Welcome to the 786th Edition of Loading...

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Daily Column

Loading... stick around, I'm playing here all week.

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

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

  1. Age of Conan - 200 BPM
  2. World of Warcraft - 122 BPM
  3. EverQuest 2 - 46 BPM
  4. Lord of the Rings Online - 40 BPM
  5. Vanguard - 28 BPM
  6. Warhammer Online - 27 BPM
  7. Guild Wars - 24 BPM
  8. Lineage 2 - 24 BPM
  9. EVE Online - 24 BPM
  10. Dungeons and Dragons Online - 20 BPM

I've been struggling through Saga, forcing myself to give it a fair shot, when I know that sure as Britney will be in the tabloids tomorrow I'm not enjoying it any more than I did when I started. I wish independent developers all the best. They often have the creative license to break new ground. However, being indie doesn't mean that you don't have to compete with the big boys. Saga is obviously designed by developers who love both RTS and MMOGs. It's not their passion that is in question. It's the implementation of that passion that fails for me. Smaller budgets generally breed lower production values and in the case of Saga I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the case. I love real-time-strategy (RTS) games. I pick up every one that I can get my hands on, even the ones that I know aren't AAA titles. I can't get enough RTS games to satiate me. My wife is ready to commit me to RTS gamers anonymous. I wince when I think how much money I have spent on RTS games in my lifetime.

I was fortunate when I entered the game industry to be able to spend a disproportionate amount of my time chatting with developers like Bruce Shelley (Age of Empires franchise), Rick Goodman (Age of Empires, Empire Earth), Chris Taylor (Total Annihilation) the Command and Conquer Red Alert team, the Auran Dark Reign team, the Starcraft team and even a few more. If you area very patient detective you may even find my name in the credits of one (or more) of those games. I like to think that I have a reasonable grasp on both the RTS and the MMOG genres, which made it all the more disappointing when I didn't enjoy a title billed as a MMORTS.

I'm disappointed that Saga isn't what I would like in a MMORTS, but that doesn't mean that you won't like it. In the end, what do I know about what you like? Let's face it, you read this every day and I would have less to do with it than Tom Cruise would a logic puzzle.

I spent hours talking with RTS developers about the possibilities of a MMORTS years ago when EverQuest was just taking off and Age of Empires was the undisputed king of the real-time-strategy ring. I still have design docs scribbled on by some of the industry's legends. I also have a napkin from E3 1999 and one from the first ever Microsoft Gamestock on which some MMORTS ideas were penned by some of the industry legends. The point is, I've thought about this awkward game coupling of genres for a very long time. The RTS / MMOG relationship is not unlike an adolescent boy at the prom, fumbling feverishly, drunk with anticipation, yet unable to undo the clasp that would lead to the promised land. We can all see the huge tracts of land, but he can't, no matter how many attempts he makes, reach them.

It isn't any fun telling a developer that you don't like their game. It isn't fun to be negative. Being negative is a habit that too many writers in this industry have embraced, possibly because it gets the most attention.

Just like developers peer out at the masses of fans and cringe at what they read in the various forums, the people who attempt to inform you about this industry are donning their asbestos suits on a daily basis, awaiting the inevitable barrage of verbal diarrhea that comes every time that they write a column. Is it any wonder that many sites can't keep writers? Listening to the misinformed tell you that you are an idiot gets old fast. I'm OK with the informed telling me as much.

Now for the sunshine, unicorns, ponies and rainbows.... Super Mario Smash Brothers Brawl (yeah, yeah, it's not an MMOG) is in the wild. I haven't picked up a copy yet, but I'm planning to do so! How did that roundhouse kick to the noggin feel Pikachu?

In other happy news (again not MMOG, where is all the MMOG elation?) Bungie fixed a wrong. Hats off to the crew at Bungie.

Tell us your happy story of the day in The Loading... forums.

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

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11 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 66 in March! 579 in 2008!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today

Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to

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  4. Age of Conan: Class Interview #8 - The Priest of Mitra
  5. 38 Studios: Interview With Brett Close on the Unreal Engine 3
  6. Chronicles of Spellborn: Video Preview and Q&A With Pierre Deslandes [Premium Version] [Regular Version]
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Real World News

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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