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Many gamers moan that they're tired of fantasy MMOGs and can't
wait for something new to come along and stem the tide of elves and
orcs. But fantasy is a diverse genre, and no two fantasy games need to
be created equal. Karen "Shayalyn" Hertzberg speaks up in defense of
fantasy MMOGs in today's href="http://tentonhammer.com/loading/2010/may/12">Loading...
Life is Just a Fantasy.


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. Age
    of Conan
  3. EverQuest

  4. Dungeons
    & Dragons Online

  5. EVE

movers today

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/287">Free
    Realms (UP 25 to 12)
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/306">Jumpgate
    Evolution (UP 25 to 19)
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/34">City of
    Villains (UP 23 to 15)
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



  • May
    - Age
    of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer

  • May
    - EVE
    Online: Tyrannis
  • May 27,
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2422">Craft
    of Gods (release)
  • June
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/998">APB
    (US - July 2 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

When I started working on this column today I suddenly found the href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GylirgHFqeQ">cheesy 80s
tune by one-hit-wonder Aldo Nova playing in my head:
“Life is just a fantasy / Can you live this fantasy life?” If you click
the video link and find you can’t get this annoying song out of your
head all day…you’re welcome. (And if you have photos of yourself in href="http://www.wwsport.com/NewsAssets/665/Mizuno-Leopard-Spandex.jpg">leopard
Spandex, send them to Shayalyn [at] tentonhammer.com. I’ll
make ya famous for at least 15 minutes.)

When it comes to the fantasy life in MMOGs I’m finding the genre much
maligned lately. Another fantasy MMOG is announced and it’s not long
before some forum denizen cries, “Ugh! Another take on elves
and orcs? We want something else!”  And many of us clearly do.
I’m just not one of them.

You don’t have to be a lover of all things fantasy to enjoy fantasy
settings in MMOGs, and I’m proof. I enjoy fantasy mostly when I can
relate it to gaming. (I was the one shouting “Train!” in a crowded
movie theater while the href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7ad8W1vm2s">ring
wraiths chased Arwen and Frodo to the river in The
Fellowship of the Ring. Again, you’re welcome.) I don’t really watch
fantasy movies or TV often and I don’t read fantasy novels. I was proud
as hell when my kid, only in second grade, brought home Tolkien to read
to me. (Second grade! Tolkien!) Yet I was relieved when he handed me
the book before the end of the first chapter (and many a sentence about
hobbit foot hair) and said, “Could you get me to the part where
something happens?”

I enjoy fantasy not so much because I love the genre in general, but
because I’ve developed a fondness for fantasy games. I’m probably more
inclined to watch a sci-fi movie or TV show than a fantasy
one, but I’ve yet to find a sci-fi MMOG that was as compelling to me as
the fantasy games I've played. I think it’s the worlds that I
love--the magical creatures, settings, and themes. And for me the best
way to experience those worlds is by delving into a MMOG.

I’m not certain why the fantasy genre generates so much static from
gamers. Clearly, given the success of games like World of Warcraft and EverQuest II, it represents something we’re familiar with. Perhaps
familiarity does breed contempt, at least for some. But I don’t
necessarily believe that all fantasy worlds have to be created equal.
I’ve played several games that have changed things up for the better. href="http://tentonhammer.com/aion">Aion,
for instance, gave me wings and showed me massive whale-like creatures
moving through the skies and dinosaur-like beasts grazing along the
river banks. Age
of Conan
gave me a low fantasy setting--no high
elves, but plenty of brutal Picts to slaughter at my whim. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2035">Rift:
Planes of Telara
 looks to shake things up
a bit, too, with an href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/interviews/intro-scott-hartsman">expansive
class system and a cyberpunk element. (And I can't even begin
to tell you how eager I am to get my hands on this game.)

There’s still plenty of room for innovation and creativity in the
expansive fantasy genre. Those who issue a collective groan whenever a
new fantasy title is announced seem to be in the minority (albeit a
rather loud minority), since fantasy still reigns when it comes to
MMOGs. Perhaps upcoming sci-fi games like href="http://tentonhammer.com/swtor">Star Wars: The
Old Republic
(although many tag it fantasy, making
my point about the diversity of the genre) will change the direction
the industry has taken so far. Until then, life is just a fantasy, and
yep, I can totally live this fantasy life.

Are you a fantasy fan, or are you growing weary of the genre? Talk it
up in the href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=51267">Loading…

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=441">AoC:
The Courtyard (General) forum

of getting into AoC

Johnny 5 is deployed in Afghanistan and in need of entertainment. He
wants some information about href="http://tentonhammer.com/aoc">Age of Conan.
In fact, a number of players will likely be looking at AoC now that its
first expansion, Rise of the Godslayer, has
released. Are you a veteran AoC player or someone who wants to learn
more about the game? There's a href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=51257">thread
for that.


Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread

of all, thank you for your service to our country. You guys do a lot
for us and I try to say thank you every chance I get. Now, on to the
good stuff....

- Chilidawg


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

6 new Ten Ton Hammer
articles today! 39 Ten Ton Hammer
in May! 510 in 2010!


HOT! EVE Online:
Tyrannis Launch Day Prize Giveaway


Ton Hammer is proud to partner with CCP to offer you a chance to win
over $500 in great EVE Online prizes to celebrate the May 18th launch
of EVE Online: Tyrannis - the expansion that brings planetary conquest
to the award-winning space MMORPG.For prize details and your chance to
win, head to the EVE Online: Tyrannis prize giveaway page. It only
takes a few seconds to enter, but hurry! Winners will be chosen on EVE
Online: Tyrannis launch day - next Tuesday, May 18th!


CoH Reveals Marauder and The Syndicate in Going Rogue


Studios has released a new update for City of Heroes: Going Rogue. The
latest update offers details about Marauder, also known as Praetor
White, the leader of the Powers Division, an elite division of super
powered individuals tasked with handling situations that prove to be a
bit too much for the Praetor Police Division.

Flying The Osprey Cruiser In EVE Online


humble Osprey is one of the most important cruiser-class vessels in EVE
Online, and certainly the most effective at what it does. Whether your
interests are mining or repairing damaged starbases, this
guide by
 Space Junkie will show you how to go about it.

EQ2: Norrathian Tour of Homes


a place to live in EverQuest II's mythical world of Norrath is no easy
feat. Now that the game has grown over the years, there are many
options to choose from and it takes a lot of time to hop from city to
city hoping to find what you need. Let us be your real estate
agent! Get screenshots from each cities' housing options and
catch a
preview of New Halas' housing along with the newest city's housing
costs and requirements in our Norrathian Tour of Homes.

WoW: PTR Patch 3.3.5 - A New Instance and a New Way to Chat


you were thinking that Cataclysm was the only thing to look forward,
think again. Blizzard poster Zarhym recently unleashed the PTR 3.3.5
Patch notes onto the World of Warcraft community and while it is a
relatively small patch it sure does pack a punch. A new instance will
be released, as well as a new way for players to interact. Don't miss
our overview of what to expect.

WoW: Gaining the Raiders Instinct


you first start to raid, you do it for both fun and
gear. After getting
hooked though, hopefully you want to raid for more that. You
want to
socialize in a raid, get a spot in a raiding guild and really start to
progress and be one of those raiders who always seem to know the
answers and be on top of it.  How do you accomplish that? What
do you
need to know to start gaining that raiders instinct?  Byron
Mudry provides all the information you need on how to start to learn to
be a top end raider.

Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/eve-tyrannis">EVE
    : Tyrannis Launch Day Prize Giveaway
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aoc/rise-of-the-godslayer/preview">Age
    of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer
    Expansion - Launch Day
  3. Ragnar
    Tornquist Answers Ten Ton Hammer Reader Questions for The
    Secret World
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/guides/ships/osprey">Flying
    The Osprey Cruiser In EVE Online
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/interviews/fallen-earth-downsizing">(Prairie)
    Chicken Little Be Damned - An Exclusive Fallen
  6. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/reviews/nvidia/3d_vision">Nvidia
    3D Vision Review
  7. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/podcasts/live/6/transcript">Ten
    Ton Hammer Live Ep. 6 Transcript - David Georgeson on EverQuest
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/interviews/intro-scott-hartsman">Rift:
    Planes of Telara Intro Q&A with Trion's Scott Hartsman
  9. Exclusive
    Fallen Earth Blood
    Sports Developer Journal
  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/ptr/335/overview">WoW:
    PTR Patch 3.3.5 - A New Instance and a New Way to Chat

for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Karen "Shayalyn" Hertzberg
the Ten Ton Hammer team

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.