Loading... Out with the Old, In with the New

Welcome to the 1,329th edition of Loading... Loading... is the premier daily MMOG news and commentary newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer.

Welcome to the 1,329th edition of Loading...

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

Change is an inevitable eventuality when it comes to the long term health of the MMOGs we spend countless hours scampering around, hitting things with our virtual sticks. After all, a stagnant world offers little impetus for players to keep coming back no matter how brilliantly designed a core gaming experience may be. Besides, consoles already fiendishly hold the concept of throwaway gaming in their plasticized grip, and that’s the last thing we need spilling over into the pixilated soil of our beloved online virtual worlds.

However, not all change is for the better, though thankfully it more often than not is when it comes to the growth of an MMOG. Today we’ll take a closer look at two examples which represent opposing sides of the coin of change in Loading… Out with the Old, In with the New.

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

Biggest movers today:

  1. Jumpgate Evolution (UP 13 to #13)
  2. Free Realms (UP 11 to #14)
  3. Rift: Planes of Telara (down 7 to #19)
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Out with the Old (For Better or Worse)

In the hubbub surrounding Halas making a triumphant return to shatter-style Norrath, I could be counted among the many players who hadn’t realized that the Queen’s Colony and the Outpost of the Overlord were facing the chopping block. While the revamped versions of the original Isle of Refuge were certainly a bit stumpy as far as MMOG starting zones are concerned, they still represented one of the final links to the EverQuest II of yesteryear.

Now, I’d never make light of all the sweeping changes that have helped EQ2 overcome some of the early hurdles that allowed the Blizzard wrecking ball to do some shattering of its own on the game’s server populations back in early 2005. All the same, I’m one of those nutty people who loved EQ2 for what it was from day one, and have long since mourned the passing of different aspects of the old EQ2 such as one of the most brilliantly designed social crafting experiences the industry has ever seen. Sure, a small part of me may have loathed the fact that my Sage lived or died by the whims of Alchemists and their desire (or lack thereof) to sit and craft stacks of ink all day. But at the same time, the crafting channels were some of the most hyper-social I’ve ever seen in an online game, and it was thanks to the dependency between trades that the vast majority of my early friendships in EQ2 were made.

So while the current iteration of the early starting isles may be one step removed from their launch day form, I will mourn their passing all the same. To me it’s the MMOG equivalent of driving past the neighborhood where your favorite park once stood only to discover that it’s been steamrolled in favor of a sparkling new parking lot. Thankfully the memories remain, but it’s still a bummer to see that your favorite park has become little more than a crappy new place to park your car all the same. Call it what you will, but I’d be the first in line to log into an “EQ2 Classic” server, however doubtful it is that one will ever officially be offered to players.

In with the New

As noted in my recent interview with the fine folks from Fallen Earth, the developer may have hit a few bumps in the road last week, but that certainly hasn’t stopped the game from building up momentum moving forward. Not only is the ultra-cool Blood Sports update hitting the live servers today, but yesterday Ten Ton Hammer also broke the news that Fallen Earth has landed on the shelves at a Walmart near you. In an era where shelf space for PC games at major retailers continues to shrink at an alarming rate, that’s a pretty major deal for an independent developer.

The combined one-two punch of Blood Sports and a heftier retail presence could very well precede a sizable chunk of new clones scampering around the wastelands in the weeks and months to come. Be sure to check back next week for a detailed report on Blood Sports, Deadfall and the Fallen Earth Achievement system, and to learn why they represent the positive end of the spectrum of change in MMOGs.

That about wraps things up for this week, but be sure to hop on your Prairie Chickens and ride ‘em on over to the Loading… forums and share your thoughts on the death of EQ2’s noob isles, and FE’s latest and greatest update. Have an excellent weekend everyone!

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our WoW News Discussion Forum

Someone Call Merry Maids: Cataclysm Leaked All Over the Net

David "Xerin" Piner's editorial about the leak of World of Warcraft's highly anticipated Cataclysm expansion client has epic written all over it, so I predict the relative thread will, too. How do leaks like this happen? Is downloading that client a Really Bad Idea? Discuss!

Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

"Why shouldn't you download the leaked client? Same reason it was a bad idea to download the stolen HL2 code:

13Gigs of Hardcore Gay Porn

- Thansal

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 articles today! 22 Ten Ton Hammer features in May! 493 in 2010!


(Prairie) Chicken Little Be Damned - An Exclusive Fallen Earth Interview

When the news recently broke about the downsizing of the Fallen Earth development team, it raised many concerns about the future of the game among players. As a longtime fan and player himself, Managing Editor Reuben “Sardu” Waters wanted to get to the heart of the matter, which is exactly what he did when he had the opportunity to Icarus Studios earlier this week. The resulting interview with core members of the Fallen Earth team is a must read for fans or even those of you curious to learn more about the impact of post-launch downsizing on an independent MMOG developer, as it puts many of the doom and gloom rumors about the future of Fallen Earth to rest.


WoW: Someone Call Merry Maid - Cataclysm Leaked All Over the Net

The World of Warcraft: Cataclysm alpha has been leaked to the Internet and information is sprawling out like mad. Ten Ton Hammer is here to tell you why you shouldn't download the clients, to give an overview of how leaks like these happen and what's involved, and to ask: is Blizzard at fault?


Age of Conan - Rise of the Godslayer Expansion Launch Trailer

Excitement is in the air in the lands of Hyboria as Age of Conan is set to launch its first expansion pack, Rise of the Godslayer. In advance of that occasion the good folks at Funcom have sent us video trailer for your enjoyment.

EVE Online Tyrannis Expansion Trailer Video

On the cusp of the launch of its newest expansion, Tyrannis, EVE Online has released a new trailer that gives us the first look at the new Planetary Interaction interface. And don't miss The Mittani's opinion of this anticipated new system along with the rest of his wish list for the new content!


EQ2 Priest Alternate Advancement Updates

the priest abilities have now been completed, wrapping up our updates on the EverQuest II alternate advancements for each class. We have updated all the previous AA info and in addition and added the Shadows and Sentinel's Fate AA abilities. In one quick look you can find out what advancement options are available for your class or any class you might be interested in.

WoW: Death Knights and Duskwood in Cataclysm - Loremaster's Corner

The Loremaster's Corner is here again this week with a look at Death Knights and their role Cataclysm. Arthas, now slain, has fulfilled their role in the story. Yet, can an old nemesis from many wars ago find its way back to the main story stage? Let's take a look in this week's Loremaster's Corner.

Today's Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features

  1. (Prairie) Chicken Little Be Damned - An Exclusive Fallen Earth Interview
  2. Someone Call Merry Maid - Cataclysm Leaked All Over the Net
  3. The Guild Leader's Handbook Review
  4. Rift: Planes of Telara Intro Q&A with Trion's Scott Hartsman
  5. Exclusive Fallen Earth Blood Sports Developer Journal
  6. WoW: Children's Week Guide
  7. Ten Ton Hammer Live Ep. 5 - Developer Guests for Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, and City of Heroes
  8. EverQuest II Passport Q&A with Dave Georgeson
  9. EVE Online: Flying A Bait Raven In PvP
  10. Microcosms - Gaming for Freedom: Atlantica Online Review

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

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

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