Welcome to the 1,132nd Edition of Loading...

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

Today CCP released a video titled "The Butterfly Effect" - noting how small actions often lead to big things for players of MMORPGs such as EVE Online. The interconnectedness of MMOs is one of the most compelling reasons to play, and I'll share my own "butterfly effect" story in hopes that you'll share yours too in today's Loading... The Butterfly Effect.

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The Pulse

You vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Pulse (What is The Pulse?).

Here's today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. Aion (UP 7)
  3. EverQuest 2 (down 3)
  4. Champions Online (UP 3 to #7)
  5. EVE Online (UP 7)

Biggest Movers this month :

  1. EverQuest (UP 13 to #14)
  2. Star Wars: The Old Republic (down 4 to #8)
  3. Lineage 2 (down 3 to #18)
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The excellent interviews from Comic Con continue to trickle in. Not to take away from these good eggs (scroll down to see what we have for SWTOR and City of Heroes), but it was a an non-SDCC video today that got me to thinking. CCP is debuting their EVE Online Butterfly Effect video today, which shows how small actions in the best MMORPGs have a way of catching individual players up into bigger things . And by the "best MMORPGs" I mean the ones that directly or indirectly encourage you to make the game a social experience, not to mention facilitate interaction with a good assortment of player organization and communication tools.

I'll always argue that EVE does a better job of facilitating the social side of the game than any other MMO, and for one reason only: it drops every newbie into a new player corporation. You can't not be in a guild in EVE Online. Since it's a single shard game with nearly six years under its belt, there are always a few veterans hanging out to answer your questions. That is, provided you make a conscientious effort to figure out basic answers for yourself by playing the tutorial, googling the forums and websites as appropriate, and keeping an eye on the new player corp chat so that you're not asking questions someone else just asked. EVE voice is the best - or at least the most massive - implementation of voicechat I've ever encountered. And the level of player organization (using in-game or more impervious out-of-game unofficial tools) is hard to believe.

It takes that kind of scale and focus to deliver a truly massive experience, and that's perhaps why EVE continues to grow and improve as it ages. That massive experience leads to the kind of personalized butterfly effects that become the stories we tell our friends about that one night of EQ2 raiding where everything went horribly, comically wrong, or when a pick-up group led to some long-term guild associations and friendships.

There's a hunger among media types and publicists and publicity-oriented developers - at least those that were or are (closet) hardcore gamers - that find themselves on the more unpleasant side of some veil, a veil that prevents us from expressing much of our passion about games or committing to games for fear of becoming attached or biased or fanboyish. For my part, I use my scanty vacation time each year to search out some of that old sense of MMO bonhomie at places like GenCon or The Syndicate's annual conference. Knowing that it's still there makes it easier to put in the long hours working on projects that may or may not bear fruit, working for less pay than we might make in other facets of journalism or media, because our work with community sites and news might in some small way perpetuate that old-timey sense of community.

My own butterfly effect story is one of almost epic proportions and dates back to many an evening in late 1999 peering jealously over mounds of study notesat a college roommate that played EverQuest entirely too much. I vowed not to start until Spring semester finals were over and kept my promise, but by the beginning of the summer I was hooked. Fast forward to a chilly gray November evening, disappointed with a romance that was over before it began, feeling especially far from home and finding a copy of EverQuest 2 on the shelves of a Muncie, Indiana Walmart. A few days later I found myself jawing and joking in a pickup group with one Boomjack, who told me about a site called Ten Ton Hammer that he and a few friends were starting up. I wrote for their EverQuest 2 site a bit, then over the course of four and a half years my responsibilities grew as my gaming time unfortunately shrank, and suddenly I find myself on the executive level of one of North America's premier MMO gaming networks.

I have a feeling that many of you have a butterfly effect story that maybe didn't lead to a plumb job and an untold wealth of gaming experience, but is no less profound and significant. Why not share it in the Loading... forum, or send it my way via email?

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our Articles, News & Events Discussion

Bait and Switch? Ethics and Values in MMO Marketing

Ethec on Ethics!

In an article released to Ten Ton Hammer premium members last week (and
to the general public yesterday), Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle tackled some
tough issues related to MMOG marketing tactics. He sought feedback from
our premium community to find out what gripes they have about game
marketing and then confronted industry insiders for their input on
tough questions.

Ethec asks, "Has word-of-mouth made traditional PR and marketing obsolete, or worse:
prone to deceit just to get games noticed? Is pre-launch hype important
for a game with a potential ten-year (or even longer) lifespan, and if
so, is there such a thing as too much hype? Why is marketing used to
gather feedback for features that aren't necessarily 'final,' and
what's with the 'box promises' that aren't made good at launch?"

thread for this article is generating some great discussion, and we
hope to keep it going. What are you concerned about? What's your
opinion? Make yourself heard!

Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

of the problems ascribed to MMO PR operations are not based in a
willful attempt at deception, which would be an ethical question, but
are more a product of group-think with some ostrich syndrome thrown in
for good measure.

"The primary problem I've seen in MMO markets
is that perception tends to trump fact. MMO developers fall into this
trap as well as fans, blinding themselves to 'what is'  in favor
of 'what's gonna be.'  It's not malicious, but it is fairly
short-sighted and, in my opinion, stupid.

- Koshira

Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell us!

7 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 84 in July! 849 in 2009!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today

  • City of Heroes: Power Spectrum and Going Rogue Interview from Comic-Con '09
    If there’s ever a place to talk about super hero themed MMOs, the San Diego Comic-Con would be it. The biggest and brightest of all the “comic book” shows, Comic-Con mixes the geek with the strange with the celebrity, blends it together, and shoots out pure awesome. It was at this star-studded event that Ten Ton Hammer sat down with City of Heroes developers Matt Miller and Joe Morrissey to talk about Issue 16: Power Spectrum and their upcoming expansion, City of Heroes: Going Rogue.
  • Champions Online: Nemesis and Omega Interview with Bill Roper
    Ever since our Champions Online community site went live, the superhumans otherwise known as the Ten Ton Hammer staff have been diligently putting together an excellent collection of new player guides, but we also understand that many potential players are interested in hearing more about what type of high end content the game will feature. With that in mind, we recently sat down with Bill Roper to discuss what types of challenges await players with the Nemesis and Omega systems.
  • World of Warcraft: The Ultimate Guide to Ulduar's Bosses: Razorscale
    Next on the chopping block for our World of Warcraft writing team is Razorscale. This optional boss found near the beginning of the raid zone can be a fun fight, but can also be dangerous if you're not prepared. So, come prepared, and join us for our Razorscale Strategy, Video, Loot and Achievements Guide.
  • Aion Class Preview - The Templar
    If you're looking for the defensive juggernaut in Aion, look no further than the Templar. This class is built to tank and outlast many enemies through sheer defensive toughness. This week we take a look at the Templar and all the defensive benefits you can use to take a spanking and keep on tanking.
  • World of Warcraft Class Guides - Rogue Finishers
    If your sinister strike key is about to fall off the keyboard, fear not! We have another button or two that deserve to be pressed to use those not-so-hard earned combo points. Your Rogue finishers are potent, but should not be mashed randomly. Learn your priorities when it comes to those 5 red orbs, and top those DPS charts with these tips from Stow at Ten Ton Hammer!
  • EVE Online: The Butterfly Effect Video
    EVE Online is a game of politics, strategy, covert ops, and underhanded deals. Conflicts can start over things as trivial as a miscalculated feint or incorrect maneuver. The developers at CCP delve into this idea even further with their latest video - dubbed Butterfly Effect - and explore just how a player might become involved in a war that launches a thousand warships.
  • WolfTeam Releases Details on Destruction Mode
    This week the team at WolfTeam decided to enlighten us to one of their game modes called, Destruction. If you've played Counter Strike, you may be familiar with a few of the elements. In one scenario, players on one team must plant a bomb and defend it, while the other attempts to defuse it. Of course, one team can also eliminate the other for victory, but there are a few more elements to WolfTeam's Destruction mode.

Hottest Content:

  1. City of Heroes: Power Spectrum and Going Rogue Interview from Comic-Con '09
  2. Champions Online: Nemesis and Omega Interview with Bill Roper
  3. DC Universe Online Hands-On PvP Preview from Comic-Con '09
  4. Bait and Switch? Ethics & Values in MMO Marketing
  5. Star Wars: The Old Republic Comic-Con Interview - Exploring the Expanded Universe
  6. Picking Up Cool Perks in Champions Online
  7. World of Warcraft: The Ultimate Guide to Ulduar's Bosses: Razorscale
  8. Aion Class Interview - The Sorceror
  9. Aion: PvP Q&A with Brian Knox
  10. World of Warcraft - Current State of End Game Raiding

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 EVE Online 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.