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style="font-style: italic;">In
the face of the European launch delay for style="font-style: italic;">The Lord of the Rings
Online free-to-play,
Codemasters kicked off a comedic contest aimed at relieving the
community’s stress. Essentially, they’re offering
up their team as virtual punching bags and inviting style="font-style: italic;">LotRO
fans to step into the ring. Is the Codemasters Community Therapy
contest a diversionary tactic, a stroke of genius, or a little of both?
Karen “Shayalyn” Hertzberg pulls on her boxing
gloves to explore the topic in today’s href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/loading/2010/sep/15">Loading…
Hit Me With Your Best Shot.

cellspacing="0" width="100%">


You vote with what you
view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
is the Ten Ton Pulse ( href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/thepulse/">What
is The Pulse?).

top 5 Pulse results:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow">World
    of Warcraft
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eq2">Everquest 2
    (UP 1)
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2">Guild Wars 2
    (down 1) 
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro">Lord of the
    Rings Online 
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/">EVE Online

movers today

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2503">End
    of Nations

    - UP 47
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1407">DC
    Universe Online

    - UP 13
    style="text-decoration: underline;">
  3. style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/vanguard">Vanguard:
    Saga of Heroes

    - UP 1 to
size="-1">Recent Releases
  • size="-1">7/27
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2461"
    for Speed World
  • size="-1">7/27
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2" target="_blank">StarCraft
    II: Wings of Liberty
  • size="-1">8/17
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/140">City
    of Heroes: Going Rogue (release)
  • size="-1">8/18
    - href="http://everquest2.com/free_to_play">EverQuest
    II Extended (release)
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">9/7
    - size="-1"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aion">Aion:
    Assault on Balaurea (free

  • size="-1">September
    30, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ffxiv" target="_blank">Final
    Fantasy XIV size="-1">
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">October
    26, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/170">LEGO
    Universe (release)

  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">November
    2, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1407">DC
    Universe Online (release)


  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/5 -
    10/8 - href="http://www.gdconline.com/">GDC
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/8 -
    10/10 - href="http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/">New
    York Comic Con
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/22 -
    10/23 - href="http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/?rhtml=y" target="_blank">BlizzCon
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;"> 3/24
    3/26 (2011) - href="http://fanfest.eveonline.com/" target="_blank">CCP

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/playerscore/scoreboards"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 525px; height: 220px;"
alt="World of Warcraft PlayerScore"

your PlayerScore?
World of
Warcraft players, find out at href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/playerscore">playerscore.com.

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delays bring out the best and the worst in MMO gamers. We seem to fall
into two camps—those who believe a delay can only mean the
developers are working hard to perfect their game and avoid launching
it before its time, and those who believe any delay bodes ill and is
merely forestalling the inevitable release of another craptastic title.
And when a delay happens, both camps are equally vocal.

Codemasters got a taste of this dynamic at work when they announced the
European launch of style="font-style: italic;">The Lord of the Rings
Online free-to-play last
week. When I last looked, the href="http://community.codemasters.com/forum/lotro-free-play-discussion-1330/425915-lord-rings-online-european-free-play-launch-delayed.html">forum
thread for the announcement was
over 1,250 posts long with a mixed bag of responses ranging from the
understanding to the irate. Codemasters could have handled the blowout
in typical developer fashion by either patiently (and perhaps
occasionally not-so-patiently) answering questions, or trotting out
PR-scripted responses, or maintaining radio silence. Instead, they
chose a creative approach. Yesterday, Codemasters announced a contest
they’ve dubbed href="http://community.lotro-europe.com/news.php?id=10819">Community
Therapy. Acknowledging the
uproar their announcement created within the community, they opted to
offer themselves up as willing victims in the name of stress relief.

“The community liaison officers will be your target/punch
bag/stress ball and welcome you to throw things at us,” the
announcement reads. “The choice of what you throw and how you
throw it is yours but you have to be creative: describe it in a text,
record a video, draw something or take a funny screenshot –
there is no limit to your imagination! You can even bake a custard pie
and we will administer the confectionary as requested.”

A tempting offer indeed. And despite the stress relieving fun being its
own reward, Codemasters is even throwing in a “goodie
bag” and 15 minutes of fame on their May Contain Gamers
community blog for 10 winning entrants.

Part of me hates to see a company make its community representatives
targets for abuse. After all, any community manager sits squarely in
the center of a virtual bullseye daily when it comes to enduring the
wrath of hostile gamers. Community management can be a thankless and
grueling job, particularly when the company the CM is representing is
short on good news. It seems harsh to suggest that the CMs should take
one for the team by trudging out to the woodshed for a good
ol’ fashioned whoopin’.

But overall, I think Codemasters’ Community Therapy contest
borders on brilliant. Nothing diffuses a tense situation like a little
playfulness, and what better way to play than to smoosh a pie in the
face of the people responsible for your ire? By rolling over and
exposing their soft, pink bellies to the gnashing teeth of angry fans,
Codemasters have virtually assured a softer, gentler response. After
all, only the worst kind of wanker (to use the British terminology)
would viciously attack a willing victim offered up in the name of
stress relief. And sifting through funny contest entries might well
provide some stress relief in its own right for the Codemasters team.

Best of all, Codemasters seems willing to acknowledge their
community’s frustration and to tackle it head on. Sure, some
will say the contest is nothing more than a diversion, or
they’ll balk at the idea that it’s being issued in
lieu of information and an actual target window or new date for style="font-style: italic;">LotRO’s
free-to-play launch. But when all your community liaisons have to offer
is more of the same “we don’t have a date yet, but
we’ll let you know as soon as humanly possible”
line, a fun contest seems like a small good thing.

Do you agree with me that Codemasters’ contest is a good
temporary solution to keep an angry community from imploding? Do you
think the community’s response will be positive overall, or
will the Community Therapy contest piss off more people than it
appeases? Have your say in the href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53522">Loading…

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the

From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=139">WoW
General Discussion forum

most fond memory or WoW experience

don't have to be in Leroy Jenkins' guild to have some epic tales of
World of Warcraft adventure to tell. If you play World of Warcraft,
then you likely have stories of feats ranging from the heroic to the
hilarious. We want to hear them, so step on over to our newly
redesigned WoW forums and href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53452">wax


Quotes from the Epic Thread

think my favourite moment was way back in vanilla WoW before any
expansion when my guild finally defeated Ragnaros after working our way
through Molten Core. It took us like three months to finally beat the
place, raiding 3-4 times a week. Even though it took us so long we were
still in the top 10 for progression on that server at the time.

- href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showpost.php?p=441744&postcount=2">Messiah


and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer

8 new Ten Ton Hammer
features today! 50 Ten Ton
Hammer features in September! 1005 in 2010!


style="color: red;">HOT!
Deeper into the Rift – A Q&A with Rift: Planes of
Telara’s Scott Hartsman



the latest episode of Ten Ton Hammer Live!, Jesse and Ben sat down with
Scott Hartsman, Executive Producer of Rift: Planes of Telara. In this
wide ranging interview, they discuss many of the unique features of
Rift such as the class system and the dynamic world setting. If you be
either Guardian or Defiant, read on!


Planes of Telara with Scott Hartsman - Ten Ton Hammer Live Episode 19


week on Ten Ton Hammer Live the boys are joined by THE Scott Hartsman
to talk Rift: Planes of Telara. sure you're saying to yourself, "that
sounds pretty awesome...but what else ya got?"

Well this week
Jesse officially lets the music, video game, and movie industry know
where he (and all of you!) stand on free games, free movies, and free
music. Why are major companies losing money while free to play games
are making serious cash? Jesse has a theory....which Ben promptly
shoots down :P

Also, Davlen takes Gamer food a bit too far, and we are joined by an
actual real life girl for Master Looter! Shocking, I know!


Cataclysm: Durotar Preview


may be a small and usually forgotten zone, however, not only does it
hold the Orcish city of Orgrimmar, location of a thousand PvP battles,
it’s also the first sight that greets the eyes of Orc and
Troll players
alike making it a very important place indeed. We’ve seen the
of Cataclysm, both good and bad, in many other places, so join us now
as we take a look at Durotar and find out how it has fared.

Cataclysm – Deepholm Zone Preview


players level in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm they will be sent to all
new zones. Once past the starting zone of their choice they
will be
directed to an underground zone called Deepholm. This zone is
completely different than any other yet in the game due to
being in a
separate elemental plane and essentially underground.  Join
“Messiah” Mudry as he explores this unique zone in
the beta.


Final Fantasy XIV Screenshots Showcase the City of Ul'dah


Fantasy XIV is slated to launch later this month and players will have
the chance to explore the various sights of Eorzea. One of many things
that players can explore is Ul'dah, a bustling commercial hub heavily
fortified in southern Aldenard. The city is organized around its
dome-shaped center and provides patrons with various forms of
entertainment and a central trading hub. To give players a look at
things to come, Square Enix has released several new screenshots of the
city of Ul'dah.

Reveals Gorilla Grodd for DC Universe Online



things are as terrifying as an over-sized gorilla bent on world
domination. But what do you get when you give that same gorilla super
intelligence with psionic and telekinetic powers to go with his
superhuman strength? You get Gorilla Grodd that's what. Sony Online
Entertainment's latest reveal for DC Universe Online gives us
super smart and really powerful villain known as Gorilla Grodd. SOE has
released a new batch of screenshots of the super gorilla in action and
you can check them all out here.


For Piracy In EVE Online


key to piracy is developing a test method, and fine tuning it to
perfection. In this guide Space Junkie tells us about how to develop a
best practices checklist to better prepare every possible advantage to
your favor.

Wars 2 FAQ


some questions about Guild Wars 2, the upcoming game by ArenaNet? Need
some answers? Well look no further than Ten Ton Hammer. We've got a
massive new FAQ out that answers the most common questions about Guild
Wars 2. Still not satisfied? Hop by our community forums and ask away.

Top 10

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/tera/interviews/scott-hartsman-9.14.10">Deeper
    into the Rift – A Q&A with style="font-weight: bold;">Rift: Planes of
    Telara’s Scott
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/interviews/story-and-progression">The
    Heart of Tyria - An Exclusive Interview on Personal Story and
    Progression in style="font-weight: bold;">Guild Wars 2
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/cataclysm/zones/deepholm-preview"> style="font-weight: bold;">WoW
    Cataclysm – Deepholm Zone Preview href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/videos/pax10"> style="font-weight: bold;">
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/videos/pax10"> style="font-weight: bold;">Rift:
    Planes of Telara Class
    & Invasions Video Feature with
    Russ Brown
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/faq"> style="font-weight: bold;">Guild Wars 2
  6. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eon/features/previews/pax-hands-on">At
    Worlds' End - A Hands-On Look at style="font-weight: bold;">End
    of Nations
  7. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/interviews/pax-combat">Skills,
    Traits and Builds - An Exclusive Guild
    Wars 2
    Combat Interview
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/guides/combat/pre-gaming-piracy">Pre-Gaming
    For Piracy In style="font-weight: bold;">EVE Online
  9. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift/videos/pax10">Rift:
    Planes of Telara
    Class & Invasions Video Feature with Russ Brown
  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/previews/pax2010/hands-on-part-two"> style="font-weight: bold;">Guild
    Wars 2 - Hands-On at PAX
    Part 2

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 Lord of the Rings Online Game Page.

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.