Welcome to the 987th Edition of Loading...

If you aren't reading this in your e-mail, you could be. Sign up! Are you looking for gaming news? Look no further for all of the headlines. General industry news and Ten Ton Hammer excusives are all yours as part of Ten Ton Hammer's RSS Feed . Enjoy!

The Pulse

First, you vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Pulse (What is Pulse?).

We continue to import our EQ2, LotRO, and Vanguard articles from our aging community sites to the new system, so you'll see some of our community site supported articles finally getting their due with new, more accurate counts.

Here's today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. Warhammer Online (UP 1)
  3. Age of Conan (UP 1)
  4. Lord of the Rings Online
  5. Dungeons & Dragons Online (UP 2)

Biggest Movers in the Top 20 over the weekend :

  1. Mabinogi (UP 4 to no. 19)
  2. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (down 2 to no. 7)
  3. Requiem: Bloodymare (down 8 to no. 14)

Loading... Daily

Loading... subscription-free since forever, unless you count the mouse clicks.

Of all the 2008 in review articles we've done at Ten Ton Hammer (MMO Dark Horses of 2008, WAR: The Wild Ride of 2008, Best Game Concepts with the Worst Execution in 2008, Ten Ton Hammer's Comprehensive Look at the Biggest MMO News in 2008 just to name a few), Ralsu came up with my favorite so far. The man has a passion for free-to-play that my checkbook and I admire, and he's put his considerable knowledge into his own 2008 Best of Free To Play MMOs list.

If you're feeling a disconnect from this hugely growing category, this article and Ralsu's weekly Top Ten F2P list is a great place to start. Much of the quality in a list like this is in the names of the Best of... categories - finding a way to spread the love around and not appearing partisan (even though all of us have our blaring preferences) are important precepts - and Best New Feature, Most Innovative Gameplay, Most Original Setting, and Best Story are winners in and of themselves. Check out the article to see which MT masterpiece won which.

I do have to agree with Ralsu's top pick for 2008 - Atlantica Online. Much of my experience with the game came at The9 booth at ChinaJoy last summer. I knew from the start that the game was fairly intuitive; even though all the game text was entirely in simplifed Chinese (a language my simplified mind can't understand), I was able to successfully wade through the first few battles, even employing some rudimentary strategy. The translator I was working with was too engrossed in the game at the station next to me to be much help, and he (a non-gamer) later remarked that it was the best game he played at the event. That's significant, especially because he played WoW, WAR, and a host of other Asia-centric MMOs too.

That most of the award-winners were produced in Korea probably won't surprise you (China takes 2nd, with the US and Europe only tallying one a piece if you don't count Mythos). Interestingly, Asian developers view North America as a proving ground just as much as NA developers look to Asia as a gateway to bigger and better things. Both EVE and LotRO joined WoW in China last year - no small feat when you understand a little about what it takes to get a game published in China.

Still, WoW remains the only successful subscription-based game in a region completely accustomes to microtransactions, and with the apparrent success of Habbo Hotel, Mabinogi, et al. it seems like Korea and China's F2P is steadily increasing the trade gap between eastern and western MMOs, building an empire by degrees, by emulation, by attrition, and with an unswerving commitment to long-term success. This is the superiority-by-eventual-numbers (a.k.a. man-cannon - not that man-cannon, free your mind from the Internet pr0nage) way that China has built its empire over millenia.

So, to sum it up, F2P gaming is largely unpatriotic. Buy American and pay your subscription, dammit :) But check out Ralsu's 2008 Best of Free To Play MMOs just the same.

Comments, thoughts, questions? Share them in the Loading... forum, or email me directly if you're shy.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our WoW: General Discussion Forum

WoWisms - ur fail

all pretty comfortable with acronyms like LFG and WTB, and we accept
them as part of the MMOG vernacular. But Stormbrjnger admits to being
"a bit sensitive" about the "butchery of the English language" that
comes about in MMOGs. "Whether it's l33tsp33k...or ur typing lik u
pay by the
lettr...it's almost as if it's a competition to see how much you
can mangle the language yet still make it comprehensible," he says.

what do you do?" Stormbrjnger asks, "Put up with it? Fill your ignore
list? Try to set a better example?" He admits he's booted people from
the groups he's led for their refusal to "talk normal."

acronyms and the occasional typo or grammar gaffe don't bug me I do
admit that I'm biased against gamers who mangle the written word. Tells
like "R U LFG?" go unheeded in favor of tells like, "Hey, I've got an
almost full group that needs a healer for [insert dungeon or locale].
Interested?" And the few times I've joined a PUG with the R U LFG types
have proven that one's ability to communicate in real words online may have some correlation to one's intelligence.

What's your take on "WoWspeak?" Do you hate it? Speak it? Think, "OMG, ur topic is epic fail, nub!"? This thread has a poll, but we'd also love to hear your opinions.


Awesome Quote from the
Epic Thread

"I try to ignore it, but it still
grates on my nerves. This is one of the reasons I wish Blizz would
allow a larger ignore list--25 is not enough in my opinion

- Raxter54


Do you have a favorite Epic Thread? Let
us know

6 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 12 in January! 12 in 2009!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today [Thanks Phil Comeau for links and Real World News]





Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to:

  1. Fasaria World Beta Giveaway
  2. The Learning Curve - How much is too much?
  3. Ralsu's 2008 Best of Free To Play Awards
  4. Geeked: "Another One Bites The Dust"
  5. Age of Conan: 9 Exclusive DirectX 10 Screenshots
  6. Exclusive Interview with Trion Developers - Can Sci-Fi Succeed?
  7. EverQuest 2: The Shadow Odyssey Reviewed
  8. Perfect World International First Impressions
  9. The MMO Industry's Dark Horses of 2008
  10. Warhammer Online: The Wild Ride of 2008

Real World News

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

-Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer team

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Atlantica Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.