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When it comes to Asian games, the Western market seems to
remain skeptical. And yet, we've got some impressive Asian
titles coming down the pike in the not-too-distant future, including
Final Fantasy XIV Online and TERA. Will they be game enough to
finally win over the Western world? We'll talk about them in
today's Loading... Look to the East.
are this week's top 5 Pulse results:
movers in the last seven days :
Online (release date)
2: Sentinel's Fate (expansion)
Oath of the
Rangers (content update)
of Heroes - Issue 17: Dark Mirror
style="font-weight: bold;">Spring 2010
2010 - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/998">APB
style="font-weight: bold;">Spring 2011
- Star Wars:
When it comes to Asian MMOGs, many Western gamers seem to
least one (if not all) of the following opinions:
- They're pretty, but lacking in substance and story.
- They're pretty, but lacking in innovation.
- They're pretty, but generally a grindfest.
I think we can all agree that, on the plus side, Asian MMOGs are
usually graphically stunning with a distinctive art style. (Sure, some
guys find Asian-style character models too feminine looking, but the
Westernization of Asian MMOGs has come a long way toward remedying that
and recent games such as href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aion">Aion
have made certain to provide plenty of
character creation options for burly men and girly men alike.) But,
although it kills the unabashed graphics whore in me to say this, games
can't live on amazing graphics alone. If they could, Aion
would surely have surpassed href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow">World of Warcraft
here in the west and, as a
look at some href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/finalfantasyxiv/gallery">screenshots
reveals, there would be no doubt in anyone's
mind that href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2079">Final
Fantasy XIV would take the MMO gaming world by
storm, and href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2339">TERA
would most certainly be a major contender.
Since graphics don't make the game, how will we overcome our wariness
when it comes to Asian MMOGs? Will the newest Asian AAA titles in
development shake up our preconceived notions about them?
First, let's take a look at substance and story. My experience playing Aion
tells me that it's entirely possible for an Asian MMOG to have a good
story...at least for a while. The first 10 levels of Aion
certainly captured my attention, and I felt as though I was part of
something important as I began to recover memories of my past and go on
to save the little village of Poeta from an encroaching threat. Not
only did I earn the title of Poeta's Protector, but I learned that I
was an immortal daeva and that I had wings. (Wings!)
And then I progressed to the next town and learned that, despite my
wings and immortal status, I was yet another winged peon, and I was
going to be sent out to the beach to kill crabs with the other winged
I'm not sure what the future holds for peons (winged or otherwise) in Final
Fantasy XIV, but I have a good feeling that the game wont' be
lacking in story. Love it or hate it, if there's one franchise known
for story it's Final Fantasy. In my time as a gamer
I've known several Final Fantasy junkies who could retell the events
and discuss the characters from several of the games (notably Final
Fantasy VII and X) in vivid
detail, which leads me to believe there's no shortage of Final
Fantasy fans in the Western world. Will FFXIV
be able to capture that story in a game Westerners will want to play?
It remains to be seen, but I have high hopes.
Where innovation is concerned, it's not just the Asian MMOGs that are
guilty of copying the tried and true format used by World of
Warcraft and a metric ton of other games. While there's no
sense reinventing the wheel where some mechanics and ideas are
concerned, gamers have been calling out for something fresh for some
time now. And perhaps that something fresh will come in the form of TERA.
This title, published in North America by En Masse and developed by
Bluehole Studio (a team comprised of a number of industry vets), is a
MMOG of South Korean origins making a name for itself
by promising something new, including an "exciting new combat system
that provides fast-paced, intense battles and engages characters of all
classes" and "a unique endgame experience...where players and guilds
vie for control of the Federation." While its uniqueness remains to be
seen, early videos (which are entirely made up of gameplay footage
edited into trailer format) are intriguing.
Tentatively, it seems we may have the bases where story and innovation
are concerned covered, but what about the grind factor? Will either FFXIV
or TERA include a plethora of "kill 20 sphincter
beetles" quests? We won't know until beta begins to reveal the
realities of each title. For now, I'm going to remain optimistic and
hope that the stories are rich, the innovation is...innovative, and the
sphincter beetles are few.
Are you a skeptic when it comes to Asian MMOGs becoming hits in the
Western world? What's your take on the future of FFXIV
and TERA? Head over to our forum to share your
Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=6">Articles,
Events & News Discussion
TERA Trailer Released
If you haven't heard of TERA yet, now's your chance to get a look.
We've published the latest TERA trailer, and it's pretty sweet, if I do
say so myself. What does a truly " href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/77824">next
generation MMO" look like? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=50459">Take
a look, kiddies! And then tell us whether you think TERA's
got the chops to usher in a new era in MMOG development.
Awesome Quotes from the
"Nice video and a hell of a Mission statement: 'En Masse
strives to publish only the very best massively multiplayer online
games in the world.'"
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
9 new Ten Ton Hammer
today! 129 in March! 359
PAX EAST 2010
NVIDIA's Newest Line of
GPUs Introduced at PAX East 2010
target="_blank">PAX East 2010 in Boston last
weekend, one of the strongest showings on the tech front was
undoubtedly NVIDIAs introduction of their GXT 400 series. The new
graphics powerhouses were featured throughout NVIDIAs demo stations
where Ten Ton Hammer spent some time seeing just what kind of graphical
performance they were capable of before making our way to the launch
celebration which packed over 3,000 gamers into the main hall.
City of Heroes: Going Rogue Powersets
All ten archetypes in City of Heroes get a new powerset when Going
Rogue goes live in July, and you'll find the first two teaser videos at
Ten Ton Hammer! The first, Dual Pistols, is available as of this
printing with a Going Rogue pre-order. Paragon Studios revealed the
second at PAX East 2010: Demon Summoning. Pet-based classes will be
able to summon demons and control them with fiery green whips. You can
read more about these powersets in our title="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/paxe2010/CoH/incarnates"
Rogue feature from PAX East 2010. But first, check out the
Rogue powerset videos!
The 800 lb. Gorilla:
Industry Insiders on Living Large in a WoW World
In the past 5 years, World of Warcraft has undoubtedly shaped the MMO
gaming landscape. We asked some industry leaders to weigh in on the
topic of WoW's dominance and how it affects the development process.
Can vision and innovation exist when revenue is the bottom line? The
developers gave us candid answers ranging from realistic to optimistic,
but never pessimistic. Read on to capture some insider insight.
New TERA Trailer Released
En Masse has just released a new trailer for TERA, their upcoming
action MMOG. Showcased in the new trailer is a glimpse into the rich
fantasy world of TERA, as well as a look at the action-adventure style
combat system used by players. Set for release on the PC this winter
with development by Bluehole Studio. Try to keep your sword in its
sheath, young warrior! The time of heroism will soon be upon you.
FEATURES & GUIDES
A Farewell Tribute to
Eric "Dalmarus" Campbell
After nearly three years as a dedicated member of the Ten Ton Hammer
team, this week Eric Dalmarus Campbell embarks on a journey
the newest addition to the staff at Blizzard Entertainment. Join us as
we take a look back at Erics time with the network, featuring many
anecdotes from his fellow co-workers in our title="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/82915"
Farming Datacores For ISK
In EVE Online
Research and development agents are one of the best sources of ISK in
EVE Online, but many players haven't even heard of them. Contributing
Writer (and all around swell guy) Space Junkie, explains
how to use these agents to keep a steady source of ISK flowing into
your bank account.
The Evolution of
StarCraft Armies - Early Game Protoss
StarCraft, without question, has the most prolific history of
any real-time strategy game. Its impeccable balance that spawned
hundreds of unique strategies, map designs, and builds is legendary in
the online gaming community. As StarCraft II prepares to take up the
mantle of its predecessor, Ten Ton Hammer continues to look at how the
armies of StarCraft II have evolved, this time focusing on early game
Progression in WoW
Cataclysm A Wish List
When World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is released there will be
a ton of
things to do in game. Most of it will have to do with working
many forms of progression. Some are basic and easy to nail
down, such as experience and levelling. Others are a bit more abstract,
such as achievements, raid progression, and reputation
grinds. This week Byron Messiah Mudry looks at the various
progression items that are known to be planned for Cataclysm and talks
about his wishes for each.
Managing Loot in a WoW
Guild - DKP vs. Loot Council
raid guilds, far too often the drama that ends up breaking apart the
guild is over the loot that drops in the raids. Many times
that erupt could have been avoided by choosing the right loot
system. Thats why it is important to make the right choice
loot system for your guild. Check out the two most common loot
and how they compare to each other and which is best for which type of
guild in this guide to DKP vs. Loot council.
Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features
800 lb. Gorilla:
Industry Insiders on Living Large in a WoW World
Newest Line of GPUs Introduced at PAX East 2010
of Heroes: Going Rogue Powersets
Evolution of StarCraft Armies - Early Game Protoss
- href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/paxe2010/APB/gameplay">Video: style="font-weight: bold;"> APB Gameplay Preview style="font-weight: bold;">
Unveils the Future of Mobile MMOG Interaction
of Heroes href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/paxe2010/CoH/incarnates">"Incarnate"
Endgame Levels & New Going Rogue Details Revealed
Trek Online href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/STOSeason1">:
Season 1 and Killer NIC Giveaway
style="font-weight: bold;">DDO's "Storming the
Beaches" Dungeon Revealed
Customization Preview Video from PAX East 2010
for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!
- Karen "Shayalyn" Hertzberg and
the Ten Ton Hammer team
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Game Page.