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Latest Articles by Boomjack

  • Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom starring Marlin Perkins was a show that brought the rarest animals into the homes of the everyday television viewer. Jim Fowler was Marlin's trusty sidekick; think of him as the original 'crocodile hunter' without the accent. Jim would disappear into the brush only to later be filmed wresting an anaconda or riding the last albino rhino on Earth up to the camera. Loading... isn't sponsored by Mutual or Omaha, nor am I nearly as eloquent as Marlin Perkins was, but we did spot a rare and elusive game developer posting a comment to the Vanguard First Impressions article. Brad McQuaid was kind enough to stop by and give us his take on my first impressions of Vanguard. Brad McQuaid's commentary, six exclusive MMOG articles including two Lord of the Rings post-NDA gems and much more is but a click away. Loading... February 13, 2007 [Wild Kingdon Edition]

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    Tue, Feb 13, 2007
    Boomjack
  • It's rare that you get a treat on Mondays, but today is a rare day. Not only do we have two developer diaries from the Pirates of the Caribbean team and a preview of Myst Online, but we also have exclusive screenshots of Gods and Heroes!

    • Gods and Heroes - Exclusive Screenshots
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: Developer Diary #2
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: Developer Diary #3
    • Myst Online: Uru Live Preview

    The news is even better for Lord of the Rings fans. The NDA has been dropped, which means that our staff can now comment on the game. Get to our LotRO community site for the goods. While surfing the Interwebs I came across a blog entry on Nerfbat titled, "Should Developers Use Their Powers?" Here is a snippet: The promised snippet, tear gas and 14 exclusive MMOG articles are but a click away. Loading... February 12, 2007 [No NDA Edition]

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    Mon, Feb 12, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Douglas Lowenstein's final speech as ESA president was a take no prisoners articulation that took aim at "Cut and Run" developers

    "If you want to be controversial, that’s great. But then don’t duck and cover when the shit hits the fan. Stand up and defend what you make."

     and the enthusiast media.

    "Great other forms of media have a very very powerful forms of critical components,” he continued. “Look at the film and music industries. The quality of the nature of the criticism is very deep, it’s very thoughtful. The game industry press has the ability to push this industry to greater heights of creative success. People in this room care a lot more about what the games press say about what they create than what anyone else will say. And I hope that that platform is used in a way that is more empowering and more ambitious. I just don’t think the games press has asked enough of itself, and I hope that it does."

    As much as I attempt to keep humour as an ingredient that is found throughout the network I have to agree with Mr. Lowenstein. There should be more investigative reporting. I don't mean the which girl did big name developer A have under his desk last night reporting. I mean true, proven criticism of the games and the process of making them. More commentary, three new MMOG articles and so much more is but a click away. Loading... February 9, 2007 [Responsible Press Edition]

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    Fri, Feb 09, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Welcome to the 514th edition of Loading... If you aren't reading this in your e-mail, you could be. Sign Up SoE has surprised me... in a good way. If I didn't read it myself, after being poked that direction by an article by our very own Tony Jones, I wouldn't believe that SoE has released a white paper on Station Exchange. Station Exchange is SoE's in-house secondary market transaction system. With Exchange, SoE has built a mechanism to take the gold farmer's work and make a profit from it. Here are the highlights:

    • $1.87 million US worth of transactions were handled last year.
    • One piece of platinum trades for $7.35 when averaged for the year.
    • 34-year-olds spent the most, accounting for $39,000
    • A high level character in EQ2 is worth as much as $2,000
    • A single seller made $37,435 from 351 auctions in the first year.
    • SoE made $274, 083 in revenue in the first year.
    • Of the 40,663 players who play on the servers, only 9,042 have registered for exchange.
    • The average Station Exchange buyer is 32 years old.
    • The average EQ2 player is 25 years old.
    • 35-42 hours of play per week translate to between $200 and $500 per month in profit.

    What did SoE have to say? Seven new MMOG articles including a guide to Vanguard mounts and so much more is but a click away. Loading... February 8, 2007 [$19.95 Edition]

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    Thu, Feb 08, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Our good man Jeff Woleslagle was recently at an EA Mythic soiree where he was fortunate enough to chat with Walt Yarbrough, the producer of Dark Age of Camelot. [Full Article Here] In a true stroke of briliiance the Mythic team has chosen to roll out episodic content every two week for four months. Some other games attempted to do this on a smaller scale as Asheron's Call and Horizons player will be sure to tell you, but I believe this is the first time that truly episodic content has been rolled out so frequently for so long. Play WoW with a legend, five new MMOG articles and so much more is but a click away. Loading... February 7, 2007 [Legend Maker Edition]

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    Wed, Feb 07, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Welcome to the 512th edition of Loading... If you aren't reading this in your e-mail, you could be. Sign Up Yesterday, I posted my first impressions of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. For the most part the comments were positive. Any title that ships is going to have pundits who take it apart piece by piece, dissecting the game into its elemental parts. Invariably, this scrutiny breaks down because as anyone who has played MMOG knows, the total game experience is more than the sum of its parts. Reviewers fall back on comparisons and scoring systems, but in the end no reviewer can truly capture what matters, the personal perceptions and expectations of the potential player. The perception at large pre-launch and pre-Beta 5 was that Vanguard was going to be a game that was different from the rest in extraordinary ways. At later levels, and even to some extent for the new player this appears to be the case. What is perceived as true, and what is true are often not the same thing. Vanguard currently has a perception and expectation problem. It is a problem caused, I believe, by the need to put the game in the hands of the public before the developers were completely comfortable doing so. The change in publishers from Microsoft to SoE and the unexpectedly early launch date suggest a funding issue. Whether this is fact or not, it is the perception on the virtual street and it should probably be addressed if the good folks at Sigil want to see an expanding number of subscribers. More thoughts on VG, seven new MMOG articles, astronaut kidnappers and more is but a click away. Loading... February 6, 2007

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    Tue, Feb 06, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Welcome to the 511th edition of Loading... If you aren't reading this in your e-mail, you could be. Sign Up Reviewing a massively multiplayer online game is a lot like discussing religion; no matter what opinion you may have about the subject, no matter how well you formulate the reasoning behind your opinion, there will be people who are so passionate about their own opinions that they can't fathom yours. I suppose they are a lot like Oprah. Oprah fans, this is your wake-up call. If you cry on-camera I'll kick you straight off the stage. We don't cater to sissies around here, though I've been told that our more refined readers do ruminate over the column while sipping merlot from a crystal goblet, chit-chatting about the artistic values of game design and smiling without showing their teeth. Without further mincing of words I give you my official Vanguard: Saga of Heroes First Impressions Article. I shouldn't need to tell you this, but the game changes constantly. What is true at the time of writing this article may not be true in the future, though I can travel there, and to the past if needed to edit this article for accuracy. [Click here for proof. *Warning - Sound*] Vanguard: Saga of Heroes First Impressions Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment Developer: Sigil Games Online Official Home Page: VanguardSoH.com ESRB Rating: Teen Release Date: January 30, 2007 First up, I would personally like to see this game succeed. That won't cloud my opinion of the game, but it is important that you know that I am not one of the Vanguard bashers that roams the Interweb. I am also not a fanboi. I would like to see the game succeed because I believe that the industry needs another high profile title. World of Warcraft has done wonders for the genre, but we are quickly tying our horse to the one-trick-pony stable. I feel the same way about Vanguard at launch that I feel about any newly lauched game. I hope they succeed. Hundreds of people have poured their hearts and souls into this title. To wish ill in the game, as some players are wont to do, just seems wrong somehow. Now that you know where I'm coming from, let's see where I've been. Full-on first impressions of Vanguard, 8 new MMOG articles and much more is but a click away. Loading... February 5, 2007 [To VG or not VG? Edition]

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    Mon, Feb 05, 2007
    Boomjack
  • When I'm asked to do the news on the main site I pimp my own stuff. Wouldn't you?

    For the first time ever I divulge the Top 10 Reasons That Vanguard Will Succeed. The answers may surprise you; they may shock you. You really need to know this.

    News
    Fri, Feb 02, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Big bands, boy bands, cantina bands and now Star Wars Galaxies delivers holo bands.

    What are holo bands you ask? Click here to find out.

    News
    Fri, Feb 02, 2007
    Boomjack
  • ArenaNet has posted the latest game updates for Guild Wars.

    He who hesitates is still here. Read on.

    News
    Fri, Feb 02, 2007
    Boomjack

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