Welcome to the 1,154th edition of Loading...

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

What's at the heart of the game-jumping common among MMO
gamers these days? Karen "Shayalyn" Hertzberg stands in for today's
Loading... and shares her perspective on why times such as these remind
her of the restlessness of many gamers during EverQuest's heyday. Are
gamers only in it to win it, or does the dream of an online community
still survive? Read on with Loading...  When More is Not
Enough.

width="100%">

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. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/41"
    target="_blank">World of Warcraft
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/860">Champions
    Online 
  3. EverQuest
    2
     
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/254">Aion 
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/115">Age of
    Conan

Biggest Movers today :

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2216"
    target="_blank">DUST
    514
    (UP 108 to #17)
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1012">CrimeCraft
    (UP 18 to #16)
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2213"
    target="_blank">Runes
    of Magic
    (UP 4 to #11)
Recent
MMO Releases

Important
Dates

Upcoming
Releases

Loading... Daily

(Thanks much to Karen "Shayalyn" Hertzberg for stepping in on Loading
today!)

Recent studies on href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199409/addiction-whole-new-view">addiction show
that all animals--from birds to rodents to reptiles to humans--share
the same pleasure receptors within their brains. One conclusion is that
we’re all hardwired to seek more of the same when it comes to those
things that “reward” us with a pleasurable experience.

But,
conversely, we also seem to be hardwired to grow weary of the same ol’
same. I don’t have links to any scientific studies to bear this out,
but we humans know it to be true. We see plenty examples of how the
experiences that once brought us pleasure suddenly don’t seem as
fulfilling as they were when they were new: drunks can become junkies,
once-loyal spouses can become philanderers, and people with a sweet
tooth can become compulsive overeaters.

You don’t have to be
an addict to understand the basic human need for novelty; we gamers
know it all too well. Many, if not most of us, talk fondly of our first
MMO--it was our first high, so to speak. And while it was fun while it
lasted, we’ve been on the prowl for something to recreate that feeling
of newness, of discovering this pleasurable activity for the first
time, ever since.

Way back in the heyday of my EverQuest years
there was a segment of my guild’s population we referred to as The Game
Jumpers. We gave them their own forum on our discussion board, and we
grew accustomed to their comings and goings. When one or more of these
guys vanished from EverQuest for a while, we knew it was because they
were out there experimenting with new MMOGs. And their stories always
played out the same. Game Hoppers X, Y and Z would leave for the
uncharted territory of the latest and greatest new game. Unless the
game completely sucked from the word go (and some of them, of course,
did), they would post glowing reports to the forum trying to woo us to
their new land. But The Game Hoppers always ended up back with the rest
of the guild in EverQuest before long, muttering about how that Big
Flashy New Game showed promise initially, but in the end just didn’t
deliver the excitement they were craving. They blamed it on certain
mechanics or a general lack of substance.

It would be unfair to
say that the games since the days of EverQuest and Ultima Online have
lacked substance, though. In many ways, they delivered exactly what
gamers said they wanted--things like more solo-friendly content and
less downtime. And the MMOGs since EQ have introduced mechanics and
tools that we simply don’t want to live without these days.

So,
why is it that developers are delivering more and more with each new
MMOG launched, and yet gamers seem less and less satisfied with them?
One quick spin around the Ten Ton Hammer forums reading comments is all
it takes for me to determine that the gamers of 2009 are a restless
lot. We watch intensely as a game ramps up for launch, and we hang our
hopes on a promise that this game could be The One--exactly the game
we’ve been looking for since we left that one aging game that converted
us to MMO gamers in the first place.

I’ll venture my guess.
MMOGs have evolved as they’ve become more mainstream to meet the
demands of gamers who have limited time to play and yet still want to
accomplish something each time they do. It’s a necessary evolution, and
yet it’s led us away from the one thing that has given games like EQ
and UO longevity--community.

Let’s face it, at the core of
every MMOG is one basic principal: repeat this action--whether it be
questing or killing monsters or cranking out crafted items--and you’ll
get a reward. It’s the same principal underlying the mechanics of
pleasure--do this (eat chocolate, smoke a joint, drink a beer) and
you’ll feel good for a while. But over time, pleasure-seeking alone
only leads to ennui. You can push the same pleasure buttons over and
over, and yet enjoy the experience less and less.

None of us
wants to return to the dark ages of MMOGs where looking for a group
meant running around with an LFG tag over your head and hawking
yourself and your skills in /ooc. Few of us would be able to play a
MMOG that forced grouping or expected us to endure marathon gaming
sessions in order to accomplish anything. An EQ redo is not the answer
to the restlessness within the MMOG community--you only need to look to
solo- and casual-friendly World of Warcraft and its 12 million
subscribers to know that’s true--but building community is. The next
big game for you, and for everyone else, is clearly going to be the
game in which you can engage in those pleasure-inducing activities
repeatedly and yet avoid the inevitable boredom because you’re among
friends.

How can developers bring the massively back to
massively multi-player online games? How do you build community around
an innately repetitive game to make that repetition seem much more fun?
I don’t pretend to have the answers. Maybe you do. Share your thoughts
and ideas in our Loading... forum.


Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=589">Aion:
General Discussion Forum

href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=45786">Aion
Open Beta Announced!

Our
editors are deft and quick when it comes to publishing news as it
breaks, but every now and then our readers and community members are so
laser-focused on a game that they beat us to the punch. In this case,
new member purplehayes found evidence of open beta and headstart dates
for Aion on Twitter. Our own volunteer Aion Guru, Sepharious, confirmed
it, and...we're off!

Are you ready for Aion's open beta, headstart and launch? Want to talk
about it with other excited gamers? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=45786">Jump
into the action on our forum.

==============================
Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread

"Well it's about damn
time, them slackers!
"

- RawGutts
==============================

Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=32559">Tell
us!


4 new MMOG home-grown articles today, many from
BlizzCon! 78 in August!
938 in
2009!

New Coverage and Guides At Ten Ton Hammer Today

Features:

  • World
    of Warcraft Cataclysm
    Q&A with J. Allen Brack

    (Premium Members only until Monday)
    Ten Ton Hammer and a number of fansites and community representatives
    were invited to a Blizzard press conference with J. Allen Brack, Lead
    Producer on World of Warcraft. We had a chance to voice a few questions
    from our WoW community as Brack touched on a number of hotbutton and
    general interest topics for WoW players.
  • StarCraft
    2
    Preview from BlizzCon 2009

    In our next piece of Blizzcon 2009 coverage we take a long look at the
    many panels of Starcraft 2. Who was cast as Kerrigan? Is stuff going to
    blow up in a shower of blood? Are dynamic kills going to be in the
    game? What do they have in mind for custom maps to compete with things
    like Defense of the Ancients? We get to the bottom of this in our next
    article.
  • Heroes
    and Monsters in Diablo 3

    BlizzCon 2009 wasn't just about World of Warcraft. Diablo III also made
    an appearance with the announcement of the new monk class. Several
    Blizzard developers walked us through the process of creating a monster
    in the game, and then the floor was opened up to fan questions. Join us
    as we take a look at the Diablo III goodies offered at BlizzCon '09.
  • World
    of Warcraft
    Cataclysm Preview for
    Paladins

    The ink isn't even dry on the Cataclysm literature and we're furiously
    digging through the information to find out what it all really means.
    Medawky laid out an excellent review of the total changes for
    Cataclysm, but for more specific class information, we look at how
    Cataclysm may effect Paladins. There are many significant game changing
    decisions that have been made, we won't know the true extent for quite
    some time. That doesn't stop us from making some educated guesses
    though, does it? This week we look at the Cataclysm Preview for
    Paladins.

Guides:

  • Gold
    Farming in Wrath of the Lich King

    Everyone needs or wants gold in World of Warcraft. It's only natural to
    want to be wealthy and be able to afford all of the cool mounts and
    shiny 8,500 gold rings. Getting the gold is the hard part, but with
    David "Xerin" Piner's latest gold farming guide you can't say that any
    more. Xerin gives a realistic approach to farming gold and some neat
    tricks to make it easier. You don't even need to pay a single dime for
    this cool information. So come over and find out how to fill your
    pockets full of gold to get all of the cool items and gear you want.
  • Aion
    Spell Lists: The Cleric, Ranger, and Spiritmaster

    The path to Ascension is fraught with danger at every turn. Only
    strength of will and an intimate knowledge of your abilities will allow
    you to complete the journey intact. In an effort to stave off defeat,
    Dalmarus has scribed the secrets of three more classes this week to aid
    you in your quest for immortality.
  • World
    of Warcraft 
    Hunter Races

    So, which race should I play? This is one of the most basic and
    frequently asked questions among Huntersfirst beginning their
    adventures into the World of Warcraft. To most veteran players this
    question seems simple and easily answered resulting in any real answers
    to it being given. This week Mem attempts to reach out a helping hand
    to those Hunters who are in pursuit of the ideal Hunter race.
  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/professions/blacksmithing">World
    of Warcraft
    Blacksmithing Guide Updated
    David "Xerin" Piner has given our blacksmithing guide for World of
    Warcraft a fresh coat of polish. Our blacksmithing guide has been
    reworked from the ground up to provide you with all of the information
    you desire in an easy to read format. Do you seek to wield a hammer
    against the mighty anvil and create weapons and armor and bust sockets
    into gear? Already do? Well come to our blacksmithing guide that's got
    a little bit or a lot of something for everyone!

Giveaways:

  • Fallen
    Earth
    Beta Key Giveaway

    A
    little less than a week remains in the Fallen Earth open beta, so seize
    your chance to test out the game prior to launch with a key from Ten
    Ton Hammer!

Hottest Content:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/blizzcon09">BlizzCon
    2009
    href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/blizzcon09">
    Coverage Portal
  2. World
    of Warcraft Cataclysm
    Q&A with J. Allen Brack
  3. StarCraft
    2
    Preview from BlizzCon 2009
  4. Heroes
    and Monsters in Diablo 3
  5. EVE
    Online
    Sins of a Solar Spymaster #25 - Unholy Dust
  6. Video:
    Fan Impressions from style="font-weight: bold;">BlizzCon 2009
  7. Gold
    Farming in Wrath of the Lich King
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/randybuehler/interview">iPhone
    / PC MMOTBS Mind Twist - An Interview with Randy
    Buehler
  9. Behind
    Closed Doors with Blizzard
    - The 2009 Blizzard Summit
  10. Blizzcon
    '09: Starcraft 2
    Hands-on Preview


Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

-Karen "Shayalyn" Hertzberg and the Ten Ton Hammer team


To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our EverQuest Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff
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.

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