Welcome to the 1,222nd edition of Loading...

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

Netbooks are blossoming into the pint-sized powerhouses we hoped they'd be, and with discounts galore this holiday season, it's high time we see how they game. On Monday we laughed at system requirements and installed four MMOs on a netbook just to see how they'd perform. Today we continue the experiment with a fresh batch, including Aion, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Warhammer Online, and Runes of Magic. The results may surprise you, so start your weekend with Loading... Four MMOs and a Netbook, Part 2!


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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. World
    of Warcraft
  2. Star Wars: The Old Republic (UP 9! - why?)
  3. Lord of the Rings Online (UP 6 - why?)
  4. EverQuest
    2

  5. Dungeons and Dragons Online (down 3)

Biggest movers today:

  1. Star Trek Online (down 5 to #13)
  2. Star Wars: The Old
    Republic
    (UP 4 to #11)
  3. Runes of Magic (down 2 to #15)
Recent Releases
Upcoming
Releases

  • 12/15
    - EverQuest:
    Underfoot
    (expansion) 
  • 2/1 - Global Agenda (release date)
  • 2/2
    - Star Trek Online
    (release date)
  • Early 2010
    - APB
  • Feb. 2010
    - href="http://everquest2.station.sony.com/expansions/sentinelsfate/index.vm">EverQuest
    2: Sentinel's Fate (expansion)

Loading... Daily

Because we at Ten Ton Hammer heartily believe that it's our job to do stupid things with MMOs so you aren't tempted to, I've tried out a host of MMORPGs (the ones that have been released, anyway) on a Toshiba NB 205 to see if MMO gaming on the most mini of lower-than-minspec computers was still a dream. Because of their portability and increasing power, netbooks are growing ever more popular, and my secret motive in all of this is to see if I can leave my hefty, expensive beast of a laptop at home during my holiday travel while still feeding my MMO habit.

In Four MMOs and a Netbook, Part 1, I checked out Dungeons & Dragons Unlimited, Classic World of Warcraft, EVE Online, and Lord of the Rings Online, with DDO and EVE Online winning the framerate race in surprising style. Before I continue, in a bleak attempt not to fill my inbox with developer ire, let it be known that with just about all of these games, my little bundle of joy is below the minimum system requirements for the game. For reviews, we believe in evaluating games on their own terms, so we're not knocking any MMOs that fail to live up to our externally imposed standards. I'm just hoping to be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Note that I'd wanted to check out EverQuest 2 and Age of Conan, but both produced errors I couldn't reconcile in time for this article. EQ2 was flummoxed by my Intel 945 chipset, common amoung this generation of netbooks, and AoC hung at the launcher despite all the UAC tricks I could muster. In their place I first tried to toss in browser-based Free Realms for some color, but Free Realms has a minimum resolution of 1024x768. My netbook, like many or all of its ilk, tops out at 1024x600.

  • Warhammer Online - With all the settings bottomed out, I only got a viciously unplayable 1-3 FPS, far below our netbook target of 10 FPS, making WAR as unfriendly to netbooks as Lord of the Rings Online. There's not much else to say here, other than with Mythic's latest Free-to-Play Forever campaign, they could probably use a massive influx of min-spec'ers to fill out the RvR areas of the game.
  • Aion - Though I had to tweak out much of the beauty of the game, the "Fixed FPS" option works wonders with a restart, and FPS was a steady 8-11 throughout the tutorial area. You probably don't want to venture into the Abyss with a netbook and gameplay wasn't quite as fluid as DDO, but I'm marking Aion as netbook tested, netbook approved.
  • World of Warcraft (WotLK) - I tried Vanilla WoW in Part 1 and admitted to disappointment that WoW seems to have abandoned its minspec-friendly roots. Curiousity drove me to turn up the system requirements a notch and check out Wrath, though I knew pretty much what I'd find. What I saw of the game looked good, too good in fact. In a fairly unoccupied corner of Dalaran I encountered my lowest framerates yet, 0-2 FPS, so I feel comfortable saying that WoW isn't nearly the minspec masterpiece that other netbook gaming articles have made it out to be.
  • Runes of Magic - The lone free-to-play entry in this batch, I expected decent framerates since F2Ps make their money on volume, and wasn't disappointed with consistent 8-12 FPS framerates. I'm actually glad I had to scrub EQ2 and AoC because RoM, along with DDO, EVE, and possibly Aion, are likely going to stay installed. My lone complaint is that unlike the majority of the MMOs I tried, Frogster hasn't invested in streaming technology, forcing players to download the 5.2 gig client patch. Streaming only the parts of the game players play would save them serious bandwidth and get players into the game faster.

So there you have it, DDO Unlimited, Runes of Magic, Aion, and EVE Online are our MMO-on-a-netbook favorites, with Classic WoW a maybe, and LotRO, WAR, and WotLK not worth the download. Surprised that Aion scales better than WoW? Have your own netbook gaming recommendations? Share them in the Loading... forums and have an awesome weekend.


Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day




From our WoW General Discussion forum

Urf...WoW withdrawals.... sigh

"I'm
here without you, baby..." Khalus is pining for WoW, and he's posted an
older WoW video (featuring that song from Three Doors Down) as a
testiment.If you've ever undered the uncomfortable twitchiness that is
MMOG withdrawal, you know what he's going through. There
are people who've been in the same rocky boat sympathizing and
giving advice in today's epic thread. Join them!

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

Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread



"The game is a lot of fun - but
sometimes you have to take breaks and get away from it for a while
because it can be consuming. I know when I left it was getting to that
point for me. I am still debating about coming back so we'll see.
"

- Miralyn
==============================



Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell
us
!


5 new Ten Ton Hammer MMOG
features today! 132 in November! 4,004
in
2009!



New Exclusives and Guides today at Ten Ton
Hammer

  • Aion Armorsmithing 1-99
    Hammer meeting raw iron, forging it into useful things! There is nothing more manly in this world! That is, unless it's the world of Aion, where an angel resembling Danny Devito or Cher can put together steel plate mail like it's nothing. Armorsmithing is the name of the game in our latest crafting article, and we get you started on the right path to those amazing looking sets that got you interested in the game to begin with.
  • Econ 101: Market Manipulation in EVE Online
    While it's not as easy as some "make ISK quick" guides would have you believe, it's very possible to make a nice profit buying and selling directly from the market in between missions and engagements or while safely docked in a station. We'll debunk some of the market myths, explain the trader jargon, and provide some tried-and-true methods for analyzing market details and setting up winning buy and sell orders in Econ 101 - Playing the Market in EVE Online.
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online Catacombs Adventure Pack Trailer
    Deep within the Dungeons and Dragons Online store you can find all sorts of content in the form of adventure packs. This week Turbine released a new trailer for the Catacombs Adventure Pack showing the challenges that await players who choose to undertake the content. The goal of the dungeon is to save the spirit of the Archbishop of the White Flame's daughter. The Catacombs Adventure Pack is designed for levels 3 and higher and you can see the trailer here.
  • Opinion - The PnP Factor in MMOGs
    Online gaming was not created in a vacuum. MMOGs owe their existence not only to earlier computer games, but they also owe a tremendous debt to their pen-and-paper ancestors. Without role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, there would be no Champions Online or World of Warcraft today. Your pals at Ten Ton Hammer are here to discuss this link between the worlds of online gaming and pen-and-paper gaming.
  • Aion Assassin PvP Guide
    Being competitive in Aion PvP takes more than just the guts to run in and hack at things, you need a plan and you need skills. This is especially true for the Assassin. While these little damage machines can do quite well in PvE gameplay, taking on other players is a whole 'nother game. Our Assassin PvP guide will get you started with the basic info and some great tips that will assist you in honing your mad skills and get you on the winning side of things quicker.

Today's Hottest Content

  1. State of the Republic - A Q&A with Star Wars:The Old Republic Producer Jake Neri
  2. Star Wars: The Old Republic - Press Tour and Gameplay Preview
  3. Global Agenda Robotics Class Q&A with Todd Harris
  4. Dragon Age:
    Origins

    - Creating Your
    Own Adventures
  5. Gearing
    Up in Star
    Trek Online
    - An Exclusive Interview with Cryptic Studios
  6. Opinion - The PnP Factor in MMOGs
  7. Sins
    of the
    Solar
    Spymaster #33 - Preparing for Dominion
  8. State of the
    Republic - A Q&A with Star Wars: The Old Republic Producer
    Jake Neri
  9. Rolling
    a Save
    vs. Budget - a Look at Dungeons and Dragons Online:
    Eberron
    Unlimited
  10. Odus
    Comes to EverQuest
    2
    - A Sentinel's Fate Expansion Q&A with Alan
    Crosby

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 World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff
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.

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