Welcome to the 685th Edition of Loading...
If you aren't reading this in your e-mail, you could be. Sign up.
Are you looking for the latest industry headlines? Look no further.
A new comic has been posted and since our Top 10 most visited pages each day are infested with comics I thought it would be prudent to add to the hysteria. You're all over these comics like a hobo on a ham sandwich. Do any of you even visit for the MMOG content?
Sometimes we are put into situations that we would prefer we were not in. As a manager at TTH I sometimes have to let employees go. It is never easy to do and after many years in this role it never gets any easier. As a coach of two minor hockey teams I have to tell young athletes that they didn't make the cut. It's heartbreaking not only for the kids, but for me. As a writer, I put fingers to keyboard each morning hoping that in 20 minutes I can churn out something entertaining enough that you will come back tomorrow and check out the column again. So far, I've tricked just over 400,000 of you into doing it on a monthly basis. It may not seem like this would be a difficult situation, but when I hit a nerve with the cosmic consciousness or touch on a subject with very polarized views it's like punching a skunk, fun for the first second followed by a cataclysm of fetor and ruin. No amount of tomato juice can remove the stink from some of my columns.
On most days, I pride myself in keeping this column unbridled by facts, political correctness, grammar and a spell checker. Unfortunately, for both of us, there are times as an editor in the game industry that I have a responsibility to give you not only the facts about the games that we play, but also my opinion. Games are such a subjective medium that finding a writer with an opinion that you agree with or disagree with (most of the time) is a key component in making an astute purchase. If writer ABC seems to enjoy the same types of games that you do then you value his or her opinion over an equally talented writer who seems to waffle back and forth.
Where is this going you ask? Write something funny or get on with it you say? Very well then...
For those of you just out of prison, I've been doing a "reintroduction" to Guild Wars this month. I go back, like a new player would do and play the game. How does it stack up? Is it worth the price-tag? Should you choose it over the other games that could be plucking the money from your purse-strings?
It all started out normal enough. The Loading... readership voted that I should try EverQuest 2 again. Naturally, after a week of trying it remained impossible for me to patch the game. You see I have a wireless high-speed Internet connection and the box on my roof blocks the SOE patcher. Fair enough... on to Vanguard, the #2 voted choice, but Whoops!!!!!! That's an SOE product using the same launcher. Go figure...on to #3 Guild Wars.
Guild Wars has not one, not two, but three potential starting points. The original game, referred to as Prophecy, the second chapter, Factions and the most recent installment, Nightfall. Three choices and only one Boomjack brain. This could take a while. I took all three boxes, pitched them down the stairs and chose the one that went the farthest as my point of entry into the land of Guild Wars. Unfortunately, that choice was a bad one. After wasting a day playing Factions it became evident that the fans considered it the worst of the three chapters. I asked for help and boy did I get it. A 60/40 split came up with Prophecy as the proper reintroduction chapter. I promptly began to prophesize that this was going to be fun. As you will soon find out, I am not Nostradamus.
It is now the middle of the month and I have played a game that has evoked simultaneous emotions in me that I did not think were possible. I am both frustrated and bored. There are 20 character levels in the Guild Wars PvE experience. The first 10 or so levels of Prophecy are entertaining in that the gameplay is new. You can build a group of henchmen and go play without waiting around forever for a group. The downside of this is that there is very little socialization. You only see other players in towns and cities, where they are either running around with a group full of their own henchment or are imitating the village idiot by dancing like Elaine from Seinfeld.
It appears impossible to ever run into another player once you leave a city. You see, every "zone" is instanced. It's just you and your virtual friends the henchmen against the wilds. I won't go into the "invisible" walls that plague Prophecy or the long, drawn-out quest-line that makes getting to level 20 as much fun as listening to a Lindsay Lohan concert. I feel punished when I load up Guild Wars. If it wasn't an assignment that you the readership had given me (oh, thank you!) I would have dropped it days ago, and that is exactly my recommendation to anyone looking for a new game. Choose something else.
I've tried Nightfall. I've tried Factions and boy have I given Prophecy a chance, but they don't have what I ask for in a game. Fun.
Word on the street is that Eye of the North, the recent expansion is spectacular. I really wanted to get to level 20 to try it out, but at this point I can't imagine a first time MMOG player sticking it out to that high of a level.
Before the GW fans start arriving at my office with torches crying, "Burn the witch. The game is free. No monthly fee." I agree with you. It is free. It should be. The game doesn't justify a monthly fee and perhaps that is why I find it inferior to many that do. Compared to other free games it is the King of the Hill, the Big Man on Campus, the Cock of the Walk.
When I'm feeling optimistic about my life and can't fathom why I'll jump back into Guild Wars to bring me back to reality. Maybe someday soon I'll even reach level 20 and try out the fabled Eye of the North. Until then, unless you are strapped for cash or absolutely won't pay $15 a month for a better MMOG then pass on Guild Wars. If you want a free MMOG then try out Anarchy Online. It's old and it's greying at the temples, but it has no costs other than your time.
Lynch mobs forming to the right. If you disagree you'd better post or you're a coward. If you agree you'd better post or I may get burned at the stake.
- EverQuest 2: Soloing Guide
- Fury Launch Week: Podcast Q&A With Michael Hampden
- Lord of the Rings Online: Fireworks Acquisition Guide
- Lord of the Rings Online: Book 11 Screenshots
- MapleStory: Creepy New Images
- Tabula Rasa: Production vs Polish
- Tabula Rasa: Northwestern Highlands and Nidu Dav Missions
- Vanguard: Shaman Patron Guide - Hayatet the Phoenix
- Vanguard: Gardens of Xia'Liu Overview
- Warhammer Online: The Blighted Isle Overview
- Comics: Listing
- Comics: Borat Plays WoW
- Ten Ton Hammer Gallery
- Comics: Recover Lost Time
- Comics: My Little Pwny
- Comics: Frozen Sword
- Comics: WoW In 5 Years
- World of Warcraft: Overview
- Comics: WoW Spammer
- Leipzig 2007 Awards
Woman Spying On Husband Gets Trapped Under SUV
Apparently husband was either a road worker or a valet.
Australian Man Survives Nine-Story Fall In His Underpants
No word on how his underpants became nine-stories tall.
Thanks as always for visiting TenTonHammer.com
- John "Boomjack" Hoskin and the Ten Ton Hammer Team