Welcome back! It is always hard to get into the groove after a long weekend.
We have some new comics to get you started off right. Thanks to "The General" who we are going to rename "The Mailman", because he always delivers.
I tried out Auto Assault on the weekend and although my lousy Internet connection at home made things frustrating it was an enjoyable enough game that I wanted to keep playing through the lag, disconnects and other connection related problems. If you have high-speed Internet connectivity then this is a game unlike any other MMO you have played. The action is fast, furious and a refreshing change from the plodding pace of the other MMO choices. Our Auto Assault community is in high gear, literally.
I read somewhere, at our EverQuest 2 community site likely, that EQ2 now has barbershops. A strange choice of infrastructure for a world that has no toilets. That's right, you can get your hair cut, but you can't find a toilet when you need one. Every first-person-shooter ever made has been filled with toilets. So many in fact, that you would swear American Standard had funded the development, yet MMOGs which have more sewer tunnels than Planters has peanuts never have toilets, ever. Name a MMOG with a toilet.
Back to barbershops for a moment. Imagine if you will, if the EQ2 developers had made this a player profession. Budding Nick Arrojos would be clipping and snipping their way into viritual shows like TLC's Norrathian version of What Not To Wear.
There are questions that need to be answered, for instance, what do Iksar do? Is there a scale cleaning shop? What about Halflings? Will the barber trim their toe-hair? If he does, will he then use those scissors on the hair sprouting from your head?
What's next for MMOs? I see day spas, virtual waxings, botox treatments for toons that have spent too much time in the harsh Antonican sun, Edward Scissorhands sequels and in World of Warcraft a remake of that great Barber of Seville bit where Bugs Bunny tricks Elmer Fudd into cranking the barber chair up 500 feet before dropping a huge bag of sand on his head. All of this, and we still won't have toilets, but Barrens chat will still be filled with potty mouth.
Don't forget to check out Auto Assault, where coincindentally, there are no toilets.
I have received a disproportionate amount of reader mail lately. Let me share a bit more with you.
First from Sarah, who wants to see me at E3 this year to view her religious video games;
"I noticed you are attending e3 and thought you might be interested in speaking with Digital Praise, a leader in family-friendly edutainment software. The company is unveiling its latest at the expo – Solomon Says and Camping the Bug-A-Boo Way."
I'm sorry Sarah, we don't cover family-friendly edutainment software here. You have us confused with the Landover Baptist Church, where their motto is, "Where the worthwhile worship. Unsaved unwelcome. As Jesus commanded."
From Aaron in response to a Loading... last week;
"I know what's wrong with America. Corrupt politcal agendas, religious fanatics, Liberals, PCers and those in the struggle to create the perfect, cultureless American society where EVERYONE is the same."
Just remember Aaron, you're unique, just like everyone else.
"Do you think ya might have room up there in the Great White
North......I'm getting tired of being associated with the United
Canada diligently monitors our southern border for Americans trying to enter the country illegally. You are a sneaky lot, digging long tunnels, much like gun barrels that are firing Americans across the border and into the promised land. On the bright side, for the two months per year that we can have pools and lawns jobs are plentiful.
Questions or comments? Send them in. I have two copies of Auto Assault to give away to some lucky readers.
What's New On TenTonHammer.com?
16 new content pieces today!
Let us entertain you or at the very least waste some of your time at work.
- Massive Single Player
"Players, players everywhere, and not much reason to group. "Casual" was a stride forward for the genre, but does casual necessarily exclude much the old school fun we used to have with guilds, groups, raids... the game's player community? Ethec has some ideas on how to put the "MM" back in MMORPG!"
- Auto Assault: First Impressions
"Vehicular destruction MMO Auto Assault hit retailers last week, and countless gamers running and gunning their way through a post-apocalyptic earth as you read this. But can "the fastest, most destructive MMORPG ever" live up to the hype? Our first impression? 4.8 out of 5 hammers! Why did we give Auto Assault such a high horsepower rating? Find out at TenTonHammer.com!"
- Auto Assault: Driving Alone
"This week's common content is all about solo play in onlinegames. Why exactly is single player content in a multiplayer game likeAuto Assault? Does grouping work in Auto Assault? These things andmore are looked at in our new editorial, "Driving Alone"."
- Auto Assault: Biomek Faction Skills
"The Biomek race has its own global set of skills, that combinedwith the specialty skills of each class, allow them to run over and dominate the battlefield. Well, at least that's how they see it. Tohonor the Biomek's glorious empire, we bring you the full listing ofthe Biomek faction skills from the live game!"
- City of Villains: Episode 7 Power Sets Screenshots
"More screenshots from the folks at Cryptic Studios, originators of the City of Villains / City of Heroes series of comic book-inspired MMOs. This week, we see evidence of the new power sets for several of the Villain archetypes. For example, "masterminds" of an appropriate level can call upon their very own thug motorcycle gang. Check out these new screenshots from what promises to be an incredible no-cost expansion at TenTonHammer!"
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: Mediocromancy
"Has there ever been an MMO that launched bug-free? Nope, and there probably never will be. Dungeons & Dragons Online is no
exception. In this week's Friday Editorial (FriEd), Darkgolem contends that the rush to release a game produces sub par results, and that a lack of communication from developers compounds the frustrations."
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: How DDO Encourages Parties
"Does Turbine takes the necessary steps to make people want to form a party in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO)? Ralsu thinks so. He describes the easy-to-use but deep social system in DDO and draws comparisons to other massively-multiplayer games."
- EverQuest 2: Fan Faire Follow-Up Part 2
"RadarX returns from the 2006 SOE Fan Faire with stories to tell. His official report contains all the gameplay stuff, but what really happens at these events? Read Part 2 for the conclusion of Fan Faire."
- EverQuest 2: Confessions of a Compulsive Soloer
"What incentives do people have to play Massive Multiplayer Online games? Step inside the head (yes, we're providing protective clothing) of Coyote a self-confessed compulsive soloer for a reason to solo besides being antisocial."
- EverQuest 2: Congregating With Cocktails
"Those darned EverQuest 2 players are at it again with their drunken antics!! Do you find yourself grouping with more and more players who have been crocked since the early afternoon? Could it be you, the reader, who is the muddled culprit looking for more mischief. Perhaps you have a problem and are looking for help. Perhaps help is here in this informative column writen by SLiDE who drever ninks erver. *hicCuP*"
- Guild Wars: Playing The MMORPG
"With this editorial, we take a look at the meaning of the words "massively multiplayer" in the context of online gaming. How multiplayer is a game that lets you go it solo? What does it mean for the future of online RPGs?"
- Lord of the Rings Online: Fellowship of the Ding
"Shayalyn is an antisocial gamer. How can upcoming MMOGs like Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar score points with players like her? Simple, says she: they have to encourage group play, yet provide meaningful solo experiences, yet avoid making soloing the best means of character progression. Well, okay, maybe it's not that simple."
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Drawing Conclusions
"Realistic, cartoonish, anime...those describe a few ways graphics have gone in MMO's over the years, and we all have our favorites. How appealing the graphics are or are not seems to get the most criticism fairly early on, after all we are a very visual society. Mercurie "looks" over how far graphics have come and where they may be headed."
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Solo Does Not Spell Alone
"When there are so many way to interact with the comunity in an MMO, why would someone choose to solo? Merriandra explores just what might make someone choose to ignore the community and turn to ones own resorces."
- Warhammer Online: SoloHammer
"Ratboy discusses the possible solo aspects of Warhammer Online."
- World of Warcraft: Is WoW Too Solo Friendly
"We all know what an MMO is, right? A Massively Multiplayer Online game, usually an RPG (Role playing game). But what's an MSP? To us at
TenTonHammer it is a Massively Soloplayer game, and it's hard to think of a better example of one than WoW. The question I look at this week is "What does massively multiplayer really mean to you, and does game WoW provide incentive to meaningfully interact with other players?"."
Vin Diesel Fact of the Day:
Vin Diesel knows how much wood a woodchuck could chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood.
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.
Once again, hats off to Matt.
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin