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

Have you ever found yourself having tons of fun playing a MMOG
only to have your enjoyment fizzle when you're about midway
through? Are you concerned that, as a casual player, you may never see
the level cap because you can't stick with any one game long enough?
You're not alone. Join the club in today's Loading...Stuck in the
Middle with You.


The Pulse

You vote with what you
view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
is the Ten Ton Pulse ( target="_blank">What
is The Pulse?).

are today's top 5 Pulse results over the
last week:

  1. World
    of Warcraft
  2. EverQuest
  3. Dungeons
    Dragons Online
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/43">EVE
  5. Lord
    of the Rings Online

movers today

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/34">City of
    Villains (UP 4 to #17)
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/287">Free
    Realms (UP 3 to #14)
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/88">Warhammer
    Online (UP 2 to #8)
Recent Releases

  • March

    - APB
  • April

    - href="http://www.cityofheroes.com/news/game_updates/issue_17/issue_17_overview.html?utm_source=COHemail&utm_medium=US&utm_campaign=banner">City
    of Heroes: Issue
  • style="font-weight: bold;">Spring 2010
    - Mytheon
  • TBA

    - Final
    Fantasy XIV

  • style="font-weight: bold;">Spring 2011
    - Star Wars:
    The Old


Loading... Daily

There's sure to be plenty of news and announcements coming your way
from the Game Developers' Conference 2010. Ten Ton Hammer will have all
the coverage you're looking for href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/GDC2010">right here.
So far, we've heard about 38 Studios' plan to hook up with publisher EA
for a game currently titled (in typical 38 Studios fashion) href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/gdc2010/projectmercury">Project
Mercury. And, as today's Epic Thread points out, you've also
been somewhat underwhelmed by the href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81874">announcement
that Bigpoint will release a browser-based Battlestar Galactica MMOG
this fall.

I'm sure there's much more MMOG goodness to come by way of GDC. We've
got a team of three on the scene in San Francisco, and I expect content
to begin rolling out any time now. Meanwhile, I'd like to talk about
something that came up in a conversation I had with my friend Danny
last week.

"What's the last MMOG you played for any length of time?" he asked me.

I pondered this for a moment. "I guess I've played a lot of them to
mid-level," I answered, "but the only MMOG I reached the level cap in
is EverQuest."

I can blame my lack of leetness on a couple of things. First off, I
wouldn't be involved with Ten Ton Hammer if I didn't love MMOGs, but
there's a paradox at work here--although I enjoy playing a variety of
games, the one-two punch of my work and home schedule means I rarely
have time to play any single one in the same dedicated (and bordering
on obsessive) way that I played EverQuest back in the day. That's just
a fact of life for me. But the second issue at play seems to have more
to do with a trend that Danny pointed out.

"My problem with MMOGs these days," he said, "is that the story runs
out about midway through them and the grind to endgame raiding begins."


I had to agree that Danny was definitely on to something. The more I
considered what he said, the more I had to concede that yes, I'd been
running out of steam in many MMOGs at about mid-level, and the reason
was that the game itself had run out of steam. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/254">Aion
is a good example. I enjoyed the game immensely at first, and I played
the hell out of it. It was sleek, polished, and the early levels
offered a decent story based on the game's compelling lore. Although
the story started to fizzle after level 10, I pushed on, wanting to see
more of the game's vast worlds, and eager to see what the game's open
PvP zone, the Abyss, was all about.

I reached level 25, finished the quest line that granted me access to
the Abyss, entered the new zone with enthusiasm and...started playing
less and less. Soon, I stopped feeling any real desire to log in. Had I
been actively involved with a busy guild and grouping with them
regularly I'm sure I would have continued longer than I did, but as a
casual player who soloed frequently I found myself done with Aion by
around level 26.

The issue with MMOGs is that they simply don't do enough to fuel the
ambitions of the casual player. End game players have reason to press
forward--they want the glory and uber gear that comes with raiding, and
they hope the game they're playing will be complete enough to
support these desires once they get there. But the casual player, who
groups occasionally and plays in shorter bursts (whether due to habit
or necessity), often finds that the fun of a MMOG bottoms out when the
story becomes thin and the quests become nothing more than a means to
an end.

You might say that there's little for a casual player to do once the
level cap is achieved, and you'd have a valid point; that is indeed how
most games are designed, endgame perks like Alternate
Advancement aside. But even the casual player wants to feel a sense of
accomplishment. I know from experience that there's nothing quite like
the feeling of reaching max level and being among the "big kids," even
if you're not intent on raiding, and I see no reason why a developer
wouldn't strive to keep me entertained and, indeed, hooked on his game
at least until I reach that point.

Personally, I'm tired of merely getting to the middle of every
game I choose to play for any length of time. I'd like to see the
endgame of a MMOG again someday. But first I need a developer
to recognize that casual players need love too, and not just in the
early levels of a game but straight through to the level cap and

Have you had the same experience with MMOGs running dry at the midway
point? How would you suggest developers address the problem? Talk it up
in the href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=50068">Loading...

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=6">Articles,
News & Events Discussion forum

Announces Battlestar Galactica MMOG at GDC 2010

If a browser-based Battlestar Galactica MMOG with
"tactical space combat and adventure" is just what you've always
wanted, then Bigpoint is poised to deliver this fall.

But wait a minute...what the frak? Some of you are saying that a
Battlestar Galactica MMOG is not, in fact, what you've always
wanted. You say you'd rather not see another
beloved IP MMOGized, and that this announcement lost you at
"browser-based." href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=50052">Join
the club and talk about one of the first announcements from
GDC that seems unable to impress you, or tell us why you think this
game just might be fun after all.


Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread

"Was this the MMO that Siffy was crowing about some time ago?
A browser-based BSG game? lol

- kitsunegirl


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


WoW: Elitist Group Addon Review


this day and age in World of Warcraft it's hard not to judge someone
based on their gear. It is becoming difficult to know if someone who
joins your raid is training their weapon skill or a seasoned fighter
who is going to pull through. Addons like Elitist Group say they're
helpful tools to help weed out the "trash," but is that just "elitist,"
or does it actually work? We take a look at it and share our honest
opinion in our latest addon review.


Global Agenda Robotics PvP Guide


We've all had it happen. We join a random PvP queue and get a bunch of
scrubs who don't know how to play. Fortunately, the Robotics class is
equipped with the tools of death and support that can carry a mediocre
team to victory. Nothing feels better than coming out on top of the
leaderboard as a Robotics, and we show you how to do it with a set of
PvP tips for each map type in Global Agenda!

Star Trek Online: Captain's Blog, GDC and STFs


Trek Online heads to the Golden State with a lot of questions to answer
(some from our very own readers). GDC, the Game Developers' Conference,
takes place this week, which means developers will
put on their best kit and smile big for the cameras. Keeping
with the Star Trek theme, I'm sure Zinc would like to phaser a few of
the wingnuts asking him questions (not us of course). This week we find
out why Medeor would struggle to handle the press from the other side
of the table, and we even talk about the game in The Captain's Blog.

Today's Hottest Articles and Guides

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2/preview/multiplayer_1stimpressions">StarCraft
    Multiplayer Beta Preview & First
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aion/interviews/update1.9">Aion
    Update 1.9 Interview with NCsoft
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gdc10/projectmercury">EA
    to Publish First 38 Studios Title href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gdc10/projectmercury">

  4. CCP
    Interview About EVE Online's Tyrannis Expansion
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/uimods/reviews/elitistgroup">WoW
    Elitist Group Addon Review href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/uimods/reviews/elitistgroup">
  6. An
    Exclusive Interview
    with Video Game Composer Matt
  7. WoW href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81817"> - To Buff, or
    to Nerf: That is the Question
  8. Aika
    Class Interview Series Part
    2 - The Cleric
  9. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/globalagenda/guides/robotics/pvp">Global
    Robotics PvP Guide href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/globalagenda/guides/robotics/pvp">

  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81864">Supplying
    Minerals Through Market Acquisitions In EVE Online title="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81864/"

for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer

- Karen "Shayalyn" Hertzberg
and the
Ten Ton Hammer team

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.