Ten Ton Hammer

  • Ten Ton Hammer Smashes GDC.
    Jeff Woleslagle and Nicole Hamlett have rolled into the 2006 Games Developers Conference.

    "Nicole "Awen" Hamlett and Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle are live in San Jose, CA for Game Developer's Conference. It's the premier insiders-only event for the gaming industry, and they will be dishing out everything relating to massively multiplayer gaming that we can ferret out. Though things kick-off in earnest tomorrow morning, Nicole and Jeff have a slew of exclusive interviews set up over the next few days. Whet your appetite with this quick preview! "

    Wed, Mar 22, 2006
  • Virtual friends, let me introduce you to the real world.
    Our Vanguard: Saga of Heroes community team adds to their already fantastic look at what it takes to create and maintain a successful guild.

    "There are certain factors that seem to define a guild, and to determine the chances of that particular guild for success or failure. Of course, nobody sets out to establish an organization, either online or in the real world, with failure as a goal. Still, there are four very basic components of a guild that define the ability of the people gathered under a common name to overcome obstacles and build a strong foundation. These for components include the Guild Structure; Guild Leadership; Guild Membership; and In-Game Support. "

    Wed, Mar 22, 2006
  • More factions, less religion.
    ArenaNET has a primer online for the upcoming Guild Wars: Factions preview event.

    "Join us the weekend of March 24th for the FactionsTM Preview Event! This will be your first chance to visit the breathtaking continent of Cantha, the newest world of the Guild Wars saga. During the event, you will get the chance to play roleplaying and player-versus-player characters, and to pursue a variety of gameplay options, including story missions, competitive missions, and a new form of PvP called alliance battles!"

    Wed, Mar 22, 2006
  • Eye on RFOnline
    Never worry. Never fear. The RFOnline team will keep you informed of the latest and greatest happenings in the RFOnline world. Of course, we do that too.

    "As promised and from now on, the most talented reporters will provide you up-to-date information from the frontlines as well as war analyses, society articles or local news; an inexhaustible well of knowledge. For we all know how rare and valuable trustworthy information can be, I make the promise never to let you, well-grounded readers and fierce warriors, down; I promise that The Novus Eye and its team of brilliant and esteemed reporters shall be your light through those dark times of hatred and treachery. Never again will your wicked foes be able to trick you into death and sorrow."

    Wed, Mar 22, 2006
  • Guild Wars world tour. toured the ArenaNET studios to take a look at Guild Wars: Factions, the upcoming expansion to the hit game.

    "We were introduced to two of the four mission types that will be available in Factions, and we played each one of the new professions in two different scenarios. During the tour, we had seen the animators working on the dance animations and the “Signature” dances which will also include particle effects and NPC backup dancers, so the first thing everyone did was to try out the dance animation. With Game Designers Eric Flannum and John Peters coaching and accompanied by several other devs that provided back-up characters other than Assassins and Ritualists, we were off."

    Features, Previews
    Wed, Mar 22, 2006
  • You know how to make items, but do you know how to make them better?

    The third part of our Auto Assault crafting section is now up! The Research and Marketing section goes over the four research skills and their use in making extraordinary items. You know how the basics, you know how to craft items, and now you can learn to make them better and make you a profit!

    There are four research crafting disciplines. They are given to every character no matter the level. As you gain levels in Auto Assault, you gain research points. These points can be spent to raise the level of one of the four crafts. They can't be used to raise one of your primary crafts though, so keep that in mind. Those can only be raised through crafting items. You can also gain research points through various quests. Check for a quest giver outside the refinery in the first major city. He might have some work for you.

    So check out our “Research and Marketing” section on Auto Assault @ TenTonHammer!

    Wed, Mar 22, 2006
  • Fanfiction: Rampage on Stormreach!

    After drinking all of the local ale and destroying the common sensibilities, four out of control halflings chew through the kobold infestation (and the furniture) of the city of Stormreach with savagery and style. Mike “Supernatural” Broadbent, aka Orogurath, gives us his Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach fanfiction to recount the adventures of our halfling hellians every Tuesday, so come back and enjoy the fun week after week.

    In Stormreach Harbor, mighty vessels dotted the water, waiting for their chance to dock and unload their cargo. Here and there, the sounds of song and laughter called out to the weary ships, choruses of sailors long awaiting the haven of a dockside tavern and the company of a good woman. The typical cacophony was pierced by cries of fear and chaos near dock fifteen, where four figures erupted from a sandy spot beneath one of the massive wooden gangways. The nightmarish beings were clad in fur and leather, and tattooed and scarred from head to toe. The Talenta Halflings had arrived…and a tremor ran through all of Stormreach.

    Read the 1st Episode at DDO - TenTonHammer and join the halfling mayhem!

    Wed, Mar 22, 2006
  • The elves of Middle Earth

    Did you know that the elves were the first creatures of Middle-Earth to speak or sing? Learn more about the beautiful and mysterious elves of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar in our new race guide.

    Elves occupy themselves with things such as smithwork, sculpture, song and other arts; they are known for their craftsmanship. Both male and female elves tend to do things with equal skill. Although females have a greater tendency to specialize in healing abilities while the males go off to war, their roles are not rigid--a female elf can defend herself in battle as well as a male, and a male can be as skilled a healer as any female.

    Rediscover Tolkien's elves, courtesy of LotRO @ TenTonHammer.

    Wed, Mar 22, 2006
  • More physics for the physically fit.
    NCSoft has announced that City of Villains will be supporting the AGEIA Physx Processor.

    "NCsoft and Cryptic Studios to Support AGEIA PhysX Processor in Award-Winning City of Villains
    Popular New MMORPG to Increase Number and Intensity of Physics-Based Environments and Effects
    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – March 21, 2006 – AGEIA™ Technologies, Inc., the pioneer in hardware-accelerated physics for games, today announced that City of Villains™ developer Cryptic Studios plans to supercharge the game’s powers and effects for players whose PCs are equipped with Physics Accelerator add-in boards powered by the AGEIA PhysX™ processor. The standalone sequel to the hugely popular City of Heroes from NCsoft, City of Villains was an immediate hit among MMORPG fans and critics alike with its intense interactivity and exceptional particle systems.
    While all City of Villains players benefit from the game’s software physics created by the AGEIA PhysX SDK, players with PhysX Accelerator cards will experience some 10 times the number of particles displayed in physics-based events, resulting in an even more immersive experience. For example:
    * Mayhem Missions, which are set in a destructible environment, have destroyed objects taking greater advantage of the physics effects, such as a newspaper vending machine which, when blown up, shreds thousands of particles of paper around it.
    * Physics particles can be affected by external forces. For example, the shredded bits from the newspaper machine linger in the air only to be blown away by other explosions.
    * World geometry will be retrofitted with reactive physics effects, such as leaves being dropped from trees when a Power Blast is cast nearby.
    “City of Villains players with PhysX-based Physics Accelerator add-in boards in their PCs will be blown away by the added realism and immersiveness of the game,” said Michael Lewis, CEO of Cryptic Studios. “While the ability to succeed in the game will be unaffected, the overall user experience will be greatly enhanced through support for the AGEIA PhysX processor.”
    “The team at Cryptic Studios is among the most talented in the business, and it’s exciting to see them apply their wizardry using AGEIA PhysX technology,” said Kathy Schoback, vice president of content acquisition at AGEIA. “City of Villains is already a one-of-a-kind game experience, but the action acceleration of the AGEIA PhysX processor will take it to an entirely new level.”"

    Check out our NCSoft community for the latest on all of the NCSoft published titles.

    Tue, Mar 21, 2006
  • Loading...

    Jeff and Nicole have decided to take their Karaoke act on the road, and that road leads to the Game Developers Conference. I can't wait to see the video of them dressed up as Sonny and Cher. Good times!
    When they aren't crooning away in some smokey bar, drinking martinis and signing autographs they will be visiting with some game devs. Most notably:

    • Sigil Online Games - Vanguard Saga of Heroes
    • StarGate Worlds - Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment
    • Gods and Heroes - Sony Online Entertainment
    • NCSoft
    • and oh, so, much, more!

    We will be posting all of our GDC content to, of all places, our GDC webpage.
    It isn't too late to get your questions in.
    Do you have questions for our GDC team? Send them to me.
    On a side note, it's World of Warcraft patch day and that means our servers may be a bit slow. Our traffic jumps by up to 1/3 on Tuesdays.

    What's New On

    The death penalty, our editors tell all.
    Let us entertain you or at the very least waste some of your time at work.

    • Lord of the Rings Online: Race Guide - Elves
      "Did you know that the elves were the first creatures of Middle-earth to speak or sing? Learn more about the beautiful and mysterious elves of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar in our new race guide."
    • Dungeons and Dragons Online: Enter The Halfling
      "After drinking all of the local ale and destroying the common sensibilities, four out of control halflings chew through the kobold infestation (and the furniture) of the city of Stormreach with savagery and style. Mike “Supernatural” Broadbent, aka Orogurath, gives us his Dungeons & Dragons Online fanfiction to recount the adventures of our halfling hellions every Tuesday, so come back and enjoy the fun week after week."
    • Auto Assault: Research and Marketing
      "You know how to make items, but do you know how to make thembetter? The third part of our crafting section is now up! The Researchand Marketing section goes over the four research skills and their usein making extraordinary items. You know how the basics, you know howto craft items, and now you can learn to make them better and make youa profit!"


    • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes: Death - Penalty or Pleasure?

      "There is so much debate over what the consequence for death in an MMO's should be. Niborea "
    • World of Warcraft: 'Tis Only A Flesh Wound

      "Death is a part of almost every MMORPG on the market currently, it's an issue that affects us all, every time we log onto our respective games.

      Death has really changed over the course of the years, every new game adding something new, a change for better or for worse it seems. With World of Warcraft, Blizzard has thrown at us their own way to penalize us through in game death, however, how far has it really gone since the days of Everquest? Have the gamers been getting it easy these past few years? Not having to worry about severe consequences upon death is a really big factor in most games, and this article is going to give you a brief look on the death penalty with the most popular MMORPG's currently on the market, and how they have really changed over the years."
    • Guild Wars: A Different Kind of Death

      "Life is defined by death. Video games aren't. However, the consequences of failure are a part of almost every game. Without death and it's penalties, victory wouldn't mean as much to most players."
    • Dungeons and Dragons: Quoth The Goblin, "Nevermore" - Death in DDO

      "Incapacitated? Stabilization rolls? Resurrection shrine?
      Okay, Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO) has some weird ways of dealing with death. Luckily, Ralsu breaks it all down for us to make death in DDO clearer."
    • Dying To Learn - MMO Lessons From Beyond The Grave

      "Ethec examines the usefulness of death in today's MMORPGs, looking especially at the social impact of various ways of handling your character's untimely end, as well as a possible way to make death more convincing without lessening the challenge or ruining the fun."
    • Auto Assault: Breaking Down

      "What happens when someone pulls too many pirate robot ninja kobolds? It's simple: You die. Death is inevitable in Auto Assault, especially when most of the enemies carry rocket launchers or death lasers. However, is death in Auto Assault too lenient or too rough?
      Does the fear of death detract from the entertainment value of the game? We take a look at this in this week's common content editorial that's all about death and the art of dying."
    • EverQuest 2: The Art of Death - More Coyotee Sharptongue

      "Death is a unique, and rarely covered aspect of the game. Unlike tradeskills, raiding, etc.. while some people may be happy with it, and some may not, it effects us all. Coyote examines death in MMO's and as a bonus uses the word "poo.""
    • EverQuest 2: Guide to the Isle of Refuge (Qeynos Side)

      "Brand new to the game? Feel like being a good guy? Come to the Queens Colony, also known as the Isle of Refuge (IoR).  Slide becomes a no0b in order to document all of the begining quests that start a new player off in their exciting carrer as an adventurer in Norrath."
    • Dungeons and Dragons Online: Paladin Tactics

      "Shining warriors of light, paladins benefit from solid combat prowess, holy auras, and the ability to use divine spells. If you have chosen paladin as your character in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO), you'll want to know the best tactics to use for your party. Save-vs-DM has you covered."
    • Auto Assault: Crafting and Refining Guide

      "Not exactly sure how? Then head on over to our Crafting and Refining section of our new crafting guide. The second in a three part series of updates to our crafting guide, the Crafting and Refining section goes over how to actually fix those broken treasures in your inventory. Not only that, but it contains a list of every component and commodity in the game!"
    • EverQuest 2: Adventures in Killing People - PvP First Impressions

      "They say its all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. In this case, its not really fun and games until somebody is laying face down in Antonica with you laughing while you loot their corpse. Thought about PvP but aren't sure what its like? RadarX shares his experiences and examines what differentiates this from the normal servers"

    Vin Diesel Fact of the Day: Vin Diesel taught Alanis Morrissette the meaning of irony.

    Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.
    Real world news will return tomorrow. In it's place we bring you... well, nothing. If I had time to bring you something else I'd be bringing you the news.
    As always, thanks for visiting,
    -- John "Boomjack" Hoskin

    Tue, Mar 21, 2006
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