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Latest Articles by Boomjack

  • The MMOG industry has more drama than Planters has peanuts, but I suppose that is to be expected when you put millions of anonymous players in virtual worlds where they can wield weapons and speak freely. The Vanguard community continues to polarize with the "Vanbois" remaining entrenched despite the growing number of bad reviews and venomous message board threads. I hold to my stance that the game has incredible potential, but that it is at least three months away from being finished enough to compete in the current market. In the meantime it would make sense that public relations took the bull by the horns and contained the seething mass of potential customers before they look elsewhere never to return. That hasn't been the course taken so far, perhaps with good reason, though I can't think of one. The fix, GDC, dog-ka-bobs, an interview with a pirate and much more is but a click away. Loading... February 28, 2007 [PR Edition]

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    Wed, Feb 28, 2007
    Boomjack
  • I would like to personally thank Wikipedia for removing the Ten Ton Hammer entry on the basis that we are not "notable" enough. A big round of clap for the bonkers administrators at Wikipedia. Though you can't view an entry about Ten Ton Hammer you are at least able to check out these notable and incredibly informative entries:

    • Echigo-Hayakawa Station
    • Cultra Railway Station
    • Orzysz

    And my personal favourite, Gibbit, which is described as:

    "...the word "gibibit" has no known practical application."

    Notable indeed. On to more entertaining things... Riots in WoW, Seven exclusive MMOG articles, God vs Allah and much more is but a click away. Loading... February 27, 2007 [Riot Edition]

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    Tue, Feb 27, 2007
    Boomjack
  • A story has been crusing around the Interwebs regarding one of my favourite games, Second Life. I was going to ignore it, but our good man Darren "The General" Lee pointed me towards it again so I took it as an omen. It appears that some miscreants in Second Life have taken to virtual terrorism, if there is such a thing. Unhappy with the "establishment" and their inability to have things their way they detonated some virtual nukes outside of some virtual stores. No virtual inhabitants were killed, but the story is virtually everywhere even though it affects virtually noone. I think we'd all be happier if they would just virtually go back to wearing their furry suits in real life rather than in the...virtual one. Lord of the Rings Onlien first impressions, Brenlo the photog, Vin Diesel chess and much more is but a click away. Loading... February 26, 2007 [PhotoDev Edition]

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    Mon, Feb 26, 2007
    Boomjack
  • The Lord of the Rings Online Stress test begins today. If you were sent a key giving you access to the game then I encourage you to check it out. Our very own LotRO community received a face-lift yesterday. There isn't a more comprehensive LotRO community on the Interwebs. If you read one gaming article today, read Brian Green's "Cheat while exploring, not while achieving". It is a very interesting take on strategy guides, quest databases and the like. Brian compares these crutches for Explorers to the bots used by Achievers. It's a novel way of looking at the situaion and one that I as an Achiever would probably never have taken much time to consider. More cheating, beta keys, Vanguard collector's editions, Black Macs, squat thrusts and much more is but a click away. Loading... February 23, 2007 [Explorer Edition]

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    Fri, Feb 23, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Tomorrow is the beginning of the Lord of the Rings Online stress test. I'm excited to see how the game has changed since I last was able to peer upon it over the shoulder of a Turbine developer. The download is approximately 3.75GB which is about 1GB smaller than the download for the entire Supreme Commander game. Our good man Jeff Woleslagle wrote a great piece about his attempt to purchase SupCom. You should really check it out. Strangely, my experience attempting to buy the game was the exact opposite of Jeff's. I decided to head over to Direct2Drive and see if I could download the title. I'll choose downloading a game every time over driving through streets laden with the mines that we politely call 'drivers talking on their cell'. Once past these outer defenses a customer must still best the throngs of pimply-faced youths huddled around the console demonstration displays furiously attempting to juggle their Madden 2007 play choices with keeping the crotch of their pants off the tops of their shoes. Should you weave your way through this seething mass of the planet's future you come face-to-face with the boss mob, the store employee. The employee is one of the most ingeniously crafted mobs in the purchasing game. He will thwart your every attempt at giving him money, suggesting that you should instead "bring in your old games to make some cash" or "wait until game XYZ" comes out because the one you are asking for is in a box six-feet from him and he hasn't scanned them into his system yet. The rest of the story, seven exclusive MMOG articles, short skirts, robot babies and so much more is but a click away. Loading... February 22, 2007 [Deliberation Edition]

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    Thu, Feb 22, 2007
    Boomjack
  • First up a shout-out to my friend Lee who should be working in her glass-on-three-sides swanky corner office rather than reading this. Now scoot along, back to the important work affairs that must be dealt with like bolstering your garden in Viva Pinata. EVE Online: 1 vs Second Life: 0 The good folks at Linden Lab are having growing pains related to the number of concurrent users that their servers/software can handle.

    "Since September concurrency rates have tripled, to a peak last week of over 34,000. While we love that so many people are enjoying Second Life, there have been some challenging moments in keeping up with the growth, resulting in the now somewhat infamous message “heavy load on the database”. When this happens it usually means that the demand for transmission of data between servers is outstripping the ability of the network to support it."

    I must admit that I still can't understand what would draw 34,000 people at once to Second Life. A different entertainment option is EVE Online which posted the following in April of 2006. More numbers, fancy screenshots, Vin Diesel, baboons and Britney are but a click away. Loading... February 21, 2007 [Stuck Edition]

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    Wed, Feb 21, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Yes, I know... yesterday's Loading... was a gem, forged by a master wordsmith. Don't fret, Cody will be sitting in as guest host of Loading... on a regular basis. Today there will be no fancy words. There will be no enlightening insight; for I have returned. In happier news, my wife happened to be walking by the local games shop when a shipment of Wii consoles was arriving. If you care more about how much fun a game should be rather than how good it looks graphically then the Wii is probably for you. Disembodied stick people with huge noggins who can bowl a mean game may sound silly, and it probably is, but it's a lot of fun. This is a family oriented console. My wife and both kids love it as much as I do. My only disappointment so far is... drumroll please.... Zelda. This game got 9+ ratings from just about everyone. Two sites gave it a 10 out of 10. Are you folks playing the same game that I am? Perhaps I just expect more, but this seems like a solid 6-7 game for me. It's a B at best and certainly not an A+. I have to believe that the "Wiiphoria" that surrounded the launch cranked up the initial review scores. Blizzard and Sigil get tough, five exclusive MMOG articles get delivered and a RTS gets launched. All this, and maybe even more is but a click away. Loading... February 20, 2007 [WiiPhoria Edition]

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    Tue, Feb 20, 2007
    Boomjack
  • I am not an in-game socializer. In fact, according to Richard Bartle's questionnaire I am put together in the following manner:

    "Based on your answers, you are AKSE. Breakdown: Achiever 73.33%, Explorer 33.33%, Killer 60.00%, Socializer 33.33% AKSE players like to be the best-of-the-best at everything the game has to offer. They like to be high on the ladders of whatever metrics the game uses, including PVP. They like the best gear, the most power, and they love being the 'first' at something. Their prowess in PVP is generally supported by a large degree of understanding and posession of the best equipment and skills."
    In other words, you won't find me roleplaying a woman in a tavern to make a gold coin. The breakdown above is pretty much how I would have guessed it would come out. I may have marked Socializer and Explorer even lower. Brian Green explains Socializers, eight exclusive new MMOG articles, two Vanguard Collector's Editions to give away and so much more... clickity click. Loading... February 16, 2007 [Sociable Edition]

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    Fri, Feb 16, 2007
    Boomjack
  • A big round of clap for our newest editor, Cody Bye. It's going to be a hoot picking up the phone and saying, "Hello, Bye!" Anyway, treat him like you treat the rest of us. I'll post pictures of him crying in the washroom if you do. Top 5 Things Not To Do In Vanguard 5) Do NOT request that healers be nerfed, or you might get what you asked for. The other four things, an amazing office setup, six new MMOG articles and so much more is but a click away. Loading... February 15, 2007 [Hi Bye Edition]

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    Thu, Feb 15, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Happy Valentine's Day. To those of you reading this column, good luck finding someone special. You won't find them here; at least not the kind of 'special' that you are searching for. Just when you thought you had seen every possible iteration of a MMOG possible, you come across something like Tyra's Virtual Studio. I wonder if enough of us go in there and tell her that she's fat if she will cry like she did on network television. It's definately worth a try. Who's with me? Ron Gilbert (Monkey Island) has a great picture up on his blog of a game any of us would buy. Now that we've passed the expiration date on the NDA for Lord of the Rings Online it's time to start thinking up your character's name. Don't find yourself in this unenviable position: The position described, nine new MMOG articles, Vin Diesel meets Valentine's Day and much more is but a click away. Loading... February 14, 2007 [Be My Valentine Edition]

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    Wed, Feb 14, 2007
    Boomjack

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