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

Dungeons & Dragons Online has experienced a resurgence
in popularity, not to mention revenue, thanks in no small part to
switching to a free-to-play model with a subscription option. So far,
no other formerly-AAA MMOGs have followed suit, although arguably some
could benefit from a free-to-play scenario. Karen "Shayalyn" Hertzberg
discusses two such games in today's href="http://tentonhammer.com/loading/2010/apr/6">Loading...
Why Not Make it Free?


The Pulse

You vote with what you
view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
is the Ten Ton Pulse ( target="_blank">What
is The Pulse?).

are today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. World
    of Warcraft
  2. EverQuest
  3. Age
    of Conan
  4. Dungeons
    & Dragons Online (UP 3)
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/43">EVE

movers today

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/154">Ultima
    Online (Up 14 to #17)
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1407">DC
    Universe Online (UP 7 to #18)
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/38">EverQuest
    (UP 8 to #6)
Recent Releases



  • April
    - href="http://www.cityofheroes.com/news/game_updates/issue_17/issue_17_overview.html?utm_source=COHemail&utm_medium=US&utm_campaign=banner">City
    of Heroes - Issue 17: Dark Mirror
  • style="font-weight: bold;">Spring 2010 - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1801">Mytheon
  • Summer
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/998">APB
  • TBA
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2079">Final
    Fantasy XIV

  • style="font-weight: bold;">Spring 2011 - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/swtor">Star Wars:
    The Old


  • style="font-weight: bold;">4/17 - 4/18 - href="http://www.ankama-convention.com/en">Ankama
    Convention #5
  • style="font-weight: bold;">6/15 -
    6/17 - E3
  • style="font-weight: bold;">6/25 -
    6/27 - Looking
    for Group
  • style="font-weight: bold;">7/22 - 7/25 - href="http://www.comic-con.org/">Comic-Con International
  • style="font-weight: bold;">8/5 -
    8/8 - href="http://events.station.sony.com/fanfaire/">SOE
    Fan Faire 2010
  • style="font-weight: bold;">9/3 -
    9/6 - DragonCon
  • style="font-weight: bold;">10/22 -
    10/23 - href="http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/?rhtml=y">BlizzCon

Ten winners already - you could be a
winner too!

Ten Ton Hammer is partnering with Atari and Bigfoot Networks to offer
you a chance to win an incredible prize packs in celebration of Star
Trek Online's newly revealed "Season One: Common Ground". Check out
these remaining prizes:

  • Grand Prize: Killer
    Xeno Pro NIC, Star Trek Online Collector's Edition with a 6 month
  • First Prize: Killer
    Xeno Pro NIC, Star Trek Online Collector's Edition
  • Second Prize: Killer
    Xeno Pro NIC, Star Trek Online Digital Deluxe Edition

One entry per registered user, premium members get
additional entries. Enter for free here: href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/STOSeason1">Star
Trek Online Season One / Bigfoot NIC giveaway. Winners will
be posted in href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=50349">this
thread Monday through Wednesday. 


Loading... Daily

Karen "You Owe Me Big Time" Hertzberg here, stepping in for Ben "Take a
Good Hard Look" de la Durantaye, our esteemed executive editor, who is
on a boat. Taking a cruise. Lounging on deck and eating lots of
all-inclusive food. With limited Internet connectivity. While Ben's
busy with the mermaids, I figured it might be a good
time to talk behind his back...or just make reference to a href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/features/everquest/nostalgia">great
article he recently
published (which is far less fun, but no less intriguing.)

But first things first. Last week, I spotted this href="http://techdirt.com/articles/20100331/1631278819.shtml">article
at Techdirt discussing how href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ddo">Dungeons
& Dragons Online
has increased its revenue
by 500% as a result of switching to a free-to-play (with subscription
option) model. Yes, that's 500--a five followed by two zeros;
it's not a typo. In the immortal href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/23/a-big-fucking-deal-bidens_n_509927.html">words
of Joe Biden, that is, ladies and gentlemen, a "big f---ing
deal." There are two games that I'd like to see converted to
free-to-play as soon as possible (yesterday, really)--Vanguard
and EverQuest.

I truly believe Vanguard
could rock the free-to-play marketplace by doing exactly what Turbine
did with DDO--offering a free-to-play game with a subscription option.
Despite the bugs and performance issues that plagued its notorious
launch, Vanguard is a great game, with a great big
gorgeous world, and I know quite a few gamers who wouldn't mind playing
it right now except for one thing--low server populations. Turning Vanguard
into a free-to-play offering would no doubt cause a resurgence of old
players (who inevitably gave up on the game) and an influx of new ones,
who originally avoided it due to it's stunningly bad reputation.

in direct contrast to Vanguard, doesn't have a bad
reputation; it's legendary. The problem with EverQuest,
although it isn't a bad problem to have, is that it's old. EQ has been
'round the block a few times. Most of us have played it, but few of us
are willing to pay a subscription fee to play it again. Although SOE
frowns on emulators, such as EverQuest 1999 (here's that reference to href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/features/everquest/nostalgia">Ben's article,
which I mentioned above), they still haven't seen fit to emulate the
emulators and make EQ free for the masses. Raise your hand if you'd go
back to Norrath for a while if it were free. Yeah, me too.

The Techdirt article brings up a great point: when you play a
subscription-based game you don't have any real ownership of your piece
of the content pie (your characters, their stuff, etc.) unless
you're paying a fee. If you stop paying your $15 per month,
everything you worked for in your AAA game of choice is suddenly
unavailable to you, from your epic sword to your mount to your vanity
pets to your guild hall. In a free-to-play game, the
things you've worked for are available any time and
never vanish. You can take an indefinite break and still return to find
your character and his or her things just as you left them...without
updating your credit card data.

It's interesting to note that each of the games I've discussed here
today--DDO, Vanguard, and EQ--rank regularly in the href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/thepulse/">Ten Ton Hammer
Pulse Top 10, indicating there's no lack of interest
in them. Are there certain games you'd like to see free-to-play? Why do
you believe a free model would work for them? Tell me (and perhaps send
a message to developers) in the href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=50573">Loading...

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day

From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=6">Articles,
News & Events Discussion forum

CEO Running for California Governer

out, Ahnold...Joshua Hong , CEO of free-to-play MMOG publisher
GamersFirst, is gunning for the California governer's seat, running on
a platform of fun and free gaming for everyone. And nope, it's not an
April Fool's Day joke. Can he win? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=50555">Talk
about it!


Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread

"That just tickles me. It's true; health care, education, and
politics be damned, all I really care about is VIDEO GAMES!'

- Savanja


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

and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer

5 new Ten Ton Hammer
today! 27 in April! 386
in 2010!


Awakened Nostalgia - EverQuest Relived


you ever wanted to go back to your glory days? Going back to the glory
days of EverQuest is just what an independent team has done with
Project 1999. We talked to the group of nostalgia seekers as
well as
John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment, to find out what
can drive thousands of people to play a game for 11 years and still
want more. Relive days gone by and explore what made EverQuest a legend.


WoW: U.I. Mod Review – X-Perl


World of Warcraft UI mods allow you to change or add a lot to how you
interact in the game. The mods that seem to change your view the most
are the unit frame or raid frame mods. One of the most popular
ones out
there is X-Perl, which allows you to change all of the different
character, target, focus, party, and raid frames in the game. 
Join us
as Byron “Messiah” Mudry takes a look at this expansive UI mod.


Free-to-Play MMOGs: Microcosms - Nobody's Fool


some people enjoy being fooled once a year on the first day of April,
many of us aren't so fond of it at other times, especially when it
comes to MMOGs. Even though the new trend in free-to-play MMOGs is one
of high production value, and cash shops that enhance gameplay instead
of hamstringing those who don't want to pay, there are still some games
that reinforce the old stereotypes. Medawky's weekly feature
takes a
look at two such games.

Flying The Harbinger In EVE Online


players need not be limited to smaller ships when seeking PvP in EVE
Online. Space Junkie tells us how to fit and fly the Harbinger, a
deadly Amarr battlecruiser.

WoW - Understanding Gold and the Economy


of the first items new players will encounter while exploring World of
Warcraft is money. Collecting your first Copper pieces can be a heady
experience, but for those not familiar with the game it could also
cause confusion. What exactly do you do with money? Where does it come
from, and how does it affect the virtual world around you? This week
Mem will attempt to answer these questions by going over the basics of
money in the World of Warcraft.

Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/features/everquest/nostalgia">Awakened
    Nostalgia - EverQuest Relived
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/pocketlegends/spacetimestudiosinterview">Pocket
    MMMOG for the IPhone! A Q&A with Spacetime
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/uimods/reviews/xperl">WoW:
    U.I. Mod Review – X-Perl
  4. Free-to-Play
    MMOGs: Microcosms - Nobody's Fool
  5. PoxNora
    Q&A with Tony “RadarX” Jones
  6. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/paxeast2010/apb_impressions">PAX
    East 2010 - Hands-On with href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/paxeast2010/apb_impressions">All
    Points Bulletin
  7. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/paxe10/coh/bianco_goingrogue">City
    of Heroes
    Praetoria Q&A with Senior Designer Melissa Bianco
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/paxe2010/ddo3">DDO href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/paxe2010/ddo3"> at
    PAX 2010 Video - The Blood Road
  9. NVIDIA's
    Newest Line of GPUs
    Introduced at PAX East 2010
  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/globalagenda/editorals/patch1-3">The
    Future of href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/globalagenda/editorals/patch1-3">Global
  11. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2/features/protoss_earlygame_evolution">The
    Evolution of StarCraft
    Armies - Early Game Protoss
  12. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/paxe2010/APB/gameplay">Video: style="font-weight: bold;"> APB
    Gameplay Preview
  13. EverQuest

    Alternate Advancement Basics Update

for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Karen "Shayalyn" Hertzberg
the Ten Ton Hammer team

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.