Welcome to the 1,041st Edition of Loading...

Loading... is the premier MMORPG news and commentary daily newsletter from Ten Ton Hammer. Play World of Warcraft? Jay "Medeor" Johnson's weekly WoW newsletter "The Overpull" keeps you entertained and informed on all the latest developments in WoW. Sign up!

The Pulse

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:

  1. World of Warcraft
  2. EverQuest 2 (UP 2)
  3. Warhammer Online (down 1)
  4. Age of Conan
  5. EVE Online (down 2)

Biggest Movers in the Top 20 today :

  1. Lego Universe (UP 46!! to #13)
  2. Bounty Bay Online (UP 11 to #6)
  3. Darkfall (down 6 to #19)

Loading... Daily

If bad ideas were babies, Loading... would be octo-mom.

The week of Game Developers Conference 2009 is here, which means my inbox will soon be filling up with hundreds (instead of dozens) of mostly meaningless press releases daily. Note to industry: with most of the games press travelling, on-site and busy sifting through their own interviews, or completely waffled by jet lag, hangovers, and lack of sleep (the truth isn't pretty), it may not be the best time to get your "we've partnered with x retailer for y event" press release noticed.

Depending on whether you and/or your game is currently drawing a paycheck or not, GDC is either a debauch of networking (I'm looking at you, CCP party) or a weeklong struggle to be discovered among the crowds and the presentations which do little besides push middleware and perpetuate yesterday's design ideas. As you can probably tell, I'm happy to be sitting this year's GDC out, we'll be covering the event by means of... well, you'll see as the week goes on. Suffice it to say that our coverage won't suffer. But good luck to the seekers shelling out thousands for flights, hotels, meager sustenance, and the usurious GDC pass in hopes of getting your big break. If the Internet doesn't lie, there are jobs out there. Developers like Realtime Worlds (APB) think they'll have an easier time filling out their roster with all the talent on the move in a down economy.

With a number of decision makers and devs away for the week at GDC and unable to receive feedback, it was apparently a excellent time to launch or start open beta. Last week Runes of Magic went live and the game-changing City of Heroes Issue 14 entered open beta, and over the weekend Acclaim opened up the beta for (dare I say) the most unique MMO effort we've seen since Atlantica in Chronicles of Spellborn.

While we're waiting in the lull before the storm, I'll pimp a few of the articles the team came up with over the weekend. First, kudos to the Acclaim and Spellborn teams for putting together a quality dev chat late last Friday. Connecting with fans and critics is as important as ever now that the PC retail machinery has mostly broken down, and efforts like this and those of the devs who participate in our Loading... Live series are to be commended. If you missed the Spellborn webinar we've posted a summary just for you, suitable for all interest levels.

Elsewhere on the network, Ralsu gives his take on the Free-to-Play Ether Saga Online in his weekly F2P column, and anti-quests and repetitive combat left this party in heaven gone awry on the outside of the Top Ten F2P list. EVE contributor and avowed spymaster The Mittani gives his take on "Space Bushido" and the necessity of espionage in EVE Online alliance warfare. Our complete talent guides (see below for links) for all World of Warcraft classes are now complete as well.

Anyone going to GDC? Share your thoughts on the conference and more in the Loading... forum, or set your emails to stun.

Shayalyn's Epic Thread of the Day

From our /OOC (Off Topic) Forum

Anime You Should Watch

Monday, which means it's time for something from our /OOC forum. Today
I've decided to single out kitsunegirl's topic on anime, since it seems
to be drawing some attention. She kicked it off saying, "Ive started a
similar thread on two other forums I frequent. Both of
them have been long-running and long-winded threads about anime we
like, anime we hate, and how bad Adult Swim sucks."

Whether you
like Adult Swim or not, there's likely something for you in this
thread. Or maybe you're an anime officianado and you can school us all
on what's good and what blows massive, tentacled chunks. (Because
what's anime without tentacles? Or, well...maybe I'm thinking of
hentai, but I digress.) Stop by and join the conversation.

Epic Quote from the Epic Thread

"Berserk - Best.Anime.Ever.

This is by far my favorite anime, it has a very mature story line,
plenty of violence, and just a touch of the supernatural. If you have
the stomach for it, then you should check this one out. If you like the
anime, then the manga is definitely worth picking up.

- Gatts

Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell us!

9 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 91 in March! 351 in 2009!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today [Thanks Phil Comeau for links and Real World News]

  • Loading... Live #9 - 38 Studios Dev Chat w/ Curt Schilling, Steve Danuser

    For our ninth Loading... Live vooncast and fourth dev chat, we're joined by Curt Schilling and Steve Danuser of 38 Studios, currently deep in development on their super-secret MMORPG project with the working title of Copernicus.
  • The Necessity of Espionage - Sins of a Solar Spymaster

    When losing hurts in athletics and competitive events, the losers tend to either rationalize their defeat or give themselves little awards for showing "the best sportsmanship." In the Mittani's fourth Ten Ton Hammer commentary, he writes about how this concept has exploded into what he calls "space bushido" in EVE Online. While it may sound like a honorable notion, the Mittani shows that being underhanded - using espionage to get ahead - in EVE Online is an absolute necessity in the PvP space.
  • Ether Saga Dev Diary #1 - The Transformation System

    When Perfect World Entertainment released their North American version of Perfect World International, a lot of gamers were impressed with the customization options available in the game. This time around, the PW team is working on Ether Saga Online, a game where manipulating the monsters in the world is your primary goal. The Transformation System in ESO is one of the strongest ways you can use monsters to your advantage. Ten Ton Hammer has the exclusive dev diary, so make sure you check out the Transformation System!
  • All Hell Breaks Loose in Heaven - Ether Saga Online Preview

    Continuing his search for the best free-to-play games available, Ten Ton Hammer's Danny "Ralsu" Gourley spent some time with Ether Saga Online. What did he find? Gods Gone Wild? Key bowl parties? Evil pigs?
  • Chronicles of Spellborn 3/20 Webinar Report

    To welcome North American and UK gamers into open beta, Acclaim (publishers of The Chronicles of Spellborn in English-speaking territories) and the Spellborn dev team welcomed gamers to a "webinar" late Friday. A number of game and community issues were addressed, from the elder game PvP features being added in the next content patch, to how exactly the Free-to-Play structure works, to what makes Chronicles of Spellborn different than any MMORPG you've experienced. If you're new to the Spellborn concept and considering checking out the open beta, the latest Chronicles of Spellborn Community Webinar writeup is a great place to start!
  • geeked: "Demands"

    Ten Ton Hammer's very own satirical webcomic on all things geek-related has a special request from the strip's creator this week. More and more info on BioWare's The Old Republic is surfacing. But there's something missing according to William "JoBildo" Murphy, and he intends to rectify that!
  • World of Warcraft: Selecting Talents for the Shaman

    World of Warcraft: Selecting Talents for the Warlock

    World of Warcraft: Selecting Talents for the Warrior

    This week at Ten Ton Hammer we are looking at World of Warcraft talent specs and updating them with a level-by-level suggestion for each class and each build on where to spend your talent points. No fuss, no muss. Quick and easy charts are being put into all of our talent guides to help you spec with confidence. Today we have Joe Iuliani with the Shaman Talents, Dave Garber returning for the Warlock Talents, and finishing up the week is Adam Stow with Warrior Talents.

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

  1. Exclusive Earthrise Update Interview
  2. Can Players Build the Future of City of Heroes?
  3. Goob & Begud: "Foreshadowing"
  4. Runes of Magic: Exclusive End of Beta Interview
  5. EverQuest at Ten: The Devs Share Their Memories
  6. Forever Fantasy: EverQuest III - The Return of the King
  7. WoW Celebs: An Interview with Olympic Gold Medalist Matt Grievers
  8. Preview: Get your Freakémon on in Freaky Creatures
  9. Jumpgate, LEGO Universe, and Gazillion: An Exclusive Interview with Scott Brown
  10. geeked: "Call it Karma"

Real World News

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.