Welcome to the 989th Edition of Loading...

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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?).

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

Biggest Movers in the Top 20 today :

  1. Dungeons & Dragons Online (down 9 to no. 16)
  2. Fiesta (UP 6 to no. 10)
  3. EverQuest 2 (down 6 to no. 14)

Loading... Daily

Loading... MMO news and commentary without end.

Aside from being the Zen Buddhists of the Mediterranean, the Greco-Roman Stoics believed that world history was cyclical. After things played themselves out, the world would be reborn in an age of fire, a palengenesia, and history would start anew. This view was later picked up by philosopher Georg Hegel and in turn (very unfortunately) by Hitler. That's in case you were wondering why "holocaust" also means "complete burning" - Western history chose the Nazis' word rather than the Hebrew "haShoah" or Yiddish "Churben".

This probably sounds a lot like the Fallout storyline, since the spectre of nuclear weapons made this notion seem all the more possible. On that tip I'll shill a new set of Earthrise Old Town screens that should help sate your post-Project Purity hankerings.

Cold War memories aside, I'm bringing up palengenesia just to say that the notion of the world ending and starting anew is almost as old as human history, it's not a new notion and it seems burned into our genetic code whether you're a religious person or not. Why else could the thought of global warming, overpopulation, or CFCs burning a hole in the ozone layer excite such a primal horror or an unthinking skepticism in so many?

That being the case, it's interesting to me that MUDs and MMORPGs were the first form of entertainment designed without an end in mind. Epic stories, plays and operas, books, movies all have a resolution, even serial content like TV series typically have a written ending prepared long in advance. The classic examples of going out in style, even today, are M*A*S*H and the Mary Tyler Moore Show, which owes their immortality largely to the fact that each show ended and ended at the height of its popularity.

Devs treat MMORPGs the same way as (ethical) business professors teach their students to regard a start-up, as a "going concern", an establishment that lives and dies by its reputation - the opposite of a fly-by-night out to take the money and run. Obviously MMOs are a business too - those that betray the trust of their audience with magnanimous promises that never see the light of day are smeared across the Internet. Promises are different than expectations, and its a wise developer that manages both effectively, avoiding the temptation of building illegitimate hype.

At the end of February, we'll witness what may be the first planned ending to an MMORPG, as Tabula Rasa goes free-to-play and we're promised a succession of fun events that will perhaps draw the epic battle between the bane and humanity to a close in style. If the finale is at all accessible to lowbies, I'll be tuning in (I'd pay a reasonable price to bear witness and I know others would too, NCSoft take note!), and we'll have at least one seasoned TR writer on-hand.

I think what NCSoft is doing is extremely praiseworthy, and I'd like to know who was behind the decision so I could shake his or her hand. I can name a few MMOs that I'd like to see shut down in style - cementing themselves in my memory for what they were when talent and capital were still in play, not the low budget, low population heartaches that they've become. As was stated in yesterday's Loading..., the best developers often know when to quit (Starcraft Ghost, anyone?) and salvage the long-term riches a solid reputation brings over distended profits.

What do you think - use the Matt Groening Simpson model and continue until things become completely unprofitable, or stop while you're ahead? Out with it in the Loading... forum, or email me directly if you like.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our Darkfall Forum

Darkfall Information n' Links [continuous update]

seems to spark, by turns, both rabid fan loyalty and a truckload
of gamer ridicule and vaporware accusations. Darkfall's developers,
Aventurine, have announced a European launch date of January 22, 2009,
though there doesn't appear to be an open beta in sight. Despite how
little communication is forthcoming from Aventurine, Darkfall's fans
see the game as their savior, promising a huge, epic, sandbox
style playground with skill-based systems, real-time action, and
in-depth character development.

Whichever side you're on when it comes to Darkfall--fan, hater, or on the fence--Kralle's thread in our new Darkfall forum is full of information, links, and discussion.


Awesome Quote from the
Epic Thread

"I'd love to play this game,
mostly for their intended sandbox system, but one thing really bothers
me: neither myself, nor anyone else I know has played it yet. I haven't
even heard of any beta leaks from random unknown people, and
they say the game is close to release.

I bet there are many politicians who would pay a fortune to get that kind of security!

- Darwa


Do you have a favorite Epic Thread? Let
us know
6 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 22 in January! 22 in 2009!

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





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

  1. Warhammer Online: New Year's WAAAGH-solutions
  2. Finding the Right Free-to-Play MMOG
  3. Geeked: "Competitive Strategies"
  4. Loading... Live Podcast Episode 1 - Not Funny... Forever
  5. Chronicles of Spellborn: Combat Evolved
  6. Top 10 Free To Play Games - Investment Opportunities for Players
  7. Fasaria World Beta Giveaway
  8. The Learning Curve - How much is too much?
  9. Ralsu's 2008 Best of Free To Play Awards
  10. Geeked: "Another One Bites The Dust"

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 Tabula Rasa 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.