Loading... Coast to Coast
Welcome to the 1,304th edition of Loading...
Loading... is the premier daily MMOG news, coverage, and commentary newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer.
How do we follow the good-natured frivolity that was April Fool's Day around the web? With a rant about an awesome event over-attended by fans and under-attended by game developers, of course. One final look at PAX East 2010 in today's Loading... Coast to Coast.
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One entry per registered user, premium members get additional entries. Enter for free here: Star Trek Online Season One / Bigfoot NIC giveaway. Winners will be posted in this thread Monday through Wednesday next week.
Here's hoping you had some fun with the craziness of April Fool's Day around the web. It's one of my favorite occasions each year, because it's one of the few times you'll see game developers ease off and have fun with the culture surrounding their games. That's especially important nowadays - since while the games industry is considered by some to be recession-proof, the economic downturn has created something of a disconnect between top-tier games and fun in favor of a better bottom line. Seemingly little consideration given to what makes a game profitable at its core. Mass appeal and the well-trodden path is the order of the day, and (though this is about the only time you'll hear this in Loading...) thank goodness for asset-light gaming - casual, mobile, and Facebook games.
Judging from your reaction to Shayalyn's 800 lb. Gorilla article, you've noticed this disconnect too. Either simple, pure fun has been taken for granted in games, or else we've lost touch with what makes a game worth playing in the first place. My fear is that it's starting to become systemic, even creeping into the events we attend.
Last weekend we were among the 60,000 that attended PAX East 2010, which was a lot of gaming purist fun. Just about any media or PR type will tell you they prefer consumer shows to trade shows. Both are a lot of work, but there's an aura of shared excitement that you just don't get at something like GDC (unless you happened to be in the panel where Google is handing out free Droids). But being in its first year, PAX East didn't draw quite the game developer presence. Several developers we cover closely pulled out as the event approached.
That's really a shame, because at PAX East it certainly seemed like everyone soaked up everything twice over. Attendees lined up hours in advance for an Nvidia presentation where cards everyone had known about for weeks were "unveiled." At that presentation, reps from DICE and EA introduced the 3D capabilities of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Metro 2033 to a 3D- bespectacled crowd, but no one from the big B could be found to do the same for WoW. And of the five developers we met with, only two had a floor presence, but these two commanded a large chunk of the expo floor and probably got more than their money's worth in terms of raw exposure.
Granted it takes a lot for a west coast or European developer to make the trip to the east coast - one could buy a very nice car for the freight costs of shipping the booth alone. But, as in the music business, you have to take your act on the road to grow your audience, and that's at least as true in the Internet age as it was 20 years ago. We'll pack up, fly 5-8 hours, and blow our entire paycheck on an overpriced hotel to be within three postal codes of West Coast or European event venues, but devs won't make the trip to come see us in the midwest (GenCon), south (DragonCon) or the east coast (PAX East, NY Comic Con), for shame. A sold-out PAX East proved that we're here, ready, and willing to revel in your marketing efforts. Where were you, majority of MMORPG developers?
Rant over, have a wonderful Easter weekend, and feel free to stop by the Loading... forum to sound off.
Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day
From our Tavern of the Ten Ton Hammer forum
NCSoft Security Compromised?
...not really. But our members' security might well be compromised if they don't heed the cautionary tale found in today's epic thread. Remember kiddies, keep your hands and feet inside the boat at all times and proceed with the understanding that not all fishing (er...phishing) is what it's cracked up to be. Read on and share a comment.
Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread
"I just got an email from NCSoft too... the email addy looks like its the official one, but the "secure" site they link, looks fishy."
Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell us!
New and Exclusive Content Today at Ten Ton Hammer
6 new Ten Ton Hammer features today! 14 in April! 373 in 2010!PAX EAST 2010
PAX East 2010 - Hands-On with All Points Bulletin
Earlier this week Ten Ton Hammer brought you two exclusive video interviews from PAX East 2010 for upcoming All Points Bulletin featuring the game’s robust customization options and a brief gameplay overview. However, throughout the weekend we also spent a fair amount of time playing the game at the various demo stations set up at the APB booth. In our hands-on impressions, we’ll give you the skinny on what APB is like from the player’s perspective, some more detail on how advancement works and let you know our overall thoughts on the biggest question of them all when it comes to a new MMOG--is it fun?
City of Heroes Praetoria Q&A with Senior Designer Melissa Bianco
City of Heroes Senior Designer Melissa Bianco is the creative force behind Going Rogue, the July expansion that features an all-new level 1-20 experience and the ability for Heroes to become Villains (and vice versa) for the first time. Going Rogue is centered on the alternate reality city of Praetoria, a modern city with a Roman twist where forces loyal to Emperor Cole battle it out with Calvin Scott and the Resistance. We ask Melissa about some of the finer points of the Praetoria story, gameplay, and betrayal options, then dive into April's Issue 17 graphics revamp in this Q&A from PAX East 2010.
DDO at PAX 2010 Video - The Blood Road
Let's review. So far in DDO we've shown you guild airships and half orcs in part one, a very cool Update 14 branching dungeon in part two, and now it's time for a glimpse of the final confrontation between House Deneith and the Blood Tide pirates in part 3! Impulse checks, puzzles, and new monsters await you in "The Blood Road", and it all leads up to a climactic fight between your party and the pirates' airship! Join us for this video preview of Update 14's "The Blood Road" dungeon, hosted by Executive Producer Fernando Paiz.
FEATURES & GUIDES
Alternate Advancement Basics Update
Alternate Advancements are the key to character customization in EverQuest II and are a primary factor in how your character plays in the highest tiers. Learning about how to gain and manage these skills is important for every player. Ten Ton Hammer has updated our Alternate Advancement Basics Guide as the first step in completely revamping our AA guides. Check back soon for more updates to each class AA guide including the newest Sentinel's Fate additions.
WoW: Airships - Loremaster's Corner
This week our World of Warcraft's Loremaster's Corner takes a look at airships, gunships, and zeppelins and where they stand in World of Warcraft lore. Did you know that the Goblins have created their own unique engine to power the zeppelins which are ran by hot air alone? Find out more about airships in this week's Loremaster's Corner.
The Future of Global Agenda
Whether you're tired of the game already, or playing for keeps in the new Agency vs. Agency revamp, Patch 1.3 is on the horizon and will knock your socks off!
Today's Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features
- PAX East 2010 - Hands-On with All Points Bulletin
- City of Heroes Praetoria Q&A with Senior Designer Melissa Bianco
- DDO at PAX 2010 Video - The Blood Road
- NVIDIA's Newest Line of GPUs Introduced at PAX East 2010
- The Future of Global Agenda
- The Evolution of StarCraft Armies - Early Game Protoss
- Video: APB Gameplay Preview
- EverQuest 2 Alternate Advancement Basics Update
- Fallen Earth Unveils the Future of Mobile MMOG Interaction
of Heroes "Incarnate"
Endgame Levels & New Going Rogue Details Revealed
Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!
- Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer team