Tag Archives: Blaugust

August in Review

The Site

I guess the site news this month was participation in the annual Blaugust event.  This year is was a more chill Blaugust.


For the Relaxed Edition of Blaugust, you got to choose what sort of posting goal you were going to pursue.  You didn’t HAVE to do a post a day.  So, feeling a bit worn, I chose the “weekday posts” plan, which is what I usually do anyway.

And the, of course, I posted every day of the month anyway, this being post number 36 for August.  Go OCD Wilhelm.  I actually have leftover posts I didn’t finish.

I did manage to post them all to the Blaugust forum on Anook as some sort of proof that I was in the event.  Anook seems kind of dead this year however.  Gamer social network sites, still not a viable business plan yet.

Anyway, I should go nudge Belghast, the founder and administrator the Blaugust event, and see if I can bump up my commitment on the list to “every day,” since that was what I ended up doing.

I will likely do a further post-event summary next month, but Psychochild already has his up if you need something like that right now.  Be sure to leave a comment!

One Year Ago

It was Blaugust and a lot of people played along.

I told the strange tale of my first automotive test drive.

Project: Gorgon had Kickstarter success at last, then there were stretch goals, the grand total, and mapping out a plan going forward.

Blizzard, on the other hand, was facing bad news as WoW subscriptions dropped to 5.6 million, the lowest since December 2005.  In order to drown that our, Blizz had a big WoW announcement planned later in the week.  There was much anticipation.  I speculated on what it might be, but it turned out to be the WoW Legion expansion announcement, sans cinematic.  Of course, once they announced it, everybody wanted to know when we would get it.

In EVE Online, it was all about Fozzie Sov.  People were complaining.  We had to take sov from allies in order to transfer it, at which point MOA temporarily scooped up a couple systems. Crazy days!  The Galatea expansion addressed some of our issues.

Then the Imperium went to Providence to test out the new sovereignty mechanics… and to purge the Jamylites with the blessings of Maximilian Singularity VI.  The resulting conflict is all under the Provi War tag here.

Meanwhile, CCP was doubling down on VR, adding EVE Gunjack to their lineup.

Turbine was warming up for the great LOTRO server upgrade and merge effort.

Daybreak was also planning server consolidations, these for EverQuest II.  They were also working on a server for misfit players, which seemed like a dubious idea.  And on the Stormhold server, the first expansion unlock vote came up.  The players said “no” to the unlock.  And in EverQuest, on the Ragefire and Lockjaw servers, the inevitable enforced raid rotation schedule was implemented, with an eye to keeping out casuals it seemed.

In Minecraft, I was discovering fire and putting our world up on a hosting service to share it with friends.  Xydd joined up and began working a lot on the nether, while Skronk began his own building project, as I tinkered with dungeons.  We had a setback with our hosting service.  It was a good thing I was keeping backups.

And I wrote a little something about the passing of Robert Conquest.

Five Years Ago

Blizzard announced some crazy idea that you would have to be logged on to Battle.net at all times to play Diablo III.  Glad that never came up again.  Oh, wait

SOE finally got a comprehensive server status page, and Scars of Velious opened up on Fippy Darkpaw.  I was wondering if they had “made good” with customers after the great hacking in April/May of the year.

I hit 70 million skill points in EVE Online and prepared to check out after the summer or rage.

I was back playing LOTRO for a bit.  I made it into Moria, then went looking for hoes.  I also wrote a post summing up my relationship with LOTRO up to that point.  It’s complicated.

Wargaming.net announced World of Battleships.  They have since changed the name to World of Warships, because we cannot have enough games we can shorted to WoW yet.  This got me musing on battleships and related games.

Meanwhile, World or Warplanes (another WoW) got a web site with cool pictures and stuff.

David Reid was telling people that Rift had ONE MILLION CUSTOMERS.  How one actually defines a customer was left as an exercise to the student.

I was still playing some Need for Speed World.  I was enjoying destructible terrain, though the weekend the police broke lead to some different destruction.

I mentioned some of the little things I liked in MMOs.

I was wondering about World of Warcraft Magazine issue 5.  It seemed to be very late.

And Namaste put out a Very Short History of MMOs video.  Wasn’t there a follow up video?

Ten Years Ago

This is the last time I have to do this before I can simply re-run five year old “Five Years Ago” segments, which is good, because bugger all seems to have happened a decade back this August, judging from what I was able to scrape up from Wikipedia year and month entries.

AOL, which apparently is still a thing even today (I strongly suspect my mother-in-law still gives them money every month), bought the GameDaily site which, in a case of foreshadowing, was eventually disappeared into the Joystiq brand.

The original Saints Row launched… on the frickin’ XBox 360.  Eventually its popularity brought sequels to the PC Master Race.

I started playing EVE Online on August 29, 2006.  That must have been my last “pre-blog” MMO start.  It was certainly another stepping stone on the way to the blog, as I felt I have to tell somebody about the horrible new player experience.  Some things never change.

I was also mucking about somewhat aimlessly in World of Warcraft, stuck in the bag-stuffing morass that was Stranglethorn Vale of old, trying to get past the level 40 slump on a few characters, and wondering if it might be time to run back to EverQuest II.  If only I had a regular group to do something like run dungeon content in Azeroth!

Features Sites of the Month

For this month’s featured MMO Blog I want to bring your attention to:

Ah SynCaine, the raider who burned out on WoW and who has been damning it ever since.  Somebody who can flame bait like no other, the only person on who regularly comments on my blog whom my mother thought was “mean.”  In many ways the anti-me in posting, always blazing in the purity of his point where I tend to hedge.  He’s been a pain in the ass for almost the lifetime of this blog, but without him, what would our little corner of the internet be?  Also, he is in GSF now, so Imperium solidarity.

Then of the “other” site of the month, I want to point you at is:

The site isn’t what it once was, and I’ve long since been stricken from the list of blogs covered.  But it is still a place of great MMO blogging significance to me, the cornerstone of a group of bloggers who crossed paths in posts and comments and cross-links over the last decade.  And, as I mentioned earlier in the week, the VirginWorlds podcast archives, which was at its peak from 2006 into 2008, is a treasure.  I still go back and listen to some of the old shows now and again, as Brent often captured what people were thinking and saying about various games so well.

Most Viewed Posts in August

  1. Executive Outcomes Leaves The Imperium
  2. Breaking into Delve
  3. Pre-Ordering WoW Legion at a Discount
  4. Cross Country to Frostfire Ridge and the Bloodmaul Slag Mines
  5. WoW and the Case for Subscription Numbers
  6. The Pokemon 20th Anniversary Continues with an Arceus Event and More
  7. I Bet Blizzard Really Wants to Mention Subscription Numbers About Now…
  8. Pondering That Legion Level 100 Boost
  9. Can Better PvE Save New Eden?
  10. Who Has Successfully Changed Horses Midstream?
  11. Fresh from the Legion Invasion Event
  12. Demon Invasion? What, Me Worry?

Search Terms of the Month

middle earth gamea for 2017
[Maybe LOTRO will still be around…]

85 beastlord where to molo
[Get your mojo on when you molo!]

eve online drop outs
[EVE University issue?]

i free won warlods of draenor
[I bet you did]

will clone wars adventures come back
[No, it will never come back]

Spam Comments of the Month

Don’t make your site look like a Christmas tree. It’s a complete turn off.
[Unless, of course, it is Christmas]

Don’t forget to keep records of your cost for your ISP (Internet Service Provider) , email campaigns, online marketing cost, PPC (pay per click cost) and BC Ecommerce.
[um, right-o!]

diy clock kit
[Yeah, we know how home made clocks work out]

EVE Online

We completed the move to Delve and began taking over the region, one constellation at a time, raising the ADMs as we went.  We are about two thirds done with that.  At some point the casino barons paid Progodlegend one trillion ISK to bring TEST down to Delve to fight us.  Comedy has since ensued, including trapping a TEST/NCDot Machariel fleet in a dead end constellation and camping them there, forcing them to either die running the gauntlet or self destruct. (31 kills so far.)  One guy even ejected from his Machariel to avoid giving us the kill mail, allowing Jay Amazingness to jump into the ship and fly it off.  Good times.


It has been a slow month for me in Minecraft.  I’ve been on a bit to tinker, but I do not have a big project currently to which to devote myself.  I was working on a bit of a rail line upgrade and beautification task.  But that is a long, long project with all the rail I have laid.  Of course, I’ve also had other games to play this month as well, so I haven’t really sat down and thought about Minecraft much either.

Pokemon GO

Since I actually own an iPhone now, I started playing Pokemon GO.  Current end of month stats:

  • Level: 11
  • Pokedex status: 39 caught, 40 seen
  • Pokemon I want more of: Eevee naturally
  • Surprisingly rare catch: Geodude – Those are usually pretty common in the the Pokemon RPGs

World of Warcraft

Lots of WoW play time this month.  After wandering about a bit aimlessly after the 7.0 class apocalypse and garrison nerfs, the Legion pre-launch events hit and I was down with that and leveling characters up and trying to formulate some plan.  And then the expansion hit yesterday.  We’re finally there.

Coming Up

There is a whole new WoW expansion, what do you think I will be spending my time with?

EVE Online will probably be pretty quiet next month, with just the Delve conquest to finish up and maybe a Reavers deployment to recover the Jacket Dispersement Station in ED-L9T.

Just kidding, the lid is coming off in the EVE Online community with the announcement of a complete change up to boosting and a free to play plan coming in with the needs-a-name-now November expansion.  Crazy Viking game devs in action again.  I will likely have something to say on that front, though I am waiting for the dust to settle a bit.

Also, as noted at the top, there will be some sort of summary and linking out to everybody post about Blaugust.  And, given that this is my 120th month in review post, those capable of simple math might expect some sort of anniversary post to well up at some point in September.

I am not sure I will have time for much beyond that.  What else will need to be covered in September?

Blaugust is Upon Us

It is Blaugust again.  In fact, we are now three days into Blaugust and I am only now getting around to putting up a post about it.

But that is okay, because this year it is Blaugust, the Super Relaxed Edition, so you can probably show up late and still be totally okay.


The idea is that, rather than the “post every day for a month” routine of the last two years, this year you can select your posting schedule.  Then so long as you keep to your planned schedule, you win… for whatever value “winning” has in such an event.  It is sort of like bracket racing… for blogging… without the racing part.

Belghast has a post up explaining the whole idea with a link so you can sign up.  I signed up for the “every week day” bracket, which is basically “business as usual” around here.  We shall see if I keep to that, or if the Blaugust spirit infects me and I post every day.

Belghast also has a post up listing which blogs are involved and what posting schedule they are looking to hit.  The list, which I totally stole from that post, currently stands at:

Daily Posts

Weekday Posts

Three Posts a Week

Some Other Schedule

As Time and Inspiration Allows

There is also some suggested hash tagging or other cross promotional things mentioned, all of which I am generally pretty bad at, as well as a topic suggestion/discussion group over on Anook.  We shall see how Blaugust works out in its super relaxed form I guess.

Blaugust in Review

Here we are on Day 30 of Blaugust and I am already rushing to the exit, ready to review the whole thing.

Now seems like an appropriate time to flash the even logo

Now seems like an appropriate time to flash the even logo

I’m not really in a rush (and somebody else has been down this path already), but I had a post slated for yesterday, I have the traditional month in review post already queued up for tomorrow, and something already queued up for Tuesday, but nothing really planned for today.  So I figured it would fit nicely here.  Not that I need another post.  I hit the 31 post mark nearly a week ago, but I guess we actually have to do one EVERY day.  Can’t just stop at 31.

What I Did Do

I posted at least once a day, every day, for the whole month.  Last year I wrote 39 posts for Blaugust, this year I will manage 42.  So three better, for specific definitions of “better.”

I linked up my post over in the Blaugust section at Anook.com, both as a blog post and as a forum post.  At about Day 22 I had finally refined my method so I could link my blog, embed a picture, assign a related game, and have it all publish correctly on the first try.

By the way, the craziest thing on Anook has to be this:

The bar has been set very, very low...

The bar has been set very, very low…

Bhagpuss could easily topple me from that #1 spot if he joined and linked up his posts.

I visited other bloggers, left comments much further afield than I usually do, added a couple blogs to the blog roll and even more to the blog feed in the side bar, and became Blaugust buddies with Ysharros.   I think that should be a Blaugust feature going forward, a random pairing of participants or some such.  Maybe?

What I Did Not Do

I did not write much in the way of special Blaugust posts.  I didn’t use any of the writing prompts and I was even able to dodge the AMA thread in the Blaugust forum when I pointed out I already wrote a post on the requested topic for the NBI 2015 event, so there wasn’t much left to say.

Basically, I don’t seem to have much problem coming up with a topic to write about on a daily basis.  I didn’t even use any of my emergency backup topics.  That is, in part, one of the joys of having a somewhat generalist gaming blog.  If I were single game focused things might be different.  Also, it was a pretty big news month for August.  There was a lot to write about, plus a week long war in EVE Online, which always helps.  I think I have more half finished posts in my drafts folder at the end of Blaugust than I did at the beginning.

I did not inject the word “Blaugust” into post titles, use it as a hash tag, link to the rules page, or any of that except when posting explicitly about the event.  That was partly me just being finicky about style and partly a matter of being “in” the event but not “of” the event, to get a little philosophical.  My blog was here before Blaugust, it will be after Blaugust, so it doesn’t need to be tied directly to Blaugust even during Blaugust.

Also, I managed to use the word Blaugust four times in a single sentence there

And, to be honest, going into Feedly during the event and seeing post title after post title starting with the word Blaugust looked kind of icky, to use the technical term, and a bit confusing.  I didn’t want any part of that.  Such is life.

I also didn’t see much in the way of traffic from the event.

Not that this month wasn’t a banner month for traffic, so there appears, on the surface, to be some correlation between that and Blaugust.

But digging into the traffic sources that brought people to the blog over the last 30 days, Anook is way down in 14th place.  Search engines were the top source, with Anook bringing in just 0.6% of the traffic Google sent here.  And individual blogs of participants in Blaugust fell further down the list than Anook, with In An Age being the top there.

The top 20 sources of referral traffic for August, for those who are curious.

  1. Google
  2. lowseclifestyle.com
  3. evebloggers.com
  4. totaleve.com
  5. greedygoblin.blogspot.com
  6. bhagpuss.blogspot.com
  7. blessingofkings.blogspot.com
  8. syncaine.com
  9. Twitter
  10. keenandgraev.com
  11. feedly.com
  12. Reddit
  13. theoldreader.com
  14. anook.com
  15. Facebook
  16. inanage.com
  17. WordPress.com Reader
  18. popehat.com
  19. weritsblog.com
  20. mmoquests.com

Search engine traffic was up significantly this month, and it was largely directing people to posts about World of Warcraft. The first week of August saw two big WoW announcements, first the subscription number drop and then the big WoW Legion reveal.  That also got people talking and linking back and forth and what not.

Basically, if you want more traffic, write about WoW drama.

Though, in a surprise move, my post about Lord of the Rings Online server merges topped the chart here for August.  That was mostly by virtue of few people posting about it, so my post made it to the first page of the results on Google.  Go me.

Also, Gevlon linked here more than anybody else this month.  What does that say about August? And me?

But the traffic thing is really beside the point.  I didn’t come here to make friends.

Wait, no!  I totally came here to make friends.

This was a community event and a chance to mingle a little more closely with my fellow gaming bloggers and all that.  So much better with people and all that.  So I am going to declare op success on that front, though now I am confused as to how this all fits under the heading of things I didn’t do.  Well, not making a lick of sense never stopped me from clicking the publish button before, so why stop now?  Maybe I should inject a new heading.


Never too late for that.

All in all it was a good event.  As noted above, I found some new blogs to follow.  It got some people back to blogging, including Brian “Psychochild” Green who somehow found the time write a significant post every day while on the very busy Camelot Unchained team.

A great big thanks to Belghast for setting it up and a shout out to all of the blogs that joined in.  I think I have the list below.  We had even more people to part than last year.  There some prizes to hand out, an accounting of who made it the whole way, and some further summaries to write, but things should be mostly arriving at the finish line.

Blaugust 2015 survivor blogs:

  1. A Green Mushroom
  2. A Technical Rejoinder
  3. Adamantly Complacent
  4. Aeternus Gaming
  5. Ald Shot First
  6. Alexandria Mack
  7. Ash’s Adventures
  8. Aywren Sojourner
  9. Battle Priestess
  10. Beyond Tannhauser Gate
  11. Bio Break
  12. Blue Kae
  13. Cannot Be Tamed
  14. Comics and Cookies
  15. Contains Moderate Peril
  16. Couture Gaming
  17. Diary of a Mom Gamer
  18. Endgame Viable
  19. Fickle Fangirl
  20. Floor Tank Gaming
  21. Game Introspection
  22. Gamer Girl Confessions
  23. Gaming Identity
  24. Goobbue Crossing
  25. Hello Kitsune
  26. Herding Cats
  27. I Have Touched the Sky
  28. In An Age
  29. Intermittent Daily Posts from Howard
  30. Jamie’s Blog – Daily Vlogs
  31. JVT Workshop
  32. Kateri Morton
  33. Knifesedge
  34. Lair of the Wolf Dragon
  35. Leaflocker
  36. LFGryph
  37. Light Falls Gracefully
  38. Lock and Bolt
  39. Me Vs Myself and I
  40. Memoirs of a Lady
  41. MMO Gypsy
  42. Moonshine Mansion
  43. Murf Versus
  44. My Epic Fail
  45. My Life in Azeroth
  46. Nerdy Bookahs
  47. No Market Collective
  48. Nomadic Gamers
  49. Pizza Maid
  50. Pleasant Gamer
  51. Psyche Plays
  52. Psychochild’s Blog
  53. Pumping Irony
  54. Sagacyte’s Digital Adventures
  55. She Rides Dragons
  56. Soul of the Forest
  57. Soulbound Life
  58. Soultamer Gaming
  59. Sparks in the Horizon
  60. Star-Fired Beef
  61. Starshadow
  62. Stars of the Spiral
  63. Static Refresh
  64. Stropp’s World
  65. Stylish Corpse
  66. Tales of the Aggronaut
  67. Thalen Speaks
  68. The Adventures of Xinrae
  69. The Ancient Gaming Noob
  70. The Driveling Dwarf
  71. The Friendly Necromancer
  72. The Mystical Mesmer
  73. The Tankquisition
  74. Through Wolfy’s Eyes
  75. Trail-food for Thought
  76. Tyrannodorkus
  77. Why I Game

It is Blaugust and You Are Already Late!

It is that time again.  August is upon us, the month that historically brings the least news and sees the fewest game launches.  It is hot out, the Euros are all on vacation, True Detective is wrapping up, and it just feels like it might be the right time to take a break from blogging.  Who would even notice, right?

So let’s hold a blogging event!


Belghast over at Tales of the Aggronaut is going to try to push all willing to try and post every single day during the news and interest drought that is August.

There are, of course, rules.  You can read them all here, but to summarize you have to make a minimum effort post on your blog every day this month, and then you have to link up your post over in the Blaugust forum on Anook.com.

Of course, here it is, the first day of August, and if you’re just reading about Blaugust now, you’re already late!

But don’t worry, you can catch up.  Or, if you’re quick, you can still post today and not be behind at all.

I am not sure how I will fare this time around.  Last year I ground through without much of a problem.  This year though… well, it is still August, school is starting soon, work is busy, I have a summons for jury duty next week and a low number which ensures I’ll be spending time at the courthouse.  We shall see.

Hopefully we’ll have some Blaugust group topics for people to dig into.  Or, if you want another source of help, WordPress.com is having a Blogging 101 event this month as well, and will send you a topic to write about every weekday.

Anyway, look at all the people who have signed on for the event.

Blaugust in Review

As August fades into our collective rear-view mirror, so too does Blaugust, Belghast’s event to drive away the typical August malaise.


Fifty blogs set out to post at least once a day for the duration of the month.  Thirty made it to that goal.

Like many of the other bloggers, there were bits that pushed me to post more.  If you look at my archives, you will see that 31 posts in a month is generally no big deal.  I meet or exceed that number most months.  But I usually do not post on Saturday or Sunday.  It just isn’t part of my normal routine.  I will often start posts, take and edit screen shots, and actually play the games I write about, but getting together an actual post and pressing the “publish” button just doesn’t happen all that often.

A number of us jumped on a couple of common post themes to help us along through the month.  There were the ten questions about WoW, the gamer quiz, the question about how you ended up with your blog’s name.  I didn’t run with that last one as I already had too many posts and, honestly, there isn’t a good story behind the name.  It just seemed amusing at the time.

In the end, I made it.  I posted every day in August.  I put up a total of 39 posts, 37 of which met the basic criteria for the event.  (I could have made those other two fit… I think one would have met the ten sentences mark by merely cutting a couple of my awkwardly phrased ones into a few simple declarative sentences.)  And I linked those 37 in the Anook community that Belghast set up for the event, my 37 mixing in with the more than 700 posts so linked.

A number of bloggers took some time… often using their last post in August/Blaugust… to sum up how things went and what they learned.  Here are a few that I saw.

There are still some prizes and badges to be awarded to those who participated and to those who completed the challenge of Blaugust.  When there is an overall summery, I will link it.  Wait, here it is.

I definitely found some new blogs to read as part of the whole event.  It was fun.

Meanwhile, I figured that I would link to all the blogs that threw their hats in the ring and at least accepted the Blaugust challenge.  You will find them after the cut.

Continue reading

Hot Blaugust Nights

August is in the wings, waiting to bring with it the usual end of summer ennui on the gaming front.

Nothing new ships.  Very little gets announced.  The releases we are looking forward to are generally somewhere off in autumn.  At times it feels like you should join half of France and just take August off.

Over at Tales of the Aggronaut, Belgahst has proposed something to help bloggers get through August.

He calls it Blaugust.


The basic idea is simple: Put up a post a day on your blog during the month of August.

There are of course rules as to what counts, but to sweeten the deal there is also a community cross-linking thing going on, some potential prizes, and some topic suggestions that you can use or ignore at your pleasure.

Belghast explains it all in The Gospel of Blaugust, including the whole Anook aspect of things, which I am still pondering.  Go check it out.

Now, I suspect the immediate reaction from some will be that more posts are not necessarily better.

True enough.

But over the long term… just about eight years at this point… I have often found that longer “thinking” posts sometimes get overtaken by events and look horribly naive or just uninformed even a year later.  (Granted, that might just be me or just the things I write.)

On the other hand, some things that I have hesitated even to post, things like a game launched, an expansion shipped, some numbers were announced, or the ever amusing quote of the day, turn out to be nuggets of information I fall back on later.  Nothing like having a library of past Smed quotes when he is off on his latest bout of enthusiasm.

Basically, never stop posting.

Anyway, we shall see.  I come pretty close to posting once a day as it is, and Belghast looks like he’ll give us a pass if we get in 31 posts during the month, so I might actually be able to play video games on the weekends still rather than writing about them!