Tag Archives: 2022

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.

The Big 2022 Binge Watch Summary

I keep starting a fresh binge watching post every time we finish up a couple of shows then never get around to finishing the write up beyond getting a draft with a couple of titles in it.  So this is going to be my rapid fire, 2022 binge watch round up.

2022 is what we get

No deep analysis, no title cards, just quick observations and reactions.

Really wanted to like it, but didn’t finish watching it.  It turns out Amazon didn’t have the rights to the Silmarillion, so they had to create whole cloth tales based on hints and suggestions in the appendices at the end of Return of the King.  They seemed to feel Tolkien was right, that his stories without Hobbits aren’t as compelling, so they made some up.  Also, Gandalf origin story is… well, now I want to know how they think Radagast and Saruman showed up.  I would, however, watch a second age sitcom about Elendil and his family on Numenor, with young Isildur fighting with siblings and goofing off in boating school, which is what one of the episodes seemed to be developing into.

Wasn’t really that interested in it to start with but, you know, more Game of Thrones stuff.  We are required to watch by law or something.  Finished watching it, but wasn’t impressed.  Turns out I don’t really care about the Targaryens.  Paddy Considine was solid, but 10 episodes of court intrigue with a supporting cast that felt at times both indifferent and under utilized… Matt Smith had such menace at the start and then fell off into sulky tedium… left me looking at my iPad a lot.  Seriously, court intrigue in Game of Thrones worked because the characters were all so interesting on their own… Tyrion, Cersei, Little Finger, Varys, Olenna among many… and interacted so well with each other and every new character that showed up.  That cast was golden.  The Dragon Clan just doesn’t get there.

I read the William Gibson novel when it came out (see my 2019 books post), so had to watch the show.  Does translate some of the concepts from the book to the screen well, and actually comes out and explains “the jackpot” to viewers, unlike the book.  But the story was still somewhat choppy and diverged from the book.  I know, different media requires a different telling, but it was coming close to leaving the theme of the book in my view.  But that is my hangup, and if you didn’t read the book I doubt you’ll care.  I’ll watch the next season, but I wasn’t fully satisfied with it.

I mean, I didn’t hate it.  It had some compelling points.  But it didn’t really sell me in the end.  It suffers some from doing the “telling the story in two different time settings” thing, which is both over used and easy to do badly.  Not sure how it fits into the whole Resident Evil universe… and, also, I don’t really care about the Resident Evil universe… a problem Netflix had as well I guess, since it was cancelled after one season.

Star Wars is for adults… again.  Because Star Wars wasn’t all a Muppet kiddie universe until Return of the Jedi.  Slow, with insights into how things worked in the empire before Rogue One, as we see the formation of the rebellion.  The dark side of a lot of things, and even the “cute” droid is old and cranky.  Very much a slow drama, though not without some *pew* *pew* now and then, it is much more about bureaucracy and organization and keeping secrets and eventually enabling space battles.  Star Wars through a  John Le Carre prism, and much of what that implies.  I wanted a full, US, 22 episode season of this.  Mainly suffers from the name sounding a lot like Endor, the planet with the moon where the Ewoks lived.

I’ve always been a big Charles Addams fan, so we had to watch this.  The story is kind of shaky, but Jenna Ortega in the titular role carries it through rough patches.  I enjoyed it.  Normally I fret about who plays Gomez… John Astin was only topped by Raul Julia in the role… but the parents matter less than Wednesday.  The show is named after her.  Also, props for Christina Ricci, who played Wednesday back in the day, being included.  I don’t know what she is like in real life, but I adore the characters she plays these day.

The wrap up of the Breaking Bad prequel about the rise of Saul Goodman ended well as it tied up loose ends and fitted itself smoothly into the original show without feeling the whole thing was predictable or pre-ordained.  The whole series was high quality, if not exactly the same feel as Breaking Bad.  But that is fine.  The self-sabotaging Saul, in his own world with his own story, was a good time.  Enjoyed the whole series, would recommend.

By this point all I wanted to know was what happened to Rick and Michonne, and they wait until the final episode to even get there.  11 seasons in, and the show stopped caring about zombies around season 6, I was tired and just wanted it to end.  My wife insisted we finish, only to find that the final season was all about launching new spin-off shows in the Walking Dead universe.  I am so done with this franchise… or will be once Fear the Walking Dead winds up.

How do you take a quirky, funny show that worked for a season and go for two?  Well, another murder, of course.  And maybe frame up the main cast for that… and toss in some more quality supporting characters… and get Tina Fey in there more.  Yeah, it works.  It isn’t as charming or compelling or fresh as the first season, but it is still quality work.

A quirky, humorous, anachronistic telling of the life of 19th century poet Emily Dickinson whose works were largely unknown until after her death.  Technically not a series we binge, because it is one of those “better in small doses” shows, but still very good.  And I was so very much there for the portrayal of Henry David Thoreau.  So very much there.

David Simon, who you may remember from creating The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Streets, has returned to Baltimore, this time to tell the story of police corruption and specifically that of the Gun Trace Task Force.  This is a dramatization of real events and not a character development police drama, so it isn’t as engaging as The Wire, but it still hits pretty hard.

We will literally watch anything with Stanely Tucci in it at our house.  And we were rewarded with this show, enjoying pretty much every moment he was on screen.  We also like David Tennant, but almost every minute of him on screen evoked exasperated “Why would you do this? What are you thinking? Are you an idiot?” comments from us.  Not his fault.  Bad script.  But still, there we were hating it.  And almost every moment that had neither of them on screen was just kind of okay.  Tough to recommend outside to the Tucci performance, but it is only four episodes.

So that is me sort of catching up.  There are a few other shows that might have made the list, but which I want to write more about.  We shall see if I get to that.

The End of the Steam Winter Sale with 2022 Stats and Awards

Once more the Steam Winter Sale has come to an end.  It will been a good 15 minutes in the rear view mirror when this post goes live.

Once more into the retail breach

And once more we have arrived an Steam’s annual summary of things.  There were, of course, the winners of the Steam Awards to be announced.

Some of the 2022 Steam Awards winners

Those are not all of the winners for 2022, but Steam has a whole page if you want to see the exhaustive list and other details.

Probably the biggest surprise to me for the awards was that I actually played two of the games listed, Raft and LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.  I also have Stray on my wishlist.  Generally there is very little overlap between what I play and what is popular.

There was also the Best of Steam for 2022, which covers the highest revenue earners, the titles with the most hours played, and all of that sort of thing, with breakout categories for VR and the Steam Deck to make sure those got some attention.

Something I played made it into the Platinum range for a couple of categories, Lost Ark.

You can view all of that at the link above, but make sure you read the notes to know what the categories mean.

Somewhat more interesting to me this year was the Steam Hardware Survey for December 2022.  They ask to get the hardware stats for your machine and you get to see the totals they come up with.

Some of the main graphs from the hardware survey

You can dig deeper into the graphs to see more info, which I went and did this year.

For example, what operating systems did Steam players use?  Hint: It comes from Redmond, Washington.

Steam Users Operating Systems

Yes, 96.11% of Steam users surveyed were Windows users, with Windows 10 making up the vast majority of that group.  Windows 11 isn’t a horrible showing, but it is another Microsoft OS that was launched without any compelling reason to adopt it beyond being forced to because it came with your machine.

Mac OSX was the distant second with 2.45% of the population, followed by Linux, which rings in with 1.44%.  That Linux number is all the more disappointing when you consider that the Steam Deck runs on it.  Oh well.

I thought the screen resolution results were worth a look as well.

Steam Users Screen Resolutions

It looks like 1920×1080, or the now pretty old HDTV standard, is the default for most people, landing with 65.06% of those surveyed.  Because it is the HDTV standard those screens are pretty cheap, so I can see why they remain popular.

In second place was 2560×1440 with 11.34%, which I guess was a bit of a surprise.  I mean, at least it wasn’t 1024×768.  Third place was 1366×768 coming in at 5.7%, which I am going to guess is a common laptop screen size.

Only 1.46% of Steam users have my own monitor’s native resolution of 3440×1440.

And then there was the GPU scan.  That list went so long I had to trim it down.  There is, apparently, no single consensus on video cards.

Steam Users GPUs

I cut the list off to get in at least one AMD and one Intel GPU on the list.  My own video card, the now more than six year old GTX 1060 I installed when I built my current machine, actually came in second place with 5.58% of the surveyed system reporting with it.  But, as long as the list was, they still had to truncate it and “other” came in at 10%.

I think, like a lot of people, I’ve stuck with the 1060 because GPUs became heinously expensive thanks to crypto mining.  Crypto: destroying the environment AND keeping me from having better FPS.

Anyway, the hardware survey is kind of interesting to peruse.

Finally, the usual question for any Steam Winter Sale: Did I buy anything?

Yes I did.  I plunked down last night and bought Dwarf Fortress.

Dwarf Fortress on Steam

It wasn’t even on sale, but I have some cash in my PayPal account and figured I could find some time this year to give it a try.  A game of legendary depth and complexity, we’ll see how I fare when I get around to it.

So it goes.  The sale is over, though something will be on sale again right away for sure, and we’re here in the new year.  Welcome to 2023.

My Steam Replay for 2022

Am I still writing about 2022?  I’m sorry. I’ll likely be done with that by the end of this week.

But here we are with Steam which has gotten into the whole end of the year summary thing for individuals with Steam Replay (find about it here and how to find your own) and, as I am obviously into that sort of thing… I mean, shame on you if you hadn’t noticed that up to this point I suppose… I am going to write about mine.

Really, compared to some people’s, mine is pretty mild.  But, as we established on Monday, I only played 20 games on my PC… that 21st was on the Switch… so there won’t be any astonishing numbers.  But I’ll put it on record and, at the end of the post, I’ll link out to everybody else’s post about Steam Replay so you can see some more interesting… or at least different… versions.

So here is the summary.

Steam Replay – Summary 2022

Out of the 20 PC titles I played in 2022, 10 of them were on Steam. I didn’t count EVE Valkyrie in my summary because I only logged in to take some screen shots before it was shut down last summer along with the rest of CCP’s VR offerings.

That speaks well for Steam I suppose.  I could, theoretically play EVE Online and EverQuest II via Steam, but I see no upside and considerably downside to either.

The top titles were unsurprisingly Valheim and Lost Ark.  Valheim was in second place for titles I spent the most time with in 2022.

The who range of titles I played on Steam:

All my Steam titles in 2022

Not that many, but at least that means they all fit on one nice card.  Not like Krikket at Nerd Girl Thoughts who had 198 titles to contend with. (Her Steam Replay post is linked below.)

Still, the people who blog about video games might be outliers.  Steam says against the overall average my numbers are not all that small.  I unlocked more achievements, played more titles, and had a longer play streak than the average Steam user I gather.

Steam Replay 2022 – User Comparison

I do wonder how many of those people play just one game… or played no games for that matter.

There was also some attempt to classify the kind of games I play.

Steam Replay 2022 – What does this say about me?

I’m not sure how “space” figures so highly.  Does RimWorld count?  Shouldn’t it be a colony sim?  Or did Stellaris influence that?  You’d think with only 11 titles this would be sort of obvious.  Open World Suvival Craft has to be Valheim at least.

Then Steam tries to sort out the titles I played by age.

Steam Replay 2022 – Games by Age

27%, or four titles, were “new releases,” which is actually kind of surprising to me.  Though perhaps they should weight this whole thing by how much time I spent playing as well.

73% were “recent favorites,” meaning they were released in the last seven years.

The odd bit, if you’re familiar with what I play, is that none of my titles played count as “classic” since that is pretty much my modus operandi around here.  Again, EVE Online and EverQuest II and World of Warcraft, all in the top five of my previously linked to total play time for 2022, are getting close to 20 years of age.  I guess I don’t play games on Steam that pre-date Steam.

There might be a lesson in that.

Oh, and there is something about a streak where I played a Steam game 45 days in a row between February 18th and April 4th, which corresponds with my Lost Ark and Valheim play times in 2022.

Anyway that’s the post.  Steam gave me some stats an I wrote a bit about them.  There were a few other charts, like what months I played which games, but I think I covered that in Monday’s post more thoroughly, so there we go.  Also, I added one new friend on Steam in 2022.  I forget who.  Hello!

As promised, Steam Replay posts from other bloggers, all of whom spent more time with Steam than I did:

What did I Play in 2022 and how does 2023 look?

Did I mention 2022 was kind of a crappy year around our house?  Nothing tragic happened.  Nobody died and the house didn’t burn down or anything.  Instead it was just a wearing down of the spirit as one dumb thing after another happened.  It was a year of reacting to problems.

2022 is what we get

This resulted in me spending about 33% less time in 2022 playing video games, at least as tracked by ManicTime, the app I use to spy on my computer time.

ManicTime – For your app time tracking needs

And things started with me being laid off at the end of 2021, which probably boosted my time played in January, because you can only spend so much time on the job search before you are crippled with anxiety because the job you got a decade ago with a Business degree now lists a Master Degree in Computer Science as the preferred education.  This is how HR aids and abets the bottom line, by inflating required qualifications so the company can complain that there are not enough qualified candidates so they need more H1B visas please.

But I digress.  Job searching is a part time thing, but once you have a new job then the work of figuring things out is just beginning.  So the new job starts in April, then my mom falls and has to come and live with us over the summer and I spend a lot of my free time trying to figure out her finances (still not there yet) and getting her into assisted living, so October is about when I come up for air from that… and then the holidays hit but I don’t have enough vacation banked up to lounge about, otherwise November and December would have been the high points of the year, as they have been in past years.  The last two weeks of December are traditionally a very big gaming time for me.

Time spent playing games in 2022

So quite a year.

And what did I play?  ManicTime tracked 21 titles played on my PC, broken out as follows:

  1. WoW Classic – 29.02%
  2. Valheim – 18.70%
  3. EVE Online – 16.62%
  4. Lost Ark – 9.44%
  5. EverQuest II – 7.04%
  6. Minecraft – 4.39%
  7. Stellaris – 3.42%
  8. Pokemon Shining Pearl – 3.03%
  9. New World – 2.49%
  10. Combat Mission: Red Thunder – 1.50%
  11. Solasta – 1.23%
  12. RimWorld – 1.22%
  13. FreeCiv – 0.35%
  14. Raft – 0.33%
  15. LEGO Star Wars – 0.25%
  16. Diablo Immortal – 0.24%
  17. World of Warcraft – 0.22%
  18. V Rising – 0.20%
  19. EverQuest – 0.17%
  20. LOTRO – 0.09%
  21. World of Tanks – 0.05%

For those more visually oriented, I have a pie chart, which breaks out the top ten, with a slice to cover everything else.

Games played in 2022 pie chart

96% of my tracked gaming time consisted of those ten games, so it seems pretty safe to focus on them.

Now, for purposes of tracking, when I played things is almost as important as how much I played… at least to me, and all the more so given that first chart.  So I am finally down to the usual chart that breaks out the top ten titles by when I played them in 2022.

2022 in gaming for me

EVE Online is the usual all year title.  It may only be in third place on the percentages, but it is a title I did go in and play every month.  I am on a kill mail and have at least one fleet participation credit for each month.

WoW Classic in 2022 really translates into Wrath of the Lich King Classic, along with the pre-patch to get ready for it.  We tired of Outland well before we got very far, but once Wrath was looming we were back in business.  We hopped into Outland to get our characters and a few alts to level 68 to be ready for Northrend.  It is the most played title for me, though it covers a bit less than half of the year.

Then there was Valheim, which we went back to try again with a fresh world in order to see what had changed since we last played.  That was a pretty focused play time, but Valheim is very good at that.  With the release of the Mistlands biome I got our world back online, but we’re still pretty tied up with Wrath, so it might be a while before we seek a foothold there.

Lost Ark was where we landed after New World.  That went okay for a bit.  It was fun, but kind of silly and not really our thing.

EverQuest II was me playing the Visions of Vertovia expansion, which wore out once I got to the end game stuff and needed to get on the gear and skill upgrade grind to be able to managed any further content.

Minecraft was an attempt to fill the void after we reached the end of the plains biome.  But after all the work we did in that world my daughter and I started back in the day, I feel like I might have worn out Minecraft.  It always feels like I am redoing things I’ve already done.

Stellaris and Forza Horizon 4, both titles I want to go back and play, were there because I had lots of time over the holidays and into January, and then reality began to sink in a little more firmly.

Pokemon Shining Pearl, the remake that my daughter and I had been waiting for, saw quite a bit of play around the Holidays… and is the one item on the list that ManicTime doesn’t track.  But the Switch gives you some play time numbers and Pokemon games themselves always have a timer for how long you’ve played.  That was good fun, until I beat the main game, after which I fell off the title.  I wasn’t going to catch ’em all.

New World was the end of our stint there.  They’ve since merged servers and removed our company and what not to the extent that I am not sure we’ll ever return.  It is go back to that mess or go back to queues on a fresh start server… until those servers die and get merged again.

Finally there is Combat Mission: Red Thunder, which was an attempt to relive a bit of my gaming from 20 years ago.  It isn’t Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin, but it was okay.

So that was what I played.  I am not going to go as deep into charts as Belghast, but I have a summary of sorts.  Maybe at some point I’ll try and wrap up a five year view.

And what does the new year look like?  What do I think I will play in 2023?

Likely Candidates:

  • WoW Classic
  • EVE Online
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  • Valheim

Those all seem safe since I am literally playing them already.  LEGO Star Wars… we’ll see how far I get with that one.

Strong Possibilities:

  • Pokemon Scarlet
  • RimWorld
  • Dwarf Fortress

Those feel like things I might get into.  My daughter got me Pokemon for Xmas, RimWorld has the Biotech expansion to explore, and Dwarf Fortress is finally available in a comprehensible form on Steam.  I should try it.

Seems Likely:

  • Diablo IV

I think I will be in for that, if it ships this year.

Things I will want to play, but probably won’t:

  • Forza Horizon 4/5
  • Lord of the Rings Online
  • Solesta
  • Civilization
  • EverQuest
  • Project: Gorgon
  • Most of my Steam library

It just seems to work out that way.  I have a limited amount of time and a hierarchy or titles I am in the mood to play.

Negative Interest:

  • WoW Dragonflight
  • New World
  • EverQuest II
  • Minecraft

Not saying they are bad games, but my own mood isn’t there for them.  I’m sour on New World and, in something of an odd twist, the previous expansions have put me off of both retail WoW and EQII for now.  And I think I covered Minecraft above.

But, in the end, my ability to predict what I will end up playing is somewhat limited.  I have a whole history of these post and my looking forward statements about what I might play have often not aligned with the reality at the end of the year… to the point that I stopped writing a separate forecasting post.

Anyway, that is another wrap up post for 2022.  We shall see what 2023 really brings.

Looking Back at 2022 – Highs and Lows

Looking back at 2022 makes me feel tired.  Tired for a lot of reasons, including getting laid off and having to start a new job, the failing health of my parent’s generation and having to manage that, another election season, the Russians, the general state of the world, and Elon Musk… I am very tired of Elon Musk.

I am also tired of hearing the word “charcuterie,” which I think I have heard more in 2022 that in all my past years combined.  I believe my wife unironically said “charcuterie” 14 times last week alone.

2022 is what we get

But here we are at the end of the year and another staple annual post here, something else that makes me feel a bit tired.  Some years I start writing this post in May or June, so it is easy to wrap up.  And then there are years like 2022 where I am throwing something together at the last minute.

For looks back at past years, there is a list.

Anyway, let’s step right into this steaming pile so I can get it over with.



  • Shipped the Dragonflight expansion in 2022!
  • Characters don’t use “borrowed power” directly in Dragonflight!
  • An actual plan announced for how Dragonflight is going to play out!
  • Shipped Overwatch 2!
  • Shipped Diablo Immortal!
  • Launched Wrath of the Lich King Classic!
  • Gave us a ship date for Diablo IV!
  • Actually announced a NEW GAME, something in the co-op survival genre!!!
  • Microsoft acquisition promises a cleaning of house when it comes to their loathsome corporate overlords


  • Dragonflight didn’t get that “what a great launch” compared to past expansions press release, a staple of expansions since WotLK, which is probably a bad sign
  • Dragonflight repeats the Shadowlands theme of a quick run to level cap and then the next two years in end game grind
  • Dragon riding on special dragon mounts… is still borrowed power
  • That two year Dragonflight roadmap is pretty light on dates and details
  • This new survival title is way out in the future
  • Overwatch 2?  That didn’t seem to make much of a splash
  • Heroes of the Storm??
  • StarCraft universe???
  • Diablo Immortal just lacked a cryto connection to fufill all of our worst monetization expectations
  • Diablo IV seems unlikely to hit its mark when it comes to a ship date and that was probably thrown out there for the benefit of Microsoft
  • No matter what happens with the Microsoft acquisition, the people who made Activision Blizzard a horrible place, who led by example in making it a hostile work environment, will be rewarded handsomely for all of their bad deeds
  • Oh, did I forget about Blizz and NetEase falling out, leaving Chinese gamers in the lurch?

Enad Global 7


  • EverQuest and EverQuest II get expansions, updates, and 64-bit upgrades
  • Mini-expansion and new starter areas for LOTRO
  • PlanetSide 2 hits 10 and tops its past world record
  • A lot of press coverage about their unannounced Marvel super hero title
  • They shipped some other titles… I’m sure…


  • EverQuest and EverQuest II got absolutely no other attention from the company
  • The idea of LOTRO on consoles seems less likely now than it did two years ago
  • Marvel super hero title cancelled… again… after getting all that attention
  • Daybreak titles make up most of the software revenue and almost all of the recurring subscription revenue
  • The company is now pretty much run by the Daybreak team, which has a track record of shipping nothing new and simply milking old titles
  • It probably says something that I have this little to say about the company



  • FanFest was back!
  • Big expansions were back!
  • The Uprising expansion saw players coming back and the daily population count rise!
  • The MER is now better than ever!
  • Faction Warfare finally got some love
  • The Photon UI is starting to come together
  • Finally listened to players on about the economy
  • Finally listened to players about resource harvesting, and specifically about locking resources into low sec
  • Finally gave us corp/alliance logos on ships
  • Came out against putting crypto in EVE Online
  • After many complaints CCP pulled the Prospector Pack, which sold a fitted ship, from the web store and promised not to sell ships in exactly that way again
  • We actually had a few big brawls in null sec, including that recent one at H-PA29


  • Whatever EVE Vegas was, or whatever was going to replace it in the US, that seems to be dead
  • Kind of a long wait between announcing Uprising and actually getting to it
  • Spent a whole YEAR not listening to players about the economy or resources while every obvious prediction came to pass
  • EverMarks for logos are annoying, gated busy work to get logos that we would happily spend money or PLEX on
  • Faction Warfare remains an all-in commitment for your character, so if your corp or alliance isn’t all-in you need an alt
  • The Photon UI is still slower and less responsive that the old UI, especially under TiDi
  • We’re quite a ways from the next big war in null sec
  • 33% price increase for subscriptions… in US dollars and Euros, which means it was a lot more for some people in other countries
  • Did you see the player count between the subscription price increase and the Uprising expansion?
  • The player count is on its way back down now that the expansion has been around for a bit
  • CCP prefers Monthly Active Users over any direct player count, and they have been obviously goosing that number with generous login rewards and give aways, but MAU does not reflect people in space
  • The infrastructure of sites that support EVE Online saw a notable decline in 2022 with sites going dormant or altogether dark
  • CCP only backed away from crypto “for now” after putting them in the Alliance Tournament and highlighting their CEO meeting with crypto evangelists
  • CCP thought the Prospector Pack was a good idea and, while they claimed to be listening to feedback, did not remove it from the store until their pre-planned promotion was over
  • Also, while CCP removed the Prospector Pack from the web store, they continued to sell it directly in-game as a pop-up offer to new players who ran the career agent missions for mining, thus making their statements about not wanting sell fitted ships generated out of thin air yet another bald faced lie
  • CCP is clearly going to sell fit ships again
  • EVE Valkyrie and CCP’s other VR games have now been shut down.
  • CCP is still devoting resources to making a first person shooter despite that market being both crowded and dominated by a few titles as well as CCP having shown no special insight nor innovation on that front

Other Gaming Industry Notes


  • Valheim gave us the Mistlands at last
  • Pokemon Scarlet and Violet!
  • Another big Minecraft update
  • RimWorld got the Biotech expansion
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalks Saga finally made it out the door
  • Guild Wars 2 got End of Dragons
  • Pokemon Violet and Scarlet
  • New World seemed to be trying to get its act together
  • Lost Ark has hung on to its opening success and remained pretty stable
  • Solesta was a pretty solid, if a bit low budget, table top RPG simulation


  • That Game Awards were boring; stop trying to make them the Oscars and just do your own thing
  • Amazon took its sweet time trying to fix New World, and it is still something of a mess
  • Meta can’t make the metaverse happen even with an annual burn rate in the billions
  • VR actively set back by Meta after they kicked legendary John Carmack to the curb along with his idea of lighter, more affordable headsets, instead opting to follow the Juicero guy and his plan for a more expensive, more awkward path forward for VR hardware
  • Much of the year was spent again with crytpo bros trying to conflate their horrible idea with things like the metaverse and online gaming
  • Just when it seems to be clear to most that cryto in video games is a bad idea, THAT is when Richard Garriott decides to prove once again he is the 21st century harbinger of death for video game trends by announcing his own shamelessly transparent cryto NFT video game scam
  • Crowd funded MMOs continued to prove, with very rare exceptions, that their promises are empty and that you should never give Wimpy a hamburger today on the promise of being paid on Tuesday

Television, Books, and the Media


  • Still a lot of stuff to watch
  • Amazon gave us a Middle-earth show and William Gibson’s The Peripheral
  • HBO gave us House of Dragons and more Westworld
  • AMC gave us the final seasons of Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead
  • Netflix continues to surprise with new content like Wednesday and The Glass Onion
  • Even Disney+ managed to give us Andor, a welcome entry in the Star Wars canon
  • I liked most of the movies I saw this year, including Top Gun: Maverick, Bullet Train, The Batman, and…. um….
  • Books… I am sure there were some new books released… lots of them probably


  • A fair chunk of what I mentioned above ended up being something of a disappointment
  • Netflix is chaotic and is as likely to green light garbage or cancel something you really enjoy
  • I feel the fragmentation of so many streaming channels more and more with each passing year
  • It was a bit of a struggle to find things that were both new and good in any media
  • HBO Max is just pulling a bunch of their original content to avoid paying royalties, proving once again if you want to have access to something reliably you should own the physical media
  • I think I saw one movie in the actual theater this year, Top Gun: Maverick
  • Thor: Love and Thunder really tried hard to recapture the magic of Thor: Ragnarok… and kind of failed
  • Top Gun: Maverick was the US box office leader in 2022… not that it was bad, but there apparently wasn’t anything better (Avatar: Way of Water fans will bring up the overseas box office, but that is like losing the objective and claiming you won the ISK war… it doesn’t count… also, TG:M is still winning on that front)

Blogging and Social Media


  • The blog is still here and running, now sixteen years into is existence
  • I posted for 1,000 days in a row
  • Blaugust was a thing again this year
  • Some people still visit this site regularly
  • I did have some good interactions on Twitter, which remains my social media of choice
  • I spent quite a bit of time on Twitch
  • If social media gets bad enough, blogging might see a revival!


  • Fewer people visited this site this year than in any year since 2007
  • Any resurgence of long form writing like blogging will probably bypass established blogs to jump onto whatever the trendy platform of the day ends up being
  • Posting for that many days in a row sounds a lot more interesting than it is… and it doesn’t sound all that interesting
  • Email subscriptions on the blog pretty much broke this year, and WP.com doesn’t care in the least
  • Bing decided it doesn’t like WP.com sites, so the bit of traffic they sent me petered out
  • The local neighborhood of blogs shrank some
  • My time on Twitch was mostly it being in the background so I could collect channel points or game drops honestly
  • Facebook remains a horrible dumpster fire
  • I cannot train Instagram’s algorithm to show me what I want
  • Elon Musk is trying to turn Twitter into the biggest and loudest dumpster fire in social media
  • There is no direct replacement for Twitter and what it was
  • Mastodon has moved from a small collection of individually managed fiefdoms with their own rules and norms and tribes and echo chambers into a somewhat larger version of all of that
  • Post News is that condo you just bought and are trying to furnish with a limited budget and no free time
  • Hive doesn’t run in a browser
  • I used to joke that Linked In was business Facebook, but it has really become that, and I don’t mean in a good way

The World

I’m not sure I have any highs.  There is a war in Europe, COVID is still a thing no matter how hard we try to pretend it isn’t, attacks on voting rights, democracy, and free speech have become just part of the normal way of things, and, as always, nobody wealth or famous ever faces any real accountability unless they hard somebody else wealth or famous.  And don’t get me started on people who are billionaires.  If we could harness self-absorbed narcissism, our dependence on fossil fuels would be solved.


And we’re on to a new year this weekend.  Let’s hope for something better.

My Twitch Time in 2022

I spent time on Twitch in 2022, and Twitch has decided to tell me about that, as it did in 2020 and 2021.  time for another 2022 summary post I guess!

They even provided me with a handy little summary graphic, which I will plop down right here at the top of the post.

My 2022 Twitch Experience

My time totaled up to 214 hours, which I would compare with previous years except that the summaries Twitch provided for past years did not include a total hours number, just total hours for specific channels… which is missing from this year’s summary.

So a downvote for Twitch on consistency I suppose.

They did give me the total time for my top four channels though, so I can compare those to 2020 at least.  The top channels were:

  • CCP
    • 2022 – 76 hours
    • 2020 – 9 hours
  • Imperium News
    • 2022 – 41 hours
    • 2020 – 74 hours
  • Mind1
    • 2022 – 30 hours
    • 2020 – 29 hours
  • Imaqtpie
    • 2022 – 22 hours
    • 2020 – 0 hours

A lot of time spent watching CCP… which is a bit of a lie.  Whenever CCP’s stream is up and I am online I will tune in and put it in the background to earn Channel Points.  10K channel points can be turned in for an in-game ship SKIN.

Imperium News is about right.  I tend to just watch The Meta Show.  But without a war on or much in the way of news I have lapsed a bit on that.

Mind1 is the Imperium DJ and I will put him on and listen to music at times.

And Imaqtpie… well, that was for Lost Ark in-game drops.  Early in the year around the launch the game had some special in-game items, like mounts, you could earn by watching designated streams.  Imaqtpie was my choice, and they sat in the background until I collected my loot.

But all of that is somewhat reflected in the top categories part of the graphic.  EVE Online was on top, followed by Lost Ark, then music, then Albion Online, which Mind1 plays occasionally.

And that was my year on Twitch.

My Books in 2022

Another of those annual posts.  I usually pick five books I’ve read over the previous year to highlight.  Past entries in this series:

However, I am having trouble picking five, or picking just five, or some variation on that.  So I am just going to bulldoze into some books and see where I end up at the bottom of the page.

2022 is what we get

Part of my issue is that it has been something of a hectic year for me, which has tested my patience on many fronts, including my ability to put up with plodding narrative devices, over used tropes, and that sort of thing.  For example, Connie Willis’ The Doomsday Book opened with such a stale scene I had to put it down and move on.  The series was recommended, but I wasn’t having the kick off, and that was that.

Anyway, as usual, I am depending on Good Reads to guide my memory, because about half the titles on my list for 2022 I am looking at and saying, “Oh yeah, I guess I did read that.”  You can see my book profile here, but this is my summary for 2022.

Good Reads – My 2022 in Books

Hitting 37 titles puts me above par for annual reading, which surprised me a bit, but there is a reason for that, which I will get to.

Enough of that though, maybe I should just get into the books.  These are the titles that stood out for me this year, though not to unreserved acclaim on my part.  Life is like that.

  • Slough House Series – Mick Herron

This is the book series that kicked off with Slow Horses, which was the basis for a series on AppleTV+ that I wrote a bit about back in May.  The thing here is that there are 8 main books in the series and another five novellas… and I’ve read or listened to them all at this point.  So there is a lot of Mick Herron to go around, and most of it is pretty good.  I was invested in the series enough to go listen to the audio book versions of the novellas and… well, you can skip those really.  They give you some background information about a couple of characters that will feature in the next full novel, but they aren’t all that interesting.  That still leaves 8 books, which are mostly worth the effort, though the series does meander a bit.  But Jackson Lamb is always fun to follow around.  But I’m into my list with a series of books 13 deep, so you can see why I had problems getting a list of five.

  • Russia: Revolution and Civil War – Antony Beevor

Long time followers of anything book related on this blog might recall that I am a big fan of Antony Beevor’s work.  His books on the battles at Stalingrad and Berlin are essential reading in my opinion when it comes to those topics.  He also tackled the war in general in one volume, which he did quite well, delving into bits often left unexplored in other general works.  And here he was going into the Russian Civil War, one of my favorite topics, at least when I was much younger.

And it was okay.

I think my familiarity with the material was a bit of a spoiler.  The book was not without nuggets of information new to me, but it is a well trodden topic and one I spent a lot of time with in the 80s and 90s, which even then was long after most of the main actors in the drama had passed, so there were no startling new revelations.  If you want something beyond a basic level guide to events, it is a worthy volume.  But if you want the depth and individual narratives of some of Beevor’s work, you likely won’t find it.

  • Jack Reacher Series – Lee Child

A very popular book series, given there are 25 books or so already out and more in the works.  After watching the Amazon Prime series (which I mentioned in the same post as Slow Horses) I decided to give the series a look.

And, I will admit, it starts out strong.  However, it is, perhaps, a series that shouldn’t be read in a continuous trail.  I got through the 6th book and was kind of done, though it was really the 5th book that did me in.  Maybe I will return to it, but the tropes of the series were already weighing a bit on me. (Also the author, who is English, does get US terminology wrong now and then.  The US Army, for examples, has engineers, not sappers.)

  • Comfort Reading

At a few points over the course of the year I just needed something in my head to keep the world out without being too fresh and complicated.  So I went back and read William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Count Zero, the Douglas Adams Dirk Gently books, Robert Harris’ Fatherland, and some of the Marko Kloos books again.

  • Politics

And then there is the occasional attempt to confront the current reality.  I went back and re-read Everything Trump Touches Dies, so that might really apply to the previous category.  Rick Wilson is about the same age as I am and his use of metaphor speaks to me.

Probably the best read was Elie Mystal’s Allow Me to Retort, which takes on the Federalist Society and its absolutist extreme originalist view on constitutional interpretation, which this book very much destroys.  The founding father’s original view was slavery was okay, so if you start making exceptions on that front other originalist groundings are likely as weak.

Less entertaining was Weapons of Mass Delusion by Robert Draper that covers the Republican party from the January 6th insurrection to the 2022 mid-term elections and, while a thorough and detailed accounting of what was going on, it was also a litany of dumb people doing dumb things for stupidly selfish reasons.  A good account of history, but history that is depressing.

  • Honorable Mentions

I think I am almost 30 books in at this point, so why not mention one more?  Hell, why hold myself to just one more?  I also read John Scalzi’s Lock In, which is about a pandemic that causes a condition where a small percentage of people who get it lose the connection between mind and body, so are “locked in” to their bodies without control.  Technology finds a way to let them out through a digital interface and what we might call presence devices like remote control bodies.  And then there is a murder mystery in the mix.  Interesting, but SciFi murder mysteries always run the risk of magical solutions because the reader can’t know everything about the tech.

I also read John le Carre’s Silverview, which was… okay.  His work is a bit hit or miss with me already, and this was him going up one alley in pursuit of a point I wasn’t sure I cared all that much about once I got there.

Finally, there is Jeff Edwards, who I have followed on Twitter since he was on tap to write the book about The Fountain War back during that Kickstarter fiasco.  I finally, got around to picking up one of this titles, Angel City Blues, and it was a solid tech noir tale.  Would recommend.

And so it goes.  I read a lot of stuff, but didn’t come out at this end of the year feeling like I had a few titles I needed to talk about, so you got a buffet of what I read.

I am going into the new year with Raymond Chandler.  I feel like I need something out of old LA to get into 2023.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

May your celebrations today be joyous.

Fireworks in front of Jita 4-4

And if you’re traveling, may your journey be warm and safe.

New Eden ice storm…

Enjoy some peace and hope for better things in the new year.

If you want a video game Christmas tale, you can read my post about 1977 when what I wanted more than anything was an Atari 2600.  Written back in 2006, it does represent my earlier writing style.

The Steam Winter Sale 2022 Has Begun

The annual holiday tradition of video game discounts has arrive at Steam as they unleash the 2022 version of their Winter Sale.

Once more into the retail breach

There was a time when this was a huge big deal rather than being just a normal part of the turn of the seasons at summer and winter.  It has gotten so normal that even the first hour foibles… the site being down or something being hilariously mis-priced… have faded into memory.

But make no mistake about the influence that the sale has.  Steam is still the big dog.

Some companies, like Epic, have a sale at the same time because they see Steam as their rival and feel the need to compete. (And perhaps distract from their own woes.)  Not that having a winter or holiday sale was some huge discovery by Steam, but when the competitors line their dates up to match, you wonder at who is following.

And then there are the companies that depend heavily on Steam, like Paradox, which coordinate their sales and promotions with Steam because that is where their customer base is.

Winter Sale for Strategy Games

So it goes.

And then there are the Steam Awards, which benefit greatly from not being The Game Awards.  We get to vote for those.

Voting begins now

While I have heard of quite a few of the titles up for awards this year, I only own two of them… and haven’t even played one of them.  A pretty common Steam story in that I suppose.

Still, I do have a couple of titles on my wish list that I will probably grab, and some others I might be interested in.  Do I buy Forza Horizon 5 on Steam at a discount after having played it last year on the Microsoft XBox Game Pass?  Does that constitute crossing the streams?  Do I have the wherewithal to get into Dwarf Fortress?  I’ve read good things about the Atari 50th Anniversary Collection, but do I need to buy most of those titles for maybe the fourth or fifth time?

We will see what the sale brings.  It is only the first day