WoT Blitz 8.3 news and new PBR tanks – coming soon!

WoT Blitz 8.3 news and new PBR tanks – coming soon!

No doubt players would love to see all their tank models updated at once, but reality is that it’s a huge undertaking and it takes a lot of time. WARGAMING chose iterative approach and currently we have three branches of tanks updated to PBR:

  • American ‘Yoh’ heavies
  • British light tanks
  • European swedish heavies

In 8.3 update another batch of tanks will be updated to new PBR models

WARGAMING has upgraded the appearance of both the tanks themselves and their legendary camos. The stars and the Soviet Guard sign look more prominent on the “Battle-hardened” camo for the IS-7, and the “Stalwart” for the E 100 now features the Balkenkreuz insignias—emblems of the Wehrmacht. Along with PBR, HD textures, and environmental effects, the IS-7 and the E 100 have received completely redesigned 3D models with improved detail and the corresponding collision (server) models. The overall armor profile of both vehicles remained the same.

One premium tank will also receive the PBR treatment – the american heavy VIII T54E2.

Withdrawing premium vehicles from the tech tree

In Update 8.3, WARGAMING will remove the majority of premium tank offers from the tech tree UI—except for the Dicker Max, IS-6, and T23E3. There has been no demand for the other vehicles according to WG stats, so they decided there’s no more need to keep them in the tech tree.

Those tanks had been added to the tech tree long ago, when the in-game store lacked diversity of offers for those who wanted to get a premium vehicle. Now, the ingame store provides great variety of bundles which are more beneficial than just buying tanks via tech tree, and some deals are even better than the ones on the tech tree.


Heads up – a short break

I have been more less absent in the last couple of weeks, mainly due to amount of tasks in RL that kept piling up over time. Unfortunately this will not change much over the next week or two.  I haven’t been writing much, but I keep playing EVE (not as much as I’d like to, now that Retribution is out). I also have a few posts in the draft state, but they need much more work before they can be released.

Stay tuned. I’ll be back soon!

In the meantime I have published a very early db dump of Retribution 1.0.2, still without proper market groups (these are coming soon though, because CCP has published the SQL Data Dump this morning). Current dump has proper Market Groups, courtesy of CCP who released the data dump today.

Download the SQLite conversions of the DB Dump, or explore it in my Static Data Explorer.

We are interrupting this program…

…because real life comes first. I will be inactive for some time; this includes playing games (EVE Online, Diablo III) and writing new posts on my blog. Sometimes one needs to focus on things more important than online presence, and pulling the plug from time to time is necessary.

This is not my first break, and probably not the last. It also means I will be getting back at some point, possibly around Inferno release or shortly after.

Until then, fly safe o/

PS. Aideron Robotics is a great corp – they understand that RL comes first. Looking for a new corp? Apply now 😉

Merry Christmas!

As the everyday life slowly gives way to the holiday preparations, which by now have reached a peak level, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas: a Christmas full of joy, a time which you can peacefully spend with your family.

May your turrets always hit,
And your modules always fit,
May your missiles never miss,
And give your foes’ hull a kiss,
May your cap always be full,
And your roams never be dull,
May your cavalry never be late,
And your clone always up to date!

Merry Christmas (Eve :-))

– Lukas Rox

Webserver Logs vs Google Analytics

Who should read this post

My fellow EVE bloggers and all other webmasters who care about their site and would like to have more visitors.

Logs vs Reports

Many website admins have to decide which is better for analysing traffic on their website. I was struggling with answering this question as well, but the latest improvements introduced by Google (Real Time (beta) or Intelligence Events) make Analytics a great tool, that no logs or log parsers can compete with.

Raw Apache logs are very useful for most anything – from analyzing the number of “hits” on the website, to debugging errors in the PHP code. Unfortunately, they do not gather as much information as Google does. Analytics on the other hand uses cookies to track users movement around the website and allows to discern returing users from new ones. It also collects information such as screen resolution, flash and java versions, language, website loading time, the domain of the visitor or approximate location based on GeoIP.

Apache LogsI used to favor Apache logs, because with tools such as Webalizer it was possible to see graphs and trends of visits. When skimming through the raw log it is also possible to see the IP address and other corresponding data such as OS and browser versions. Unfortunately, neither raw logs, nor the reports based on them are going to say anything more than that, not to mention that raw logs are not the easiest (or interesting in that matter) things to read.

And there comes Google Analytics. You can’t access the raw data gathered by Google, but Analytics reports are very useful, not just for bloggers, but also for big websites and e-commerce based companies. Moreover, you can create your own custom reports,which can be based on any of the available metrics.

But why am I saying all of this to you?

CCP was here!

Because thanks to Analytics I was able to make some very interesting findings. For one, I know that CCP devs have been visiting my website since I started publishing information about Crucible (so I have promptly added the copyright notices everywhere 😉 ). I know that an Asus EEE Pad Transformer owner from Ontario has visited my website (and I think I know who is that 😉 cheers to Kirith Kodachi).

Visitors world map I know that most EVE Online players come from US, UK Russia and Germany. I know that most of the visits come from Google search. Twitter and various forums only make a fraction of percentage in my incoming traffic.

I know what keywords people used to land on my website and what information to feed them with to achieve more visits. Of course this information/opinions need to have proper quality, because otherwise  these users will not return. Posting accurate information is crucial. When visitors consider your information important and accurate, they are more likely to spread it further, this includes forum links or sharing on Twitter and other social networks.

One day my post about Cockroach ship has received about 150 hits in just one hour. I wondered why people would out of a sudden begin looking for a ship, which is hid deep in the EVE data dump, and is rarely seen by players. So I started investigating. My post was quite high on the Google search for the keywords containing “eve online cockroach”, so the question remained, what is the root cause. I quickly found it was a Facebook post of CCP employee, who linked a killmail of one of the GMs, who lost his Cockroach to a group of players.

Can your webserver logs tell you this much?

I don’t think they can. So now go and connect your blog to Analytics. You will not regret, it’s a very powerful tool.

I’m back!

Important Downtime information between 14th and 25th of October

On 14th of October my old webserver’s hard drive died of old age, bringing the entire machine to its knees. An ext3 filesystem corruption has also occured as a side result, taking part of the mysql datafiles with the dying drive.

Me and my coleagues (who I share this server with) have decided to buy a new webserver. So we bought this little pizza-box (a refurbished IBM eServer x345):

IBM eServer x345
IBM eServer x345

The machine’s core consists of two Intel Xeon 3.2 processors, backed up by 3 gigs of RAM, powered by two redundant PSUs. Data is stored on five 10kRPM SCSI disks, 36GB each. RAID5 makes sure that even if one of the disks should fail, all the data is still safe. Two Gigabit Ethernet ports are connected to the datacenter’s backbone. We are planning to buy some spare hard drives, so the array will be eventually extended with sixth hot-spare hdd, which role is to take over immediately at the time of failure. Such redundancy allows the machine to continue service even if two hard drives should fail.

Unfortunately I was very busy during the last week, so I could not immediately bring my website back. After 11 days we have finally brought the box to the datacenter. It has been online for the past 6 hours and I have already recovered most of the broken datafiles.

What happened is actually very positive. The old server should have been replaced long ago, and this box, even though it’ not entirely new, has four times more juice than the old one. I am not going to mention the redundancy of its core elements.

Warsaw by night

Most cities look better at night than they do in the day. This of course inspires many, and results in shots similar to these below.


Paper about virtualization

Paper about virtualization

If you haven’t heard or used virtualization yet, now is a good time: this trend has been growing over the past years. Now most companies are using this technology to cut on IT costs. Fear not, this technology is free and available for everyone. I have written a paper about what virtualization is and how to get involved – feel free to read it here.

I have also plans to write more about each free virtualization product available, so stay tuned.