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Latest Articles by Boomjack

  • It's the first day of Spring in the land that summer forgot. You'd never know it by the mounds of snow and ice that surround my house, but the weather gurus tell me that it will warm up today. I warmed up to Tabula Rasa during the demonstration by Richard Garriott at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. You can check out the last two-days of Loading... to read my impressions of this long awaited title. There are still a few more interesting tidbits that I would like to share so let's get at it. The first thing I noticed when Lord British fired up the game was that the interface or heads-up-display is minimal. The player is in permanent mouselook mode. Weapon changes are accomplished via the mouse. The game itself is large and in charge, right in your face without huge banks of hotkey bars or statistic boxes stuck in the main viewing area. Tabula Rasa, nine exclusive MMOG articles, Vin Diesel and North Korea are but a click away. Loading... March 21, 2007 [Spring Edition]

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    Wed, Mar 21, 2007
    Boomjack
  • More GDC coverage than any other MMOG news site. It just keeps pouring in...

    • TenTonHammer.com's GDC 2007 Coverage Portal

    Thanks to everyone who has shown interest in working at TenTonHammer.com. Today is the last day to submit resumes for the following positions:

    • Industry Relations Specialist: This individual should have a book of industry contacts and be experienced procuring content opportunities for a large game or entertainment network. This position includes frequent travel.
    • Community Manager - Warhammer Online: This individual should be active in the Warhammer Online community. Excellent writing skills and the ability to manage staff writers is a must. The ability to travel to community events is a plus.
    • Community Manager - Gods and Heroes: This individual should be active in the Gods and Heroes community. Excellent writing skills and the ability to manage staff writers is a must. The ability to travel to community events is a plus.
    • Community Manager - Lord of the Rings Online: This individual should be active in the Lord of the Rings community. Excellent writing skills and the ability to manage staff writers is a must. The ability to travel to community events is a plus.
    • Webmaster: This individual should have an extensive knowledge of PHP, Drupal and PostNuke. Experience working in a high-paced, entertainment related industry, knowledge of the MMOG game space and an artistic flair are a must.

    Please forward your resume by end of day today (March 20, 2007) for consideration. I promised I would give out more information about Tabula Rasa and well, I keep my promises. Tabula Rasa has two interesting types of areas of conflict, named "battlefields" and "instances" by Richard Garriott. It is important to remember that Tabula Rasa will be a story-driven game. Mission arcs are an evolutionary step up from the quest-chains that we know and love in World of Warcraft, Everquest 2 and the current crop of MMOs. As you work your way through a mission arc you will be given sub-quests that must be completed in order to complete the main quest as a whole. Think of mission arcs like the Shaman totem quests in World of Warcraft ratcheted up about five notches. Instead of collecting the fur of ten rats, returning it and never speaking to that NPC again you will be sent to uncover a story that will encompass numerous sidequests in order to complete. More TR, more careers and more MMOG coverage is but a click away. Loading... March 20, 2007 [TR2 Edition]

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    Tue, Mar 20, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Our GDC coverage is still rolling in. This is a great conference for the press as the setting is much more intimate than an event like E3 (was) or PAX is.

    • TenTonHammer.com's GDC 2007 Coverage Portal

    There is nothing like coaching 7 and 8-year-olds to put everything in perspective. They tell it like it is, no holding back. The parents also don't hold back, but in a much different way. Someday a wise scientfic type will put his or her finger on the point where we move from being polite, happy human beings into adulthood. In the good news department, I woke up to a pair of bald eagles, a pair of swans and some otters in the lake 20-feet from my back door. Amazing! While I'm discussing amazing things I'll take a minute to tell you about my sit down, chat it out session with Richard Garriott, the man behind the Ultima universe and who is currently working on Tabula Rasa. Today I'll take a lok at what Tabula Rasa is and what it isn't. There are many misconceptions concerning this game. Let's try to clear them up shall we? It is a title that has been in closed beta since Christmas with hundreds of testers scampering through the science fiction world discovering any bugs or discrepancies. The beta will soon be opening the floodgates to thousands of new testers per cycle. How soon is soon? That question couldn't be answered, but expect to start seeing announcements in the next few weeks. Richard described Tabula Rasa this way: Lord British speaks, Tabula Rasa explained, 13 new MMOG articles and more is but a click away. Loading... March 19,2007 [Clean Slate Edition]

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    Mon, Mar 19, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Videos, interviews and commentary with the people who make the industry great; all the GDC Coverage you can eat is online.

    • TenTonHammer.com's GDC 2007 Coverage Portal

    Our network continues to grow; faster than we could have ever imagined when we launched this ship from dock two-years ago. Two main elements differentiate our network from the majority of the sites and networks covering the MMOG space. First, we are not run by volunteers. Our staff is paid to deliver the goods to you and the results have been, well, incredible. We hire passionate gamers who are able to eloquently deliver their knowledge to you via the written word, video coverage and even photograph. Second, we don't cater to real money trading (RMT) companies. We receive no revenue from gold farming companies and their like. Check around, how many MMOG sites have gold farming ads slipped into their ad stream? How many like Thottbot, OGaming and Allakhazam.com are owned by gold farming companies? Our plans for the next year require that we hire more passionate gamers. The following positions are now available: Career opportunities, 11 exclusive new MMOG articles and continued GDC coverage are but a click away. Loading... March 13, 2007 [Help Wanted Edition]

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    Tue, Mar 13, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Videos, interviews and commentary with the people who make the industry great; all the GDC Coverage you can eat is online.

    • TenTonHammer.com's GDC 2007 Coverage Portal

    Jeff and Cody have outdone themselves. We have eight exclusive articles from GDC posted today including some great videos of Hero's Journey and Gods and Heroes. I was fortunate to spend some time listening in on an interview between Magnus Bergsson, CMO of CCP, Inc. (the developers of EVE Online) and Jeff Woleslagle. My short attention span made gleaning information difficult, but I did hear that voice chat (EVE Voice) would likely arrive in EVE Online by the end of March. Currently in the final beta stages the voice chat option is being developed in conjunction with Vivox who were kind enough to sit down with Jeff and discuss their voice over IP solution for MMOs. The initial release of EVE Voice will be priced at $9.95 per year with a price change to $14.95 per year coming at a later date. Magnus agreed that that anonymity of text chat was something that would be lost to players who used voice chat, but had this to say about the benefits. Ohhh, what did he say? Find out, watch exclusive videos from EVE Online, Hero's Journey and Gods and Heroes or just read one of the 18 exclusive MMOG articles today. Loading... March 12, 2007 [Video Edition]

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    Mon, Mar 12, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Videos, interviews and commentary with the people who make the industry great; all the GDC Coverage you can eat is online.

    • TenTonHammer.com's GDC 2007 Coverage Portal

    Yesterday was a travel day for me, so my apologies for the lack of a Loading... My watch showed 8:00pm when I got in the cab to head to the airport and 10:00am when I opened the door to my house. I dread to think of my total travel time if I ever have to visit an event in Asia. It doesn't seem to matter how many people you bring to cover an event you never have enough. We have three editors and an industry relations representative in attendance and truly it isn't enough to cover the show properly. At least one more warm body is required to get to the high profile meetings and that doesn't leave anyone for what is arguably more interesting, coverage of the fringe development companies. Rumour: Peter Molyneaux may be working on a MMOG. He was part of a panel yesterday, but was unable to talk about the MMO aspect of RPGs because he was "gagged". Take that for what it is worth, which right now is nothing but speculation. Two-hours at the Perpetual Entertainment offices on Monday wasn't enough, but they graciously invited me back last evening for beverages, some food and more importantly a first look at Star Trek Online. A look at STO, Dreamlords and an interview with Joe Ybarra regarding StarGate Worlds are my contributions today, but they appear to be just a drop in the bucket compared to the 16 other MMOG and GDC related articles that were also posted on TenTonHammer.com I love it when we have this much news to cover! Loading... March 9, 2007 [GDC Jet Lag Edition]

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    Fri, Mar 09, 2007
    Boomjack
  • GDC day #2 brought with it a return trip to Perpetual headquarters, a sit in with Magnus of EVE-Online and a chat with Jorn of Dreamlords. I thought that perhaps I was the only one at GDC that wasn't completely thrilled to be here. I'm not an introvert per se, but neither am I a social animal, chomping at the bit for human interaction. I'm happy to attend my appointments, shake the hands that need to be shook, smile the smiles that need to be smiled and get to writing the words that need to be wrote. This isn't to say that it isn't a pleasure to meet people like Steig Hedlund, Magnus Bergsson and the many other developers who are so incredibly passionate about their games and the game industry in general. It's an honour to meet these people. I just don't need to meet everyone in the room and do the fake kiss on cheek thing. That's not who I am. I prefer a tight circle of quality contacts to a gigantic web of mediocrity. During my incredibly quick cruise through the blogs that fit my taste I was surprised to see that Brian Green felt somewhat the same as me. Brian's commentary, an incredible EVE Online exclusive and so much more is but a click away. Loading... March 7, 2007 [Good EVEning Edition]

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    Wed, Mar 07, 2007
    Boomjack
  • GDC day #1 delivered a two-hour hands-on experience with Gods and Heroes; a title being developed by Perpetual Entertainment and marketed by Sony Online Entertainment. The lovely and talented Debbysue Wolfcale of Sony Online Entertainment escorted our group into the Perpetual Entertainment offices in downtown San Francisco and briefly summarized the state of the game, currently in closed beta to the press in attendance. Both Sony and Perpetual are genuinely excited about this title and with good reason. The pedigree of the development team might be the best kept secret in the industry with team members like Chris McKibbon who previously was Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the EA Canada Studio, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of the Origin Systems Studio, and General Manager of Programming and Production for EA.com, as well as Steig Hedlund who was the lead designer of both Starcraft and Diablo II. Public exposure of the game has been relatively limited so far with showings at E3 2005, E3 2006, CES and Comic Con being the most notable public displays. The embargo on information may be about to end and the gaming community is in for a Herculean sized treat. The hands-on session in which I acted as photographer and comedy relief while Jeff Woleslagle displayed his videography talents and Cody Bye played, yes played the game for almost two hours was over all to quickly. The Perpetual team were happy to answer not only the well formulated, thought provoking, from the hip, rise to the occasion questions that I asked, but also the far less important ones asked by the other press in attendance.

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    Tue, Mar 06, 2007
    Boomjack
  • I don't travel well. That's a massive understatement. Let me paint a picture for you if I could. When it comes to trips like the one I'm on right now to the Game Developers Conference, I am much like a monkey with a shotgun, potentially funny, but dangerous. On every trip to the U.S. in which I have mentioned TenTonHammer.com as my employer I have been grilled, sometimes almost literally, as to where I'm going and what I might be doing when I arrived at said destination. My trip to E3 last year was as bad as it could get, or so I thought as I sat in the Greater Toronto Airport Authoritie's rendition of Guantanamo Bay amidst a sea of bearded, praying men, some of which wore "U.S.A. is the great Satan" T-shirts. For the record I do not have a beard and I do not pray. My T-shirts state, "I'm not a geek. I'm a level 12 paladin." My trip to the Left Coast started like every other trip, early. The 5:00am wake-up call seemed like a good idea at the time and in restrospect it probably was, had it actually taken place. They didn't call, but no biggie I had institued Plan B and set the alarm, which went off on "ringer" at a tone that apparently only dogs and bats can hear. At 5:15 I happened to wake up to the sound of car alarms, as I had done every 30 minutes throughout the night. Everything happens for a reason, or so somebody said, once upon a time in a land the fates hadn't abandoned. The tale gets even better, as does our developer diary, "Creating a Dragon" in Dungeons and Dragons Online. Clickity click. Loading... March 5, 2007 [SF Edition]

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    Mon, Mar 05, 2007
    Boomjack
  • I still haven't stepped back into World of Warcraft, though the lure is growing. The good folks at Turbine were kind enough to send me an invite to the Lord of the Rings beta (random, not because of my position here at TTH). When I receive a beta invite I tend to "test" rather than play. It's a double-edged sword as it ruins my ability to review the game in the future, but does allow me a glimpse into the minds of the development team as I watch what aspects of their title receive attention during the pre-release final building phase. What a team is concerned about during this phase tells much about what direction a game will take post-release. LotRO is already a more polished game than many titles are at release. It has a certain World of Warcraft flavour blended with the spice of its Lord of the Rings background. The more you relate your play to the deep Lord of the Rings atmosphere the more you enjoy the game itself. Ah yes, World of Warcraft. What would a MMOG article be without mention of WoW? I plan to head back and experience TBC. I played through the Blood Elf and Draenei starting areas with a couple of characters, but I never made it to outlands. As I waited for TBC to be released was concerned that never being in a raiding guild I wouldn't be an effective group member or soloer for that matter in the expansion. How could I compete with players who had spent hundreds of hours raiding? Answers, Vin Diesel, The U.N. and much more is but a click away. Loading... March 01, 2007 [Gearflation Edition]

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    Thu, Mar 01, 2007
    Boomjack

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