Welcome to the 741st Edition of Loading...

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Daily Column

The Game Over podcast featuring Coyote and RadarX now lives here at Ten Ton Hammer. These guys are some kind of funny. If you are disappointed on a daily basis by the lack of humour in this column you had best listen to Game Over. There are currently eight podcasts in the archive. Only 733 more to catch my 741 columns gents! I'm all about quantity over quality.

Pirates of the Burning Sea pre-order, pre-play, pre-see-if-you-like-it has commenced. I find myself staring at what appears to be three 1800MB downloads in order to get the game installed on my system. For the love of Pete Rose is there no way to make these files any smaller? It's one thing to buy a product, throw a DVD into my drive and install. It's quite another to download a virtual boulder three times via my wireless broadband connection. Oh how I envy you fat-pipe cable users with your "weather doesn't matter to me" attitudes. You'll get yours someday when they prove that cable causes cancer (wait that's wireless), or that cable suddenly requires line of sight (wait that's wireless). Your day of 100MB/s judgment is coming! Curse you and your bandwidth. May every commercial on your blasted cable television be the one where those annoying kids sing songs you never liked in the first place! (That's mini-pops for those of you without TV)

A reader wrote me asking the question, "Why are there so few Sci-Fi MMOGs and so many based in fantasy worlds?"

Great question! Here are a few reasons that I can come up with off the top of my pointy head.

  • Dungeons and Dragons - The grandpappy of this industry. Pen and Paper (did anyone really use a pen? It was pencil and paper!) RPGs crawled from the primordial ooze to give us fantastic worlds with sets of rules to abide by. The venue was created. All we needed to do was take part. There were science fiction RPGs, but the most popular were fantasy based. Many developers came from PnP roots and being mostly human they build what they know. They also build what they enjoy. We really shouldn't want it any other way, but that is a whole separate discussion.
  • Tolkien - You have all read the books. You know what an Elf, a Dwarf and an Orc is. The groundwork is done. The setting doesn't need to be explained.
  • There is only one successful science fiction MMOG, EVE Online. You can make that two if you count Anarchy Online as a current success. I would consider it a success that has moved past its prime. The players voted with their wallets and fantasy got elected.
  • Science Fiction must have a basis in science. It can be disputed. Fantasy has no hard set rules. It is much more difficult to write a science fiction novel than a fantasy one. Why would MMOGs be any different?
  • Fantasy worlds tend to be "happier" than their science fiction counterparts. There has to be conflict, but for some reason fantasy worlds often include levity. Many science fiction stories are of a doom and gloom future after an apocalypse or alien invasion. Fantasy players get to save the princess. SF players get to look at their burned out homes.
  • Fantasy permeates our everyday lives. Walk through a mall and count the number of symbols you see of dragons or knights. Then look for science fiction equivalents. You'll find that the ratio is somewhere around 10:1.

Thanks to Kim for sending in the question!

I have always yearned for a MMOG using Greek mythology. Unfortunately, I've never come across one.

There I got you started though I prefer the term aroused. Tell your tale in the Loading... forums.

Do you feel the need to contact me? Your wish is my command. Forums or E-mail - The choice is yours!

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- John "Boomjack" Hoskin and the Ten Ton Hammer Team

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Hoskin 0
Dissecting and distilling the game industry since 1994. Lover of family time, youth hockey, eSports, and the game industry in general.

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