Four Years and Counting…

Yeah, I may as well go ahead and post it since Ysh outed me.  Its been a little over four years since I started this fun little adventure.  If I remember right, there are a couple of others who share similar dates. The stats will be a little off since there is an extra month in there, but what the hay – here ya go:

Quick Stats: 

Total Views:  93,987  (41,363 last year, 21,407 or so the year before)

Best Month:   9350 views in May, 2012  (2,947 last January,  2281 the year before)

Busiest Day:  971 views on  May 2nd, 2012 (602 last year, 270  the year before)

Top 5 Posts:  Tips and Tricks for World of Tanks, Naming Your Ship,  TERA Online Review, How Well Will the SWTOR Launch Go? That Depends on How Tolerant You Are, Naming Your Ship 2

Top 3 Most Popular Tags (By Game):  Star Trek Online, EVE Online, World of Tanks

* Note, views to my home page blow all of those away.  This is the up and down of not requiring you to “jump” after a break in the post.

Search  Terms that Make You Go Hmmm:

minecraft hotel lobby  (if you build it, they will come…)

hot jedi  (we’re not that kind of site really)

вестибюль гостиницы (Russian for hotel lobby…apparently I am source zero for hotel lobby information)

otel lobİlerİ (Turkish that time…)

tera character nude (Also about six variations of “tera online sexy” – are people this desperate for porn?)

star wars the old republic nude (I’m seeing a trend here…)

real world controversy (We have that in spades…)

Referrals and Referees:

Top 3 Bloggers Who Helped Me With Traffic:  Nil’s Blog, Bio Break, Stonee’s EQOA Blog

Top 3 Bloggers I Helped With Traffic: GCTAGN, Rowan

Again, theres much bigger numbers in the former than the latter…

Thoughts and Goals:

At this time last year I was still looking for my first level cap.    I got that not long thereafter!  And then once more in April when I did the same in Star Trek Online,  a month after I hit 30.  And STO may be the first game for a multi-cap as well – my Klingon character is a day away from the same Captain milestone.   I have been blessed to have a regular playgroup for a long while.  Starting last June and continuing straight on until this past July, when my little playing group folded its tents in TOR and took a little enforced break while one of the members prepares to head off to basic training, and when my beloved TOR guild shut its doors.  These days I am mostly guild oriented, chatting amiable with my 12th Fleet and Knights of Mercy friends, or some of that old Beskar crew in World of Tanks.  Sadly though – guild oriented does not always equal group oriented.

My vision this year is tilted backwards.  The only MMO I am looking forward to is ArcheAge, and there is little evidence that it will land here in the next year.  And my Beta stuff has slowed down – only one I’m actively involved in at the moment is MechWarrior Online, and for my two cents, once you take people’s money for the game, its not a Beta anymore, no matter what you want to classify it as.

That said, there are several games I want to revisit this year – EVE Online, and Vanguard.  Pirates of the Burning Sea and maybe a stint in Everquest, since I never could bring myself to log in and say goodbye to EQOA.


MMO’s: Rift (3 months), TOR (7 months), The Secret World (2 months), TERA Online (1 month), GW2 (1 month), STO (7 months), Istaria (1 month)

Other Online:  WoT (12 months), WoWP (2 months), MWO (1 month), Stronghold Online (1 month)

Alphas/Betas:  Dawntide, Heroes and Generals, MWO, WoWP

Table Top/RPG:  Call of Cthulhu, Mansions of Madness, Anima: The Card Game, Anima RPG, Hellas RPG, Houses of the Blooded RPG


Thanks to the Casualties of War crew for keeping the wheels turning all these years, especially Genda’s hard work, though I do miss his blogging (poke, poke).   Thanks also to my wonderful – dare I say – online family in Beskar, who made the last two years so fun.  And thank you to KoM and 12th Fleet for taking me in – here’s to the future.    And a big thank you, and congratulations to my brother and his then-fiance-now wife, for helping me make so many of my gaming dreams come true in the last year.  Big ups playa.

Catching Up

So I’ve been a busy boy, between stuff at work and a week out of town and the stomach bug.  So lets do a little recap roundup shall we?


TOR – I have both my characters in the mid-20’s now.  I grind out about a level a week, which is pretty normal for me.   I just hit Tattoine for the first time last night and it felt…weird.   Landing on Tatooine as an Imperial Agent just felt so *not* Star Wars.  In fact, the whole Empire thing is starting to wear on me a bit.  I may have to let one of those two Imp characters lay idle for a bit so I can scratch the Republic itch.  I will wait until update 1.2 though – the Legacy system means that my Republic alts, all at level 10 on another server are basically useless to me.  And I am not running through Tython for the umpteenth time without Sprint if I can help it.


World of Tanks – I’ve spent the last week doing my runs on the Test Server, which has been a breath of fresh air.  The Russian players are actually quite nice, and much more skilled than their American counterparts.  I have wondered lately if I was just bad at WoT or if the teams were so bad it was hard to excel, and its definitely the latter.  In all the matches I’ve played on the test server, I’ve only once seen the team deploy poorly, without watching the map.  As one EU player said after a match, “we didn’t get beat because we made bad choices, we just got beat because they were better than us.”  I don’t get many of those matches on the regular server.   Much as patch 1.2 for TOR will turn it into what it should have been at launch, patch 7.2 will certainly do for WoT.  The new tanks are excellent, and the graphical and game updates are all well done.  The M18 Hellcat is almost all that we wanted it to be (it can’t quite hit 89 kph, and the option of the 105mm howitzer is missing).  Time to learn some Russian and make an account on their server I think.


Sandbox Vistas – I’ve shelved this for the time being.  The remaining options just don’t appeal to me all that much, and the announcement that Dawntide was shutting down, while somewhat expected, was ultimately very disheartening.  At this point, unless I get the itch to try Ryzom or Wurm, I’ll probably just keep a keen and interested eye on ArchAge instead.


Star Trek Online – Yeah, I know.  But a friend has been begging me to run some missions with him since it went F2P, and I was just a few points shy of my Akira and Nebula.  So I logged in last night and did one mission.  And I have a few things to say:  one is – who killed the graphics?  Its like a whole new engine in there, and it looks like crap, even with all the settings dialed up to max – which, by the way, is something I could not do with the original game.  Balancing that out though – praise the Alpha Quadrant, they actually fixed ground combat to make it manageable, and the skill system to make it less of a headache of WTH, and changed the progression to the point I breathed a sigh of relief.   I did one mission to finish up the jump from 19 to 20.  That same amount of skill points would have required me to do 3-4 missions when I was in the game before.   So now its time to claim that long awaited Akira and learn about that whole “duty officer” thing.  Its like the bizarre crossbreeding of TOR’s companions with your Bridge Officers and a far future version of Pokemon.  I feel like I have to catch them all!


And decide if I want to shell out some real bucks for that Nebula.

A Little Publicity for a Game I’m Sweet On

So here’s a small plug for a game that I hope does very, very well.  I do any number of Beta’s, and while I haven’t been in this one in a while, you could smell the potential from a mile away.  That game is Dawntide, and they recently announced an October 1st launch date.  And the timing couldn’t be better.

If you enjoyed SWG, and are feeling a little sadness over its closing, this may be the replacement for you.  If the words sandbox, open-world PvP, skill-based advancement, or complex crafting systems send a little shiver of excitement down your spine…this may be the game for you.

Open Beta will be lasting right up to launch, so there is still time to jump in and see what its all about, as well as help shape the game.  Yes, Dawntide is another of those games where the Devs have this silly little belief that the players should have some input into the design of the game.  Which is one of the reasons I have some hope for its success.  Another reason is that they are being very generous and offering up a great deal for players at launch:   the client will be free, along with the first 10 days.  After that you can roll with the normal subscription model or jump to the lifetime deal.   Now that sounds cool, but here’s the juicy bit – a lifetime sub will only set you back €84.95, or about $122 for those of us in US land.  That’s a great deal.

If you’re not convinced yet though, spend some time going over the site, and perhaps catch the new trailer or read this interview with the CEO/Producer.  And let me share some of the great highlights with you:

  • Crown Market – In order to foster the economy, you can’t sell random junk to vendors.  Yeah, you read that right, a staple feature of MMO’s has been changed, and I think for the better.  Instead you sell things at the market, where the amount you receive is based on the number of those items recently sold on the market.  Those items the market then resells to other players based on that same fluctuating formula.  Items unsold are removed from the market on a regular basis to keep the economy fresh.  A radical idea, and one that gives the Devs an excellent tool for keeping a good handle on the in game economy.  A necessity in the sandbox environment.
  • Boats and Buildings – Five and fifty of them (respectively) at release, and yes, players build them.  Warships are planned for a future release so that more “serious piracy” can commence.  Incidentally, wind is part of the dynamic environment.  How cool is that?  If boats and buildings aren’t your intended crafting desire, try one or more of the 16 different professions.  And no, that doesn’t include “gathering skills” – those are all actual crafting skills.
  • The World –  Taking a cue from EVE, there are both “anything goes” territories and existing national territories for less hardcore players.  And for kicks, the world is 500 square kilometers (>120 square miles) of wide open spaces.  That’s more than three times the size of Washington DC.
  • Active Combat – Similar to AoC, there are three variations on basic strikes, these build things like “speed” or “power,” which are used to pay for more advanced strikes within the combat.   More than 40 such moves are in the game right now.  Magic has a good variety as well, with some nice spells available (150+ combat, 50+ non-combat).
If you aren’t intrigued enough yet to at least give it a try, then this isn’t your cup of tea anyway.   The only downside I can tell you is that this is a small development company we are talking about here.  The graphics are not revolutionary (though the world is pretty), and there will be bugs.  But it should say something that I never had any CTD or freezing issues in my time in beta.