Welcome to the 1,059th Edition of Loading...

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

In this issue of Loading... we'll build on today's featured opinion piece as we look for the pot of MMO gold at the end of popular works of fiction. Everyone has their own ideas on what book would make a good MMO, so I'll share mine and invite you to do the same. That, a quick preview of tonight's DDO Module 9 dev chat and this afternoon's premium newsletter and new guides for World of Warcraft and EVE Online top off today's Loading... Reading Rainbow.

Need more newsletter? Play World of Warcraft? Jay "Medeor" Johnson's weekly WoW newsletter "The Overpull" comes out every Tuesday and keeps you entertained and informed on all the latest developments in WoW. Sign up!

The Pulse

You vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Pulse (What is Pulse?).

Here's today's top 5 Pulse results for today:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. EVE Online
  3. EverQuest 2
  4. Age of Conan
  5. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (UP 2)

Biggest Movers in the Top 20 today :

  1. Warhammer 40k Online (UP 92!! to #16)
  2. DC Universe Online (UP 25 to #13)
  3. The Chronicles of Spellborn (down 8 to #18)

Loading... Daily

***Catch our DDO Module 9 Vooncast tonight at 7pm EDT in Voon room Ten Ton Events, everyone is welcome. Today is the inaugural day for our weekly premium members newsletter too, full of premium-only articles and freebie opportunities and much more. If you're a premium member, it should hit your inbox this afternoon.***

Ten Ton Hammer's Dalmarus has posted the first installment of his look at which book series (series is the plural of series, yea, it looks weird) would make great MMORPGs, naming Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Narnia, and Harry Potter as his top picks. All of which have the tremendous storyline advantages of dealing with a deeply intricate, if flawed and fragmented, world that boasts more than its share of open questions. The thing about a good book or series of books is that your brain can't stop chewing on it even after the heartbreak of the last page. The longer and more engaging the series, the more momentum the world builds in your imagination.

And we all have our favorite series that we'd like to see made into a game. Recently I shared a cab with a fairly well-known and well-respected developer, and though I can't be specific at his request, it wasn't anyone that we feature regularly. (In fact, I don't believe we've ever published an interview with him, to still your questioning hearts.) He was obviously excited about his current gig in the "I'm bursting to tell you but we haven't told anyone anywhere and they'd kill me" sort of way, and his only clue was, "What's the most under-represented genre in MMOs today?" I assumed my usual giddy grin I wear when this topic comes up and exclaimed, "Westerns!"

I'd been reading Stephen King's The Dark Tower series which, though fairly genre-ambivalent. draws heavily from the spirit of the spaghetti-western Clint Eastwood man-with-no-name. That in itself draws from Carolingan tales of knights errant in the same way George Lucas drew from Kurosawa classics to create the Star Wars universe, which in turn drew from other tales told in times past. Stories like these aren't just good entertainment, they're part of the grain of our humanity passed down from generations past in one form or another.

You don't have to be a Louie Lamour fan to know that cheap and abundant content isn't a problem for the western MMO. The wild west represents a number of organic MMO characteristics, progression in difficulty from east to west, abundant questing, crafting and mercantile, natural excuses for player vs. player combat, indiginous factions to make friends with or battle against, mounts, possibilities to settle and be a farmer or craftsman and maybe even go generational (raising a family of alts in sort of a Sims meets the 1830s style with your guild a.k.a. town), or venture out and adopt weapons and tactics of every sort. There are even all kinds of expansion opportunities between land rushes, gold rushes, wars, the building of the transcontinental railroad, and much more. Fallout 3's VATS system offers a promising way to do a fairly realistic gun-based MMO when coupled with the TBS pacing of Atlantica Online.

There's no reason to doubt that the western MMO would have to go through the same process that fantasy MMOs went through - first as pencil-and-paper games, then as a number of single player RPGs that function as a proof of concept. Only when these efforts are successful will someone invest in the concept heavily enough to make an MMO. Alas, no game (let alone MMO) has ever really captured the spirit of a western, with the possible exceptions of the old NES title Gunsmoke and maybe Gun and Call of Juarez, though the latter two were unforgivably brief and linear in scope. I'm not holding my breath, but I do hold out hope.

Back to the cab ride, I gushed on and on in this fashion until I realized that my co-occupant's now forced smile was drooping. "Westerns!" obviously wasn't the correct answer, and after my admittedly rare show of enthusiasm he was abashed to clue me in further. Fortunately the cab ride was over soon enough to make the polite silence seem almost correct.

What do you think, could a Little House on the Prairie meets Deadwood style MMO work? What work of fiction would you like to see made into an MMO? Share your thoughts in the Loading... forum, or send me an email!

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our Members Only Review Forum

Welcome to the Members Only Review Forum

It's a given that every gamer has opinions, and just about every gamer
wants to make those opinions known. But not every gamer has the
opportunity to publish their opinions and share them with a community
as large as Ten Ton Hammer--only our premium members can do that. It's my pleasure to unveil our new Members Only MMOG Reviews forum.

Premium members now have the chance to do what gaming journalists
do--to share their thoughts on MMOGs and game design with the world.
The reviews our premium members publish will be viewable by the entire forum
community, registered members and visitors alike. Registered members
will be able to comment and rate reviews, but only premium members are allowed to post them.

We'll take some of the best reviews and publish and promote them on the Ten Ton Hammer main site, increasing their visibility. We'll also be announcing review contests and swag giveaways in the future.

tempting? If you're a premium member, you can start publishing your
MMOG reviews any time. Not a premium member? It's easy to remedy
that--just visit our membership page to learn about the benefits of membership and sign up. Questions? Post them here.

Epic Quote from the Epic Thread

Epic quotes will return tomorrow. Please stand by...


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

4 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 78 in April! 465 in 2009!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today [Thanks Phil Comeau for links and Real World News]

  • World of Warcraft: PvP Basics for the Druid

    Decided to strap on the gloves and throw down? Now is the time to WoW them with your PvPness.
  • World of Warcraft: PvP Basics for the Shaman

    This week I take a quick look at some of the points a Shaman may want to consider before hoping into the world of PvP
  • World of Warcraft: Joana's Leveling Guide Review

    Over the next few weeks, Ten Ton Hammer will be taking a look at several leveling guides. We'll be covering in-game paid leveling guides, as well as some free guides available for use on the internet. Every guide claims to be the fastest and the best, but which one really IS the best, and which ones are just cheap scams? We intend to find out. After we've reviewed them all, we'll have a comparison to see exactly which leveling guide reigns supreme.
  • EVE Online: Guide to Ship Types

    Ships are the armor and gear for your EVE Online characters and just as with gear in most games, there is a wide variety available.  So how do you know what ship is best suited to you?  Knowing your basics is a good start!  Learned about the various types of ships, what they do, and other vital information in our newly revamped EVE Ship Guide.

    Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to:
  1. Should DC Universe Online have levels?
  2. World of Warcraft: The Ultimate Guide to Utgarde Keep
  3. geeked: "Raise the Sails"
  4. Fallen Earth: Surviving an MMOG Apocalypse
  5. Atlantica Online - State of the Game Interview
  6. Ether Saga Dev Diary #4: Reputation and Crafting
  7. EVE Online - Sins of a Solar Spymaster: Creating a Spaceholding Alliance
  8. Spellborn Subs Giveaway
  9. Exclusive - The Making of Jumpgate Evolution Video
  10. Batter Up! A First Look at MLB Dugout Heroes

Real World News

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

-Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer team

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

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.