After yesterday’s look back at 2012, today we’re going to look forward to 2012. What does the year have in store for us?
My outlook on games in 2012 is pretty limited. SWTOR is out and I expect that to be the main thing I play, at least for awhile. I’ll continue to pop into STO and LOTRO occasionally, but no other MMO has caught my attention. I have a slight interest in Guild Wars 2, but that probably won’t launch in 2012 and it’s only a slight interest at this point.
I will undoubtedly, have a Civilization splurge at some point in the spring and fall. Depending on the needs of the baby, I might even do it sooner. Civ is a good game to play while distracted since it is turn based. I also plan to play Portal 2, which is another one that should be easy to stop and come back to when needed. That could be the downfall of SWTOR, at least outside of defined gaming periods.
I might check out the new Star Wars games coming out from Fantasy Flight. They look fun, and I might be able to convince my wife to play with me.
I’ll be attending a few Cons this year, OwlCon and Comicpalooza, though not for fun. I’ll be spending a lot of time sitting in the dealer room, trying to sell my book. But that is cool in itself.
2012 will see the release of a few cool movies; next Batman, Avengers, Bond. It will be Eureka’s final season, which will be sad, but I predict great things. I will also be going cable free, so all my television viewing will be done via Netflix or Zune. I don’t expect much to actually change in my viewing habits. Maybe watching less TV since we’ll be paying directly for a show, instead of indirectly via satellite.
John Scalzi has a new book called Red Shirts coming out that looks great. The name says it all. The big book release for the year will be the final Wheel of Time book. That has been a long time coming and I am actually caught up and ready for it.
There are also a few new GGP authors that should have books being released. Some of those look really cool.
The single biggest anticipation of 2012 is of course, the birth of our first kid. Due in mid February, I will get to experience this whole parenting thing first hand. I am excited, though admittedly, a little scared. The babies room is not quite ready, we don’t have half of the things we need, and I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. Am I ready? Sure don’t feel like it. But does anyone?
Ah, election years. Fun for a political junky, but also very very sad. Nothing useful will get done in government this year as it will all be about the election, which is 11 months away. We’ll finally stop hearing from all the crazies in the Republican primary, and instead, just hear from one single crazy. Because of how politics work, there is sadly, a real chance whomever it is will beat Obama. But I have faith that most Americans will recognize the BS the GOP is selling. I just have less hope that the Democrats can do any better.
2012 should see the release of my second novel and second book in the Aristeia series. I’m almost done with the first draft and have every intention of getting the first beta ready before the baby arrives. If I do that, then I should be able to have a much less rushed release for next fall.
Hopefully, it will also see sales for Revolutionary Right taking off. Friends and family have been wonderful in buying the book and telling their friends. But that can only go so far. Finding traction with people who have never heard of me is the real trick. We’ll see what happens.
Apparently, at the end of the year, it is a common practiceto look back at the previous year and forward to the new year. Not one to buck tradition, unless I feel like it, here is my look back at 2011:
- SWTOR Released: I’m still having a lot of fun playing this game. It definitely feels like Star Wars and the story is great. Game play ain’t bad either.
- Skyrim- While I didn’t get very far due to SWTOR, I did enjoy what I played. It’s a beautiful game with lots of options of what to do.
- Rise of Isengard- I enjoyed this expansion, even though I got distracted before I finished playing all of it. But since it’s F2P, I can hop back in anytime I want.
- STO’s DOFF system- while STO will make up a large chunk of the Lows, the DOFF system is well done and fun to play.
- SWTOR Released: Due to the launch of this game, I never finished the LOTRO expansion or Skyrim. There’s always next year.
- STO saw very little content added to the game. The Foundry was a nice idea, but incomplete and hasn’t been touched since it was released. There was only one Featured Episode series this year and aside from the ground combat revamp (which was a positive) there was hardly anything added until the very end of the year, and that included a lot of stupid grindy changes.
- Bought Portal 2 on sale a week before it went on sale for half the price I paid for it. Still haven’t had time to play it yet. That’s for 2012.
- Found some good new tv this year: Burn Notice, Once Upon a Time, Psych
- Got a Kindle and have enjoyed reading from it.
- Google Music has worked great. I have all my music available from anywhere. Started working on getting all my pictures onto Picasa as well.
- No new Stargate. No new Star Trek. In fact, no new space based sci-fi TV period. That is a sad point for television.
- Was disappointed in several shows that I tried: Freaks and Geeks, Grimm, Person of Interest
- Occupy Movement kick started national awareness of the inequality of incomes and power amongst the majority of Americans.
- The 50 million Republican debates. Why are these a good thing? Because they’ve shown how idiotic all of the candidates are.
- End of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
- Withdrawal of final troops from Iraq.
- We may have gotten redistricted into Ron Paul’s district. At least this means I can vote against him, though he’s been in power so long it’s unlikely to make a difference.
- The whole debt ceiling non-issue that was turned into an issue and paralyzed the whole system.
- A completely ineffectual Congress
- Most people still have no idea what the Occupy movement is about. The media coverage has been terrible.
- My first novel was released! It has been one year since I quit my job and I managed to write, re-write, edit and get published one entire novel. I call that an accomplishment.
- I tried my hand at some short stories. I enjoyed the process, even though I don’t think any of them are fit for release.
- Not finding an agent or traditional publisher. You’d think this might be a down side, but I think I’ll be much happier working with GGP than I would have been with a big company. I have more control of my work and am more involved. There’s no big advance, but I’ll get more per book sale. Might not make as much, but I am not writing to become rich. That would just be a nice bonus.
- Despite every intention, I did not finish the first draft of book 2 before the end of the year.
I haven’t been posting lately because I am off surrounded by family. Should be back to a regular schedule after the new year.
Today marks 6months since I began this diversion into Blogdom. It has been an interesting experience. I love numbers so let’s take a look:
At the 3 month mark things looked like this:
- 1174 Unique Visitors
- 76 RSS Feeds
- 4861 Pageviews
- 216 Comments
- 114 Non-Spam Comments
Now, 3 months later we have:
- 4583 Unique Visitors
- 403 RSS Feeds
- 66,745 Pageviews
- 708 Comments
- 207 Non-Spam Comments
On first impression, it looks good. 4x the number of visitors and RSS feeds. 13x the number of pageviews. Quite a jump.
But I think it’s the non-spam comments that tell the true story. It held steady at about 100 in 3 months. If we compare these numbers from Statpress app I have installed to the Google Analytic numbers we see:
- 1,078 Unique Visitors
- 3,377 Pageviews
That is a quarter the amount. How do we get such drastically different numbers? Well, it comes down to what you count as a visitor. My understanding is that Google filters out bots and people that load for an incredibly short amount of time. So, I would say Google is more indicative of genuine visitors. Something else that might help demonstrate that; the total number of banned IP’s that have been blocked is 7,999. So, eight thousand times spam IP’s have attempted to access the site, after being sufficiently annoying to get banned. That gives a good idea where the 63,000 difference in pageviews is.
Now, for more fun data, let’s look at search terms and referrers:
Compare these to Googles data:
|swtor beta news + rogue||29||4.15%|
|the rogue blogger sto||24||3.44%|
|swtor legacy system||22||3.15%|
|sto engineer tank build||9||1.29%|
|swtor collectors edition||7||1.00%|
|legacy system swtor||5||0.72%|
The search terms are pretty similar. But the refers is drastically different. Google has filtered out all the spam sites that link here and just summarize real people. People clicking on links I post in Facebook is the clear winner. Followed once again by links from The Ancient Gaming Noob. The others mainly come from comments I’ve made on John Scalzi’s Whatever blog and guild/gaming sites I am a member of (STO Vets and d20radio).
What do I take away from all these numbers? Mostly, that Google seems more reliable than Statpress. That, and people will visit the site from a variety of sources, but not many come back on a regular basis. And SWTOR tags are the only main way strangers seem to find the site through search engines.
But I don’t write for the visitors (though, now that my books out, I wouldn’t complain about more people visiting and discovering the book and then buying it). This blog is just kind of a fun outlet for me to talk about whatever I want.
Oh, and spammers still suck.
If I were to tell you that today, a space based MMO added a small green alien that gives out weapons that ignite and glow a bright color, what would you think I was talking about?
If you guess Star Trek Online, you’d be correct. Insane, but correct. Apparently, STO decided to add a small green Ferengi to their winter event that gives out Klingon bat’leth’s that ignite to glow red or blue. And this Ferengi lives in a hut.
I have dubbed him “Yorengi” and the “Light’leth”.
Well, I have been in SWTOR for a week now and today the game officially launches. While I wait in a (horribly inaccurate) queue, I think I’ll take a look at my game experience so far:
- Level 22 Scoundrel with Armstech level 170
- Level 10 Jedi Knight (can’t decide between Guardian and Sentinel)
- Enjoying the story so far. My smuggler was really happy to have his ship back. It was an interested approach to have the story continue by a passenger I found aboard offering me a job.
- I like that I can keep upgrading my pistol. It’s even kind of cool that the upgrades come from three different crafting professions.
- Overall crafting seems very balanced. If you take 1 crafting, 1 gathering and 1 mission you can have access to most of what you need to craft stuff in that category. Interdependence is NOT generated by needing subcomponents from another crafting profession or from to many different gathering professions (so far at least). But, to really equip yourself, you need stuff from most categories.
- I like Reverse Engineering. Gets resources back and has a pretty reasonable chance at learning an upgraded schematic. Gets expensive though.
- Space is better than I expected. Not super wonderful, but still fun. It’s nice not having to worry about flying and just shooting stuff. Not sure how long that will last.
- The Lekku motion on the Twi’lek is very well done. They move with the character’s motion.
- The PVP maps are fun scenarios. I like that they each have a different flavor to them. I haven’t gotten to try Huttball yet, but the attack/defend on the starship map is fun to play both sides of it.
- I like the global cooldown on abilities. It gives me a second to plan my next move and combat doesn’t feel like a button mash fest.
- I hate my droid. Everytime he finishes a crafting mission, he has to give me the same stupid line. And it is voiced OVER top of whatever mission dialogue I’m trying to listen too.
- I’m having difficulty playing with my guild. I find that I don’t want to get on the Vent server for the same reason as above. I want to listen to the dialogue, I don’t want people talking over it.
- It is a little disheartening that the only moddable pistols schematics available for sale from the crafting vendor are level 48. I suppose it might be possible to get lower level moddable guns through RE or something. You can definitely buy them.
- Mission flows can be odd. I’ve had to back track a few times because I didn’t turn in my class quest quick enough and it sends me to an area I just finished.
- It’s annoying that when you visit your ship, it takes off. There’s no way to board your ship and stay in the hangar.
- You spend a lot of time running around. I like the big worlds, but it feels a little excessive sometimes. Especially since you don’t get sprint until level 14 and speeders at level 25.
- There is some clipping with the Twi’lek lekku. My Jedi’s practice saber sticks up through the lekku.
- It’s easy to accidentally buy stuff at commendation vendors and then no way to get your commendations back. I purchased a level 40 pair of smuggler pants while trying to see what they look like. I have yet to find the badass gunslinger duster the guy in the video has.
- This goes into a broader issue of a poor interface. You can’t move windows around and sometimes they cover each other up. Also, when a crafting mission completes, it interrupts whatever you’re doing, which is annoying.
- It’s just annoying that the vehicle piloting skill comes at level 25 AND costs 40,000 credits. Since I’ve been working on crafting, I never have any more than 10k at a time. This really isn’t a grip against SWTOR specifically, just MMO design that charges outrageous prices for a fast travel skill that should be free. SWG did it right, anyone could drive any vehicle. Getting cool vehicles took some work, but you got a speeder right away. I had the same gripe with LOTRO and the 5 gold horse and the really annoying quest to learn the skill.
- PVP suffers from the usual run around like an idiot issue of all MMO’s. I can’t keep people in melee range and my smuggler has some useful short range skills. I can’t image doing this with my Jedi.
The day is here! Now available for sale on Amazon:
The Kindle version is up but the paperback and hardback versions are not yet linked. We’re just waiting on Amazon to go ahead and make that connection. Could be a few days unfortunately.
I can not begin to describe the excitement I feel that it is finally out there and available. This experiment at being a writer began just about 1 year ago. In that time I wrote, edited and got published my first novel. I’m really happy with the cover art, the final state of the story, and my experience with the folks at Grey Gecko Press.
Now, we find out if anyone is willing to give it a try. We have it submitted to a few review sites, so we’ll also get to see what people think of it. I’m a little nervous about that. I enjoyed writing it, and everyone whose read it has said it was good. But all of those people know me. What will random people who don’t me at all think?
Speaking of reviews, if any of you readers decide to give the book a try, consider leaving a review on Amazon. The more reviews it has, the greater the chance a random stranger will decide to give the book a try.
Tomorrow’s the big release day, so for the last day of cover art we look at Oliver’s finished cover and the first two title tests.
I’m really happy with the way both Maarkean and the Cutty Sark turned out. They aren’t exactly how I envisioned them originally, but I think they’re better.
Two more concept pieces for today. We can see the Cutty Sark start to gain details and Maarkean’s Ocait clan screfa gains it’s recognizable violet shade. Here, his duster also looks much more like a simple duster and less like a cloak. The planet of Kol and it’s massive desert can really mess with your clothes if you don’t go prepared.