Ten Ton Hammer

  • We all need more opinions.
    has an editorial done by Grax concerning MMOs.

    There has been a disturbing trend in the MMOG industry in the last few years:
    the developers of virtual worlds have created a crippled population of players.
    These crippled players are learning to rely on their avatars more and more,
    while they see their own importance in the virtual world diminish.
    What is happening? Developers are taking content previously designed for
    players, and turning it into content deemed fit to be touched only by the
    lowly avatars: Exploration, Crafts, Skills, Selling. These aspects of virtual
    worlds are now often automated. A player finds that virtual worlds expect
    him to be less and less competent when it comes to anything that doesn't involve
    combat. In other words, developers are packaging avatars with more abilities
    and more knowledge, with the goal of allowing players to get by without these.
    Let's look at the abilities and knowledge that avatars possess in some of
    the recent MMOGs.

    Hmmm, sounds interesting. A rather convincing argument.
    a look.

    Fri, Dec 30, 2005
  • Wow, we can almost play Burning Crusade!
    has an editorial by Garrett Fuller concerning the expansion to one of the biggest
    MMOs out there- World of Warcraft:

    No release date has been announced. There will be a level cap boost to 70.
    There is a Horde race. The Alliance race has yet to be seen. There will be
    new instance dungeons. There will be new raid dungeons. There will be a new
    zone with flying mounts and quests. All this sounds nice and good, well actually
    not all of it. In this editorial I want to try and bring up some questions
    about what The Burning Crusade will mean for five million players.
    That is right, five million! Congratulations Blizzard on the largest selling
    MMORPG to date! In doing more research on this game I am most surprised at
    the sheer amount of people who play. From executives and celebrities to my
    friend’s twelve year old son (who still beats me in duels), it seems
    like everyone plays this game. Is everyone happy with the content and game-play
    of Warcraft? Some yes, some no, we have all had a lot of things to say about
    the design of the game and its flaws. The biggest question players have is
    what will The Burning Crusade bring?
    Blizzard has given us a wonderful preview video. A look at the Blood Elf
    race and answered some questions about content like Medivh’s Tower and
    Karazhan. I for one am looking forward to the Caverns of Time and the Outlands.
    A large concern is how the boost in level will affect players who have reached
    their end-game at level 60. For example, will dungeons like Molten Core and
    Blackwing Lair become obsolete? Will all the time players spend farming those
    dungeons for epic items go to waste? With Blizzard using level based loot
    as rewards for questing, PvP, and factions, will these items even compare
    to the level seventy gear that we all expect to see? This is a very difficult
    question to ask and unfortunately Blizzard has not given any straight answers
    to their players. One post on their forums had said that they will certainly
    come up with something to balance the loot by the time the expansion is released.
    Many players remain concerned on how the level seventy content will impact
    all the time spent playing at level sixty.

    out what else he has to say.

    Fri, Dec 30, 2005
  • Two NEW Pirates of the Burning Sea screenshots are up at as part of their weekly Friday Series of PotBS screenshots. Take a look at them, drool a little and then covet baby.. just covet!

    More Pirates of the Burning Sea News and Info

    Fri, Dec 30, 2005
  • Part two of their three part series is up with EverQuest 2 Community Manager Blackguard.

    Four: Having worked your way around the different positions within SOE, what would you say was your most favorite, and why?

    I've been in QA, Community Relations, and was even an Apprentice Designer for a while. My favorite so far is Community Relations Manager, because I get to do a little bit of everything. I love working with communities, and I love influencing the direction of the game (read: ranting and raving to people in person or via really really long emails). This position is a perfect fit, because, obviously, I work a lot with the community, and I'm in a Lead position on the game team.

    Uh.. yeah! Good times.. good times!

    Our Most Flibbety Flabbety Floo Fantastic EQ2 Site

    Other EverQuest 2 News and Info

    Fri, Dec 30, 2005
  • Normally I wouldn't post news on outside editorials but A. Dana is a great writer and B. this is a subject that raises my cockles. features an editorial by Dana Massey regarding Advertising in Games

    Over the past year, we’ve begun to see the first inroads of advertising into massively multi-player online games. First, an older version of Anarchy Online became free to anyone who does not mind ads. Second, for a time, EverQuest II introduced a ‘/pizza’ command that lets player order a real life pie without leaving their keyboard. Then, SOE announced that they have partnered with the same folks powering Anarchy Online’s advertisements to put them into Planetside and The Matrix Online.

    For developers and publishers, this represents a new frontier of income that has long been established in other entertainment mediums: digital product placement. Yet, how have consumers reacted? To date the range of emotions have gone from indifference to anger. As we look to the future, I want to examine firstly whether this path is a fair one, and secondly what forms are most appropriate for players and effective for advertisers.

    It's become a popular way to raise extra cash for these developers and that's always a good thing because extra cash means more development. However it reminds me of a situation from the Movie State & Main. Are we going to have Bazoomercom in our Fantasy games? Let's hope not!

    Fri, Dec 30, 2005
  • OGaming has a really good interview up with Funcom's product director Jørgen Tharaldsen .

    OGaming: Why do you think you've become a major player in the online gaming space?

    Jørgen Tharaldsen: I would say dedication to quality in our products, as well as honesty and respect towards our customers and everyone we deal with. At the same time we have been willing to innovate. Not just for the sake of innovation, but for the sake of furthering the goals of our company; making our games more fun and our business approaches more effective. I guess I shouldn't forget all the late nights and hard work everyone at Funcom puts in as well. There are so many other aspects to this though, but I guess the aforementioned ones put some words to it.

    First Anarchy Online (which is a really good game if not a bit complicated) and now Age of Conan. Funcom is looking toward the future and we will see really great things from them.

    More on Age of Conan

    More on Anarchy Online

    Fri, Dec 30, 2005
  • It looks like the Taurens have over-run Dark and Light! Ok they're not called Taurens, they're not called anything except described as Half Human Half Bull. *cough* Tauren *cough*.

    Type, Characteristics :
    Mythical creature mainly linked to Calder.
    Viviparous, but females are virtually non-existent.
    As tall as 2 or 3 men.

    It is very rare to find them in a natural state, they are often captives and given their attitude, it can’t be bad.

    History and Attitude:
    According to ancient legends, these creatures are the result of an unfortunate experiment by a group of Dark Elves that were enemies of Calder.

    A long time ago, before Gothar offered religious independence, the Dark Elvish folk were hiding in dark caves, forced to exile by the other races because of their practising destructive magic. Faithful to their father, Calder, they were patiently waiting for the moment when they could exert their revenge on

    There is also the Sentidras. They look like giant sting rays. Quite beautiful actually.

    History and Attitude:
    These creatures are often considered by fishermen like messengers of Hydra and respect them for that. There are countless legends on how the Sentidra answered the prayers preceding the fishing itself and came to them to lead them to the most populated fishing areas.

    Other legends are less joyful and tell that entire fishermen villages have been destroyed by armies of furious Sentidras that ran after them until they reached their lands.

    Even if the people living near the shores are always fearing for the kind of message the Sentidras bring them, they always treat them with respect.

    More News and Info on Dark and Light!

    Fri, Dec 30, 2005
  • The Lord of the Rings Online Official site has updated another of their classes. This time they focus on Captains.

    Races: Man

    'And this I also say: you are our captain and our banner. The Dark Lord has Nine. But we have One, mightier than they. . . .'
    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, "The White Rider"

    Bearing her banner into battle, a Captain provides hope and leadership to her fellows, inspiring them to greater deeds. A skilled Captain can rally a party back from the brink of defeat, or seal a victory against many foes. While a Captain is a respected fighter on her own accord, she is primarily driven by her powerful sense of leadership to those fighting around her.

    The Captain will be the class of choice for players who enjoy supporting their fellows while participating in melee combat. With her unique ability to plant banners to increase the battle prowess of those near them, the Captain helps to define where a fight will happen. Her battle cries allow her to take advantage of certain events in combat to aid the morale or combat ability of her fellows. A Captain's style of combat focuses on inspiring those around her to glory.

    This class sounds familiar.. Hmm what could it be?

    Take advantage of all of the great information we have at TTH's Lord of the Rings Online Site

    Other Lord of the Rings Online Info and News

    Fri, Dec 30, 2005
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    Loading will be postponed today due to technical not adjust your monitor. Oh, and have a happy New Year.

    Fri, Dec 30, 2005
  • And I RAN, I RAN so far away...
    Alright that was pushing it a little I know. But,
    has an interview with Steve Tsao, President and COO of IP Interactive about
    RAN Online:

    Steve Tsao and his company are had at work importing RAN Online to the North
    American market from its Korean-roots. RAN Online is an MMORPG set in a contemporary
    university setting with a distinct anime-style. Lately we’ve seen a lot of MMORPGs being imported from Asia
    to a North American market. One of the biggest hurdles is simple translation.
    How have you addressed this to make sure RAN is accessible to the North American

    Steve Tsao: My background in gaming is from the United States, so I am very
    particular about the quality of translation for the English speaking market.
    The Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world.
    The translation for RAN Online will be done in the Philippines, unlike many
    of the other games which are done by an automatic Korean to English translator.
    In fact, the #1 reason for our close beta process is to refine the English
    for RAN Online The game is of an anime-style, but the setting is contemporary.
    This is a hole in the MMORPG market right now. What are some of the challenges
    with this setting?

    Steve Tsao: RAN is the most successful modern day MMORPG in the world today(000k++
    of PCU’s throughout Asia). The players are faced with challenges they
    may encounter in real life. Instead of delivering a new set of magical armor
    to the dwarf guard tower, the players are tasked with quests such as clearing
    the school yard of bullies, or helping the teacher clean up the school. The
    challenges are showing the players this is a fun and exciting environment,
    even without the dragons around every corner that they’re so used to.

    Features, Interviews
    Thu, Dec 29, 2005
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