Tag Archives: Anniversary

Thoughts on Housing as EverQuest II Turns 18

EverQuest II launched 18 years ago today, back on November 9, 2004.  It was an event and the game was very much expected to carry on before it the way EverQuest had, becoming a dominant player, if not the dominant player in the fantasy MMORPG market.

My earliest screen shot of EQ2 – Nov. 14, 2004

Yeah, that didn’t happen.  And I’ll be frank, as I was there at the time, even if World of Warcraft had launched six months or a year later, rather than just three weeks, EverQuest II was destined to be, shall we say, more of a niche title.

An ad for EQII from the August 2004 issue of Computer Gaming World

I mean, in the scope of the success of WoW at least.  If there had been no WoW, it would have been a modest success, if somewhat disappointing success.  A lot of people went from EQII to WoW, but as many if not more went from EQ to EQII and back to EQ.  Maybe they went to WoW later because, if anything WoW was the real successor to EQ, but people left EQII in droves.

EverQuest II on the cover of CGW – December 2004 Issue

Mistakes were made.  There were a lot of problems.  So many problems.  Technical issues, high system requirements, a chaotic market, crafting interdependence gone mad, no gear atonement so people would just resell their old gear, quest log problems, and just a host of core ideas that drove the design of the game.

About a dozen years back, when SOE was talking about lessons learned for EverQuest Next, I took that and laid out what appeared, in hindsight, to be the lessons learned that drove the EQII design.

It was a difficult game to play and I remember hearing about people with old machines playing the game on such low settings that basically nobody had a face in the game.

But one thing they got right, straight away on day one, was housing.

Once you got through the isle of refuge and made it to your home city… only two home cities with a bunch of oddly segregated ghettos… how did barbarians and dwarves get grouped together… you got a quest to set up your first home.

Yes, it was a crappy, shoe box sized one room apartment, but it was YOUR crappy, shoe box sized apartment.  And there was stuff to do with it.  There were quests and items in the world, trophies and such, that you could bring back to display there.

Wall of Weapons and some of my other stuff

There was also a whole profession dedicated to furniture and such.

And if you wanted to sell on the market you HAD to have a house.  That was also your store front.  And there wasn’t offline selling at first, so you had to leave your character logged on, in your house, so people could buy your stuff while you were away.  I used to log myself in, then go to work all day, come home in the evening, and find myself still logged in.

Whatever you say about the initial design of the game, they were committed to housing.

I’ve written about what makes housing feel worthwhile in MMORPGs.  There are a lot of aspects that can go into it, and some of them are subjective and also drive a lot of emotion.  Some people absolutely have to have a real physical house that occupies space that unambiguously belongs to it.  Nothing but such a literal simulacrum attempt will do, no matter the issues inherent in that. (Which exist in both the real in virtual worlds because, as any real estate agent will tell you, it is all about “location, location, location.)

EQII opted for instanced housing, which has its own problems.  But you can at least always get a place that is convenient to where you want to be or what you want to do.

And that is one of the strengths of the game, one of pillars that holds the game together in my opinion.  I have played a lot of games with indifferent housing, forgettable cosmetic ventures that add little or no value to your experience.  But whenever I go back to play EQII, and I was doing that as recently as a year ago, I always check in on my house, add new items, move stuff around.

Then I go to the guild hall, which is something else they did very well, though that took a little more time to gel into another cornerstone of the game.

So here we are, 18 years down the road.  Given that Ultima Online is celebrating 25 years and EverQuest is well into its 23rd year, 18 doesn’t seem quite so long.

Of course, on the flip side, a commercially viable online game run by a public company that is 18 years old… well, in a world where EA is a thing, that does seem a bit strange at times.  Plus I was there, playing the damn game on November 13th, 2004.  A lot has changed since then.

So congrats on another year of EverQuest II.  It at least gets to celebrate its birthday before World of Warcraft every year… sort of.  WoW is even now loudly making plans and trying to scoop up all the possible guests for its birthday on the 23rd.

At least it has more expansions than WoW I suppose.

Another year goes by and I add another anniversary post to my list.

Past posts if you are in a nostalgic mood:

Sixteen Years of Driving the Blog

I suppose the go-to title for this post should have been something like “sixteen candles” or maybe “sweet sixteen.”  I mean, last year I went with “Quinceanera” in the title.  But those plays on the number weren’t really grabbing me.

So I will just say that the blog turns sixteen today.

WordPress.com acknowledges me effort again

That is kind of a long time.  More than a quarter of my life so far.  The elapsed time between my birth and when the state of California certified me as eligible to drive a car on the public highways was a mere 16 years and 5 days.

The blog has been going on for the about same amount of time it took me to grow from an infant to being able to drive a car on my own on the streets… legally.  There were some pre-license adventures.

It is not exactly the same amount of time.  There were five extra days because I couldn’t go get my license on my actual birthday, something many people my age, my wife included, did back then. I had to wait because my birthday fell on a Saturday that year.  Then my dad couldn’t spare the time to drive me over to the DMV until the following Thursday.  Oh, the humanity!

The whole thing involved a Peugeot 504 not unlike the one picture here

There is a whole story about driving, learning to drive, and the system around it that existed when I was a kid that I will get to some day in one of those weekend posts.  Another car story.  But suffice to say that sixteen years puts some mileage on you.

Past Anniversaries

For those interested in the history of my anniversary posts, which also represents, in a way, both the stylistic and level of effort arc of my writing career here, here are the past entries in the series:

It has been kind of down hill since year six.

Base Statistics

Since we’re on a bit of a car theme, this is pretty much the odometer of the blog, the numbers turning over as time goes by.

Days since launch: 5,845 (+365)
Posts total: 6,412 (+384)
Total Words: 5,256,386 (+417,030 words, not including this post)
Average words per post: 820 (+16)
Post Likes: 18,244 (+3,080)
Average posts per day: 1.097 (-0.003)
Comments: 36,407 (+1,299)
Average comments per post: 5.68 (-0.14)
Average comments per day: 6.23 (-0.18)
Spam comments: 1,793,899 (+74,983)
Average spam comments per day: 306.91 (-6.67)
Comment signal to noise ratio: 1 to 49.2 (+0.3)
Comments written by me: 7,347 or 20.1%
Images uploaded: 18,054 19,422 (+1,368)
Space used by images: 2.6 GB of my 13 GB allocation
Blog Followers: 2,237 (+164)
Twitter Followers: 800 (+15)
Tumblr Followers: 18 (-18, ouch!)
US Presidents since launch: 4
British Monarchs since launch: 2
Prime Ministers of Italy since launch: 8

This year represents the first time I have had to increment the British Monarchs count.

For most, that is already too much on the stats front.  But for those who want more, you will find much more after the cut.  I do this to spare the front page and not to generate a few cheap page views… though I’ll take the page views all the same.

Continue reading

A Decade in the Shadow of Error 37

What was going on ten years ago?  I mean, I guess you’ll get a full run down in a couple of days with my inevitable May in Review post, but work with me here for a bit.  But today we have a special anniversary to talk about.

Back in May 2012 people were trying to play the newly launched Diablo III and complaining about the dreaded error 37 that plagued the early days of the game.

Oh, I remember that

That was just the first of many issues Diablo III faced.  For example, there was error 75.

Once we could all log the game wasn’t bad, but there were the problems the itemization and the auction house, both the in game money version and the RMT version.

Wyatt “don’t you guys have phones” Cheng, the principle game designer on the Diablo team, gets irked if you suggest that the itemization was designed to force players to use the auction house (I’m too lazy to find his rant from a few months ago on Twitter), but it sure seemed like the simplest explanation.  If you take that out of the equation, then the team just messed up on itemization horribly because at-level drops were badly under powered for the content and the only way around it was to got to the auction house.

Still, even with that, it wasn’t a bad game.  The most controversial post I wrote in 2012 was probably the one where I said there wasn’t much of a gap between it and Torchlight II, which raised the hackles of a few Torchlight supporters.  A post with 38 comments is what passes for controversy around here.

That was, in part, because there was some rivalry between who would carry inherit the mantle of successor from Diablo II, the official next in the series, Diablo III, or something in the same spirit from a few of the same people who made Diablo II, which was the Torchlight story.

And then there was the dark horse, Path of Exile, the late entry in the race.

In the end, none of them really captured all of Diablo II.

Diablo III got story, Torchlight II got mods, and Path of Exile got atmosphere, but none were really a substitute for the original.  And then Blizzard gave us Diablo II Resurrected, after which nobody was really the successor because the original was alive and well again.

Meanwhile, over the last decade Blizzard spent a lot more time with Diablo III than its predecessor.  It got the Reaper of Souls expansion, which on the PC side of the house fixed itemization and got rid of the auction houses, both gold and RMT based.  That was a HUGE improvement for the game.  Then they did seasons and updates and a mini-expansion.

They did a lot better by it than they did Diablo II… at least until Diablo II Resurrected.

I even named Diablo III my ARPG of the decade, based primarily on play time.  I found it more engaging and playable than either of it rivals… and the Diablo II revival didn’t arrive until last year.

Now we’re about due for another Diablo title.  It took almost a dozen years to go from Diablo II to Diablo III, and we look to be about on the same time track as we wait for Diablo IV.

Seventeen Years of Baggage in EverQuest II

Here we are again, another spin of the planet and suddenly it has been seventeen years since I first jumped into EverQuest II.

My earliest screen shot of EQ2 – Nov. 14, 2004

As sometimes happens, I am going to take a moment to reflect on a game that I played at launch and have gone back to a number of times, to the point that I am actually subscribed as I write this.  Here are some past posts on the topic:

I am clearly not as emotionally nostalgic about EverQuest II as I am about its older sibling… I think I have written twice as many anniversary posts about it… but I am much more likely to go back and play EQII than EQ when it comes down to it.

One of the interesting things about the Panda, Panda, Panda events, which send you around old zones in something of a scavenger hunt, is how many zones I remember playing through.  I didn’t play a lot of them when they launched and I played through most of them maybe once on a single character, but it is enough to bring back memories of many places.

Meanwhile, every time I go back to EQ and have to go anywhere that wasn’t in the the first three or four expansions, it is like I am seeing a brand new world, which I often am.  My EQ memories are pretty much limited to those zones, a few from The Serpent’s Spine, and the tutorial that got put in years after I stopped playing regularly.

The characters I play these days all come from the EverQuest II Extended and free to play era of the game.  There was a fresh start with that, letting go a lot of the baggage that had built up around my 2004 characters.

But time passes.  Expansions arrive.  Quests get run.  And now I log in and got to the bank and open up all my bags and I see this:

An accumulation of things

I don’t think the primary problem is really “what is all this stuff?” though there is certainly a healthy amount of that going on here.  EQII is pretty good about not putting quest items in your bag in the first place, but once it does put them there it never comes back for them, so there aren’t a bunch of items where I am wondering if it is safe to toss them or not.

I am actually pretty diligent about things like crafting items, which get put in the box in the guild hall.  Likewise, anything that is a housing item get put in my home pretty quickly.  And I don’t fill up my bag or bank with stuff from the /claim window.  Lots of stuff still left in there.

And I am pretty sure most of this will just stay here

No, most of the items in that screen shot have some sort of purpose that isn’t too terribly mysterious.  Instead it is a matter of me not knowing if I should save them, if I need to hang on to them because I might need them some day.  Anything from adornments to some very old experience potions are hanging around in my bank.  And the accumulation continues.

I will say this though.  At least EQII gives you lots of storage space.  I haven’t even tried to find the largest possible bank boxes yet.  The ones I have are all from at least five expansions back.

Though, if I am honest, more space probably isn’t helping me.  I am not forced to jettison anything, so things just accumulate.

Anyway, it has been seventeen years, though my account clock appears to be a little bit off.

I took this screen shot yesterday

Even allowing for my taking the screen shot a day early and perhaps the game not ticking over to the current day until it reaches the very moment of my first character creation, which took place at some point in the evening of November 13th, 2004, I am pretty sure 6,205 is still two days off.  Oh well.

I’ll take solace in my bonus days, which they used to give you with each expansion purchase.  And then they got all hard core and decided they should only count the days you were actually subscribed, before letting all of that go with free to play.

The bonus time used to mean that they would have to have the next year’s veteran’s reward available with each anniversary because some of us had 360 bonus days.  But the veteran’s rewards fell by the wayside at some point.  The 12 year reward was the last one I can recall.

Now they just run the Hero’s Festival to celebrate the anniversary, which is probably for the best.  I don’t need any more stuff cluttering up my bank space.

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


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)
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US Presidents since launch: 3
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For some of you that will be enough stats.  Others will want to dive deeper, which you can do after the cut.

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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.


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.


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.