Loading... September 23rd, 2010 - The Mobile Progress Trap

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style="font-style: italic;">As
the industry progresses, many MMOG developers have aims to expand the
tools for communication and offline interaction with our favorite games
by use of mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPad. And while this is
generally considered to be a positive trend that offers added value to
the overall experience, pushing mobile MMOG apps too far too quickly
could cause more harm than good to the overall social experience for
gamers. We’ll take a look at the social implications of the
recently announced style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars 2
Extended Experience and much more today in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/loading/2010/sep/23">Loading…
The Mobile Progress Trap.

cellspacing="0" width="100%">


You vote with what you
view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
is the Ten Ton Pulse ( href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/thepulse/">What
is The Pulse?).

top 5 Pulse results:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow">World
    of Warcraft
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/99">Lord
    of the Rings Online (UP 1)
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eq2">Everquest 2
    (down 1)
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/">EVE Online 
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/115">Age
    of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (UP

movers today

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2">StarCraft

    - UP 2
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/183">Guild
    Wars 2

    - down 1
    style="text-decoration: underline;">
  3. style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/32">Tabula

    - down 1
size="-1">Recent Releases

  • size="-1">7/27
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2461"
    for Speed World
  • size="-1">7/27
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2" target="_blank">StarCraft
    II: Wings of Liberty
  • size="-1">8/17
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/140">City
    of Heroes: Going Rogue (release)
  • size="-1">8/18
    - href="http://everquest2.com/free_to_play">EverQuest
    II Extended (release)
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">9/7
    - size="-1"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aion">Aion:
    Assault on Balaurea (free

  • size="-1">September
    30, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ffxiv" target="_blank">Final
    Fantasy XIV size="-1">
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">October
    26, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/170">LEGO
    Universe (release)

  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">November
    2, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1407">DC
    Universe Online (release)


  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/5 -
    10/8 - href="http://www.gdconline.com/">GDC
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/8 -
    10/10 - href="http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/">New
    York Comic Con
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/22 -
    10/23 - href="http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/?rhtml=y" target="_blank">BlizzCon
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;"> 3/24
    3/26 (2011) - href="http://fanfest.eveonline.com/" target="_blank">CCP
style="font-weight: bold;">World
of Warcraft:
Brewfest Tankard O' Terror Contest

October is just around the corner, so you know what that means.
It’s that festive time once again when we get to raise or
virtual tankards in World of Warcraft in celebration of the annual
in-game Brewfest event! To help get you into the spirit (or should that
be spirits?) of the event, we’ll be giving away not just one,
but two signed Tankard O’ Terror’s from href="http://www.taverncraft.com/">Taverncraft.
For full contest details be sure to race your ram over to our href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/wow/brewfest">Brewfest
Tankard O’ Terror Contest page!

Enter now as the contest ends on Monday, September 27th at midnight!
style="font-weight: bold;">Rift - Ask the Devs!

Have you got a question about style="font-style: italic;">Rift: Planes of Telera?
Well, you have a chance to ask the devs at Trion Worlds directly. Just
submit your questions href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53660">in
our forums.

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/playerscore/scoreboards"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 580px; height: 249px;"
alt="World of Warcraft PlayerScore"

your PlayerScore?
World of
Warcraft players, find out at href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/playerscore">playerscore.com.

Loading... the original
extended experience.

SOE’s href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/284"> style="font-style: italic;">The Agency
was first announced, it got a lot of people talking not only about what
a breath of fresh air the setting would be in an industry dominated by
fantasy clichés, but also due to one of its proposed
“what if” features. Namely, what if you could
interact with your collection of NPC operatives via a mobile device
while offline? At the time this was considered to be very innovative
thinking, but by the time style="font-style: italic;">The Agency
is released the concept of MMOG-linked apps will be old hat.

Case in point, the mobile companion app for href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/fallenearth"> style="font-style: italic;">Fallen Earth
has taken the base concept of mobile connectivity to the live game and
achieved a true industry benchmark much like what href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/140"> style="font-style: italic;">City of Heroes
had previously done for character customization. It offers connectivity
with the live game and interaction with various aspects of your
characters to a degree that puts MMOG apps such as the WoW Armory app
to shame.

But as we’ve seen, the mobile MMOG app march has only just
begun. This week ArenaNet announced the href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/previews/extended-experience">Guild
Wars 2 Extended Experience, and
while much of it sounds like good news for gamers that have access to
the pricy hardware required to take advantage of the proposed feature
set, I can’t help but wonder if we’re witnessing
the birth of something that’s just as potentially damaging to
game communities as it is beneficial.

When voice chat was first gaining popularity in MMOGs, I saw firsthand
how it shattered numerous guilds and killed off more than a few online
friendships. While the intent of voice chat is to open up a more
effective means of communication, it also creates just as many barriers
along the way. What if you don’t have the cash for a headset
or you live somewhere that makes the use of voice chat an impractical
or even an outright inconsiderate option? I mean, who wants to share
living space like a dorm room or small apartment with a roommate
that’s constantly chattering on about a game you could care
less about?

I’ll openly admit that href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2"> style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars 2
is one of my most anticipated MMOGs, if not the most anticipated
currently. And as much as I dig the base concept and am excited to see
the full feature set in action, the announcement of the Extended
Experience has raised a number of red flags for me. Much like the
advent of voice chat years ago, I can see a lot of potential for direct
mobile connectivity to drive a sharp wedge into the same communities
it’s being built to enhance.

Game forums have historically been the most powerful social tool for
gamers to connect and discuss a shared interest while not logged into a
favorite game. Some of those gamers will even spend countless hours
proving their dedication to a given title by building fansites to share
their enthusiasm and knowledge about it with their fellow gamers. Yet
pushing too far into the direction of mobile connectivity has a very
real potential to pull the rug out from under current out-of-game
social networks like forums and derail dedicated fansites in one fell

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for giving players a
wider array of options for connecting with one another and ways of
learning gameplay details. At the same time I can’t help but
wonder what will become of game forums once chatting with your in-game
friends on your iPad becomes the norm, or if people running dedicated
fansites will hit a point where they’re considered an
obsolete, dying breed.

In some ways the features for something like the GW2 Extended
Experience are as much about controlling how people communicate and
learn about the game as they are about expanding the options for doing
so. This line from the blog post in particular stood out for me here,
“Additionally, we will have a much tighter system for
accessing and consuming wiki content. This will greatly reduce the need
to continuously jump out of the game to access web sites for
information.” Considering my occupation, that kind of
statement hits a little too close to home depending on how you look at

There are other social implications to be considered here as well. Just
like having access to voice chat, I won’t be at all surprised
when we begin to see “access to the mobile app”
begin popping up on the list of requirements for acceptance into a

Either way, I just hope that ArenaNet and other developers out there
don’t lose sight of the larger implications of going all in
on the mobile front, and that the original extended experience of
dedicated fansites and forums don’t become a sacrificial lamb
in the name of progress.

Does mobile connectivity have the potential to lead to the eventual
downfall of our current social tools when not logged into an MMOG? Or
am I just wearing my tinfoil hat particularly tight today? Head over to
the Loading… forum and let us know what you think!

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the

From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=668">WoW
Cataclysm Discussion Forum

now I'm mad?

the poor World
of Warcraft
druids. Darke is
upset because
the "druid travel form is slower than a mount." And yet, he
that the new Worgen race, which will hit Azeroth when style="font-style: italic;">Cataclysm
launches, will get an ability that allows them to run on all fours at
mount speed. Will Blizzard give any sort of consolation prize to the
classes who don't get a...speed bump? Our style="font-style: italic;">WoW
community has the
answers. Get the 411 and discuss those speedy, wolfy Worgens href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53661">
in our Cataclysm forum.


Quotes from the Epic Thread

they just up our speeds once we reach the appropriate mount level?
Didn't they do this with the flight forms

- href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showpost.php?p=442469&postcount=4">Darke


and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer

5 new Ten Ton Hammer
features today! 78 Ten Ton
Hammer features in September! 1033 in 2010!


style="font-weight: bold;">Aion Assault on Balaurea


style="font-style: italic;">Aion
has experienced a myriad of highs and lows since its North American
release a year ago. After making big numbers in the Asian market, the
game struggled to make an impact on US and European players. Now with
the release of style="font-style: italic;">Aion’s
first expansion, Assault on Balaurea, former
players are looking at the game once again and hoping for a brand new
experience. Read our review to find out if this expansion delivers on
those hopes.


Noah Ward Talks About The Upcoming Incursion Expansion For EVE Online


Noah Ward is Lead Designer at CCP games, the makers of href="http://tentonhammer.com/eve"> style="font-style: italic;">EVE Online.
He took some time out of his schedule at PAX 2010 to tell Ten Ton
Hammer about the Incursion expansion, planets, and economics.


Rise of the Gaming Portals


gaming has begun to shape the future of MMO gaming, but could its
biggest trend, the multi-game portal, have its roots in one of the
oldest names in the biz? Join Jason “Medawky”
Bolton this week as he
looks at the major players in free-to-play publishing, where they are
going and surprisingly, where they came from.


Cataclysm Events Kick-Started on the PTR

style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/cataclysm/cataclysm-ptr-events"

The end of the world is near.
No really, it is! Even with the release of href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow"> style="font-style: italic;">World of Warcraft:
months away the world of Azeroth is already feeling its effects as
Blizzard kick starts pre-expansion events to life on the public test
realms. The earth is shaking, elementals are invading, and leaders of
both Horde and Alliance can only look on helplessly as the world around
them plunges into chaos.

Guide to the Major Changes in WoW Patch 4.0.1


final patch of Wrath of the Lich King, patch 4.0.1, is poised to go
live at any time. This patch ushers in many of the big changes that
players are awaiting as the release date for Cataclysm draws near. In
this article we'll go through the main changes to expect when the patch
hits live servers.

Top 10

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/cataclysm_patch_guide">A
    Guide to the Major Changes in style="font-weight: bold;">WoW
    Patch 4.0.1 href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/wow/brewfest"> style="font-weight: bold;">
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/guides/politics/interview-PAX10">CCP's
    Noah Ward Talks About The Upcoming Incursion Expansion For style="font-weight: bold;">EVE Online
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/wow/brewfest"> style="font-weight: bold;">World of Warcraft:
    Brewfest Tankard O' Terror Contest href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/previews/lego-universe-preview"> style="font-weight: bold;">
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/interviews/core-gameplay">Core
    Gameplay in Guild
    Wars 2
    - A Ten Ton Hammer
    Exclusive Community Interview href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/previews/lego-universe-preview"> style="font-weight: bold;">
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/previews/lego-universe-preview"> style="font-weight: bold;">LEGO Universe
  6. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/previews/extended-experience">Taking
    the Game Outside of the Game in style="font-weight: bold;">Guild
    Wars 2
  7. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/cataclysm/darkshore-preview"> style="font-weight: bold;">WoW
    Cataclysm: Darkshore Preview
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/tera/interviews/scott-hartsman-9.14.10">Deeper
    into the Rift – A Q&A with style="font-weight: bold;">Rift:
    Planes of
    Telara’s Scott
  9. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/seasonal/brewfest"> style="font-weight: bold;">WoW:
    Brewfest Guide
  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/interviews/story-and-progression">The
    Heart of Tyria - An Exclusive Interview on Personal Story and
    Progression in style="font-weight: bold;">Guild Wars 2

for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Reuben "Sardu" Waters and the Ten Ton Hammer

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Guild Wars 2 Game Page.

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