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Loading... Earth Day of the Dead

Posted Thu, Apr 22, 2010 by Sardu

Welcome to the 1,318th edition of Loading...

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

Earth Day is upon us once again, but this year Reuben “Sardu” Waters believes it’s high time we take a moment to consider how our actions affect not only the environment, but the hordes of undead sure to inherit the earth in the impending zombie apocalypse. We’ll take a closer look at this plus the viability of Modular Multiplayer Online Games and an excellent Mytheon giveaway today in Loading… Earth Day of the Dead.

The Pulse

You vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Pulse (What is The Pulse?).

Here are today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. EverQuest II 
  3. Age of Conan
  4. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (UP 5)
  5. Dungeons and Dragons Online

Biggest movers today:

  1. StarCraft II (UP 13 to #18)
  2. EVE Online (Down 4 to #8)
  3. EverQuest (UP 4 to #13)
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Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day which means many Americans will be LARPing the day away as wannabe hippies. While I’m all for the notion of people respecting the environment and bothering to care about the impact of their actions on local ecosystems, it never ceases to amuse me that so many only seem to care about it for that solitary day each year. Then tomorrow most will simply go back to their normal lives as corporate zombies and forget about the whole nutty affair for another year. So I propose that we cut to the chase and celebrate zombies in all their undead glory and dub this the first official Earth Day of the Dead!

OK, so maybe not, but I figured it was worth a shot!

Earlier this week, resident rock star reporter Mattlow posed some interesting questions in his piece All Things to All Players: Why Can’t MMOGs Ever Start Small? One could certainly argue that once the bar has been raised within an established genre by a successful product launch, consumers expect that new minimum for excellence in all future products from that genre. But therein lays the problem with far too many MMOG launches over the past 5 or 6 years. Developers are attempting to squash far too many gameplay mechanics and features in by launch day to appease the masses rather than having a razor sharp focus on creating a kick-ass core entertainment experience that can be built up over time.

We’ve grown pretty accustomed to the idea that successful MMOGs are bound to release expansions, whether they’re massively high profile boxed affairs or the more recent trend of going all digital. But what if, instead of the robotic staple of, “Beep. Beep. Beep. New Zones. New Quests. New Levels. New Gear. End Transmission.” developers took a more modular approach to expanding their core games by releasing self-contained feature sets rather than full blown expansions? In other words, let players decide which mechanics are important to them and then purchase the ones they like, a-la-carte.

Simply take a gander at the insanely successful Sims franchise for proof that this approach is perfectly viable. So if you want to craft in MMOG X, awesome, just pick up the crafting addon pack. If crafting isn’t your thing, maybe one of the next feature addon packs will be. I mean, we all know that RMTs are rapidly gaining ground either way, so why not use that business model to expand the mechanics and feature sets of a game post-launch? Personally, I’d plunk down some cash for a cool new gameplay mechanic over a $25 sparkle pony any day of the week.

Not that I have anything against traditional boxed expansions mind you. In fact, I have an embarrassingly massive collection of MMOG expansion boxes that would provide plenty of evidence to the contrary. But to paraphrase the immortal words of Boomjack, I’d be all over Modular Multiplayer Online Games like a hobo on a ham sandwich. I mean, to a certain degree we already have similar concepts swirling around in the great virtual ether. DDO has gameplay modules and even new races or classes available as individual purchase options as just one major example.

Would a more modular, Sims-style approach to releasing MMO gameplay mechanics or feature sets be a waste of time? Let me know what you think in the Loading… forums, or if you feel so inclined join with me in celebrating all things zombie for the first annual Earth Day of the Dead!


Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our Articles, News & Events Discussion

WANTED: Your Questions for the CoH Devs!

Imagine you're a superhero. Imagine the supervillain has you lashed to a saw table and the blade is aimed at your...well, never mind. He leans over you and, in his gratingly whiny voice he says, "You've got THREE questions, Superdude, before I make you a neutered dude...and they'd better be good ones."

And then he laughs in that maniacal (and supremely annoying) way that supervillains do.

NCSoft, while not super-evil and not, as far as we know, in possession of a superhero neutering table saw, has given us a similar proposition. We get to ask them three questions and the devs will answer them during Friday's Q&A. So fire away (figuratively speaking) with your best questions about City of Heroes and we'll fire them off to NCSoft. But make it quick, or your 'nads get...well, no. Just make it quick.

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Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

No Awesome Quotes, just make with the Awesome Questions!
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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! 87 in April! 446 in 2010!

BETA / PRIZE GIVEAWAY

Mytheon Open Beta Preview Event Mega-Giveaway

Entry URL: http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/mytheon/beta_preview

Mytheon, the upcoming mythology-fueled online action RPG from Petroglyph Studios and True Games Interactive, is gearing up for open beta on April 28th. But stress test Mytheon during a special sneak peek event on Friday, April 23rd any time between 7pm CST and 10pm CST (8pm - 11pm Eastern, 5pm - 8pm Pacific) and you'll be automatically entered for some incredible prizes!

Lucky Mytheon players from Ten Ton Hammer are eligible win one of the following:

  • One new 16GB iPad!
  • Five Mytheon packs containing one Mytheon XL shirt and one Mytheon key chain
  • One Mytheon hat
  • One VERY exclusive Mytheon power stone  delivered in game at the time of commercial launch
And everyone's a winner with a test key for Mytheon!

Prize winners will be chosen prior to the start of open beta on April 28th, check the thread attached for updates. These prizes are exclusive to accounts keyed for beta in this Ten Ton Hammer giveaway, so head to http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/mytheon/beta_preview and confirm your email address to grab your Mytheon test key and have a chance at these great prizes!

FEATURED EDITORIAL

Instancing is Not a 4 Letter Word
http://www.tentonhammer.com/editorial/instancing_not_a_4_letter_word

Why do so many players hate instancing? Is it the ideal of closing players off to the bigger world in what is supposed to be “Massively Multiplayer,” or is it based on the actual experience? Mattlow takes a look at this growing trend in the industry, and the negative reaction from many players.

FEATURES & GUIDES

EQ2 Mage Alternate Advancement Updates
http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/55271#AAChart

Continuing our updates to our EverQuest II Alternate Advancement Guide, the AA info for all 6 mage classes has been completely updated! Check out the revamp of the old AA info and get a peek at the latest Shadows and Sentinel's Fate lines to gain the tools you need to make informed character progression choices.

Till Death Do Its Part - Death Penalties & Difficulty Sliders in STO
http://www.tentonhammer.com/sto/features/editorials/death-penalty

Star Trek Online is settling into the routine of MMOG cycling. The never ending cycle of develop, deploy, get eviscerated on the forums, make changes, appease few, upset many, repeat. The lightning rods of late are the death penalty (or lack thereof) and the addition of a difficulty slider for missions. Both offer new twists to the game and while one harkens to games of yesteryear (death penalties), the other (difficulty slider) is a relatively new angle for MMOGs. Are they good, bad, or both?

WoW: The Flight of the Draenei and Their Role in Cataclysm
http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/lore/draenei_in_cataclysm

The Loremaster's Corner is back this week with our continuing look at the races in World of Warcraft and their role in Cataclysm. This week we look at the mysterious race from space, the Draenei. Who are they? Where did they come from? These questions are more are answered in this week's Loremaster's Corner.

AVR - The Future of WoW Raiding
http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/uimods/reviews/avr

Ever wished that you could bring some visual aids to your raiding environment? AVR does that and much, much more. We'll provide the details.

Today's Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features

  1. Mytheon Open Beta Preview Event Mega-Giveaway
  2. Till Death Do Its Part - Death Penalties and Difficulty Sliders in STO
  3. World of Warcraft Review Portal Launches
  4. Chatter Like the Mad Hatter – A WoW U.I. Mod Review
  5. From Capes To Beyond! A Q&A with Cryptic’s Bill Roper
  6. WoW: The 5 Best and Worst Things to Do as a Tank
  7. All Things to All Players: Why Can't MMOGs Start Small?
  8. From Tabletop To Online: 5 RPGs That Would Make Kick-Ass MMOGs
  9. Dungeons and Dragons Online: New Character Build - The Dwarven Ranger
  10. Pure Artistic Vision - A Guild Wars 2 Concept Art Q&A with Daniel Dociu

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Reuben "Sardu" Waters and the Ten Ton Hammer team


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