Loading... March 3, 2006

By John Hoskin -

I was told that my glaring orange box with the MMOG Headlines was "ugly" or a "disgrace" or something by our our talented graphics designer. I can't remember what he called it because in my head I was going "La La La La La" at the top of my "in my head" voice. He has much more important projects on his plate than fixing up my messes so I do feel bad that my poor presentation in Loading... and the newsletter grates on him. I understand the feeling of looking at something and having a shock run through you that curls your toes and makes your eyes bloodshot. In respect to our graphics guru I have made the box grey. I consider grey the half-mast of colours and as such it should be appropriate. I know it doesn't look any better than the orange, but maybe it will make him laugh when he reads the column today.
Segway to healing that hurts. .
Our good man Phil "Ralphedelominius" Comeau, who we affectionately refer to as Ralphabetsoup has mentioned to me in the past that he reads Terra Nova, a blog that is popular for reasons that I don't fathom. Perhaps I'm too feeble of mind to enjoy Terra Nova. Perhaps my wit is too dull. Perhaps my I.Q. is too low. Perhaps I simply can't relate to academic looks at the game industry that appear written to generate debate when no debate is needed. Perhaps all. Perhaps none. Whatever the reason, I can't last more than a minute or so at that site without drifting away to some other site that appeals to my limbo champion of 1995 intellect. How low can I go? Snake in a wagon-rut low.

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I do however, hold our good man Phil in high regard. Because of this, and because a few of the sites that I do frequent in my daily journeys across the Interweb sometimes mention Terra Nova, I find myself drawn back at least once or twice per month. It is a lot like a car wreck. I don't want to look. I know the outcome, but inevitably my eyes are drawn to the screen and the horror within is revealed.
Today was different. As sure as the power always goes out when I win the phattest loot in the World of Warcraft raid, the car wreck was there waiting for me. The article that had the masses angrier than a radical Muslim at a cartoon convention involved the Red Cross and video games, an unlikely mix on the best of days. Titled, All Your Heals Are Belong To Us, the article briefed the reader on the debate at hand at which point the blogger wrote,

"Now, let me stipulate for the record that the Red Cross/Crescent is just a peachy institution. Really, it ranks right up there with apple pie and my mum. But just as my mum has been wrong on occasion, the Red Cross is acting like a jackass here."

I have yet to see anyone from the Red Cross do a good Johnny Knoxville impression. Until a Red Cross worker appears on CNN, because that's where it will be shown first, with mousetraps on their nether regions or walks into a hardware store and delivers a huge, steaming turd in a display toilet then calling them a jackass is probably not appropriate. It's probably better just to say that they were protecting their intellectual property, like every business and citizen is obliged to do.
Apparently the Canadian Red Cross was requesting that the video game industry stop using the red cross emblem ( The emblem is a red cross for those of you who are visiting for the first time from a site we don't' mention around these parts. ) in their products. In fact, you can read the letter from the Red Cross right here.
I honestly don't see the big deal here, yet the comments about this story go on and on like an Ellen Degeneres show. You wish they would stop, but there is always more. There are some true gems like this,

"Red Cross is a great wonderful organization? Be careful with assumptions like that. The CEO of Red Cross makes upwards of $700,000 a year. Start adding in a bunch of the other top staffers and you suddenly start to wonder how much your potential contributions are going to pad a bunch of people's bank accounts.
Compare that to Salvation Army, 2 billion dollar organization, with a CEO that makes something like $15,000 a year.
Or even still to Child's Play which has CEOs that make nothing. (Go Gabe and Tycho!)"

Holy Hannah in a handbasket Joseph! Did somebody actually compare the Penny Arcade Christmas fund raiser to the Red Cross, and the PA event came out on top? No offense to Gabe or Tycho, or the 1200 donuts they are currently co-habitating with, but that's just plain silly.
I think everyone, or nearly everyone who commented on that blog missed the point. What difference does it make if video games can't use a red cross to denote healing? Do we have so little faith in developers that we can't comprehend them coming up with some other symbol to represent an increase in our hitpoints? This is a trademark battle that is of great value to an organization that uses that symbol as their identity. Does it really hold some huge value to video game developers or is it just a crutch?
Now if only someone would write a letter asking that developers stop making characters, humans usually, appear like they are part of a contest that involves carrying marshmallows between their buttcheeks when they run I'd be happy.
Flesh wound or critical hit? Heal me !

What's New On TenTonHammer.com?

Nothing is impossible. We have posted a book review. Other content of note, though not nearly as astounding as the fact that one of our staff read a book includes some fancy, dancy City of Villains Issue #7 screenshots, more Auto Assault Comedy and how healers may have different roles in Vanguard.

Let us entertain you or at the very least waste some of your time at work.

  • City of Villains: Issue #7 Screenshots

    "TenTonHammer now has 5 new semi-exclusive screenshots from the next free expansion set to hit City of Villains, Issue 7! Two new zones will grace the Rogue Isles: Grandville, a "vertical" zone which houses Arachnos headquarters, and Recluse's Victory, a fully destructable PvP zone where Heroes and Villains will work out their differences! A features list, courtesy of Cryptic Studios, is also included."
  • Book Review - Smart Bomb

    "TenTonHammer's own Michael Sun gives his views on a book that explores the history of videogaming, online and offline. Smart Bomb surveys the industry's growth from an idle hobby in the late 1950s to the multi-billion dollar industry that it is today."
  • Auto Assault: Roadstop Comedy Club #7

    "Devrek's back this week with a surprise! A special surprise full of mystic wonder and enjoyment! Well, not really. It's more of a newsletter he created to go along with his normal sketch. That's right! A whole newsletter is included in this week's Roadhouse Comedy Club. That's like a bonus!"
  • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes: Know Your Role - Arcane Healers

    "Martuk takes a look at the essential healing classes and their roles, traditionaly and what Vanguard may be doing differently."


  • Everquest 2: A Collection of Bad Days - Coyote Sharptongue

    "Media today seems flawless. Interviews go without a hitch, and follow a precise
    and well rehearsed script. But what happens behind the scenes? What happens to the interviews that fail so

    miserably that they are locked away never to be seen again? We put them up to embarrass the reporter.
    That's what. Failure, folly, and alien probes - for your enjoyment."
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online: The Paladin

    "Paladins are THE quintessential knights in shining armor in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO). With both true blades and true hearts, they protect the citizens of Stormreach from the evils gathering below and within the city's walls.
    Ralsu takes a closer look at the paladin and provides details on the things you need to know to decide if this is the class for you."
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online: A First Day Look at Pick Up Groups

    "Just launched your MMOG and you can't do a thing with it?

    Poor Orogurath had the same problem. On the first day of Head Start play in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO), he created a character and headed into the game with high hopes for finding a group and enjoying some adventure. Instead, he was met by a troop of lecherous dwarves, and the sinking feeling that players' priorities had changed since beta."
  • MMORPG By Appointment Only

    "Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach and the console title Fight Night: Round 3 both launched during the last week. Area retailers stocked 5-20 unreserved copies of FNR3; of DDO, no unreserved copies. Ethec addresses the pre-order scheme used almost exclusively by brick-and-mortar retailers and game developers for MMORPGs and other PC games. It's DDO by appointment only, and Ethec's thoughts on why PC games are losing the retail war to the console."
  • Auto Assault: More Game Basics

    "Looking for some basic Auto Assault information? Not deep enough into the game to get into more advanced things like the special arts of robot summoning? Don't worry! We've updated our game basics section with more basic information on Auto Assault."
  • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - New Artwork - Blacksmith

    "This week's featured artwork is of a blacksmith hard at work forging a new weapon."
  • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Can You Hear It Now?

    "A look at the value of sound in an MMO"

Vin Diesel Fact of the Day: When Vin Diesel is pulled over by the police he lets them off with a warning.
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.

As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin

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