Tag Archives: Anniversary

My Blogging Quinceanera

Here we are again at another blog anniversary.  It has been 15 years since I set out on this writing journey.

Think of it as a space quinceanera

As always, I spent a good few minutes fishing around for a theme for this post and quinceanera popped up as something related to the number 15.  Here in California quinceanera refers to the party given for a young woman on her 15th birthday, though the usage of the word varies.  But my wife has a friend who is a party planner for these events, which can be huge, and she uses the word to refer to the event, so I will do the same.

Were this the blog of a decade back I would have gone to some effort to dress up the post to go along with the theme.  Look at what I did for the fifth and sixth anniversaries.  These days I am a less invested in the whole thing, so I am going to declare the theme and the almost immediately walk away from it.  If you want to imagine me in a satin party dress with a tiara, that’s all on you.  My wife isn’t sharing those pictures.

If I were feeling motivated I might have tried to work in some key elements of a quinceanera, things like the pinatas, a cake, the dance partner, the first bouquet as a woman, and the last doll of childhood.  But I think I’ll just let you imagine me in the dress.  that is less work and I am starting late this year.

Past Anniversaries

In case you want to revisit the evolution of these annual posts.  As noted above, years five and six are probably peak effort on my part, then like life, it is all down hill from there.

Base Statistics

I was trying to figure out if statistics were the cake or the pinatas.  Pinatas I think, since there are a bunch of them.

Beyond that, we have the same opening set of numbers every year, looking at how the various needled moved over the last dozen months.  The current count is listed below with the change since last year noted in parenthesis.

Days since launch: 5,480 (+366)
Posts total: 6,028 (+419)
Total Words: 4,839,356  (+460,599 words, not including this post)
Average words per post: 803 (+22)
Post Likes: 15,164 (+2,578)
Average posts per day: 1.1 (+0.03)
Comments: 35,108 (+1,328)
Average comments per post: 5.82 (-0.21)
Average comments per day: 6.41 (-0.20)
Spam comments: 1,718,916 (+236,368)
Average spam comments per day: 313.67 (+43.1)
Comment signal to noise ratio: 1 to 48.9 (+5.9)
Comments written by me: 7,079 or 20.2%
Images uploaded: 18,054 (+1,844)
Space used by images: 2.1 GB of my 13 GB allocation
Blog Followers: 2,073 (+185)
Twitter Followers: 785 (+10)
Tumblr Followers: 36 (+2)
US Presidents since launch: 4
British Monarchs since launch: 1
Prime Ministers of Italy since launch: 8

For some of you that will be enough stats. Others will want to dive deeper, which you can do after the cut.

Continue reading

52 Weeks of World War Bee

This week saw the non-aligned AUTZ null sec alliance Tactical Supremacy give up on its free range lifestyle of the last five years and joined The Initiative.

Put on ice for now

The stated reason was a lack of content for its members.  The move shores up The Initiative’s AUTZ presence, allowing them to work more effectively around the clock.

There were also town hall meetings for NCDot and Pandemic Horde, with the former being pretty down to earth and the latter trying to find something to keep the war going.  In furtherance of keeping the war going, PAPI has formed a high sec SIG to gank Goons and anybody suspected of being Goons, including the new player training group KarmaFleet University.  Gobbins also told his members to stop using the term “contained” when referring to the Imperium’s situation in 1DQ because it becomes a propaganda victory for Goons every time they kill something outside of that constellation.

One Year Ago

It has been a year.  One year ago today the non-invasion pact between the Imperium and Legacy coalition officially lapsed and the war began.

Two days before the start I was still fiddling with stuff in my hangar and wondering what was to come.

When the day hit there were moves/counter moves including the rushed PAPI Keepstar drop in FAT-6P.

And the first of my Monday summary posts went up about the events of day one of the war.  I did not intend for them to be a regular thing, but here we are a year later.

Delve Front

For another week this map fragment, first posted on May 2nd, accurately describes the state of the war in Delve.

O-EIMK Constellation – July 4, 2021

Otherwise is was a week of skirmishes, shenanigans, and avoidance.  One of the highlights of the week is summed up in this video from John Hartley, and Imperium FC.

Still, despite  the situation in the constellation remaining unchanged, looking at the Delve campaign stats for the week the level of skirmishing saw more than twice as many ships and capsules destroyed when it came to total numbers and almost twice in ISK value.

Delve Campaign – Week 52

If you go to the report and change the view to show by ship types you can see the dreads that PAPI lost before that video above along with a few other expensive assets they lost.

Other Theaters

Esoteria is done for the Imperium now while Legacy and FI.RE are pushing on the Imperium holdings in Feythabolis.

I had wondered last week if Red Alliance would come to some sort of agreement with their fellow Russians, and perhaps they did, but Legacy still wants them out it seems.  Red Alliance is down two ihubs and their other four are at risk, along with their holdings in Impass.

Feythabolis – July 4, 2021

It also looks like there is some TCU cleanup going on in the region (orange highlighted systems that otherwise have no ihub in this view.)

In Catch Legacy pushed further into the region from Querious, taking eight more ihubs from Imperium member Dracarys.

Catch – July 4,2021

Looking at the ADMs, Dracarys has been active in these systems.  We will see if Legacy keeps pushing into the region.

My Participation

As with the past few weeks I went on a few small ops, but nothing very exciting.  The biggest op was probably a Cormorant fleet called by Tom Flood to escort Jirai Grepher on his birthday op.  For their birthday, Jirai decided to gate a Naglfar dreadnought into T5ZI, PAPI’s staging system, to see how long he would last.  We went along to give him a bit of cover.

Into T5ZI

Jirai got a few kills before a PAPI Ragnarok hit him with a doomsday… PAPI undocked a titan… blotting him out.  I got on a few kills as well before my Cormorant got splashed.  That added one more to my list of losses, though the op qualified for SRP so I got the ISK to buy a new Corm.

My war losses so far:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Cormorant destroyer – 5
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 5
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 2
  • Scythe T1 logi – 1
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

CCP announced some graphic updates that are available on the test server that are supposed to make space bright and more colorful.  I’ve been around long enough to remember the graphic updates that were aimed at making some areas of space darker and less colorful.

Then there is the PCU.  I have been tracking the top weekly player count during the war, which usually occurs on Sunday. (I note when it is a different day.)  The decline in  the PCU has been noted by many and seems to be something of a perfect storm of conditions.  First, there is the coming of summer, which people always say heralds a decline, except when it doesn’t.   Then there is the end of pandemic restrictions many places, which has led to a surge of people eager go somewhere, anywhere, the hell away from home.  My wife noticed over the last week or so that luggage sections at various stores were almost completely shopped out.

Need a bag? Not going to find one here!

The war is not helping.  Stalemate and stagnation hasn’t given people a reason to log in. CCP’s economic starvation plan is piled on top of that.  It has made things more expensive so far, and capitals almost irreplaceable for some, so people are becoming more risk adverse.

And then there is the outrage at the pop-up ad that CCP has introduced to the game to encourage people to buy PLEX has encouraged a pile of people to say they are quitting.

Use your credit card to finance your revenge!

Add in a holiday week… yesterday was US Independence day… and this past week had the lowest weekly peak concurrent user count of the war so far.  The Blackout was a big worry back in the day because daily PCUs were down around 25K.  That is up from where we are now most days of the week.  The question is, when will this bottom out and begin to recover?

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713
  • Week 29 – 35,996
  • Week 30 – 38,323
  • Week 31 – 38,167
  • Week 32 – 37,259
  • Week 33 – 35,886 (Saturday)
  • Week 34 – 35,626
  • Week 35 – 35,379
  • Week 36 – 35,085
  • Week 37 – 34,394
  • Week 38 – 36,319
  • Week 39 – 35,597 (Saturday)
  • Week 40 – 35,384 (Saturday)
  • Week 41 – 33,708
  • Week 42 – 33,521
  • Week 43 – 33,731
  • Week 44 – 33,742 (Saturday)
  • Week 45 – 33,758
  • Week 46 – 31,768
  • Week 47 – 29,898
  • Week 48 – 31,462 (Monday)
  • Week 49 – 27,914
  • Week 50 – 26,045
  • Week 51 – 25,661
  • Week 52 – 24,262

Related

Sunday WoW Items Before Shadowlands

We’re into November, and a bunch of stuff is coming up in World of Warcraft, not the least being the Shadowlands expansion.  But that is out on the 23rd, and a few things are in between then and now.

The November 1 calendar entries

Darkmoon Faire

It is the start of the last Darkmoon Faire before the expansion, and the first one since the big level squish.  You can get a final five points in any of your Kul Tiran or Zandalarian professions before Shadowlands profession updates arrive.  My main is just 3 points shy of finishing engineering, so I’ll be in there with him.  You have until Saturday night to get that done.

I’m also going to see if I can figure out the deal with heirloom gear.  Most of mine seems to be useful only through level 34 now, which isn’t so useful in a 10-50 alt leveling context.

Day of the Dead

It is also your chance to run the Day of the Dead event.  Get on this right away though, as it is a single day event.

Anniversary Event

World of Warcraft turns 16 this year, and the anniversary of the initial launch coincides with the launch date for Shadowlands.  I guess they did not want the two events interfering with each other or confusing anybody, so the anniversary event starts today and ends on November 22nd.  The 23rd is reserved for Shadowlands.

End Date

The event itself is a modest example of the genre.  You get a package in your mail box with some time warped tokens, a quest starter for a time walking event, a firework, and the usual xp boost token.

16 years means 16% boost

I am going to guess that Blizz doesn’t want to go into Shadowlands while giving people an xp boost.  They’ll save that for later.

The Headless Horseman’s Mount

Once again I queued up for the Headless Horseman.  I was half-hearted when Hallow’s End started, but was motivated by Belghast’s post about going all out for it.  Having done an audit of all of my characters, I knew that I had 18 characters who were level 20 or higher after the squish, the minimum level to run the Headless Horseman’s instance.

The first couple of the days I just ran with the dozen eligible characters on the paired servers, Eldre’Thalas and Korialstrasz, that I think of as home.  At the end though I dug out some old characters, spec’d them up, and ran with anybody I could get in the queue.

But, after the final run this morning as the event wound down, I found myself once again without the mount.

Not mine

Lots of masks, a lot of candy, a few rings, one sword, but no mounts.

On the bright side, I didn’t do horribly with the rando alts.  I’d probably go back and spec a couple of them to tank specs just to shorten the wait in the queue, but I didn’t do too bad.  I only had one bad group along the way, which wiped on the event three times before I bailed.  I was tanking that one with a level 50 pally and was putting out more DPS than the rest of the group combined.

Next year in Scarlet Monastery I guess.

Condition Report for the Fourteenth Interval

Conditions were superior during that interval

-Corr, speaking of some past period of time

It is that time again.  Another blog anniversary has rolled around.  I have now been doing this for fourteen years.

WordPress.com says hi

Fourteen seems like a long time.  It is about a quarter of my life at this point.  But, then again, beyond a certain age you find a lot of things that have hung around for significant fractions of your life.  I’ve been driving my current car for 17 years, I’ve been married for 21 years, I have shirts in my closet that still fit that pre-date the blog even.  And don’t get me started on the little things that collect around the house, items that do not have any real value but which I hang on to for whatever reason, like the front license plate to my first car, which was towed off to the junk yard back in 1986.

So, in a way, fourteen years doesn’t seem like all that long ago.  Also, the number fourteen doesn’t strike me with much in the way of inspiration.  Sure, it is the sum of two prime numbers and the age I was when I started high school.  I’ve also had a job pretty much continuously since I was 14.  But nothing really struck me for a post title besides Wilson’s fourteen points.  Me and history.

I’m also a bit lost for a graphic representing that number.  Thirteen had the whole bad luck superstition around it, and fifteen at least has a Taylor Swift song going for it, but fourteen… I suppose there is a state highway 14.  Whatever.

California State Highway 14

Past efforts, with better titles, if you are interested.

Like so many things on this site, there is now a set pattern of items I share annually, so we might as well get on with it.

Base Statistics

The same thing every year, looking at how the various needled moved over the last dozen months.

Days since launch: 5,114 (+366)
Posts total: 5,609 (+394)
Total Words: 4,378,757 (+411,478 words, not including this post)
Average words per post: 781 (+20)
Post Likes: 12,090 (+2,578)
Average posts per day: 1.097 (-0.01)
Comments: 33,780 (+1,329)
Average comments per post: 6.03 (-0.19)
Average comments per day: 6.61 (-0.23)
Spam comments: 1,482,548 (+18,381)
Average spam comments per day: 289.90 (-23.1)
Comment signal to noise ratio: 1 to 43.8 (-1.8)
Comments written by me: 6,857 or 20.3%
Images uploaded: 16,210 (+1,635)
Space used by images: 1.5 GB of my 3 GB allocation (49%)
Blog Followers: 1,888 (-40)
Twitter Followers: 775 (-1)
Tumblr Followers: 34 (+0)
US Presidents since launch: 3
British Monarchs since launch: 1
Prime Ministers of Italy since launch: 7

For some of you that will be enough stats.  Others will want to dive deeper, which you can do after the cut.

Continue reading

EVE Online 17th Anniversary Celebrations Coming Tomorrow

EVE Online turns 17 years old this week and is kicking off the celebration tomorrow.

Happy 17th Birthday

There will of course be a login campaign with rewards like SKINs and boosters and apparel and the ubiquitous skill points. (Maybe some fireworks too?)  Hopefully the first three won’t be of the temporary variety as is the case with the current login campaign.

I am also a bit curious as to how the birthday celebration campaign will co-exist with the current low key login campaign the company launched in the middle of last month.  I am still well shy of the end goal and the skill point reward there on every account.

Not even 2/3 done yet

Will it go away, wrap up, or play along side the new campaign?  I guess we’ll know after downtime tomorrow.

The new campaign will run from downtime on May 5 until downtime on May 19 and you will need to log in for at least ten of those days in order to collect all of the goodies.  As usual, Omega clones get better rewards than Alphas, but if you upgrade your account before the end of the campaign you get all of the Omega rewards you missed up until that point.

In addition, from May 7 to May 20 there will be the Capsuleer Clash event, with sites going up around New Eden that will reward new SKINs, limited time cerebral accelerators, limited time standings boosters, and special limited time 10 pilot Needlejack Filaments.

There will also be some special Permaband SKINs in the New Eden Store for a mere 17 PLEX each.  That is cheap enough for me to grab a set for both my main and alt, even if I don’t generally fly the hulls they are for.

So I will keep on logging all my accounts in.  We shall see how good the prizes end up being.

Addendum:

It looks like the campaigns will run together in two panels on the login screen.

The long login campaign up front

The Capsuleer Day campaign on the back tab

Also, the SKINs for the Capsuleer Day rewards are bind on claim, so make sure you send them to the right character.  The first SKIN is for your capsule.

XVII SKIN

I seem to recall that they fixed it so that your capsule SKIN choice will stick even after you jump in a ship, but I still have the gold SKIN from the 10 year anniversary collector’s edition if it doesn’t.

No. I’d Rather Kill Rats.

In keeping with the anniversary theme of this year, and dipping once again into the Computer Gaming World archive.  I give you the ad that ran in the December 2004 issue, which hit news stands and mail boxes in November.

Computer Gaming World Issue 245 – December 2004

A two-page spread isn’t so bad.  Since I am working from a scan, ads spread across two pages don’t line up unless I leave an appropriate gap.  That is a decent screen shot to capture a bit of the game.  It feels like it is in Stranglethorn Vale maybe?  I’m sure somebody will know where it is set.  I’m not sure there is such a dragon there abouts, but maybe there was at one time.

The only fly in the ointment was that the ad was way back on pages 78-79.  That’s the back half of the magazine, the cheap seats.  Diablo II didn’t have to put up with anything that far back in the magazine.  That position placed it lower in precedence than the horrible Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude ad, another Vivendi title, which got the opening pages, and the IGE.com gold seller ad, which holds the back cover.

I suppose at least it was a few pages ahead of the Saga of Ryzom ad.

You might get a sense of how tentative the launch date for WoW actually was from this ad.  Placement of ad copy has to happen a couple months in advance.  So when this ad suggests that you sign up for the beta, it means that likely back in August or so they were really not feeling firm about November.

Again, as I have said in the past, CGW isn’t any sort of definitive measure.  It wasn’t the biggest video game magazine out there.  But it was scrappy and it jumped on big titles to sell copies.  And on the cover of that issue was EverQuest II.  You can see that cover, and download a .pdf of the whole thing, here.

Anyway, happy fifteenth anniversary to World of Warcraft!  I didn’t get around to playing until early March 2005.  When WoW launched I was with Jeff Green, wading into post-cataclysm Norrath wondering if the lighting that was EverQuest might strike twice.

Also, you can totally kill rats in Azeroth if you want.  Sure, that quest in the tram station just has you charm them, but with the implication that they were to be turned into kebabs, which I find to be something of a distinction without a difference.  And the fact that they went hard on the bear, boar, wolf quest kill quests doesn’t exactly represent a leap in the genre.

Where they really innovated was in the realm of poop and outhouse related quests.  Why don’t we have a trailer about that?  Where is my poop parade?

Oh, and today also marks the 25th anniversary since the launch of the Warcraft franchise.

Warcraft has been a thing for almost half my lifetime.

The Thirteenth Floor

Another year has come and gone and here we are at thirteen.

This car does not stop at that floor

Thirteen is an unlucky number to some, but it has always been a bit of a talisman in our family, something of an attraction rather than an aversion.  I went skydiving with a friend on Friday the 13th, picking that day specifically for the unlucky connotation.  In the end though, it is just a number, something that passes by fleetingly, unless you’re 13 years old.  I’ve never been more miserable in my life than when I was 13, an age that seemed to last forever.

Now my blog is thirteen.  I hope it isn’t as bad off as I was at that age.

For those new to the site… how did you end up here… this is an annual tradition.  If you’re a glutton for punishment, there are twelve past entries to review.

I used to do cute themes for this post.  Years five and six are probably the best efforts for that, while I think eight is where I get the most philosophical.  That is where I said I would stop blogging at the ten year mark.  But here I am.  There are days when I am just so very tired that I can barely crank out the 2,000 words that make up the core of the post like this.  Cute pictures and the philosophy of the internet just aren’t in me anymore.

But on we go, as we do every year, for a look behind the curtain at the numbers and such that inform about this blog.

Base Statistics

The same thing every year, looking at how the various needled moved over the last dozen months.

Days since launch: 4,748 (+365)
Posts total: 5,215 (+420)
Total Words: 3,967,279 (not including this post)
Average words per post: 761.18
Post Likes: 9,521
Average posts per day: 1.098 (+0.05)
Comments: 32,451 (+1,670)
Average comments per post: 6.22 (-0.20)
Average comments per day: 6.83 (-0.18)
Spam comments: 1,482,548 (+32,607)
Comments Rescued from the Spam Filter: 438 (+4)
Average spam comments per day: 312.24 (-18.7)
Comment signal to noise ratio: 1 to 45.6 (-1)
Comments written by me: 6,430 or 19.8%
Images uploaded: 14,575 (+1,432)
Space used by images: 1.2 GB of my 3 GB allocation (33%, up 100%)
Blog Followers: 1,701 (+209)
Twitter Followers: 743 (+14)
Tumblr Followers: 33 (+7)
US Presidents since launch: 3
British Monarchs since launch: 1
Prime Ministers of Italy since launch: 7

Much more after the cut, if you feel like looking at a lot of charts, lists, and numbers.  Actual page view numbers are available.

Continue reading

Reflections on the Eve of the 20 Year EverQuest Anniversary

I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, so sue me if I go too fast
But life is just a party and parties weren’t meant to last

-Prince, 1999

What to say, here at the 20 year mark of the game?  There is so much emotion and history all packed around the game, the way it has changed, how the company has treated it, how the players have held onto it, and where it stood in the context of the different times along its twenty year life.

EverQuest stuff I have about the house

I’ve told the tale many times before how hearing about EverQuest through the people playing TorilMUD, some of whom were developing EQ.  I’ve mentioned passing up on the beta.  And I’ve recounted how, on March 16, 1999 I stopped by Fry’s on the way home, picked up a copy, got home, installed it, and was instantly hooked.

It was like no other game I had ever played.  The heavy influence of TorilMUD was clear to me, but that added just a touch of familiarity to help seal the deal.  But EQ was different all the same.  In having to adapt to a 3D world, much had to change.  And it was the open world, the misty edge of Qeynos hill, the far reaches of the Karanas, the dangers of Blackburrow, the sewers under Qeynos, and the fact that the place was full of other people that made it new and different.

But here we are at the 20 year mark and I decided to dig around to see if I could come up with something new to add to what I may have written before.  The blog has been around long enough that I have posts for the eighth, tenth, thirteenth, fifteenth, and other anniversaries.

A splash screen of expansion splash screens at 17 years

Me dispensing a few words about Norrath on March 16th is about as reliable as the Queen’s Christmas Message.

Honestly, for a game I have barely played very much over the life of the blog… save for that burst of activity around the Fippy Darkpaw Time Locked Progression server back in 2010… I have a lot of posts about it.  It was, at the last accounting, the fourth most common category on the blog, and it doesn’t even get a boost in its count from the month in review posts.

Chart celebrating 15 years

Anyway, I hit upon the idea of maybe dredging up some context for the time around the game’s launch.  After all, in my brain one of the great divides in the world is before/after the launch of EverQuest.  In its way, it changed everything.

Remembering my Computer Gaming World time capsule post from late last year, I got it in my mind to go check out the March 1999 edition of the magazine. EverCrack is what they called it back then and they couldn’t open up servers fast enough for a stretch.  It had 200K players before the year was out.  It must have been a big deal, right?

The archive site was up and running so off I went.

There was nothing on the cover of the March 1999 edition, but it must have gotten a mention inside, right?  Or maybe not.  The .pdf archives are scans of the magazine, not text, so I couldn’t do a search for the name, but there was naught to be seen.  Even the Pipeline section, which tracked the game release schedule didn’t have an entry for EverQuest. (But Duke Nukem Forever was listed, with TBD as a target.)

Well, in the magazine business the date on the cover generally represented the expiration date, so a March edition might represent copy from January or early February at the latest.  So I went to April and May.

Nothing there.  No mention.  Not even ads. (There is an advertiser index at the end of each issue at least.)  Come June there had been enough lead time that EverQuest starts to show up in the listings of the mail order software ads at the back end of the magazine.

And it wasn’t as though their audience hadn’t heard about online games.  The sporadic user popularity poll (in going through the archive it felt like a few different people put CGW together so things appear or disappear from one month to the next) had Ultima Online and Merdidian 59 on the list in April of 1999.

April 1999 RPG Chart

It wasn’t until later in the year that EverQuest started to get mentioned, though in one issue they refer to the company running it as Sony, Verant, and 989 Studios in three different places.  Things were complicated before it all got rolled up as SOE.  There is a column in September 1999 issue (spurred by a mention of the topic in Time magazine) about the sale of virtual goods.  There is even a Brad McQuaid quote in that about virtual worlds.

EverQuest doesn’t even get a mention on a CGW cover until June of 2000 (EverQuest Expansion!) and doesn’t rate its own cover until the December of 2001 issue, to coincide with the Shadows of Luclin expansion.

Firiona Vie in all her mounted glory?

By that point the game was past 400K subscriptions and was the king of the still fresh MMORPG genre.  Certainly SOE didn’t buy their way into that coverage, as there still wasn’t an ad for EverQuest in the magazine.

But the real irony here is which game got the CGW cover the month before.

World of Warcraft hype three years early

That’s right, more than two and a half years after EverQuest launched and more than three years before it would launch, World of Warcraft was the cover choice for the magazine.

I realize that CGW wasn’t the be-all end-all of computer gaming magazines.  PC Gamer managed to get an EverQuest review in by June of 1999.  MetaCritic has some other early reviews noted, so there was some traction, though not as much as you might imagine.  But the CGW archive is handy and looking at the covers and reviews, they were clearly keen to cover anything that might be popular.  There are a lot of familiar games in those pages.

But it is a reminder that EverQuest wasn’t the hot property at launch that some part of my brain thinks it was.  That popularity came later.  While I remember going to Fry’s to buy it the day it launched, I cannot remember how I knew that was the day.  I was aware of it through the TorilMUD connection, so maybe that was it.  And its growth over the first few months was very much a word of mouth affair.  I played on the first night, then came into the office to tell some co-workers that they had to get this game.  They then spread it to other friends.  Eventually it came around and I would run into people and find that they were playing already.

A Nine Year Timeline for EQ

After a while the game started bubbling up other places, it started being called EverCrack, virtual worlds and virtual economies started to be a topic of discussion, and songs about lost corpses started to make their way around the web.

1999 EverQuest Trivia

It was different for later games from SOE.  You can see PlanetSide mentioned on that EverQuest cover.  Star Wars Galaxies started getting mentions in CGW well before its launch.  And come the EverQuest II launch in 2004, there is a scantily clad Antonia Bayle on the cover of the December edition, along with a six page ad spread inside (plus another two page marketing co-op ad from nVidia and a two page spread for Star Wars Galaxies).

EverQuest II on the cover of CGW – December 2004 Issue

Jeff Green was in there with coverage of the game titled The Once and Future King.

If only.

By that point MMORPGs (and gold sellers) were well represented in the CGW ads, with Dark Age of Camelot, Saga of Ryzom, The Matrix Online, City of Heroes, and a little game called World of Warcraft all represented.  There is some irony in how the magazine’s focus turned around, with WoW getting a cover before EQ, then EQII dominating the launch cycle coverage against WoW.

But SOE arrived there, with the assumed natural heir to dominance in the MMORPG genre, because of the way EverQuest took off.  EverQuest and Norrath are the natural foundation of the house that Smed built.  EverQuest remains viable and expanding 20 years later because of what it sparked in so many people back when it launched.

Ultima Online came first, EverQuest II looks better, World of Warcraft took the crown, but nothing so far has sunk what EverQuest started back then.

Maybe some parties were meant to last.

And speaking of lasting, this also happens to be post number 5,000 on the blog.  It seems fitting that it should coincide with the EverQuest anniversary.

Others on the topic of 20 years (I’ll be returning to that first link in another post):

Daybreak Prepares for the Coming EverQuest 20 Year Anniversary

The often quiet Daybreak has surfaced to address the coming EverQuest 20th anniversary.  That’s right, EverQuest turns 20 this coming March 16th.

In a producer’s letter from Executive Producer Holly “Windstalker” Longdale… I hadn’t seen anything from her is so long that I wasn’t sure she was still with Daybreak… laid out some general expectations about what the company has planned.

Original Box Art

In game the letter says that there will be “brand new land, raids, and rares with a story about preserving our past, and it’s free.”  That is something for the regulars, the people who still congregate to play on the live servers.

For the extended fan base, which includes those of us lapsed Norrathians, who like to watch from a distance but who haven’t played the live game with any serious intent for years, there are a couple of new progression servers planned.

Progression servers are the SOE/Daybreak specialty and have proven quite popular when given the attention they deserve.  But Daybreak knows they cannot just roll out the same old thing every time, so these two new servers will be variations on the usual theme.

While the rules have not been revealed yet, one will be targeted as “hardcore” and the other “ultra-casual.”  Sign me up for the latter I guess.  I’ll be interested to see the rule set for both.  And both servers will launch on March 16th to coincide with the 20 year anniversary.

Starting then will keep them far enough from the impending launch of WoW Classic, slated for this summer, which I suspect will own the retro server market for some time.

And maybe with two servers launching on the same day there won’t be a huge queue.  Or maybe there will be.  I’d take it as a good sign for the franchise if there was one.

In addition to that, the producer’s letter says that a real life fan event is possibly in the works.

We’re working on pulling together an EQ fan event so we can hang out with you, our honored guests.

There are no details, and the tentative nature of that statement means it might not pan out.  But if it does, it will likely happen over the summer.  More details are promised come March.

In addition, Daybreak is asking for player submissions of short videos, 20 seconds or less, about how EverQuest changed your life or 15 second videos of your main character in game, to be included as part of an a 20th anniversary album that Daybreak will put out on Facebook this year.  If that interests you, you can submit your video via this page.

It has been a long time since EverQuest launched.  It was a very different world back in 1999.

There is no sign or word about the predicted end of content for the game, something that came about as a rumor back around the beginning of May last year. (After one of those layoffs.)  That some of what was stated has come to pass lends those rumors credence.  But things can change.  And  I wouldn’t expect to hear anything about that before the anniversary, lest it mar the event.  So we’ll hear more about what Daybreak has in store soon I hope.

Meanwhile, Bhagpuss has his own look at the producer’s letter and the coming 20th anniversary events.

World of Warcraft 14th Anniversary Celebration

We are past the middle of the month which puts us into the time when Blizzard starts celebrating the anniversary of the launch of World of Warcraft.  While the official launch date wasn’t until November 23, 2004, Blizz likes to start early, so things were already under way last week.

Anniversary Time

There is, of course, the usual “being there” achievement for logging in, as well as an email waiting for you with a gift.

Here we are again

The package contains some timewarped badges, the sort you get from doing timewalking dungeons, along with the usual WoW logo buff token which, following the usual pattern, provides a 14% boost to experience and reputation gain when active.

The token cometh

Timewalking seems to be the theme of the event, which I guess is totally appropriate for an anniversary event.  There are some quests that send you off to do some timewalking dungeons, which are set for The Burning Crusade era.

There is a new toy available from the timewalking vendor, some goggles that turns all friendly players and NPCs into Corgis.  And they’re all good dogs Brent.

I spent my tokens on some armor upgrades, since everything at the vendor was better than what I was wearing.  Maybe that will get me ready to actually do a few timewalking dungeons.