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The Pulse

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

Here's today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. Warhammer Online
  3. Age of Conan
  4. Lord of the Rings Online
  5. Stargate Worlds (UP 4)

Biggest Movers in the Top 20 today:

  1. EVE Online (down 4 to # 14)
  2. EverQuest 2 (UP 3 to #12)
  3. The Chronicles of Spellborn (UP 3 to # 8)

Loading... Daily

Loading... daily as absolutely awesome as a "Total Eclipse" duet with Jessica Mulligan and Paul Barnett could be... just imagine.

If you were hoping for another edition of Loading... devoted to fanning the flames of the MMOGULS scam, as sad as I am to disappoint. CME had their say and I had mine, and personally I feel cleansed of the nonsense and light as a bird. Check out the epic thread below if you'd like to continue the discussion. Others have defended my stance with far greater eloquence and logic than I could ever muster, so thanks for that. Let's return to relevance.

CES 2009 has come and gone without much of a blip on the MMO front. We were in attendance last year largely because Q1 2008 was an important part of the ramp-up for Pirates of the Burning Sea and Age of Conan. For those interested only in games and not so much in mammoth flatscreen TVs, the rest of the show did its level best to disenchant. To give you an example, the 2008 "Game Zone" was a 50x50 foot taped-off section of the show floor dedicated to marginally effective gaming hardware.

However, SOE was amply represented and even staged its annual poker party, which was a lot of fun last year (especially if you like the thought of winning real prizes without to gambling real money). 2009 and 2010 are poised to be very significant years in the history of the developer / publisher, with Free Realms, The Agency, and DC Universe Online entering the starting blocks. I didn't mention more fundamentally similar digital TCGs or station cash... on purpose.

The most meaty piece of CES 2009 coverage I could find was the DC Universe dev walkthrough over at Gametrailers, which shows a littls of the character creation system and the entirely cool acrobat superhero ability. That everyone remembers City of Heroes for its character creation and customization system goes almost without saying, so it's good to see that SOE understands the hurdle they face even before players actually enter the game.

Though the DCUO character models and customizations are impressive, I do have to agree with the commenters that the animations look stuttery, hinged, wooden with console-esque timing reminiscent of an NES side-scroller. At this point, Champions Online's halting animations (i.e. where characters halt midway through the follow-through on, say, a punch, striking in a classic comic book frame pose) capture the feel of the genre much better.

One thing The Agency, DCUO, and Champions Online have in common is that each of these games are being developed concurrently for a console (PS3 for The Agency and DCUO, X360 for Champions Online). Funcom is apparantly still on track to bring Age of Conan to the Xbox 360, and Codemasters has even talked of the suitability of Jumpgate Evolution for a console, though developer NetDevil currently has no plans on that front that we know of. One thing is for certain: 2009 will tell us whether a console MMO can impress.

To me, consoles are attractive to developers for one reason and one reason only: with a console MMO you don't have to compete directly with WoW . This may be the last wide-open frontier for the MMORPG category, which has mysteriously grown fat (if lopsidedly so) in recent years from cannibalizing itself. We could continue the long-running debate the social bastardization of MMOs as the move probably entails voice instead of text chat or (more interesting to me) how you build a large and long-haul community with a console, where the transition between in-game and out-of-game Internet communities is stuttery at best. Loading... Live episode 3, recorded last night, goes deeper into that discussion and console MMOs in general, so wait for it. I personally would miss watching muted TV as I game, at least until someone figures out a PiP-friendly UI.

Will console-friendly MMORPGs become significant? Will you buy a gamepad to play your next MMO? And for the PC-committed types, will you embrace the population benefits that come from share your server with consolers, or should we push for separate but equal? Your comments are welcome in the Loading... forum, or email me directly if you like.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our Loading... Forum

Loading... The Firebrand Approach

Loading... stirred up a heap of controversy on Monday and Tuesday,
and now the forum posts that have followed in its wake weave a tale of
intrigue. But first things first. For those of you who may have missed
Loading..., let me get you up to speed:

First Ethec voiced his skepticism
over what looked like a multi-level marketing scheme connected to
Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment. That sparked a thread (and a heapload
of Stargate Worlds fan hatred aimed at Ten Ton Hammer) on the Stargate
Worlds forums in which SGW community manager, tkksnow, issued a statement claiming that there is "no contractual relationship" between CME and MMOGULS, the MLM company named in Monday's Loading....

Ethec announced CME's official statement on Tuesday,
and then addressed accusations that Ten Ton Hammer was taking a cheap
shot at CME. This brought both Stargate fans and Ten Ton Hammer fans
together to clash in our forum. And this is where it gets fun. There
were posts loaded with venom, and posts that added to the intrigue, and posts ported over from the SGW official forum so they "wouldn't get deleted." It's a battle between the faithful and the skeptical...and everyone in between.

Has the plot thickened? You'll have to judge for yourself. For now, we're taking CME at their word.


Awesome Quote from the
Epic Thread

"Are you really strapped into blinders so tightly that you don't see
that there is a problem? Fact: employees were not paid on time. Fact:
CME employees (plural) promised the beta keys. This isn't a CME bashing
expedition, but you are turning it into one.

I applaud your loyalty to the game or the studio or perhaps both, but
to pretend that we shouldn't discuss a scam that includes their company
name and intellectual property rights is absurd. If someone were out
there perpetrating a MLM scam with our company name on it I would hope
that somebody here would jump and let the world know not to be harmed
by it.

- Boomjack


Do you have a favorite Epic Thread? Let
us know

7 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 53 in January! 53 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. Review of Wizard101
  2. Tabula Rasa: The Fate of a Disposable Game
  3. Geeked: "Access Denied"
  4. Ten Ton Turnip: Issue #4 - Poking Fun At Everyone
  5. Review of Perfect World International: The Lost Empire
  6. MMOs, the Final Frontier: Star Trek Online vs. Jumpgate Evolution
  7. Loading... Live Episode #2: "Being Heard"
  8. Ten Ton Hammer's MMO Gaming Predictions for 2009 - Part 2
  9. Preview of Lunia
  10. Top Ten Free-to-Play Games: Investment Opportunities for Developers

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 The Chronicles of Spellborn 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.