Ten Ton Hammer Update 3.1

By Reuben Waters -
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We've learned a lot over the past 10 years of obsessivly playing and writing about massively multiplayer online games. With the recent revamp of Ten Ton Hammer, we've leveraged that experience in a number of ways. One of them is our series of ongoing updates, beginning this week with Update 3.1. 

Much like the triple-A MMOGs we consume like a pack of rabid zombeavers, we will be releasing major updates to Ten Ton Hammer on a regular schedule. Each update will bring new functionality, UI improvements, class balance, and plenty more. The full patch notes for our first major update can be found below!

Update 3.1 Patch Notes

With this update we're laying a lot of groundwork to enable new user experiences in the future. It also injects a lot of additional UI improvements and additions that help push towards our goal of making Ten Ton Hammer one of the most forward-thinking and user-friendly MMOG websites on the planet. We've outlined the major elements of Update 3.1 below.

New and Improved Giveaways

We've made some major improvements to our Giveaways system. This includes the ability to see all currently active Giveaways in one central location on the site, along with any keys or codes you've claimed beginning with the launch of the new system. Our programmers have also put a lot of work into making sure that claiming keys or entering contests is a seamless, user-friendly experience, and I think you'll enjoy what they've come up with. You'll be able to see the new system in action next week as we roll out two new Giveaways you'll definitely want to check out.

Single Sign-On

To make it easier for our readers to track their claimed codes in the new Giveaway system, and make it even easier to dive directly into discussions in our comment system, we've added a custom Single Sign-On system. 

On the top right of the site (or in the drop-down menu on tablets and mobile devices) you'll be able to log in by clicking on the Login button and selecting from the list of available options. The current list allows you to log in using Disqus, Facebook, or Google, and we'll be looking to add additional options in a future update. 

Improved Columnist Support

We've also added improved support for our core Columnists. As you can see on our revised front page, Columnists now have an improved display solution to make it easier for our readers to find content by their favorite authors.

This also allows our authors to publish their branded columns more frequently. You can almost think of these columns as author blogs, where each contributor is able to discuss topics of their choosing while still providing features, news, and guides to the MMOGs our readers are most interested in. So if you enjoy reading what Xerin, Shayalyn, Boomjack, and the rest of the Ten Ton Hammer team have to say, you'll be able to do so more frequently and with direct access to the columnists you most enjoy.

Promotion System

Last, but certainly not least, we've added a new Promotion System.

We took a close look at the value in adding auto-scrollers or sticking content to the top of websites. For the most part, those systems ultimately serve the wants and needs of the publishing entity more than their user base. The idea is that, by placing a piece of what is considered to be higher value content in prime real estate on a site, you increase the likelihood of readers clicking through to consume it. At the same time, it also makes assumptions about what your readers might find value in by placing additional links to existing pages in the most obvious position.

For our Promotions, we decided to take a different approach. We've devised a schedule of items worthy of promoting on Ten Ton Hammer that we feel will add value to our readers in some way. Our recent Guild Wars 2 Week promotion was one example of what we'll be doing in this space. If our site Updates are the analog of traditional major MMO patches, you could almost think of Promotions as the dynamic content updates that occur with greater frequency in between those major updates. 

Future Continuous

We will be rolling out our next major update sometime prior to the flurry of activity known as the Fall Feeding Frenzy (aka, when the major games publishers vie for dominance in a glactic battle of triple-A releases). In the meantime, Ten Ton Hammer is gearing up for SOE Live in a few weeks where we'll be handing out some awesome swag, hosting this year's pool party, and providing plenty of coverage. Later in the month we'll also be heading to Seattle for PAX Prime. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the latest additions and improvements to the site!

- Reuben and the team at Ten Ton Hammer

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