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

There are plenty of gamers calling for a
sandbox-style MMOG, where
there are no classes, no levels, no experience to grind, just an open
world to explore and shape and a character to refine at one's whim. Dawntide,
currently in closed beta 2, wants to answer that call. At first glance,
does it appear to deliver?
Karen "Shayalyn" Hertzberg offers some brief first impressions in
today's Loading...
Dawntide Impressions - An Hour in the Sandbox


The Pulse

You vote with what you
view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
is the Ten Ton Pulse ( target="_blank">What
is The Pulse?).

are today's top 5 Pulse results:

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

movers today

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/287">Free
    Realms (UP 18 to #11)
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/47">Guild
    Wars (Down 6 to #12)
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/88">Warhammer
    Online (Down 4 to #6)
Recent Releases
  • 2/16
    - href="http://everquest2.station.sony.com/expansions/sentinelsfate/index.vm">EverQuest
    2: Sentinel's Fate (expansion)
  • 2/16
    - LotRO:
    Oath of the
    (content update)
  • 4/5
    - Pocket
    (iMMOG - release date)

  • 5/1
    - href="http://www.cityofheroes.com/news/game_updates/issue_17/issue_17_overview.html?utm_source=COHemail&utm_medium=US&utm_campaign=banner">City
    of Heroes - Issue 17: Dark Mirror
    size="-1">(content update)


  • May 11,
    - Age
    of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer

  • May 18,
    - EVE
    Online: Tyrannis
  • June 30,
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/998">APB
    (US - July 2nd in EU)
  • style="font-weight: bold;">Q2 2010
    - Mytheon
  • TBA
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2079">Final
    Fantasy XIV


  • style="font-weight: bold;">6/15 -
    6/17 - E3
  • style="font-weight: bold;">6/25 -
    6/27 - Looking
    for Group
  • style="font-weight: bold;">7/22 -
    7/25 - Comic-Con
  • style="font-weight: bold;">8/5 -
    8/8 - href="http://events.station.sony.com/fanfaire/">SOE
    Fan Faire 2010
  • style="font-weight: bold;">9/3 -
    9/6 - DragonCon
  • style="font-weight: bold;">10/22 -
    10/23 - href="http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/?rhtml=y">BlizzCon
  • style="font-weight: bold;"> 3/24
    3/26 (2011)- CCP

Loading... Daily

I was somewhere in the middle between curiosity and excitement when I
received my href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2210">Dawntide
beta invite yesterday. I'd read Ten Ton Hammer's href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/78664">Dawntide
preview several months back, and I was ready to see what a
skill-based sandbox MMOG looked like these days. I knew the game was
still in early beta stages, so I went in expecting bugs and lag to rear
their ugly heads (and they did, but not excessively so.) What I wasn't
quite prepared for, perhaps, was the sandbox part of the equation.

Keeping in mind that I only had about an hour to roam around the land
of Cleve, here are a few quick first impressions. Dawntide
won't blow anyone away graphically speaking; it's old school stuff
(think EverQuest
and you're right on track.) Don't look for much (and by "much" I mean
"anything") in the way of tutorials either--after completing the
minimalistic character creation and picking your base skills you're
dropped into a colorless and rather lifeless world in front of
an NPC who suggests a few things you might try doing, from harvesting
to assisting those who need assistance. From that point, you're on your
own. The UI is simplistic, doesn't seem capable of much, if any,
modification, and you're going to need more than intuition to find your
way around it.

I found myself asking a lot of questions in the game's one chat
channel: "How do I toggle run/walk?" (The answer was E, and when I
asked how the player responding knew that, he said that the E stood for
Experiment.) "Is there a world map? How do I access it?" (There isn't,
so you can't.) "How do I adjust my gamma? Things are way too dark."
(Good luck with that. You have to log out to access the game's options
menu, and there's no gamma setting.) "Okay, I'm here--now what? Do I
just pick flowers and kill bunnies and deer all day?" (It's a sandbox
MMO! Explore, dummy.)

Did I like Dawntide at first blush? No, not really.
Perhaps I'm a wimp. Maybe I've become accustomed to better graphics,
intuitive UIs, luxuries like tooltips and in-game options menus, more
to kill in my immediate newbie starting area, and at least a few NPCs
who have more to say to me than, "Don't go looking for trouble and
trouble won't find you." And yet, I can see the appeal of Dawntide,
too, for the right sort of player who's looking for an open-ended,
player-driven, classless, skill-based game with nothing but raw
potential. As one player said in chat last night, "Think EVE Online,
except you've got a character instead of a ship, and you've got Dawntide."
(How accurate that assessment is I don't really know, but there you
have it.)

Regardless of my initial impressions, I have to give Dawntide's
developers, Working as Intended, their due credit; they've identified a
niche and they're enthusiastically working it. There are gamers out
there who want in an MMOG precisely what Dawntide
is offering (albeit probably in a slightly more refined package). I'm
likely to give Dawntide another try as beta
progresses, just to see how it's coming along. If you'd like to get in
on the action, visit the official
and get yourself signed up. Beta players can invite
official forum members to beta, so a little forum participation could
go a long way if you're interested.

Are you looking for a skill-based sandbox to play in? Have your own
impressions of Dawntide to offer (there is no NDA)? Come share your
hopes and expectations for the perfect sandbox MMOG in the href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=51153">Loading...

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=3">Tavern
of the Ten Ton Hammer forum

What motivates you to start an MMO as a noobie

thread may not have taken on epic proportions just yet, but the
question its originator, Cradon, asks is a good one: "What motivates
you to start a new character in a game and keep on playing?" I've
started many a game, but I think the "keep playing" part of this
question equation is the toughest to answer. I bid you to href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=50741">give
it a try.


Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread

"A new world to explore and get lost in, well only for a short
time, but still...

- Khalus


Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=32559">Tell

and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer

7 new Ten Ton Hammer
articles! 16 Ten Ton Hammer
in May! 487 in 2010!


HOT! Rift: Planes
of Telara Intro Q&A with Trion's Scott Hartsman


first look at Rift: Planes of Telara was good--very good, in fact--but
we had some questions. Will these great looking "HD" graphics run on
yesterday's computers? What drives the two player factions, and will
their be all-out PvP or just a flavor of hostility? Is "dynamic
content" limited to Rifts - tears between the Planes and Telara which
allow nasties to invade - or does Trion have more mind- and
world-bending tricks up its sleeve?

To help answer these
questions, we lied about our credentials and scored an interview with
Scott Hartsman, Trion Redwood City Studio Lead, Creative Director,
MMORPG development veteran, and all around nice guy. See what Scott has
to say in A Rift: Planes of Telara Q&A with Trion's Scott
only at Ten Ton Hammer!


The Guildleader's Handbook Review


The Guildleader's Handbook
is an in-depth look at exactly what it takes to be a guild leader, how
to manage your guild, and the trials and tribulations of guild
leadership. Yet, we ask, can a book teach you to be a good guild
leader? Find out David "Xerin" Piner's review.


EQ2 User Interface Mods – Breaking Away From Basics


far as user interfaces go, EverQuest II’s default UI isn’t terrible and
for a lot of players, the default UI is more than enough to suit their
needs. But some are always looking for a little something special. If
you one of those who likes a little customization in their UI, come
have a look at our favorite EQ2 mods that will add to your gaming

EVE Online: Flying A Bait Raven In PvP


a companion to Ten Ton Hammer's previous guide on how to fly the Raven
battleship in PvE, Space Junkie shows us how to fly a Raven in
low-security space, again the large-sized gate campers found there, or
how to bait cruiser-sized gankers in the vast and untamed wastes of
null-security space.

StarCraft II - How To Be Effective At 2v2 Team Matches


mode most played in WarCraft 3 returns in StarCraft II, with Random
Team matches. Playing against two people isn't easy, however; they're
often different races, with players who have different playstyles, and
the only thing for certain is they're going to eventually come at you
together. In Random Team you most certainly cannot rely on your ally to
back you up, so here are some tips on staying alive in 2v2!

WoW Beginners Guide: Combat


Our World of Warcraft href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/newbie">Beginners
is a vast and expansive guide about everything you need to know about
the game when you first start out. It's regularly updated with brand
new content to help out the WoW beginner. Today we've added a section
on combat with an easy to understand explanation of WoW's combat
system. If you have a friend starting out, don't spend all day trying
to explain the game, point them at our handy beginners guide!

Why Early Level Grouping in Cataclysm is Necessary - WoW
Weekly Report


WoW Weekly Report - The Overpull is here again bringing you the latest
news from the past week. Enjoy a look at everything new in the previous
week along with an excellent editorial about why grouping needs to be
necessary early on in Cataclysm.

Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/interviews/intro-scott-hartsman">Rift:
    Planes of Telara Intro Q&A with Trion's Scott Hartsman
  2. Ten
    Ton Hammer Live Ep. 5 - Developer Guests for Guild Wars,
    Guild Wars 2, and City
    of Heroes
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/interviews/eq2-passport">EverQuest
    Passport Q&A with Dave Georgeson
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/eq_underfoot">EverQuest
    Underfoot All-In-One Giveaway - 20 Copies Available!
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/reviews/guildleaders_handbook">The
    Guildleader's Handbook Review
  6. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/guides/ships/bait_raven">EVE
    Online: Flying A Bait Raven In PvP
  7. Microcosms
    – Gaming for Freedom: Atlantica Online Review
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/features/dmail/2">D-Mail href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/features/dmail/2"> #2:
    Knee Jerk Reactions
  9. A
    First Look at Rift:
    Planes of Telara
  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/end_of_nations/reveal">Command
    & Conquer Creators Unveil Massively Military MMORTS: End
    of Nations

for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Karen "Shayalyn" Hertzberg
the Ten Ton Hammer team

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

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.