Welcome to the 934th Edition of Loading...

If you aren't reading this in your e-mail, you could be. Sign up. Are you looking for gaming news? Look no further for all of the headlines. General industry news, right down to game specific and forum thread feeds are all yours as part of Ten Ton Hammer's RSS Feed . Enjoy!

Daily Column

Loading... more MMOG information and opinion in five minutes than most sites offer all day.

First, the Ten Ton Pulse, your finger on the beating heart of the MMOG industry. Stargate Worlds drew from yesterday's exclusive video to move up to the number 4 spot, while WAR wrested top billing from WoW at this particularly WoW-friendly time of year. Every day has its surprises with Pulse.

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

  1. Warhammer Online- 200 BPM
  2. World of Warcraft- 157 BPM
  3. Age of Conan - 48 BPM
  4. Stargate Worlds - 46 BPM
  5. Lord of the Rings Online - 19 BPM
  6. Atlantica Online - 11 BPM
  7. Tabula Rasa - 14 BPM
  8. EVE Online - 12 BPM
  9. Dungeon Runners - 11 BPM
  10. Runes of Magic - 11 BPM

It's Day One of BlizzCon, and if this Blizzard event is true to form, we'll get any kind of big announcement with the opening keynote at 11:30am US pacific time this morning. The big announcement probably won't be earthshattering for the MMOG crowd, though, given that we were able to pick up the full panel and press conference schedule with our badges yesterday. That wasn't the case with WWI in Paris, where all such information was held until after the D3 announcement. If you're looking for more speculation along these lines, I highly recommend Xerin's article and Sardu's list above all others.

Badge pickup went fairly smoothly. The lines opened at 4pm, and at 3:15 there was a line about a half mile long. By 3:45, everyone was inside the doors - a credit to the sheer number of employees and neatly alphabetized booths Blizzard had open for attendees. It helps to have a staff of 2,000 plus in your backyard at events like these. Those of the Ten Ton Hammer crew who didn't have press badges had what's becoming a traditional hard time getting their tags. With what I can only describe as his usual fiery Canadian temper, a red-faced Boomjack cajoled and threatened, breathlessly exclaiming (among other things) "I'll have your head for this!!" It was time for Phil and I to defuse the situation, and as it turns out our badges were in the pile but our names weren't on the list.

All the access and no paper trail - hopefully no one will lose their badge. Luckily that would be hard to do, since they're about the size of a catcher's mitt. Each one has a holographic mark too, and if security halts their quest to put a stop to picture taking in the badge pickup line (we couldn't figure it out either) they might just put a stop to the lucrative counterfeit badge trade at this year's event. Next year we might get retinal recognition to prevent badge switching, if we're lucky.

I spent the earlier part of the day with a group of fansites touring the Blizzard campus and listening in on an impromptu panel discussion of WoW's finer points over lunch in the cafeteria. From those events about all I can offer you is this quick and dirty video of our limited studio tour and that Blizzard plans to put Ashbringer, one of the more storied Warcraft weapons, in the game in patch 3.3 (with Wrath of the Lich King being 3.0). The rest - names, dates (no dates, actually), and facts - were lost in an avalanche of nerdly prestige - Ten Ton Hammer usually outdoes the competition in game knowledge at these types of things, but these guys were hardcore.

The afternoon was to be spent in the actual fansite summit - the topic being "community building." I wanted to attend mostly out of curiosity, since Blizzard doesn't do interviews, dev diaries, exclusives, or participate in forums outside their own. That's their prerogative, and most sites certainly need Blizzard more than Blizzard needs them. Happily that's not so much the case anymore at Ten Ton Hammer, where a number of our game communities have quietly and not so quietly grown to compete with WoW traffic en masse. But that doesn't mean we don't want to get more involved with WoW too, and who wouldn't want community building lessons from the industry leader in online games. Well, discounting the idea someone mentioned yesterday over post-badge pickup beers that WoW is really the "anti-community." That, friends, is a discussion for a future Loading...

But anyway , my curiosity piqued, I went down to meet with the group in the hotel lobby, but according to the doorman they'd already left minutes ago. I started off in pursuit but only got as far as the convention center lobby, where I thought I caught the glint of a rent-a-cop sniper rifle. That discouraged me from going further, and instead I met up with the Ten Ton Hammer crew. Everyone was walking around with people - guildmates, spouses, uncomfortable white male pairings - and it was good to have some people of my own finally.

In the evening, Ten Ton Hammer's Cody Bye met up with Curt Schilling - future Hall of Fame pitcher, 38 Studios founder, and all-around nice guy - for a chat at, of all places, the local IHOP (for those outside North America, International House of Pancakes is an unpretentious, modestly priced 24 hour breakfast restaurant perfect for easing tomorrow afternoon's hangover). A Red Sox fan attending BlizzCon walked up and chatted with them about online games, and somehow the conversation swung towards baseball. When Curt introduced himself, the gamer didn't bat an eye and went on to talk about a recent Red Sox playoff win. When he walked away, Curt smiled broadly and proclaimed his love for this industry. Some of the anonymous want to be popular and some of the popular want to be anonymous. Online games provide opportunities for both, and that's a beautiful thing.

Though I won't do a special edition weekend Loading... unless Blizzard blows us away with some kind of major announcement, we'll have more from BlizzCon 2008 in weekend articles and in Monday's Loading... In the meantime, post your thoughts in the Loading... forum, or email me directly if you like.

Ten Ton Hammer Epic Thread of the Day

Sometimes they're funny; sometimes they're foolish; sometimes they're flaming;
sometimes they're cool. Whatever this one happens to be, it's
our Epic Thread of the Day.


From our Da Threadz Wot is WAAAGH! Forum

Profanity Filter = Useless

some people, there's nothing more epic than a good ol' fashioned flame
war. Today, all your attention whores are belong to us, so...let's call
this Flaming Friday. Tremere73 says that the profanity filter in
Warhammer Online is useless, and he's going to call anyone who
disagrees with him stupid. Are you in? Then head over to this thread in
our Warhammer rants forum, Da Threadz Wot is WAAAGH!, and have at it. We give you fair warning, though--this thread is in this moderation-free forum for a reason.

Awesome Quote from the Epic Thread:

"And this one time at band camp..."

 - Scaruffy


Do you have a favorite Epic Thread? Let us know!

13 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 101 in October! 2600 in 2008!

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






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

  1. 38 Studios' Curt Schilling: What is the Azeroth Advisor?
  2. Video Tour of Blizzard Studios
  3. Top 10 Free to Play Games
  4. Coyote's Ultimate Guide to WAR Part 2: Dwarves and Greenskins
  5. Age of Conan: Behind the Scenes with the Official Soundtrack
  6. World of Warcraft: Is WotLK Content in Patch 3.0 a Good Thing?
  7. Age of Conan: Game Designer Craig 'Silirrion' Morrison
  8. Stargate Worlds: Date Announcement

Real World News

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 World of Warcraft 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.