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MMOG news, coverage, and
commentary newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer.
The first 30
days after launch for any new MMOG are always an interesting period.
Ever since the established norm for a new release to include a free
month of game time for a new account came into existence, that period
has become the de facto measuring stick for whether or not a new title
will ultimately sink or swim. Over the past few years this has grown to
become an increasingly pronounced cycle of massive first week sales,
followed by a an equal and opposite mass exodus moving into the second
full month of a new live game if the general consensus among players is
that the title isn’t quite worthy of a monthly fee.
With Cryptic Studios' recently
quickly approaching this critical first milestone month since launch,
will the combined draw of a monolithic IP and gameplay departures from
established industry norms be enough to keep sector space buzzing into
the second month? We'll take a look at this plus links to 8
exclusive new features and guides today in Loading… Spock
Till You Drop
are today's top 5 Pulse results over the last week:
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro">Lord of the
movers in the last seven days:
Siege of Mirkwood (expansion)
Online: Dominion (expansion)
Agenda (release date)
Online (release date)
Trek Online (release date)
Resistance (release date)
2: Sentinel's Fate (expansion)
style="font-weight: bold;">Spring 2010
style="font-weight: bold;">Spring 2011
- href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/swtor">Star Wars:
Launch day for
any triple A MMOG is just one point in a much longer timeline that can
be measured in years extending in both directions from that critical
point in time when all eyes seem to be watching. Leading up to that
point is the often lengthy (not to mention costly) development cycle,
and if the marketing folks have being doing their jobs it will also be
a time when hype builds and hopefully picks up enough steam to carry
through to a successful launch. As Shayalyn href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81398">pointed
yesterday's Loading… it can be easy to get swept
up in the hype, especially when gamers have reason to believe that a
new title holds the key to their future MMOG nirvana.
Sometimes this will be due to
the awesome pedigree of developers
involved with the project, or perhaps even the use of a brand name IP.
In some cases it may even be some combination of the two as is the case
with BioWare's upcoming href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/swtor">Star
Wars: The Old Republic.
Mattlow’s excellent new href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81438">editorial
could certainly attest to
Moving forward along the
timeline comes another, equally critical
moment in the overall lifecycle of most MMOGs, at least those that have
walked the well worn path of including a free month of game time with a
newly registered account. Player retention beyond those first 30 days
can have a direct impact on how far the timeline stretches into the
future. I'm sure there are all sorts of crazy charts and
graphs outlining acceptable loss vs. retention ratios, but at the end
of the day it all boils down to what type of resources will be
available for future content development. If the numbers are too small,
we've seen teams reduced to the bare minimum before the
servers finally give up the ghost. On the opposite end of the spectrum
is the hope of many developers that they’ll face the same
realization that Blizzard did back in 2004, namely that the hardware on
hand isn’t enough to keep up with rapidly growing demand.
“Medeor” Johnson pointed out in his most
Blog, Cryptic Studios’
foray into the wacky world of MMOGs will be hitting that crossroads
next week as the end of the first 30 day cycle for Star
rapidly approaching. Cryptic is obviously well aware of that fact, as a
survey is available for current
players requesting feedback on
their experiences with the game thus far. To sweeten the deal (or maybe
even temp players to let their account’s auto-renew function
weave its magic next month) Cryptic is also awarding points that can be
spent in the C-Store to those players who complete the survey.
It will be interesting to see
what transpires over the next couple
weeks. In spite of the fact that the naysayers have predictably come
out of the woodwork, Star Trek
Online has a lot of great things
for it, not the least of which is the fact that Cryptic has managed to
create a game where the journey is just as important as the
destination. While end game carrots are always great for player
retention, there’s something to be said about a mission
system that gives standard quest archetypes a fresh coat of paint and
makes the player feel as though they’ve accomplished
something meaningful in shorter spans of time.
Be sure to watch for Ten Ton
Hammer’s official review of Star
Trek Online early next week, and
in the meantime we’d love to
hear your thoughts on whether or not you expect sector space will still
be buzzing well into the second month, so warp on over to the
Loading… forums and engage in the discussion!
Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=237">LOTRO
General Discussion forum
screens in their fullest glory
wanted to present a little screenshot show featuring a look at Lord of
the Rings Online in DirectX 10. Do his screenshots inspire awe or meh? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=49789">See
for yourself, and, if you have
access to LOTRO in DirectX 10, post a few of your own and see if you
can do better!
Awesome Quotes from the
"It looks good but I just don't
see the 'cream myself' graphics everyone talks about."
"I thought that myself for a
loooooong time... then I installed win7
64bit (rc version) and I fell in love with lotro again. Screenies
really cannot do dx10 any justice. You actually have to see the shadows
of leaves dappling across your
character and the ground (which doesn't happen in dx9 as I recall). The
graphics are more clearer."
Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=32559">Tell
New and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer
8 new Ten Ton Hammer
features today! 113 in February! 228
Can BioWare Put The RPG Back in
can’t help but wonder whether BioWare’s upcoming
MMOG, Star Wars The
Old Republic, will be able to port the same roleplaying aspect their
successful single player games are known for to a new platform. It is a
question Mattlow ponders in his latest editorial.
FEATURES & GUIDES
Champions Online: Archery Power
Online has a tremendous number of powers for a hero to choose from.
These powers are grouped together into power sets based upon a theme.
Your pals at Ten Ton Hammer are here to provide a guide to the Archery
power set, along with some thoughts on other power sets that can
EQ2 Mage Spell Lists
you wondering what goodies EverQuest II's latest expansion, Sentinel's
Fate, has brought for your mage? Our Mage spell lists have been
revamped across all levels and updated to include the newest level 81
through level 90 spells. Come see what tier 9 has in store for your
Runes of Magic: Factions
MMOG need to have a solid story line to go along with the game play.
Runes of Magic serves up quite a bit of ready-to-order lore. Like lots
of MMOGs, you will only get some of the lore in game. So we
sent ZeroMerc into the catacombs below Varanas to find what he
could about the humble beginings of Taborea.
Star Trek Online: The
Traveler's Guide - Episode 4
universe is an awfully big place and it would take more than a human
lifetime to see it all. Realizations like that make the idea of a
personal tour guide sound pretty good, don't they? Today's your lucky
day then, because we (allegedly) smuggled none other than The Traveler
onto a Federation ship to bring us weekly images from every quadrant of
the galaxy and beyond just for you!
WoW: Loremaster's Corner #4: Is
Blizzard Rewriting the History for Cataclysm?
of Warcraft is an ever changing game and the next expansion, World of
Warcraft: Cataclysm, is going to redefine change. The entire world will
be changing, but will our previous victories be forgotten during the
revamp? The WoW Comic, and other external sources of lore that have the
chance to rewrite the entire history as we know it, are dripping into
the game. Want to know more? Read the latest Loremaster's Corner to
find everything we have on this subject.
WoW: Upcoming PvP Changes in
of Warcraft's patch 3.3.3 is up on the PTR and there are a ton of
changes coming for the battlegrounds and the honor system in general.
Curious about what's changing? We have all of the PvP changes explained
in layman's terms including the battleground changes, the random bg
tool, and the upcoming honor changes.
WoW Guide to Ice Crown Citadel
- The Frozen Throne
the release of Patch 3.3 many players have had one single thing on
thier mind--the defeat of Arthas, the Lich King. To many, Arthas is the
top bad guy in the game and people have been itching to fight him. Now
that you have battled through everything leading up to him in Icecrown
Citadel, what do you need to know about him? Join Byron
Mudry as he runs you through the basics.
Hottest Articles and Guides
New Dawn with
& Heroes - Q&A
Tim Schubert style="font-weight: bold;">
Rogue with City of Heroes
- A Q&A with Melissa
Class Interview Series Part
1 - The Paladin href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81387">
Q&A Part 2: Sound, Loot, Launch Plans, and Microtransactions
Online href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81282"> - Sins
Spymaster #39 - The Twilight of the Great Powers
Interview Series Part 3 - The Mage
Put the RPG Back in MMORPG?
Trek Online href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/sto/features/the_traveler_episode3">:
The Traveler's Guide - Episode 3
Resistance PC Review href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81065">
the Lore of Guild Wars 2
- A Q&A with
ArenaNet's Jeff Grubb
Online Archetype Interview
Series Part 2 - The Healer href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/80983"> style="font-weight: bold;">
for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer
- Reuben "Sardu" Waters
Ten Ton Hammer team
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Star Trek Online Game Page.