Q&As and disclaimers to start your Tuesday Loading...
Have you sent me an e-mail and I haven't written back? I try to respond to as many e-mail as I possibly can, but with the deluge that often comes to my mailbox it simply isn't possible to reply to everyone. Rest assured that I read every e-mail that I receive, though I ask for help with the big words.
Remember, the opinions expressed in Loading... are not necessarily those of TenTonHammer.com, it's partners, affiliates, Manchester United or PETA. I do speak for Vin Diesel.
Our WoW Census Database now tracks over 1,068,000 characters! We still desperately need data for the following servers; Frostwold, Frostmane, Maelstrom, Detheroc, Dragonmaw, Shattered Hand, Perenolde, Kil'Jaeden and Bloodscalp. If you have time just login, wait for census to run, logout and upload the results. I'll be doing the same! The servers are sortable by date of release, timezone, population, ratio and more for those of you who like to track World of Warcraft statistics.
Archlord open beta has started. You can sign up here. If PVP is your thing then this title is probably worth the free sneak peek before you buy. If you would like more information on Archlord you are luck. We happen to have been covering it since it was gleam in the developers' eyes. If you can click, you can be up to date on Archlord.
Disney's ToonTown is launching in South East Asia.
"Singapore , September 20, 2006 â Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) today announced that its critically acclaimed Disney's Toontown Online, hailed as the first downloadable massively multiplayer (MMP) 3D online game for kids and families, will be available to kids and families in South East Asia in early 2007.
Through a marketing and distribution services deal with Philippines-based company Digital Media Exchange, Disney's Toontown Online will be distributed in The Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in early 2007. The game will offer all of the same characters and unique game functionality as the popular U.S. version.
"Disney's Toontown Online is a prime example of how we successfully combine new technologies with inspired storytelling to create unique, interactive entertainment experiences for kids and families worldwide," said Duncan Orrell-Jones, senior vice president and managing director, Walt Disney Internet Group Asia Pacific. "WDIG has a significant, rapidly expanding mobile and online presence in the APAC region, and we're pleased to now work with Digital Media Exchange to bring this innovative, award winning game to families in South East Asia," added Mr. Orrell-Jones."
Most games developed for North American tastes need to be retooled and regionalized to satisfy the Asian market. Imagine if ToonTown was retooled to play like most Asian games.
I headed over to the ToonTown page to get some ammunition for my column and was greeted with this logo and the following:
This browser is not supported by Disney's Toontown Online.
Disney's Toontown Online requires Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5 or higher, running on a Windows PC.
If your website is so rigid that it won't display for Firefox, Opera or Safari then how likely is it that you geared your game to this very different and very vocal new market? When it comes to the tastes of the Asian MMOG player you had better deliver.
Since I was stopped at the ToonTown Online Web border by the Disney customs officials I decided to do what any unwanted immigrant would do. I stuck myself in a cartoon freght container with hundreds of other cartoon refugees and attempted to sneak in. Unfortunately, I climbed into the wrong container and ended up at a ToonTown wiki.
The first section that I noticed was "Battle Tips". This section effectively takes you to a page filled with gibberish, or perhaps with a page already tuned to the non-English speaking player.
Here's a little quip from "Battle Tips":
Most obviously the method focusing on keeping the team to top Laff
* Load as many Toon-Ups as possible
* Wait until one or more team members are down at least 10 laff points, then utilize the proper Toon-Up
* During your standby phase, attack accordingly with Throw, Squirt, or Sound
* It is recommended that you have obtained at least the Bamboo Cane"
The bamboo cane is really the dead give-away that this game has been regionalized for the Asian market. I can't tell you how many times my EverQuest, EverQuest 2 or World of Warcraft immersion has been blown to pieces by some joker who decides to hit me with a bamboo cane.
And then I came across this:
"Before you head out, there are a few formulae you must understand.
A cog's vitality, equivalent to a toon's laff, is equal to (L+1) * (L+2), where L is the cog's level.
Level Four Cog
(4+1) * (4+2)
5 * 6
Level Eight Cog
(8+1) * (8+2)
9 * 10
Level Twelve Cog
(12+1) * (12+2)
13 * 14
182 (Changed to 200)"
Way too much information and why was the last bit of math "changed to 200" when the answer is really 182. Is that for the North Americans who can't multiply? I think the ToonTown folks are taking the racial sterotype that Asians are good at math a bit far. I suppose it could be the stereotype that North Americans can't handle math that was being pointed out, but either way, I'm against it.
I'm also against ducks who don't wear pants. Donald I'm looking at you. I don't want my kids playing a game that includes a pantless male with a speech impediment forcing them to make math mistakes while wielding a bamboo cane. It just isn't right.
That said, if you are living in South East Asia and are O.K. with pantless males then maybe ToonTown is for you!
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Every good guild needs a home. A home free of gold ads, secondary market farmers. Look no further than GuildPortal.com.
Exclusive new TenTonHammer.com Content!
Let us entertain you or at the very least waste some of your time at work.09.26.2006 Exclusive Content
Dungeons and Dragons Online: Bow Builds
"Module 3 could very well breathe some life into the concept of the ranged warrior. When Samera announced on 9/14/06 that the upcoming module would change the way ranged firing works, DDO @ Ten Ton Hammer's Ralsu felt sure he'd be seeing more bow builds in Stormreach. "
Dungeons and Dragons Online: The Sorcerer
"We measure engines in horsepower. Processors in gigahertz. The capacity to cast spells? We measure it in spell points, and the sorcerer is king of that raw power. With a high spell point pool, the sorcerer can blaze a trail through most any dungeon. But that's not always the best tactic."
Gods And Heroes: Rome Rising - Apollo Approaching
"Gods and Heroes is, as we all know, a game with a mythological background. What better way to understand the Roman culture, than to look at one of it's gods, Apollo? Kiara takes an meaningful look at this god, and tells you all you need to know about him."
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - In Progress Screenshots
"Brad McQuaid, CEO of Sigil Games Online and Executive Producer of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, posted 10 new screenshots to the official Vanguard forums today. But these aren't just any screenshots; they offer an intriguing glimpse at the game in development, with zones (including a floating dungeon) as little as half-completed. We've collected all the screenshots in one convenient place for you, along with McQuaid's notes, so that you don't have to hunt them down on the official forum. Airborne dungeons, Kojani architecture, and the treacherous peaks of Thestra are just a click away. "
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Music To Slash By
"Do you play your favorite online game with the sound cranked up, or are you one of those people who could care less about sound and music? Mercurie talks about sound in MMOs, and music in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes in particular. Will Vanguard's music be good enough to make you want to ditch your MP3 player while you're playing? Read the article, and then share your own thoughts on in-game music in our forum. "
Vin Diesel Fact of the Day - Vin Diesel discovered how to make non-stick coatings stick the pans.
Now from the real world. You can't make this stuff up.
Drug Companies Recruiting Cheerleaders
If the Cialis won't work..maybe this will.
Scientists To Unveil Secrets Of Mona Lisa
Cures for cancer, AIDS, still a ways off.
Skunk Supporters Gather In Northern Ohio
Pepe Le Pew to act as parade grand marshall.
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin