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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?).

We've completed importing our EQ2, LotRO, and Vanguard articles from our aging community sites to the new system, so you'll see some of our community site supported articles finally getting their due with new, more accurate counts. That said, Atlantica Online continues to impress, surging into the top ten.

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. Atlantica Online (UP 3)

Biggest Movers in the Top 20 today :

  1. Fiesta (UP 9 to no. 16)
  2. Rohan: Blood Feud (UP 8 to no. 14)
  3. Tabula Rasa (down 8 to no. 19)

Loading... Daily

Loading... on MMO gaming news like a baby boomer on Springsteen tickets.

The jist of one of today's news bits on game development fundraising difficulties is that venture capitalists trust game developers to produce okay games, they just don't generally trust them to have a business plan that makes sense. It's the same old "show me the money" on a grand scale. Of course we all want to make money, even the most ascetic creative type among us realizes that money symbolizes commitment, value, and acceptance. Michaelangelo (thanks Suljin! /blush) didn't paint the Sistine Chapel as part of a free art piece per day initiative.

But money is the fruit, it isn't necessarily the tree. Even though I could easily be misconstrued and misquoted, I'm going to argue that the single most powerful force in MMO game development isn't money, a top license, a rabid fanbase, a well-located studio, a talented development team, or an accomodating publisher. All of those things are important advantages (or sneaky disadvantages), of course, but aside from the will to create something fun, genuine, and new, nothing empowers development more than trust.

To ask players to spend real-time weeks and even months of their life means asking them to trust in where you as the game developer are taking them. Facing disappointment after media-hyped disappointment, gamers have steadily grown more jaded since the early days of MMO gaming, when we were wide open to be amazed and all things were new.

Still, even today, trust over time is the single biggest factor in building a quality reputation, and I'd argue that when Blizzard went head-to-head with SOE in November 2004, I believe WoW won over EQ2 not necessarily because WoW was a better MMORPG per se. WoW came out on top because Blizzard has never ever released a poor game and had a playerbase that genuinely believed in whatever Blizzard could come up with. In the meantime, SOE was still experiencing the pre-NGE Star Wars Galaxies hangover, and that after losing a lot of EverQuest's momentum to games like Dark Age of Camelot and the notoriously overlooked Final Fantasy XI.

You could argue that WAR in its turn faced a similar reputation hurdle in the wake of DAoC's Trials of Atlantis loot fiascos and there's little doubt that BioWare will have an easier time recruiting and building Star Wars: The Old Republic based solely on BioWare's reputation for leading RPGs. The moral of the story: in game development if not necessarily in life, where you've been matters much more than where you're going. Either that, or start with lots of fun single-player / multiplayer games unless you feel particularly lucky.

Reputation effects aren't limited to large studios or even games that could be considered a big market success. NetDevil picked up the highly sought after LEGO Universe license on the strength of creating and launching the original Jumpgate and Auto Assault - novel and creative in their own right, but hardly . Cryptic Studios secured its future with City of Heroes, and now they have two major licenses, a huge new studio space, and a publisher that fits their vision like a glove.

Comments, thoughts, questions? Share them in the Loading... forum, or email me directly if you're so inclined.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our WoW: Rant Forum

You know you're in the wrong pick-up group when...

all joined pick-up groups only to experience that sinking feeling
minutes into our adventure. We've all heard that little voice in our
heads that whimpers, "Why do I sense I'm going to lose more experience
than I gain tonight?" We've all ended up in groups that were
destined for disaster.

In this older (but recently revisited)
thread, Einhander kicked off a conversation about the subtle and
not-so-subtle clues that let you know you're in One of Those Groups.


Awesome Quote from the
Epic Thread

"My wife was tanking RFC yesterday with a couple of mages who refused to
let her pull. Their logic? Her arrows didn't do as much damage as their
fireballs. She tried to explain about aggro, and how that wasn't the
point. Course it was just RFC and they only wiped once anyway, but the
tanking mage is out there somewhere along with the melee hunter

- Zeep


Do you have a favorite Epic Thread? Let
us know

4 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 16 in January! 16 in 2009!

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




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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.