Welcome to the 1,017th Edition of Loading...

If you aren't reading this in your e-mail, you could be. Sign up! Are you looking for gaming news? Look no further for all of the headlines. General industry news and Ten Ton Hammer excusives are all yours as part of Ten Ton Hammer's RSS Feed . Enjoy!

The Pulse

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. Lord of the Rings Online
  4. Age of Conan
  5. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

Biggest Movers in the Top 20 today :

  1. Lego Universe (UP 41 to #17)
  2. Anarchy Online (UP 23 to #15)
  3. Star Trek Online (down 3 to #18)

Loading... Daily

Loading... like Weird Science, without the hot fake woman.

One thing that I think we can all agree on is that the MMO market, long criticized as either oversaturated or fundamentally stuck in a fantasy rut, has been in a state of flux ever since WoW made it big. Console crossovers, experiments in theme, twitchier combat, sandbox gaming, and even "non-violent" MMOs were around before WoW, but next to no one took these things seriously (and I'm not suggesting that anyone takes a non-violent MMO seriously, still) until WoW grew the online gaming population exponentially.

Along with the ridiculous influx of venture capital and bad ideas in the last few years came a new interest from the scientific community, which is on the whole still struggling to figure out how to measure and keep pace with player trends. On average, we probably get a request each week from an academic researcher to post a poll in our forums. After a few early experiments, we decided to set policy against these polls and threads even though we're generally willing to help, because 1) our forums or any forums (and I do love our forums) are probably not the best way to get objective data of any sort, and 2) I'm paranoid that some of this might just be thinly veiled market research. And if that's the case, we all deserve a cut of their R&D budget.

So how can sociologists gather good data from MMO gamers? I'm not a scientist, but maybe meeting gamers in person and taking anonymity out of the equation would help. Or researchers could take a page from the nonexistent game developers handbook and study what gamers are doing rather than what their saying.

As in this example. RadarX posted yesterday that researchers will analyze over 60 terabytes of EQ2 server logs from roughly 3,000 players. That's about 20 gigs of log data per player, which can't be right, but it is, going by their numbers. So let's have some fun with the numbers. Assuming there's not other data mixed in - market price fluctuations, for example - each player generates more characters than appear in the Bible and Tolstoy's War and Peace put together... 2,000 times over. The KJV Bible has 788,280 words, the English version of War & Peace has about 560,000 words, while at about 100,000 words per megabyte each player generates about 2 billion words in log files over an unspecified time period - a little over four years if we go back to the launch of EverQuest 2.

So the first lesson of scientific gamer metrics: it makes for fun trivia. and lots and lots of processor time sorting out good results. And, maybe just maybe, SOE is logging a bit more than they need to per player. If you wonder why your CSR petition takes days to answer, think on these numbers.

In any case, observation can only look one way: backward, and preferences in MMO gaming continues to change at a blistering pace depending on who's developing what. I'm glad for the social science's interest in MMO gaming - they're doing a good job of documenting our past attitudes and that's interesting and important. The future is still anyone's guess, though I think there's definitely an opportunity for these scientists to be of benefit to MMO developers, employers (who want to improve their work-from-home programs), and even the physically disabled and housebound, perhaps by showing why some MMOs are better than others at letting players connect, interact, and become real-life friends through online contact only.

Breaking news and Ten Ton Hammer has the scoop - LEGO Universe delayed. More when we know more.

Your scientific comments and questions are always mostly welcome in the Loading... forum, or feel free to email me.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our Articles, News and Events Forum

Coyote Humor: The Enterprise Has Only One Captain

If it has somehow escaped your attention that Coyote, Ten Ton
Hammer's resident humorist, has returned with a new column, It's All Geek to Me,
today's Epic Thread offers you a shot at comedic redemption. Just one
day before Valentine's Day, Coyote used his column to profess his true
feelings for the beloved captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise, the smarmy
and impetuous James Tiberius Kirk.

Of course, I know that Coyote was utterly wrong
when he pronounced Kirk the finest to ever ride the captain's chair.
The Enterprise's true captain sailed its 24th century incarnation, the
NCC-1701-D...and that man is, irrefutably, Jean Luc Picard.

Although I know I'm right and Picard was the finest Enterprise captain evah,
I bid you to drop by our discussion and name your favorite
captain. We promise not to laugh if you're a Janeway or an
Archer fan. (Much.) I mean, I may like 'em bald and hard to get, but
I'm willing to let you believe that your opinion is equally valid.



Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread


I'd totally do Kirk just because he's gotta be a good lay, but I lust after Picard's accent and likely drug-induced sexuality.

- Savanja


Do you have a favorite Epic Thread? Let
us know

8 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 74 in February! 210 in 2009!

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

NYC ComicCon 2009





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

  1. NYC ComicCon 2009
  2. 38 Studios Panel Video
  3. Champions Online Panel with Bill Roper, Darren Watts, John Layman
  4. Star Trek Online Panel with Craig Zinkievich
  5. Gatheryn: Game Studio Director Isa Stamos
  6. Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn
  7. Top 10 Free-to-Play Games: Battle for the Children
  8. Hello Kitty Online: Exclusive Valentine's Day Interview
  9. Geeked: "Dedication"
  10. FusionFall Panel: Launch and FF's Future

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.