Welcome to the 1,131st Edition of Loading...

Loading... is the premier daily MMORPG news and commentary newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer.

Real-world science and realism always go hand-in-hand with games, whether you're playing a flight sim or an MMO. Case in point, the next wave of MMOs gain a lot of realism points by adopting (however imperfectly) the major laws of physics. We'll take a look at what role mechanical physics plays in Jumpgate Evolution, Global Agenda, and even DC Universe Online in today's Loading... Getting Physical.

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The Pulse

You vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Pulse (What is The Pulse?).

Here's today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. Aion (UP 7)
  3. EVE Online (UP 7)
  4. Star Wars: The Old Republic (UP 8)
  5. EverQuest 2 (down 3)

Biggest Movers this month :

  1. DC Universe Online (UP 17 to #13)
  2. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (down 5 to #10)
  3. Dungeons & Dragons Online (down 4 to #11)
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Ever since DDO and later Age of Conan became somewhat mainstream, we've seen an emphasis on making the next wave of MMOs more "action oriented" - that is, concentrating on positioning and hand-eye coordination to land a steady stream of damage, rather than just locking in auto-attack and grabbing a sandwich. The goal was to make DPS and tank classes as challeging and rewarding to play as support roles and healers. One authentic way to accomplish this and add a degree of skill to any game is through science, or more accurately, a greater (if imperfect) adoption of the major laws of physics, as it pertains to a specific game. If the mere mention of physics gives you a headache, don't worry, here's three examples from the next wave of MMOs to show you what I mean.

While true "Newtonian physics" were never part of the Jumpgate experience (and have never really been a part of any space sim, to my knowledge, outside of an optional setting in Freelancer), part of the skill involved with Jumpgate Evolution is learning to fly in a 3D space with a lesser degree of inertial resistance. But to make space flight more intuitive, JGE will have "inertial dampeners" on by default. The effect is to make your spaceship fly more like a plane flying around in earth's atmosphere would. At E3 we learned that you can kick off these inertial dampeners to let physics take its course, and perform skilled maneuvers like hairpin Immelman turns against human opponents, or perhaps to line up your forward-facing weapons as inertia carries you away from the fight.

Many online shooters have a simplified damage system where the game simply checks to see what part of your target is in the reticule when you pull the trigger, then assesses damage based on where your round instantaneously lands. Global Agenda uses a more sophisticated particle-based physics system in that you have to account for how your bullets and projectiles will "track" in that split second between when you fire and when the bullet makes impact. If you've ever been skeet shooting, you know part of the art and skill is leading a clay pigeon just enough, depending on distance and angle.

Imagine that you're firing a .22 instead of a turkey loads from a shotgun - we used to do when I was in college , and winging one clay in five was a badge of honor. It's nothing you can consciously calculate in your head, that takes far too long. Its all about feel. And in Global Agenda, I imagine much of the marksman's skill is how you position yourself relative to your target's intended movements. Battlefield maxims - those keys to success and survival - become relevant. Things like stay perpendicular to your opponent's movements, not sideral unless your flanking a fixed position, and zig and zag as you advance on or retreat from your opponent.

Nor are combat or space games the only MMOs that are starting to take advantage of physics. From Cody's hands-on with DC Universe Online, posted today:

Unlike most MMOs, DC Universe Online features physics-laden effects, which means that every attack and animation in the game has a “substance” to it. So if you’re targeting one enemy and his ally happens to jump in your way, your attack will hit that ally instead. So although targeting may not be as specific as other MMOs, this opens up a whole new level of strategy and tactics for gamer groups hoping to take down their opponents in PvP.

Although many aspects of "action-oriented gaming" don't thrill me - giving an advantage, however slight, to players with better hardware, for one - a greater degree of mechanical realism appeals to the side of me that demands a certain level of believability in order to fully immerse myself. This is one trend I can wholeheartedly support. But what say you? Do you like your MMOs with a side order of physics, or do you long for the more numerically randomized pen-and-paper days of MMO gaming? Have your say in the Loading... forum, or feel free to email me.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our Articles, News & Events Discussion

38 Studios Having Trouble Pitching Investors

It's the economy, I tell ya!

Ten Ton Hammer's news report
that 38 Studios, developers of the fantasy MMOG code named Copernicus,
were having difficulty pitching investors drew conversation from our
community, and from 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling. (Yes, baseball
fans, that Curt Schilling. The whole "pitch" pun was fully intended.)

Schilling reacted to a Ten Ton Hammer community member's comments on a segment in this article claiming that 38's goal was to build a "credible rival" to World of Warcraft. "
I have never, and will never say 'We want to compete with WoW,'" says Schilling. "It's a
stupid and unrealistic goal. What we want to do is create a unique
gaming experience...that millions of
people will want to play."

your take? Is "millions of people" a realistic goal in today's MMOG
climate? Can 38 Studios accomplish what it has set out to do? (Count me
among the people who certainly hope so, and who are cheering them on.) Have your say!

Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

this just mean yet another half ass [WoW] clone were it only makes
sense to continue to play WOW (for those that still do), or something
far more Epic?
" - OneEyeRed

Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell us!

6 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 77 in July! 842 in 2009!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today [Thanks Phil Comeau for links and Real World News]

  • DC Universe Online Hands-On PvP Preview from Comic-Con '09
    Super hero MMOs are a tricky business. Unlike their fantasy brethren, the realm of super heroes is often very black and white: the good guys are very good and the bad guys are very bad. For comic book MMOs, finding that PvP sweet spot is an absolute priority. While I was attending San Diego’s Comic-Con International ’09, Ten Ton Hammer's Cody "Micajah" Bye had the chance to take a swing at Sony Online Entertainment’s player versus player encounters in their upcoming super hero online game known as DC Universe Online.
  • Bait and Switch? Ethics & Values in MMO Marketing
    Ten Ton Hammer confronted several industry insiders on MMO marketing practices that have long chafed players (sometimes using quotes from our Premium Members). Has word-of-mouth made traditional PR and marketing obsolete, or worse: prone to deceit just to get games noticed? Is pre-launch hype important for a game with a potential ten-year (or even longer) lifespan, and if so, is there such a thing as too much hype? Why is marketing used to gather feedback for features that aren't necessarily "final," and what's with the "box promises" that aren't made good at launch? Through their candid responses, you'll find that perhaps the industry has turned a corner.
  • Picking Up Cool Perks in Champions Online
    Perks are a means of managing your achievements in CO, but Cryptic Studios has taken that core concept one step further by allowing players to use their accumulated points to purchase things like new costume pieces, upgrades and more. We’ve put together a short list of cool Perks you might come across in the game, so be sure to check them out!
  • Champions Online FAQ
    What do you want to know about Champions Online? We've likely got the answer right here in our Ten Ton Hammer Champions Online FAQ. We have covered a lot of the questions you may have about the game, but it doesn't end there. This FAQ will continue to be updated right through launch, so be sure to check back often. Have a question about Champions Online that's not covered here? Ask in our forums, and we may just include it.
  • 10 Things to Know Before Playing Champions Online
    The Open Beta for Champions Online is presumably right around the corner as the game nears its launch on the 1st of September. And as you enter Millennium City for the first time you’ll find it a far different place than your usual MMORPG affairs. William "JoBildo" Murphy has jotted down ten things for you to ponder before stepping into the boots of your hero.
  • Aion Elyos Poeta Guide
    The starting area for those players who have chosen to play Elyos is one of stark contrasts. Among the lush beauty of a tranquil forest setting lies the hints of corruption will soon threaten the Elysean way of life. Join Ten Ton Hammer and Medawky as we explore the introductory zone and the quests that will propel you towards Ascension.
  • World of Warcraft - Warlock Professions
    Our Warlock guide continues to be updated as we look at gathering and crafting professions. Read along as chuckgolds explains which professions are good for the Warlocks roaming Azeroth.
  • World of Warcraft - Current State of End Game Raiding
    World of Warcraft end game raiding has edged out PvP as the main focus of the game. Many deride WoW as being too easy, but players who have pushed the edge know that Blizzard has created some of the most challenging and dynamic content on the market. Join Medawky this week as he delves into the current state of end game raiding and sits down to discuss it with the leader of a progression raiding guild.

Hottest Content:

  1. DC Universe Online Hands-On PvP Preview from Comic-Con '09
  2. Bait and Switch? Ethics & Values in MMO Marketing
  3. Star Wars: The Old Republic Comic-Con Interview - Exploring the Expanded Universe
  4. Picking Up Cool Perks in Champions Online
  5. Aion Class Interview - The Sorceress
  6. 10 Things to Know Before Playing Champions Online
  7. Aion: PvP Q&A with Brian Knox
  8. World of Warcraft - Current State of End Game Raiding
  9. Champions Online: Demystifying Micro-Transactions
  10. Champions Online: Alpha and Omega - A Brief Look at the Champions Universe

Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

-Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer team

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Jumpgate Evolution Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.