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The Ten Ton Hammer Best of 2011 Awards - Page 5

Updated Wed, Dec 28, 2011 by B. de la Durantaye

are our favorite topic here at Ten Ton Hammer and we serve up hot and tasty RPGs like the Denny's of MMO sites.

We do love our MMOs but we also have an insatiable craving for a good RPG. Let's make no mistake about it--MMORPGs would not exist without RPGs. And today's RPGs are far more advanced than we could have ever imagined even ten years ago. Technology is booming and there are almost no limits to what a developer can do with it. Add to that the unbridled creativity of some of the top minds of the industry and modern RPGs are nothing short of miraculously immersive.

2011 had a few titles that were very enjoyable. But when it came down to brass tacks we needed to decide on the one game that we could live in. This game needed to be one for which we would be willing to shed our mortal coils, quit our jobs, lock ourselves away for months never to see the light of the tangible world, and be perfectly content in doing so. When we thought about it like that, "which game could I survive happily in for the rest of my life?" our winner became apparent.


Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Bethesda

Living up to the Elder Scrolls name is a tough challenge. For years the Elder Scrolls games have been staples of the RPG genre. Would Skyrim be able to fill those shoes?

It did fill those shoes, and brilliantly. The main story in the game was executed flawlessly, which is the foundation for any good RPG, but more notably was the diversity that this game took on. No longer did players need to follow very specific routes (even if camouflaged by distracting side quests) to advance their character. They didn't need to partake in skills and abilities in the game that didn't interest them in order to level up. They didn't have to define themselves as any particular class. Quite simply, in Skyrim you can do what you want when you want how you want and you will advance. If the main story doesn't interest you at all, just don't do it. Go hang out in taverns, listen to the live (and entertaining music) and flirt with the staff. Or wander the lands aimlessly stopping at what interests you whether it be a cave of magical mechanical creations or a towering haunted lighthouse.

Every element of Skyrim could easily stand alone as its own game and be enjoyable, and it's completely up to the player to pick and choose what they want to do. This approach is applied right down to combat where players can go ranged, magic, or melee, or a mixture of any of the above. This game is a magical creation as any gamer could pick it up and say "there's nothing about this game that I dislike" for the simple reason that anything you don't enjoy in game - you don't have to do!

When it comes right down to it the world of Skyrim is one that we found we could happily live in for days, weeks, months... maybe even years. And that's the hallmark of a truly successful RPG. Well done, Bethesda.

Either they are fanboys of Star Wars, Bio-ware or both. How is it that a game thats been in the wild for 8 days wins Best MMO of 2011. That only shows that the writer himself is showing a great bias towards that game.

Maybe the million+ subscriptions already? Maybe the fantastic storyline? People have been playing it for years now in beta. Just because you disagree doesn't make it a bias. I would also rate this game better than anything else released this year. I really enjoyed RIFT but i think this is a better game.

Yeah.. too bad almost every MMO to be released has had over a million or close a million subscribers at launch. This is indicative of nothing. yes, its going to have a star wars fan base, as well as a base of players new to mmo's, but any seasoned mmo'er won't play this game if they know what a good MMO is.

No actually very few MMOs make it to 1 million unique subscriptions. Rift being considered by many to be the number 2 MMO didn't break 1 million subscribers they just broke 1 million accounts. There are 100+ people in my guild 90% of them have been playing MMOs for many many years. Seasoned MMO players DO and WILL play swtor.

Myself and many people in my guild have already hit level 50 in SWTOR. There's literally nothing to do at that point except grind professions/affection or reroll. It was cool while it lasted, but it only lasted 3 weeks for me. Unsubbing at the end of the month until they release more content.

@Realist:

People like you are the reason this game exists. SWTOR is ushering in a new generation of MMO's and MMO players who care just as much about the artistic experience of the game (the story, the characters, the worlds, etc) as they do about stat building and gaining XP.

SWTOR isn't about the endpoint, its about the journey you took to get there. So if you rushed your way to level 50 in 3 weeks, you are completely missing the point.

Oh, and considering the huge amount of unique content for each class, I'd say a reroll isn't such a bad option ;)

Exactly Anon, plenty of seasoned MMO players are playing the game and enjoying the hell out of it. My guild, which has been part WoW fanatics and part fractured since the days of MxO's rise (what originally got us together), is now back together and enjoying the game quite a bit. General chat is filled with WoW fans discussing how it compares half the time (half the time I turn off general chat because of it). Note: That's people in game discussing it, they aren't on a forum or in some comments discussing it, they are actively playing the game.

Nearly every major gaming site has a guild in game....many large WoW guilds have started up in game too...so I don't know where you get off saying MMO gamers aren't playing it...because they clearly are.

It isn't perfect yet by any means...but it has enough going for it for people to give it a chance...and that's what Bioware needs to build a WoW killer. That's the chance most games don't get out of the box. They aren't wildly successful...so they don't get the backing needed to see the development through...and they stall...just look at Rift.

SWTOR made that million just on fans, that doesn't mean its either a good game and even less a good mmo, great story? wtf are you talking about for story I play single player games , great content is what a mmo needs specially end game content.

Its what could've easily been a single player game like skyrim disguised as an mmo that will now charge a million idiot fans for it every month, just lol.

yeah kudos bioware now do the same to star trek hook some more millions of fools and you're golden!

yeah kudos bioware now do the same to star trek hook some more millions of fools and you're golden!

SWTOR made that million just on fans, that doesn't mean its either a good game and even less a good mmo, great story? wtf are you talking about for story I play single player games , great content is what a mmo needs specially end game content.

SWTOR made that million just on fans, that doesn't mean its either a good game and even less a good mmo, great story? wtf are you talking about for story I play single player games , great content is what a mmo needs specially end game content.

Well you guys just lost a hell of a lot of respect from me.

Swtor would have been great if it was released in 2005. It brought absolutely nothing new the genre except voice dialogue, which isn't very innovative at all. It's kind of hard to add an immersive story to a quest objective like "go kill these guys for an item".

Most of the game is instanced which leads to more of a single player experience than an MMO. Pvp is extremely lackluster. This game is essentially WoW + star wars lore + voice dialogue. Don't get me wrong. World of Warcraft was a great innovation to the mmo genre, back in 2004.

Not only was the drawing board obviously missing intuitive ideas, the game was released 6 months before it was ready. Check the forums. Everyone is complaining about how buggy it is and calling it "unfinished".

What else could I ask for you say? Well, compared to Guild Wars 2, which is in closed beta and close to release, you have:

1. Unique class-specific mechanics (Warriors can plant banners in the ground, Mesmers can create illusions of themselves, and many more. atleast 2 unique mechanics per class)

2. Cross-profession abilities – Elementalist cast a firewall, and ranger shoot arrows through it to create burning arrows.

3. True dynamic events - For instance you’re having a drink in a tavern and townsfolk start screaming “centaurs are attacking the town”. You have to stop them in real time, or they will over run the town, and cause another event in which you can intervene. (Rift said this was in their game, but planting random spawn points of mobs throughout the world and calling them rifts is HARDLY dynamic).

4. Dynamic combat - manually dodging and blocking, but still having a targeting system. This is coupled with cross-profession abilities. There is no holy trinity of DPS, tank, and heals. It’s support, control, and damage. This means NO MORE STANDING AROUND FOR AN HOUR SEARCHING FOR A TANK.

5. Large scale non-instanced pvp battles with objectives. Three servers (yes 3, only game to do this since DAOC) are paired up in a 2 week battle for objectives. The pvp region is called “the Mists” and consists of 3 home territories and a neutral territory. Supply lines and coal mines provide resources to build things like trebuchets and siege engines which are used to assault the main keep in each home territory, as well as the neutral territory. At the end of the 2 weeks servers are ranked and repaired to servers closest to their rank. In comparison, SWTOR has huttball. Nuff' said.

These innovations, and any like it, are NON-EXISTANT in SWTOR.
All of these innovative ideas are working and implemented into the game. The game is smooth and responsive like you would expect from an MMO in 2011/2012. It’s also F2P.

I would be embarrassed to release my name on this Star Wars title in Q4 of 2011.

This is a list of best MMO's of 2011. Unless GW2 comes out between now and saturday, the above comment is worth shit.

Yeah and if all that is true......Your game will have no problem making this list next year.....After it is "Released"

Sounds like a troll that works for GW trying to promote their game...

Well you guys just lost a hell of a lot of respect from me.

Swtor would have been great if it was released in 2005. It brought absolutely nothing new the genre except voice dialogue, which isn't very innovative at all. It's kind of hard to add an immersive story to a quest objective like "go kill these guys for an item".

Most of the game is instanced which leads to more of a single player experience than an MMO. Pvp is extremely lackluster. This game is essentially WoW + star wars lore + voice dialogue. Don't get me wrong. World of Warcraft was a great innovation to the mmo genre, back in 2004.

Not only was the drawing board obviously missing intuitive ideas, the game was released 6 months before it was ready. Check the forums. Everyone is complaining about how buggy it is and calling it "unfinished".

What else could I ask for you say? Well, compared to Guild Wars 2, which is in closed beta and close to release, you have:

1. Unique class-specific mechanics (Warriors can plant banners in the ground, Mesmers can create illusions of themselves, and many more. atleast 2 unique mechanics per class)

2. Cross-profession abilities – Elementalist cast a firewall, and ranger shoot arrows through it to create burning arrows.

3. True dynamic events - For instance you’re having a drink in a tavern and townsfolk start screaming “centaurs are attacking the town”. You have to stop them in real time, or they will over run the town, and cause another event in which you can intervene. (Rift said this was in their game, but planting random spawn points of mobs throughout the world and calling them rifts is HARDLY dynamic).

4. Dynamic combat - manually dodging and blocking, but still having a targeting system. This is coupled with cross-profession abilities. There is no holy trinity of DPS, tank, and heals. It’s support, control, and damage. This means NO MORE STANDING AROUND FOR AN HOUR SEARCHING FOR A TANK.

5. Large scale non-instanced pvp battles with objectives. Three servers (yes 3, only game to do this since DAOC) are paired up in a 2 week battle for objectives. The pvp region is called “the Mists” and consists of 3 home territories and a neutral territory. Supply lines and coal mines provide resources to build things like trebuchets and siege engines which are used to assault the main keep in each home territory, as well as the neutral territory. At the end of the 2 weeks servers are ranked and repaired to servers closest to their rank. In comparison, SWTOR has huttball. Nuff' said.

These innovations, and any like it, are NON-EXISTANT in SWTOR.
All of these innovative ideas are working and implemented into the game. The game is smooth and responsive like you would expect from an MMO in 2011/2012. It’s also F2P.

I would be embarrassed to release my name on this Star Wars title in Q4 of 2011.

Just becuase they didn't innovate in the way you want doesn't mean there was no innovation. The story is fantastic, some of my friends that thought they would be skipping all the quest dialogue have completely changed their minds because the class story is that good. Hate all you want but learn to give props where they are deserved otherwise your post is useless.

Yep, class story is fantastic. All other attempts at adding dialogue to meaningless quests are terrible. and uhh like i said thats the only thing they brought to the genre. Your post agreed with my post such that they brought innovation by quest dialogue. you agreed with me, and said my post is awful. I think you're awful at arguing.

The amount of times you mentioned Class Quest = ZERO. I didn't agree with anything you said in your post you're clearly an idiot and you never once said you thought the dialogue was innovative. In fact if you read your post it seems you are arguing it's not innovative at all. I personally like the dialogue added to filler quests. They did an awesome job with the crafting system. I could add some more things if you would really like me too.

right on man.. if you don't like the filler dialog..skip it simple as that I personally love the filler after all it is an mmo>RPG< I dont like any relish on my burger but you don't see me telling you to eat it plain

If you hate it that much go away and let the rest of us be loser. You are spending an awful amount of time discussing something that is allegedly not good or important to you.

Sounds to me like your just a whiny brat who has to have everything. The game is solid, its fun, it has a lot to do, the bugs are minimal (wayyyy better than the bugs at wows launch) and the game has enough content to hold people over till the first major patch.

Sounds like a successful MMO to me. Also, nobody really cares about your respect.

You really can't call GW2 best of 2011 WHEN IT HASN'T BEEN RELEASED YET!!

Its the simple things that most people miss.

brehon1104 this is for titles that were LAUNCHED in 2011.

Meh, MMO's are dead right now and TOR is nothing more than a giant time sink of non-innovation with some pew-pew added in. Hell, I would have made Rift MMO of the year for crying out loud how long has TOR even been released? LOTRO with its massive time sinks is even better. The only GOOD thing TOR brought was the Star Wars IP and its not done well at all. I found it so bad that the last 5 months of beta I could no longer endure.

For the unseasoned MMO player, however, its a "ohhh,shiny".But to lay claim as the best MMO of the year when it just released, seriously.... Even staying away for months has not changed much here. What has happened to TTH?.....

yay someone with a brain! <33

For the record, the vote between editors wasn't unanimous. And we definitely did give consideration to the fact that TOR hasn't been released for long (although our editors have been playing it in beta for much longer.)

Opinions are going to vary--that's the beauty of it; no one opinion is the right one. But overall, our editors leaned to the side of The Old Republic, and all of us believe it's a solid, respectable choice. I agree with it, even though TOR wasn't my first choice. I voted for Rift. ;)

Rift.. Your serious Rift for game of the year? Not even close. I played that thing from Beta until July to watch it slowly sink into the Mud from the constant nerf/buff cycle because their Dev's don't know how to use a calculator much less a programming language.

TOR at least has as close to balanced PVP as I have seen in a long.. long.. time.

That was absolute sarcasm but then you don't know me. There is no good MMO out there anymore in my opinion and yea I am seasoned MMO player far beyond the vast majority. There is not much in the way I have not played. with that said, 90 million people also call Brittany Spears Rock n Roll and it doesn't make that right either...

So, our pick for MMO of the year should have been: "None of the above. They all suck."?

No one comes to check out editors' picks for the top MMOGs of 2011 to hear that they suck. Personally, I agree that there's plenty of room for innovation (while also, in some respects, no need to reinvent the wheel.) But of the games in 2011, Rift shines for me as the one that launched smoothly, played solidly, and pretty much offered what it said it would after you stripped away any trace of spin/hype.

I chose Rift because it's a solid game. I just didn't feel I'd seen enough of SWTOR to make the same determination, despite my faith in BioWare.

^^^^^^^^Guild wars fan boy alert lol ^^^^^^^^^^^^

As i'm sure you both will know from having played the game, since you guys know so much about it this game has been availble for months to those with beta keys, which I would bet my house on the guys here had....this game is revolutionary. yes it is shamlessly mass effect/starwars/WOW but who said that was a bad thing, we all know what happens when you try to re-invent the wheel it ends up free to play.

Bioware have always said that they will use a traditional MMO standard with a bioware twist and they duly delived on that promise. Is the game finished ? no ...when is an mmo finished, Do I wish they had waited six months so I can have the pleasure of some insignifacnt bug not offending my high gaming standard hell no I would have took the game a year ago half finished if they'd let me and I know from those forums you speak of, you know the ones where everybody hates bioware for giving us an un-finished game LOL the only thing I see are people moaning about is because they had to wait a day or two longer than early access to get it.

Whether you like it or not SWTOR is an excellent game from a single-player and a MMO perspective and if it can bring bioware consol players over to the PC then all the better for us cos its about time someone BOUGHT a pc game.

Great pick guys....well it wasn't gona be rift was it.

Hate to burst the bubble of the TOR naysayers but its obvious that TOR is going to be taking top MMO for years to come so it makes perfect sense for it to win best mmo now. anyone that doesn't vote it best mmo will look pretty silly years from now when it's still #1 (well, guild wars 2 too maybe).

some ppl have been playing it for months now btw so can't really say it got voted in after only a few days.

As much as I don't like the star wars mmo, It is obviously the best one released THIS year.

/facepalm Meagan Fox is sooo overrated...

World of Tanks gets best community??? What a joke. They have the most worthless forums and moderators known to man. The whole "community" is just an afterthought for the devs who only focus on the Russian server. Second in their heads is the European server and a distant, distant third is the North American server. So all it has become is a place for new people to complain about the basic faults with the game and ask questions, but get ignored by the up-their-own-butt mods... who are just little kids that happen to want power over others and free gold and don't have real jobs, so they have the time.

Disappointed but not surprised by the choice of SWTOR for top dog this year. Fawning over this game is what all the cool kids are doing. The problem is that this game has no legs to keep it running over the long term. The story elements do look like they are top-notch, but the gameplay itself looks absolutely yawntastic. Not just because it's a rehash of things we've all seen before, but because it wasn't even well executed. The animations look absolutely awful and the combat looks dull and stilted. There's nothing about it that looks remotely exciting.

I like Bioware. I played the hell out of Dragon Age and enjoyed it thoroughly -- and haven't played it since. Why? The same reason SWTOR is a poor pick for top MMO. Once I've played through it completely, then again for a new perspective, there was NOTHING left for me to get out of it. That's the hallmark of story driven content once you've heard the story. Even the greatest novel, once read, isn't something you pick up again and re-read, over and over. You put the book down with satisfaction and then you read another. Maybe a few months or years down the line you might revisit it, but not immediately and not continuously.

A good MMO will entice you to stick with it, well after you've read the story. With the gameplay that I see in SWTOR, I don't think it's enough to keep people's interest for long. It's just not very good. I know that people are still all starry-eyed with it right now, but I sincerely believe that many of even the hardcore supporters will be setting out for greener pastures within a few months. They'll eventually recognize that that aren't having much fun and will find something a bit more interesting to play. Basically, they'll stop deceiving themselves.

This time next year, SWTOR will be a shadow of it's former glory. There are too many other games coming out that look like they do the game thing better. Much better. SWTOR stories won't be able to compete with the superior gameplay that we'll start seeing. Not to mention, many of the WoW-philes will be heading back for the panda extravaganza. They have one loyalty, even though they might stray.

So, SWTOR: A decent game with great story elements, but lacking everywhere else (except sound, the sound rocks). When the honeymoon ends, so will the marriage.

For those of you saying that SWTOR lacks innovation, what sort of innovations would you like to see MMOGs embrace in the future? What could SWTOR, for instance, have done better, in your opinion?

Haters are going to hate

I probably would have picked Rift for the same reason as Shayalyn -- SWTOR hasn't been out long enough for me to judge all aspects of the game. Also, I don't have nearly the same trust for Bioware that I did before they messed up the Dragon Age series by completely changing it between I and II. So I'll withhold judgment for awhile.

Personally, I would have picked Fallen Earth as having the best community. Someone is always willing to answer a new person's question and the help channel is kept clear for this purpose.

SWTOR best game? lol. Sorry, if this game didn't have the SW ip vomited all over it, it would be obscure & ignored. "Almost everything is done right in this game" that is the biggest bold-face lie in any game review.

I've played alot of mmo's like Rift WOW AOC LOTR STO Aion thats just to name some and SWTOR is very good game. It still needs work but most games when thay come out do most of the things its missin are small things that thay can add latter.

And all of you who are goin on about the story play it fist them come back and say its shit i love my class story it was epic i have a lv 50 sith jug and i cant w8 to played one of the other class stories.

As for pvp only yes there only 3 warzones at the mo but there great fun thay have changed the right things to make them feel new like. Huttball, now as to why no other mmo ever put a pass it a flag game before now i dont know but it adds alot more to the tactic for the zone. and more to the point theres only so much you can do in pvp its all been done in other games all you can do is make a small change here and there to make it feel fresh.

now for the ppl who think this has only sold because its Star Wars if this game was done the same way as it is now but let say it was set in world of Dragon Age it would still have sold just as many copies. Bioware makes great games and anyone who has played there games will have been keeping an eye on this like me for a very long time.

the only thing i can see that may be this games down fall and only time will tell is if thay can come out with content at a good pace

Should it be Good ! -_- we tried the old games why should we play it again !

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