but once out on the field Crowbar wondered if we might not be better served by having a bit of cover.  Since I had scraped off most of the cover that has been there before, we ended up putting some palisade wall sections about, with gaps in between from which to fire.

Some obstacles for cover

I had also collected up some better food to be sure we had enough hit points to weather the assault.  Sausages, lox meat, and serpent stew give you quite a bit of health and stamina.

The hit points

Both of us had been out and had experimented with slaying lox, the great plains bison, so we had some meat on hand.

After that, we just had to grab three dragon eggs.  As with silver, our mountain biome had an excess of dragon egg locations, so I had gathered up the three we needed and stashed them close by.  We just had to drop them in their respective spots.

Hiding eggs just before Easter

Or so I thought.  I put in the third egg and ran for cover… only nothing happened.  You have to click on the raised part of the altar in front of the eggs to summon Moder.  So I went back and did that, then ran for cover as Moder was on us.

Moder is not happy to see us

The fight itself was dramatic… the sky turns all sorts of colors and Moder flies around for a bit.  But mostly it was a matter of standing back and shooting Moder full of arrows.  We both carried a stack of obsidian and a stack of poison arrows, though the latter seemed the more effective.  I knew frost arrows would be a bad plan.

Moder on the ground

When Moder comes down to ground level, you can end up getting chased about, and there is a breath weapon involved that leaves some giant crystals on the ground.  But for the most part we had enough space to dodge and keep our distance.

Moder chasing Crowbar around while I take a screen shot

Moder ended up knocking down pretty much everything we built, and some of the local flora as well.

Breath weapon unleashed on a tree

In the end the two of us were able to defeat Moder without much drama.  Preparation helps again.  We only had one visitor show up, a Drake, which sided with us in the fight and got beat down with Moder for the trouble.  And then Moder was down.

The end of Moder

Tears is correct, as Moder drops dragon tears, which allow players to build the artisan crafting table which, in turn, allows the construction close by of the blast furnace, windmill, and spinning wheel, all of which are required to process the next tier of crafting materials from the plains.

Moder also drops the trophy, which we went back to hang on the appropriate stone near our main base.  That unlocked a new power which turns the wind your direction when sailing.

Moder’s power revealed

That is a surprisingly useful power, though it only lasts 5 minutes and has a 20 minute cool down.  But sometimes five minutes is all you need.

After that it was time to start scouting the plains.  Crowbar and I did some initial investigation in the plains near the meadows staging base we built up for the Bonemass battle, which is surrounded north and south by plains.

The camp across the straights from Bonemass

On the north flank we found an island on the coast that seemed like a place we could build up.  So our next task is to stage in the plains and start looking for furling camps, which is apparently the only place you can find flax and barley, which you need to cultivate in order to start working on the next level of gear.

Scouting the Plains in Valheim

While we’re all set up to take on the next boss, Moder, the group has been busy over the last couple of weekends so we haven’t been able to get together to finish that off.

Meanwhile, I think I’ve hauled in and refined enough silver ore and iron scraps to serve us for the immediate future, so I have spent my time lately exploring and building outposts, with a bit of an eye towards the next stage of the game for us, which will take place in the plains.

That has meant getting in the Karve… the longboat is too big for exploration in my opinion, I’ve already done an Ever Given in a stream with it… and sailing further and further from our main bases in search of new lands with some potential.

I have noticed, out at sea, that I will occasionally get a flight of drakes passing by.  If they spot me, they come after me.

Drake attack

Fortunately, they are not too difficult to deal with.

Exploring up and down coasts and every river passage though is fraught with some danger.  Like this troll, for example.

Oh yeah, he’s seen me

My first thought was, “Pink troll?”  But them he got close enough for me to see the two star rating on him.  A normal troll is a push over at this point, but the last troll to kill me was one star rated, and got me because I was getting complacent.  A two star troll called for some caution, especially since off camera to the right was a  standard troll looking to join in fun.

I hopped out of the boat and kited the pink guy around until I managed to bring him down.  Then I knocked off the other one because he had destroyed my boat.  I had to go fish everything out of the river, which was just deep enough to make the bronze nails tricky to grasp.  Fortunately the first fight had knocked down enough trees that I had the wood for a workbench to build a new boat.

I managed to sail out far enough to run into my first Mistlands biome.

The last biome on the list

The wildlife for those is not yet implemented, but it looks dark and spooky none the less.

But what I was really after was plains biomes, and specifically plains biomes with more gentle, preferably meadows, biomes adjacent to them.

Spying out the plains

We’re going to need plains biomes for our next stage, and as I understand it, we’ll need to set up a base on the plains to take full advantage of the new resources that will be unlocked once we slay Moder.  That means getting a foothold some place where we can set up a base and a portal and what not to support such an effort.

Plains are much more common and I have found a few likely landing spots where I have set up outposts, like the one we used for staging for Bonemass.  It is sandwiched in between plains, north and south, with mountains to the west, which are in turn also hemmed in by plains.

I went over the mountains and found more plains

That actually is a pretty good spot, since there are swamp crypts over on Bonemass side of the straights, so I was able to haul some scrap iron over in case we want to set up and make stone walls.  You need some iron for the stone cutter.

You can see the smelter poking up from the inner compound

Also, there are surtlings in that swamp, so a supply of coal and surtling cores as well.  I didn’t even need to tap our home base supply to build the smelter.

But I am not betting everything on that one outpost, so I have set up a few more, all near plains.  We have a portal tagged “Explore” in the main base, so I go out with the supplies to build a connecting portal, then set it up when I have a likely spot.

Of course, to carry on from there I have to make another portal back at one of our primary bases to connect it, so I can use the explore portal again.  I have started farming those out to the secondary bases, like Dieppe and Elder, as the portal room upstairs in the main base is getting a might full these days.

The portal room – not visible, one around the corner and three more down stairs

There is a hole in the floor because somebody got tired of going down stairs.

One of my likely candidates is off to the east of Elder base and has a nice buffer area of meadows then black forest around it before you get into the plains.

Eastmarch Base in the meadow

Of course, I have been nosing into the plains as I have been exploring.

A furling tower near the edge of the black forest biome

I am getting a little less paranoid when I get close to the plains.  I am now able to knock down a Deathsquito with an arrow shot as soon as I spot one.  I am not confident enough to take a screen shot while doing so, and I am always looking and listening, but I am getting there.

And the furlings seem manageable, even though they come in groups of two or three most of the time.  The Dargur Frang bow with even a wooden arrow will take one down if I get the drop on them.  And fighting them can be done.  Of course, I got over confident at one point and a two star furling came in and one-shotted me.

Death on the plains again

That happened where the little skull and cross bones are on the map.

Fortunately I had cleared the way there pretty thoroughly.  I was able to eat some sausage and serpent stew for a big hit point and stamina total, jump through the portals, and make the naked run out there to collect my stuff successfully.

I have yet to take on the bison who wander the plains however.  I haven’t seem them out in groups of less than three and am worried about something like a triple troll scenario.  Crowbar managed to slay one, though he said he did it by building a platform up in a tree then shooting them from there until they were dead.

We’ll get to those soon enough.

March in Review

The Site

As of a post earlier this week I had a post up every single day for an entire year.  The last day here on the site without a post was March 27, 2020.

AYearOfPosts2021
Filled in the blocks for a full year

Like a lot of such achievements, I did not set out to do this, but once I noticed it was happening it became a thing.  I rolled into last April with a plan to post every day due to the Blapril event.  Making it through that I had enough momentum to bring me through May and into June.  Then a war started brewing in EVE Online, which was fresh and exciting in late June of last year, but which has grown routine by now.  That gave me a lot to post about and I decided to stretch my posting run into August for the Blaugust celebration.  And once I had gotten through that I had almost a half a year streak going, so why not carry on.

As for what it means… well, it doesn’t really mean anything.  It is my own little post streak.  I think the previous such streak went for four months.  I just have to decide how much it really means to me to have an unbroken run of daily posts, because once I let it lapse it will take me at least a year to get back.

I will say that it is a good thing  I made it to this milestone, such that it is, this week.  Because this week saw WordPress.com finally delete the old classic editor, which I have been using for more than 14 years at this point, in order to force users into their new block editor, which was designed by a sadist and implemented by people who clearly don’t have to use it.  It impedes my ability to write.

Seriously, it sucks.  Even the classic block, which they claim is the same as the classic editor, sucks.  Features are missing, it keeps asking me if I want to convert to other blocks, everything takes a few more clicks to accomplish, and it is rather insistent that 24 time doesn’t exist. And don’t get me started on what happens to a post if you accidentally click that persistent “convert to blocks” button if you’re working in the classic block tab. I had to throw away a post and start over it was so mangled.

And they also did away with the old dashboard and stats, so even managing posts and comments and such is a huge pain in the ass now.  And data I used for things like my annual review post… well, that is just no longer accessible.

It is all a punch in the gut that doesn’t make me enthusiastic to post every day.

I sent in a complaint detailing all of this and I expect to hear back from one of their “Happiness Engineers” ignoring everything I wrote and gushing about how wonderful the block editor is with a link to a video.  The next helpful response I get from them will be the first.

Addendum: I enabled the new “Advanced Dashboard Pages” option and got back the ability to use the old Classic Editor once more. So yay! Why it was linked to that option I cannot explain, but I’ll take it.

One Year Ago

Oh man, it was the start of the pandemic lockdown, the March that lasted forever as we all learned how to stay home.  Fortunately I received a Ninendo Switch Lite for my birthday to keep me busy.

I did another poll about which voice service people were using.  Discord swept the poll.

I summed up the Winter Fantasy Movie League run, but FML was soon put on a pause due to theaters being shut.

Gamigo CEO Remco Westerman was unironically going on about synergy.

I was still playing a bit of EverQuest II, though it was mostly the Overseer feature getting me to log in.  EverQuest turned 21, which brought with is new servers, server merges, and other special items.  We got a free heroic upgrade… to level 85… which I used on one of my characters.

The big news from Daybreak though was Holly Longdale, who had been running the Norrath franchise for the company, leaving for Blizzard.

In WoW Classic the instance group was working through Razorfen Downs before heading off to UldamanArchaedas was an issue, but with some suggestions we were able to finish him as a four person group.

I was also trying to farm the Hydrocane from Gnomeregan.

In EVE Online there was an early March update that brought us some changes, which was followed later with an update that included low sec and faction warfare changes as well as giving battleships a frigate escape bay.  CCP was also moving along with their economic privation plan, announcing the removal of minerals from moons.  The February MER was already showing mineral prices rising and this was expected to make them go higher still.

CCP threw more skill points at us.

There was a question as to whether of not there should be a shooter from CCP like Project Nova.

Out in space we were packing up to head home from VenalLiberty Squad was done as Terrifying League of Dog Fort corp, which was running the group, left the alliance to find adventure elsewhere.

There was a plan for Blapril, an early run at Blaugust, as we were all home with free time.

And there were some Friday Bullet Points from Gamasutra, including some more about CCP’s Project Nova.

Five Years Ago

Daybreak announced that they were giving up on EverQuest Next.  That left me wondering what the future looked like for Landmark.  It wasn’t going to have PvP.

I also wrote up a post about all of the SOE/Daybreak MMOs and their then current (and mostly closed) status.  Things still looked pretty good for EverQuest at 17, though I wasn’t sure how experience injectors were going to play out in EverQuest II.

Also in EverQuest II the PvP version of their retro nostalgia server, Deathtoll, was getting folded into the PvE version, Stormhold, due to lack of interest, thus ending open world PvP in the game outside of that Russian server.  I was looking for nostalgia on the Stormhold side of things again.

Voting kicked off for CSM 11 with Xenuria on the official Imperium ballot.  How things change.

The monthly EVE Online update introduced Project Discovery and made it so you had to be mutual friends in order to track somebody’s online status in your contact list.  The month’s blog banter wanted people to imagine other games based off of the EVE Online IP, so I went with something akin to Diplomacy.

There were a bunch of little EVE Online things, like server upgrades, downtime compensation, and skill injector fun that I put into one bullet points post.  I like those posts when I do them, I hate them a year later when I want to do my summary.  It is easier when each topic has its own post!

Fighting was going on as the Casino War widened.  Some of the coalition was staged in Saranen, which meant flying quite a ways to defend territory on the far side of Tribute, including an unfortunate event with a Higgs anchor rig on my Guardian.  There were things going on in several regions, including a really good brawl in Fade.

Then the weight in numbers began to tell as we had to fight fires on several fronts.  I wondered if we were going to have a last stand at VFK-IV.  The plan, however, was not to waste ships against the superior numbers arrayed against us.  Instead we gave up territory, announcing the abandonment of the Vale of the Silent region, occupied by Lawn and Bastion, with one constellation owned by Circle-of-Two.  CO2 decided to leave the Imperium over this in order to save their territory, which would soon be the front line in the war, betraying us even as the fight was still going on in M-OEE8.  Once the war was over their new friends turned on them and took their territory anyway.  Who says there are no happy endings?

The M-OEE8 fight was still a big one and got CCP some press.  That is one thing null sec is good for, bringing attention to the game.

Black Desert Online went live and much bitching about the cash shop ensued, so I couldn’t resist jumping on that bandwagon yet again.  The cash shop is a necessary evil at this point.

I was poking fun at VR, which is still struggling for relevance.  Meanwhile EVE Valkyrie and Gunjack went live with the official Occulus Rift launch.

Minecraft 1.9, the Combat Upgrade landed, giving us shields.  I stopped wearing one of those ages ago, as you can’t read maps, among other things, if you have one on.

In Minecraft Aaron’s zombie pig farm was causing MC Pro Hosting to lag out on us.  But we made the switch to the much more reasonably priced Minecraft Realms hosting option, which solved that issue.  Premium pricing was not getting us premium service.

In Diablo III I was chasing the Season 5 set dungeon.

And, finally, things looked grim for WildStar, with China cancelled, layoffs, and dwindling revenue.

Ten Years Ago

Rift officially launched.  And while I wasn’t playing, the social media options integrated into the game made it feel like I was there.  And I don’t mean that in a good way.

Pokemon Black and White came out, which became the theme for my birthday.

World of Tanks was talking about going live in April.  There was, of course, a pre-order offer.  There always is these days.

Potshot and I made it to GDC thanks to Darren, where we were able to hobnob with the likes of Brian Green and Damion Schubert.

March of ten years ago found me spending time in EverQuest.  It was on the Fippy Darkpaw progression server, which at that point was still set in the original EverQuest zones.  Potshot and I were doing some classic things, like getting stuck in the Ocean of Tears and making alts.  And running out of money.

There were the newbie armor quests to work on, which required travel to Freeport at one point, something as hard as we remembered.  We also visited Unrest, North Karana, the Desert of Ro, and Najena.

It was also the 12 year anniversary of the EverQuest launch, and nobody was more surprised that I that I was playing the game 12 years later.  But no corpse runs please.

The instance group, still in Cataclysm Worgen form, spent a couple of nights in Scarlet Monastery and then went to Razorfen Kraul.

I put up a poll asking people which of several items in my drafts folder (current population: 88) I should buckle down on and finish.  I think almost everything on the list except the winner is still in my drafts folder.

And I came home one day to find the TV had died.  Emergency CPR (read: banging on the damn thing) brought it back to life temporarily, but clearly a replacement was going to be needed.  It was, after all, a few years older than EverQuest.

Fifteen Years Ago

World of Warcraft hit 6 million subscribers.  Eventually it would double that number.  And later it would sink below that number.  WoW Classic seemed to get it back up to that number again, though all such numbers from Blizzard are pretty vague these days.

Twitter launched, but who in the hell wants a platform limited to just 140 characters?  Or 280 characters now I guess.

Brent, going by the “Prognosticator” handle back then, launched the VirginWorlds podcast which began what was, for me, the golden age of MMO podcasting and eventually nudged me into blogging.  Trust me to pick up the old trend when a new one starts.  His site had fallen into disrepair over the years and, recently, disappeared altogether.  Time to pull it from the side bar I think.  I still have all the podcasts in my iTunes library, and you can peruse the site and descriptions over at the Internet Archive.

Twenty Years Ago

Nintendo released the GameBoy Advance, the handheld model between the GameBoy Color and the Nintendo DS.  Games for the GBA were still available when I eventually got a Nintendo DS as it had a GBA cartridge slot to allow backward compatibility.

Thirty Years Ago

Neverwinter Nights, an online multiplayer Dungeons & Dragons themed game launched on AOL.  In an age of text and MUDs, it was an online graphical multiplayer RPG and either one of the first, or a direct precursor to, modern MMORPGs, depending on how you want to define the “massive” part of the acronym.

Sierra Online launched The Sierra Network… their name having “online” in it before they had an actual online presence was a mistake in hindsight I suppose… which includes the title The Shadow of Yserbius as part of the package, which was also an online graphical multiplayer RPG (or a graphical MUD as they called it), which also gives it a claim to either being one of the first, or a direct precursor to, modern MMORPGs.

Most Viewed Posts in March

  1. The Federation Grand Prix Starts in EVE Online with Events and Login Rewards
  2. Death on the Plains in Valheim
  3. Tunnels and Trolls and Teens and the Bronze Age in Valheim
  4. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  5. Deer Hunting in Valheim
  6. Robbing Some Space Banks
  7. SupreData says WoW Jumped in Subscribers and Revenue
  8. CCP is Just Going to Keep Selling Skill Points for Cash
  9. SuperData and Wavering WoW Subscriptions
  10. CCP Now Just Baby Steps from Selling EVE Online Skill Points Directly
  11. Diablo II Act Five and some Thoughts
  12. What Does LOTRO Need?

Search Terms of the Month

valheim keep dying in black forest
[Wait until you walk into the plains!]

i came upon fulings and died valheim
[Yeah, though the deathsquitos are worse]

why cant i buy large skill injectors with plex?
[Sell the PLEX, use the ISK, problem solved]

eve online casino
[That was the war five years back]

eve online what is really going on in null
[Damn if I know]

eve minokawa solo fit
[Let me know when you undock]

why it’s all about money just bomb ccp get rid of them
[What were you even searching for?]

making fake favebook profit for oculus
[Favebook is like that]

how to clean pokewalker
[Don’t put it in the washing machine!]

Game Time from ManicTime

Once again this month saw Valheim take up most of my focus. The time split was as follows:

  • Valheim – 84.71%
  • EVE Online – 10.90%
  • WoW Classic – 4.30%
  • World of Warcraft – 0.10%

At this point Valheim is where I have spent about half of my gaming time so far this year. In the first half of the month I had more time on it that in my main browser. (Though, to be fair, I have to split between Firefox and Chrome for work related items.)

EVE Online

The war carries on.  I’ve said that a few times, haven’t I?  This past month was a bit lighter for me that January and February.  My participation status shows over 100 ops in the last 90 days, but only about 15 of those were in the last 30 days.  Blame Valheim a bit, but more it is the fact that no grand events have been happening really.  I did do the Federation Grand Prix for the SKINs on an alt, but that was another story.

Pokemon Go

My wife and I both made it to level 41.  It wasn’t that tough of a climb.  We were helped along by the fact that we had accumulated some xp after hitting level 40 but before the new levels were announced.  Not as much as some… I have people in my friends list who have as much as 60 million xp pre-done… but it boosted us along a bit.  Now for level 42.

Level: 41 (15% of the way to 42 in xp, 2 of 4 tasks complete)
Pokedex status: 628 (+9) caught, 656 (+9) seen
Mega Evolutions obtained: 11 of 12
Pokemon I want: Need Eevees for the level 42 tasks
Current buddy: Frogadier

Valheim

As you can see from the ManicTime numbers, this is the title that dominated my gaming time again this month.  Right now on our world we’re ready to slay Moder once we can get on together and then we will be moving towards the plains. 

World of Warcraft

I did log into retail WoW, though only for Darkmoon Faire and a few pet battles.  I did nothing out in the Shadowlands expansion.  The events there have skipped far enough ahead of me that I likely won’t ever catch up.  My renown remains meager and such.

WoW Classic

While the instance group has been mostly focused on Valheim, I did find a bit of time to run around with my paladin alt.  I’d like to get him up to 60… or at least 58… before Burning Crusade Classic shows up.

Coming Up

Well, tomorrow is April Fools, so I am pretty sure some of you can guess what the post of the day will be about.  It is the same thing every year.

In Valheim we have two bosses left to take on.  We might actually accomplish that and get back to spending a bit of time in  WoW Classic, though I suspect we’ll keep the Valheim world up and keep building and such.  It has a Minecraft-like appeal in that.

I expect that we’ll start getting some news about a timeline for Burning Crusade Classic.

And in EVE Online CCP is ready to turn industry upside down by changing dramatically how all ships larger than a battlecruiser, plus all T2 and faction ships, are built.  When even the devs are predicting chaos and things taking 4-6 months to settle down you know we’re in for a wild ride.