Welcome to the 1,213th edition of Loading...

Loading... is the premier daily MMORPG news, coverage, and
commentary newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer.

The idea of a Call of Duty MMO was met with a lot of hostility from the Ten Ton Hammer boards, which doesn't bode well for what will prove to be a major theme in 2010 - the persistent world shooter. Three top-tier genre benders are slated for release next year, so what can they do to capture an already listless MMOG crowd? Does the lack of story and persistence, the blistering pace, the notoriously rough-edged playerbase, or the lack of slick shooter skills play a bigger role in making the MMOFPS an uncomfortable proposition? Thoughts on this topic plus a brand new Sins of a Solar Empire feature and three new or newly rebuilt guides in today's Loading... A Pwn in Their Game.

The Pulse

You vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
result is the Ten Ton Pulse ( href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/thepulse/" target="_blank">What
is The Pulse?).

Here are today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. target="_blank">World of Warcraft
  2. EverQuest 2
  3. Dungeons and Dragons
  4. Age of Conan
  5. Star
    Trek Online

Biggest movers today:

  1. Alganon (UP 44 to #18)
  2. Global
    (UP 6 to #14)
  3. Star Trek Online (UP 4 to #8)
Recent Releases

Loading... Daily

The LA Times article reporitng on a possible Call of Duty MMO met with a chorus of boos, at least on the Ten Ton Hammer forums. Now that Modern Warfare (under Infinity Ward) has effectively spun off a product line apart from the Call of Duty branding (whose next iteration, CoD 7, is reportedly in development at Treyarch), a Call of Duty MMO would likely be less Soap Mactavish wielding a heartbeat sensor-equipped FAMAC and more of a return to that ever-flowing fount of FPS plotlines: WWII.

The mainstream MMO gamer resistance to the idea of a Call of Duty MMO, or maybe even the general idea of MMOFPSs, is entirely understandable. MMO'ers are used to protections against griefing high-level PvPers while we sleep through the average MMO's Peggle-esque learning curve. But online FPSs are notoriously rough on beginners. If you were to jump into MW2 multiplayer today, you'd be lumped in with players who have been honing their skills for years on the original game; who probably knew all the maps inside out within days of launch and who have unlocked a variety of face-rolling weaponry. Even more painful for new players is that the online FPSs are constantly imbalanced in favor of the more successful players. Kill streaks result in access to devastating weaponry like artillery and air strikes. The hardcore become more hardcore, and newbs learn to love the pain or, most often, slink away after a week or two.

Moreover, on open servers, you face a community hostile to new players, who will ride you in deathchat for all of your decisions right down to weapon selection - whether you prefer the M16's ironsights to the AK-47's, or if you happen to pick up the infamous grenade launching "newb tube." You'd think these wannabe hardcore types would want to inspire an endless stream of newbie fodder (a kill being a kill), but anonimity is closely correlated to bullying, griefing, and general asshattery in anything online. And since character persistance in most online FPSs is limited to rank and achievments (your clan tag, appearance, and sometimes even your name can be easily changed), anonymity (and therefore asshattery) is at its peak in the typical multiplayer FPS.

The first MMOFPS attempts have done little to help the cause, either. Combat Arms and War Rock are just as hard on newbs and compounded the persistance problem with microtransaction models that are just short of vampiric. Worse, neither hold a candle to the graphics you find in Unreal Tournament 2004, let alone something produced in the last five years. Alliance of Valiant Arms was a step-up in the graphics department if supremely lacking in content. But, to date, no MMO has captured any sense of story or meaning in the way that quality open-world shooters and shooter-hybrids like Farcry (1 & 2), Call of Juarez, Just Cause, Fallout 3, Uncharted 2, and the Fyrestone portion of Borderlands did. I'm hoping that Global Agenda and DUST 514 will provide plenty of context even if their hub-and-instance approach might lack something in terms of a tangible overworld.

Interestingly, APB might be the first persistent-world shooter whose graphical "lobby" can't be largely replaced by a series of menus. Enforcer missions might start, for example, by patrolling for criminal activity perpetrated in real-time by other players. Some sense of a relevant, tangible overworld is what MMOs on the map initially, even if games like Dragon Age: Origins show how far we still have to go in the RPG-ish "dynamic world" department.

Whether any MMO can successfully bridge the RPG - FPS gap remains to be seen, but the first game to cross that divide in an MMO universe will likely make a mint. Or will it? Are FPS fans as disinterested in persistance and story as RPGers are loathe to button-mashing and circle strafing? Your thoughts welcome in the Loading.. forum.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our Articles, News & Events Discussion

Anarcy Online New 3D Engine Screenshots

I wouldn't have thought that one of the more active new threads in the past 12 hours or so would be about Anarchy Online,
but...there you have it. We're kickin' it old school today and peering
at screenshots of AO featuring a glimpse at what the game looks like
now and what it will look like with its new 3D engine upgrade in the

Seems like a good time to discuss the state of AO in general, doesn't it? Head on over and have your say.


Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread

"Anarchy Online was never really
a bad game once it got on track--same standard other MMOs were
delivered back then. I'm not sure where this talk about it being a bad
game comes from. Guessing it's created by the those who got their hate
for Funcom inspired by AoC. Nothing new there.

- Acidbaron

Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell

6 new Ten Ton Hammer MMOG
features today! 78 in November! 3,050

New Exclusives Today at Ten Ton

  • EVE Online Sins of the Solar Spymaster #32 - The Most Dangerous Agent
    The Mittani returns this week with an interview of one of the most notorious spies in the Eve Online universe referred to as 'Darwin's Accelerator'. For years this agent has crept in the shadows of many hostile fleets and left a trail of leaked fleet information and destruction in his wake. Find out what this agent has to say about the difficulty of spy work and much more in this week's Sins of the Solar Spymaster.

New Guides

  • World of Warcraft Rogue Guide Revamp
    Sneaking into our World of Warcraft site this week is a complete revamp of our Rogue Guide. It's now easier to navigate, up-to-date, and contains an in-depth guide to combat as a Rogue and a full listing of all of the basics (professions, races, stats, etc.). Our Rogue Guide is the resource for both aspiring and seasoned Rogues. So check out the changes to our Rogue Guide and all of the other class guides that have been revamped lately!
  • Aion Cooking Guide 100-199
    Congratulations on making a bunch of food no one could ever possibly want in the first tier of cooking! Your reward is paying to upgrade to a tier where you still can't make anything useful for another 50 levels. Don't fret, it'll all be worthwhile in the end. Getting to that end as efficiently as possible is what we're looking to do, and we show you how to do it in our second part to our cooking guides, 100-199.
  • Champions Online : Ranged DPS Build Guide
    Creating a build for Champions Online can be difficult with the insane number of choices a player has. Fortunately for you, your friends at Ten Ton Hammer are here to provide a quick guide for a ranged dps build to help you unleash death upon your foes from a long ways away.

New Screenshots

  • Anarchy Online New 3D Engine Screenshots
    Anarchy Online will be getting a new 3D engine upgrade in the future and this week Funcom sent over some new screenshots to show how work is progressing on the new engine. The new screenshots contain a new and old version for comparison and show the many differences between the old engine and the engine of the future.
  • New LotRO Siege of Mirkwood Screens Show Epic Story Moments
    The Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood expansion will finish off the Volume 2 story that began with the Mines of Moria expansion. This week Turbine released several new screenshots from the Siege of Mirkwood's epic storyline showing some of the people, creatures, and places players will see when they undertake the epic conclusion to the Volume 2 storyline.

Today's Hottest Content

  1. style="font-weight: bold;">Lord of the Rings Online: Siege
    of Mirkwood Beta Impressions
  2. EVE Online Sins of the Solar Spymaster #32 - The Most Dangerous Agent
  3. Down
    to Earth or
    Another Planet - a Star Trek Online
    Ground Combat
    Q&A with Dan Stahl
  4. style="font-weight: bold;">Global Agenda Medic
    Class Q&A
    with Exec. Producer Todd Harris
  5. Call
    Duty: Modern Warfare 2
    PC Review
  6. Anarchy Online New 3D Engine Screenshots
  7. World of Warcraft Rogue Guide Revamp
  8. Dragon
    - PC Version Review
  9. style="font-weight: bold;">GuildPortal 8 Year
    Anniversary Interview with Aaron Lewis
  10. style="font-weight: bold;">Alganon - Breaking
    Out of the MMOG
    Mold in Open Beta

Thanks as always for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer

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

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.