Welcome to the 1,058th Edition of Loading...
Loading... is the premier daily MMORPG news and commentary newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer.
To twist an old adage, nothing is inevitable except death, taxes, and patches. We'll discuss the latter two in today's Loading... With the arrival of WoW 3.1 yesterday and the new pre-patching scheme, everything went smoothly and the WoW fanbase was able to log in on time and enjoy dual-speccing and all the great things the patch offered, right? Not so much. We'll leave the discussion of the patch ins and outs to those who know, but who should bear the responsibility of delivering a patch, the developer or the community? That, plus exclusive Free Realms concepts, a DC Universe Online opinion piece, three new WoW guides, one LotRO guide, and much more await you in Loading... Death and Patches
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You vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Pulse (What is Pulse?).
Here's today's top 5 Pulse results for today:
Biggest Movers in the Top 20 today :
Happy tax day to one and all. Since I'm technically a freelancer and effectively pay four times the national average for my income bracket due to the self-employment tax, multiple other fees, taxes, and licenses, plus (my favorite) a local business privilege tax, April is not a happy time of year. You can't wait to see how much your refund is, I dread whether my quarterly estimates will be enough to cover the butcher's bill this year or whether I'll have penalties to pay too. Nothing changes your views on things like no-questions-asked corporate welfare payouts like writing multiple thousand dollar checks to the government on a quarterly basis. Enough on that.
WoW 3.1 has arrived and, now that all's quiet on the offline servers front, everyone's busy dual-speccing and making plans for Ulduar. Almost everyone. I'm still trying one mirror site after another to find the OS X patch file (we have the PC patch here if you still need it, and I'll post the Mac patch too ASAP). I respect what Blizzard was trying to do with the multi-part prepatching, but whoever designed the Blizzard downloader must have worked at Steam - it continually stalls out. Please don't send me links to the Blizzard firewall setup page, the only firewall I keep running is on my router and I refuse to make swiss cheese of the port forwarding settings for everybody's own little patcher, for they are legion. I'm beginning to understand why people are looking foward to the first great console MMO - at least we won't have to play all the angles for a patch.
Remember the good old days when a game would unceremoniously update itself? No elaborate torrent-driven nonsense port forwarding schemes, or mirror sites? Just "here's your file, and we say thank ya for your monthly subscription fee." What's particularly agonizing is that the technology is out there to do it better than ever before, and yet the Big B insists that the community download the patch from one way or another.
And if developers like CCP can afford it, Blizzard certainly can too. I remember yawning my way through an EVE Online FanFest panel on the Windows BITS protocol and the elaborate Content Delivery Network had in place to distribute future expansions. Trinity and Apocrypha were larger than WoW patch 3.1 and these updates were delivered smoothly (and went 1 for 2 in not deleting boot.ini) without deconstructing the router.. Granted CCP has a much smaller audience to update, but I was made to understand that the scheme would scale beautifully worldwide. Usually I'd praise Blizzard's business sense - everyone knows they have beaucoup money and probably can't get a reasonable quote on this sort of thing, but there's some things you shouldn't depend on the commuinity for or compromise on, period. Like patch distribution.
Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day
From our WoW Rant Forum
WoW does it again
World of Warcraft players Tuesday was a big day--WoW patch 3.1
arrived. Has this highly-anticipated bundle of MMOG joy, which was to
come complete with a new dual spec feature for level capped characters,
lived up to expectations? It was hard to tell last night when the WoW
servers were still offline.
"Why am I not surprised?" our community member, blitzshark, asks. "Another big patch and yet another big
disappointment. You would think by now Blizzard would have learned how
to release a patch without crashing servers and other issues. Guess I
won't be playing until tomorrow. Some days I wonder if my money would be
better spent elsewhere."
offline servers mean that Blizzard and patch 3.1 are full of suck no
matter what great content the patch may contain? Or is patience a
virtue? Maybe you will have patched, logged in, and played by the time
you read today's Epic Thread. Regardless of your status, head over to
our forums to share your opinions on 3.1.
Epic Quote from the Epic Thread
"What's the big deal? A few hours of not being able to play. Hardly
earth-shattering or something to whine about. On the other hand, if
there's issues a week from now then your post would have some validity."
Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell us!
7 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 74 in April! 461 in 2009!
New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today [Thanks Phil Comeau for links and Real World News]
Should DC Universe Online have levels?
There is no argument SOE's DC Universe Online has a lot going for it including the recent discussion of Solomon Grundy. However, the world of superhero MMO games is still relatively young with plenty of room for experimentation. Should SOE try the old and reliable leveling system we know so well or go with a more radical skill based? Should they scrap both and try something new? We look at all the advantages and disadvantages of levels just inside and prove once and for all that Aquaman is not stronger than Submariner.
Exclusive Free Realms TCG Art
Over at their Denver-based studios, the developers at Sony Online Entertainment have been hard at work on their next digital TCG based on the San Diego studios upcoming MMO Free Realms. Is your interest piqued yet? You should be, because Ten Ton Hammer has three exclusive pieces of art from the SOE-Denver team. Check them out below or visit our Free Realms Trading Card Game exclusive image gallery to see more!
World of Warcraft: The Ultimate Guide to Utgarde Keep
Ten Ton Hammer is pleased to bring you the Ultimate Guide to Utgarde Keep. This guide has it all; it's seventeen guides in one. We've got the lore, a map, an achievement guide, a loot guide to help you sort out which loot benefits whom, a complete bestiary, a detailed boss strategy guide, a walkthrough video, and even tailored class guides for all ten classes. You won't find a guide of this size and detail anywhere else. Everything you could possibly want to know about Utgarde Keep is within these pages.
World of Warcraft: Basic PvP Guide for the Priest
PvP in World of Warcraft can be very fun and rewarding for the Priest. However you must have a different mindset (and gearset) going into PvP compared to PvE. It is a very different aspect of the game, and one that if gone into blindly, will bring much gnashing of teeth. In this guide, we will introduce you to the world of PvP, and try to help you avoid some of the noob mistakes many people make.
World of Warcraft: Introduction to PvP for the Mage
Looking how to get started with PvP with the Mage in World of Warcraft? Well we've got just the thing for you! David "Xerin" Piner steps in with some awesome tips to get your feet wet with PvP and the Mage. If you're looking for a guide on PvP for the Mage or some other class then Ten Ton Hammer is the place to go.
geeked: "Raise the Sails"
Ten Ton Hammer's very own satirical webcomic on all things geek-related is back with a swashbuckling affair. Okay, I'm officially out of pirate puns. Just check it out at the link below, and remember... ask your friends before using their car for things like this.
Be sure to catch up on any issues of Geeked you've missed by visiting our Comics Portal. Don't forget to rate your favorites while you're at it!
Lord of the Rings Online: Your Guide to Playing Sauron's Minion - The Defiler
The Defiler is not only a welcome addition to every group, but a necessary one. The ability to heal the wounds of their allies and bog down enemies in curses makes them a force to be reckoned with on any battlefield. The early career of the Defiler can be harsh, even for the most persistent. Thankfully, Dalmarus is here with a guide that will have you laying waste to your party's opponents in no time.
Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to:
- Fallen Earth: Surviving an MMOG Apocalypse
- Atlantica Online - State of the Game Interview
- Ether Saga Dev Diary #4: Reputation and Crafting
- EVE Online - Sins of a Solar Spymaster: Creating a Spaceholding Alliance
- Spellborn Subs Giveaway
- Exclusive - The Making of Jumpgate Evolution Video
- Batter Up! A First Look at MLB Dugout Heroes
- geeked: Busted Plans
- The Secret World First Interview with Producer Ragnar Tornquist
- Class vs. Skill: The Battle That Doesn't Have To Be
Real World News
Thief on the run with 68 tubes of stolen toothpaste
When caught, authorities expect that a cavity search will not be necessary.
Middle school students arrested for spiking teacher's coffee with Ipecac
School officials throw up their hands in exasperation.
Obama vows to halt the rise of piracy
Somali file-sharers and torrent sites prepare their defences against the coming lawsuits.
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.