Huzzah, hurray and three cheers for the Canadian Womens' hockey team who won the gold medal at the Olympics yesterday. I don't suppose any of you play MMOGs?
I wore out a keyboard. I'm sure some of you have worn our keyboards, old friends that had been with you like a faithful dog, following your online adventures. I have never had a computer long enough to wear out the keyboard and there is just something about sticking an old keyboard on a brand new box that doesn't seem right to me, so I always grab new peripherals when I order a new box.
Enter Alienware. When I purchased my Area-51 from Alienware a couple of years ago I was thrilled. They were the undisputed kings of the boutique gaming computer market and I was getting one of their top machines. It would arrive in 10 business days the order form said and sure enough, 10 days later it was on my doorstep, cradled in a box that you could stuff a full sized fridge into. The box was shiny and black with an Alienware logo the size of a small African nation on the side. Also on the side was a gigantic hole, at least 14 inches across and 16 inches high with the unmistakeable markings of some shipper's boot. Yep, yep, someone had actually kicked a huge hole in the side of the box that housed my machine.
It didn't get prettier when I opened the box. The door to the cable management system was broken off and two of the plastic bay covers were cracked and knocked out of the machine.
I took pictures and called Alienware. They walked me through diagnostic after diagnostic until eventually I was told that everything would be replaced. By "everything" that meant the door to the cabling system and the cracked bay covers. By everything, I expected a new box. It's not like these machines are not over-priced. I was paying for the service, or so I thought.
The broken items arrived via FedEX two days later and I installed them without aid of Alienware support. The machine had been relatively bullet-proof until two weeks ago, with the exception of eating every modem I put into it. A modem, no matter what kind, seems to have a six month lifespan in the Area-51 before it becomes a toasted mess.
Last year, prior to E3 TenTonHammer.com grabbed an Alienware laptop for me to use. This is a hot machine. By "hot" I mean you could fry an egg in three seconds on the wrist rests while typing on this thing. It's powerful, no doubt. It's a desktop replacement and not truly a laptop, but it has never worked just right. My guess is that it simpy runs too hot. It runs so hot in fact, that where you rest your hands on the machine to type, there are now burn marks on the casing. We purchased three of these machines. They all run equally hot, and all of them have issues with lockups, rebooting or not booting up at all. At $3500 a box, I'd like them to boot up.
But we purchased from Alienware you say, and they claim the best customer service in the business. If the business is pissing people off then yes, I'd say they win. I have two Alienware machines now sitting here in my office that I can't trust to work when I need them. Our C.E.O. has two machines sitting in his office in the same state.
In two years I have gone from being an Alienware evangelist to wondering what the heck happened.
Now back to the keyboard. Which was an Alienware keyboard. Which wore out.
I went out and grabbed a Logitech G15 keyboard and a Logitech G5 mouse. Let me tell you, these are incredible pieces of gaming gear. This review of the keyboard is bang on. This comparison of the G5 to the Razer Copperhead is a great look at the mouse I purchased.
I have only been using these for a couple of days, but they are fantastic. For less than $200 Cdn I have a great setup that will last me for a while.
Comments? Flames?. Send them here!
Vin Diesel Fact of the Day:
Vin Diesel finished the "Never-ending Story".
Fluff, extra, silly additions, whatever you want to call it, we take it apart today.
Let us entertain you.
Here's what's new on the network!
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Love Makes the Virtual World Go 'Round
"Mercurie gives us his "take" on love and the virtual world in todays Tuesdays Take"
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: Spell Casting Basics
"It's time to take a bit of the mystery out of spell-casting in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO). Darkgolem thoroughly explains how spell-casting works in DDO for casting classes from bard to wizard. Ready for Spell-casting 101?"
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: The Boomstick Sorcerer
"What carries a staff and makes things go boom? If you guessed Darkgolem's Boom-stick Sorcerer build, then you're on to something. And if you're gearing up for the February 28th launch of Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO) with an arcane caster in mind, you'll want to check out this blastacular creation."
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: Master Thief
"Cloak and dagger. Picking locks and disarming traps. Ralsu thinks he's got it all figured out when it comes to rogues in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO). He brings us a custom build called Master Thief to show off his knowledge"
- Auto Assault: The Interface - Part #1
"Ever wondered where your inventory was? Ever get lost in a games interface? Well not anymore! Today's newbie guide is all about Auto Assault's interface. We bring you the first in a two part series explaining the basics behind it. Never wonder again what that weird little icon is next to your skill bar!"
- World of Warcraft: Onyxia Guide - Tactics
"Phase one starts the Onyxia fight. When you reach her lair you will see her resting on the ground. Take this time to buff everyone and ensure that everyone has full health and mana. When everyone is ready have the main tank (MT) charge in with everyone else following about 2-3 seconds behind. The main tank should run straight past Onyxia pulling her to the far north side of the room so that she faces the wall. The best positioning takes a little practice and is a few steps in front of the wall. This is so that the MT's back is to the wall to limit the effectiveness of her push back ability and so that the MT is the only one in front of her when she breathes fire."
- Auto Assault: The Spare Tire
"This week's common content feature is all about fluff. No, not fluffing your pillow. Fluff as in the little bit of extra content that makes MMORPGs extra sweet (or overly sugary). Things like character customization, housing, and more are discussed in relation to gaming in general and Auto Assault."
- World of Warcraft: Pirates, Wedding Dresses and Podracing, Oh My!
"For over a year now, the MMOG World of Warcraft has attracted millions of gamers, both young and old to the shores of Azeroth and Kalimdor to fight on either the mighty Horde, or the noble Alliance. As more and more people reach the level cap of 60 set by Blizzard, people are continually categorizing the game, and all those who reach the cap into 2 groups: the first being the end game content raiders, and the second being the casual playing 60's. Let me tell you right now, that this is NOT the case at all. Blizzard has provided within the World of Warcraft an incredible amount of "Fluff", better known as the content that is inside the game for the players to enjoy, but recieve no experience benefit from, (all the fun stuff!!). World of Warcraft is filled to the brim with crazy, creative, wild, funny and exotic content for all ages and types of gamers to enjoy, so sit back, relax and let me explain to you some of the funnest events in the game, that most players are too busy to enjoy!"
- Far Over Misty Mountains Cold: Non-Leveling Content in Lord of the Rings Onling
"Tolkien's realms of Middle-earth are ripe with lore: most characters have a detailed lineage; most places have a rich history; and songs and poems have an important place. To some gamers, rich lore amounts to little more than "fluff." But to Lord of the Rings Online:
Shadows of Angmar (LOTRO) fans, all that fluffy content is essential to making a beloved fantasy world come to life. Shayalyn discusses some of the things she's eager to see in LOTRO, and none of them relate specifically to killing monsters or grinding away at levels."
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: TenTonHammer The Guild
"Announcing the Ten Ton Hammer guild on the Sarlona server! We're open to new members and ready to roll during the Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach head start, scheduled to begin February 24.
Come adventure with us!"
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: There's a Tavern in the Town
"Where's the fluff in Dungeons & Dragons Online:
Stormreach? It's practically non-existent. Shayalyn went in search of non-leveling content and found very little in DDO, so she chose to hang out in taverns...er, write about taverns. Are taverns non-leveling content? Eh...maybe."
- Guild Wars: Low Cal Content - Bring on the Fluff
"The success of a game is based on it's playability. Sticking power, however, is partly from the little things--the hair-styles, the dyes, the clothes and the non-combat oriented combat. In short, the fluff!"
- Finding the Fluff: Looking at the Extras of EverQuest 2
"We've all poked around in-game at one time or another and picked up some miniscule detail that we assumed we were the first person to have ever seen. We of course ignored the fact that 2,000 other people had figured it out before us. Throw us a fricking bone here! RadarX delves into what EverQuest 2 has in the way of "fluff" and explains why these little extras make the game better.
- Fluff Content: Where Game and World Meet
"Player housing, holiday events, and just-for-show clothing...all MMORPGs have non-adventuring content, or "fluff." Besides its perpetual, real-time nature, fluff is the one feature that makes these games bonafide, interactive worlds. But are the core gameplay virtues increasingly lost in a sea of kitsch content?"
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Non-Combat Content, Fluff or Flavor?
"Every Monday, the writers across the Ten Ton Hammer offer a look at a common topic. Lady Sirse looks at whether or not there is Fluff to be found in the much anticipated Vanguard: Saga of Heroes which is due to be released sometime this year."
- Warhammer Online At TenTonHammer - New Site Opens!
As a new site on the network we are going to be undergoing a lot of changes in a short amount of time. It is our goal here at TenTonHammer to provide information that fans want; and as per the publisher of our own MMOG Newsletter (Which you can sigh up for with the link to the right); “You come here because we tell it straight-out, from the hip, like it is. We aren't always politically correct, but we are always forthcoming.”
So there you have it (in a paragraph). Warhammer.tentonhammer.com strives to provide you the most up to date information on what should be a revolutionary MMO, be it from us, or links to other great contributors to the community."
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin