TenTonHammer.com has gone since E3 last year without a man-hour lost to accident on the job. Relax and read on. You're in safe hands aboard the good ship Ten Ton Hammer. Penny Arcade on the other hand is afloat in a sea of Krispy Kreme donuts, literally, thanks to Smedley (if you are new to MMOs that's his real name, no joke.)
Segway to another SoE personality.
As Raph Koster, the Chief Creative Officer at Sony Online Entertainment is often wont to do, he has posted an amusing and often spot on lament titled, "What are the lessons of MMORPGs today?"
In particular, the following snippet struck a chord for me,
"There are gods, and they are capricious, and have way way more than ten commandments. Nobody knows how many because everyone clicked past them."
At first glance this quote comes across as amusing. It however, holds two major truisms of massively multiplayer online games.
The first truth is that most MMO developers build in some sort of religious system or religious affiliation. The second truth is that 99 out of every 100 players has absolutely no interest in religious systems or religious affiliations within their favourite passtime.
Real world religion is a can of worms. A can of worms with high explosives and a disdain for worms that hold faith in other cans. A can of worms that goes to war over cartoons. Do we really need religious references, albeit virtual references to farcical religions in the games we play? Do we really want to encourage in-game crusades or jihads? Do we want to pit Christians against Muslims against Scientologists in the virtual arena?
I can see it now...
Leeegolas clicks on the quest giver....and a quest window opens with, "Bardorgoth, the lord of..." Mouseclick!
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Leeegolas mutters, "For frack's sake, I could give a rat's arse about all of that fluff, except that now I need to collect 10 rat arses to complete this quest."
Leeegolas wanders six feet from the quest NPC where he kills 4,392 rats, eventually looting 10 rat arses.
Returning to the quest giver, he clicks, opening a quest window witih, "Verily the Lord of..." Mouseclick!
Leeegolas spends the next 45 minutes asking in general chat which reward is best for a Ranger and then. Mouseclick! He hurriedly bypasses the quest text of the next quest and is on his way.
Let's face it, developers know that the vast majority of players don't read the quest text past looking at the "Get X and bring it to Y" line. That's why they break it down into the 'Coles Notes' version for the quest journal. The people reading the fluff are the same ones that show up to the guild get-together dressed as their character. They're a scary, literate bunch and well, they just don't fit in.
Until such time as the backstory can be made to affect the actual gameworld let's just keep it in the shortened 'Coles Notes' version. Nobody cares what the Lord of the Air has to say and quite frankly he loses a lot of credibility when he asks a low level mortal for 10 rat arses. Here is how you can fix the problem. First you...Click!
Are you a member of the clergy, virtual or in real life? Can you Lay Hands? Click!
What's New On TenTonHammer.com?
Our EverQuest 2 community team has delivered three great articles today including one covering your favourite topic, death. That's not all we have today though, become a DDO casting expert, a master of mind skills in Auto Assault or an Orgrimmar cartographer. Given the choice, I'd take the mind skills.
Let us entertain you.
- Everquest 2: A Collection of Bad Days - Coyote Sharptongue
"Media today seems flawless. Interviews go without a hitch, and follow a precise
and well rehearsed script. But what happens behind the scenes? What happens to the interviews that fail so
miserably that they are locked away never to be seen again? We put them up to embarrass the reporter.
That's what. Failure, folly, and alien probes - for your enjoyment."
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: The Paladin
"Paladins are THE quintessential knights in shining armor in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO). With both true blades and true hearts, they protect the citizens of Stormreach from the evils gathering below and within the city's walls.
Ralsu takes a closer look at the paladin and provides details on the things you need to know to decide if this is the class for you."
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: A First Day Look at Pick Up Groups
"Just launched your MMOG and you can't do a thing with it?
Poor Orogurath had the same problem. On the first day of Head Start play in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO), he created a character and headed into the game with high hopes for finding a group and enjoying some adventure. Instead, he was met by a troop of lecherous dwarves, and the sinking feeling that players' priorities had changed since beta."
- MMORPG By Appointment Only
"Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach and the console title Fight Night: Round 3 both launched during the last week. Area retailers stocked 5-20 unreserved copies of FNR3; of DDO, no unreserved copies. Ethec addresses the pre-order scheme used almost exclusively by brick-and-mortar retailers and game developers for MMORPGs and other PC games. It's DDO by appointment only, and Ethec's thoughts on why PC games are losing the retail war to the console."
- Auto Assault: More Game Basics
"Looking for some basic Auto Assault information? Not deep enough into the game to get into more advanced things like the special arts of robot summoning? Don't worry! We've updated our game basics section with more basic information on Auto Assault."
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - New Artwork - Blacksmith
"This week's featured artwork is of a blacksmith hard at work forging a new weapon."
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Can You Hear It Now?
"A look at the value of sound in an MMO"
- EverQuest 2: Guide to Obelisk of Lost Souls
"Savanja takes a peek at a definitely under utilized zone, the Obelisk of Lost Souls. With quest walk throughs, and fabulous maps done by the talented Slide, this is a guide to check out if you are wanting to head out and explore some of the lesser used zones."
- EverQuest 2: Forum Moderation and its Purpose
"Forum moderation is one of those things that everyone thinks that they could do better than those appointed to the position. Savanja, a dedicated forum poster, gives her thoughts on moderation, what it's good for, and why it's just not a job she'd want to have."
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: Priests and Magi - Expert Casting In DDO
"Want to become an expert spell slinger in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO)? Darkgolem has the guide for you! Be the life of the party! Be the envy of all your friends! Be pop-pop-POPULAR! Follow this sage advice! Ahem. Well, okay, we can't guarantee great parties or friends suffering from spell caster envy, but we can promise that using good tactics will make you a sought-after group member. In a game where grouping is the only way to advance, popularity's not such a bad thing."
- Auto Assault: Master Mind Skill List
"Looking for information on summoning robots out of thin air?
Well, you've found the right place. Kind of. We now have all of the skills for the Master Mind class documented in our Biomek section.
Things like summoning robots, debuffing the enemy, buffing your buddies, and more are now included in our new Master Mind section."
- WoW: City Guide - Orgrimmar
"We begin a new series of quick takes on <em>World of Warcraft</em>'s most popular, most travelled cities and regions today with a veritable tour guide for Orgrimmar, if you will. A little bit of the city's history, how each of the Horde races can get to Orgrimmar from their starting areas, an easy-to-read map (no little numbers), and a quest listing for the city, sorted by level. It's all here!"
- EverQuest 2: Getting A Grip On The Grave
"Whether its Nintendo's Mario crying "Oh no! Mama mia!" after a failed jump, or Lego Darth Maul asploding into tiny Lego pieces after being shot by too many Droideka, every video game uses death as a vital mechanic. What is the purpose of death in gaming, and how does is specifically relate to EverQuest 2? RadarX looks at this morbid subject and how it effects everyone."
Vin Diesel Fact of the Day:
Vin Diesel sneezes with his eyes open.
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin