On November 1st, 2015 it will mark my tenth year at Ten Ton Hammer. I joined the network in an official capacity on November 1st, 2005, almost ten years ago today and I figured I’d go through my email archives and share some of my experiences throughout the years. So we’ll be doing ten days of ten years at Ten Ton Hammer (ten, ten, ten).

Ten years ago our site was run on PostNuke, which was rather dated by the standards back then, but the Internet was still new and it wasn’t odd to have sites running PHPNuke or PostNuke back then. The first website I ran was a site called Ragnarok Source, back around 2002~2003, which was originally powered by PostNuke, until I created our own CMS software based off of a combination of PHPBB and some of my own homebrew code.

Joining Ten Ton Hammer was wild at first. Every article I wrote, I would get sick almost before submitting it online because I was absolutely nervous of doing the best job I could at the time. I would read, and re-read, and read again every article making sure that it was right. This kind of quality control still occurs, just without the nervous jitters actually.

My first assignment was Auto Assault and it was really cool, honestly. Auto Assault is a game I haven’t seen done again yet, although I might have missed something similar that could have came out, I haven’t seen exactly what Auto Assault was yet. It was sort of an MMO where you drove around in a car and blasted things. The world was destructible, the cars were modifiable, and you could gain tons of scrap to build and craft. It was an in-depth game that was way ahead of its time, pushing what I believe was the technology back then to its limits.

Auto Assault had apartments too, so it even had somewhat of player housing. Which was cool. Up until this point, I had only played MMOs, so I had played Earth and Beyond before Auto Assault. They were very similar, in their abstract mechanics, but also in the fact they were sunsetted really quickly. Auto Assault lost its steam about 3/4ths into the first year.

I then transferred over to our WoW site, which at the time was working through the Naxxramas patch. June of ’06 was when this occurred, so one of my first projects was a guide to Naxxramas. I was at the time big into Guild Wars, but I moved back over to WoW. From there and for many years after that, I wrote exclusively about WoW.

My first “big boy” (my words) assignment was a preview of ArchLord, the original game, which came right before my year anniversary. ArchLord is actually really memorable for me, because I felt like this was a big deal for me to play something I never played before and share my thoughts and opinions about it. It was kind of cool, really, but at the same time it felt like a big responsibility.

One of the themes you may notice from the first year is a lot of nervousness and a lot of reasonability. It’s critical to note that feeling is very much still there and a foundation for every single piece of content I write. I only write what I feel like is truthful and serves a community. If it’s good, or bad, I want to make sure whatever it is has purpose.

The first year was really exciting and very educational about the industry. I was very, very young at the time and my world view was much smaller back then. My gaming expertise was still top notch, having gamed since the moment I could hold a controller, but I do appreciate all the help everyone gave me back then, in editing and teaching, along with both the WoW and Auto Assault communities in welcoming me as a voice.

Tomorrow is year two, and much like most of the years, it was all about that WoW, about that WoW, nothing else. We’ll go into details about that tomorrow, as I dig into the Ten Ton Archives to see what we had in our wheelhouse back then.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Xerin 1
Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.