Ten Ton Hammer

  • Will there be Wookie sounds? Probably not. However, you can find out more about what will be included.

    ast time (Klick) I explained that the arena creature's impact sounded good, though it is lacking depth and power. There are several ways to get that extra "umpf" into a sound effect and it has been quite a long journey to work out an approach that actually works.

    When I was creating the sounds for our very first end-boss, animator Michael Perdius would constantly say he didn't hear the impact. This was odd as I knew it was in there, as a matter of fact; every time he said it, I would add another type of impact just to make sure. Several explosions, door slamming shut and bodies dropped to the ground all layered together. I tried eq-ing, adding reverbs even bribery at one point but Michael wouldn't budge. What I was adding wasn't what he was listening for.

    After a while, I gave up, working on other creatures instead, promising him to go back to our end-boss one day. I wasn't sure if I would or could get it right at a later time but was sure I wouldn't be able to do so now. Months later, when working on the Walrus' footsteps, I avertedly stumbled across a solution. The walrus was the first creature I did, not to walk on rock/gravel. When creating it's footsteps I noticed there was more punch to them than I would have expected. By mistake I had copy pasted an explosion, thinking it was a breathing sound, to each step. The combination of this quietly played explosion and the sounds surrounding the impact of the steps; the creaking wood boards and a slightly echoed thump, this gave a tremendous sense of weight.

    After each impact, the wood creaked.

    You can read this all here.

    Mon, Jun 12, 2006
  • Blizzard again bans more accounts than some online games have...

    In what's becoming almost a monthly occurence, Blizzard is wiping out massive numbers of EULA-violating gold farmer accounts. This time its 30,000 - the rough equivalent of the Puzzle Pirates community (according to As usual, the target is not so much gold farmers working hand-to-mouth; it's botters who attempt to automate farming chores.

    In keeping with Blizzard's aggressive stance against cheating in World of Warcraft, we banned over 30,000 accounts in the month of May, and with that removed well over 30 million gold from the economy across all realms. The banned accounts were taking part in activities that violate the game's Terms of Use, including using third-party programs to farm gold and items, which severely impacts the economy of a realm and the overall game enjoyment for all players.

    We will continue to aggressively monitor all World of Warcraft realms in order to protect the service and its players from the harmful effects of cheating. Please note that selling World of Warcraft content, such as gold, items, and characters, can result in a permanent ban of the involved accounts from World of Warcraft.

    Read about the Blizzard's massive May bannings at the official World of Warcraft site.

    Mon, Jun 12, 2006
  • No, Ukash is not a former Soviet state that has a good chance to beat the US in World Cup soccer.

    Not that it's difficult, /mourn Team USA. Ukash is a European cash-for-virtual-goods concept that RedBedlam will use to allow Roma Victor players to swap out cash for Sesterces, the in-game virtual currency.

    Ukash is simple to use, and Ukash vouchers are available in over 120,000 stores across Europe. The company has plans to make Ukash available in 12 countries by the end of 2006. As simple to use as mobile top-ups, customers can exchange cash for a Ukash voucher and then spend the value online in an identical way to existing credit card holders.

    “It’s a perfect fit,” said Justin Lunny, Director of Sales for Ukash “We have already worked successfully with other online-based businesses, including MMORPG’s, but we see this particular partnership as a special progression into virtual worlds and their economies.”

    “The Roma Victor commercial test already has a burgeoning economy,” said RedBedlam’s Managing Director, Kerry Fraser-Robinson, “and we recognise that many players do not have or want to use credit cards for online payments: Ukash can offer players the option of using cash instead, with no hidden costs at all.”

    First we have crucifixion from Roma Victor, now you can collect your thirty pieces of silver in real currency. Read the official press release from RedBedlam at ResponseSource.

    Mon, Jun 12, 2006
  • Land Survey

    It's Monday, which means all across our network writers are weighing in on a single topic. This week: what goes into great zone design?

    Everyone knows that location is everything in the real estate market and in MMO's it is no less important. Today Medeor gives us a look into Telon's real estate value.

    The above quote is from the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes website, describing Australia, I mean Qalia. I’m guessing Qalia is not being over-run with tourists unless they are on “Survivor.” While it doesn’t sound like a place for a summer home, the harshest of environments seem to breed some mean-spirited critters (I believe it has something to do with a guy named Darwin). I’ll look forward to counting the numbers of shades of beige that they can create. Mountains always present unique barriers within games (pun intended). Are these mountains that we will be able to scale and find nooks and crannies where bad guys live, or will these mountains be barriers to forbidden lands that we’ll have to go around? Or, will they be both?

    More real estate values at Vanguard - Ten Ton Hammer.

    Mon, Jun 12, 2006
  • The Shire: Peaceful Haven of the Hobbits

    The Shire, pastoral home to the Hobbits of Middle-earth, will undoubtedly be an important zone in Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. Shayalyn takes a moment to explore the Shire, from the Far Downs to the Brandywine Bridge and beyond.

    The Hobbits live a simple life in their rural homeland, which is how they prefer it. Essentially the Hobbits live as farmers, tradesman, and laborers, although a few are well enough off not to have to work at all. There are some poor folk, but their poverty is not extreme. In general, the Shire is agricultural, home to lands that produce mushrooms and pipe-weed. There has not been war in the Shire since the Battle of the Greenfields long ago, and Northfarthing is now better known for its hunting and beer than Goblins and Wolves.

    Discover the Shire at LotRO - Ten Ton Hammer.

    Mon, Jun 12, 2006
  • The autobahns and the potholed dirt roads of Auto Assault's "highway" system...

    The varied landscape that Auto Assault offers has a lot of well designed highways that provide tons of fun and excitment. However, there is one that stands out among the many. That's Hestia's Back Range. Such a well designed tutorial zone that provides an easy glide into the rough world of Auto Assault. We discuss why this zone is so top-notch and exactly what zone isn't up to standards in this week's common content editorial, Location, Location, Explosions!

    The Hestia Back Range is one of the three mini-highways that are designed to introduce new players to the world of Auto Assault. A newbie zone that I find to be the absolute best designed introductory level ever, full of atmosphere and simple mechanics that slowly reveal how the actual game plays out. All before level five out of a full eighty.

    Take a drive through the wastelands over to Location, Location, Explosions! at Auto Assault - TenTonHammer!

    Mon, Jun 12, 2006
  • You asked for a World of Warcraft database alternative. We got one together and into beta testing and let me tell you... you are delivering! A tidal wave of activity has taken our database to 1,815 quests in about a week! I'm thrilled and amazed.
    The database UI Mod has rocketed to the 9th most downloaded UI Mod and may make the top 5 by the end of the week. Amazing!!! A big round of clap for all of you. The good clap, not the STD clap.
    13 fresh new MMO articles, Vin Diesel and even naked women on motorized carts are but a click away.
    Loading... June 12, 2006 (Pants around the ankles edition)

    Mon, Jun 12, 2006
  • On Location

    This week's Guild Wars @ Ten Ton Hammer editorial tackles location, location, location. What are the coolest places in the game? Which are the worst? How much trouble will Samyel have finding something to complain about?

    Next plan… what else do I hate? I asked my team mates, and they agreed that the urban sprawl around Kaineng City was pretty annoying. And come to think of it, they're right.

    Read on in The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly at Guild Wars - Ten Ton Hammer.

    Mon, Jun 12, 2006
  • Getting in the zone...

    We all have our happy place that we go to when we're being yelled at by people we don't like. RadarX takes you to his happy place in EverQuest 2, where you'll find midgets, slot machines, and all you can eat buffets. If that didn't creep you out, take a look inside to find out which zone is designed the best, and which is the worst.

    Most of us who have played EverQuest 2 for some time through alt (alternate character) after alt, have a special place we always love to see. A zone of wonder and amusement, that never gets old no matter how many times we go there. A place of such ingenious design, that to find flaws in it, would be akin to the treasonous behavior of believing Star Wars was better when re-released. For many, opinions vary on which zone is best, and I'm sure they change as content is added. You know how the saying goes, opinions are ....what? Get your mind out of the gutter! I was going to say "what makes everyone different." Here is mine...

    Take a look at the rest of this article at EQ2 - Ten Ton Hammer.

    Mon, Jun 12, 2006
  • Fun is Where You Make It

    Listing the best and worst instances or zones in any game is a difficult task. For one, it’s subjective--one person’s fun is another person's grind. Instead of offering up a list of her own favorites and not-so-favorites in Dungeons & Dragons Online, Shayalyn ponders what makes for a good instance and accompanying quest.

    Fun and challenge are difficult to balance. If an instance offers up a quest that causes a group of average gamers (and by “average” I mean not too casual, and not too hardcore, but somewhere in between) to struggle and curse and die repeatedly, then the challenge factor is too high and most players simply aren’t going to enjoy themselves. On the other hand, if a quest is so simple that running through it seems trivial, then the challenge factor is too low. If, however, the quest poses enough danger to make it fun, but not so much as to make it seem impossible or frustrating, then it’s going to rank high on most people’s lists.

    Read the editorial (and see if you agree) at DDO - Ten Ton Hammer.

    Mon, Jun 12, 2006
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