Welcome to your Monday Loading... You can read previously enjoyed editions of Loading... in the blog archive. (For the navigation impaired that means you click the link and then look in the right menu.)

The 463rd edition of Loading... is brought to you by...

Experience the power of alchemy in the palm of your hand. Join the journey of the Elric Brothers in the side-scrolling action/adventure game coming soon to Nintendo DS. Click here for more!

The most read stories in the last edition of Loading... were:

  1. Burning Crusade - Hands-on Impressions (MMOG News Headlines)
  2. Echoes of Faydwer - Forbidden Look(TenTonHammer Exclusives)
  3. Where Have All The Good Men Gone? (TenTonHammer Exclusives)
  4. Vanguard First Impressions (MMOG News Headlines)
  5. 2Moons Beta Keys (MMOG News Headlines)

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

I started on a topic today that due to time constraints I simply wasn't able to finish. I apologize for this short, "coles notes" version of Loading... , but I trust that you will understand. You see the topic I was trying to bring to life was "heroes". We pretend to be heroes when we play MMOGs. We have heroes in our real lives. I'll touch on how these two versions of heroism aren't really so different when time permits.

You deserve an explanation as to why Loading... is actually about nothing today. You did take the time to read this little ditty and your time is valuable, even if it is in essence your boss's time and you are being paid to read each and every word that is spinning across your screen. I suggest you walk up to your boss and say, "Thank you". Don't tell your boss why, just do it. I assure that it will make you both feel better.

So here's the deal... once every, oh, once, in a lifetime, I actually decide to take a real vacation. There shalt be no laptop. There shalt be no blackberry. There shalt be family and they shalt be joyous. Verily I say unto you that though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Mickey Mouse I shall fear no pricetag. (unlike these cheapskates) We've, and by we I mean my wife, have every aspect of this trip planned out. Nothing could go wrong.

Bzzzzt! It doesn't matter that you have paid out thousands of dollars for your first trip in...ever... when your son gets an ear infection two-days before he is to fly to Orlando. You see, you can't fly with an ear infection. Your ear explodes, or implodes, or a-splodes, but whatever the 'sploding happens to be, a rather important side effect of the 'sploding is that you could become deaf. Deaf I tell you, deaf! I yelled that out so our deaf readers could hear it, and so my son would take his antibiotics. I know that some of you with kids are thinking, risk it, the chances are really slim that anything would happen. I look at it this way, in 40 years when my son is wiping my arse and feeding me baby food I hope he doesn't look to the doctor and say, "Well, if the risk of him going deaf is slim then by all means... start the experiment Dr. Frankenstein."

At this very moment my wife is at the doctor's office where my son is having his ear examined to see if it is plane-worthy. If it isn't, well, you'll see me on a commercial for some consolidated debt company proclaiming, "We're NOT going to Disney" and you will probably see Loading... tomorrow. If his ear is healed enough that a plane ride isn't going to hurt him then you won't see another Loading... until the 15th, possibly the 16th. Either way, some of you are going to be happy and that my friends is why I write this bit every day.

Until then, think good thoughts and stop by the TenTonHammer.com landing page for the latest MMOG news headlines.

Super, happy, fun, bonus content!

The good folks at Star Trek Online and Gods and Heroes were kind enough to send in their nominations for "7 Wonders of MMOGs". In their case it came in as things they would like to see in MMOGs. It's hard to disagree with any of them. It's refreshing to look outside the MMOG box at what could be. Enjoy!

"Sigil, the City of Doors' from Planescape: Torment. Great art, rich with story ideas and cool design, easy to move around in, and a wonderful setting. Derived from the pen-and-paper Planescape setting, published by TSR.
- Jason Durall, Senior World Designer

"Half Life 1 - DE_Rats - it was like being able to frag in Alice in Wonderland. - Will Jayroe, Lead Web Designer

Based on balancing alone, one of my favorite locations is Strike at Karkand from Battlefield 2. Well balanced across both factions and their classes, this urban combat map forces the player to use cunning and skill as opposed to brute force. I prefer the action that is produced by the smaller 32-person map. The relative proximity of the spawn points/flags mean that you are almost always in the middle of the action. The fragility of life in this game is emphasized by multiple attack points of each flag. There are too many corridors to defend a flag alone. Whether in a squad or lone-wolfing, the many hills and buildings create natural reveals that allow the player to move unseen in many areas and/or ambush. Excellent map. - Arthur Klein, Jr. Character Artist

Those blocks that comprise the stair case right before the flagpole in every non-castle level in Super Mario Bros. Whenever I see those come up, I know I can finally freakin' relax because the level is almost over ~.^). - Allan Libunao, Feature Assistant Producer (Engineering)

I would have to go with the New York museum featured in Laura Bow: The Dagger of Amon Ra. The game was able to provoke both a sense of urgency and suspense as you navigated your way through archaeological exhibits and hidden passages. You never knew what to expect when returning to rooms you had already explored, as the next crime may have just taken place there within the last few moments! - Scott Gelb, Senior Platform Engineer

I really like the look and feel of the worlds in Dawn of War: Dark Crusade. The environments are great and well thought-out to compliment each alien race. It makes for great gameplay. I'm a character artist on the G&H team. - Sameer Yamdagni, Character Artist"

A big round of clap for the STO and GnH teams. Thanks for sending in your nominees. So far four development teams have checked in. I'm sure the rest are just holding their choices close to their vests. Here's to a flood of nominations while I'm possibly away at Disney.
Don't forget to post in our forums or at the bottom of this blog. If you are shy (or female and sending in naughty pictures) you can E-Mail me.

Every good guild needs a home. A home free of gold ads and 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.11.06.2006 Exclusive Content
  • Op/Ed: Setting The Score
    "Should MMOGs offer detailed scoreboarding for apples-to-apples stat comparisons between players? That's the editorial question facing the Ten Ton Hammer writers this week, and war correspondent Ethec goes behind enemy lines to find his answer in the recently released EA / Dice online shooter Battlefield 2142. This badly garbled transmission (oh, wait, that's his writing style!) and linked article are the last we've heard from him, but that's what happens when an MMOG player gets drafted to play a shooter."
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online: Bragging Rights
    "In this week's editorial topic on the Ten Ton Hammer network, writers address the notion of keeping score in games. For Dungeons & Dragons Online, Ralsu says the PvP Leaderboards cater to people with twitch reflexes and draw a different group of gamers to DDO."
  • EVE Online: Interview With Magnus Bergsson
    "Ten Ton Hammer gets some time with Magnus Bergsson, CCP's Chief Marketing Officer, to answer burning questions about the new Kali expansion to the game client, the merits of Cake versus Pie, and their successful entry into the Chinese market."
  • EVE Online: Basic Combat Guide
    "EVE Online isn't just about flying circles around your target with guns ablazing... a lot of thought has to go into what equipment you fit to your ship to ensure success in combat, whether it's Player versus Player or Player versus Environment. Join Chris "Antithysis" Weidler, our resident scribe and avowed EVE Pirate (Yarrr!) as he describes some of the basics of what it takes, ship-wise, to survive in EVE combat. "
  • EVE Online: Gang Tactics
    "What's more terrifying that seeing a pirate bearing down on your in low-sec? Seeing an organized gang of them, naturally... While Antithysis may be taking the the darker path, these tips and tactics can easily be applied to any EVE gang that you may need to form to accomplish the more difficult tasks and missions that the game has to offer."
  • EverQuest 2: I'm Uberer Than You
    "Keeping score in online gaming is not a new concept, so why aren't we seeing more of it in MMOs? Player made rankings are making a show in EverQuest II, so perhaps the desire for it is bigger than we think. Do you support EQ2 scoreboards? If you do, what stats need to be showcased? Grab a cup of coffee and sit a bit with Savanja to chat about keeping score in EQ2."
  • Gods and Heroes: Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better
    "I can do anything better than you! No you can't! Yes I can...err I mean. Scoreboarding is an effecting way to measure someones standing among fellow players. Kiara takes a look at this subject, and explains what it means to her."
  • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - A Competitive Gamer Keeps Score
    "Why did Shayalyn celebrate pwning her husband and son in a family video game? Because she could, of course...and because she's a gamer with a competitive spirit. Shayalyn talks about how Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will take the competition to the Station Players Web-based scoreboard. Are you a competitor? Are you addicted to having your name on leader boards? Read Shayalyn's editorial, then vote in our forum poll."
  • Warhammer Online: Keeping Score
    "Today's Common Content article for the TenTonHammer network deals with the idea of Scoreboarding in an MMO. Since Warhammer Online will obviously need some kind of PvP scoring system, today Ratboy takes a look into the pro/con's of a Scoreboard in an MMO and what one can expect from having one."
  • World of Warcraft: Top Of The Totem Pole
    "Scorekeeping has come a long way from the numerical high scores of arcade games in the past. This article takes a look at how players can prove that they are the best in today's MMORPGs, such as WoW."

Vin Diesel Fact of the Day - Vin Diesel can descend to the bottom of a bottomless pit.
Now from the real world. You can't make this stuff up.

As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin

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.