Welcome to the 927th Edition of Loading...

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Daily Column

Loading... the bailout package for your workday routine.

First, at Ten Ton Hammer, you vote on your favorite games with what you view. The outcome is The 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 - 166 BPM
3. Age of Conan - 50 BPM
4. Tabula Rasa - 15 BPM
5. Atlantica - 12 BPM
6. Lord of the Rings Online - 11 BPM
7. EVE Online - 10 BPM
8. EverQuest 2 - 10 BPM
9. Dungeon Runners - 9 BPM
10. Runes of Magic- 9 BPM

EVE Online moved up a rank on the strength of several articles while Mabinogi fell off the bottom of the list, which remains the territory of some quality free-to-play titles. Of which Atlantica scores the highest, so maybe its time to give the Atlantica beta a little Loading... lovin'. What do you think?

It's the first of the month, so you know what that means. That's right, dropped embargos! You see, whenever online press see something cool and new along with print press, we almost have a mandatory waiting period (does that mean exclusive articles are as dangerous as guns?) before we can publish.

Why? you ask. My theory is that the print types work an average of three days a month (that is, 1.5 days and nights before their one deadline) and they don't want anything to mess that up. This, friends, is why we hit conventions and events with everything we've got - an embargo would be laughingly discarded by the sheer volume of people seeing cool thing XYZ, so we can get bucketloads of information out to you quickly.

To any PR movers and shakers reading this, we sort-of understand the need for embargoes (even though you're seriously cutting into our online work-ethic advantage)... just mix it up a little. Aim for a different day than the first of the month. We have two great games to tell you about, and each deserves top billing.

Our intrepid writers Cody Bye and Greg "Darkgolem" Stanley took a tour of the next Lord of the Rings expansion, Mines of Moria, and they came back with screenshots, a preview, and an incredible Balrog video (check out those shaders and heat shimmer... nicely done, Turbine!).

Meanwhile, I ventured to Singapore to check out Otherland. If you've never heard of Otherland before, that's because today's the first day that anyone can breathe a word about it. You can check out my preview for the gritty details, but basically think of a much more imaginative and graphically fleshed out Tron where, instead of lightbikes and gladiatorial dodgeball, you have entire other worlds to play in that resemble entire MMORPGs on their own. And, instead of the MCP sending hulking red robotic letter Ms to sit on you, you have a sinister subplot involving children NPCs that can't log out and others trying to attain digital immortality.

The bulk of what we saw, however, focused on the explorer and socializer parts of the game, with the remainder of Bartle's taxonomy, the achiever / killer aspects, kept under wraps for now. I'm going to keep pressing for some video footage of the meeting spots inside Mister J's in Lambda Mall simply because it blows the lid off anything you've seen in an MMOG before. Again, check out the preview for more info.

Lambda Mall is a shopping and sightseeing paradise much like Singapore itself, except that Singapore doesn't seem to have any sinister subplots. Well, there was one. During a sunset cruise (which was really a fun excuse to press for more interviews), the harbor patrol stopped the boat to ostensibly check our permits. Singapore has a nickname, "A Fine City" - meaning everything requires a permit or carries a fine. For example, the fine for drug trafficking is, well, your life. The captain simply explained that he had 40 of his friends aboard and he's a major investor in Singaporean company XYZ and, "Oh, what was your name and your commanding officer again?" Off we went. These days you have to admire a government that runs its country like a business.

Aboard that trip, I collared the gracious, knowledgable, and singularly earnest Senior Producer Kevin Buckner for a video interview. I managed to slip in some visuals from the game as well. If you get a chance to watch it, please ignore that "Oh tripod please don't fall over on this rocking boat" look on my face and pay close attention to Mr. Buckner, who explains what makes Otherland unique better than I ever could.

If you're receiving this via email, please take a moment to let me know how you like the new format over email or in the Loading... forums. I'm collecting feedback and we'll do another draft based on your feedback next week, so please post your thoughts and bear with us in the meantime.

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 News Discussion Forum

Wall Street Barges into Your Games

is not so much an epic thread, but a discussion about an epic problem.
In a struggling US economy, where plans for government bail-outs fail
and stocks plummet, the companies creating the games that help us
temporarily escape our worldly woes are, unfortunately, not immune. Our
news writer, Morvelaira, posted a timely bit of news
about an article at Gamasutra on this very topic. She asks, "Which game
studios are you pulling for to make it though the troubles?"

Add your voice to the discussion in our news forum.

Awesome Quote from the Epic Thread:

"I'm no economist, so I can hardly give sound arguments or reasons for
anything, but i think that the MMO business (the bigger companies at
least) will survive the storm to come, if indeed it does. It seems to
me that people could turn to $15 a month for their kicks. You really
can't beat the fun : cost ratio you recieve from an MMO
." - Supernaut834

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

17 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 17 in October! 2513 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. Otherland: Ten Ton Hammer's Exclusive First Look
  2. City of Heroes: Good versus Evil Giveaway
  3. Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria Preview
  4. World of Warcraft: Heirloom Items - WoW's New Leveling Commodity
  5. Warhammer Online: First Impressions
  6. World of Warcraft: Are Heirloom Items a Good Thing for the Game?
  7. WAR-Torn #6: The Uniformity of Good
  8. Warhammer Online: Exclusive Post-Launch with Jeff Hickman and Josh Drescher
  9. City of Heroes: Issue 13 with Matt Miller and Brain Clayton

Real World News

Thanks as always for visiting TenTonHammer.com.

- Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer Team


To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Lord of the Rings Online 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.