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Great conferences make for great conversations, and even though we didn't snag a free Droid, we still had plenty to take away from last week's sessions and appointments at Game Developers Conference 2010. Some of the most interesting topics of discussion featured in today's Loading... Five Great Conversations from GDC 2010.

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The Pulse

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

are today's top 5 Pulse results over the
last week:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow">World
    of Warcraft
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eq2">EverQuest
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ddo">Dungeons and
    Dragons Online
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve">EVE Online
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro"> Age of Conan (UP 2)

movers in the last seven days

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/287">Free Realms (UP 3 to #16)
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/vanguard">Vanguard:
    Saga of Heroes (UP 2 to #8)
  3. Star Trek Online (down 2 to #10)
size="-1">Recent Releases
  • size="-1">2/1
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/926">Global
    (release date)
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">2/1
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1004">Mortal
    Online (release date)
  • size="-1">2/2 size="-1">
    - 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">March

    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/998">APB
  • size="-1">April

    - 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 href="http://www.cityofheroes.com/news/game_updates/issue_17/issue_17_overview.html?utm_source=COHemail&utm_medium=US&utm_campaign=banner">17
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">Spring 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1801">Mytheon
  • size="-1">TBA

    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2079">Final
    Fantasy XIV

  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">Spring 2011
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/swtor">Star Wars:
    The Old
    Republic size="-1">


  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">3/26 - 3/28
    - href="http://www.paxsite.com/paxeast/index.php">PAX
    East 2010
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">6/15 -
    6/17 - href="http://www.e3expo.com/">E3
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">6/25 -
    6/27 - Looking for Group Expo
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">8/5 -
    8/8 - SOE Fan Faire 2010


In addition to the highlights of any given conference, you're bound to have some good conversations at any given conference, and GDC 2010 was no exception. As our event coverage continues to roll in, let's look at some of the hottest topics of discussion occasioned by the sessions and appointments we attended at last week's conference.

  • Our appointment with Nexon's Min Kim took us on a tour de force through two enjoyable, graphically thrilling, and extremely fast-paced action MMORPGs (Dragon Nest Online and Vindictus, look for the writeup early this week). But Min Kim caught our ear when he wondered out loud whether a $60 box price would increase the quality perception of free-to-play games in the Western market. Now, Nexon was careful to say that they aren't going to do any such thing, but I think it's a sad commentary on the Western MMORPG community if we've been conditioned to equate quality and investment with paying more up-front.
  • Alex Gianturco, our very own "Mittens" of Sins of a Solar Spymaster fame, delivered a great talk on the EVE espionage metagame, with the intent of encouraging game developers to consider building a more robust PvP environment into their online games. Player-created factions with opportunities to effect the gameplay significantly and a hands-off, laissez faire attitude toward player shenanigans in-game were cited as two essential ingredients in making the PvP game come alive. The talk was filled with hilarious examples of solodrakbansolodrakbansolo neé Goonswarm's misadventures in the EVE universe, and it's a shame that GDC's rules and regs forbid us from rebroadcasting the talk in total or in part, because it was a keeper.
  • In the wake of the Atari discountgate, Craig Zinkievich and Bill Roper vowed to pull out all stops in future communication with players. That sounds great, but in practical terms, instead of long buildups to major content updates, the new plan is cooler stuff more often by way of smaller installments. Shorter iterative cycles are one of the keys to DDO's success, and Exec. Producer Fernando Paiz noted that this paradigm shift (conducted in DDO as a result of the inclusion of microtransaction items and services) helped the dev team stay in closer touch with the player community. Our no holds barred talks with Cryptic and Turbine will be posted later today.
  • After several console-focused years working on Civilization: Revolution, Firaxis's Pete Murray called Civilization V a "love letter" to PC gaming fans. Firaxis doesn't believe PC games are dead or dying, and with games like Final Fantasy XIV and WoW: Cataclysm looking good for this fall, I have to agree.
  • Gamania's Kevin Crawford noted the lack of a step-up MMORPG (that introduces MMO concepts like raid instances and group dynamics) for the audience between Club Penguin, Free Realms, or Wizard 101 and WoW. Gamania's MMORPG take on Hero 108, one of Cartoon Network's newest daytime shows, looks good to fill this gap, and interesting one of the titles I actually can't wait to play once beta opens up later this month.

It was a fruitful couple of days spent in sunny Northern California, and we were pleased to see that GDC, after a bit of a down year last year, is starting to get back some of the old vim and vigor. Care to join the discussion on any of these topics? Have your say in the Loading... forum!

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our /OOC (Off-topic) forum

Clash of the Titans

started out talking about the upcoming movie, Clash of the Titans,
which most of you agree looks kickass. But we've ended up with a more
interesting conversation about originality and retelling "old" stories.
Whether you want to discuss the movie or the mythology, we've got a thread for you!


Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread

"I am totally disappointed that they are remaking this movie.
First of all there is something charming and yet amazing with R.
Harryhausen's work that will not be captured in this new remake.
Second, can't you come up with an original idea to save your mind? Come
on Hollywood make a cool version of Greco-Roman mythology movie without
copying something done before.

- Smoothbrain

"There is no such thing as an original idea, it all comes from somewhere
else. Every movie or book that comes out is familiar because humans are
not nearly as creative as we think we are. We are predictable
creatures of habit. That is why remakes are so popular

- unholyblackdeath


Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell

and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer

10 new Ten Ton Hammer
today! 56 in March! 286 in 2010!

GDC 2010

Exclusive TERA Preview at GDC 2010


the upcoming game developed by Bluehole Studio and published by En
Masse Entertainment, has generated quite a buzz. Built using the Unreal
3 engine, and with a number of heavy-hitting industry vets on the
development team, TERA is being touted as a truly "next generation"
MMOG. Ten Ton Hammer got to chance to sit down and preview this
breathtaking new game, so join us for a first look

Conquest and Diplomacy - A Look at Sid Meier's Civilization V


strategy games are as popular or as well-known as the Sid Meier's
Civilization franchise. 2K Games and Firaxis was in attendance at GDC 2010 to show
off the latest game in the series with Civilization V. Ten Ton Hammer
was on-hand and given the opportunity to take a look at Civilization V
and all the new content and hex-based play for the newest game. Join
Ethec as he examines the latest game and finds out just how
Civilization V has evolved.

Outspark at GDC 2010 - A First Look at Two New Titles
Joining the fray of game publishers and developers who are upping the ante when it comes to free-to-play games, Outspark is bringing two new titles to market soon. Ten Ton Hammer got a chance to put our hands on both of them at GDC 2010 and we're happy to pass along our findings as well as some new screens from Divine Soul and Erebus: Travia Reborn.

Ten Ton Hammer's First Look at City of Eternals and Ohai Games
Great ideas don’t always translate into a successful business model and the gaming world has seen its fair share of seemingly sure fire concepts crash and burn, but every once in a while something comes along that has so many pieces of the puzzle put together that success is virtually guaranteed. Susan Wu, along with her team of MMOG veterans at Ohai games, believes she has found that magical formula. Ten Ton Hammer sat down with her at GDC 2010 to discuss Ohai, City of Eternals, and the future of MMOGs.


Final Fantasy XIII Review


Fantasy XIII marks the first new game for the popular franchise in
three years, as well as the first designed for current generation
consoles. Mattlow took the highly anticipated RPG through it paces to
see if it could live up to fan expectations.


Understanding Your Options During High-Sec War In EVE Online


risk of war is ever-present in high security space, especially for
peaceful corporations that seem like easy prey for larger, piracy-based
organizations. In his latest guide, Space Junkie runs us through the
options available to corporations that are the targets of this brand of

EQ2 Brewday 2010 Walkthrough


is Brewday in Norrath once again, which means it is time for the
players of EverQuest II to kick back and enjoy some holiday fun. This
year's Brewday not only offers the familiar rewards of previous years,
but you can also find plenty of new rewards to choose from. Veteran and
new player alike can get in on the action and, whether this is your
first Brewday event or you've played through several of them, we have
the guide that will assist you in earning those cool rewards you will
enjoy all year long.

Star Trek Online: State Of The Game 03/12/10


week, Cryptic's Craig Zinkievich provides a more intimate State of the
Game for Star Trek Online. With the tide turning away from launch
issues (both things included and excluded) we turn our eye to the
future. This SotG shows the development team extending the olive branch
as well as building the community bridge.

WoW: Ten Easily Obtainable Achievements


by those hard to get achievements, out of money, or just looking for
some easy achievements to pass the time? Then look no further! This
week Mem shares some cheap, easy to do, but often forgotten
achievements that will allow you to relax while still collecting points.

WoW Cataclysm’s Economy


every World of Warcraft expansion the in-game economy is shaken to it’s
very core. Items that were once in high demand become useless, while
other items find their way into the limelight. Cataclysm will bring
huge changes to the world as we know it, and as such promises to tear
asunder the economy like never seen before. While it is difficult to
say what exactly these changes will be, using past experience we can
glean a general idea of what can be expected in the pre and post
Cataclysm economy.

Hottest Articles and Guides

  1. TERA Preview at GDC 2010
  2. Conquest and Diplomacy - A Look at Sid Meier's Civilization V
  3. Final Fantasy XIII Review
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2/preview/multiplayer_1stimpressions">StarCraft
    href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2/preview/multiplayer_1stimpressions"> Multiplayer Beta Preview & First
  5. EverQuest 2 Brewday 2010 Walkthrough
  6. WoW Cataclysm’s Economy
  7. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aion/interviews/update1.9">Aion
    Update 1.9 Interview with NCsoft
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/sto/state_of_the_game_03-12-10">Star Trek Online: State Of The Game 03/12/10

  9. href="http://tentonhammer.com/node/81709">CCP
    Interview About EVE Online's
    Tyrannis Expansion
  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81501">An style="font-weight: bold;">Exclusive
    with Video Game Composer style="font-weight: bold;">Matt
    Uelmen title="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81864/"

    style="font-weight: bold;">

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.