The Ten Ton Hammer Best of 2009 Awards
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at the past 12 months, 2009 was an interesting year in the MMOG
industry. We didn't see a lot of new titles but we did see a lot of
expansions and updates that pushed the genre closer to its next
evolutionary stage. A few new things were tried and some classic ideas
saw this year was towards
microtransactions. Though they're nothing new to the industry, a lot of
developing companies got their feet wet this year with in game real
cash markets. The concept is still what we would consider to be in
infancy but it has become a lot more apparent this year that the model
can, and does, work. The misconception that if a game is free-to-play
it must be poor quality is fading.
year focused heavily on PvP which we also saw in 2008. The difference
this year is that developers seem to really be trying to build their
PvP games as PvP games from the ground up. We saw more PvP-centric
titles launch this year than we have in the past with games like Aion,
CrimeCraft, Darkfall, and Fallen Earth.
an award of some sort this year,
we thought that would be a little self-defeating. It is worth
mentioning though that almost every game or expansion launched this
year did bring at least one positive element to the genre. However, the
purpose of these awards is to recognize excellence in 2009.
SO without further ado, roll out the red carpet. Pop open some
champagne. Get your cameras ready for the glitter and glamor of the
Ten Ton Hammer Best of 2009 Awards.
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is a tough thing to measure. What makes a good community and how do we
deem a community excellent? This award gives us a chance to
recognize the players of the games that we all enjoy. Let's face it;
without the players there wouldn't be much fun in any
align="right">A good community, to us, is one that is friendly. It's
players can log into a chat channel and be
met with welcoming messages from online friends. It's a place where
reputation means a lot and names are remembered. It's a community
that has its friendly competition and maybe even some outright
rivalry, but remains fun. It is
constructive, offering potential solutions to game and community issues
instead of shouting "foul!" and "I'm going to sue!" In short, it's a
place anyone would feel at home and have fun for most of
the time they're logged on.
That said, there's always going to be exceptions. There will always be
players who can't see beyond their own noses. There will always be
players who believe their $15 per month (or their ability to click a
download link for free-to-play games) entitles them to an engraved
marble plaque hand delivered by nine virgins in gold-trimmed chiffon to
inform them the server will be down for ten minutes next July. No game
we've ever encountered is free of these sorts of players. The only
question is which type of player is the majority and which is the
with all that in mind, the award for Best Community of 2009 goes to...
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style="color: rgb(255, 204, 51);">EVE ONLINE
players play, the community is very
centralized. This helps a lot in promoting a community. Corporations
make names for themselves; some good, some not so good. When it comes
right down to it, EVE players are really
EVE players. They share a commonality in interest and everyone knows
what's going on in their virtual world.
Beyond this, the EVE community has an untamed drive to improve the game.
And the developers are a part of that community. Players and developers
banter back and forth on forums, suggestions are made, implemented,
tested and executed, and everyone wins. The recent Dominion expansion is a perfect example of developers working together with the community to evolve the game in a positive direction.
In the end, it's hard to play EVE without becoming a part of the
larger community. And for that, many congratulations go to style="font-style: italic;">EVE Online, CCP, and the players
for making it that way.
Be sure to visit our style="font-style: italic;">EVE Online Community Site to
guides, previews, interviews, blogs and more.
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has been the driving force behind MMO Gaming and we would be
amiss if we were to not recognize the roleplaying genre. Only recently
have some MMOGs started to veer away from the roleplaying aspect but
most games still promote it heavily. After all, who wants to be some
average Joe in a game when they can do that themselves in their everday
align="right">Massively multiplayer games are not necessarily always
the best conduit for the roleplayer. It can often be hard to immerse
yourself fully if thousands of players around you are not participating
in your joy of talking like a dwarf. So, for a complete roleplaying
experience it makes sense that we have to look away from MMO games and
more towards single player or small group based games.
A good roleplaying game will keep a gamer enthralled for weeks or even
months at a time. You simply cannot get into a character you've only
played for five hours. The longer you have to become attached to your
in game character, the more you'll begin to feel a part of the virtual
world in which you play.
Story is also among the chief components of a good RPG. And there's
only a few studios who know how to tell a great story. If done well
the story of the world, its history, and the heroes and villains will
become as much a part of your life while playing the game as your
neighbors and friends in the real world. This kind of game is one that
you simply can't stop playing and find yourself staying up much longer
than you should just to unravel the next arc.
This year's winner is an obvious pick, and the congratulations go to...
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style="color: rgb(255, 204, 51);">DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS
title. From the first ten minutes in the game until its climactic
ending 40-60 played hours later, the story will keep you involved. The
characters are so rich in depth and personality that you really will
believe they've taken on a life of their own. The world changes around
you based on your actions, and the quests will have you wearing your
adventure hat right in your own living room.
The gameplay is solid and thoughtful. Varying challenge levels make it
a lot of fun to play for any degree of roleplaying fans, from casual to
hardcore. Prefer a more action packed game? No problem. Can't get
enough strategizing and number crunching? It can do that too. Rarely
has a game of such profundity been so accessible to so many playstyles
that we believe BioWare has very likely earned style="font-style: italic;">Dragon Age: Origins a spot in the
top ten games of the decade.
Find more Dragon Age: Origins
content at our DA:O