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Daily Column

Loading... and never stalling.

First, the Ten Ton Pulse, your finger on the beating heart of the MMOG industry. Vanguard made a surprising jump into the top ten on the traffic generated by new additions to Dalmarus's ongoing Vanguard Monster Project. That's just the tip of the iceberg on some of the great information available on our community sites, and we hope to make it more accessible to you in the coming weeks and months.

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. World of Warcraft - 200 BPM
  2. Warhammer Online - 178 BPM
  3. Age of Conan - 57 BPM
  4. Lord of the Rings Online - 29 BPM
  5. EVE Online - 18 BPM
  6. Tabula Rasa - 17 BPM
  7. Atlantica Online - 11 BPM
  8. EverQuest II - 11 BPM
  9. Dungeon Runners - 9 BPM
  10. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - 9 BPM

Ten Ton Hammer is on the ground in Anaheim for our second BlizzCon today, and more of our team will be arriving throughout today. I enjoy the pre-event atmosphere almost as much as the event itself. You can see the gears turn as you walk by other faces in the crowd, as if they're saying "Are you here for BlizzCon? Do I know you somehow? Can I get in on that case of beer you're carrying up to your hotel room?" The restaurants begin to swell with white, misshapen gamer bodies like my own, and everywhere you go (it's a 20 minute walk to anything, so you'll have time to think about stuff like this) there's a Christmas Eve-like atmosphere of anticipation. What will Blizzard announce this year?

But if this year's BlizzCon is anything like the World Wide Invitational in Paris last June, World of Warcraft won't be as big a part of the event as it was at BlizzCon 2007. For the first time in BlizzCon history, the big B-hemoth has announced titles in the offing for all of its major franchises, and that means less air-time for WoW, the MMO mother ship. (Speaking of mother ships, CME sent over this cool exclusive video of a Goa'uld Ha'tak mother ship exploding - its only 32 seconds and well worth a watch!)

A few folks on our team are salivating for more Diablo 3 information as well as anything more we can learn about Wrath of the Lich King, but surprisingly few of us have any real interest in Starcraft 2. The three great categories that the PC is still the best choice for are MMORPGs, real time strategy / turn based strategy, and so-called god- or builder-type games, and I'm wondering if there's a bit of a disjunct between fans of each. I'm a big fan of all three, but when I'm gaming offline I favor TBS more than RTS just because I like the refreshing freedom to walk away from the computer without hitting pause. The new Civilization 4-based stand-alone game mod Colonization - despite some balance issues and the wicked difficulty of successfully gaining independence on all but the easiest settings - could easily chew up all of my gaming time if I weren't already addicted to WAR.

But back on the topic of BlizzCon. I can't honestly speculate on what more Blizzard can announce, save a release date or beta announcment for Starcraft 2 or some more classes for D3. Wrath of the Lich King's release date is set and it seems like we're months too early to be talking about the next big thing for WoW. The next big thing for WoW, prior to the expansion, might just be 38 Studios' Azeroth Advisor - but check out Cody's interview with Curt Schilling for more on that. I don't think Blizzard would announce another game with the three top-tier titles they already have in active development (which, stepping back a moment, seems like one too many in this day and age for any development house even given Blizzard's size and stature).

Still, publisher Activision seems to be putting all their eggs in the Blizzard basket by ditching the publishing rights to Ghostbusters, F.E.A.R. 2, and the World in Conflict expansion (along with several other Sierra titles). So who's to say that with those kind of stakeholder expectations, Blizzard might not have another trick up its jauntily embroidered sleeve?

I'll have more in the way of actual information from BlizzCon 2008 in tomorrow's Loading..., so stay tuned! It wouldn't be BlizzCon without a major headline announcement, so what do you think it might be? 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 Tavern of the Ten Ton Hammer Forum

There's a recession - how long before you give up MMOGs?

in July, Mikes asked whether the economic slowdown would impact our
playing MMOGs. Three months later we're hearing that the executives at
US insurance giant AIG were off on a "luxury retreat"
getting pedicures while taxpayers footed the bill for their
corporation's $85 billion bailout. Since most of us don't have the
luxury of jetting off to a posh hotel and spending a day at the spa,
our recreation choices may just be limited to spending $15 a month on a
game we enjoy. Will the economy affect your gaming? Tell us in this thread.

Awesome Quote from the Epic Thread:

At bang for your buck, MMOs are my best way of staying entertained for a small investment."
- Thansal

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


15 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 104 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. Stargate Worlds Video Exclusive: Death of a Goa'uld Mother Ship
  2. 38 Studios' Curt Schilling: What is the Azeroth Advisor?
  3. Top 10 Free to Play Games
  4. La Tale: TenTonHamster speaks with Ross Park and Lina Do
  5. Age of Conan: Behind the Scenes with the Official Soundtrack
  6. Warhammer Online: Strategy Guide and Atlas Bundle
  7. World of Warcraft: Is WotLK Content in Patch 3.0 a Good Thing?
  8. Age of Conan: Game Designer Craig 'Silirrion' Morrison

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.