I finally got around to tinkering with the MMO Blog feed on the side bar, something I proposed to do a couple of months back. My operating suspicion, given the sporadic reliability of the feed over the last ten months and my attempts to fix the problem via other vectors, was that some individual feed was screwing things up for everybody else. As it stood, the old feed was drawing from a bucket in Feedly that contained nearly 200 blogs.
The idea was to have a lot of blogs in there so that even irregular writers would get their turn on the side bar. A lovely idea, but when nobody is showing up on the side bar for what seemed like 18 out of every 24 hours, not a viable one. So I created a new category in Feedly and routed it via IFTTT to Pinboard, where it gets turned into an RSS feed that I can display via a WordPress.com side bar widget.
I then moved just ten of the blogs from the original category to the new one, a set of the “regulars” from the neighborhood, put the widget in the side bar (moving the old one down to the bottom, just to compare reliability), and watched it grow.
That seems to have made the feed more reliable. Since then I have been slowly adding a few blogs at a time, so that the count is up to 30 at this point. (You can tell when I add somebody because their last few posts suddenly show up at the top of the list.) I will probably cap it out at 50 or so, rather than push things to the point where it breaks again and then have to dial back to find the culprit.
Also, I thought this month would have the lowest page view count since 2008… recent charts in the anniversary post will give you that scale… and then I posted twice about World of Warcraft this week and pulled out of that dive. Now I am no further back than 2009. Go me.
There is your blogging lesson of the month; if you want to be popular, post about WoW.
One Year Ago
The blog turned nine years old.
Some survey said it could guess my age based on my video game preferences.
World of Warships officially went live after its open beta.
As part of the Heart of Thorns expansion, the Guild Wars 2 base game went completely free.
Also on the free front, WildStar went free to play, bowing to the realities of the current MMORPG market.
In World of Warcraft, the ability to fly was finally unlocked in Draenor… provided you had all the achievements.
In Diablo III I was looking at the whole season thing.
Lord British was on again with some quotes, allowing that Blizzard could do some things well… like Diablo. But he was more on about sandbox games, like his upcoming Shroud of the Avatar, because sandbox games generate news headlines. His example was EVE Online, though it wasn’t clear to me that SotA was going to get the same sort of coverage.
In Minecraft I was making friends with the zombie pigmen and using a utility to see a map of our world. I needed that map as we were all out exploring. Aaron was kicking of our transit hub in the roof of the nether and I was ruining Xydd’s neighborhood. Meanwhile, our hosting service was going out of business.
On the Daybreak front I was reflecting on the status of EverQuest Next five years after it had been announced. There were expansion plans for EverQuest and EverQuest II. The Ruins of Kunark expansion was unlocked on the Ragefire progression server while the vote for the Desert of Flames expansion was up on the Stormhold server. Daybreak also killed off enforced raid rotation on Ragefire, having “fixed” the underlying issue finally. There was talk of the new server names for the coming server consolidation in EverQuest II. I am not sure I liked the results.
In EVE Online I was happy, in the age of Fozzie sov, that towers still gave kill mails. Even CCP seemed to think that maybe blowing things up was better than sov wands. They were also considering going back to bigger expansions, putting less emphasis on the monthly updates. The monthly updates still had names for the moment… the Vanguard monthly update for example… but that would go by the end of the year.
The monthly EVE Online blog banter… which seems to have died off recently… wanted to know what we would do were we put in charge of the development of New Eden.
Finally, I was reflecting a bit on lifetime subscriptions and noting Asheron’s Call downtime, Lord of the Rings Online server transfers, the Drunder server in EverQuest II, and Windows 10 in one of my Friday bullet point posts.
Five Years Ago
I did the great survey of blogs that had, at one time or another, included this site in their blog roll over the last five years. Only 28% of them were still up and active. There was also the five year anniversary post and all that it entailed.
I implied that Tobold’s mother a llama. This had NOTHING to do with him not having a blog roll.
I was totally going to resist Steam selling me Rift for cheap. That didn’t work, and I ended up playing for about a year or so.
Star Trek Online announced it was going free to play, though I couldn’t imagine how it wasn’t already.
GameSpy had a post about re-imagining Diablo as a first person perspective game, which was met with much derision. Me, I liked the idea and even had suggestions for further topics in that vein to explore. Meanwhile, Diablo III was pushed out to the middle of 2012.
In other Blizzard news, the Official World of Warcraft Magazine went belly up after just five issues. And then there was a drop in WoW subscribers. They lost 600,000 players, though I wasn’t one of them… yet. Good thing they never lost more than that…
In EverQuest, on the Fippy Darkpaw server, the retro experience was made complete by “guilds behaving badly” when it came to contested content. Some GMs came up with unorthodox ways to resolve conflicts. Somewhere along the way I got my SOE Authenticator, which I never use.
ArenaNet said something about private GuildWars 2 PvP servers. I wonder how that would play today?
There was no word about life on Planet Michael.
And, finally, I was wondering how 9/11, which took place just a couple months before the birth of my daughter, would influence her view of the world relative to my own. This was triggered by her trip to New York, where she visited the Nintendo Store.
Ten Years Ago
We are now officially at the point where I can just link back to old posts for this section. I will still include the occasional outside item that I missed back then, or things that became meaningful in the context of the blog as time moved on. Or just stuff that seems interesting. Have to keep these sharp for when the “Twenty Years Ago” section becomes a thing!
There was the first post. I still haven’t covered all of the topics I promised 10 years back.
LEGO Star Wars II – The Original Trilogy launched, setting the casual path for future Traveller’s Tales LEGO based games. My daughter and I would later play this on the Wii, but that was still out in the future.
Pokemon Diamond & Pearl, the first core Pokemon RPG titles for the Nintendo DS platform shipped in Japan. They wouldn’t reach US shores for another six months. Again, another series that would show up here as time moved on.
Green Monster Games, later 38 Studios, was unveiled to the public by founder Curt Schilling with R. A. Salvatore and Todd McFarlane as part of the creative team.
I was into EVE Online, which I began playing just about two weeks before I started the blog. My first post about it concerned the tutorial, then I went on to my impressions. I already had EVEMon up and running, because you cannot play EVE Online without it. And, while I was hardly aware of it, the first titan had been built in New Eden.
I kicked off my old school gaming reminiscences with a post about Stellar Emperor as it was back in 1986. That was 30 years ago. Damn continuous motion of time.
The instance group formed up for adventures in Azeroth.
I wrote the first “Month in Review” post. I am not sure WHY I decided to do that, but it became a thing as here I am doing the 101st such post a decade later. (About four years ago I decided month in review should have its own category, so I went back and edited each and every last one to put them all in that category. Fortunately, being a once a month thing, it was easy to figure out if I missed any or not.)
I also wrote something about Saga of Ryzom in that month in review post, which might be the one of the few times I ever wrote anything about it.
But the smartest thing I probably did in that first month was link out to Brent at VirginWorlds in a post, which got him to notice my brand new blog, which kind of got me into the club pretty quickly as well as getting me my first comment.
Features Sites of the Month
For this month’s featured MMO Blog I want to bring your attention to:
Then of the “other” site of the month, I want to point you at is:
Most Viewed Posts in September
Search Terms of the Month
how to get listed in Yahoo News
[Pretty easy, pay them money. Half of their “news” is just ads.]
pokemon go what mean you have4 attempts left before locked out
“lucy bradshaw””piss people off”
[To be fair, she didn’t make that last version of SimCity on her own.]
why do they say tosh is clown shoes
[I got nothing, but I am blaming Tesh for you getting here.]
[At first glance that seems obscene, but it turns out to be Polish.]
Spam Comment of the Month
Whether gamers sell a Pokemon Go account or World of Warcraft character, they are in danger of being audited by the IRS.
[I am sure the IRS is all over that like green on Ben Franklin’s ass.]
There was a deployment to Querious with Reavers which was cut short as our list of goals was largely accomplished without fighting. Groups seemed eager to move further away from the Imperium. So it was more a month of tinkering and PvE for me. I kill Blood Raiders, ran Purity of the Throne sites, tried to figure out PI, and generally boosted my cash reserves.
The wife and I continue to play this. My daughter is so past it though, and it annoys here when we talk about it.
Current end of month stats:
- Level: 18 (+7)
- Pokedex status: 61 (+22) caught, 63 (+23) seen
- Pokemon I want: Ghastly
- Current buddy: Bulbasaur
Our Minecraft server has been pretty dead this past month, though I only know this since I actually played for a bit. I have a blog post in progress about the game, but not the one you want. Also, considering another resource consuming, scenery marring grand construction project. After months of war, final defeat, moving to and then conquering a new region, having a quiet month wasn’t a bad thing.
World of Warcraft
The first full month of WoW Legion has now gone by. I have a character at level cap, I have one zone left to run through, and then all the things that come after that. I have enjoyed it so far, the zones are good, the quests are high quality, the usual characters and references are about, but I haven’t been overly enthusiastic for it or chomping at the bit to play. I think that is just me.
As noted, I have been doing a couple of things in Minecraft I may write about. There is also an update coming that will include llamas, because of course it will.
In doing the ten year anniversary post I dredged up a bunch of old topics I might want to go back and revisit after so much time has passed. I try to not simply write stuff, hit post, and forget about it. I like to go back and re-read posts and see how my views may have changed.
EVE Vegas is coming up at the end of the month and I will be attending. More details on that later. There is a war going on in New Eden of some interest, even if we’re not directly involved. And the CSM 11 Summit meeting notes got released today, so maybe there will be something in those to dissect.
On WoW I will begin my assault on Stormheim and probably continue making hexweave bags.
I suppose we will hear more about the upcoming EverQuest and EverQuest II expansions.
And that is all I can see given my own limited horizons. What else is coming in October?