Welcome to the 1,023rd Edition of Loading...

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The Pulse

First, you vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Hammer Pulse (What is Pulse?). Here's the top 5 MMORPGs today:

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

Here are the biggest movers in the Top 20 today:

  1. Lineage (UP 12 to #15)
  2. Star Trek Online (UP 7 to #15)
  3. Star Wars: The Old Republic (UP 6 to #12)

Loading... Daily

Loading... more fun than a celebrity deathmatch between Richard Simmons and, well, anyone.

Every time I write more than a sentence about World of Warcraft or Warhammer Online, I get at least five emails saying that game X is the most polished, most complete, best MMO experience out there and I should write about it. This particular column is especially for the authors of those emails.

Seeing the latest on City of Heroes has put me in a nostalgic mood. The franchise that phallic-minded folks are prone to abbreviate CoX was the fifth MMO I played, after my sometime girlfriend left me for a big swinging CoX account. I tried not to feel inadequate.

City of Heroes is one member of the five-year club not content to live in its past, and I spent all day Tuesday learning about the franchise's future. From a skeleton crew at Cryptic to a talent-infused live team of over 30 devs at NCSoft, City of Heroes is growing as newer and far more hyped MMOs are dying. And NCSoft is giving the game its due. More on that tomorrow when the embargo drops.

Older MMOs are no doubt harder to get into. During the hands-on period for City of Heroes, I spent a full minute trying to figure out how to invert the mouse - the escape key doesn't bring up the game options like in just about every other 3D game known to man. Instead, you click Menu on the game's crowded interface. It's one of those small things that a long time player and developer would never notice that nonetheless frustrates the crap out of new players.

Older MMOs made no effort whatsoever to disguise the grind, either. Today's MMOs attempt to offer two units of reward for one unit of effort (achievements, titles, public quests, randomly awesome loot from unnamed mobs - all of these are attempts to double up the carrot on a stick), for older games it was straight xp and maybe a quest if you're lucky.

Yet for all that sweat equity - for the hours spent camping mobs, recovering your corpse, waiting for the boat, each and every time sink - if you stuck with the game and looked for it, you were rewarded with something of inestimable value: a community that cared about you beyond your level and equipment. My in-game community made my last day in EverQuest one of my saddest ever. By the same token, my last day in EverQuest 2 (playing with any seriousness) was a happy one, such was the snarling, drama-wracked state of my server community in that game. I still keep in occasional contact with friends from both games, but only one left me feeling a little homesick.

What do you think - is it more gratifying to sweat your way through an older MMO with an established community or fly through the first sixty levels of an MMO which has no real spontaneous sense of community to speak of? Share your thoughts in the Loading... forum, or feel free to email me.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our WoW News Discussion Forum

Can WoW be Used as a Learning Tool?

the Atari console turned my baby brother into a video game junkie for
life, people warned my mother that countless games of Space Invaders
and Pitfall would diminish his tender young brain and distract him from
his academic goals. (The kid was, like, 5 years old...but I digress.)
My mother always countered with, "Playing video games builds hand-eye

Recently, a University of Wisconsin study
found that playing World of Warcraft can encourage scientific thinking.
And now, as our WoW writer, Martuk, pointed out in this news thread,
Microsoft has set out to prove that gaming won't really rot your brain (Hulu has that covered) and, quite the contrary, it could make you smarter.

"Microsoft has put forth $1.5 million dollars in a joint venture with
New York University and a number of other colleges to form The Games
and Learning Institute," Martuk writes. "The goal of this little business venture is to
find out if video games can draw students into science and math and
maybe be used as a learning tool."

has WoW taught you? Have you learned teamwork, critical thinking
skills, how to sex up the Night Elf dancing nekkid in town? Discuss!


Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread

do know Hospitals encourage their surgeons to play console games
because it helps their hand eye coordination and that helps when they
perform complicated surgeries using modern high tech equipment.

- AngryBeaver

"That is true. I wrote a report about that last year. They actually did
a study which showed doctors that played games were 37% more
effective in surgery. That 37% meant they made less mistakes. So if I
am ever under the knife guys, make sure the man holding it is a gamer

- Martuk


Do you have a favorite Epic Thread? Let
us know

6 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 114 in February! 250 in 2009!

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






Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to:

  1. Nostale
  2. Jumpgate Evolution: Hands-on Report - In the Eyes of a Veteran
  3. Darkfall: Hands-on Report - The Rise of the Ninja (Looter)
  4. The Comic Book Guy: Are Pirate MMOGs in Davy Jones' Locker?
  5. Geeked: "Mainstream"
  6. Lineage: Re-entering the West
  7. Atlas Online: Unveiling Neo Steam
  8. Loading... Live Episode 5 - NY ComicCon Wrap-up
  9. Premium Content: NY ComicCon Panel Downloads (Video and mp3)
  10. Age of Conan: Game Director Craig Morrison

Real World News

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

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

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our EverQuest II Game Page.

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.