We woke up to a new government here in Canada. Another minority government without the clout to truly govern. History tells me that I'll be writing this same sentence one to two years from now.
I promised to write about the IGE, OGaming, Thottbot and Cosmos connections today. There isn't much I can tell you that some other sites haven't already worked very hard to deduce. It is completely by coincidence that today news of a deal between IGE and Alibaba.com, the Chinese version of EBay, owned 40% by Yahoo, has been stuck allowing IGE to sell MMOG items, etc., on the auction service. Gamasutra.com broke the story.
"According to a Marketwatch report, Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba, which is 40% owned by Internet giant Yahoo!, has officially announced a parntership with MMO in-game item trading firm IGE to offer IGE-sourced items on Alibaba's Taobao online trading platform."
It is unclear whether this means that IGE can sell their wares garnered from the North American market to North Americans or if this will be internal to the Chinese market. If the former is true, then Blizzard and Sony may have their hands full trying to block sales of their intellectual property. You can read the entire Gamasutra article right here.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Once upon a time, before there was TenTonHammer.com there was a game network. Let's call it OGaming. The owner of this network, frustrated that sites like WarCry.com and Stratics.com were getting all the exclusive content from the publishers. He was approached by another company which offered to buy his little network. He agreed, but was not allowed to disclose which company purchased him. According to Okratas, he had this to say,
"I sold ogaming because the game developers were too busy supporting press release networks like Warcry and Stratics while real fansites and communities went down the hill. And as time progresses and the market grows, independent sites are either going to die because of lack of money, or start carrying ads and sell out to "undesirable" companies."
This seems like a strange request, but although uncommon, it isn't strange at all. If your company has a bad reputation or in the case of secondary market companies receives full-force, outright hatred from much of the game community then you would not want your name associated with a site that deals with the game community. You wouldn't want anyone to know you were owner of the gaming site or they would stop visiting. If they stopped visiting you could not advertise to them. If you could not advertise to them then your purchase of the gaming site would have been a mistake. Not wanting anyone to know you owned the site you would cover your tracks.
Unfortunately, those meddling kids and their dog always show up in the mystery machine and ruin things. Scooby Doo, where are you? Whhhite Hhhhere Frraagy.
Let's call those meddling kids, oh... CorpNews, Grimwell and Slashdot. Slashdot probably plays the part of Fred, though I'm not sure if CorpNews or Grimwell is Thelma.
CorpNews had a thread start in the forums titled, "A sordid tale of IGE, thottbot, ogaming, and conquest" , which grew to six-pages in length. The meat of the thread can and should be read here.
Slashdot has a concise, well-written piece that should be read in full. If you are too lazy to do that, then here is a snippet for you,
"Ogaming is a hub site much like Warcry, with a sub-site about most of the major Massively Multiplayer Games out there. Some enterprising /whois work by the original author of the WowCensus thread led him to realize that OGaming was registered with the same street address used for IGE's New York Office. OGaming's registration information was updated on the 10th, and now displays the name and address of a proxy registration service. Further damning is the thought that at one point a page on the Ogaming site claimed to own Thottbot.com, a universally respected and utilized tool for World of Warcraft in-game information."
WoWCensus , on which the original thread pointing to all of these connections appeared has up and vanished, leaving only a page that points to, get this, Thottbot and OGaming.
Recently WoWInterface.com, a repository for dozens of user interfaces also became part of the OGaming network.
All of these articles, links, snippets and message threads point to a connection between OGaming, Thottbot, Cosmos, IGE and WoWInterface. I'll leave it to you to decide what is true and what is simply rumour being amplified by a brigade of people in tinfoil hats.
That's it for today. I didn't have room to cover the "sweat shops". I'll tell you all about those another time.
Comments? Flames? Send them here!
Game Movie: A Hero's Love
Vin Diesel Fact of the Day:
Vin Diesel once pushed Lance Armstrong off his bike during the Tour de France. It was a ballsy move.
Turbine takes center stage today as both of our new content pieces cover games they are developing. DDO sorcerers take note, we have a class guide up. If you are a MMOG noob then take a minute to read the Lord of the Rings Online Noob Journal, Part 2.
All this and more is yours...read on!
Here's what's new on the network!
- DDO: Sorcerer Class Guide
"Today we offer up our guide to the sorcerer class, Stormreach’s innately gifted arcane spellcasters. In this guide you’ll learn a bit about what makes sorcerers tick, including which abilities, skills and feats best suit his talents."
- LotRO: Noob Journal, Part 2
"Our newb-in-the-field, Gypsy, is preparing to play LotRO by learning her way around MMOGs via World of Warcraft. This week she learns a bit about aggressive monsters and how NOT to PvP. How will our intrepid adventurer fare? Find out in part one of her ongoing Noob Journal series."
- Irth To TenTonHammer, Part 2
"I feel a little bit like a Ginsu knife commercial spokesman listing everything this interview has in store for you, so... hey, it's late and I'm gonna go with it! Not only does Thomas Gale, artist for Irth Online (the newest MMO to hit the market, a game known for its unique skill system and one-of-a-kind PvP setup) discuss the tools and knowledge it takes to become a quality game artist, he'll even tell you what makes Irth artistically unique among its peers.
But wait, there's more! Irth Online's developer, Magic Hat Software, was kind enough to send along five exclusive screenshots for your viewing pleasure.
But wait, there's more! The developers might just pull a special discount offer out of their Magic Hat (sorry) for readers of this article! Click the link now, our site is standing by!"
- Auto Assault: Interview With The Regular Joe
"This week we interview someone really special to the Auto Assault community. Someone you might not know either. That's right, we interview the casual Auto Assault player taggle. Noone popular, just someone who was graced with the ability to play the Auto Assault closed beta. Even though he doesn't have the best loot or even his own brand of mouses, he has realstic views and opinions on the game. So this month, let's look at the views and opinions of just a regular Joe of Auto Assault."
- Auto Assault: Roadstop Comedy Club - Part 2
"Last we left Devrek he had just gotten a new job at the Roadstop Comedy Club. They probably made a mistake by hiring him.
Nevertheless, this week we bring you another episode of the epic adventure of Devrek. This stand-up comic is trying to make his harsh living in the wastelands through the power of comedy and his hate of the penguin race. Join him this week as he discuses the fashion of duct tape hats and how penguins can read your mind."
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: Create Your Character Contest Winners
"DDO @ Ten Ton Hammer is pleased to announce the winners for the Create Your Character Contest. We asked DDO fans to write their most creative descriptions of their player characters, and we received several dozen fantastic entries. Our two winners received an identical amount of votes (from the DDO @ Ten Ton Hammer staff) to tie at first place. The winning entries are: Cost, by Andrew Ferguson, and The Goblin Thief, by Richard Davey. Our winners will each receive a DDO pre-order, so they'll be ready to play when DDO launches on February 28th. Congratulations to our talented winners and runners-up!"
- Vanguard: Wolves, Trees and a Pint of Ale
"Today Lady Sirse shines the community spotlight on The Druid's Grove. A class site that has been a haven for Druids of all sorts since 1999. She talks to one of the current administrators of the Grove's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes side of the site. So grab a drink and kick back while we have a chat and find out what exactly goes on in the Grove."
- Vanguard: What is the Well Dressed Ogre Wearing?
"Just in time for Spring, our MMO fashion guru Eliana takes a look at some do's and dont's for those that know the importance of a good impression when showing up for a raid!"
- Coming Home! Leaving the Most Popular MMO Behind and Why
"Unless you've been in a cave, or living with the Amish, you've probably heard of World of Warcraft. Those of us familiar with it, know it flexes its dominance like Godzilla in Tokyo. What brings people back to Everquest 2 from such an apparently popular game? RadarX interviews two people who have recently returned and finds out what World of Warcraft is doing right and what can turn people off to it."
- World of Warcraft: Guide to Alchemy
"Being an Alchemist allows you to create powerful potions that will help you and your friends in the World of Warcraft. From the common healing and mana potions to the high end flasks available only to alchemist masters there is something useful to create. Alchemy also allows you to transmute many items from one thing to another, this includes iron to gold and elemental essences form one type to another."
- World of Warcraft U.I. Mod Reiews - Titan Panel
"We review our second WoW UI mod. It's an addon that many players consider indispensible, pinning two extra-thin, information-packed bars at the top and bottom of the screen. What's perhaps even more impressive is the array of modules already available to customize these bars to your liking."
- World of Warcraft: U.I. Mod Reviews - Decursive
Our third WoW UI Mod. An addon that allows easier removal of player debuffs, a must have for all raids if you play a class that removes debuffs."
- Guild Wars: Arena Build - Poison Assassin
"Enter a new assassin. One that is not an A/W pre-made template. One that throws notions of defense to the wind and goes all out in an offensive rampage. One that deeply inflicts poison and bleeding wounds upon victims on the ground. Taking upon challengers in the arenas, it is hard to find a match among either hard or soft targets."
- Guild Wars: Taking a Stab at Factions
"With the Factions event going on this weekend, we're getting a peek at the new classes and some of the abilities they're bringing with them. PvP is going fast and furious right now, with everyone eager to take the new Ritualist and Assassin classes out for a spin. In this update, I've listed five of the most interesting looking skills off the Assassin's elite list."
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin