Welcome
to the 1,318th
edition
of Loading...

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

Earth Day is upon us
once again, but this year Reuben “Sardu” Waters
believes it’s high time we take a moment to consider how our
actions affect not only the environment, but the hordes of undead sure
to inherit the earth in the impending zombie apocalypse.
We’ll take a closer look at this plus the viability of
Modular Multiplayer Online Games and an excellent Mytheon giveaway
today in Loading… Earth Day of the Dead.

cellspacing="0" width="100%">

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. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow">World
    of Warcraft
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eq2">EverQuest
    II 
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aoc">Age
    of
    Conan
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/vanguard">Vanguard:
    Saga of Heroes (UP 5)
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ddo">Dungeons
    and
    Dragons Online

Biggest
movers today
:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2">StarCraft
    II (UP 13 to
    #18)
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve">EVE Online
    (Down 4 to #8)
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/38">EverQuest
    (UP 4 to #13)
size="-1">Recent Releases
  • size="-1">2/1
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/926">Global
    Agenda (release date)
  • size="-1">2/2 size="-1"> - href="http://www.startrekonline.com">Star
    Trek Online (release date)
  • size="-1">2/16
    - href="http://everquest2.station.sony.com/expansions/sentinelsfate/index.vm">EverQuest
    2: Sentinel's Fate (expansion)
  • size="-1">2/16
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81479"> LotRO:
    Oath of the
    Rangers (content update)
  • size="-1">4/5
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/83086">Pocket
    Legends (iMMOG - release date)



size="-1">Upcoming
Releases


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1004">

  • size="-1">April
    2010
    - 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"> style="font-weight: bold;">Spring 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1801">Mytheon
  • size="-1">Summer
    2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/998">APB
  • size="-1">TBA
    2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2079">Final
    Fantasy XIV size="-1">




size="-1">Upcoming
Events

  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">6/15 -
    6/17 - href="http://www.e3expo.com/">E3
    Expo
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">6/25 -
    6/27 - href="http://www.lfgexpo.com/">Looking
    for Group
    Expo
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">7/22 -
    7/25 - href="http://www.comic-con.org/">Comic-Con
    International
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">8/5 -
    8/8 - href="http://events.station.sony.com/fanfaire/">SOE
    Fan Faire 2010
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">9/3 -
    9/6 - href="http://www.dragoncon.org/">DragonCon
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/22 -
    10/23 - href="http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/?rhtml=y">BlizzCon
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">2011: 3/24 -
    3/26 - href="http://fanfest.eveonline.com/">CCP
    FanFest




Loading... Daily

Today marks the 40th
anniversary of Earth Day which means many Americans will be LARPing the
day away as wannabe hippies. While I’m all for the notion of
people respecting the environment and bothering to care about the
impact of their actions on local ecosystems, it never ceases to amuse
me that so many only seem to care about it for that solitary day each
year. Then tomorrow most will simply go back to their normal lives as
corporate zombies and forget about the whole nutty affair for another
year. So I propose that we cut to the chase and celebrate zombies in
all their undead glory and dub this the first official Earth Day of the
Dead!

OK, so maybe not, but I figured
it was worth a shot!

Earlier this week, resident
rock star reporter Mattlow posed some
interesting questions in his piece href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/editorial/why_cant_mmogs_start_small">All
Things to All Players: Why
Can’t MMOGs Ever Start Small?
One could certainly argue that
once the bar has been raised within an established genre by a
successful product launch, consumers expect that new minimum for
excellence in all future products from that genre. But therein lays the
problem with far too many MMOG launches over the past 5 or 6 years.
Developers are attempting to squash far too many gameplay mechanics and
features in by launch day to appease the masses rather than having a
razor sharp focus on creating a kick-ass core entertainment experience
that can be built up over time.

We’ve grown pretty
accustomed to the idea that successful
MMOGs are bound to release expansions, whether they’re
massively high profile boxed affairs or the more recent trend of going
all digital. But what if, instead of the robotic staple of,
“Beep. Beep. Beep. New Zones. New Quests. New Levels. New
Gear. End Transmission.” developers took a more modular
approach to expanding their core games by releasing self-contained
feature sets rather than full blown expansions? In other words, let
players decide which mechanics are important to them and then purchase
the ones they like, a-la-carte.

Simply take a gander at the
insanely successful Sims
franchise for
proof that this approach is perfectly viable. So if you want to craft
in MMOG X, awesome, just pick up the crafting addon pack. If crafting
isn’t your thing, maybe one of the next feature
addon packs
will be. I mean, we all know that RMTs are rapidly gaining ground
either way, so why not use that business model to expand the mechanics
and feature sets of a game post-launch? Personally, I’d plunk
down some cash for a cool new gameplay mechanic over a href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/editorials/celestialcashcow">$25
sparkle pony
any day of the week.

Not that I have anything
against traditional boxed expansions mind you.
In fact, I have an embarrassingly massive collection of MMOG expansion
boxes that would provide plenty of evidence to the contrary. But to
paraphrase the immortal words of Boomjack, I’d be all over
Modular Multiplayer Online Games like a hobo on a ham sandwich. I mean,
to a certain degree we already have similar concepts swirling around in
the great virtual ether. DDO has gameplay modules and even new races or
classes available as individual purchase options as just one major
example.

Would a more modular, Sims-style
approach to releasing MMO gameplay
mechanics or feature sets be a waste of time? Let me know what you
think in the Loading… forums, or if you feel so inclined
join with me in celebrating all things zombie for the first annual
Earth Day of the Dead!


Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day




From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=6">Articles,
News & Events Discussion



href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=50908">WANTED:
Your Questions for the CoH Devs!



Imagine you're a superhero. Imagine the supervillain has you lashed to
a saw table and the blade is aimed at your...well, never mind. He leans
over you and, in his gratingly whiny voice he says, "You've got THREE
questions, Superdude, before I make you a neutered dude...and they'd
better be good ones."



And then he laughs in that maniacal (and supremely annoying) way that
supervillains do.



NCSoft, while not super-evil and not, as far as we know, in possession
of a superhero neutering table saw, has given us a similar proposition.
We get to ask them three questions and the devs will answer them during
href="http://www.cityofheroes.com/news/news_archive/coh_developer_qa_friday_april.html">Friday's
Q&A. So fire away
(figuratively speaking) with your best questions about City of Heroes
and we'll fire them off to NCSoft. But make it quick, or your 'nads
get...well, no. Just href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=50908">make
it quick.



==============================

Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread




No Awesome Quotes, just make with the href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=50908">Awesome
Questions!

==============================



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

New
and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer

6 new Ten Ton Hammer
features
today! 87 in April! 446
in 2010!

BETA
/ PRIZE GIVEAWAY



Mytheon Open Beta Preview Event Mega-Giveaway


Entry URL: href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/mytheon/beta_preview">http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/mytheon/beta_preview



Mytheon,
the upcoming mythology-fueled online action RPG from Petroglyph Studios
and True Games Interactive, is gearing up for open beta on April 28th.
But stress test Mytheon during a special sneak peek event on Friday,
April 23rd any time between 7pm CST and 10pm CST (8pm - 11pm Eastern,
5pm - 8pm Pacific) and you'll be automatically entered for some
incredible prizes!



Lucky Mytheon players from Ten Ton Hammer are eligible win one of the
following:


  • One new 16GB iPad!
  • Five Mytheon packs
    containing one Mytheon XL shirt and one Mytheon key chain
  • One Mytheon hat
  • One VERY exclusive Mytheon
    power stone  delivered in game at the time of commercial launch

And everyone's a winner with a test key for Mytheon!



Prize
winners will be chosen prior to the start of open beta on April 28th,
check the thread attached for updates. These prizes are exclusive to
accounts keyed for beta in this Ten Ton Hammer giveaway, so head to href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/mytheon/beta_preview">http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/mytheon/beta_preview
and confirm your email address to grab your Mytheon test key and have a
chance at these great prizes!



FEATURED EDITORIAL



Instancing is Not a 4 Letter
Word


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/editorial/instancing_not_a_4_letter_word">http://www.tentonhammer.com/editorial/instancing_not_a_4_letter_word



Why
do so many players hate instancing? Is it the ideal of closing players
off to the bigger world in what is supposed to be “Massively
Multiplayer,” or is it based on the actual experience?
Mattlow takes a
look at this growing trend in the industry, and the negative reaction
from many players.



FEATURES & GUIDES



EQ2 Mage Alternate Advancement
Updates


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/55271#AAChart">http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/55271#AAChart



Continuing
our updates to our EverQuest II Alternate Advancement Guide, the AA
info for all 6 mage classes has been completely updated! Check out the
revamp of the old AA info and get a peek at the latest Shadows and
Sentinel's Fate lines to gain the tools you need to make informed
character progression choices.



Till Death Do Its Part - Death
Penalties & Difficulty Sliders in STO


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/sto/features/editorials/death-penalty">http://www.tentonhammer.com/sto/features/editorials/death-penalty



Star
Trek Online is settling into the routine of MMOG cycling. The never
ending cycle of develop, deploy, get eviscerated on the forums, make
changes, appease few, upset many, repeat. The lightning rods of late
are the death penalty (or lack thereof) and the addition of a
difficulty slider for missions. Both offer new twists to the game and
while one harkens to games of yesteryear (death penalties), the other
(difficulty slider) is a relatively new angle for MMOGs. Are they good,
bad, or both?



WoW: The Flight of the Draenei
and Their Role in Cataclysm


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/lore/draenei_in_cataclysm">http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/lore/draenei_in_cataclysm



The
Loremaster's Corner is back this week with our continuing look at the
races in World of Warcraft and their role in Cataclysm. This week we
look at the mysterious race from space, the Draenei. Who are they?
Where did they come from? These questions are more are answered in this
week's Loremaster's Corner.



AVR - The Future of WoW Raiding


title="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/uimods/reviews/avr"
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/uimods/reviews/avr">http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/uimods/reviews/avr



Ever
wished that you could bring some visual aids to your raiding
environment? AVR does that and much, much more. We'll provide the
details.


Today's
Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/mytheon/beta_preview">Mytheon
    Open Beta Preview Event Mega-Giveaway
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/sto/features/editorials/death-penalty">Till
    Death Do Its Part - Death Penalties and Difficulty Sliders in STO
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/reviews">World
    of Warcraft
    Review Portal
    Launches
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/uimods/reviews/chatter">Chatter
    Like the Mad Hatter – A WoW
    U.I. Mod Review
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/cryptic/interviews/roper_cco">From
    Capes To Beyond! A Q&A with
    Cryptic’s Bill Roper
  6. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/features/5best-tank">WoW:
    The 5 Best and Worst Things to Do as a Tank
  7. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/editorial/why_cant_mmogs_start_small">All
    Things to All Players: Why Can't MMOGs Start Small?
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/editorial/5rpgs_kickass_mmogs">From
    Tabletop To Online: 5 RPGs That Would Make Kick-Ass MMOGs
  9. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ddo/guides/dwarven_ranger_build">Dungeons
    and Dragons Online: New Character Build - The Dwarven Ranger
  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/83246">Pure
    Artistic Vision - A Guild
    Wars 2
    Concept Art
    Q&A with Daniel Dociu

Thanks
for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Reuben "Sardu" Waters
and
the Ten Ton Hammer team

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Sardu 1
Reuben "Sardu" Waters has been writing professionally about the MMOG industry for eight years, and is the current Editor-in-Chief and Director of Development for Ten Ton Hammer.

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