2 million bot visits

August 11, 2014

According to the blog traffic tracker, which I’m sure is 100% accurate, this blog has recently surpassed 2 million views. That’s… something?

On the one hand if someone had told me when I first started this whole thing that I’d still be with it today and at 2 million, I’d call you crazy. On the other hand, 2 million views is what a random cat video gets in an hour on YouTube, so I’m not exactly printing it out and framing it up on my wall or anything.

But yea, 2 million.

Re-confirmed: I’m kind of a big deal

July 9, 2014

Knowing how many ‘real people’ readers a blog has, much less how much influence a writer has on his readers, is almost impossible to tell. WordPress provides view/visitor statistics of course, but based on personal experience those numbers aren’t 100% accurate (or even close, really). Not only that, but at this point I’m not even sure if they are inaccurately inflated or under-reported for this blog, as a few recent events have hinted at.

Let’s take a step back; as anyone who reads this blog has noticed, post volume is down, mostly because the MMO genre is in the toilet right now and this being an MMO blog, that has an impact. And it goes deeper than just the current crop of MMOs being meh-to-terrible; they also bring nothing new to the table, which further makes it difficult to break things down and write a blog post. For all its failings, at least Warhammer Online brought new ideas, and had a dev team behind it giving us plenty of fodder. It ultimately didn’t work out for Mythic, but it was blogging gold.

In addition to needing a good MMO to play, I’d also like another WAR in terms of blog fodder please.

From a pure “looking at my numbers” perspective, the shutting down of Google reader was noticeable, and my WordPress stats page reflects this. To a lesser extent, VirginWorlds no longer picking up my blog (along with no longer really working overall) hurt. Jester not blogging has an impact as well. But again, while the raw numbers are down, how many ‘real people’ readers have stopped coming here is tough to tell. I’d like to think that if you are a real person, and you enjoy reading this blog, the shutting down of a reader, or another blog no longer updating, isn’t going to instantly stop you from figuring out how to keep reading this blog, right?

Number of comments is another indicator, but again it gets tricky. I mean, I’m pretty sure I could write a comment-bait post tomorrow (spoiler-alert) and get north of 30 comments. If the comment-bait is really good, and gets picked up by some larger sites, 50+ comments would happen. Get a good comment-section flame-war going, and 100+ is ‘achieved’. But what does 30, 50, or even 100 comments mean, especially when they were somewhat baited or 80% of them are off-topic flames? Does a post getting one person to comment mean that post sucked and this blog is dead/dying, or did thousands of people read it, enjoy it, and just have nothing to add so they didn’t comment? These are the kinds of questions that keep me up at night (not really).

Let’s return to those recent events I mentioned in the first paragraph. The first is my Clash of Clans… clan. Those posts didn’t get a lot of comments, and traffic was normal, so it would be easy to assume not many found them all that interesting or were ‘influenced’ by them. Yet today, I think I’ve had 10+ people join the clan (“Supreme Cream!”, still time to join and we are building something pretty solid), many of them new players to the game who picked it up due to this blog. How many others at least tried the game due to those posts and just didn’t enjoy it? How many are playing, just slowly, so they haven’t joined the clan yet (or joined someone else because they are jerks like that)?

The second example is Risen, another post with very few comments, and Steam. On Steam my friends list has grown tremendously due to mentioning my screen name (Syncaine) on this blog and asking people for Steam cards (feel free to send some), which has resulted in getting a better feel for what “the people” are doing on Steam thanks to the “Activity” section.

As mentioned Risen was on sale recently due to the pre-order coming up for Risen 3, and thanks to the “Activity” tab I noticed a bunch of people picked the Risen 1+2 bundle up. Now I don’t know how many of those buys are due to this blog and how many of them would have happened anyway, but I’d bet at least SOME are blog-based, which is pretty cool and says something about influence.

Lastly, and the example with by far the most data, was my time blogging about Darkfall 1 and including the Community Publishing Program link/mention in every post. The CPP was basically a referral system that paid me 20% (I think?) of the initial purchase made using my link, so when AV was running a promo for the game+6months for $100, I got $20 per person who bought that bundle. I wish I had gotten 20% of all future sub fees, if only to track how long people stuck with the game, but sadly it didn’t work that way.

Through the CPP I got credited with hundreds of purchases (and I know for a fact I didn’t get credit with all purchases made due to technical issues sometimes), and AV would later confirm that I was by far the most successful CPP user. This blog, literally, made AV thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars, and unlike Clash of Clans that rakes in millions daily, for AV my contribution was actually very noticeable to the company overall. More importantly to me however was seeing confirmation that this blog was influencing people to the point of spending real money on something they would have otherwise passed on.

Examples like the above making writing the blog easier, because it confirms ‘real people’ are reading and not every view is some spam-bot finding its way here thanks to Google. This blog’s main purpose is to entertain #1 (me), but that can’t happen without all of the little people (you) showing up, so thank you dear reader, and keep dancing on those strings (and sending Steam cards).

I’m back!

July 2, 2014

So every time I go on vacation, I debate stating so on the blog. Basically every time I say I’m on vacation, I find time to blog and it makes the whole “going away” message a bit pointless. Well this time I didn’t, and of course, I didn’t have time to blog. For those hoping for my blogging demise, sorry to disappoint, but I’m back.


Anyone know an MMO worth playing that doesn’t involve a spaceship?

EVE: Space Famous

April 21, 2014

The latest EVE Blog Banter topic is about “space famous” individuals and everyone’s thoughts about them. Jester has his entry here.

The topic reminded me that I had previously talked about the importance of such players, here in more general terms and this post about my personal experience. I still agree with my 2012 self on the topic; the more “MMOish” your game is, the more important and beneficial the ‘space famous’ players are, at least the ones ‘space famous’ because they impact a lot of people, either directly or indirectly.

Side note but not really: It was kind of depressing skimming blog entries from 2012, in that they just had a lot more passion and drive behind them. Sure, more than a few were ‘off the handle’ rants or seemed to focus on laughing at Massively and the comments section, but overall more was happening on the blog itself and clearly in my gaming at that time.

I’ll of course lay some of the blame on the MMO genre. I mean, I’m currently playing one game I fully expect to kill itself with its next major update (DF:UW), and the other is a really fun solo experience with bits of multiplayer that, while entertaining, don’t really ‘fit’ into the game for me just yet (ESO).

On the horizon the only title I’m legitimately excited for is Pathfinder, but having seen so many similar titles not even come close to delivering, I’m not going to be a fool again and jump in head-first here. It would also help if more of the Inquisition core group was looking forward to it, but I don’t believe they are (or it’s not on their radar just yet). Blah…


Fantasy Football time once again!

July 26, 2013

The yearly HC Fantasy Football league needs 3 new managers to replace some inactives. If interested, send me an email (top right of this site) and I’ll send you the invite. No draft date set yet, but should be on the weekend after the 3rd pre-season game.

Thanks for the spam WordPress

July 20, 2013

Back from vacation; nothing like spam-tagging close to a million comments.

Dear WordPress, do everyone a favor and just tag anything with a Facebook URL as spam. Thanks, everyone.

DF:UW patch, Civ expansion

July 9, 2013

A new and fairly important patch has hit DF:UW today. Initial reactions are positive, which is saying something considering the link is to ForumFall. I’ve been pacing myself in DF of late; I’m currently at 57k prowess with a few feats worth 15k just about done (villains, menhirs). Still trying not to be terrible at PvP, mostly failing.

I’ve had a game of Civ V: Brave New World going most of the day (working from home) in basically semi-afk mode (no wars, little to do per turn). So far I’m really liking the new additions. They are easy to get into, but I can see how they will really add a lot of depth and unique strategy.

As for the blog itself, it’s been slow mostly due to RL being busy (which won’t get better as I’m on vacation all next week) and the above mentioned working from home thing. At home I’m more likely to have something up in the background than I am to write a blog. I’ll have to work on that, because I’m not short for topics or content, just time.


Commenting on Blogger

January 23, 2013

Is it just me or is commenting on Blogger-hosted blogs massively frustrating? Between the login errors, the captcha that is impossible to read half the time, to it eating what you wrote, it takes me ten times as long to comment on those blogs than on others, to the point that I generally don’t bother.

Is it as bad for Blogger-people when they come to WordPress sites, or is it a one-way street of suck?

/end rant.


Time to act like a true five year old!

August 13, 2012

I’ve been blogging here for half a decade. Yikes.

And having just finished re-reading my 2011 write-up post, things today are not all that different from last year (which mostly sucks). DF2.0 is still not out or even close (no beta), Dominion is dead, GW2 is about to release, EVE is EVE, and the rest of the genre is still more or less in the toilet. At least Tortanic has been more entertaining than I expected blog-wise, good stuff there. I really, really hope the 2013 edition of this post is not me repeating the above.

To the numbers!

Blog Stats as of 8/13/2012

Total views: 1,420,684

Busiest day: 11,852 — Thursday, September 6, 2007

Posts: 1,474

Comments: 21,858

Blog Stats as of 8/12/2011

Total views: 1,035,401

Busiest day: 11,852 — Thursday, September 6, 2007

Posts: 1,166

Comments: 16,129

Blog Stats 2010

Total views: 692,972

Busiest day: 11,852 — Thursday, September 6, 2007

Posts: 843

Comments: 11,790

Blog Stats 2009

Total views: 335,842

Busiest day: 11,852 — Thursday, September 6, 2007

Posts: 523

Comments: 5,393

Blog Stats 2008

Total views: 104,123

Busiest day: 11,852 – Thursday, September 6, 2007

Posts: 253

Comments: 1,658

I think at this point I need to pay off a major website to link to some post to knock off that Sep 6th, 2007 post. It’s getting kinda silly. Comments increased nicely, thanks to everyone who took the time. I made a total of 308 posts, which while not a record seems like a huge amount to me right now, especially in a year when the general MMO trend was “Game X is coming ‘soon’” and soon never happened.

Top Posts for all days ending 2012-08-13

Rift Review (EG Style) – 54,525

The love and hate game, WoW style. – 18,228

The real Rift review – 18,100

EQ2, trial of the neverending download. – 12,542

Kingdom Conquest tips – 12,367

Level 4 missions in EVE, and my silly Rohk battleship. – 11,373

iPhone MMO, Field Runners, and a slow Friday. – 10,792

Aion end-game, way ahead of WoW and WAR. – 9,442

DarkFall Review: One Year Later – 7,863

Blizzard’s new focus for WoW, just as soon as Mythic finishes it. – 7,709

Top Posts for all days ending 2011-08-12

Rift Review (EG Style) 53,619

The love and hate game, WoW style. 17,966

The real Rift review 12,737

EQ2, trial of the neverending download. 11,812

iPhone MMO, Field Runners, and a slow Friday. 10,749

Level 4 missions in EVE, and my silly Rohk battleship. 9,641

Aion end-game, way ahead of WoW and WAR. 8,809

Blizzard’s new focus for WoW, just as soon as Mythic finishes it. 7,572

DarkFall Review: One Year Later 6,581

Warhammer’s major problem, the players. 6,191

The top spots remain unchanged, and with only some minor bump-ups in numbers. The big gainer was the real Rift review, which at least is a ‘real’ post. The top ten here is seriously looking like “slow blog day, better type something random/dumb/pointless” all-star list. The gift that is Google everyone. Also something should be said about that Kingdom Conquest post and how iPhone gaming is a big deal and really important now and blablabla.

WordPress, as they seem to always do, changed how they display stats and have made it no longer possible to copy/paste Referrers over, so this section is going to look a little different.

They also group things like search engines now. Thanks… Out of the 60k+ referrers from the Search Engine category, 55k was from Google. To state the obvious, Google is the only search engine in town that matters. Bing is a pathetic 1628, and it’s second.

Jestertrek takes the next spot with 11,612, followed by Google Reader (6491), WordPress.com (3806), Nilsmmoblog (1923), evenews24 (1820), TAGN (1817), Reddit (1744), Keen and Graev (1545), and finally Werit (1237) .

I question WordPress here, not only because the overall numbers look fishy, but because Kill Ten Rats is not even in the top 20. Sad, as I always liked seeing who brings people here, and found how that whole aspect of blogging works interesting.

Search Terms for all days ending 2012-08-13

rift review 50,531

hardcore casual 12,655

syncaine 9,453

darkfall review 6,005

rift reviews 5,495

elo hell 3,242

field runners 3,149

kingdom conquest 2,948

dragon age review 2,778

darkfall reviews 1,707

umadbro 1,707

Search Terms for all days ending 2011-08-12

rift review – 47,448

hardcore casual – 10,242

syncaine – 5,560

darkfall review – 5,503

rift reviews – 5,279

field runners – 3,149

elo hell – 2,791

dragon age review – 2,764

kingdom conquest – 1,865

darkfall reviews – 1,604

perpetuum review – 1,386

First the obvious, how funny is it that “darkfall reviews” and “umadbro” are tied for 10th at exactly 1707? Other than that, again just more of the same. The list is largely unchanged, and the numbers overall have gone up just a bit. The lesson here is that once your site is associated with a particular search term, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

So what to expect for year 5? I’m guessing GW2 will (continue) to cause waves, and hopefully we are not writing “what went wrong” posts in three months. Because if GW2 does indeed fail to truly entertain on an MMO scale (6+ months at the absolute minimum), 2013 is going to be a lot more of the same (EVE).

Speaking of EVE, I’ll be interested to see where INQ-E goes. We are in a bit of a summer lull right now, and still trying to figure out exactly what we want out of HAHA and deep WH space. I expect that once summer is over, alliance-wide activity will ramp back up, and with it INQ-E’s role. The winter expansion will likely play a pretty key role here as well.

Aria and I still play LoL almost daily. Playing the game is easy when your wife fiends for it, and it’s hard to say “no honey, I don’t want to play that computer game with you” with a straight face. That said, I will be forcing her to play GW2 with the rest of INQ, and have (jokingly but not really but yea) threatened to have her LoL account temp-banned to make that happen. The things we do for our loved ones, right?

Long-shots: DF2.0 comes out. Pathfinder comes out and is not a technical mess like 90% of all indy MMOs. Some random MMO comes out of left field and surprises us. Tortanic is a massive hit as a F2P title (haha just kidding, 0.0 chance of that happening).

5 years. I feel so old…

(Sorry for some of the formatting and lack of links. WordPress + Word + Copy/paste does not always yield great results)

Fantasy Football time!

August 13, 2012

Its Fantasy Football time again.

If you would like to play in the league I’ve been running for the last few years, just drop me an email (syncaine at yahoo) and I’ll send you an invite. It’s not a super-serious league, but if you do sign up please play out the season regardless of how badly I’m destroying you.

Coaches from last year have been sent a reminder/invite. If you have any issues, also drop me a note.


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