Welcome to the 911th Edition of Loading...
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Loading... where it's beta giveaway day every day.
First, the Ten Ton Pulse, your finger on the beating heart of the MMOG industry.
- Warhammer Online - 200 BPM
- World of Warcraft - 130 BPM
- Age of Conan - 43 BPM
- Tabula Rasa - 11 BPM
- Stargate Worlds - 10 BPM
- EVE Online - 9 BPM
- Lord of the Rings Online - 9 BPM
- Everquest II - 8 BPM
- Vanguard - 5 BPM
- Lineage II - 4 BPM
Stepping outside the MMOG circle for a moment, a little game with 10 years of development behind it launched on the 7th. You may have heard of it, maybe not, the game is called Spore. Did I grab a copy? Of course I did. I'm a fan of some of Will Wright's work. Spore looked cool and my wife was heading to the mall. Everything simply fell into place. After playing it for a short time I was scratching my head wondering if I was missing something.
To be fair, I haven't given it nearly long enough to formulate a fair opinion of the game. That said, the average gamer doesn't care about giving a game time to be good. They want it to be fun from the first second they pull the shrinkwrap off the box.
Perhaps more disappointing for me than the gameplay, which I assume will improve, is the DRM. I can activate the game three times and I need an Internet connection to do that. Three seems like a reasonable number until you consider that I have two desktops (a PC and a Mac) and a laptop. There go my three activations. If I replace a machine, which someone in my line of work happens to do, then I need to call EA to ask for another activation. What if I change the video card and add a new hard drive to my PC, will that mess up my Spore activation. The answer appears to be, yes. Ben at Arstechnica explains the DRM issue far more eloquently than I ever could.
Enough of that, back to MMOGs.
Warhammer's upcoming launch and beta test continues to blanket the industry news. Other companies seem hesitant to announce anything in the face of this storm. I can't argue that logic, especially with the all the meltdowns going on regarding the North American and more so, the European (50+ page thread) open beta tests.
I'm surprised that every MMOG open beta, with the exception of Lord of the Rings Online (Cheers to Turbine Entertainment) ends up being a public relations debacle. By now, there are plenty of games to look back on and see what went wrong. The problem is that the development teams aren't making the calls. The marketing teams and publishers are.
It's sounds like a win to give "open beta" access to everyone who pre-orders your product. On the surface it does two things, it gives you numbers ahead of launch with which to plan your infrastructure and it gives you a ready-made hype machine.
This promise of a early visit to the land of milk and honey also has its issues. Unlike customers who buy a box and install the client, you need to get your 12 gigs of super-happy-fun-MMOG out through the Internet and onto their drive. That's a whole lotta bandwidth brother. In the case of WAR it happened to coincide with the launch of Spore and the flood of digital downloads that it needed to deliver.
Open beta tests are no longer truly open, nor are they tests. For AAA titles they can't be. The demand is simply too large. For the most part they are marketing tools to get the game in front of people, let them taste it and hopefully if the product is good enough encourage them to purchase it. The problem with this is that a vocal percentage of the community doesn't understand what a beta test is, much less comprehend why there is an open beta a week before launch.
Forums fill with people complaining that they had to buy a beta key because only subscription websites were providing them. They believe that everything on the Internet is a free entitlement. The wailing and gnashing of teeth goes on and on and on. There is so much noise created by 'those that must be heard' that the intelligent, constructive criticisms get lost. Do these same people wander the local drug store screaming at the top of their lungs that the trial size shampoo bottle costs $1.99? Perhaps they do.
Those that get their free beta key are oft to find that they can't d/l the client because the company providing that service isn't able to meet demand. They scream again, waving their tiny shampoo bottles over their heads like so many foul-mouthed, keyboard mashing chimpanzees. As our beloved MMOG community grows it becomes more like society at large or a group of monkeys with clean hair. How much does that scare you?
Hit the Loading... forums and have your say.
Ten Ton Hammer Epic Thread of the Day [Thanks Karen Hertzberg]
Sometimes they're funny; sometimes they're foolish; sometimes they're flaming;
sometimes they're cool. Whatever this one happens to be, it's
our Epic Thread of the Day.
From our WAR: General Discussion Forum
New With Some Questions
stopped by our WAR forum to ask some newbish questions about Warhammer
PvP, RvR, and soloing in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Did our
community members give newbish answers? Not a chance. If you're not
already a WAR aficionado and you'd like to learn more about the
gameplay, this just might be the thread for you.
Awesome Quote from the Epic Thread:
"Okay, so like a kid at Christmas I'm slowly starting to obsess over this
game haha! Your responses have been extremely helpful and I went ahead
and pre-ordered..." - Exenisel
Do you have a favorite Epic Thread? Let us know!
14 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 95 in September! 2289 in 2008!
New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today [Thanks Phil Comeau for links and Real World News]
- World of Warcraft: Dragonblight Zone Gallery
- Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria Video - The Flaming Deeps
- EverQuest 2: Game Update 48 Veksar Video
- FusionFall: Exclusive Screenshots
- CABAL Online: Exclusive Gameplay Video
- CABAL Online: Exclusive Character Creation Video
- Warhammer Online: RvR 101 - What you need to know!
- Warhammer Online: RvR Scenario Guide - Khaine's Embrace
- Warhammer Online: Greenskin Public Quest - Chapter 1
- World of Warcraft: WotLK Beta Journal - It's Warrior Time!
- Age of Conan: Eiglophian Mountains Quest Guide
- Vanguard: Armour Project - Jute Stitched Armour
Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to
- Warhammer Online: Destruction vs. Order Forum War
- Warhammer Online: WAR-Torn - "A New Face"
- Star Trek Online: Meet Al Rivera
- Vanguard: Dalmarus' Chronicles - Death by Sparkles
- Editorial: Melee or Magic?
- World of Warcraft: Comparing WotLK to The Burning Crusade
- Diablo III: Leipzig Chat with Lead Designer Jay Wilson
- Top 5 Reasons Gamers are attracted to WAR
Real World News
Burglar wakes men with spice rub, sausage attack
Was arrested after police found his wallet at the scene, and hiding in a nearby field clad in boxer shorts. The Aristocrats!
United Kingdom to consider 'lawn ban'
Seniors everywhere shouting at legislators to 'Get Off My Lawn.'
Lose Weight by Eating While Naked
And now I'm no longer welcome at Denny's.
Thanks as always for visiting TenTonHammer.com.
- John "Boomjack" Hoskin and the Ten Ton Hammer Team