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For the Aion playtest this weekend, I rolled Asmodae, which is Aion's "evil" race but is arguably far too pretty to be evil. What makes a race evil? Have we lost something from the early days of MMO gaming? Or did we trade in evil races for evil individuals - i.e. griefers - and guilds. Thoughts on what makes a villain (or a villainous race) you can live with in today's Loading... Purest Evil.
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For my third venture into Aion this weekend, I rolled Asmodaen. This is Aion's "evil" race, though Asmodae only look marginally evil (despite my best efforts, my character looks like a casting reject from a bad off-Broadway production of Cats with a nasty nail infection). They do say evil sounding things like "Blood for blood!", have a few evil-for-the-heck-of-it missions, and (judging by the ruins everywhere) certainly got the ass-end of the stick when the Tower of Eternity did its shattering bit, but these guys aren't evil in a Death Knight or Chaos sort of way. So far.
What makes a race evil-feeling? I've played a few, but unlike a lot of MMO players I know (and a few on the Ten Ton Hammer staff) I never had any real inclination to pick an evil alignment. The pickens are fairly slim, anyway. The Horde in WoW really aren't "evil" - the Forsaken, the Orcs, and the Trolls just got dealt a bad hand, and the Tauren were a victim of geography. In LotRO, outside of monster play, you can't roll a baddie, and the same could be said for DDO. Age of Conan did a good job of making even good players feel evil - what with the head-lopping and the horrid anatomy-class experiments rising from pools of boiling blood. City of Villains's reason for being is to make players into villains, but its the sort of megalomaniacal villainy that's more comical than mischievious or cruel. And in most cases, that's the kind of comfortable evil you'll find, because (I hope) no one is deranged enough to want to play Pol Pot Online, slaughtering your daily quota of defenseless Cambodians.
I have to reach back to the Iksar of EverQuest to recall a race that really felt evil. It wasn't for anything that the Iksar did, at least outside the lore, but the venomous kill-on-sight way they were treated by every freaking NPC anywhere - good or "evil" - until you could do enough quests and kill grinding to raise your faction standing to a respectable level. A few Iksar did manage to reach the more common level-up areas and were instantly popular for their hardships. It was almost a surprise when they turned out to be nice guys, enamored as we once were with our races (not in a role-play sort of way... well, maybe, kind-of). I bought water and food (remember when you had to constantly stave off hunger and thirst?), and bandages for more than one, since they often couldn't show their face in town. I never played an Iksar character with any real conviction, but I assume that that "your kind aren't welcome here" has a kind of Drizzt Do'Urdin appeal that makes you feel innately evil, then asks you what you want to do with that prejudice and maybe your racial predisposition.
But in the end, it probably takes a sandbox-style game - an EVE Online or Darkfall or Mortal Online - to allow players a decent measure of evilness. From the constant gray-ganking to the monthly banking scandal, the evils take many forms and are surprisingly evil in real world kinds of ways. Still, I find myself hoping that the choices you make in a game like Star Wars: The Old Republic will come along and provide that sense of good ol' fashioned story-driven evil, rather than today's more common griefer-esque form of evil alignment.
Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day
From our SWTOR: General Discussion Forum
Yeah, I want to sound like Jessica Rabbit!
who are following the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and
likely even some who aren't, were thrilled by this year's E3
announcement that SW: TOR will take voice-overs further than any
other MMOG has, with both NPCs and player characters coming to
In today's just-for-fun Epic Thread, AngryBeaver
asks whose voice you'd like to hear when your SW: TOR character speaks.
Is there a celebrity you imagine your character sounds like? Tell us here!
Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread
"I'd like my character to sound like Kathleen Turner."
Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell us!
5 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 61 in July! 826 in 2009!
New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today [Thanks Phil Comeau for links and Real World News]
Champions Online: Ten PvP Tips from the Devs
So you've read all about what makes PvP in Champions Online different than in any other MMO you've played. Now for the fun stuff: tips to help us get a leg up on the competition! We asked Champions Online PvP Designer James Laird and Producer Rob Overmeyer for some hints and strategies to help us get started on player vs. player pwnage, and they delivered in a big way... er, make that ten big ways!
New Aion Beta Weekend #4 Screenshots
Aion's fourth beta weekend is underway and Ten Ton Hammer is there and bringing you more screenshots and content to enjoy. This weekend we have put together an assortment of screenshots detailing Asmodian armor, the gladiator, and some of the many sights you can see as you make your way through the world.
World of Warcraft: Updated - Gearing up the Shaman
This week please join Russell as he dives into the "Gearing Up" portion of the Shaman Guide. When it comes to gear in World of Warcraft there are so many options that it would make any normal person's head spin. Green, Blue, Purple, Orange, Grey!!! It is like you are stuck in a endless rainbow of colors! Cloth, Leather, Mail, Plate!! So many choices where can you make sense of all of it?
Dungeons & Dragons Online - Ten Facts You Should Know Before Playing
For many MMO gamers, Dungeons and Dragons Online was always that "other" game, something that didn't quite fit into the standard massively multiplayer framework established by EverQuest and World of Warcraft. If you're a gamer that thought DDO was too different to spend cash on to even give it a go, you're now in luck. DDO is about to go free-to-play, and Ten Ton Hammer has ten random facts that might make your beta experience more enjoyable.
Monate Espirit Gameplay Video
Monato Espirit has launched and Ten Ton Hammer has a new video of the new free-to-play fantasy-based MMORPG. Take a look at some of the in-game action for onrpg.com's newest addition by developer Gamasoft.
- Champions Online @ Ten Ton Hammer Goes Live!
- Champions Online: Ten PvP Tips from the Devs
- World of Warcraft - Surviving BlizzCon
- Lord of the Rings Online - Vol. 2 Book 7: Leaves of Lórien Epic Guide
- EVE Online Secrets of a Solar Spymasters #20: Inside the Failure Cascade
- World of Warcraft: Healing Comparison - Discipline Priest vs. Holy Paladin
- Upgrades and Devices in Champions Online
- Dungeons & Dragons Online - Ten Facts You Should Know Before Playing
- Aion Class Interview - The Spiritmaster
- Champions Online VIP Interview - Cryptic Bucks, PvP, and More
Real World News
Biomass-eating military robot is vegetarian, won't feed on your bloated corpse [Link courtesy of Matt N.!]
See, that's what they all say right before they suck your braaaaaaaaains out through your ears. All hail our new zombie robot overlords!
82-yr old man kills invader dressed as ninja
The burglar, known only as 'Sam', had told friends, "I'm shuriken break in without detection." In fear of his life, 82-yr old Bradley Harvell shot him in the head after a brief scuffle. "It was self-defence," said Harvell, "it was samurai that was going down, so I shot first."
Woman assaults girl who ate her potato chips
Complains that the girls does nothing but Lays around the house, expected her to be the perfect Hostess.
Seen news you think I can mangle into a vaguely amusing snippet of text? Send it to me.
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 Aion Game Page.