Tag Archives: Living Legacy

June in Review

The Site

Is it the end of June already?  I know that time flying is a cliche and all, but this month only seemed like it had about 12 days in it.

The only thing I really did to the site was ad something to the right side bar (way down at the bottom) the shows the national flags of the visitors to the site.  It is silly, but it intrigues me to know that somebody from the Faroe Islands visited my blog. (Hey, can you get me Sunleif Rasmussen‘s autograph?)

You even get little “dings” for a new visitor or, even better, a new flag!

Hello Bangledesh!

Hello Bangladesh!

Yes, I am easily amused.  But I play MMOs, so that was probably apparent to some already.

The title on this side bar addition, “Release Flags of All Nations!” is something that Potshot says once in a while when we’re doing something memorable in the instance group, like unloading on some boss with every possible attack at our disposal.  Now who gets the reference?

Other than that, I ended up getting a pile of page views from a pair of sites called Condron and Alphainventions.  I cannot tell if they just offer a gimmick to drive up page views or if there is something worthwhile about the sites.  You can just go to either site and watch blog posts flick by every few seconds.  Relaxing in a way, I suppose.

One Year Ago

The big news a year back was Blizzard announcing Diablo III.  Of course, the really big news will come when they announce a ship date.  Still, we were all primed for the announcement, there having been a surge in Diablo II nostalgia at the time.

The Empyrean Age was upon us in EVE Online, if you could stay logged in.  CCP went looking for a fix and found one eventually.  When I could get a break on connectivity I went out to try a factional warfare mission.  It did not go well.  After that I moved back to Amarr space again and started in on level 4 missions.  And while that was going on, the skill point meter rolled over to 20 million.

Meanwhile, around the house, Summer began and it found us playing with LEGO and Pokemons.

Norrath was calling as SOE launched their huge Living Legacy marketing campaign.  I picked up some nifty stuff in EverQuest, but never really got rolling with EverQuest II during the promotion.  Of course, not everybody was happy about the campaign.  The phrase “a slap in the face” was used by some. I never got around to a post about that involving the prodigal son (I still have the notes) though I did wonder what sparked this campaign.

And in Azeroth the instance group struggled through the Mana Tombs and started in on the Auchenai Crypts.  We were struggling, this being long before the great re-spec of 2009.

New Linking Sites

A veritable land rush of new linking sites appeared this month.  Well, compared to last month.  I am going to save a few for next month, since I have noticed that the more I list in a post like this the less the sites in question get visited.

Thank you!  I encourage people to go take a look at these sites.

Most Viewed Posts in June

  1. Play On: Guild Name Generator
  2. Rotom Secret Key Event
  3. How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  4. Regigigas Event at Toys R Us
  5. Shaymin Event at Toys R Us
  6. Which Game Was I Playing?
  7. Getting Upper Blackrock Spire Access
  8. Five LEGO Video Game Titles I Want
  9. 2009 MMORPG Progdictionations
  10. Mount Up Sooner, Race Through the Outlands
  11. The Reluctant R&D Agent
  12. What Would You Do for a Pet in WoW?

Search Term of the Month

ancient sewer
[You have been here before I see.]

Spam Comments of the Month

/yawn
[Nearly fooled me into approving since most comments with spam links are very positive in tone.]

Tired of a competitor’s site? Hinder the enemy? Fed pioneers or copywriters?
Kill their sites! How? We will help you in this!
Obstructions of any site, portal, shop!
[Denial of service attacks, only $70 per 24 hours.  You can buy anything on the internet!]

EVE Online

It has been something of a slow month for me in EVE Online.  Training goes on as well as lining up the capital for the w-space venture.  Fortunately I spent a chunk of time in May stocking up my inventory for sale, so there has been a reasonable amount of cash coming while I’ve been idle.

On the other hand, Gaff has had some tales to tell about 0.0 space, a couple of which he has actually posted, so I have kept my hand in somewhat vicariously.

World of Warcraft

WoW was the only game I spent much time with over the last month.  The instance group kept up weekly appearances in Azeroth.  And though we have been down a person lately, we still find ways to get in trouble as a foursome.

As for my other regular group, my mother and daughter, we have… erm… breadth and depth I suppose.  My mom has one character almost to 50 and another holding around the 40 mark waiting for my daughter to catch up.  My daughter though… she won’t focus on one character.  She keeps making alts.  She runs off to other servers.  It all sounds vaguely familiar.  It all sounds like the way I used to play.  Now is it nature or nurture that is causing that?

Nintendo DS

Our daughter was banned from TV and the computer for a week after going Veruca Salt on my wife.  After most of a day went by she realized that the DS had not been put in time out as well, so out came the Pokemon.  Pokemon Ranger, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, and Pokemon Diamond seemed to be the three favorites for the week, though I heard the bark of Nintendogs and the whir of the blender in Cooking Mama as well.  I had to get out my own DS to do some battles with her.  Oddly enough, Pokemon Platinum was low on the list.  In the MMO spirit, she is more invested in Diamond so isn’t so keen to move on.

Coming Up

I suspect that July will be a light month for me when it comes to posts.  We have a vacation planned plus work is very busy.  There is a correlation between my planning vacation time and work suddenly getting hectic.  It is somehow related to the rule that says I should always plan my vacations on the first product ship date we target, since history shows we will never ship on that date.

Anyway, I will keep the weekly instance group posts going.  The log of our weekly exploits and foibles is one of the cornerstones of the site.

EQ2 Living Legacy – Last Day

According to the Station Launcher, I now have just one more day left of free play in EverQuest II.

Of course, you seem to have to add one to any number that Station Launcher presents you.  After all, I have 8 out of 8 add-ons for EverQuest II, not 7, and the one and only add-on for Vanguard.  So I might have two days left.

Still, the end is nigh.

Essentially, since the kick off of the Living Legacy program back in early June, I could have played EQ2 without paying a cent.  Originally set to terminate at the end of July, the free play was extended until the end of September.

Unfortunately for someone (me, SOE, Gaff?), post-cataclysm Norrath was not my fancy over the summer.

I did go in and play some EverQuest, picking up some treats there, and we did spend at least one evening in EverQuest II when the instance group came up short.  But all in all, Living Legacy was not much of an event for me.

Of course, fall is coming, and the rains always seem to bring along a bout of Norrath nostalgia.  I will probably be back.  But for now, Norrath is off my list of destinations.  Telon too, 20 days not withastanding.

The Official SOE Podcast #41

Alan “Brenlo” Crosby and Aimee “Ashlanne” Rekoske host this episode of the SOE Podcast, with Jason “Pex” Ryan reading the news.

  • SOE Game News
  • Listener Emails: Sleet
  • Feedback and Follow ups
  • Fan Faire
  • Inside SOE – Best things about Fan faire
  • Top 10 ways to win a prize at Fan Faire
  • Interview with Matt Penfield, Associate Brand Manager and one of the people behind the Living Legacy campaign
  • Living Legacy
  • SOE at Gen Con in Indianapolis
  • SOE at DragonCon in Atlanta
  • Interview with Christine “Kiara” Renzetti” and Tiffany “Amnerys” Spence of the community relations team.
  • Star Wars Galaxies – Create a Painting Contest
  • EverQuest II Game Update 47
  • DC Universe Online
  • Return of the Love Doctor
  • TV and Movies
  • What are you playing?
  • Block Party attendee shout out!
  • Out Takes

The show is available on iTunes as well as from the official SOE podcast site.

The show was recorded on July 23rd and runs just under one hour and three minutes.

Living Legacy Free Time Farewell

While the in-game events go on, the free play time is winding down for SOE’s Living Legacy promotion. The tap was turned off for EverQuest last Friday and EverQuest II will become the sole domain of paying subscribers by the end of this week.

Still, all former players of these games were given almost two months of free play in these games, along with other goodies.

And how did I use my Living Legacy time?

EverQuest II

I squandered my time.

I logged on maybe five times total during the whole Living Legacy promotion, and the only time I stayed on for more than a few minutes was the other night when the instance group was down to three and we ran off to Darklight Wood.

For the most part I was in the doldrums when it came to EQII though. None of my characters are currently compelling, I have no empty character slots left to roll a new one (my usual cure for the game blues), and my guild seems to be taking the summer off. Oh well.

EverQuest

I actually spent some time in EverQuest during the Living Legacy program. I actually leveled up my Drakkin shadow knight from 20 to 31, which meant getting him to the point of having a decent pet, a useful life tap, and some good damage over time spells, all of which made him just that much easier to solo as I went along.

Tistann, mounted and looking for trouble

Tistann, mounted and looking for trouble

I even joined Tipa’s Nostalgia guild, though since their grouping days were Tuesday and Friday, when I am usually spending some time with my wife, I never actually grouped up with anybody. But I did chat on the guild channel.  No, really, people acknowledged my presence.

Did I Resubscribe?

Urm, sorry, no.

The Living Legacy promotion offered quite a bit of cool stuff to returning players, but I already had a number of the key items. In both games I already own the current expansion and I will probably buy the next expansion for both, so inducements for either were lost on me.

I might have subscribed to EverQuest if they had kept the experience boost in hot zones. That was a heady experience, going through eleven levels in a couple of days of play, versus how long those levels too me back in the old days.

But even that is just an appeal to the tourist in me. Rediscovering classes, monsters, and zones was fun, but I was not very serious about the game while I was doing that.

So while I am sure I will subscribe to both games at some future date, right now I am laying down my burdens in Norrath and heading to other lands.

June in Review

This month I got another unexpected mention on Massively (complete with a Warp Drive Active patented tin foil hat graphic) that lead to a readership spike. This time it involved my wild speculation (wildly inaccurate according to Michael Zenke on SUWT #28) about what the world looks like with Sony Online Entertainment reporting into Sony Computer Entertainment in the post A New World Order at SOE?

That was actually an all time record for the site, showing that Massively’s influence might be edging up into the “Tobold” range.

Other than that, the only site related item I thought I would mention is the introduction of… I am at a loss for the right term… so I will call them giant sized thumbnails.

Previously, WordPress.com had to options for inserting a picture into a post. You could put it in at full resolution, which for this template means keeping things under 500 pixel wide. Or, if you wanted to put in a big picture, you could use the thumbnail option, which makes it tough, at time, to see what the picture might be about.

They recently introduced an option to insert a thumbnail that is about 300 pixels wide, which makes it easier to see what the picture is so you have a hint as to whether it is worth seeing full size.

I just worry that people think that is the full size of the picture. If a picture appears to be linked, then there is probably a larger version available to view. The chart above is an example of what I am referring to.

One Year Ago

I got all Buddhist on the subject on the raiders vs. non-raiders rift. I think what I said could be applied to some current controversies.

I ran down my list of complimentary comment spam.

After letting Blizzard’s announcement of StarCraft II sink in, I put up a post about the original StarCraft back when it was our office game of choice.

Darren was all worked up about crafting being the suck, so I started trying to list out all the things that might be wrong with crafting.

And I said nice things about “Opinions of the Misinformed.”

New Linking Sites

A big thank you to these sites who link to TAGN. I encourage you to give them a visit in return.

Most Viewed Posts in June

  • Play On: Guild Name Generator
  • A New World Order at SOE?
  • How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  • EVE Online – The Tutorial
  • 2008 MMORPG Progdictionations
  • Is There Hope for a Science Fiction MMORPG?
  • What Is A “Tank” In EVE?
  • My LOTRO Video Crash
  • EVE Online: Empyrean Age release date
  • Apotheosis Now!
  • Losing Two Ships
  • Five LEGO Video Game Titles I Want
  • Notes from Amarr Space
  • SOE Really Wants You Back In Norrath
  • Desperately Seeking Diablo III

Best Search Terms

“second life” battleship

d&d 4th sux

Best Spam Comment

“Boy, this is some high-class site”
[Uh, sure thing, but I’m still not buying you a drink.]

Diablo II

Some Diablo II nostalgia this month. I installed it and played through the first act. I’ll have to see if I am up for more later.

EVE Online

I moved all my stuff back to Caldari space for the whole factional warfare thing that was ushered in by the Empyrean Age and only lost a Hulk on the way. Ouch. Still, my bank account has managed to stay on the sweet side of half a billion isk lately. Obviously I need a new money sink. Factional warfare though, I’m not “getting” it so far.

EverQuest

Thanks to the Living Legecy program, I actually spent some time in EverQuest this month. I even joined up with Nostalgia the Guild, though their regular group nights (Tuesday and Friday) and almost always bad nights for me, so I only see them in passing.

World of Warcraft

The Auchenai Crypts are being stubborn… or, that last boss is. Still, with level cap restrictions lifted from the group, we ought to be powerful enough soon.

DS

It is all about Pokemon on the DS. It was Pokemon Mystery Dungeon at center stage for about a week, but now we’re back to Diamond and LeafGreen.

Wii

We had a revival of the Wii in June with Pokemon Battle Revolution and Pokemon Ranch. We still haven’t bothered to get Mario Kart Wii or LEGO Indiana Jones yet.

Coming Up

I swear I am going to go back and write up another ancient gaming post. I will NOT sit and watch Pokemon Ranch when I get back from vacation.

A New World Order at SOE?

I started off on a post about the whole Living Legacy gripe fest that seems to be going on, another round of “it’s not fair” screeds from the MMO player community which is famous for grousing about any imbalance, real or imaginary. (Yes, I know, that is what MMO blogs and official forums are for. But they are also for rebutting those sorts of things, which maintains the balance of nature.)

My general thrust was that offering incentives exclusively to people who are not currently customers is a long and established practice (cell phones, cable TV, banks, and the NRA use it), that we see every day so kwitcherbitchen or at least try for some apt analogies when complaining. I swear, some people were stretching so far I am surprised they did not dislocate something. And even I am getting tired of the phrase “a slap in the face.”

But Kendricke, in his second post on the subject of this latest round of unfairness from SOE, wondered if SOE had learned from its past mistakes or was doomed to repeat them.

While I was trying to puzzle out exactly which past events should have lead SOE to not run the current promotion in the way it has chosen, I began to wonder if the past was really in play here at all.

Could we, in fact, be witnessing the start of the new world order at SOE?

Let me explain, then speculate, and then speculate wildly, because that is also something for which blogs were made.

For most of its existence, Sony Online Entertainment has been part of Sony Pictures. This was no doubt a reflection of the fact that nobody quite knew where such online gaming ventures really fit in. This was the era of the original PlayStation, to put it in perspective, and an online gaming venture was a horse of a different color for Sony. (The PlayStation 2 was nearly a year away when EverQuest launched.)

And, while I have no actual knowledge what has gone on at SOE, I have been in the position of working on projects, or with whole business units, that differ from the main focus of an organization. That scenario often ends up with a situation of benign neglect from the parent organization, which is often a blessing. As long as numbers are met and budgets aren’t blown, the parent group tends to just focus on what it knows and leaves the subsidiary organization alone.

My speculation is that the period of benign neglect is over. It ended on March 13th of this year, when Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) took over from Sony Pictures as the parent organization for SOE.

Suddenly SOE is reporting to people who make games and game systems. People who market the crap out of their products. People who have been #1 in their market a bit more recently than SOE. People who deal in sales figures that dwarf any of the SOE MMO figures.

And, just as suddenly, the leadership at SCE now find themselves competing not only with the XBox 360 and the Wii, but with World of Warcraft, the biggest subscription MMO ever, even if you just count North America and Eurpoe. Another up hill battle!

So now we have the biggest, most aggressive “come home to Norrath” campaign ever, offering up free time and real, tangible benefits for players that return to the fold. Furthermore, it is for both EverQuest and EverQuest II at the same time. Inconceivable!

I do not think it requires a huge leap of faith to guess that the extent of this campaign was enabled by SOE being part of SCE.

But what is behind this big push? It cannot be any misguided desire to “beat WoW.” (Or, at the current rate of things in San Diego, “Stay ahead of EVE Online.”) If nothing else, the current lapsed user base for both games combined couldn’t be mined for those sorts of numbers without handing out $20 bills.

To get that you would need a serious, on the money, new user campaign. And there hasn’t been one of those since SCE stepped in.

Not yet anyway.

A campaign to get new players would probably be wrapped around the launch of an expansion, something coming up soon for both games. We may find that campaign kicking off this summer.

The end of business as usual at SOE may have been signalled by this campaign. We may see a more aggressive approach to marketing going forward, and SOE will need it.

Expected for the fall alongside SOE’s two Norrathian expansions are the one-two punch of Wrath of the Lich King and Warhammer Online. Even if Lich King comes out later and Warhammer is postponed yet again, the hype around them, the rolling thunder marketing campaign that Blizzard uses so well and which EAMythic has been trying to harness, will still affect the market where EQ and EQ2 have to play. Will some help from the PlayStation team move things in the right direction? (Like their own rolling thunder campaign, of which we might just be seeing the beginning?)

Along with a more aggressive stance in the field, will the oversight of SCE mean anything else?

Will, for example, SCE let SOE roll on as some Katamari Damacy-like ball of also-ran MMOs?

(Thank you Jason Scott for that PlayStation related metaphor.)

I doubt they will shut down anything that is making money, but we might, for example, never see an expansion pack for Vanguard, or many more for the lands of Norrath, as resources are directed towards new projects.

Projects that will run on the PlayStation 3, for example.

Might we see SOE behaving more like SCE going forward? What will that mean to SOE games?

Nifty Stuff in Norrath

Since I have not been able to get into EverQuest II for the whole Living Legacy thing, I thought I would poke my nose into old school Norrath and see what goodies they might offer to a prodigal son. No Helm of the Fatted Calf I hope.

Of course, going into EverQuest after some time away always presents a challenge or two.

alt.everquest.accessibility.rant.rant.rant

If Usenet was useful for anything besides spam, I would create that group.

I have gone on about this before, but one of the pains of going back to EverQuest, one thing that drives me nuts for the first five days every time, is that the operation of the interface pre-dates MMO standards and I have to figure out how to do even the most simple task from scratch.

So, while the /claim command was obvious, the fact that the contents of the bag it gave me had to be at the root level of my inventory was not. I spent a bit of time trying to figure out how to open up the presents (your special armor gift comes wrapped up like that) in that bag. Finally I freed up another slot in my inventory, more one of the presents there and was able to open it up.

Then I had to figure out how good it was, which meant figuring out how to get stats from equipment. I tried all sorts of things involving clicking, right clicking, double clicking, all with a variety of modifier keys until I finally remembered that the way to get information about an item is to hold a right click on the item for a couple of seconds then the window will pop up.

And then it disappears as soon as you let go of the mouse. Arrgh!

Okay, right click, hold, move the cursor over the window with the item information, then let go. At last.

Nice Equipment

I claimed the items for my level 20 Shadow Knight on Luclin. He is the highest level character I have in EQ. The stats on the armor he got was quite impressive. I imagine that different levels get different armor pieces, so it is a shame my main wasn’t higher level, but I’ll work with what I have.

The three pieces of armor I got were the Simple Defiant Breastplate:

The Simple Defiant Plate Boots:

The Simple Defiant Plate Bracer:

All of which were much better that the equipment I already had. It makes me wish I could fill out the set. Then I would be the fully blue Drakkin.

In addition I also received the Simple Defiant Hammer:

The promised two potions, one of speed and one of experience bonus, and the Book of Knowledge, a five charge item that will recall you to the Plane of Knowledge.

Unfortunately, I used one charge while trying to get the stats from it.

All of this came in a seven slot bag, which is okay if you have no bags already. Actually, since they added bank slots with the last expansion, it is probably useful there.

And Then?

Well, now that I have some nifty stuff, I will have to see if I can find some time to hit the current double special hot zones with their additional 25% experience bonus. Off to the Desert of Ro.

Or Does SOE Want Me Back?

I patched Station Launcher, then it patched EverQuest II, and this is what I ended up with last night:

So I did a full scan last night.  Same problem.  I did a full scan this morning.  Same problem.

I don’t think patching and login problems are the sort of “Living Legacy” that SOE wants: Invite people back, then don’t let them in.  At least I am not alone.

On the other hand, EverQuest patched and fired up on the first go.

SOE Really Wants You Back In Norrath

And they don’t care if it is pre or post cataclysm.

SOE has activated all EverQuest and EverQuest II accounts that were EverActive before.

And, if you will just log on (c’mon, please!), they will shower you with gifts like upgrades through to the current expansions and in-game items plus live events throughout the duration of the program.

Holding out rarely pays off so well.

Massively has the details for the EverQuest and EverQuest II “Living Legacy” campaign here, or you can go to the official SOE Living Legacy site to get the spiffy Flash enhanced version. (The Flash site is very pretty.)

Celebrate Your Hardcore Heritage in EverQuest.

Rewards Await Your Return in EverQuest II.

As required by EverQuest II lore rules, there is a scantily clad dark elf female on the SOE site.

Massively also has an interview with EverQuest’s Ryan Baker and Clint Worley about the Living Legend campaign as well as an interview with EverQuest II’s Bruce Ferguson.

I know somebody who just reactivated his EQ2 accounts last week. Oops.