Ten Ton Hammer

  • DDO's "Carrot on a Stick"

    Dungeons & Dragons Online launched with great success at the end of February, but will it have the momentum to sustain a solid player base? Shayalyn takes a look at how gaming with friends gives DDO a unique sort of staying power.

    Traditionally, MMOGs have offered all sorts of incentives to keep subscribers happily addicted, from the promise of advancement to the highest levels, to quests for fantastic items. Level advancement will always be an incentive in any online game, but decent items and cash are actually easy to come by in DDO, making that grind-for-glory a little less crucial than it seems to be in other games. So where is that necessary incentive to keep playing?

    Read 'Carrot on a Stick: What Keeps us Playing DDO?' and see if you agree with Shayalyn's assessment.

    Mon, Apr 03, 2006
  • Are we being played by our games?

    Once again, we bring you the Ten Ton Hammer common content editorial of the week. At Guild Wars - TenTonHammer, Samyel takes a look at goals, gaming, and the carrot on a stick mentality.

    To one degree or another, we're all goal oriented, and video games play us like fiddles when it comes to tugging those strings of human nature. Give us an attainable goal that will make our digital avatar better, and we will strive for it. Give us a particularly shiny piece of virtual weaponry, and we will covet it. Give any kind of incremental steps towards greatness, and even the most apathetic of us will make an attempt to climb those stairs.

    Why do we play until our eyes glaze over and the sun starts creeping up on the horizon? Read about it at Guild Wars @ TenTonHammer.

    Mon, Apr 03, 2006
  • What's Your MMO Motivation?

    As we trade in console games hand over fist and single-player PC games just gather dust, what keeps us loyally (or hopefully) playing MMORPGs year after year? Ethec examines some of the core motivations behind long-term MMO gaming.

    Many looked to the casual trend in recent MMOs to make community interaction more palatable, and it's true that the genre really has opened up; you hardly ever hear the word "cannibalizing" used to describe the introduction of a new game into the genre anymore. Sadly, there's a downside of making a game friendly to casual players: casual communities tend to be sizable, but not deep. I hate to say it, but you need frustratingly long periods of downtime between battles (the long, frustrating spawn-camping sessions and the periods between fights to med / heal up of the EQLive days) to want to discover anything substantial about the players around you, that is, beyond that they know their role in the combat encounter. This is why so-called "niche" MMOs are still viable; while their subscriber numbers pale in comparison to WoW, their highly inclusive communities tend to have deep-roots.

    Check out our MMO Motivation editorial- as well at our other community site managers' takes on what keeps them playing their particular game- today at TenTonHammer!

    Mon, Apr 03, 2006
  • Why are we anxious for Auto Assault?

    This week’s common content editorial is all about what makes us hopeful to play Auto Assault. What drives us to wait patiently for April 9th (or 12th) to roll around so that we can finally log into Auto Assault? Get Xerin’s perspective in this week’s editorial: Carrot on a Flamethrower. Crispy grilled carrots not included!

    What makes me anxious to play Auto Assault? Lot’s of things! I’ve always been a fan of interesting, exciting, and fresh MMORPGs. Games that snag at your attention with unique gameplay and exciting concepts, then delivers on them. Auto Assault to me is that unique blue butterfly within a swirling abyss of stereotypical yellow Monarch butterflies. Something new, something fresh, but at the same time something that you can understand. Something that doesn’t seem completely foreign to you, something that is similar to FPS and MMORPG gaming. Yet at the same time not a complete copy of them. Fast, furious, and competitive gameplay that leaves you wanting more and more.

    Find out why Xerin's anxiously anticipating the release of our favorite vehicular destruction MMO at Auto Assault @ TenTonHammer!

    Mon, Apr 03, 2006
  • Wondering how to change your vehicle's power distribution? (And, no, we're not talking 4WD here!)

    Auto Assault - TenTonHammer has a brand new interface guide detailing the fine points of power distribution. Recently introduced to the game, the power distribution system helps add flavor and variety to combat by allowing you to move your vehicle’s attack, defense, and offense around. Need a little more speed? Exchange some defense for it! No longer will your enemies escape your wrath!

    Power Distribution is something new to Auto Assault. It's basically a system where you can transfer power around to speed, defense, and offensive. For example, you can take away offensive and give it to defense. This would be good in a situation where you need more defense then attack. It's a really unique system that really helps in the heat of battle. Understanding and mastering this game mechanic can greatly enhance your ability to blow the opposing force to smithereens.

    Check out how to work your power distribution at Auto Assault @ TenTonHammer!

    Mon, Apr 03, 2006
  • April Fools' Day Fun!

    While we could be old codgers and gripe that the devs should be working on real content, it's nice to see that some of our favorite games have a pulse. Here are some MMORPG April Fools' Day highlights:

    EverQuest 2's Quest for Lucan - SOE offers a bit of self-effacing fun with a sham website introducing a "contest" to find a real-life lookalike for arch-villain Lucan D'Lere. The theme plays off of last year's mildly ridiculous "Quest for Antonia" - where a yearlong modelling contract was awarded to Anna Wainscot of Davis, CA - a college student with. shall we say, questionable gaming interest. Applicants aged 60+ years are urged to apply.

    WoW's Triple Whammy - Blizzard simultaneously announces "BurgerCraft" - a chain of World of Warcraft-themed fast-food restaurants, and the inclusion of Wisps (with their "amazing" self-detonation racial ability) as the new "Burning Legion" expansion Alliance race. Also, check out the "leaked" WoW version 1.11 patch notes.

    Other non-gaming related web pranks:

    • Google Romance (Beta) - Improve your chances of finding that special someone with the ability to upload multiple, "wildly divergent" profiles!

    • Homestar Runner - Something seemed a little off as I sought out my weekly Strongbad email fix this morning!

    Found more? Send 'em to me, and I'll post the links for everyone to enjoy!

    Sat, Apr 01, 2006
  • Put 'em on your desktop at work to always be "in the game!"

    Can't get enough Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO)? Want to think about DDO even when have to do actual (gasp) work on your computer? Good thing Ten Ton Hammer's friend Cyren knows how you feel. She has crafted a collection of DDO wallpapers for your desktop in a smooth 1024 X 768 resolution. She's given us five to start with and promises more to come, so check back for updates.

    In the meantime, view and download custom desktop wallpaper at DDO - TenTonHammer!

    Sat, Apr 01, 2006
  • Localized custom-designed UI Mods? Me encanta.

    Krimm continues his entertaining and informative step-by-step series on creating custom WoW addons with a look at localization. WoW is available in 4 (soon to be 5) major languages, so with a good dictionary, a little extra work, and a healthy sense of humor (or maybe just a bilingual friend), you can make your mod global!

    Practically speaking, here’s the one thing you need to know for creating your localized .lua files: use a Unicode editor to create the file. Like I said, I don’t speak anything besides English. (After reading my writing for six installments of this guide, you’re probably wondering if I even speak that! J) So to create the French translation of the battle cry AddOn, I emailed my localization.lua file to a friend who speaks French. She translated the strings, using an Unicode editor, and sent them back to me. Even though I still don’t speak a word of French, my AddOn now does. Way cool.

    Check out this section and the rest of Krimm's UI Mod Design guide, a featured part of the WoW UI Mods at TenTonHammer project.

    Sat, Apr 01, 2006
  • New City of Villains Issue 7 "Patron Powers" Screenshots!

    More fun screenshots from the folks at Cryptic Studios, originators of the City of Villains / City of Heroes series of comic book-inspired MMOs.

    Cull the favor of arch villains to earn their patronage and, in turn, acquire some of their powers. This particular screenshot shows Mako's "blood in the water" power; how could summoning sharks be anything but cool? From Cryptic:

    The exact powers you acquire will be determined by the unique combination of your Patron and your archetype. For instance, Scirocco can grant you access to many of the Mu Mystic powers, but your archetype will determine which specific Mu powers you will get. The powers you gain will be those that your archetype cannot typically access on its own (for example, Brutes will gain ranged attacks, while Corruptors will have access to defensive armors).

    Check out these new screenshots from what promises to be a very cool free expansion: City of Villains Issue 7 "Patron Powers" screenshots right here at TenTonHammer!

    Images, Media
    Fri, Mar 31, 2006
  • Travel: fun, or frustrating?

    Travel, for some an exciting adventure, for others a dreaded necessity of the gaming world.

    AnomalousSilence looks at how travel has developed over the years in various MMO's and how Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will implement travel in the world of Telon.

    You stand there, gazing out towards the sparkling, endless sea with an amazing pink and red hued sunrise at the horizon. Breathing in the crisp, salty ocean air, you mentally prepare yourself for the journey ahead.

    Check out the newest editorial at Vanguard - TenTonHammer: Around the World in 80 Seconds.

    Fri, Mar 31, 2006
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