Welcome to the 1,208th edition of Loading...

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

Today's Loading... looks at Modern Warfare 2 and asks these questions: have first-person shooters become the nexus of cooperative gameplay, and why does every recently released RPG (MMO or otherwise) lack co-op gameplay until the highest level, if at all? That and two new key giveaways in today's Loading... The Uncooperative RPG.

The Pulse

You vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
result is the Ten Ton Pulse ( href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/thepulse/" target="_blank">What
is The Pulse?).

Here's today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. target="_blank">World of Warcraft
  2. Dungeons
    & Dragons Online
    (UP 1)
  3. EverQuest 2 (down 1)
  4. Age of
  5. Aion (UP 1)

Biggest movers over the past week:

  1. Diablo 3 (UP 39 to #19)
  2. Lord of the Rings Online (down 6 to #9)
  3. DragonAge: Origins (UP 5 to #7)
Recent Releases

Loading... Daily

I have a confession to make, I've cheated on MMORPGs for the past week. I'll always come home to MMOs, of course, because not-so-massively multiplayer games, however exquisitely crafted, always come to a premature end or begin feeling lonesome. But games like Torchlight, Borderlands, Uncharted 2, DragonAge: Origins, and Modern Warfare 2 are just too good to pass up, and it's fun to try and blind my critic's gimlet eye and enjoy games on their own terms. Playing a bunch of games in rapid succession offers a certain amount of perspective, and since we're all gamers here I hope you won't mind me asking this genre-ambivalent question: have first-person shooters become the nexus of cooperative gameplay, and why does every recently released RPG, MMO or otherwise, lack co-op gameplay until the highest level (if at all)?

Having just finished the single-player campaign of MW2 last night, I wasn't disappointed with the heavily scripted nature of the game. If there's one lesson that every single-player game has learned since Gears of War, it's that a gaming-on-rails experience delivers cinematic entertainment that you just can't find in any other game. The game's most controversial scene, an stomach-churning Tarantino-esque airport massacre, failed to ruffle me simply because of how it turned out in the end, and if you haven't played it I'm not going to be the spoiler, for once. If anything, you were left thinking of what you'd do as a deep cover agent, but the effect would have been amplified had the game story established why you needed to be where you were in the first place. The vérité style was also sometimes muted by inopportune deaths, i.e. taking a comedic header into a fencepost through the string-section tremelo of a climatic snowmobile jump, but death is probably the one intransigent boundary that separates games-on-rails from movies.

As for the rest of the game, it was over almost before I knew it. Wonder of wonders, I even had to think once instead of just react when I realized that shooting out a pair of spotlights prevented my being machinegunned into giblets. I did this all on my own, I'm proud to say, none of the ever-present audio cues tipped me off (though I maintain that automagically delicious audio cues are something more fast-paced MMOs could do a better job with, in general).

But even as World of Warcraft, with diminishing raid sizes and an increasingly cliquish, bring-your-own-friends community, continues to become more multiplayer than MMO, the persistent qualities and co-operative nature of MMORPGs continues to sneak its way into FPS gaming. Continuing a trend that Left 4 Dead began, the biggest secret of Borderlands is that it's roughly fifteen times as fun playing as a co-op team, even allowing split-screen, and the talent tree is ripped straight from the RPG. MW2 multiplayer continues to use ranks and unlockables, and Spec Ops provides co-operative challenges that are a lot more compelling for players like me than an endless cycle of respawns occasioned by competitive play.

As I continue to struggle with the highly unintuitive, practially TBS-ish stop-and-start DragonAge: Origins (PC) gameplay and tactics system (and inability to queue actions), I really wish BioWare would have adopted a co-op feature. There are plenty of complications, of course - shared inventory and decision-making, for starters. But shared decision making, for one, is a problems they'll eventually have to solve for Star Wars: The Old Republic. As great as the story of DA:O is, it would be even more fun if shared among friends. Likewise for Torchlight, but we'll give Runic Games a pass since they already have a Torchlight MMO in the works.

So why is it that FPSs are suddenly doing a better job with co-op gameplay than RPGs? Is dynamic storytelling too complex to be shared among friends, and how does this bode for Star Wars: The Old Republic? Share your thoughts right here in
the Loading

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our PC & Console Games (Non-MMO) Forum

No Diablo III  for 2010 <cries>

found a story on IGN's site claiming that the highly anticipated Diablo
III probably wouldn't hit store shelves in 2010.  And with that,
the mourning commenced. Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!

Are you waiting on Diablo III? Sad to hear that you likely won't get your hands on the game any time soon? Join the club.

Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread

"Time to log off of the internet for 6 months or so."

- Ralsu

Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell

6 new Ten Ton Hammer MMOG
features today! 49 in November! 3,021

New Features & Guides Today at Ten Ton

  • Neverland Online Novice Pack Giveaway
    The brightly colored browser-based MMORPG Neverland Online features hundreds of pets, over 200 million weapons (though we haven't confirmed their numbers!), flight, and plenty of strategy-driven enjoyment. To kick off the second phase of open beta testing for Neverland Online, Oak Pacific Interactive and Ten Ton Hammer are teaming up to give away 2000 Novice Packs from November 13-27. Valued at $12 USD, each Novice Pack contains items that help players and in-game pets level up faster.
  • 15 New Screenshots from EverQuest 2: Sentinel's Fate
    With the pre-orders for EverQuest 2: Sentinel's Fate starting today Sony Online Entertainment sent us a few images from the latest expansion to the world of Norrath. The new images show the content for the returning lands of Odus and some of the impressive visuals the expansion will add to the game.
  • Knights of Dream City Trial Giveaway
    Knights of Dream City is a unique indy MMO experience featuring time travel, player colonies, and plenty of missions, classes, and professions, and you can try it out with a key from Ten Ton Hammer!

  • Champions Online - Celestial Power Set Guide href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aion/guides/classes/rangerstigmas">
    Now that Celestial power set is available for every player, your friends at Ten Ton Hammer are pleased to provide a guide to this new set. For all the healing-themed goodness, read on!

  • World of Warcraft: Druid Guide Revamp

    Our Druid Guide, for those tree loving Druids in World of Warcraft, is better than ever. We've got a ton of updates to make the guide as fresh as possible and easier to navigate than ever. Our Druid guide is a one stop resource for both new and seasoned Druids. We've got the basics (what's the best profession, what race to choose, etc.), the basics to combat, and an entirely new layout.
  • Aion Cooking Guide 1-99
    Food buffs in Aion are wonderful.  So subtle in the effects, yet so obvious in the buff icons when targeting someone well fed.  Do you have your own buffs to tell people in the abyss that you're prepared for the worst?  Join the ranks of the gourmet chefs in Aion as we gear you up for frying more than just your enemies!

Today's Hottest Content

  1. Neverland Online Novice Pack Giveaway
  2. Dragon

    - PC Version Review
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rom/editorials/first_impressions">Runes
    of Magic
    - First Impressions
  4. 15 New Screenshots from EverQuest 2: Sentinel's Fate
  5. In-Depth LotRO:
    Siege of
    Q&A with Jeffrey Steefel
  6. World of Warcraft: Druid Guide Revamp
  7. Allods
    Key Giveaway
  8. StarCraft

    - A Look at What's New in the StarCraft Universe
  9. The
    Sequel - A Look at Diablo
  10. Aion Cooking Guide 1-99

Thanks as always for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer

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

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Torchlight 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.