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Daily Column

The winners in our SOE Holiday Giveaway have been chosen:

  • Grand prize (signed copies of EQ and EQ2 + 2 Vanguard buddy keys)
    • rocqu
  • 2nd Prizes (copies of EQ and EQ2 + 2 Vanguard buddy keys each)
    • Wolfie35
    • Butterball
    • Drevan
    • Medeor

Congratulations to the victors! Their pictures are now hanging in my office right next to the signed Brad McQuaid vision statement for Vanguard. The extra entries availed by our Premium Members paid off as all five winners are part of the Ten Ton Hammer cool kids club. Thanks for supporting the network, hanging out in the treehouse and sending your pictures to me. Enjoy your newfound toys! Just remember "Winner" is only a letter swap away from "Whiner". If your Premium Membership runs out I'll be posting your picture here or as me on Facebook if you are handsome.

You can't trust anyone in this business to give you the truth regarding the industry. Everyone is afraid to irritate some high profile developer or writer, so they simply say nothing rather than telling it like it is. It's a lot like how we say that all babies are cute. Oh, look at him, he's so cute. He looks like a cross between a monkey's arse and the inside of a public toilet, but we ooh and aah like we're being rabbit-punched in the stomach.

Others are closet first person shooter (FPS) lovers or worse, real time strategy (RTS) players. You can't trust these communists to give you sincere, honest to goodness MMOG facts.

You deserve the truth.

Unfortunately for you, because I am unbridled by facts or grammar, I don't fact check if what I'm writing is true and even if I did I can't follow the train of thought in any of my paragraphs when I dare to use them. Fortunately, I'll write about the industry goings-on anyway. Look way down this newsletter to the MMOG News and Improved section. There you go. FPS, RTS and Second Life lovers are not welcome. Thanks to Cameron, our intrepid news miner who braves the depths of other MMOG sites so that I don't have to read them.

The recent tsunami of anarchy spawned by my disagreement with Raph over cheating brought at least one important problem with current MMOGs to the forefront, and I'm not referring to the men playing women (Mangina) problem, though that is distressing and disturbing at the same time. I'm referring to static quests. They are the same every time. Once I have done a quest and posted the information on our site for the rest of you the information is "in the wild". I think that term comes from my University days, but whatever, it is out there for any and all of you to use. You no longer need to decipher the cryptic quest text (Go to loc 20,50 instead), you just need to follow me. Following me is always the right choice by the way. It keeps you clear of the FPS communists.

Instead of static quest information why don't we have dynamic quest information? You could still have FedEX quests where you have to deliver a box of acorns to Jim the apothecary who is making rabies vaccine for the squirrels of the dark forest, just it wouldn't always be acorns delivered to Jim. It might be walnuts delivered to Jane, who lives someplace else because she and Jim had a fight in grade 8 and she never got over it. She doesn't like squirrels and is creating a super rabies virus. Do you see where I'm going here? The possibilities are limited only by the number of species of nuts, diseases contracted by squirrels and the size of Jim's grade 8 class. Did you know that nuts can be a fruit OR a seed? I'll help you avoid the fruits. (Go to loc 22, 54)

Raph, who I swear is a RTS conspirator describes it like this,

"Now, part of the trick to using this sort of gate is that the stuff that you bring to the challenge has to be pretty diverse. It can’t be a simple limited set. It effectively has to be a repeatable problem with statistical variation. In effect, it has to be a game system now, and not a puzzle. "

I have no idea what he means by that, but I'm confident that he agrees with me. Go read his entire article and then come back. You'll appreciate my smaller words and smaller concepts. I guarantee it!

In the good old days when I was running GameStats, before it became part of the GameSpy imperium developers simply didn't have the horsepower or the experience to create dynamic quest lines. That is unless you count Funcom with Anarchy Online who kinda, sorta, maybe did it. So did Dark Age of Camelot in a small way with Realm vs. Realm battles. Thanks Mythic. I believe that dynamic quests in a more advanced form are possible today.

Let's go one further and hope with all of our MMOG hearts that dynamic worlds are possible. Age of Conan (FunCom again) and Warhammer Online (Mythic again) are taking steps or is it strides in that direction with their PvP components.

Do you want to figure out quests on your own? Would you rather I just did it for you? (Go to loc 17, 92). Are dynamic quests possible? Are dynamic worlds possible? So many questions. The answers are all here.

Do you feel the need to contact me? Your wish is my command. Forums or E-mail - The choice is yours!


11 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 29 so far in January! 29 so far in 2008!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today

New MMOG Articles at Ten Ton Hamster (For those of you with children or who act like one)

Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to

  1. Pirates of the Burning Sea: Interview - Ship vs. Ship Combat
  2. FLYFF: Interview With Assistant Producer Joon Kim

MMOG News And Improved

Need More? Look no further.

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.