Welcome to the 787th Edition of Loading...

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Daily Column

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First, the Ten Ton Pulse, your finger on the beating heart of the MMOG industry.

If the Top 10 isn't enough, we now show the Top 20 and Top 50 lists as well, available to everyone on our homepage. (What is Pulse?)

  1. Age of Conan - 200 BPM
  2. World of Warcraft - 87 BPM
  3. EverQuest 2 - 38 BPM
  4. Lord of the Rings Online - 32 BPM
  5. Warhammer Online - 26 BPM
  6. EVE Online - 22 BPM
  7. Dungeons and Dragons Online - 18 BPM
  8. Vanguard - 17 BPM
  9. Lineage 2 - 17 BPM
  10. Tabula Rasa - 15 BPM

Our Kicking and Screaming Contest is booting and howling along. The current leaders have had their name put up in lights (if dark text can be considered lights) in our forums. I don't know what the prize is, but if Jeff made the claim that it will be great then I'd put money on it being something of the rodeo clown persuasion. How cool would that be? You could attend the next game event in your very own Jeff Woleslagle rodeo clown wig. Man, I hope that is what it is.

It's Tuesday and that means that our network gets ten ton hammered by an enormous horde (and alliance) of World of Warcraft players who can't login because of server maintenance. Occasionally a magical, mystical Tuesday will deliver a patch, which leads me to.... Patch 2.4.

Byron "Messiah" Mudry had his say in this editorial. Now it's my turn.

Most important to you (if you play WoW) is what patch 2.4 changes in the game or brings new to the table. "Something new to the table" was coined by a guy at a gentleman's club I believe since bringing something new to our dinner table has never resulted in much rejoicing. The main dish of patch 2.4 is a new 25-person raid, Sunwell Plateau. There is also a new 5-person instance, which along with Sunwell is targetted at the PvE raid/loot/rinse/repeat crowd. The PvP crowd will receive a new arena season, number four and various class changes that will lead to hundreds of threads in the forums that include the words "nerf" and/or "quit".

Byron gave you most of the details. The full 2.4 patch notes are here if you care to delve into them.

What I'm more interested in is the timing of patch 2.4. Sure, it's got lots of fancy new stuff to keep players interested and reintroduce players who have cancelled accounts to the game. Every major WoW patch delivers such. Some other companies would charge and call it a booster, expansion or adventure pack. The fact that it is free is great and wonderful, but the timing is oh so well played.

In my humble opinion World of Warcraft has two potential competitors that could erode its playerbase. First up, on May 20th is Age of Conan. AoC is currently receiving even more attention on our network than WoW. If you visit your homepage you may have noticed a Pulse graph. That shows the popularity (based on traffic to our network) of each MMOG. Gamers are whipping themselves into a frenzy over Age of Conan, which is rated "M" for shipping in May. Now, if you are a WoW player, with years of investment in your character and there is a new game coming out that you might enjoy, but at the very same time the game that you know that you enjoy releases a cartload of new content and a new arena season you maybe, just maybe, let the early adopters see if AoC is any good before you buy it. Instead you play through the new WoW content, merrily consuming what you are comfortable with. AoC takes a hit and if the 2.4 content is good enough many players never make the leap to Funcom's blockbuster.

The other big dog on the porch is Warhammer Online. No offense to Stargate Worlds, but I can't put them on the 2008 big dog list just yet. They are really close though. They're lying on the porch steps in the sun. Warhammer Online has an enormous following and even though their marketing department has cut the knees out from under the development team, people are still interested in the game that PR forgot. I predict that Warhammer will launch for the holiday season, possibly late summer, but more likely for the holiday buying rush. Once they set their date I expect that you will see a Wrath of the Lich King expansion launch date that is very close. This time it will be Warhammer that takes the hit as they go up against the King Kong of 800 pound gorillas.

It's all pure speculation on my part, but wouldn't a savvy marketing team fire salvos across their competitors bows at launch?

Is WoW going to torpedo the up and comers? Say your piece in The Loading... forums.

Do you feel the need to contact me personally with naughty pictures or derogatory comments? Here's my E-mail.


10 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 76 in March! 589 in 2008!

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Thanks as always for visiting TenTonHammer.com

- John "Boomjack" Hoskin and the Ten Ton Hammer Team

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Hoskin 0
Dissecting and distilling the game industry since 1994. Lover of family time, youth hockey, eSports, and the game industry in general.