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Loading... Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Posted Thu, Jun 24, 2010 by Sardu

Loading... is the premier daily MMOG newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer!

Welcome to the 1,362nd edition of Loading...

Last week nearly the entire gaming industry stood up at once, and the resulting head rush became known as E3 2010. Now that the lightheadedness and visions of gaming nirvana dancing just over the horizon have begun to subside, what remains is the age old question that inevitably arrives along with the afterglow: what’s next? We’ll take a stab at answering that very question today in Loading… Tomorrow, Tomorrow.

E3 2010

The Pulse

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

Today's top 5 Pulse results this week:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. EverQuest II
  3. Lord of the Rings Online
  4. Age of Conan
  5. Warhammer Online

Biggest movers today:

  1. Star Wars Galaxies
    - down 9 to #17
  2. EverQuest
    - down 8 to #15
  3. Pirates of the Burning Sea
    - Up 4 to #11
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Loading... Daily

For those of you unfamiliar with the music of the late, great Elliott Smith, the title of today’s Loading… comes from the lead track on his album titled XO. In it, the protagonist reflects on how they’re currently viewed by the world with hopes that tomorrow will be somehow different or better. Mind you, that’s just a very surface level take on the song’s lyrical content, but it’s early and I haven’t had nearly enough coffee yet this morning, so that will have to do for now!

In a roundabout way, the whole shebang of a major industry event like last week’s E3 isn’t all that different than the protagonist of “Tomorrow, Tomorrow”. It’s as much a point of reflection about where things stand today for the gaming industry as a whole as it is about how amazingly awesome we all hope it's going to be tomorrow. It’s about building interest and excitement about the games we’ll all be playing at random points along an imaginary future timeline, and teasing us with just enough new information to capture our attention until the next major outing or gameplay reveal.

As we all know, however, the MMOG industry is a very different beast. These aren’t games that you purchase on Tuesday, knock out the final achievement for on Thursday and then trade in for another title on Friday. Most MMOGs are designed and built to be played for much longer periods of time than your standard console game in other words.

Last week when I was deep in the E3 trenches, two main things struck me. The first is that there was very little show floor presence for established titles. Apart from a smallish portion of the Warner Bros. booth allotted for Lord of the Rings Online and a few fancy fixtures for EverQuest II in the SOE booth, there really wasn’t much there to reinforce the notion that established titles are still out there kicking ass and taking names.

The second main point that the show drove home for me is that out of the massive list of MMOG titles being showcased, perhaps only a handful of them seemingly have aims at remaining true to the established gameplay norms that put our favorite pastime on the gaming industry map to begin with.

Now that we’ve been given a fairly comprehensive snapshot of where the MMOG industry is headed over the next year or so, one major question has stuck with me throughout the majority of the past week based on those two key points. Namely, is the currently predominant subscription-based, triple-A MMOG formula inherently flawed in some major way or are we simply hitting that point where the industry is on the verge of splintering into numerous subgenres?

For example, if you browse through our full list of 365 MMOGs, you’ll notice we have things broken down loosely by genre. Only those genres are more about the type of setting (fantasy, sci-fi, super hero) rather than gameplay mechanics like you’d find in console game categories such as FPS or Action. But with the next wave of MMOG’s it seems as though all of that is about to change. Soon we’ll have more clearly defined MMOG genres such as Racing, Action, Strategy, Third Person Shooter and a whole pile of others.

So have we finally grown tired of the same old, same old of “core” MMO gameplay, or is the industry finally maturing to the point where more distinct subgenres have begun to emerge? Let your fingers do the walking (or in this case, clicking) over to the Loading… forum and let us know what you think!


Sardu's Epic Thread of the Day

From our SWTOR General Discussion Forum

Beta Begins This Weekend?

Community member SirRobin seems to have picked up on an interesting thread over at the official forums for Star Wars: The Old Republic. While there's no real definitive proof thus far beyond the thread not being outright locked to new posts, it seems that people have claimed to be invited to the closed beta beginning as soon as this weekend. Personally, I'd file this one under the "rumor with a side dish of rampant speculation" category as I would think an external CBT for TOR would be hitting the airwaves as a big ticket news item. Still, rabid fanboys and girls will no doubt be feverishly refreshing their email inbox over the next few days just in case it's true!

==============================
Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

"*wets her pants*

Dear BioWare,
I know I'm not always a good little girl, but if you could maybe..perhaps..graciously see that I get into beta, I'd be the bestest fangirl EVER!

Love,

Savanja
XOXOXOXOXOXO"
- Savanja

==============================

Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell us!


New and Exclusive Content Today at Ten Ton Hammer

3 Ten Ton Hammer features today! 109 Ten Ton Hammer features in June! 699 in 2010!

FEATURED EDITORIALS AND GUIDES

Top Five Guild Wars 2 Gameplay Wish List Items
http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/editorials/top-5-gameplay-wishlist

Guild Wars 2 is shaping up to become one of the greatest MMOGs we have ever seen. Yet, we ask the question: what would make the game really awesome? David "Xerin" Piner takes a look at the top five things he'd like to see in Guild Wars 2.

EverQuest II Guide to Moonlight Enchantments
http://www.tentonhammer.com/eq2/guides/moonlight-enchantments

Every month in EverQuest II, when the moon is just right, hidden realms open throughout Norrath that allow adventurers to earn special rewards and engage in limited quests. The Moonlight Enchantments event is a regularly occurring event that has hooked many players. Haven't gotten in on it yet? Read up on what this monthly mini-event is all about and how you can get in on the fun in our Guide to Moonlight Enchantments.

Buying & Selling Off the Grid in World of Warcraft
http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/selling-off-grid

It's important to know how to hawk your wares without the assistance of the Auction House. This can not only be substantially more profitable than using the Auction House, it can also help you develop relationships with buyers and sellers that can be useful in the future. Here we'll go over the best ways to sell items 'off the grid' and the costs and benefits of doing so.

Today's Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features

  1. Introducing Company of Heroes Online - A Video Q&A with Producer Greg Wilson
  2. On the Bleeding Edge - Razer's New StarCraft II Gear at E3 2010
  3. Star Wars: The Old Republic - Q&A with James Ohlen
  4. WoW Patch 3.3.5 - General Overview
  5. Exclusive Guild Wars 2 Warrior and Traits Q&A with Lead Designer Eric Flannum
  6. Exclusive Video Q&A with Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online Creative Director Joe Madureira
  7. Nexon's Chris Gyselinck on Vindictus - An Exclusive Ten Ton Hammer E3 Q&A
  8. Grouping Made Epic - Hands on with TERA Group Play at E3 2010
  9. Alphabet Soup - Written Language in Guild Wars 2
  10. Final Fantasy XIV Beta Hands On Impression at E3 2010
  11. Class and Soul - Rift: Planes of Telara Gets a Little Bit of Both at E3 2010
  12. The Beginning of a New MMO Genre - An E3 Preview of End of Nations

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

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


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