Tag Archives: FeedBurner

Blog Advisory – Feedburner and Akismet

Time for a bit of blog administrative business, which I suppose I could spin as a Blaugust post, it being related to the issues that come with a blog.  Or not.  Either way though, it is a post in Blaugust.  We’re about half way through the month.

Feedburner Email

I have been advised by Marina at Follow.it that Feedburner is discontinuing its email syndication program.  Her company apparently has a substitute service they would like to offer me.

And apparently at some point in the distant past I did post a link for people to get my posts via email.  I don’t remember encouraging it at any point after that, but there it is.  I have long since swapped over to recommending the WordPress.com integrated email delivery.

So, if you are subscribed through Feedburner and wish to continue getting my blog posts in you inbox, you will need to switch over to the WordPress.com service.  It is available in the side bar near the top.  Just enter your email address and it will send you a confirmation email that will let you select your preferred deliver method from “immediately on post” (not recommended unless you want to see all my typos), to “daily summary” (I’ve usually fixed a lot of typos by then), to “weekly summary” (which might be a bit too much of me in a single dose).

Feedburner RSS

There was a time when I used to do blog posts about RSS feed.  I think RSS is dying interface from a more civilized age now.

While we’re on the topic of Feedburner, I pretty sure I mentioned at some point that the Google had removed email account recovery as an option from the service (and from Blogger).  I missed the window for recovering my account and have no clue what the password might be, so I couldn’t migrate their email option over to another service even if I had the inclination to do so.

While Google said that they won’t be shutting down feeds of purging accounts Google, as my wife puts it, “Says a lot of things.”  Whether they mean it in the moment is debatable, but we have all learned that promises from companies have an unlisted expiration date.

So I think I am going to recommend that if you’re using a read to read TAGN, that you go with the default WordPress URL, which i:

https://tagn.wordpress.com/feed

I realize that about seven years back I asked everybody to go the other direction, so all I can do is reinforce my change of heart in meme form.

Use your best judgement

Everything will probably be fine for now if you don’t, but if I suddenly disappear from your feed, that might be the immediate cause.

Akismet

Some of you will recognize the name Akismet as the spam comment protection package that comes with… or at least used to come with… WP.com hosted blogs.  I reference it in my blog anniversary posts most years to indicate how many spam comments end up here.  I even have the counter widget down at the bottom of the side bar.

Well, Akismet was broken on WP.com for a stretch, at least for some sites.  That meant rather than about 200 spam comments landing in my spam folder every day I was getting at least 2,000 spam comments to go through, and usually more.

Which means that if you left a comment and it landed in the spam folder this month, I probably didn’t see it.  I am pretty good about going through and fishing out such comments, but when the number gets into the thousands, I just don’t have the will.

WP.com took their time getting to things.  I sent them a note a couple weeks ago, got a response back about ten days later that referred me to a bug they had opened on the issue, and then they closed the support ticket.  The bug got fixed about a week later, which isn’t bad I guess.

But if you leave a comment and it disappears you can always use the contact form on the About page to ask about it.  If I know the name on the comment I can almost always find it.

6,000

Also, after writing this I was looking at the stats and realized that yesterday was post 5,999, which means that this is my 6,000th post.  Another meaningless milestone achieved.

March in Review

The Site

My RSS feed isn’t quite the problem it was at one point, but I have noticed that the direct feed from the site seems to propagate more slowly that the Feedburner feed.  This is doubly bizarre as the Feedburner feed works from the direct feed, so there is some sort of voodoo going on there.  And then, for some reason, Blogger seems to have it in for my feed again as it is once again updating very slowly in some (but not all) blogroll side bars on that platform.  The mysteries of Google.

I took the VirginWorlds feed off the side bar for now as the site seems to be in a state of neglect.  It isn’t updating feeds correctly and some of the longstanding feeds have been taken over by new sites that are not related to MMO gaming.  I dropped Brent a note, but I think he may be busy with other aspects of his life.

Meanwhile, on the WP.com front, they are now pushing the new editor and stats page rather aggressively.  I can no longer edit a post from the main page without using the Fisher-Price “Babby’s First Text Editor” option, as they remove the “classic editor” link from it.  At least the classic editor is still available from within the admin page for posts, so I just have to go that route now to fix my inevitable typo.  And the new stats page is now the default, though you can can still get to the old one via a link down at the bottom.  I don’t mind progress… WP.com has improved things over the years… but this is one of those lessons in why re-writing things from scratch is often a bad ideal; you lose functionality that was added to the old code base over time.

Also, what is with this pop-up I get from WP.com every day?

Howdy yourself!

Howdy yourself!

I just click the ‘x’ to dismiss it most days, but yesterday I decided to click the up arrow just to see what I would get, and that also dismissed it.  I suspect they are not that interested in being helpful.

One Year Ago

I was thinking about the word “free” and how it really brings up negative connotations.  Basically, “free” is usually a scam, so why should we expect “Free to Play” games to viewed as anything else?

A year back my other blog, EVE Online Pictures, qualified for inclusion as an EVE Online fan site.  We’ll see if that gets renewed this year.  Meanwhile CCP lost money through “derecognizing” an asset which would turn out to be the demise of World of Darkness as a project for them.  CCP was also taking a stab at cosmetic options for ships.

I picked my 15 most influential video games, and got some other people to pick theirs as well.

WalMart was going to get into the used video game market.  Did that ever go anywhere?  I don’t shop at Wally World.

Something called MyDream wanted to be a Minecraft killer or some such.

It was the end of the line for Free Realms and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures as SOE chief John Smedley vowed never to make kids games again.  While over in EverQuest the 15 year anniversary included the introduction of instant level 85 characters.  I gave that a try and got lost immediately.

Facebook bought Occulus Rift.  Where is your VR now?

Brad McQuaid was a month past his unsuccessful Pantheon Kickstarter and I was wondering what the plan was.

In a set of short items, I also noted that EverQuest Next Landmark became simply Landmark, two of the founders of Runic games left the studio to try their luck elsewhere, while King, the makers of Candy Crush Saga, went public and are now one of the most shorted stocks on the market! (They were mentioned on the Planet Money podcast about shorting.)

The ongoing “Blizzard isn’t giving you…” series continued. while Diablo III: Reaper of Souls went live, an event which included the end of the auction house.  I had gone back to the game to try some of the changes.

Also on the Blizzard front, they managed to find a hook to get me to play Hearthstone… or at least a couple rounds of it.

I was also musing about WoW and when the expansion would launch and the stat squish and guild levels and pseudo-server merges and my insta-90 choice and Warlords of Draenor being $50… which was at least better than it being $60.  While, actually in the game the instance group took on Zul’Aman.

We formed something I ended up calling the “strategy group,” if only to distinguish it from the “instance group” which started out playing some Age of Empires II.

And I wrote another installment of my ongoing TorilMUD series, this time about the Faerie Forest.

Five Years Ago

With the March 2010 month in review I was able to announce that the site had passed the one million page view mark.  A minor milestone.

FarmVilleWe all tried it as research for Shut Up We’re Talking #60.  We didn’t inhale.

I ran through GDC and had dinner.

I was waxing nostalgic for some flavor of Rome.

EA was saying very stupid things about how many subscribers Star Wars: The Old Republic would need.  It is never too early to set the bar for failure.  Also they were threatening to taint 38 Studios.

I was also wondering about greater challenges in MMOs.  Must all paths be equally easy?

I held an April Fools contest, which got a few entries.

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver launched and, after some delay,  I was picking that initial Pokemon.

I was still invested in Star Trek Online… I was trying…. well, they were giving us lifetime subscribers some perks.

In EVE Online I hit 50 million skill points.  I also had my first Tengu.

World of Tanks was staring to announce some of their progression trees, starting with the Russian and American sets.  Those have changed a lot since then.

The instance group was beginning to embrace the Dungeon Finder.  However, we found we still had to do a chunk of external legwork to prepare for our Sunken Temple run.  I also got a chopper along the way, on my birthday no less.

And, finally, that whole Derek Smart/Alganon thing was just kicking off.

New Linking Sites

The following blogs have linked this site in their blogrolls, for which they have my thanks.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in March

  1. Progression Server Progress in EverQuest
  2. Quote of the Day – A Treasure Trove of Turbine Turmoil
  3. WoW Tokens – PLEX with Price Supports
  4. Tech 3 Destroyers and Other Tidbits from EVE Vegas Keynote
  5. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
  6. Reviewing My Kickstarter History
  7. A Return to Writing about the Blogesphere
  8. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  9. Hitting 50 Yet Again
  10. A Sad Day for Sims
  11. Scylla Overshadowed
  12. Has Rift Only Been Around for Four Years?

Search Terms of the Month

eq2 is crap
[That is not an uncommon opinion]

how far away.is everquest next from launch
[How far away is the Moon from Tuesday?]

toontown axis
[of evil?]

qctffivhlbbgi
[Grundoon? Is that you?]

do you need help pitching a tent
[It is largely a mental exercise at my age]

EVE Online

I was bitching earlier in the month about being required to click on participation links, which can be annoying when there isn’t a war or a deployment in progress.  Then war were declared and that problem went away pretty quickly.  I have gone well beyond the minimum quota.  The war itself has been okay, though being in Reavers I have found myself a bit jealous that I haven’t been in-system for some of the cap fleet engagements.

Then there was this epic troll that got people worked up for about 30 minutes.  The EVE Onion got scooped on that one!  Also, deductive subscription numbers for Tranquility based on various tidbits that CCP has left laying about.

Lord of the Rings Online

I haven’t started playing it again, but earlier this month when I logged in to ensure I would get my monthly lifetime subscriber Turbine Points stipend (and to keep Gaff from usurping the leadership of our kin yet again) I ended up buying the Riders of Rohan expansion because it was on sale (1,747 points) and I had close to 11K Turbine Points socked away.  I am not sure what that will mean to anybody, including myself, except that all my characters got a new title.  Woot.

World of Warcraft

World of Garrisons continues on.  Seriously, having five characters in Draenor means daily garrison maintenance eats up a lot of my daily play time.  If only I could force myself to NOT do that, but the OCD gamer in me requires it.  The instance group has been out a couple of times doing things, and I have been spending some time working back through all of the zones to make sure I have finished up every single quest line, lest there be a follower I missed.  And I have spent a little bit of time with my Orc hunter, though he is still a project for later.

Coming Up

Tomorrow is just another day, right?

Anyway, after that, it looks like a lot of the same things on my agenda.

Yes, I got my copy of Pillars of Eternity like nearly everybody else.  And I have played a bit.  But, my garrison… and the war… must play MMOs!

Okay, I did start in on a run through one classic game from my past.  I’ll get around to posing about that at some point this month.

It looks like WoW Tokens will go live this month.  That will be interesting to watch.  How much gold will Blizzard sell you for $20?  And how will that compare to how much gold you will need to pay to get 30 days of play time?  I still suspect that those numbers will be different.

The five week expansion schedule for EVE Online means that there won’t be an expansion in April.  That is fine.  I barely noticed that last one… well, except for an issue I will get to later. [Okay, the next expansion is April 28. I need to consult a calendar before I hit “publish” I guess.]

They see me bloggin’, they syndic-hatin’

Google is out there giving me the Luigi Death Stare on yet another front.

He means business...

He means business…

It is interesting to see how much Google affects traffic at my site, and how much changes they make at their end can cause that traffic to ebb and flow.  They change their rankings of results, they decide to cache images for Google image search rather than going to your site, they shut down things like Google Reader, all of that has had a noticeable impact on the number of page views here at The Ancient Gaming Noob.

Currently, the big variable in daily traffic is search engine related.  Unless somebody links in me a post on their own blog, the rest of my daily visitors are pretty regular, a lot of them coming from the much coveted (by those of us using WordPress) blogroll side bar widget that Blogger offers.

I love that feature.  It works.

While the static blogroll in my own side bar barely generates any traffic for other sites, that Blogger widget that shows you who has a fresh post up, that actually gets clicks.

So I was a little bemused when that wonderful widget stopped working last week.

It didn’t go away or completely break, it just seemed to stop picking up new post for me.

If you went to one of the sites that uses that sidebar widget… Blessing of Kings, Player Versus Developer, Greedy Goblin, Herding Cats… right now, as I am writing this on Saturday, August 2nd, it would tell you that my current post is the one from Wednesday, July 30th.

PvD_Sidebar

Basically, nothing new to see at TAGN, don’t bother clicking!  And that actually has an impact on page views.  The sites I mentioned actually send me some regular daily traffic.

Not that page views are the most important thing in the world.  But I like people to know I’m active at least!

Normally I would just blame this sort of thing on WordPress.  They like to break things, giving me a supply of site related fodder for my month in review posts.  Most people use the default RSS feed that WordPress provides.

Only I was not having a similar problem with Feedly and other, non-Blogger sites, like EVE Bloggers seemed to be having no problem at all picking up my latest posts.  And the feed itself looked okay.  So it was time to experiment.

I was able to enlist Bhagpuss and the blogroll at Inventory Full for this.

I have two RSS feeds for this site.  One is the default WordPress feed and another goes through FeedBurner, yet another Google company.  I was wondering if Google might be more inclined to find my updates if they were coming from FeedBurner.

And it looks like they are.  Go to Bhagpuss’ site and it shows my current post.  Probably this one at the moment.  All of which is double strange, since the FeedBurner feed is actually generated from the default WordPress feed.  But Google seems to like it when FeedBurner sends them updates.

So here is my plea to my fellow bloggers using that blogroll side bar widget:

Can you swap over and use my FeedBurner feed?  It is linked there and at the top of my side bar.

Thanks!

PS Occasionally somebody mentions that something is wrong with my feed, the it suddenly spew out a bunch of recent posts flagged as new again.  While WordPress controls that feed (so I cannot do much) you might try the FeedBurner feed as well to see if the problem goes away.

PPS I don’t have to explain the whole syndicating/syndic-hatin’, Rollin’ Dirty, Luigi death stare thing, do I?

 

 

June in Review, This Time for Real!

The Site

I do not have anything special to grouse about this month… WordPress.com hasn’t mucked anything up and the spam assault from last month has tapered off… so I thought I would go for an informational topic this month.

All the ways you can follow this blog.  Or all the ways I can think of.

As part of the “be the blog you want to read” philosophy here, I have tried to make it easy for people to be able to keep track of posts by connecting up the site to give people the option to use the feed that makes the most sense to them.

Possibilities

Possibilities

  • The Site Itself – You can come here and read the blog at the blog. Imagine that!
  • RSS – The site actually have not just one but two RSS feed which you can use to read full posts, but one seems to behave oddly now and again, so I have stopped publishing it.  That leaves the one here.  That feed provides the full content of each post.  But if you want the other one, it is here.
  • Twitter – The site publishes a link for each post to Twitter when it goes live, or when I accidently push the “publish” button when I mean to hit “save.” (Did that earlier, what a mess.)  My Twitter name is @wilhelm2451 and my feed is available here.
  • Facebook – As with Twitter, the side publishes to my Facebook blogging profile here.
  • Google+ – My updates are also published to my Google+ feed, which is about all that appears in my feed there.
  • Tumblr – If your main focus online is Tumblr, the site publishes an exerpt from the post there.  The feed for this site is so-so, formatting doesn’t always work out, but the feed for my other site, EVE Online Pictures, looks kind of neat with the current theme I think.
  • Flipboard – If you have an iOS or Android device, there is an app called FlipBoard, which I highly recommend for reading news and such.  In that app, you can search for either of my blogs and add them to your reading list. (But don’t add that “magazine” with the same name as the blog. I created that when tinkering and cannot delete it for some reason.)
  • WordPress Reader – If you have a WordPress blog, you can follow other WordPress blogs and view them in the reader that WordPress.com had.  I am not exactly fond of it, but it is better than it used to be and it serves the purpose of reminding me when people post.

Those are some of the methods you can use to keep track of the blog.  There are probably a couple other (what did I miss?), but those are the ones I use to follow other people.  But I tend to follow people only on one or two of those channels, so if you’re wondering why I may follow you on Google+ but not Twitter, it is likely because I am already looking at your stuff through one source already.  Doubling up doesn’t always add value.

I originally started thinking about this as a possible Newbie Blogger Initiative post, but never quite got around to it.  Maybe next year.

One Year Ago

At last year’s E3, Sony certainly seemed to have won the marketing war against Microsoft and the XBox One.

In EVE Online, the war for Fountain began, which currently looks like the peak of my null sec career.  The CFC invaded the Fountain region to take it from former member TEST in order control its economically valuable moons, something triggered by the release of the Odyssey expansion.  A side effect of all of this was that the “blue donut” chanting peanut gallery was shown yet again that war was possible. That did not stop them from moving straight to “not winning fast enough” as their next chant.  I suppose that gave TEST some comfort though.

I got a special BMW in Need for Speed World.  That 180 journey about finished that game for me.  I have had no real urge to go back, and with a couple of auto based MMOs coming this year, the next time I want to drive online I will have other options.

TorilMUD offered its own web client to connect to one of the older MUDs left on the internet.

Rift went free to play, and the instance group met up to give it a try.

I was wondering about feedback that MMOs give about equipment, wondering if we could use that as opposed to lots and lots of stats.  Also, something about equity.

And I finished up the Evendim zone in LOTRO for the nth time and sat, as usual, wondering how to bridge that awkward gap between levels 40 and 50.

Five Years Ago

People were upset about Blizzard not including LAN play in StarCraft II.  It looks like Blizzard stuck to that plan, as there will be no such feature when the game ships at the end of July.

The NeuroSky MindSet was released, but I still cannot cast fireballs in WoW using only my brain.

Then there was that Wii Bowling Ball controller.  Seemed more like a lawsuit magnet.

There was a new definition of hard core gamers.

I was complaining about the local newspaper being made up of 8 pieces of paper.  I have since stopped getting the daily paper.

There was an attempt to get Age of Empires II: Age of Kings going while people in the instance group were on vacation.  We did end up getting connected via a service called Game Ranger.

And then there was World of Warcraft.  They changed when you got mounts in the game allowing people to (literally and figuratively) fly through the Burning Crusade.  There was that whole WoW/Mountain Dew cross promotion which, if nothing else, got me another in-game pet.  I spent all my gold on the artisan flying skill, and then they lowered the price with the mount changes.  I got the achievement The Explorer.  And I bought an authenticator.  Viva account security.

New Linking Sites

The following blogs have linked this site in their blogroll, for which they have my thanks.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in June

  1. Kronos – The Last Big EVE Online Expansion
  2. The Mighty Insta-90 Question – Which Class to Boost?
  3. Blizzard Isn’t Giving You a Free Copy of Warlords of Draenor
  4. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  5. Level 85 in EverQuest… Now What?
  6. Authenticators… Are They Still a Thing?
  7. Civilization – Operation Torch and the Russian Front
  8. Quote of the Day – World of Darkness, World of Chaos
  9. Civilization – Embracing Spanish Confucianism
  10. On the Darkest Shore
  11. Should Blizzard Expand the Starter Edition?
  12. Civilization – Autocracy and the Pursuit of Happiness

Search Terms of the Month

mmos where you can gank people
[Oh, the places you’ll go…]

timeless isle mobs hit hard
[Why yes, yes they do.]

does everyone die on timeless isle
[Yes, see above.]

emerald dream server shut down
[It looks like it. #PrivateServerProblems]

eve online mining nothing in null sec
[I have been mining nothing in null sec for ages!]

wow how many 90s do you really need
[All of them.]

Civilization V

Our ongoing multiplayer game of Civ V continues to grind itself to some sort of eventual end.  As noted in a post last week, we are determined to play this until somebody wins, but once that happens we will likely have had enough of Civ V for a while.  When we first started on Civ V, we would also run single player games just to get our fill.  Now though, I think the one game is enough for us.

EVE Online

It has been a quiet month in New Eden for me.  There haven’t been a lot of ops running in my time slot, so aside from a couple jaunts down to Delve mid-month, I haven’t spent a lot of time in space.  But I did come up with a long term training plan, so that will keep me going.

World of Warcraft

The long wait for Warlords of Draenor continues.  I have a little box at the bottom of the side-bar counting down the time to the last possible date for WoD to ship.  Five months to go.  Not that I do not have anything to do except sit and stew.  My Loremaster project has kept me busy for a few weeks now as I try to knock out all the zones on Kalimdor.  And it has been fun sticking with each zone until the end of the quest chains.  Most of these zones I haven’t touched for years, and almost none of them since Cataclysm.  I just hope I don’t run out of steam.. or unfinished zones… too soon.

Coming Up

The summer continues.  For those truly feeling the pain of waiting for WoD to show up, Blizzard started sending out beta keys for the expansion.  I will have to keep my hands over my eyes (and probably stop following WoW Insider) as I want to come into this expansion fresh.  Still, I peek between my fingers now and again, and what I have seen looks okay.  Must stop peeking though!

My daughter though… she started asking me “Are we in beta yet?” right away.  She wants to go see the new expansion… with a pre-made raid geared character.  I know how that works out however.

The instance group isn’t quite on hiatus.  We get four of us most weeks, and all of us every so often.

EVE Online… without the prospect of a summer war, the long training plan and the occasional homeland defense fleet is all I have going for me at the moment.

And… and… no other MMOs really interest me at the moment.  I just stopped logging into Star Wars: The Old Republic.  I have a seven day key for WildStar from Liore that I keep telling myself I will use “soon.”  Common summer destination Middle-earth hasn’t been calling to me.   And SOE may have successfully beat all of my nostalgia for old Norrath out of me by this point, while the “next” version is beyond the horizon.  So, for MMOs, it is the one I have been playing since 2005 and the one I have been playing since 2006.  Strange, that.

February in Review

The Site

The site managed another meaningless milestone.  The total page views passed the 2 million mark earlier in the month.  I heard some other site hit that mark as well.

In celebration (oh boy) I will break out actual numbers and share them with you.  Click on the chart to see it in full, readable size.

Semi-Raw Numbers for Your Amusement

It is generally my policy not to go on too much about numbers, since, seen in the perspective of any real sites actively seeking traffic, my own numbers are tiny.  But sometimes it is just interesting to see how things are doing.

For those interested in time lines, but too lazy to add up the numbers, the site passed the 1 million page view mark in March of 2010.  At that point, I did the same thing, and pretty much all the same statements apply nearly two years later, so I’ll just copy and paste them

WordPress.com only keeps track of page views and not daily unique visitors.  However, I have used some third-party tracking for that at times, and uniques seem to run between 70-80% of page views on any given day.

This also does not count anybody who reads via RSS only.  Following the philosophy of creating a blog that I would want to read, I push all the content out on the feed, rarely ever putting something behind a “more” prompt. [This remains true on the RSS feed even when you see “more” on the actual site, which I have started doing for very long posts.]

Judging from what WordPress.com and FeedBurner tell me (because I have two RSS feeds, just to make sure I can’t get any consistent information) anywhere between 3 and 10 times as many people view any given post via RSS compared to the number of people who actually click on it.

Then again, since I rarely hide any of the content, most people just go to the main page to read any given post, so it is tough to get any real measure of how much RSS might change my page view numbers.

All of which I can sum up by saying I don’t really know how many people read this blog, but it is a lot more than I thought ever would.

I still do not know how many people really read the blog, but it remains a lot more than I ever imagined.

One Year Ago

It seems like only a year ago that I was declared influential.  Glad to see we got over that at last.

Hulkageddon IV came and went.  We all survived.  And then there was the new character creator in EVE.  It had… options.

LOTRO had a welcome back event… even though it is free to play.

There was yet another sign of the coming apocalypse.

NetDevil got pulled out of LEGO Universe.

Nintendo was banging the drum for Pokemon Black and White.  We were certainly ready for it at our house.

Van Hemlock was slumming back in MMOs for a bit.

I was taking a look at the holy trinity of roles through a historical lens.

The instance group was still playing World of Warcraft.  Now we just get nostalgic about it.

World of Tanks.  It was in beta and set some sort of bogus record.

Rift was getting ready to launch.  People were freaking out in the absence of calm words.  Personally, I wasn’t buying into the game.  Who needed a WoW clone when we had WoW?

Nostalgia was officially on with the launch of the Fippy Darkpaw Time Locked Progression server.  Characters were rolled.  Low level zones were crowded and experience was slow.  But the tour was a go.  We hit the Qeynos Hills, Blackburrow, West Karana, and the Qeynos SewersImportant spells were rediscovered and camping trips were planned.  Not everything was as we remembered it, but it made for a pretty darn good nostalgia adventure.

And while that was going on, SOE shipped Destiny of Velious for EverQuest II.  But I couldn’t be bothered.

And, finally, one of our cats was on top of the refrigerator.

Five Years Ago

Back in February 2007 Kendricke dropped by with the news that Sony Online Entertainment applied for a trademark for “EVERQUEST II RISE OF KUNARK,” thus confirming my guess that Kunark would be the EverQuest II expansion due near the end of 2007. A quick check of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office site shows nothing on my guess for this years expansion. (Return to the Planes of Power FTW!) The USPTO does show that SOE at one time had the trademark for, “EVERQUEST: THE DEMISE OF ARADUNE,” which is mildly ironic from a Vanguard point of view. I wonder what they had planned for that title? (Aradune = Brad McQuaid, for those not completely immersed in EQ history and lore.)

Of course, SOE also announced a price increase for Station Access shortly thereafter, always a buzz killer. This was immediately blamed on Vanguard and calls for the demise of Aradune were literal.  I’m sure glad SOE got over this trend of disappointing their fans!

I also started off in the Lord of the Rings Online open beta which eventually lead to the instance group spending the spring and summer in Middle-earth before returning to Azeroth.

And speaking of Azeroth, a year ago we were just starting to get into the fun that is Uldaman. And somewhere along the line I swapped out my rogue Blintz for my paladin Vikund, who has remained with the instance group ever since.

And finally, my wife got me a Wii for Valentine’s day that I couldn’t use until Easter!

New Linking Sites

I would like to thank the following sites for linking here in their blogrolls.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in February

EVE Online related posts lead the pack… and people still want to know when Hulkageddon V is coming.

  1. Hulkageddon V: Unholy Union – Coming Soon
  2. How to Catch Zorua and Zoroark
  3. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  4. The Defense of 92D-OI
  5. The Drake Fleet goes to EWN-2U
  6. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  7. Standardized Souls for the Aspiring Ascended
  8. Prediction: Rift Will Go Free-to-Play When WoW Goes Free-to-Play
  9. All The Pretty Ships in New Eden – What Should I Fly Next?
  10. Mewtwo Available for Download from Nintendo
  11. VFK Homeland Defense Bags a Carrier
  12. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!

Spam Comments

Yes and not only that but palaeontologists would construct an evolutionary tree around them and call this “proof” of evolution
[Since this was on a Pokemon post, I am not sure what to think.]

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[Lot of this lately… no idea why]

лего – маленькая кровать
[The first time I have had to consider how “LEGO” looks in Russian.]

nick roth worse noob ever
[I have to start hanging out with Nick. And shouldn’t it be “worst” noob ever?]

EVE Online

Clearly EVE is still a going concern for me.  I have managed to onto the kill board for the corp/alliance each of my three months in null sec so far, which at least proves to them I’ve done something, since I tend to be on long after corp/alliance ops end. (The last one was scheduled when I would likely be eating lunch at the office.)

As such, I seem to fly pretty exclusively in Goon, or at least wider CFC, run ops.  Which is great.  I have a lot of fun in them.  And there are lots of other alliances represented in such ops, so it isn’t like I am the outsider.  It just feels a bit odd that I do not really play that much with the corp/alliance with which I am associated, and I wonder if that will come back to haunt me at some point.  The perils of the 24 hour clock I suppose.

Rift

Rift continues to be the home of the instance group.  It serves in filling the WoW-like niche for small group content.  The addition of some pre-defined roles for the four classes actually helped us out quite a bit, which points to another issue.

As a group we do not play the game very much outside of our weekly group.  Back when we were playing WoW as our main game, I often saw other members of the group on during off-hours.  I play alts a couple of times a week and I see Potshot on… and Earl was playing an alt for a bit until he bought SWTOR.

And so we are not as invested in the game and not as knowledgeable about the game.  Anything we don’t pick up in those three hours on Saturday night is likely a mystery to us.  I don’t know that this is really a bad thing.  Our characters tend to be poor, wear equipment that are drops, and vendor any excess as opposed to trying to work the auction house.  But we still have fun and I can see that continuing for the next few months, Rift being good at what it does, which is being a WoW surrogate.

What happens when we hit level cap though?  I am not so sure we re-roll as guardians or do expert dungeons or any of the other things we did in WoW.  We’re just not that attached to the game.  Barring an expansion with a rise in the level cap, we might be looking for Guild Wars 2, Torchlight 2, or some other game.

World of Warcraft

Or we might go back to Azeroth.

We are in a funny spot now, nostalgia-wise, with WoW being about the same age as EverQuest was when I started writing this blog.  Old enough, and changed enough, for there to be “good old days” to remember fondly.  And this came out with my first instance group video.  There was some very clear, “let’s go play WoW!” reaction to it in the group.  As a group we have more invested in WoW, in hours played, in memories, in emotion, and in character growth and development, than in any other game.

It would be just a question of how to approach the whole thing.  As much as I like the Dungeon Finder when looking to PUG, I think we might have to throw it out for any future group.  Overland travel and seeing the world is too much a part of what has built memories for us.  And while the 1-60 dungeons have all be toned down to easy mode, there are still dungeons in Burning Crusade we haven’t done, and three more instances in Lich King that got added after we were “finished” that we have never faced.  And who knows what pandas will bring.

Thoughts for the future.

Coming Up

GDC is coming up next week in San Francisco and I am not going.  I have actually gotten about a dozen email messages asking if I want to interview various companies that will be at the show… though at least half of those messages were part of the press drive to bring attention to the Swedish Gaming Exhibit in the Nordic Pavilion at the show. (Those terms are direct quotes.)  Unfortunately, I couldn’t score a free expo pass this year, and to purchase one runs you $250.  At that price point I start thinking about all the other things I could do with $250.  Ah well, it will probably be rainy up in SF next week in any case.

There is a distinct threat of a return to Middle-earth, with Gaff having finished up with Skyrim and SWTOR and looking for something with less time commitment than EVE on weeknights.  This might also impact my EVE Online time as well, as Gaff is the one person I actually really know in the corp/alliance.

I have previously threatened to write about iPad apps and games, and I renew this threat.  We’ll see if it actually happens.  I also threatened to do more than just patch Star Trek Online last month… and that was all I did.  It sure is patched.  I just have no desire to play.

Otherwise, you should pretty much expect the usual stuff.  Instance group.  EVE Online.  The timeline of the Fippy Darkpaw EverQuest progression server.  Maybe another video.  The last one got almost no reaction, so I might have spent all my video making talent on the one instance group nostalgia video.  Or maybe people just don’t care about Sunken Temple.  Always a possibility.

I Used to be a Blogger Like You, Then I Took an Arrow in the RSS Feed…

When looking at an old post… my very first post… I decided to update the tags while I was there.

I do this all the time.  My tag and category policy has evolved over time, and when I read old posts I often stop to bring their tags and such into line with newer posts.  I also correct typos, which I seem to be able to find immediately in any post over two years of age, much to my chagrin.

But, for some reason, my update today fed the post… my very first post… back into the RSS feed as a new post.

So, if you are sorting your feeds by date, it now looks like I stopped blogging five years ago.

Look at the age on that most recent post!

(Picture courtesy of Player Versus Developer.)

Oddly… or maybe not oddly… this only appeared to impact the RSS feed that comes directly from WordPress.com.  The Feedburner feed, which is my backup feed, seemed to know that this post wasn’t new and dealt with it accordingly.

So if you used the RSS feed link at the top of the side bar, you didn’t see anything.

Anyway, I apologize for any confusion, for feeling the need to make a post about this (which will hopefully pop me back into the 2012 range of updates), and for using that Skyrim meme when I haven’t even played the game.

I might as well have made the title, “The Feed is a Lie.”

On the bright side, at least  I am not clogging my feed with test posts. *cough*

And we now have written confirmation that Bhagpuss uses an RSS reader to read blogs.

Heroic Results of the First Five Year Plan!

  • Pig iron: 6.2 million tons (up from 3.3 million)
  • Steel: 5.9 million tons (up from 4.0 million)
  • Coal: 64.3 million tons (up from 35.4 million)
  • Oil: 21.4 million tons (up from 11.7 million)
  • Electricity: 13.4 billion kWh (up from 5.0 billion)

Industrial Production Gains of the First Five Year Plan

So here I am, five years after the first post went up on the site.

Unlike most posts here, I am going to hide most of this one behind a “more…” link, only because I expect it will get long and tedious with meaningless stats and self-referential nonsense.  If that interests you, great!  If it does not, I will spare you (and the front page of the blog) all that clutter.

So click on the link and I will waste a few minutes of your life hauling out some vague statistics about what has gone on over the last year as well as the lifetime of the blog, as I did with the first, second, third, and fourth anniversaries… plus I hacked up some Soviet era propaganda posters, so the whole thing carries on with the theme set out in the title.  They aren’t very good, but they kept me busy and amused for a little bit.

Continue reading

Do You Care About My Side Bar?

You know, the side bar.  That column of stuff on the right.  Over there.

 

over there

 

Do you ever look at it?

I ask this for a reason.

Up until this point, the things on that side bar have been mostly for me.  I use or look at most everything there.  Things that I do not look at or use tend to go away sooner or later.

So if you never look at it, I’ll understand.  It wasn’t necessarily meant for you.

But now I have something there that is pretty much solely for people other than me.

There it is, a little ways down, under the heading of “Posts From Other MMO Blogs.”

I’m looking for a better title, by the way.  Feel free to suggest one.

In the past I have always appreciated those “posts from other blogs” posts that people like Syp, Tipa, and Gordon do on a regular basis.  I have often thought that I should do something like that, but aside from a single parody, I have never managed it.

I’m too introspective I suppose.  Or selfish.  I am always secretly jealous when one of my posts isn’t included on those summaries.  But then I am always secretly jealous when somebody else wins the Nobel Peace Prize or gets crowned Miss America.

Anyway, I decided to finally act on the impulse to point out other blogs posts on a regular basis, but in my own lazy way.

What that new item presents is a selection of links to blog posts on which I have clicked the “share” button in Google Reader.

Google Reader will let you publish an Atom Feed of your shared selections which, due to the fact that WordPress.com doesn’t seem to like Atom, I ran through FeedBurner to turn into an RSS feed so that it would display nicely and in a timely manner there in the side bar.

It is easy and quick for me.  It has a prominent place on my blog.  It isn’t as good as a post when it comes to directing traffic to another site, but it is better than nothing.

Or it would be better than nothing if people looked at the items in my side bar.

So it is time for yet another poll.

I am also happy to entertain suggestions about the side bar.

FeedBurner Options

I have this blog signed up with FeedBurner.  In fact, I have had it signed up since day one, but I have not done much with it.  After all, WordPress.com has its own feed mechanism.

Still, FeedBurner has much to recommend it.  It’s uptime seems to be at least marginally better than WordPress.com, it has an interface to add a feed to quite a variety of web based feed readers, and it provides some nice statistics.  WordPress.com tells me “about 7 people hit your feed today” while FeedBurner tells me that plus what reader they were using, which bots hit my site, and so on.

FeedBurner also does email subscriptions.  You can sign up and get an email once a day with any new posts to the site. (No email on days w/o posts.)  I like this feature. At least one of my readers does as well, since somebody has already signed up for it and I have never bothered to post the URL.

Unfortunately, with a WordPress.com hosted site, I cannot go in and substitute the WordPress.com feeds with the FeedBurner feeds.  You do not get to hack your template.  That is one of my arguments for running off and hosting the site elsewhere.  So until I figure out a tidy way to add the links for the FeedBurner options to the side bar, here they are:

FeedBurner RSS Feed:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheAncientGamingNoob

FeedBurner Email Subscription:

http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverifySubmit?feedId=507150