Anyway, we're back and we had a fantastic time, thanks for asking. One thing that was very noticeable is how the quality of internet access in hotels is improving. We stayed in a different place every night (explorer archetype in full effect) and even in the most out-of-the-way, backwater locations (one of them at the end of a four kilometer unpaved dirt road) I was able to web-browse with barely any delay.
I took my Windows 10 tablet, which meant that, in theory, I could not only have blogged but even played some MMOs. In the end I did neither, preferring to read (actual paper books) and stare at the scenery. I did manage to keep up with my blog reading to some degree, if only to avoid a repeat of last time, when I came home to a waiting list of more than 250 blog posts in my Feedly.
When it comes to blogging, coming back from a break is always revealing. After hitting an all-time high in July my page-views fell by around 20% in August even though I posted twice as often as I usually do, literally every day. Views in September then promptly fell off a cliff although I returned to exactly the same posting schedule as normal.
In October they hit the bottom of the cliff and started to dig a hole. Going away and not posting at all actually improved my daily page views, partly thanks to Syp linking me in Massively OP's Global Chat, which always leads to a flurry of visits. It rarely generates any comments (well, not here anyway - I try to avoid reading the comment thread at MOP for reasons that should be obvious) but this time it did lead to one lengthy and thoughtful response.
I'm particularly poor at checking older posts for comments. About the only time I remember is when I come back from holiday. I have had comment moderation set to kick in when a post has been up for more than three weeks but I've just doubled that to six to cover for my appalling inability to go back and see what's caught in the net. I have just noticed that there's a field to set an email address for moderation requests (probably should have spotted that earlier...) so with that enabled perhaps I'll be able to do a better job of fielding them.
Judging by the experiences of a number of bloggers it's just as well I wasn't around for the WildStar F2P launch. It seems to have sorted itself out now and I hope to take a look at how things have changed later this week. There are a few practical considerations to take into account before that can happen, though.
|Hey, is that one of the new ranger pets?|
One undocumented change that seems to have rolled up with the change to payment model is the dropping of region restrictions. That complicates matters somewhat because I would prefer to play on a U.S. server but the one character I already have is on an E.U. shard because the digital download I got was locked to that region.
I also have an unopened physical box, which I bought from Amazon U.K. but which arrived from a U.S. shipping address, meaning it was, at that time, presumably, region-locked to American servers. To top it off I have another unused digital code from the same source I got my E.U. one, which I bought so that Mrs Bhagpuss and I could play together if she decides to give WS a go. I might just start again.
It is, of course, less than two weeks until Heart of Thorns lands and chances are that will push most other gaming to one side for a while, anyway. The new information on Tarir, The Golden City, is intriguing. It does suggest that, eventually, there could be a city/service hub in HoT that might replace Lion's Arch and/or Divinity's Reach as the center of gravity for non-combat player activity but only after we, the players, progress the storyline far enough for that to happen. What with that and Guild Halls I wonder whether we will see something of the kind of siloing of populations other MMOs have suffered after expansions?
The first of the EQ2 server merges is going to go through the same week HoT hits if DBG stick to the tentative schedule they've announced. That one only affects my older characters that I rarely play any more so there shouldn't be any friction between the two events as far as I'm concerned. Still needs an eye kept on it, though. Don't want anything going missing.
All in all it's shaping up to be a very busy Autumn. Spring would be better for me but I'm sure I'll manage, somehow.