Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Currently Playing: Chimeraland (Again)

An odd thing happened yesterday, when I went searching for something on Google. The top result had absolutely nothing to do with the search term I'd entered. It was a link to some new kind of analytic for this blog.

I clicked on it, naturally. I don't go hunting for stats about the blog any more - haven't for years - but if Google happens to show them to me, it feels impolite not to look. Not that they have, for a while. I used to get the odd email but even those seem to have stopped. 

This is something altogether new, anyway, or new to me, at any rate. I'd put up a link or a screenshot or something but I have no idea what I did to trigger it and I didn't think to snapshot it at the time. 

Oh, hi! Didn't see you through the long grass...
A google search on things like "Blogger Stats" only brings up information from a decade ago (Ironically.) I wondered if it might be related to the new flavor of Analytics, GA4, but since it offered me the option of linking to my current Analytics profile, set to expire sometime next year when GA4 takes over, that seems unlikley.  

The new thingummy (If it even is new...) appears to be primarily focused on how traffic comes to the blog via organic search, specifically from Google itself. It all feels somewhat self-referential, if not a tad solipsistic.

I did find it quite interesting, nonetheless, in that it showed a deal of detail on what kind of search terms had been sending readers my way of late. That's information Google used to love to throw around until they thought better of it and started keeping it to themselves. It's nice to see it coming back into favor once again. The wheel turns...

Welcome to my modest home.

If this all sounds as if it's building up to a post about blogging and data-gathering and all that sexy stuff, well I'm sorry; it's not. It's by way of being an introduction to yet another post about Chimeraland, albeit only the second featuring the game in its shiny, new Steam incarnation. I guess the pictures may have given that away.

Speaking of screenshots, once again, I regret not having taken any at the time (Even some notes would have been nice.) meaning I can't give much in the way of detail. The key takeaway is that, other than the obvious top search term ("Inventory full") and its popular alternate ("Full inventory"), searches which I'm sure sent plenty of people away fuming, by far the most common topic bringing people to the Inventory Full yard over the last month has been Chimeraland.

Whether that means the game is trending or just that pretty much no-one but me has ever mentioned it, so I'm hoovering up whatever scraps there are, I wouldn't care to say, although I hope it's the former. I haven't been giving the game anything like the attention it deserves since it launched on Steam but I'd like to think plenty of other people have.

It's Steam, though, isn't it? We don't have to guess. We can look it up

Just lie back and enjoy the view!


That's quite encouraging in a way. A couple of thousand people, give or take, started playing on launch day, a couple of thousand people are playing now and the all-time high (For a given value of "All-time" that's about a week long.) is a couple of thousand, too. It's consistent, if nothing else. 

Reviews on Steam currently stand at "Mixed" from just under a thousand respondents, although with 65% of those coming down on the "Positive" side, I'd contend they're not as mixed as all that. People do seem either to love it or hate it, which is another recommendation in my book, even if I do kind of admire the reviewer who, in giving the game a thumbs up, merely offered "I don't have a clue why I play this game and even less why I keep playing it." That's how we all feel, bro!

By many accounts, the version of Chimeraland available through Steam runs less well than any of the others - the standalone client or the various mobile versions. It actually feels about the same to me as the SEA version but I suppose that's a slightly damning observation in itself. You'd think it would be noticeably smoother on EU servers from the UK without the signal having to travel half way round the world and back. 

One of the many filters for the "View" selfie function. I forget what it's called.


For some reason that I can't explain (Ignorance? Laziness? Lack of storage space?) I have yet to download the Android version, currently enjoying an extremely healthy 4.3 rating on the Google Play Store from more than seven thousand reviews. 

In theory, I could. Play tells me "This app is available for some of your devices", a message I get to see all too rarely these days. Unfortunately, it declines to tell me which it is. It's certainly not the increasingly useless Kindle Fire, which doesn't offer me the game at all, either on Amazon's own skeletal store or the full-fat Google Play I sideloaded within minutes of opening the box.

Since I don't, in fact, own any other Android devices capable of playing anything at all, that pretty much puts a cap on the mobile version for me, at least until I get a new tablet. Or phone. Possibly both. For now, I'll just have to stick with the allegedly inferior Steam version.

I know it's hideous but it's 48 slots!


Which is what I did this afternoon for almost three hours. I'm not going to go over the same old ground again. If you want to know what the game's like, go back and read my old posts. I have spotted a few differences but the gameplay's mostly the same as far as I can tell.

It's also every bit as compulsive. I certainly didn't intend to play from lunch to tea but it happened anyway. Once I started building a house an extended session was all but inevitable. 

I have, of course, started building in a less than ideal spot and I've already boxed myself with some awkward placements that mean I have to bunny-hop around my own front room (Only room...) to get from one machine to another but it's only until I get the feel of the controls once again. Then I'll tear it all down and start over. (Yeah, right. Like you did last time, eh? Remind me how that went again.)

Someone finally remembered why they called it "Chimeraland".
Things I've noticed that are different include an entirely new building material: candy. Build your own gingerbread house. Witches need not apply. Also, an unexpectedly challenging quiz on Ancient Greek civilization and mythology. Would you know which of five types of pillar was the plainest? Even if you cheat and Google it you only get three!

The quiz takes place in what's laughably described as your faction's "main city", which (As I knew from before.) is nothing but a scattering of small buildings in the middle of nowhere. You do get a free port there, which is just as well. It'd be a long run.

Wait a minute! I know this one!


When I arrived there was a huge battle going on between some invading NPC bandits and several other players. I threw myself into the fray before considering Chimeraland has open, non-consensual PvP and I lost my newbie invulnerablity a couple of levels ago. 

It's a funny sort of PvP, though. It never happens or not that I've seen. I never once got attacked or even got caught in friendly fire in all my time on the SEA servers and so far, so safe here, too. No doubt I'll get caught out one day but until then I'm just going to forget about it.

If I stand way over here, maybe no-one will notice.

I'm not planning on digging in as hard as I did back in the spring, when I really put in the hours for a few weeks, but I'll be popping in from time to time. I suspect that, as with Landmark back in the day, I'll have to limit my visits for my own protection. I'm not really fit to be let loose unsupervised around building games and if I was to get into the whole animal breeding thing as well...

Oh, what the hell! Maybe just one quick session before we take the dog out... 

1 comment:

  1. “Still no settlement in the coal mine dispute at Llanddarog. Miners refused to return to work until the management define a metope.”


    — 7yrsly


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