Welcome to the 1,136th Edition of Loading...
Loading... is the premier daily MMORPG news and commentary newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer.
Many WoW players were startled to find that today was the today for Patch 3.2 to go live. We'll give you a leg up on the changes Blizzard's made to the game, both class-specific and overall, in today's newsletter, plus look at the broader impact of 3.2 on World of Warcraft. Will "Call of Crusade" fragment the raiding game even further, with 5-man PUGs in greens able to attain some of the best gear in the game? That, and a quick look at how the endgame concept has changed, in Loading... Children's Crusade.
Play World of Warcraft? Jay "Medeor" Johnson's weekly WoW newsletter "The Overpull" comes out every Tuesday and keeps you entertained and informed on all the latest developments in WoW. Sign up!
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:
Biggest Movers this month :
|Recent MMO Releases|
Patch 3.2 is out today, much to the surprise of many a World of Warcraft player and even Fileplanet, which doesn't yet have the patch available for download (you can find it on our patch page if the background downloader hasn't done its duty). If you're still untangling how 3.2 affects your class, we've put together a little portal with our take on the 3.2 changes, both overall and class-specific, here.
While many players, especially Death Knights, will be re-learning aspects of their class, the inner circles of WoW devotees are wondering how 3.2 will impact the dungeon and raiding scene. With the nouveau appeal of Argent Tournament and the ability to gain several pieces of 8.5 gear, some of the best in the game, by doing heroics with 5-man pick-up groups in greens, there's concern that Naxxramas will once again turn into a ghost town. And, on a broader level, the raid game will continue to splinter into smaller and smaller scale group sizes for ever increasing rewards.
Updates like 3.2 show games for what they really are, highly complex and interlocking systems and more than that: systems of systems. A little tweak here, a little change there in the clockwork mechanism of an MMORPG, and the law of unintended consequences can start to kick in with dramatic effect. Hence devs simply usually expand the game by adding layer after layer to the endgame - as long as you're feeding the top of the hopper, you won't disturb what's underneath. But these class changes do disturb what's underneath in many ways, and we can only speculate on why Blizzard didn't allow things to simmer on the PTR a little longer.
For my part, I dislike the wave-ishness of today's endgame - how everyone is constantly doing the same instance, then abandoning it in toto when the next shiny comes out. It felt much more adventuresome to cozen a few guildies into camping a spawn on the Plane of Fear in EQ to get the epic component you needed, then doing the same for them on some other Plane or area of the game as soon as real life would allow. As it stands, we have people playing MMOs almost like they'd playing online FPS maps - devoid of any really compelling story or broader connection. Maybe the "Crusade" 3.2 is calling players to is something like the abominable Children's Crusades of medieval times, with unsuspecting folks following the next big thing, baited with promises of greater glory for small efforts.
What strikes you about 3.2, beyond the mounts, the class changes, the technicolor druid forms, and so forth? How will 3.2 change WoW? Are you satisfied with the new, wavish way that MMOGs handle endgame? Share your thoughts in the Loading... forum, or feel free to email me..
Shayalyn's Ethec's Epic Thread of the Day
(Shay's on a well deserved mini-vacation)
From the World of Warcraft: General Discussion forum:
Blizzard steps up the content updates in more ways than one.
Patch 3.2 affects every World of Warcraft class and adds a whole new dimension to the endgame and, truth be told, few players expected such a huge patch this month, let alone today. Join the discussion over the finer points of the patch notes - what players enjoy and could live without - well underway already in the Ten Ton Hammer forums.
Awesome Quotes from the Epic Thread
"I've got some trepidation about what they've done with my frost DK, about what they've done with paladins, about what they've done with mana regen, and about the longer cooldown on Penance for my priest - thanks a lot for the glyph to make it shorter and now it's longer - but imagine things will play relatively similarly in the end. They usually do." - Zeep
Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell us!
4 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 10 in August! 870 in 2009!
New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today
A New Saga Begins - A Fresh Look at Vanguard
When it was released, most people will admit that Vanguard: Saga of Heroes had a lot of faults. From bugs to exploits to glitches, you name it and VG probably suffered from it. That said, a few years can do a lot to change a game, and Vanguard certainly hasn't been collecting dust. To get another look at the game, Ten Ton Hammer sent in Danny "Ralsu" Gourley to try his hand at the new Telon. Read on to see what he discovered!
World of Warcraft - Ulduar: Hodir Boss Strategy
Ulduar is the current end game raid instance in the World of Warcraft:
Wrath of the Lich King. As players work their way through the raid
they come to the Halls of Winter and find Hodir. Hodir is a giant
Titan that once resided in the Temple of Winter. Players may be
familiar with him already from the various references to him in the
game, specifically in the long quest chain for the Sons of Hodir in
the Storm Peaks. In Ulduar players are able to engage and fight
Hodir, but the encounter ends just before he dies.
World of Warcraft Guide to Frenzyheart and Oracle Reputations
Having trouble trying to find out how to switch factions? Join us as we take you on an adventure through Sholazar Basin. While there, we'll show you how to get started with the Frenzyheart and Oracle quest chains leading up to the dailies that allow you to reach exalted.
Wolf Team Publisher Post - Team Conquest
This week the team at WolfTeam decided to enlighten us to one of their game modes called, Conquest. This is a round-based game mode, where teams have an objective to complete. To win a round, a team must control the largest number of bases when the time limit runs out. Sounds simple enough, but there are different modes within Conquest, each of which will require its own set of tactics to accomplish. Will you unleash the beast or will human form give you the advantage in your quest to reign supreme in the end?
- Bringing MMOs to Consoles - A Discussion with Turbine
- A New Saga Begins - A Fresh Look at Vanguard
- Builds and Roles in Champions Online
- EVE Online - Sins of a Solar Spymaster #22 - The Seven Types of Spy
- Champions Online: Nemesis and Omega Interview with Bill Roper
- LOTRO From Past to Present – A Look at the Books 9-11
- World of Warcraft - Ulduar: Hodir Boss Strategy
- DC Universe Online Hands-On PvP Preview from Comic-Con '09
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Comic-Con Interview - Exploring the Expanded Universe
World of Warcraft - PvP Basics for the Druid
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.