Ten Ton Hammer

  • I Just Want to be Left Alone...

    Even Frodo told his beloved Samwise to bugger off a time or two. How will soloing play out in Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (LotRO)? We don't know just yet, but we can speculate. Shayalyn gives her take on the solo playing style, and why she believes some solo content is necessary to the success of upcoming MMOGs.

    Being a soloer doesn’t necessarily make me antisocial. It doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the company of others. What it means is that I enjoy the gratification of being able to handle my battles alone when I want to. It means that sometimes I have limited play time, and I want to make a little progress with my character without looking for a group. It doesn’t mean I want the rest of the world to go away. (Well, okay, I admit that I do have days where I want the world to go away, but those are few and far between.)

    Check out Shayalyn's thoughts on solo content in Middle Earth, only at LotRO @ TenTonHammer!

    Mon, Feb 06, 2006
  • Is Soloing in DDO Possible?

    Just how solo-friendly is Dungeons & Dragons Online? Is there a certain class/race combination that will excel at solo play? Darkgolem explores the possibilities in his editorial and draws one simple conclusion.

    The difficulty levels of dungeons increase as you go along. As you advance, you run into more and more foes in encounters. Any dungeon master who creates their own adventures, and started with level 1 dungeons, can tell you it’s hard not to kill the adventurers when they begin. You place small amounts of weak enemies in adventures, and this principle applies to DDO just as well. But as you advance, this changes, and after a few levels, a group of adventurers can handle quite a bit.

    When soloing in DDO, this will be the big problem you run into. Certainly you can handle the small amounts of foes at first, but after level 2, you will run into larger and larger amounts of foes. Soon, some of those foes can damage you fast enough that even when you’re killing them off as fast as you can, you are killed by the rest, whether by spell, arrow or sword.

    Read "Going it Alone in Dungeons and Dragons Online" at DDO @ TenTonHammer.

    Mon, Feb 06, 2006
  • Soloing, and other acts of desperation...

    Lady Sirse looks at why people chose to solo. Is it a matter of preference or necessity? Perhaps those that felt they had no choice but to solo in other games will find a different answer waiting for them in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

    There are MMOs on the market that have catered to the solo player. Is it right that a MMO, otherwise known as a Massive Multiplayer Online Game, should contain content for one to play alone? Isn't it a contradiction in terms? No matter what the name implies, there are many folks out there who look for content they can explore on their own in the many gaming worlds. What does this mean for Telon?

    The SoH take on soloing, only at Vanguard @ TenTonHammer.

    Mon, Feb 06, 2006
  • Let this Titan-ic interview sink (in)

    Karas takes a look at the guilds in the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes community. This week he interviews Scrawl, Guild Leader of Titan Guild, and WyzWun, an officer in the guild. Find out about their history in MMOs, and why they are compelled to spend hours and hours running a guild!

    What things would you like to see implemented for guilds in Vanguard that you haven't seen done successfully or at all in other MMO's?

    WyzWun: I would say I am looking forward to guild created content, the type of content that I have only seen in a game like EvE online.

    Scrawl: I would be thrilled if they would put in fully functional guild halls. And when I say fully functional, I don't mean that you can throw pictures on the wall and put in a few chairs. I want to be able to tack up notes on the door that say, "Clerics wanted," or, "Guild meeting on Thursday." I want to be able to use my guild hall in a real way that actually adds not only to the functionality...but also to the immersion that the game can provide.

    Read the entire interview at our Vanguard TenTonHammer site!

    Features, Interviews
    Mon, Feb 06, 2006
  • So a priest and a TenTonHammer writer walk into a bar...

    One of the best guides on our World of Warcraft @ TenTonHammer site has seen many updates over the past week. These updates include: additional build information, Updated and cleaned up tactics section, an updated equipment section, additional main page information, more detailed set item information and information on the level 60 quest to get Benediction / Anathema.

    Priests in the World of Warcraft can come in two main flavours and hence the name of the guide "Many Priests. One Guide". The most common role, and one shared with most other MMO's is that of the main healer in a group. The other role of a Priest in WoW is to "Melt Faces!". That's correct, as well as being the best healer in the game, Priests in WoW can be some of the most deadly PvP players in the form of Shadow Priests. While Holy Priests specialize in talents that control the power of life over death, Shadow Priests specialize in the reverse, the death of all things living. This Guide will look at both aspects of a Priest in WoW, that of life and death.

    So check out all the changes and updates to the World of Warcraft priest guide, only at WoW @ TenTonHammer.

    Mon, Feb 06, 2006
  • To solo or not to solo in EverQuest II...

    Soloing, the companionless form of gaming and the lonley road to success or failure in Norrath. Is Everquest 2 good at delivering this type of gameplay to its patrons? Slide, squinting through thick lenses, takes a looks at soloing and talks about its standing in Everquest 2.

    So how easy is it to play Everquest 2 alone? Sony has put a lot of effort into putting a lot of soloable quests and creatures into their game. Places where strong enemies barred passage to deeper parts of a zone have been dumbed down in difficulty. Many new quests have been added or tweaked to more easily allow players to finish them alone. In many areas, mobs in groups of 3 or more are labled with three down arrows making the odds of one player winning much higher. Zones have basically been split into sections of difficulty. Easier enemies will tend to spawn in one area whereas the more difficult triple up mobs will congregate elsewhere. Think of it as a ski hill with different levels of difficulty. The game has deffinately evolved from it's early days.

    Slide's candid take on soloing in EverQuest II, live at EverQuest II @ TenTonHammer!

    Mon, Feb 06, 2006
  • No gamer is an island...

    But do happy soloers make for happier MMO communities? Ethec examines the design and community issues behind the failure of group experiences in many MMOs, and even goes as far to suggest that abundant solo content leads to better group experiences. Really... the nerve!

    Finding a perfect server density is absolutely critical. Yes, the server merge has a doom-and-gloom connotation, and prohibiting players from moving characters to (or creating characters on) an over-crowded server will not please the player-base. EverQuest II and World of Warcraft are feeling the ill-effects of falling on either side of this coin. But a "critical mass" must be maintained, no matter the short term damage to a game's reputation.

    Density is one major way a developer can seriously improve a games chances of adopting that ever elusive quality in most games: fun. Denser server populations (wrought by finding and maintaining a good per server population for the physical size of the game world) allow for more off-the-cuff grouping. I say "off the cuff" because I mean to disassociate this kind of grouping from "pick-up groups" (which tend to be a more determinate form of grouping; pick-up groups huddle up because they have to-- in order to have any chance of completing their goals). Off the cuff groups form when adventurers flock to an area expecting to complete their objectives without a group, then bind together to get things done faster (and maybe even have a little fun too).

    So... Solo Content: A Disease or the Cure for the common MMO? Ethec examines this very question in today's editorial right here on TenTonHammer main!

    Mon, Feb 06, 2006
  • It's not about cows (but it smells just like it)

    Put on your overalls and grab your pitchfork. Then toss them both out, because we're not talking about that kind of farming. RadarX talks about a few of the negative impacts farming has on Everquest 2 and other MMOs.

    First and foremost, farming tears up the economy in a special way. You can see a recent example of this in Everquest 2, with the loot changes to the Ruins of Varsoon and Runneye zones. The addition of numerous pieces of Legendary and Fabled equipment made these zones popular and ripe for the picking. For example, master spells that would cost 90+ gold, can be bought for less than 20 gold and uber equipment galore made its way to the brokers. The value of crafted equipment in those Tier's plummeted and even Adept 1's became too plentiful.

    Read the entire farming article at EQ2 @ TenTonHammer.

    Fri, Feb 03, 2006
  • I kid you not that as I was driving back from the grocery store today, I saw an Explorer with a HUGE Auto Assault logo on the side of the car. I thought to myself - Free Advertising. And then I cheered (No I didn't wreck the car and yes I know that it's not safe for me to be jumping around while driving 60mph down the road) because gaming is alive and well in Colorado Springs!

    Fri, Feb 03, 2006
  • 1up has given Johan Tenga, lead designer for Age of Conan his very own blog!

    So maybe I should start with telling you a little about myself and Age of Conan, which I am currently working on. Well first off what about me? I started to work for Funcom at the customer support department back in 2001. If you played Anarchy Online around that time you might know me as my GM character Belith.

    Heesh they'll just let anyone have their own blog these days! (Just kidding. It's a good read)

    More News and Info on Age of Conan

    Fri, Feb 03, 2006
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