Welcome to the 959th Edition of Loading...

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The Pulse

First, you vote with what you view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the result is the Ten Ton Pulse (What is Pulse?).

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. Warhammer Online
  3. Stargate Worlds (UP 13!)
  4. Guild Wars
  5. Guild Wars 2
  6. Age of Conan
  7. EVE Online
  8. Lord of the Rings Online
  9. Atlantica Online
  10. Jumpgate Evolution (UP 1)

Daily Biggest Movers in the Top 20

  1. Stargate Worlds (UP 13 to no. 3)
  2. The Chronicles of Spellborn (UP 16 to no. 17)
  3. EverQuest 2 (down 4 to no. 16)

Daily Column

Loading... asshattery distributed digitally daily.

One of the reasons I got into MMO gaming in the late nineties turns out to be pretty mundane - I hate inserting and removing a disk, cartridge, or whatever when I want to play a game. It probably sounds silly, but one more obstacle to gaming seems to tip the willpower balance in favor of things I should be doing for work (which sadly has less to do with games than you might think) or in real life.

More than a few of you might remember the days when you had to stick a 5.2" floppy and listen to it chug a while before what passed as graphics appeared on the screen. This was more due to a lack of storage space than any real concerns about piracy, but to some extent it served the purpose. As hard drives grew and optical media appeared, it seemed certain that we'd be stuck with the same removable media requirements that console gamers take for granted.

Thankfully, online gaming changed the scene considerably and, along with increased broadband penetration, paved the way for 100% digital distribution. The need for a subscription effectively took what we now know as DRM (Digital Rights Management, one of the few bad words or phrases left in the average gamer lexicon) anti-piracy measures out of the equation.

Digital distribution means that many of the games I buy online nowadays come pre-patched, directly to my computer, without a pain-in-the-ass trip to GameHalt or one of the big-box retailers that never seem to have any copies the week of launch but have fifteen three months afterward. Yesterday I had a chat with a store manager once about this quandry, and I couldn't budge him from his stance that stale quantities of PC games were ruining his inventory reports and starving his kids, but consoles were the great messiah.

When I offered evidence that consoles had plateaued technologically, that the PS2 was probably the last great hope for an extremely profitable console despite the Wii's success and lower price points (and, may I say, sucky graphics), he sputtered and found a reason to escape. It's too bad, I wanted to ask him if he could blame PC gamers for turning to online retailers where inventory shortfalls are never a problem and pre-orders aren't absolutely necessary.

That's not to say that digital games retailers don't have their own problems. That many of my friends worldwide don't have the option due to the tangled mess of country-specific licensing is a big problem. Also, we've yet to see a one-stop clearinghouse for PC games, in short what iTunes was to digital music, and if you want to pick up all the most-talked-about games this holiday season via DD you'll have to visit several sources. So if you visit Direct2Drive, Steam, EAStore, and UbiShop in the next month or so, you'll see that each has its own pet exclusives. To add to the confusion, to pick up the LotRO Mines of Moria expansion via download, you have to click "Upgrade" on your accounts page, pay your dues, and then patch up (sadly, it took me an evening to figure that one out). Not to mention that when the Warhammer Online pre-order beta released at just about the same time as Spore on Direct2Drive, I was downloading both games at a minute fraction of my total downstream bandwidth.

But on the bright side, this month marked the first time I've been able to pick up all the major MMOG expansions (not counting CEs, but those admittedly rare purchases of mine are mostly for show) without the aforementioned brick-and-mortar store hassles, and that's a beautiful thing.

Do you prefer to purchase and download your games, or do you want something tangible for your hard-earned money? Share your thoughts in the Loading... forum or, as always, feel free to email me.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our Gold
Seller Hall of Shame Forum

Don't ban me~!

spend a fair portion of every week banning secondary market gold
sellers from the Ten Ton Hammer forums in support of our network's gold free stance.
I've never actually counted up how many I send into Internet oblivion
in an average week, but I can assure you their numbers are legion. As
mundane as the chore of banning gold sellers may
seem, occasionally a spammer comes along who's almost,
well...cute. Such was the case of the cleverly named Dontbanme, who
entreated (and I quote, directly): "hey all.dont ban me,i just wanna
bring u good news lolz"

The bad news was that he had gold ads in his signature. Alas, poor Dontbanme! We knew him...briefly. But we can torment him eternally.


Awesome Quote from the
Epic Thread

"This thread wins."

- fierywater


Do you have a favorite Epic Thread? Let
us know

8 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 124 in November! 2922 in 2008!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today

Exclusive Announcements

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

  1. Exclusive LOTRO Mines of Moria Launch Interview with Jeffrey Steefel
  2. WoW: Where to Adventure Guide - Northrend
  3. World of Warcraft - Death Knight FAQ
  4. Ten Ton Hammer's Atlantica Online Review
  5. Creative Hear to Believe Giveaway
  6. Razer For Gamers. By Gamers™ Giveaway
  7. Exclusive Jumpgate Evolution Closed Beta Interview with Hermann Peterscheck
  8. WAR: Tier 3 Scenario Guide: Tor Anroc
  9. Wizard 101 Offers Special Rewards For New Invite Program
  10. WAR Editorial: Factoring in a Third Faction

Real World News (Gotham City Edition)

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 EverQuest II 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.