Welcome to the 1,107th Edition of Loading...

Loading... is the premier daily MMORPG news and commentary newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer. It takes about 10 seconds to have this newsletter sent straight to your inbox if you aren't already receiving it.

An official Aion launch date puts an end to the speculation fueled by pre-order retailer ship dates. What are Aion's chances of making it's late September date? We read the tea leaves (or maybe consult the Daeva of Fortunetelling) and explore Age of Conan's Update 5 which went a-live today in Loading... Aion release date and AoC 1.05.

Ten Ton Hammer's webcomics are a sometimes hilarious, sometimes disturbing look at the latest happenings in geekdom. Bill Murphy riffs on Brad McQuaid's already troubled comeback in Geeked: Seriously, Brad?

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 for today:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. Aion
  3. EverQuest 2
  4. Age of Conan (UP 1)
  5. Warhammer Online (UP 1)

Biggest Movers in the Top 20 in the last seven days:

  1. EVE Online (down 4 to #8)
  2. Lord of the Rings Online (UP 1 to #6)
  3. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes (UP 1 to #7)
Recent MMO Releases

Important Dates

  • 7/3 - 7/5 - Aion Beta Event #3
Upcoming Releases

Loading... Daily

Two exciting bits of news today. First, NCSoft announced that the Aion release date would not be 9/1 or 9/4 as pre-order retailers were suggesting, but 9/22 for the US and 9/25 for Europe. Release dates are for the slipping, but for a game as thoroughly tested not just with beta but as a live game in Asia as well, I think our chances are pretty good on seeing Aion show up at its appointed time.

That said, can anyone explain to me why we have separate launch dates for different regions? In terms of an MMO launch, three days might as well be a month. I've asked publisher execs this question and received many a haughtily disapproving look over the ribbon-smoke of an upscale cigarette, but never a satisfying answer. The tangled web of European licensing -with the lingual, legal, and customs barriers, differering cultural boundaries for content, and mounds of nonsensibcal red tape to cut through - is undoubtedly a tough road to hoe. But certainly three months is enough lead time to get this sort of thing cleared up in advance? Or do European distributors use some kind of US launch +3 formula to determine release dates? In any case, thank goodness for pre-order head starts and the occasional date confusion of digital distribution partners.

It's probably fashionable for non-NA gamers to think it has something to do with powerful American retailer hegemony behaving stereotypically, wanting a little something extra for their customers. But I can't see it: what would a Best Buy or GameStopped care about getting the jump on Benelux retailers? It's not exactly their target market. I'm guessing that, like so many of the world's problems, the reason boils down to a bunch of stiff suits somewhere making trouble for everyone for no good reason.

Speaking of Europe gone wild, Funcom released the major Age of Conan Update 5 featuring re-worked class feat-trees, simplified stats for items, social pets, a newly revamped gems (socketed item) system, and a new high-level quest and content area in the seedy underbelly of Conan's capital city: Tarantia Commons. Game Director Craig Morrison hinted at guild gameplay improvements and high level PvE and PvP content additions in Update 6, as well as more news on the AoC expansion at GameCom and PAX in August in his latest Letter from the Game Director. I'm glad to see Conan make something of a resurgence lately and, personally, might re-up my subscription this weekend between betas and see what I can see post-Tortage. Send me an email if you might be interested in doing the same, maybe we can put something together.

Comments on Aion's launch date, European distibutor/operator hijnx, or AoC 1.05? Have your say in the Loading... forum, and don't forget to grab your keys from our Ultimate Soccer Boss and WonderKing Online giveaways! We only have a limited number and when they're gone, (you guessed it) they're gone.


Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day


From our Final Fantasy XIV Forum

Beta this fall?

So, it's only speculation until it's true, right?

Danny
"Ralsu" Gourley, our main site writer, is undoubtedly Ten Ton Hammer's
resident Final Fantasy geek. That's why I wasn't surprised to see that
he'd uncovered a rumor suggesting that FF XIV's beta may begin as early
as September. What does surprise me is that no one has commented on
it...yet. Are you primed for an FF XIV beta? Do you think the rumor has
merit? Discuss!

==============================
Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread

"The
GM positions seem to start in September. IF they are for FFXIV, you
don't need GMs without testers. At the very least, it may point to an
internal test in 4th quarter 2009 transitioning into a closed beta in
Q1 2010.

Yes? No?
"

- Ralsu
==============================

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

6 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 100 in June! 737 in 2009!

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

Giveaways

  • Ultimate Soccer Boss Father's Day Giveaway!

    Sports enthusiasts all over the world are glued to their TV sets right now as FIFA soccer is heating up. That makes this the perfect time to try out Digenetics' Ultimate Soccer Boss, the first ever free-to-play soccer manager browser game. Unlike other sports manager games, Ultimate Soccer Boss feature players that actually evolve their skills, and Digenetics has teamed with Ten Ton Hammer to bring readers the Ultimate Soccer Boss Father's Day Giveaway where current and new players can get a key to unlock a free Father's Day Prize pack. The keys are available on a first come, first served basis until July 8 or while supplies last! Visit www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/ultimatesoccerboss to get yours today!
  • WonderKing Beta Key Giveaway

    Looking for a title that's easy to pick and delivers action every second you play? Check out the closed beta of WonderKing, a side scrolling adventure from NDOORS. With impressive titles like Atlantica Online already under their name, you know NDOORS does free-to-play right, so grab your beta key for WonderKing at www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/wonderking! Keys are available until July 8 or while supplies last.

Features

  • Aion: Class Archetypes - The Mage
    Built from the ground up to be masters of destruction, the mages in Aion bend the forces of the world to fit their needs. Join Dalmarus as he explores the strengths, weaknesses, and strategies that will have you mastering the Mage archetype effortlessly.
  • World of Warcraft: Rogue Cooldown Usage

    Having gotten tired of seeing rogues run their standard rotations on an entire boss fight with no effort or rhythm otherwise, it's time I re-introduce you to those skills you trained leveling up. You know what I'm talking about. The ones you used against a pirate in Stranglethorn and then removed off your bar. Our cooldown skills are among the best and most varied in the game and should be at the ready at all times! In our next World of Warcraft Rogue article, Stow tells you why Blizzard gave you these buttons to press that aren't combo moves!
  • Lord of the Rings Online: Volume 2, Book 8 Teaser Video

    With the launch of The Lord of the Rings Online's latest update Volume 2: Book 8: Scourge of Khazad-Dûm, Turbine released an assortment of screenshots and a teaser video that you can now view here at Ten Ton Hammer to show off some of the content for the newest content.
  • Lord of the Rings Online: Volume 2, Book 8 Screenshots

    The Lord of the Rings Online recently launched its newest update titled "Volume 2: Book 8: Scourge of Khazad-Dûm". The latest update brings a host of new content and allows players to continue the epic storyline. With the release of this new content, Turbine has released several new screenshots to show off some of the creatures and content players will encounter as they continue their journey through Middle-earth.

Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to:

  1. Exclusive Aion Beta Screens from Asmodae
  2. geeked: Seriously, Brad?
  3. Aion Class Interview - The Assassin
  4. Jumpgate Evolution Exclusive Interview - Lore and History
  5. EverQuest 2 Monument and Might GU#52 Overview
  6. EVE Online: Sins of a Solar Spymaster #15: A History of the Second Great War, Part Two
  7. Champions Online Power Interview #3 - Fire, Ice and Electricity
  8. WoW Guide: Less Rabi Achievement
  9. WoW - Boss Guide: Malygos
  10. E3 2009 Portal

Real World News

Seen news you think I can mangle into a vaguely amusing snippet of text? Send it to me.


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 Age of Conan: Unchained Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff
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.

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