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    Thank you to Phil "Ralphedelominius" Comeau for filling in for me on Friday. Let's have a big round of clap for Phil!
    Thanks to Phil I was able to help coach the best group of hockey players under the age of seven that you are likely to meet. Congratulations to the Prince Edward County Red Timbits on their championship win.
    Jeff and Nicole are off to the Game Developers Conference this week. Their interrogation schedule includes visits with:

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

    The dirty details, the screenshots, the movies and maybe even some shots of Jeff and Nicole will be posted as soon as they hit our hands here at Ten Ton HQ.
    Do you have questions for our GDC team? Send them to me. I'll pretend they are mine and pass them on.


    What's New On TenTonHammer.com?



    The death penalty, our editors tell all.
    Let us entertain you or at the very least waste some of your time at work.
    03.20.2006

    • 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: Scotty doesn't know how long it will take to fix the engines of the Enterprise, but Vin Diesel does.


    Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.

    As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
    -- John "Boomjack" Hoskin

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    Mon, Mar 20, 2006
    Boomjack
  • 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?

    What happens in most any MMORPG when your vitality is sapped and your hit points begin spiraling towards zero? You die. A simple mechanic that keeps the game interesting and adds that certain bit of challenge to fights. However, this challenge can be either an annoyance or a time wasting mechanic designed to keep you playing even longer. What exactly is the purpose of death in MMORPGs and what does it have to do with a car MMORPG? Let’s take a look.

    We take a look at this in this week's common content editorial that's all about death in Auto Assault. Visit "Breaking Down" at Auto Assault - TenTonHammer.

    Mon, Mar 20, 2006
    Ethec
  • Miss the good ol' days of corpse runs?

    Coyote, a writer for the EQ2 - TenTonHammer site does, and he presents a pretty compelling argument.

    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."

    Death has forsaken us - and too few seem to mind.

    Gone are the days of corpse or shard runs. No more do we have to stalk invisible and naked through countless foes in hopes of retrieving our bodies and gear quickly enough to avoid another death. And while the massive body that makes up the player base of our world doesn't seem to mind in the least...

    Read Coyote's take on death in Norrath at EQ2 - TenTonHammer!

    Mon, Mar 20, 2006
    Ethec
  • MMO Morbidity

    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.

    Except for those (extremely) rare instances where connection problems and latency take their toll, death should be taken as a lesson. As any gambler knows, the most unfavorable bets offer the highest payouts, but if you constantly live on the edge, you're consistently likely to fall. Becoming acquainted with your limits and challenging them is one thing, but pride comes before the dirt nap.

    Today's common content editorial across the TenTonHammer is all about death. Check out main site editor Ethec's thoughts in Dying to Learn, right here at TenTonHammer - Main.

    Mon, Mar 20, 2006
    Ethec
  • No rest for the refugee

    We're all noob's at some point right? EverQuest 2 numbs the noob process a little by providing a wonderful, newly revamped starting area called the Isle of Refuge. Slide provides us a great guide this zone and all the quests you can find there.

    The Isle of Refuge, or Queens Colony, as it seems to be called now, is where every new character starts. Some of you may remember the "old" Isle which was fundamentally the same place for both good and evil characters. Things have changed quite a bit since that time. The basic story has been rehashed. There is still some kind of mysterious, controlling evil that plagues the colony. Your job is to find out what and put a stop to it. Everybody get's to play the helpful hero.

    Read the rest of the EQ2 Qeynos newbie guide at EverQuest 2 - TenTonHammer!

    Sat, Mar 18, 2006
    Ethec
  • Zealot of Righteousness

    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:

    Paladins gain one of their most potent abilities at first level: Aura of Good. Your Aura of Good provides you and all of your allies within a close range a passive +2 bonus to armor class and all saving throws. This can be a boon at low levels when your armor class is low and a bigger boon at high levels when saving throws are common place. Make sure that you stay close to your companions so that they can benefit from your aura as much as possible. If one of your companions happens to run out of range, your aura will linger for seven seconds, so don’t run off and leave the rest of your group if someone veers off to take out an enemy.

    Read the rest of Zealot of Righteousness: Paladin Tactics in DDO and be ready to fight evil wherever you find it!

    Fri, Mar 17, 2006
    Ethec
  • What makes Vanguard different?

    At Vanguard - DDO, Mercurie looks at the differences Vanguard will have above the other MMO's currently on the market and how they will help shape the very world of Telon.

    One major difference between Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and other MMORPGs that players might notice right away is the complexity of its world. It is meant to be seamless, without any limit on how high or how deep one can go. Vanguard even has its own weather. At any given moment it might be raining or snowing. Storms are even possible. And while many games simply pattern their world after medieval Europe, in Vanguard there will be areas influenced by Persia, Egypt, the Mayans, and so on.

    Vanguard looks to make its mark, and Merriandra tells us how. Check out Differences Make the Virtual World Go 'Round at Vanguard - TenTonHammer.

    Fri, Mar 17, 2006
    Ethec
  • Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Wear something green, drink green beer, eat green chicken wings... on second thought, don't eat those, they've been in the fridge since January. Legend has it that St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, banished all the snakes from the country. Unfortunately, he appears to have banished them to the E3 Media Pass Application Office. How many times do we have to re-submit? OH, we can't read that one, send another copy. This article doesn't qualify, that article doesn't qualify... Send another ID picture, you don't look good in this one!
    WTF? What's next? Do you want my first-born, or my uber l33t Druid on Malfurion? 'Cause you can't have the druid, I'm raiding this weekend.
    Just a head's up, if you see an media-passless angry bald guy in the LA Convention Centre cafeteria this May, surrounded by laptops and interview schedules, he probably needs a coffee. Or pie. I like... I mean, 'he' likes pie.
    I *do* believe in E3 Media Badge fairies. I do, I do!


    What's New On TenTonHammer.com?


    Let us entertain you or at the very least waste some of your time at work.

    03.17.2006

    • Differences Make the Virtual World Go 'Round
      For any new MMORPG to succeed, it must differentiate itself from other, similar games. Mercurie takes a look at Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and how Sigil Games Online is making their game different than any previous game in the same
      genre.
    • DDO Tactics Series: The Bard
      Those who can, bard. The bard is a pivotal character in any party. Not confined to a single role, bards can bring melee damage, spells, cures, and Ability increases to a party in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO).
    • Auto Assault Crafting and Refining
      For the refined crafter, we offer a new 'Refining and Crafting' section. The second in a three part series of updates to Auto Assault @ TenTonHammer's new 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!
    • PVP First Impressions
      Player on player violence: good, clean fun? We think so. 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. Aren't sure what the newly-added PvP server is like in EverQuest 2? RadarX shares his experiences and examines what differentiates this from the normal servers.
    • EQ2's Power Rangers!
      The Rangers took quite a beating last Live Update. Slide debuts his EQ2 TenTonHammer cartoon with his take on what exactly happened with a behind-the-scenes look at the nerfing process. Laugh along with us at EQ2 - TenTonHammer!
    • EQ2 - Paladin Guide Update
      Want to destroy bad guys like a medieval Chuck Norris? Then try something else! If you want to smite evil and fill a vital group role, then the Paladin is for you. And we've just updated the Paladin guide! Savanja has the latest on the new level 1-20 spells, 61-70 spells, and new zones.

    03.16.2006

    • Guild Wars: Backstage Pass - Adventures in Seattle

      "Recently, ArenaNet hosted a press event at the Sci-Fi Museum in Seattle. The guest of honour was the new expansion, Guild Wars Factions, and the release date of April 28th was announced to an enthusiastic crowd. I attended the event, and share the details of my trip with you in this personal editorial."
    • Dungeons and Dragons Online: Tavern Pickup Line Resource

      "So you've had your fill of high adventure for the day, and you just want to heal up and let off some steam in the local tavern, right? Suddenly you fasten your gaze on a foxy elf / strapping barbarian across the room. Your guildmates might call you directionally-challenged, they might call you a little weak in the character sheet department, but they can never say your one to pass up a promising encounter. You set down your tankard, slide off your stool with a flurry, and saunter towards the apple of your eye. But as you arrive and his/her eyes drift to yours, you realize... you've got nothing. That's where TenTonHammer comes in, my friend. We've got pages and pages of one-liners to help you improve your in-game game!"
    • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - New Artwork - Dreadknight

      "A dark elf Dread Knight, making his way through a dank swamp region on his armored horse."

    Vin Diesel Fact of the Day: Iran refuses to abandon their nuclear weapons program, as they believe it is their only defence against Vin Diesel.


    Crazy news? This is where I put it... but, I have a meeting in 10 minutes. No silly news for you!

    As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
    -- Phil "Ralphedel O'Minius" Comeau

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    Fri, Mar 17, 2006
    Ralphedelominius
  • Those who can, bard.

    The bard is a pivotal character in any party. Not confined to a single role, bards can bring melee damage, spells, cures, and Ability increases to a party in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO):

    Jacks of all trades--masters of none. At the risk of boring you with a cliche, it's true: bards can dabble in almost anything, but another class will be better than them in any one task. Bards can fight, but rangers, fighters, and barbarians can do it better. Bards cast spells, but sorcerers and wizards do it better. Bards can heal, but clerics do it better. Bards can fight and cast spells and heal all at once. Nobody else can do that. On top of that, the benefits gained from bardic music makes a bard a valuable member to any party.

    Read more about the versatile bard at DDO - TenTonHammer.

    Fri, Mar 17, 2006
    Ethec
  • For the refined crafter, we offer a new 'Refining and Crafting' section.

    The second in a three part series of updates to Auto Assault @ TenTonHammer's new 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!

    You've got the basics on crafting, and now it's time to get your hands dirty. Luckly you don't need to be a shade tree mechanic to be able to repair items in Auto Assault. With a few simple clicks and good luck, you took can create killer car modifications. When I say killer, I truly mean it. So open up your virtual hood and let's get to work!

    Crafting and refining basics at Auto Assault - TenTonHammer.

    Fri, Mar 17, 2006
    Ethec
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