Ten Ton Hammer Features, Guides, and more

  • Ganked!
    Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle continuing to cover for John "Boomjack" Hoskin's Loading... column this week. Thanks to those of you that wrote in expressing sympathy; John is continuing to decompress following a loss in his family last week. We continue to wish him and his family the best during this trying time.
    One of the more interesting MMO prospects we saw at E3 last week was Seed. In case you're not familiar, have a look at our E3 impressions of Danish developer Runestone's ambitious project, but the premise of the game is really interesting. Not only are the comic book-strip graphics unlike anything you've seen before in an MMO, but the game has no combat mechanic. No combat! Nutty Danes. I had to give it a try. (By the way, there are no representations of Mohammed in this Danish comic strip MMO.)
    Being a small independent project, the game was available via direct download. That's not as painful as it sounds; between the 3 meg initial download and something like 260 megs of patching, Seed's 14-day free trial is as economical on your wallet as it is on your iTunes-laden hard drive (how many podcasts can you really listen to?). When you log in, there's no formal constucts, literally nothing, to help you find your way around the newbie-oriented Reqspace. Well, except for the game manual and the other players, but this is kind of a shock to the system after playing skads of other games with elaborate step-by-step tutorials.
    At the start, you're something like a sociable Mr. Fixit. You amble around a decrepit space station, finding hatches to fix up with one of three simplified tools you have in your inventory at the outset. It makes for strangely compelling gameplay where type-A personalities are concerned, but unless I start getting a clearer picture of what character progression really means in Seed pretty soon, this one's going to be easy to walk away from. Fixing things is great (and I can do it as I work, heh), but what's the point in fixing this same hatch again and again? Where are we going with this, folks? I can stomach the wonky click-to-move mechanic (WASD movement is supposed to be an option, but in effect... well, it's like my keyboard cable's loose) if you'll just clue me in. Sandbox-style gameplay is a whole new world to me (pun intended), so hopefully I won't go into withdrawal as the cravings for directed play leave my system.
    All told, the game looks great and definitely has potential. But more on my adventures in Seed as the week progresses.
    Questions, comments, or suggestions? Let us know...

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    Tue, May 16, 2006
    Ethec
  • Well color me surprised yet again this week. This just in from the Shadowbane Official Site.

    "Yea, a great blight is upon the land, a shadow whose power none can resist. But know this, there is a light within the darkness, and that light shines still. Look upon this blade, and know that you behold the Shadowbane, the Blade of Destiny, lost to the shadows of death and time. If you would preserve all that you have wrought, look to the Sword for your salvation. The return of the sword shall rekindle the hope of the World, and with it you shall conquer any foe."
    - Zeristan the Wise, The Legend of Shadowbane

    I am not at liberty to say much at this moment. There is currently an official announcement in the works that will explain things at greater length and detail. At the same time, we know the community has many questions and we do not wish to just ignore the situation. What I can say at this point is that come tomorrow, Shadowbane will still be running and you'll still have Sachant and myself here to do what we do best. You will also see Jinx, who is new to the Shadowbane Team but an old member of the community itself.

    Let me dispel any rumors before they begin. Today Wolfpack Studios has been dissolved and is no more. With that said, members of Wolfpack are reforming under a new group. This group will be working with Ubisoft to help usher in the next era of Shadowbane.

    In other words, do not go anywhere! The Saga that is Shadowbane has many more chapters to be written and read!

    Ashen Temper
    Designer, Community Manager

    I'm sorry to see Wolfpack close. However, I'm glad that they're pulling it all together and keeping a game that many people enjoy alive.

    News
    Tue, May 16, 2006
    Awenyddion
  • This game rocked my socks off. I can't tell you how exhilirating the combat looks. With that said, Gamespot has a Tabula Rasa impression of their own.

    The game is a blend of shooter action (you can switch between third-person and first-person perspectives, depending on your playing style) and online role-playing. Don't worry if you lack lightning reflexes, though, because the game is designed to appeal to those who don't necessarily like twitch gameplay, thanks to certain features such as auto-aiming, which makes locking onto a target easier. Meanwhile, the game will have role-playing calculations in the combat. If you put the reticle over a target and hit it, you'll pretty much be guaranteed a hit, but the game will calculate how much damage you did. There are going to be dozens and dozens of weapons--including energy, incendiary, poison, and more--and enemies will be vulnerable to particular types of damage, so you'll need to make constant tactical decisions about what to use in battle. We got to play as a heavy-duty soldier type, armed with multiple rocket launchers as well as various magic-style special abilities, such as a particularly nasty chain lightning ability. The way in which the game combines both science fiction and fantasy conventions isn't entirely unfamiliar but seems unique all the same.

    NCSoft came to the table this year with an outstanding lineup. Color me impressed.

    News
    Tue, May 16, 2006
    Awenyddion
  • There are a few more interviews / previews and such coming in from MMORPG.com. You ask yourself, why Awen? Why are you posting this when you guys already did all of these? Well... it's always good to have a second opinion yeah?

    BioWare Austin's MMORPG: Interview with Gordon Walton and Richard Vogel
    Warhammer Online: E3 Preview Also, be sure to check out our Warhammer Community.
    EverQuest: Progression Server E3 Preview I'm thinking of hitting this server myself. Best times were playing EQ. Maybe it's time to start over again?

    News
    Tue, May 16, 2006
    Awenyddion
  • Braving the Elements

    Samyel, the Community Manager for our Guild Wars - TenTonHammer site, continues to explore the newly released "Factions" expansion for Guild Wars. Today she brings you another great laundry list of elite items.

    With this list of elite green Canthan items for Elementalists at Guild Wars - TenTonHammer, we've wrapped up our first sweep of new elite items. Of course, because not everything has been found yet, there are lots of items we don't have listed yet. This list—and all the others—will be subject to regular updates as more item statistics become available.

    Mon, May 15, 2006
    Ethec
  • Frequently Assaulted Questions

    Everyone has a question that needs to be answered before they start playing Auto Assault. Can I use my debit card? What kind of computer do I need to play the game? What exactly is the game about? Worry not, all of these kind of questions and more are answered in our General FAQ!

    We all have various questions to ask about Auto Assault and it can be very hard to get them answered. So we've compiled the most frequently asked questions (hence FAQ) about Auto Assault and listed them here with their answers! This edition of our FAQ series goes over all of the general questions about Auto Assault like monthly fees, system requirements, payment methods, and more.

    Get your questions answered at our General FAQ at Auto Assault - Ten Ton Hammer!

    Mon, May 15, 2006
    Ethec
  • Mephisto will melt your face?

    From E3, speculation grows that Blizzard has a next-gen console game well along in development. MMO, FPS, or RTS? I have little doubt that, accounting for both subscription revenue and box price, World of Warcraft is the top-grossing game of all time. The choice seems like a no-brainer.

    In the past year Blizzard have advertised full time position for next gen programming positions so the news is not really a big surprise. It would be more interesting to discover which game they have up their sleeves. Could it be Diablo which, according to many rumours will be an MMO as huge as World of Warcraft, with the concept of Hell invading Heaven.

    Check out the rest of the story on Blizzard's possible next-gen plans at HEXUS.gaming.

    News
    Mon, May 15, 2006
    Ethec
  • An E3 Debriefing
    Our community managers speak to the hype surrounding their games at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Those that were there also share their final impressions of other games they saw.
    E3 Wrap-Ups

     

    Mon, May 15, 2006
    Ethec
  • Ganked!
    E3 has come and gone, leaving only a host of quality previews and interviews (and some aching blister-ridden feet) in its wake. The team got together on Saturday to discuss our annual E3 award nominees, and without ruining the surprise, suffice it to say we were very impressed with what we saw from just about every developer. There are, as is to be expected, a few exceptions (/cough Dark and Light /wheeze Webzen /cough). But, in no particular order, we really enjoyed demoing games like World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, Warhammer Online, Gods & Heroes, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. We're saw promising, innovative things from independent games like Seed, The Chronicles of Spellborn, and Pirates of the Burning Sea as well.

    After finally wrapping up our coverage Saturday night at about 9:30pm, we had drinks in the hotel bar (New Otani Hotel: "Home of the $8 12 oz. domestic beer") with two executive types from another videogame portal network whose name shall remain anonymous (not out of common courtesy; I was half-dozing when they started spouting off). Their model for E3 coverage was to bring a host of unpaid interns to E3, slap their bylines on the volunteers' work, then womanize the developer's "PR chicks" at the after parties.
    This approach is quite a contrast to TenTonHammer's "happy few." Believe it or not, we had executive types and board members (avid gamers themselves and published in their own right; no ersatz journalists here) working hard in the media room proofing and posting articles and content as it came in. In their spare time, some towed along to take photos for our busy interviewers. John Hammond came up with an exclusive interview with the first victim of E3's anti-"booth babe" wrath, Casey Poteet. Our editors worked till 4 or 5am to post and publicize evening writeups from the last day. And our writers-- well, I can't say enough in their favor. We went a man down early in the week and they rolled with the punches. Some of them took on double their scheduled daily load and neither complained once nor let the quality of their coverage suffer. I couldn't be prouder of our network and our people.
    E3 was a lot of work, but that's not to say it wasn't enjoyable. Despite roommates whose snoring rivalled the NCSoft booth for earsplitting volume, luxuriating in our scanty ration of 3 hours of sleep a night after bringing you the best E3 MMORPG coverage we know how to, and surprise room service bills that would have fed an entire third world orphanage for months (New Otani Hotel: "home of the $80 pizza."), we had a lot of fun. But in case you need proof...
    How could a candy company's brilliant marketing coup make for 3 days of nonstop hilarity? Which one of our staff handles chopsticks with lethal precision? Take a bunch of sleep-deprived rural types (including several Dudley-esque courteous Canadians) to the industry's largest convention, which happens to be in the downtown section of one of world's largest cities- what's the worst that could happen? Check out our blogs for the shocking details.
    Questions, comments, or pleas for us to take your daughter's picture out of our booth babe gallery? Let us know...

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    Mon, May 15, 2006
    Ethec
  • Tuning Up Auto Assault - An Interview with Scott Brown

    NCSoft held a press event Thursday night featuring several prominent developers. Among them was Scott Brown, President of NetDevil and a player's developer. Brown has been and remains the driving force behind MMO of fast destruction: "Auto Assault." He clued us in on the sweeping improvements coming soon as he artfully dodged a pointed question about subscriber numbers. I suppose that's why they made him president!

    "I chatted briefly with Scott "Scorch" Brown, President of NetDevil at NCSoft's E3 developer "speed dating" event (no, really; you sit down for a few minutes with several prominent NCSoft developers as they wend their way from table to table - it cuts down on the awkward pauses). The good news: a chance to respec your abilities, the auction house, and several nice amenities are coming soon; the bad news: you don't get a second chance to make a first impression, and in-town model animations aren't likely to see much improvement."

    Check out our Q&A with Auto Assault's Scott Brown from E3 2006!

    Sun, May 14, 2006
    Ethec
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