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Daily Column

Loading... putting the 'Mo' in MMOG.

First, the Ten Ton Pulse, your finger on the beating heart of the MMOG industry.

If the Top 10 isn't enough, we also show the Top 20 and Top 50 lists as well, available to everyone on our homepage. (What is Pulse?)

  1. World of Warcraft - 200 BPM
  2. Age of Conan - 115 BPM
  3. Lord of the Rings Online - 77 BPM
  4. Guild Wars - 76 BPM
  5. EverQuest II - 69 BPM
  6. EVE Online - 57 BPM
  7. Dungeon Runners - 52 BPM
  8. Warhammer Online - 46 BPM
  9. Vanguard - 39 BPM
  10. Lineage 2 - 33 BPM

We didn't attend E3 this year. I never thought I would write that E3 wasn't worth our time, but this year, with the Cryptic event, ChinaJoy, Comic Con and Leipzig offering more in the way of MMOG material we passed on the trip. I expect minor announcements like the "We'll make Warhammer Online a part of the Rupture social network" statement by EA, but other than that we are in the comfortable boat of having most developers tell us in advance what they will be announcing at the show.

I'll miss getting to chat with the various devs, but I'll see many of them next week in San Diego at Comic Con. Developer types, if you haven't booked a slot with us yet and you're attending Comic Con then prod Garrett. We're close to fully booked I believe, but we can always send Phil over in his 'utili-kilt' to give you a fashion show along with your interview.

Mythics big announcement was pre-show as discussed yesterday in WAR, Less is More? Always the pillar of developer candor, Mark Jacobs answered questions posed by Tony Jones [Warhammer Online: Rationalizing Removal With Mark Jacobs] about the decision to remove classes and cut some RvR city features from the launch.

"Here is the thing with cities, and I cannot stress this enough, our cities are like no other cities in any other MMO. There is so much content there; they are so the center of RVR. This is not DAOC cities, this is not EverQuest cities, these are not WoW cities, these are cities of a whole other level.

Whether you look at all the things you can do there that are geared towards RvR. These things are monstrous and massive, they are so integral to the game that they have to be outstanding. It just takes a lot of time to get them right. You know, we’re not perfect and no developer is, the best way to get it right is to focus on two, get it right, and put it out for the players. Let them play, both in beta and live, learn from our mistakes, see what worked, what didn’t work, then rotate in new capital cities with the lessons that we have learned from the old ones." --Mark Jacobs, General Manager Mythic Entertainment.

Makes perfect sense to me. The only mistake was actually telling the public that there would be more than two cities. I've said it before, "Anything a developer says, can and will be used against them by the playerbase." It's tough, no impossible to know what features you can disclose without the worry of backlash when they change. Development is a fluid system. Things don't always (see rarely) go as planned.

Ten Ton Hammer: Well, and we (the WAR community) really respect your stance on it, because you come right out and tell us what’s going on.

Mark: Exactly, that’s why I laugh at some of the threads out there. They say, you’re doing just what other developers have done. Actually we have done the exact opposite. We told you guys. We could have waited a ton of time to tell you. We didn’t. Tell me if this sounds familiar, keep the NDA up until after the game launches, then tell everyone. We did not do that. We did the opposite, we told everyone. Here’s some bad news, here is why there is bad news, and here is some good news with it.

Kudos to Mark for his frankness on the issue, while all around him fansites that will remain nameless fill their forums with whining, bitching and moaning.

The Blizzard legal team had their utili-kilts on recently pulling out their toolbox of legal expertise to spank the programmer behind an especially obnoxious World of Warcraft bot. Slashdot put it like this,

"World of Warcraft owners Blizzard have won their case against the programmer who wrote Glider, Michael Donnelly... Blizzard won on two arguments: first, that if a game is loaded into RAM, that can be considered an unauthorized copy of the game and as such a breach of copyright; second, that selling Glider was interfering with Blizzard's contractual relationship with its customers. The net effect? If you buy a game, you transfer rights to the game developer that they can sue you for."

Personally, I'm thrilled that the bot guy got slapped. I don't agree with the Slashdot interpretation of the verdict, but that should be shocking. I'm not part of that community. I'm more inclined to this interpretation, taken from the comments,

"However, a reading of what the court actually found is much less worrisome.

The Court reaches the following conclusions on the basis of undisputed facts, construction of the EULA and TOU, and controlling Ninth Circuit law: Blizzard owns a valid copyright in the game client software, Blizzard has granted a limited license for WoW players to use the software, use of the software with Glider falls outside the scope of the license established in section 4 of the TOU, use of Glider includes copying to RAM within the meaning of section 106 of the Copyright Act, users of WoW and Glider are not entitled to a section 117 defense, and Glider users therefore infringe Blizzard(TM)s copyright. MDY does not dispute that the other requirements for contributory and vicarious copyright infringement are met, nor has MDY established a misuse defense. The Court accordingly will grant summary judgment in favor of Blizzard with respect to liability on the contributory and vicarious copyright infringement claims in Counts II and III.

Basically, because the users of Glider are violating the terms of the contract with Blizzard, their copying of the software (to RAM or not to RAM) is not covered under US Title 17, Section 117 (regardless of what the sibling post states)."

What's your take?

Do tell. The Loading Forums await you. Do you feel the need to contact me personally with naughty pictures or derogatory comments? Here's my E-mail.

--
[A big thanks to Phil Comeau for putting together the links and Real World News.]

16 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 153 in July! 1731 in 2008!

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Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to

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  4. Lord of the Rings Online: Exclusive Book 14 Combat Video
  5. Lord of the Rings Online: Exclusive Book 14 Video - The Fellowship Sets Off
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Thanks as always for visiting TenTonHammer.com.

- John "Boomjack" Hoskin and the Ten Ton Hammer Team

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Hoskin 0
Dissecting and distilling the game industry since 1994. Lover of family time, youth hockey, eSports, and the game industry in general.

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