A few reflections on my gaming and blogging in 2008 with a few follow ups from last year’s post.
On the stat line:
Total Hits: just over 100,000
My blogging has been a bit uneven this year which coincides with my equally unpredictable work pattern. Feast or famine it seems, coupled with a few periods of just plain nothing much to say.
While the pace of my posting has remained about the same, its nice to see many more comments coming in. Something I attribute largely to getting picked up on the VirginWorlds feeds and cross traffic from other friendly denizens of the blogosphere.
My top 5 referring sites were 1) VirginWorlds, 2) The Ancient Gaming Noob, 3) Tobold’s, 4) Kill Ten Rats and 5) Keen and Graev’s. Many thanks to them and all who visit and comment.
Games in 2008
World of Warcraft. Our instance group slogged our way through The Burning Crusade to cap out at 70 just as burnout set in and before Warhammer released. The group has been diligently pursuing its ultra casual, keep everyone together approach for more than two years at this point playing together just a few hours each week. After diverting to WAR briefly, we are back in Azeroth with the Wrath of the Lich King where we’re having a good time. I’m looking forward to continuing our weekly adventures with a great group of friends.
So far, Lich King has been much more of what I loved about the WoW 1.0 and much less of WoW 2.0. Still, progress is fast and even for our group, we’ll likely cap long long before there is another WoW expansion on the horizon.
Eve Online. I’ve been mostly diligently pursuing my two box strategy with Eve having built my miner up to Hulk-capability and my hauler up to an Iteron V. Along the way, I managed to get both pilots into Drake battlecruisers and have developed their social skills to the point where mission running and mining the mission spaces is a fun hybrid way to experience the game.
Wilhelm and Gaff and I were going great guns for a while but Gaff ran of to Norrath and then Middle Earth while Wil has caught the EQ2 bug on Guk. So for now, I’ll continue to pursue my Eve objectives since it can be so forgiving of RL scheduling conflicts (the game you can play off line!). Real time skill training FTW.
Everquest 2. I was convinced to fire up EQ2 again as an alternative to WoW burnout and WAR disappointment. Mrs. P and I followed multi boxing Gaff and Wilhelm to a new server and new guild where Jaye and Darren are resident. Revelry and Honor is a wonderful group and they have a gorgeous guild hall.
Leveling is much accelerated since my last visit. I was enjoying myself with this year’s offering The Shadow Odyssey until RL conflicts and the inevitable schedule chaos that are the holidays interrupted our adventures. I’m on the fence whether to keep our EQ2 accounts going since I’m not playing very much and the horizon is a bit fuzzy in that regard.
Warhammer Online. I had little enthusiasm for WAR until the open beta and then I fell for it. It was certainly something quite different from WoW and EQ2 at exactly the right time for me. Unfortunately, as the month wore on, performance issues and dubious design choices made clear that it just wasn’t going to be the next big thing. The open world RvR, when it happened, was great, but the performance of the client and the incentives were too undeveloped or misconceived to make it a good fit for our group.
Pirates of the Burning Sea. I beta’d PotBS and gave it a luke warm reception. I really wanted to love this game, but it suffers/ed from a few serious design problems. When I left the game, it was apparent that the fundamental port contention system was in desperate need of a complete overhaul. Its a beautiful game and I intend on checking back in a bit, maybe with Station Access. The thing that really killed it for me despite the rocky state was the the lack of a real open world feel to it. Instanced battle rooms with questionable entry mechanics made it feel too much like a game of boxes.
Likewise, the much vaunted economy was seriously out of balance and, imho, poorly executed. I’m still secretly hoping someone makes an MMO set in something like the 1600-1700 age of exploration/fighting age of sail era. Eve with scurvy please.
Age of Conan. I beta’d AoC and while parts were promising, it became clear that Funcom was rushing it out the door. PvE underdeveloped, system requirements too high, PvP not really implemented as well as game breaking bugs meant I was going to pass before release.
LotRO. Generally unplayed this year. With Moria out, I’m almost convinced to hop in and join Gaff in his return to Middle Earth. Time will be the limiting factor, but I do intend to see Moria at some point.
Games in 2009
I hate to say it, but after the disappointment of 2008, I’m not really looking forward to anything in particular. I’m interested in what 38 Studio’s has going on. I’m interested in what Guildwars 2 might be shaping up to be, but details on both of those have been scarce.
Likewise, I’m somewhat interested in watch the two most cursed IPs develop as well– Star Wars: The Old Republic and Star Trek Online. Both seem to be in capable hands, but if past is prologue, we’re doomed.
Goals for the Blog
Keep on keeping on. The key to any kind of writing is to actually do it. It gets easier and it (hopefully) gets better the more you do it. I’ve been less concerned about my frequency of posting and generally pleased with quality and the type and number of comments I get.
A blog is a blog. It doesn’t need to be a daily news feed unless you want it to be.
Goals for Gaming
I’ll completely rehash my last year’s goals because they STILL apply:
“New Game #1. Find a game other than WoW in which to continue our group adventures. I love Thanksgiving, but I can’t eat turkey sandwiches everyday all year long. Some of us have a one game time budget, so it needs to be accessible and afford the opportunity to progress through the game in relatively small blocks of time– the mythical 2-hour casual gamer block maybe once or twice a week. If its that accessible, consider roping in some new blood for more fun and adventure. I’m not necessarily seeing anything on the horizon that fits the bill, but I’m willing to be surprised.
New Game #2. Find a game #2 that offers me a different experience than game #1 but that grabs me enough to cap out. I think you need to have a #2 that you can integrate into your game life in order not to burn out on game #1 or life for that matter.”
Thanks for visiting and Happy New Year!