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Between NFL football playoffs and a new series of Jack Bauer antics premiering in the US market last night, it's time for a testosterone-fueled Loading... So what does that mean? Final Fantasy XIV or Hello Kitty Online impressions? Nope. Instead, how about a first Loading... look into Global Agenda plus a brand new Star Trek Online endgame Q&A in today's Loading... Hands-On with Global Agenda.
are today's top 5 Pulse results:
- Dungeons and Dragons Online (UP 2)
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro">Lord of the
(release date) size="-1">
XL (release date)
Origins (release date)
Collection (release date)
Siege of Mirkwood (expansion)
Online: Dominion (expansion)
style="font-weight: bold;">Spring 2011
- href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/swtor">Star Wars:
There's usually no better way to collectively turn off the Loading... readership than to mention sports, but sometimes I can't help myself, especially when I'm feeling my Monday morning quarterback verve kick in. I'll get to my point quickly, promise.
Brett Favre might have as many fans and detractors as the Dallas Cowboys, but whether or not you're a football fan, the usually droll postgame interviews after yesterday's NFC divisional matchup took an unexpected turn. The game pitted the 40-year old Vikings quarterback against a twentysomething Tony Romo, and Favre's near-recordsetting performance made Romo, who fumbled the ball twice and threw an interception, look like a chump.
Watching the game with my dad, a 68-year old stroke survivor, I knew he was pulling for Favre in a big way, even though we really don't have a team in this year's playoffs. Forty might not sound particularly old, but given the grist mill of professional football, it's certainly pushing it for a football quarterback. Aging with dignity is a constant struggle for usefulness and relevance, and I knew Favre's run, however far it goes, will be a triumph for anyone that's been told their well past their prime. Favre revealed his emotion in a postgame interview, and you might have thought it was the Super Bowl rather than the NFL equivalent of the semifinals.
I thought of this yesterday as I was playing Global Agenda, a futuristic shooter MMO due on Feb. 1st whose developers have minced no words about making heavy demands on player skill. I say I was "playing," but really I was getting my butt kicked with nearly every single map, and that was actually fine by me. I know I'm a fumbling Romo among Favres here, in skill if not in age, but given enough time and experience, if I play with my eyes open, I can learn their tricks and maybe put together a few of my own.
Global Agenda is currently in closed beta, with no open beta scheduled. It'll be interesting to see how that decision plays out for Hi-Rez, since it's certainly bold. The one downside to the game I've found so far, sad to say, is the vocal minorities within the player community. MMO gamers and FPS gamers get along like cats and dogs - short of not antagonizing each other, they simply can't understand what the other is aiming for. The most vocal among purely PvP types are often elitists, pottymouthed teenagers, or high-chair generals, while MMO gamers tend to be careful, calculating, coordinated, and (more often than not) killed. Easily. Especially in a fast paced game. Fortunately, in Global Agenda the MMOers have PvE and crafting as a crutch to lean on while they work their way into PvP, the PvPers are able to level-up with matchmade PvP, and the elitists have the AvA game.
But altogether I'm pretty impressed with the fit and finish of the game as it nears launch on February . Global Agenda introduces a variety of twists on familiar online FPS gameplay, among them a movable "respawn beacon" that allows your group to instantly teleport to a set location on the map, getting fallen teammates back into the action quickly. These beacons can be destroyed, however, and it's always wise to always treat your enemy's beacon as a secondary objective.
The game also boasts a novel PvE co-op mode with a surprising amount of content, and it's worth doing for the crafting component rewards, which you don't get in PvP. Also, jetpacks (properly used), a device available to all classes that slows as it heals, and stealth (for recon class players) can get you out of a jam in a hurry, something the online FPS death-spiral sorely needed. But the most noteworthy thing about Global Agenda - what sets apart from just another online shooter - is the agency vs. agency "Conquest" gameplay, where 10v10 teams (an assortment from each agency and alliance) will duke it out for facilities and resources on a large campaign map. Some of us need a social objective more than ranks, achievements, and leaderboards, and AvA seems primed to deliver.
Global Agenda might not have the splash of other upcoming releases, but I look to GA for the kind of long-tail most famously associated with EVE Online - another game that was slow to come to the scene, but still seems to be growing five years later. It's different and fresh enough to attract a crowd, and the split free-to-play / subscription model means that Global Agenda is the sort of game you can keep coming back to. But what's your initial reaction to Global Agenda? Have you preordered the game for the beta? If you're holding off or aren't interested, what are your fears? Share your comments in the Loading... forum.
And speaking of endgame, don't miss today's Star Trek Online interview. Zeke Sparkes, Lead Content Designer for Star Trek Online, revealed some of Cryptic's plans for level-cap gameplay in a Ten Ton Hammer interview released today. Zeke talks in detail about the rolling release of exploration content, deep space encounters, dailies, and quests leading up to the ulimate encounter with the Borg queen, so take a look!
Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
From our Tavern of the Ten Ton Hammer forum
What do you want to see in 2010?
We'd like to know what sorts of things are your favorite features
at Ten Ton Hammer--things you'd like to see more of in 2010. We've also
created a place for you to offer up suggestions for improvements to our
network and community. Post your thoughts and vote in our poll right here!
Awesome Quotes from the
"All of the above and some giggity!"
Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell
New and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer
8 new Ten Ton Hammer
features today! 64 in January! 64
Admirals Only - An STO Endgame Q&A with Zeke Sparkes
launch of Star Trek Online is approaching quickly and one question on
everyone's mind is: what about the endgame? Cryptic hasn't spoken much
about what awaits players at maximum level, and which carrots are going
to be dangling to keep players interested past the level cap. This week
we spoke to Zeke Sparkes of Cryptic Studios who was glad to tell all
about STO endgame.
Razer Naga MMOG Gaming Mouse Review
Ten Ton Hammer isn't known for hardware reviews. However, when Razer
came out with the 17 button Razer Naga MMOG mouse at a hefty $79.99, we
knew we had to put it through its paces for our readers. Check out our review to find out whether this sexy mouse is worth the price.
FEATURES & GUIDES
Aion Weekly Newsletter - Finding the Time
school, work, and family it can be hard to find time to log in to play
Aion. Being an ultra casual gamer isn't a choice but it is sometimes a
necessity. Before you give up gaming altogether, get a few tips that
might make having limited gaming time just a little bit more tolerable.
Read more about being ultra casual and get the week's Aion highlights,
news, and Ten Ton Hammer features in the Aion Weekly Newsletter.
High End PVP In EVE Online: PVP Implants
are one of the best ways to leverage ISK into effectiveness in EVE
Online. Space Junkie, gives us a tour of several recommended PVP
Star Trek Online: Federation Races Portal
United Federation of Planets is made up of representatives from species
all over the galaxy. While vastly different in both appearances and
abilities, the members of the Federation share a common belief in the
importance of peace and exploration. As a member of this august
assembly, it's important to be familiar with the strengths and
weaknesses of your peers. Here are those dossiers you requested,
WoW: Second #BlizzChat Analysis
second #BlizzChat has arrived answering the questions of World of
Warcraft players. We here at Ten Ton Hammer took those answers and read
between the lines to find out which ones are important and what they
mean. So skip the pineapple wallpaper in Gadgetzan and move straight to
the new Warlock pets in Cataclsym with our latest coverage of
Blizzard's BlizzChat series!
The Healers Guide to Instances and Raiding
in World of Warcraft is tough, often thankless job. The fate of your
party or raid members rests in your hands, and it will be painfully
obvious if you aren’t doing your job. This latest guide to Healing in
Instances and Raids will provide several general tips and techniques
that will hopefully set you well on your way to becoming an uber leet
WoW Shaman Guide Update - Basics and Combat
order to bring you the most up to date information on World of Warcraft
the staff at Ten Ton Hammer has been working diligently to finish the
updates to our class guides. This week Mem has taken on the Shaman
Guide and updated two sections, the Basics and Combat pages.
with Al Rivera - All About Ships
Trek Online Beta Journal #4 -
No Tank, Healer or DPS?
or Written in Pencil: Developers'
New Year's Resolutions
Ton Hammer’s Hands-On Beta Impressions
style="font-weight: bold;">Dungeons and Dragons Online:
Character Build – The Warchanter
Mission Types Interview with Exec. Producer Todd Harris
Spartan U.I. Addon Review
Fleets in EVE
& Dragons Online:
Eberron Unlimited Review
for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer
- Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle
and the Ten Ton Hammer team
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Star Trek Online Game Page.