Tag Archives: CCP

The Road to CSM13

Back in early February we learned that one of the outcomes of the Winter summit was a list of changes to the CSM election process.  In summary:

  • Move the CSM elections to a point later in the year
  • Increase the amount of time for campaigns
  • Reduce the actual time spent voting
  • Announce the results sooner

The reasoning behind them is covered in the link above.  Now CCP has followed up to fill in some of the details as to how this will play out.

Coming to a space election near you…

The plan so far:

  • Applications are open – March 19 to 23
  • Application processing – March 23 to April 11
  • Candidates for CSM 13 are announced – FANFEST (April 12-14)
  • Voting will take place late April/May – Dates will be announced later in a separate blog
  • Spring/Summer – CSM 13 onboarding & orientation
  • CSM 13 Summit 1 – September (likely dates are Sept 3-6)
  • CSM 13 Summit 2 – February

I am going to say, up front, that the application period seems pretty short.  I am not sure that was part of the original plan, or something new to cut down on the number of candidates, but last year the application period ran for two weeks, February 3 to 17.  14 days to 4 days is more than a bit of a cut.

It seems like the second step, processing all those crazy applications, could be trimmed back a bit to allow more time for applications, since that only took two weeks last time around.  Or they could just start accepting them earlier.

I actually went and asked about this on the forum thread setup to discuss this.  Of course, I showed up to as a question about the process only to find a thread mired knee deep in the usual debates about the CSM and CCP and how things should be.  Welcome to EVE Online.

I was wondering if, as with the voting aspect of the process, they might have some insider insight.  Maybe almost everybody who runs applies on the first day anyway, so the two week window wasn’t really helping anybody.

Surprisingly, to me at least because my expectations, as set by the industry as a whole, are to never expect to hear anything ever about any comment or question, CCP Guard responded and said that the window for applications wasn’t felt to be as important as the actual notice and run up time to get things in order.

Then I pointed out that last year, from announcement to the final day of applications, players had 40 days while this year it was only 24 days, and that was all I heard about that as the thread continued to be people complaining about various aspects of the CSM, like the NDA requirement.

Anyway, beyond that we’re back on track again, with the candidates being announced at Fanfest.

After that things get a bit vague.  The plan was to have a longer campaign season followed by a shorter span for actual voting.  Again looking at last year, the time between candidates being announced and when voting began was about a week, after which voting ran on for three weeks.

If they reverse that ratio April seems unlikely as far as the start of voting.  I would guess that, allowing for a 3 to 4 week campaigning period to get us all completely bored with space politics, we might be looking at the election starting on May 6 or May 13.

And after that we’ll get some election results, presumably much more quickly than last year, and then the newly elected CSM13 can start in on all of their CSM-y things while people complain about the results and null sec winning too many seats.

Anyway, if you want to run have your passport handy and meet the following criteria:

  • Your account must be older than 60 days at the time candidacy applications close.
  • Characters on both Alpha and Omega accounts are eligible to run.
  • You must have a history of honoring the EULA and the Terms of Service. We will screen every applicant thoroughly and EULA/TOS violations on your record can result in a rejected application.
  • Your account must have updated and correct information at the time of your application. This includes; your real life name, correct date of birth and the same email you use to submit your application. To view and edit this information go to the account management website.
  • Candidates must have reached 18 years of age. If the legal adult age in your home country (the age at which you have the legal capacity to enter into a contract) is higher than 18, that number applies instead.
  • As an applicant, you must consent to provide your personal details to CCP, including your real name and a copy of your passport. CCP needs to affirm your real life identity for NDA contract purposes and the ability to travel to summits in Iceland is a key function of the CSM.
  • If you do not currently have a valid passport, we will accept a picture/scan of a valid and approved passport application accompanied with a picture of your driver‘s license.
  • You must consent to sharing your country of origin with the EVE Community and having it displayed on the EVE Online website. You will not be required to share any other personal information with the EVE community.
  • If you are running as an “alt” and you control a character that has a reputation in the EVE universe, CCP may require you to run under that identity at its full discretion.

Then follow directions on the dev blog to apply to be a candidate.

Citadel Changes Feature in February EVE Online Update

The February update for EVE Online has been deployed and it brings a host of changes.

Love is in the air… or space… or whatever

As noted in the headline, the biggest changes are probably to citadels, which got the
“Upwell 2.0” firmware update.  Or so they say.  This is covered in detail in a Dev Blog, including changes that were made after it was initially published, so I won’t repeat all of that.  Instead, a few highlights.

Low Power Mode – This is a new state for citadels that have no service modules active which, one would assume, means that they aren’t being used for much besides docking and tethering.  When in low power mode any attack will get to skip the second round of assaulting the citadel, skipping the armor cycle and having to just do the shield and structure rounds.  Shield hit points for structures in low power mode are also reduced by 33%.  This should make clearing unused or abandoned structures, something of an issue in high sec currently, easier.

Updated Vulnerability and Reinforcement Cycle – The timing of attacks have been changed.  Probably the biggest aspect of that is now one can attack a citadel and finish the shield cycle at any time rather than having to wait until a specific weekly vulnerability window.  After that attackers have to come back during a time chosen by the defenders.

  • An initial attack that can occur at any date and any time chosen by the attackers
  • A second attack that occurs in the timezone of the defenders, on the day chosen by the attackers
  • A final battle that occurs in the timezone and day chosen by the defenders to allow them a last stand

CCP posted a news item suggesting that owners of citadels set these new timers before the update.

The flow of attacking an Upwell structure now follows this flow chart.

How to explode a citadel

There has also been an overhaul of citadel weapon systems that includes the removal of void bombs, which were restricting the composition of attacking forces to doctrines that could hold up while being neuted out.

Moon mining is now available in wormhole space and in 0.5 high sec systems, two items promised since last year.

Again, there is a huge list of changes covered in the dev blog (and clarified in some cases in the patch notes) for those interested.

On to other items, Assault Frigates got a balance pass to make them more attractive, so they are all now a bit faster, a bit lighter, and have 30% more capacitor.  In addition the Ishkur, Retribution, and Jaguar got some extra attention, which is covered in this thread and the patch notes.

There is also a new series of Assault Damage Control modules that may be fit only to Assault Frigates or Heavy Assault Cruisers.  The new modules give less passive resistance, but can be activated for a short period (13-17 seconds depending on the type) to provide a 75% boost to resists, after which it takes 150 seconds for the module to recycle.  We shall see if this makes Assault Frigates or HACs more useful in a universe where battlecruisers, strategic cruisers, or T3 destroyers are usually a better or cheaper option.

Then there is the Guardians Gala Event, which kicks off today and runs through to the 27th of the month,

Guardians Gala Comes Again

The event consists of sites that will pop up on your overview all over New Eden which you can attack for loot.  They will show up in The Agency interface.  The sites come in two flavors this year, normal and VIP.  The VIP sites are alleged to require more than one ship according to CCP, but I’m sure somebody will come up with a fit to solo them.  There is a scouting report for the event over at The Nosy Gamer.

Among the prizes this year are slot 8 stasis webifier enhancing implants and Eros Blossom SKINs, which are pink… and you know how we all love pink SKINs.  In addition some Eros Blossom SKINs (and pink fireworks as well) will be available in the New Eden Store for PLEX.

On NPC structures, Bloodraiders and Guristas shipyards will now no longer be locked into a select set of regions but will now spawn all over low and null sec.  I do not see a mention of whether or not there will be more spawns, but I assume that at least the Bloodraiders, which used to be limited to a single spawn, will be increased in numbers.

And both the shipyards and the forward operating bases will have a cap put on the size of their defense fleets.

Objects seen on missions (which CCP still calls “dungeons” in the patch notes because they hate me and want to give me an aneurysm) have been updated for the V5 shader so are probably a lot shinier than they were before.  They might even look better too.

Finally, there is a line item in the patch notes that indicates that CCP has updated the Wwise audio engine in order to improve audio stability and performance, which I am sure will get any number of readers to respond with, “EVE has sound?”  Audio has long had performance issues in the game and people who end up in fleet fights generally turn sound off just to eke out some additional performance from the client. (Closing Local helps too.)  I’ve run this way so long that I’ve become used to fight in space being silent affairs aside from voices on comms.   But silence is probably right for battles in a vacuum.

Anyway, the update is now live.  You can read up on it in the Patch Notes or on the Updates Page.

CCP and Proposed Changes to CSM Elections

CCP announced yesterday that the minutes from the CSM12 Winter Summit are now available for your perusal.

CSM12 still rolling along

The minutes, as always, seem as much a tool to irritate as to inform.  That is just the nature of the beast.  The minutes are a brief record… in 77 pages… of people talking about EVE Online, do people actually doing anything about it.  And the CCP people often respond to ideas or questions in the same way, that they’ve discussed or thought about this or that, but never had time or never got to it.

Because there is the reality of software development; you always have more ideas than time and everything always takes longer than you think.  If, sitting on the outside looking in, you think something should be easy… like, say, remove the DUST514 references from the chat windows… it is probably because you lack the knowledge surrounding it.

So they are there, read them, mine out the few chunks of data, try to read the tea leaves that form the rest, and move on.  Exploding on the forums probably won’t help anything, but if it will make you feel better you can join in.

One item to which CCP decided attention to in their dev blog post was a proposed change up to the CSM elections.  As somebody who has never been a fan of the players electing a focus group… I called the whole thing the Galactic Student Council nearly a decade back… changes in the election process often strike me as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic; the new layout may be nice, but it isn’t going to change the end result.

In the case of the CSM, popularity or being the candidate of an organized group, as opposed to deep game knowledge, wins.  And, of course, null sec is the most organized out of necessity, so guess who is pretty much guaranteed to secure at least half the seats?  So that we get anybody with deep knowledge of aspects of the game is as much chance as anything, though we don’t seem to have as many vanity candidates winning recently.  It seems that people eventually figured out what a “free trip to Iceland” really meant.

Not that I think deep knowledge could change things or “make” CCP do anything.  I like to imagine new, dewy-eyed and determined CSM members showing up in Iceland set to change things and walking away ashen faced like they just got a tour of Voronezh Meat Packing Plant #12.  As with sausages, it is probably best that you not look to hard at how software is made.

Anyway, I digress.

The changes being proposed are, as I read them:

  • Move the CSM elections to a point later in the year
  • Increase the amount of time for campaigns
  • Reduce the actual time spent voting
  • Announce the results sooner

The first point seems to come from the experience of the current CSM members who felt that after Fan Fest, when development starts to slow down a bit as summer vacations begin, would be a better time to bring new members on board.  I don’t think it is a CSM12 conspiracy to extend their own tenure for a couple months, but you never know.

The second, extending the time from when we know the official candidate list through until voting begins, seems to be rooted in the charming belief that the people who aren’t paying attention and who never vote might change their minds if only there was more time to try to distinguish between the huge grid of avatars from which they get to select.

The third point, reducing the actual duration of voting, seems to contradict the above, but really what it means is that CCP has data on actual voting as opposed to campaigning.  They say most people vote on the first day or the last day, basically those were were aching to vote and those who said, “Oh crap, I’d better vote!”  That seems to make sense, but I am sure somebody will cry “voter suppression” over the proposed change.

And then there are the results, which CCP knows pretty much straight away, but which they sit on for weeks and weeks so they can announce them at Fan Fest.  I guess we’ll just have to do without that particular aspect of Fan Fest which, as somebody who will only ever see Fan Fest over a live stream, works for me.

So sure.  Make the changes.  I strongly suspect that they won’t alter the expected outcome and will just give the same people who complain every year about the same things regarding the elections another bullet point or two for their list as we roll on into CSM 13.

CCP Updates Their RSS News Feeds

As I mentioned… okay, bitched about… in Monday’s post, the coming of the new EVE Online community site disconnected the news updates from the old RSS feeds.  The feeds were still there, but no new items were being added after the change over.

RSS logo for an RSS post

CCP Avalon, responding to the grousing of the few of us who actually use RSS and a feed reader (or who populate web sites like Total EVE or the side bar of my own EVE Online Pictures via these feeds), sent out an update over Twitter earlier today with a new set of feeds for EVE Online news.

Since WordPress seems to want to mangle that Tweet due to URLs, the new feeds are as follows:

There are also JSON flavored versions of the feeds, if that is your thing.

The feeds are up and live and populated with current and past items, so it wasn’t even a hard before/after cut over but a smooth transition.

So all is good in that little corner of the world again.  The side bar on my other blog has been updated and once I update Feedly those items should be showing up in the Gaming Company News feed at the bottom of the side bar here as well.

Social media is fine and dandy, but RSS is where you go when you want reliability.

2018 – Predictions for a New Year

Welcome to the new year… not the same as the old year we hope, but how often do we get that wish granted in a way we don’t later regret?

As has become the tradition here over the years, I have laid out a list of predictions for the upcoming year. 11th time’s a charm or something.  A few have some grounding in reality, more are speculation, and the rest are just wild theories I thought sounded plausible when spoken in a calm, neutral tone.

Past runs at this whole prediction thing:

Despite having done my worst job at foreseeing the future last year, I continue on unabated.

The scoring is the same as every year, with each question worth 10 points total unless otherwise noted, with partial credit being possible since my predictions tend to meander and cover multiple points.

1 – Blizzard will ship the Battle for Azeroth expansion for World of Warcraft on August 28th of this year.  10 points if I am right, minus 2 points for each week I am off for a partial credit calculation.

2 – WoW Classic – We will have a lot of details by the end of the year and you’ll be able to sign up for closed beta, but there won’t be a lot of emphasis on it to the disappointment of many.  But Blizzard is canny and won’t want to distract from the Battle for Azeroth launch.  Expect a major WoW Classic panel at BlizzCon with lots of details of things we can expect to try in 2019.

3 – With plans for a real WoW Classic unambiguously in motion, expect Blizzard to serve notice on any emulator hosting enough players to run the Deadmines that legal action will commence if they do not shut down and promise to stay that way.  That was cute and all when Blizz said it couldn’t be done, but with actual money on the line Blizz will be more like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas.

4 – Heroes of the Storm will continue to follow the Diablo III toward the dormant part of the Blizzard franchise locker room. More changes won’t revitalize it, but it will make enough money for Blizz to keep making new heroes through 2018.

5 – Shut down list – The following titles will close their doors, at least in North America,  2 Points each:

  • Runes of Magic (Best case, merge with the European server)
  • WildStar (Going to be right one of these years)
  • GuildWars (NCsoft will be all about mobile and clearing out old stuff)
  • Defiance (The companion TV show has been cancelled already…)
  • Granado Espada (Was kind of surprised to hear it was still a thing)

6 – Won’t ship list – The following titles won’t ship, go live, leave early access, progress beyond alpha, or otherwise leave the criticism deflection zone and actually face the live market, 2 points each:

  • Star Citizen
  • Crowfall
  • Camelot Unchained
  • Pantheon
  • CCP Project Nova

7 – Shroud of the Avatar will make the leap to live status, will leave early access and such, and be fully available for sale without caveat or restriction… and sales won’t take off because most everybody who was interested has already bought in.  Instead it will need an active, constantly updated, and heavily promoted cash shop to keep going.  Govern yourself accordingly.

8 – No legal changes to lootboxes, pay to win, or pseudo gambling.  This is a Gevlon inspired prediction, where he said:

Mark my word: one year from now, it’ll be illegal to sell anything random or powerful and it’ll be also illegal to not disclose major gaming concepts like how the matchmaker works.

I’m taking the opposite position.  I’ll leave out the matchmaker part, mostly because that seems nonsensical to predict… not to mention he was wrong about it with League of Legends… and stick with just the “random or powerful” part of that.  If I can buy a random lootbox come December 1st of 2018 with the promise of a useful, non-cosmetic item, that will be 10 points for me.

9 – Nintendo and GameFreak will announce a remake of Pokemon Diamond & Pearl for the 3DS.  Come on, you know how badly we want this!  Dooooo eeeeet!

10 – In a retro focused year, Nintendo will also announce Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire for the 3DS Virtual Console.

11 – The Nintendo Switch will get its own Virtual Console store in 2018, and one of the early test items will be versions of the above mentioned Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire in order to test the waters. We will get that announcement before we hear anything about a new, current generation core Pokemon RPG on the Switch.

12 – Pokemon Go will finally get a head to head battle mode along with a friends list, though it will be segregated by platform, so iOS and Android shall not mix.  No trading of Pokemon however and the incentives to battle, aside from pride of winning, will be kept minuscule out of fears of abuse.

13 – Microsoft/Mojang will announce end of updates/new features for Minecraft –  Java Edition in favor of ongoing support for the unified edition that works across mobile, console, and Windows 10 which, coincidentally, is also the edition where they make money selling skins and such.  Basically, maintenance mode and a push to get people to go where the money is.

14 – Daybreak will finally announce a new product, a small-ish group/co-op RPG thing that will feel like something of a new coat of paint on Just Survive, but will be fantasy and based in Norrath because that is the only IP they have that has some draw and lacks a licensing fee.

15 – PlanetSide 2 and Just Survive will clearly be in maintenance mode by the end of the year, with staff being pulled off to work on the above new title.  The problem will be distinguishing maintenance mode from whatever mode they are in now.  Daybreak will just have to tell us.

16 – EverQuest and EverQuest II will get their annual autumnal expansions.  The EverQuest team will follow the lead of their younger sibling and return to a Planes of Power theme.

17 – On the EverQuest II side of the house the focus will be a surprising return to a desert theme along the lines of Desert of Flames, flying freaking carpets and all.

18 – The deal with Tencent to bring H1Z1 to China will fall apart when PlayerUnknown’s Battleground makes it there first and sews up the battle royale market.  Best case, H1Z1 will launch and fold in a few months, worst case it won’t even get the chance.

19 – EVE Fanfest 2018 in Iceland will be a smash, celebrating as it will the 15th birthday of the launch of EVE Online.  However, one of the announcements will be that there will be no EVE Vegas going forward and that their plans for Four Fan Fests around the world in 2019 will be scrapped as will Fan Fest 2019, though the latter will be because they’re remodeling the Harpa.  I am not adopting the Massively OP outlook that EVE Online itself is mordibund because most of the community team got the axe, but without them who else is going to do these events?

20 – EVE Online itself will continue to move forward more slowly than planned.  The end of player owned starbases and null sec stations won’t come to pass until after the traditional CCP July/August vacation season.  Focus before then will be tuning Alphas some more, The Agency, and special events.

21 – After going up in 2017, the PCU will begin to trend down again, with the average over the next 12 months dipping down to 30K.  Not drastic, but it will keep the “EVE is dying” fan club active and have CCP looking around for short term changes to boost the player base.

22 – EVE Fanfest 2018 will see a revised vision statement about future plans for EVE Online.  Gone will be talk of player built gates and new space.  There is already too much space in New Eden for the current player base.  Instead the new vision will seek to revitalize NPC null sec regions like Venal and the Great Wildlands with a much more aggressive NPC population defending those systems rather than just letting players pass.  Details will be high level, but CCP will hint that this is a test run for plans they are considering for Jove space as some sort of high end, raid-like experiment.

23 – In EVE Online the CSM 13 elections will see a bump in non-null sec representation, with four seats going to such candidates.  The return of Mike Azariah will help get out the non-null vote.  The six null-sec seats will be two Imperium (Aryth & Innominate), one Brave, one TEST, one PL/PH/NCDot, and one GotG.

24 – Project Aurora, CCPs mobile game made in cooperation with… um… whoever that was at EVE Vegas… will ship in the second half of the year and… will do better than Dust 514.  It will do okay, people will download it and play it, it will get a core following and make some money, but it won’t be covering the bills or paying for an expanded community team.

25 – We won’t hear much about the alleged new project that CCP recently posted job listings about, aside from the fact that they have partnered with somebody else to do the heavy lifting. A year from now EVE Online will still be all CCP really has, but people will still be yelling at CCP for a) spending money on anything besides EVE Online and b) gambling the whole company’s future on just EVE Online.

26 – No 64-bit client for EVE Online in 2018.  The captain’s quarters wasn’t all that was holding them back, it was just the easiest to dispose of.

27 – Standing Stone is running out of content for Lord of the Rings Online.  Between Mordor and the Grey Havens there is really only a couple of weddings, the walk home, the scourging of the Shire, and trying to clean up the mess.  No expansions, no be changes to the landscape, just a few updates with some of the more militant mopping up tasks in areas of Middle-earth they have already mapped out.  We won’t be walking Frodo to the Grey Havens in 2018, but it will be on the horizon.

Double Extra Credit Bonus Prediction: CCP will announce they are merging with, or being acquired by, another studio before the end of 2018.

So that is 27 entries for a total possible of 270 points, plus the bonus prediction, a throw away I am going to demand 20 points for should it come to pass.  Now to wait and see what happens between now and December of 2018.

Others doing some New Year’s predicting or wishing:

Looking Back at 2017 – Highs and Lows

We are here again at the point of the year where I take a moment to look back at the state of things and wonder how we managed to get things as messed up as they appear to be.

This post follows the usual random stream of consciousness, “oh yeah, that happened” level of effort with no attempt to link out to anything.  I just spew out bullet points.  Past efforts, for comparison or whatever, are available:

So what happened in 2017 that stuck with me:



  • World of Warcraft team managed to keep delivering new content with the Legion expansion, which seems like it will stem the usual max exodus that comes with the regular second summer content drought.
  • Money money money money… WoW still brings in so much money it has avoided any real F2P lootbox taint so far.
  • New expansion, Battle for Azeroth, announced at BlizzCon.
  • Holy fuck, WoW Classic announced at BlizzCon!!1! one one !
  • Diablo III got the necromancer and that odd Diablo special event.
  • Overwatch is still go-go-go.
  • More Hearthstone card packs to sell.
  • StarCraft Remaster!
  • StarCraft II base game now free.
  • Heroes of the Storm got some sort of revamp… and then another one.


  • WoW subscription numbers are still top secret and their other metrics are BS; SuperData Research can seem more informative than Activision Blizzard quarterly reports.
  • We haven’t actually hit the second summer of Legion yet; things could still go badly.
  • The renewed Horde vs. Alliance aspect of Battle for Azeroth isn’t a universally inspiring as, say, the Lich King.
  • Blizzard is just now staffing up the WoW Classic team, so the ship date is probably still far away, like 2020.
  • League of Legends still makes more money than WoW and Riot doesn’t have to design huge zones or raids, they just have to sell some skins, boosts, and the occasional OP champion.
  • Diablo III is very much on the back burner now.
  • Still no Diablo II or Warcraft III remasters.
  • StarCraft II feels like it is also falling by the wayside; making it free and putting the remastered StarCraft on the Battle.net launcher feels like the successor never topped the original.
  • How long until Hearthstone card packs hit the level of absurdity?  I suppose if Magic: The Gathering is any indication, the answer is “never.”  But for me that point has already come and gone.
  • Did the Heroes of the Storm updates make any difference?  Is Heroes of the Storm even going to be a thing come BlizzCon 2018?
  • I hate to get all “what have you done for us lately,” but you got anything new planned Blizz?



  • Still holds a high enough spot in my heart to get its own category in this post despite my not playing any of their games right now.
  • Continued the Norrath development cycle another year, with EverQuest and EverQuest II each getting a new expansion.
  • Planes of Prophecy in EQII got some good reviews by the locals and continues the successful nostalgia plan at Daybreak, it being a call back to the monumental 2002 Planes of Power expansion in EQ.
  • Somebody must be buying the $140 versions of those expansions if they keep offering them.
  • Ongoing Norrathian nostalgia train as post EQ and EQII got new expansion locked progression servers.
  • DC Universe Online remains strong on consoles.
  • H1Z1 – King of the Kill was the king of battle royale games on Steam for a while.
  • H1Z1 – King of the Kill is going to China via Tencent, Riot’s parent company.
  • Just Survive is supposed to get some attention and updates.
  • Still a rumor of a new game coming from Daybreak, maybe even a Norrath game.


  • The EQII fan base remains restive, especially in the forums.  Daybreak inherited a lot of anger debt from SOE.
  • How many special servers can Daybreak roll out before they hit diminishing returns?
  • How many time can EQ go back to Kunark before that well dries up?
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battleground pretty much dwarfed H1Z1 – King of the Kill on Steam… and then so did Fortnite.
  • H1Z1 – King of the Kill renamed back to just H1Z1 because the word “kill” kills sales, or so they say.
  • In China H1Z1 will apparently be King of Survival. Bite the wax tadpole!
  • Just Survive seemed aptly named given how long it was neglected.  But at least it did survive.
  • Landmark, gone in a blink, a lesson in early access.  There is nothing special about “going live” when you’ve been charging people to play all along.
  • Rumors don’t pay the bills and any new game will likely go straight on to Steam as unfinished “early access” and suffer the same fate.

Standing Stone


  • Free from WB and their bottom line expectations, they are focused on their two titles.
  • Continuing to develop and improve both Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online.
  • Launched the Mordor expansion so, after a decade, the end of the War of the Rings is in sight.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online got some updates as well.


  • Company is clearly tied to milking the final acts of both DDO and LOTRO; they will never create a new title.
  • Since they didn’t get Asheron’s Call, that went away.
  • Still not really sure who owns them; WB doesn’t just give assets away.
  • Still not clear on relationship with Daybreak and who is benefiting from it.
  • Not sure the avatar graphical update was worth the investment; every gripe I had about the old avatars still exist.
  • From Frodo leaving Bag End to the destruction of the ring took about six months in the books (September 23, 3018 TA to March 25, 3019 TA).
  • The end of the War of the Rings means the end of the game, unless we’re going to get a quest to go with Sam to the Grey Havens and then help him run for mayor.
  • The Mordor expansion… just not that appealing… and the expensive versions of the expansion seemed even more over-priced for what one got than even Daybreak’s offerings.



  • Consistent updates and big feature expansions are still a thing for EVE Online.
  • A renewed focus on EVE Online late in the year.
  • Promise of a 64-bit client, which should reduce client crashes in big fleet fights… at least crashes from exceeding the 32-bit limit on memory allocation.
  • Can still get headlines out of player conflicts in null sec.
  • Andrew Groen has a podcast going into more detail about null sec history.
  • A lot of community outreach by CCP, with players streaming on their Twitch channel and such.
  • An expansion of Alpha Clone abilities.
  • The company seemed to be a leader in VR titles with Valkyrie, Gunjack, and the new Sparc.
  • Valkyrie now available for non-VR players with the Warzone expansion
  • Project Nova and Project Aurora are going forward with partnered studios doing much of the heavy lifting.
  • /r/eve on Reddit… not as toxic as it once was.


  • Literally dammed if they focus on EVE Online and dammed if they do not.
  • The cost of focus on EVE Online was layoffs.
  • Somehow, laying off most of the EVE Online community team was “focusing” on EVE Online.
  • This year saw the least number of Dev Blogs published in the history of the game, and at this point they get a dozen gimmes in the form of the Monthly Economic Report.
  • EVE Online remains the only viable post-Hættuspil game for the company.
  • EVE Online also remains firmly in the post “Jesus Feature” era; not much being added to the game that would bring back old players.  Updates in 2018 were mostly iterative.
  • The captain’s quarters are gone.  Some part of me did want that to work out, but CCP just doesn’t have the breadth to do that and keep internet spaceships viable at the same time.
  • Music with updates seems to be a thing of the past, which is sad because EVE Online music is something I actually listen to regularly.
  • Null sec headlines this summer quickly turned to bad player behavior thanks to GigX making real world threats, thus reaffirming that New Eden is a horrible place for horrible people.
  • Apparently nothing outside of null sec and the occasional scam makes for a headline or a story worth telling.
  • Andrew Groen gave up focusing on EVE Online after only a few episodes.
  • The whole Alpha Clone thing opened the door for creeping microtransactions and the eventual shit-death of the universe.
  • Some of our community remains shit.
  • While VR is growing as a segment, it is still very small.
  • Making Valkyrie available without VR doesn’t inspire confidence in the VR market
  • Valkyrie with VR was visually interesting, taking that away makes it feel flat.
  • Need to been an octopus to play Valkyrie well with keyboard an mouse; really requires a game pad… by which I mean an XBox 360 controller specifically, unless you want to configure everything by trial and error.
  • And speaking of things that do not inspire confidence in VR, I hope you really like Gunjack, Sparc, and EVE: Valkyrie exactly the way they are now, because development for the products has been shelved and most of the staff laid off.
  • What are the odds that an EVE Online based shooter or mobile app will be a success no matter who is doing the coding?
  • Ha, ha, ha… I just remembered when they were talking about an EVE Online TV show.
  • /r/eve on Reddit being better than before is a very low bar and hardly worth bragging about.



  • The Switch is selling well.  It will pass total Wii U sales numbers soon.
  • Video games on the Switch sell well even with reduced visual fidelity
  • Seemed to figure out its NES Classic issue so SNES Classics are much easier to come by
  • Might actually re-release the NES Classic next year.
  • New Pokemon games in the form of Pokemon UltraSun & UltraMoon.
  • Old Pokemon games in the form of Pokemon Gold & Silver… and Pokemon Crystal soon.
  • Yet more Metroid of some sort.
  • More mobile apps.  Lots of people downloaded Super Mario Jump!


  • For all its success, I cannot see a reason to buy a Switch.  And it isn’t anything like Wii level popularity.
  • End of the Wii Store is coming… well, in 2019, but still… alright, I was surprised it was still even open.
  • Pokemon UltraSun & UltraMoon were not a big change over Pokemon Sun & Moon.
  • No Pokemon Diamond & Pearl remake… yet.
  • After Pokemon Go other Nintendo mobile apps have failed to see anything close to that level of popularity or financial success.

Other Games


  • Unified Minecraft clients so you can share servers with your friend on different platforms
  • Fortnite shows up as an sharp looking co-op survival game.
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battleground takes the Battle Royale idea and runs with it to massive success, leaving H1Z1: King of the Kill in the dust.
  • Star Citizen hasn’t imploded yet and even seems to have made some progress.
  • Word of an Age of Empires remaster to go with my Age of Kings remaster.
  • Steam, still a purveyor of the occasional rare gems, always a sale of some sort just around the corner.
  • Rimworld ate up a lot of my gaming hours over the summer
  • I played a lot of MMOs over the course of 2017.
  • Lots of MMOs still out there surviving many years in.
  • Toril MUD is coming up on 25 years of operation in one form or another!
  • EA going too far with Star Wars Battlefront II microtransactions brought a lot of attention to what is going on with that sort of thing.


  • Original Minecraft, now called the “Java edition,” was not part of the unification plan.
  • PUBG devs got really pissy when Fortnite decided that it too would become a battle royale game.
  • Have you tried to decipher Fortnite’s purchasing options?  I went to their site and gave up after looking at that.  Also, if you bought in for co-op survival, sorry, battle royale is now the thing.
  • Star Citizen is still a lot a vision and very little reality as fan boys celebrate getting access to an Alpha version only a few months late while a real viable game isn’t even a speck on the horizon yet.
  • Speaking of Star Citizen, giving everybody access to the public test server doesn’t count towards “shippping” the long promised Alpha 3.0 release.  That just says it isn’t ready yet.
  • Eventually we will hit remaster saturation… or start having to remaster the remasters as tech progresses.
  • Steam is still clogged with a huge mass of absolute shit that makes finding gems a near impossible chore.
  • I’m glad I bought No Man’s Sky on sale, as it really didn’t grab me at all. Slowest load times ever.
  • I played several MMOs for less than a month each this year before landing back in WoW, so same as it ever was.
  • I went on a zone (raid) with a group in TorilMUD and my ability to parse scrolling text is not what it used to be.  I was totally lost.
  • Server merges for games like Runes of Magic and SWTOR show the decline.
  • Club Penguin thrown over by Disney for a mobile app.  After “land war in Asia” one of the classic blunders is to force your installed base to change platforms and re-start from scratch.
  • Marvel Heroes suffered a sudden, if not totally unexpected demise, leading to questions about refunds for people who recently made in-game purchases.
  • Are there any Funcom MMOs that are not in maintenance mode?
  • Civilization VI just didn’t inspire me, but at least I bought it on sale.
  • EA managed to go so far on the microtransaction greed front as to attract the attention of various governmental organizations.  That could end very badly for all of us.  Way to shit the bed for everybody there EA!
  • Trion, apparently missing the whole EA fiasco, decided to sell a $100 lockbox in Rift with a random “premium” mount, some of which are available in-game for much much less.  Then attempted to deflect criticism via derision and sarcasm.  At least they saw the light after a few hours of being pounded.
  • Games I backed on Kickstarter continue to fail to ship, with Mineserver leading the way in the ratio of promise to actual delivery date failure metric.
  • Early access, Kickstarter campaigns, and beta have all become pretty much synonymous with getting the money up front and delivering shit as the industry does its usual gyration where somebody succeeds on good faith and then others take the most superficial lessons from that and pile on simply looking to make money before delivering.
  • Fewer high quality video games showing up as the expense to make them continues to rise while older games hang on through DLC and other monetization plans.  How long ago did GTA V ship?
  • As I write this I cannot think of a new video game title to which I am looking forward to seeing launch.



  • Blade Runner 2049 really looked, sounded, and “felt” excellent.
  • Dunkirk was beautiful and engaging to watch.
  • Lots of blockbuster superhero movies, if you like that sort of thing.
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi for pete’s sake!
  • Fantasy Movie League has been fun.
  • Finally watched Breaking Bad.
  • Stranger Things 2 gave fans of the first series something new to binge on and was strong enough that a third season has been green lit.
  • Comcast put Netflix and YouTube apps in their cable box so I can now easily switch to either service and watch them on the TV.
  • Amazon Prime video remains worthwhile.
  • The beloved celebrity death train that was 2016 seemed to have subsided somewhat.


  • Box office confirmation that Blade Runner was a cult classic and not a mainstream success in any way.
  • I saw Dunkirk in IMax and it was so loud I think it damaged my hearing.  Also, I refuse to believe in Spitfires that can glide forever.
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi left me feeling dissatisfied.  We’ve also hit a point in the franchise where you can neither like or dislike a film, or any aspect of the film, without somebody declaring your opinion flat out wrong because you’re either too big of a nerd or not big enough or a nerd.  That’s not how this works.
  • I am not very much into the superhero things really.  Can we get some better science fictions movies… that aren’t necessarily Star Wars of Star Trek?
  • Fantasy Movie League can seem really random in results unless you are REALLY into keeping up on details and projections.  I fail at that more often that I succeed.  My ability to care is limited and sometimes I just want to roll the dice.
  • Cannot get my wife to buy into watching The Walking Dead.
  • Stranger Things 2 lacked the punch, got off track, and was a lot more interested in itself than the first series.
  • If I couldn’t figure out where Stranger Things 2 was going to go, where in the hell will Stranger Things 3 end up?  How much can Hawkins take?
  • You don’t want to see my Comcast bill.  And I have to have them because there are literally no other choices in my area.
  • And in this era where I am paying so much to Comcast, HBO, Netflix, and Amazon for streaming, the best and most cost effective way to see a new release at home is still getting disks in the mail via the old Netflix delivery service.  All hail the postal service I guess.
  • It is a good thing the video has value because Amazon Prime shipping… let’s just say I wouldn’t order anything breakable from Amazon these days.
  • I watched YouTube’s 2017 Rewind video and… boy do I feel old.  I got fidget spinners, the eclipse, and maybe that planking is dead?
  • I might be willing to sacrifice a few more celebrities if it would keep the president from provoking North Korea on Twitter.  Maybe we can get some deal on all the ones suddenly accused of sexual misconduct?

The Blog, internet, and other things


  • The blog, it still lives!
  • I managed to just about keep up the pace, posting more than 300 times.
  • People still show up here, read posts, and occasionally leave comments.
  • I still actually enjoy writing.
  • There is still a pretty active MMO blogging community out there.
  • There is even something of an MMO press still.
  • Net neutrality was good while it lasted.


  • More blogs I have known have fallen by the wayside or disappeared.
  • Reddit, Twitter, and Twitch are a far more common outlet for gamers than blogs and podcasts these days.
  • The alleged MMO press can’t really stick to MMOs most days without stretching the definition to mean simply “online multiplayer.”
  • Massively OP continues to demonstrate that they have some sort of institutional axe to grind when it comes to EVE Online and Daybreak.
  • My rate of posting, while still beyond my “every weekday” goal, continues to slacken.
  • People showing up and leaving comments is, likewise, falling off.
  • Do I really play anything besides EVE Online and WoW?  So what will I write about?
  • My typos are starting to become more common and more egregious… it now compares with Apple’s auto-correct in absurdity some days… to the point that I am starting to wonder if I have some sort of neurological disease.   Stapling machine.
  • I am starting to enjoy what I have written more than what I am writing, so that the looking back section of the month in review posts have started to expand considerably.  Blog founded largely on nostalgia likes nostalgia!
  • WordPress.com is getting more aggressive in monetizing free blogs, injecting more ads and pushing their subscription plans constantly.
  • For all of WP.com’s ballyhoo’d features I still have to keep a Rube Goldberg-esque series of technologies in harmony to have a dynamic blog roll in my side bar.
  • Patreon managed to screw a lot of small content creators by announcing (then withdrawing) a horrible cash grab that was badly disguised as an improvement.

Well, that is all I had from 2017 stuck in my brain.  The time left in the year is easily measured in hours at this point.  On to a new year.

Was anybody else looking back at the old year?

Yule Lads Tell Players to Work for Their Damn Yoiul Gifts

The holiday season is upon us and, in New Eden, that means the start of the annual Yoiul Festival.

The symbol of The Agency for Yoiul?  That doesn’t bode well.

In past years this has meant an advent calendar-like series of daily gifts to the capsuleers of New Eden.  You had to log in daily to get your gift, but that was all you need do to collect fireworks, snowballs, festival launchers, SKINs, and other special treats.

This year the Yule Lads have taken a different tack.

Yule lads of old… I think they all FC for Pandemic Horde now

This year, no doubt due to staff cuts on Team Yoiul, the lads won’t be traveling to every station and citadel in New Eden to deliver daily gifts.  They’re subcontracting to The Agency this year, so it will be like any other event.  If you want some seasonal treats you’re going to have to go undock and PvE for them by completing tasks in The Agency.

If you’re not willing to go out and hit rogue drone sites you’ll have to pick up loot with ISK in Jita or via PLEX in the New Eden Store.

Local crank, bitter vet, and host of the Open Comms show Dirk MacGirk had this to say about the event:

And so it goes.  Am I going to be able to find time to schlep out for my gifts this year when there are hostiles to shoot?